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May 16, 2021

Hey… Where’s this thing going?

Hey… Where is this thing going? As several journalists have pointed out – August is supposed to be a slow news month. But like many other things in Alaska, that’s been turned on its head. The Dunleavy steamroller is juiced up and going full speed. And so is the recall effort. Almost 40,000 signatures have been gathered so far in the first phase of the recall which will draw to a close on September 2. Phase 2 will come after the application is approved, and will require over 70,000 signatures (which looks extremely do-able at this point), and then after…

FAKE NEWS COMES TO ALASKA! SAD!

Gov. Mike Dunleavy didn’t come out and call it “fake news” but he may as well have. In his journey down the Trump copycat trail, he’s now blaming the media as a convenient excuse to not have to answer uncomfortable questions. Here’s the headline that got the governor’s nose out of joint. He said it was inaccurate. He would have preferred a headline that read: “The legislature chose that $1600 value of the Permanent Fund Dividend and he decided not to veto it.” And for the want of that awkward headline, he’s decided not to talk to the press anymore….

Governor Arsonist/Firefighter is ready for your praise

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy Disaster ABOUT FACE!     THE GOVERNOR LAST WEEK THE GOVERNOR TODAY A CONVERSATION Remember the “unapologetic” governor, who two weeks ago all but assured us he’d re-veto his terrible budget cuts despite thousands of Alaskans showing up to testify, writing, and calling to oppose them?  Apparently, he doesn’t exist anymore. The shiny new governor that made an appearance this week is now furiously walking back everything he’s said about how necessary these cuts are and how everyone knew exactly that this would happen when they voted for him. SPOILER: Neither of…

The Corrupt Bastards are back!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Ben Stevens administration A trip to the WayBack Machine CORRUPT BASTARDS 2.0 If anyone had a momentary sigh of relief when they heard that former Republican Party Chair Tuckerman Babcock was demoted from Governor Dunleavy’s chief of staff to “adviser,” it was short-lived. We’ve gone from extremist Koch Brothers lackey, straight back to the Corrupt Bastards Club of 2006, only without the official hats. Yes, none other than Ben Stevens – black sheep son of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens – is now in the coveted role of governor’s right-hand man. If…

High Drama in the Legislature!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration HIGH DRAMA in the Legislature This may, or may not be an actual photo of Lora Reinbold ACT 1 – The House Today the House voted to rescind their previous vote, and in one final last-ditch effort managed to cobble enough votes together to pass a capital (construction) budget, and a “reverse sweep” to re-fund all the accounts that had been drained at the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. The governor can still line-item veto items in the capital budget itself, but programs re-funded by the reverse sweep…

Alaska Mining Project Threatens Salmon, Water, and Native Communities

Trump Administration officials have fast-tracked permits for the largest open-pit mine in North America. The proposed Pebble Mine had previously seemed paralyzed, after more than a decade of relentless opposition by Alaska Native elders and youth. Now, plans for the mine are being rushed forward. The final public comment period for the proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permits ends on June 29, 2019. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote that it would result in a “complete loss of fish habitat” (PDF) in a proposed determination to block Pebble Mine. The mine is planned to…

The call is coming from inside the House!

The End is Just the Beginning…       DAY 122 IS DAY 1 The regular legislative session is over. The constitution says that the 121st day shall be the last! Unless of course they extend it for 10 days. Or unless someone calls a special session to deal with particular legislation, which is exactly what happened last night. Before legislators gaveled out, or had the chance to call themselves back to special session, Gov. Mike Dunleavy summoned the press to tell them that he’d be calling a special session on the crime bill, the PFD, and the budget. No…

Where’s the $3000, and Who’s Vetting These People?

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration   The big news today is that the Senate passed their version of the budget, and everyone’s talking about how it contains a $3000 PFD, which is true. But lots of other things happened, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But before we do, there are a couple other happenings worth noting. “WHO’S VETTING THESE PEOPLE?” Stephen Moore Alaskans have been saying that since the very beginning of the Dunleavy appointment process. Remember Quick & Chance? No, not a quaint Dickensian law firm – the first two casualties of…

Governor on the fire escape. This is not a good sign.

TALL TALES from Juneau (and beyond) Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration Forwarded from a friend? Join our email list HERE AND THE AWARD FOR BEST DRAMA GOES TO… The House Minority (which is filled with Republicans who refuse to work with their peers in the Majority coalition) shows once again why their Republican colleagues preferred to work with Democrats to actually get things done. Three minority members on the House Education Committee – Josh Revak (R-Anchorage), Ben Carpenter (R- Kenai), and DeLena Johnson (R-Palmer) decided that the vote their committee was about to take on the governor’s austerity budget, was…

Ghosts in the Political Machine. No, really. Ghosts!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Arduin/Dunleavy administration Subscribe to TALL TALES here   HOORAY! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GAY… Kelly Tshibaka, Gov. Dunleavy’s replacement pick for Commissioner of Administration (after first pick, Jonathan Quick, the “yogurt entrepreneur” was found to be lying on his resume) is certainly qualified for the job on paper. Nevertheless, she has some ideological issues which ought to raise serious concerns for someone wanting a position overseeing a very large and diverse government workforce. In 2002, Tshibaka (under her maiden name Kelly Hartline) wrote the following in the Harvard Law Record about “National…