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August 5, 2021

Headlines:

Secret Mormon fascist outed in the Department of Law? -

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Alaska GOP Goes Full Cannibal -

Friday, July 16, 2021

Shenanigans & a Secret Stalker! -

Friday, July 9, 2021

Crony Capitalism is the Norm In Juneau

The debate in Juneau over oil tax credits has captured the attention of most Alaskans by now. Alaska is paying out over $700 million more in oil tax credits than we get in production taxes. This arrangement where we pay more in tax credits than we get in production taxes is projected to last until 2025. But below the surface lies a much deeper debate over the fundamental nature of capitalism in our society. Capitalism is generally defined as an economic system where private individuals control the means of production for their own profit. A danger of capitalism has always been when…

Parnell Stacks the Deck for Oil. Again.

The muck-raking writer Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” He wrote that after running for governor in 1934. It would seem the business of politics was even more messy than the meat packing industry he exposed. I’d go a bit further than Sinclair. It’s difficult for someone to continue getting a salary if he does understand some things and still acts on them. It’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll give you the skinny. Most of us are familiar with the…

The Best Bill in Juneau

During the hearings, and vote on SB21, (the governor’s oil tax plan to give billions to oil companies in exchange for absolutely no promise of anything) did you find yourself wondering why Sen. Peter Micciche who works for Conoco Phillips was allowed to vote to give his boss a windfall? Or why Sen. Kevin Meyer who also works for ConocoPhillips was allowed to do the same? And then there’s Rep. Mike Hawker whose wife works for the oil industry. Before critical votes, you’ll hear a legislator like Micciche and Meyer pipe up and say they’d like to abstain from the…

Parnell Pees in the Pool

The critical vote on a controversial bill involving the dumping of cruise ship waste in Alaska waters has been put off until next week. This is good news. Your outrage, and contacts with your legislators are having an impact. The cruise ship dumping legislation favored by Governor Sean Parnell would kill key provisions of a 2006 citizen’s initiative, voted in by the people, that required cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 cruise season, instead of allowing them to release sewage, heavy metals, and other waste into “mixing zones.” Mixing zones are…

Senator Micciche: Delusions Of Grandeur

Last Sunday, in my Anchorage Daily News column, I wrote about the conflict of interest of newly minted Senator Peter Micciche. A Republican from Soldotna, Mr. Micciche works for Conoco Phillips and has for decades. He now sits on the Resource Committee — one of the most powerful in the Senate, and not only is he a member, he’s vice-chairman of the special sub-committee reviewing the bill to slash oil taxes. I was hoping the Senator would realize, because of the conflict of his employer, he wouldn’t be allowed on a jury or as a judge. How does he not…

The Silent Oil Coup

A silent coup has occurred in Alaska. “More foxes in the henhouse than chickens,” as someone said. The oil tax giveaway proposed by former Conoco Phillips lobbyist and Exxon attorney Sean Parnell has been referred to the TAPS Throughput Committee chaired by Conoco Phillips employee Sen. Peter Micciche, in front of Senate Resources co-chair Cathy Giessel, whose husband’s job relies on the oil industry, and later to the uber-powerful Senate Finance Committee co-chaired by Conoco Phillips employee Kevin Meyer. The grease already on the wheels of this faulty legislation could fill a pipeline. I know, you’re thinking surely the employee…

Fox, Vice Chair of Henhouse, “No worries!”

State Senator Peter Micciche (R), an employee of ConocoPhillips*, says that while there will be billion dollar decisions made about oil and gas issues in the legislature this session, there is no conflict of interest with his seat on the Resources Committee, nor as vice chairman of the the special committee taking the first look at the governor’s oil-tax bill. You know, the one where the governor wants to give almost $2 billion a year to the oil companies, screwing smaller independent oil producers and favoring the “Big Three” – BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips?* *Hmmm. In his own persuasive argument, the…