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September 18, 2021

The House 34 Horse Race!

By Scott McAdams Politics have always been important to Alaskans. Unlike much of the world, we often know our leaders personally, expect our ideas to be considered in the policy making process, and understand that our future requires our voice. As many of us evaluate candidates this election season, most of us in this small community called Alaska do so based on the personal relationships and past experiences we’ve had with those who place their names on the ballot. In my community, there is a race for State House between two men I have come to know over the past…

Hungry Kids are the Latest GOP Political Pawns

By Elstun Lauesen “Christ of the Breadline” by Fritz Eichenberg (1901-1990) is a beautiful woodcut that instructs us to remember that Christ may appear in any form, calling upon our capacity for grace. Mr. Stoltze and his fellow Republicans would be wise to remember the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus, covered with sores, lies at the gate of a rich man who refused him. They died on the same day. Lazarus was welcomed into Heaven; the rich man was not. Readers will not be surprised to learn that I was once an aspiring evangelist. At the age…

Will The AK Liquor Lobby Benefit From Its Investment In The AK Legislature? *UPDATE*

When the word “lobby” is used in Alaska, the first thing that logically springs to mind is Big Oil. However, there is a very powerful lobby which has reigned supreme in this state longer than the oil companies and it revolves around Alaska’s favorite drug-of-choice, alcohol. Why is the alcohol lobby so influential in Alaska? The first picture that comes to mind is that of Alaska’s early Wild West days, including the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Along with these hopeful gold miners came early entrepreneurs and colorful vice-peddlers who discovered a different kind of “gold mining” in the “Land…

APOC Files Its Own Complaint Against Rep. Bill Thomas (Update)

Many of you know about the APOC complaint I filed against Rep. William Thomas, Jr. (R-Haines) because he claimed ads like this were “thank you ads,” not “campaign ads”: The status of that complaint is basically where we left it in my last post on the subject. The APOC staff re-opened the investigation, as the Commissioners tasked them to do in the Adminstrative Order. I know because they contacted me for more information. The new staff report should be out any day now, as I believe the investigation ended the last week of December. However, THAT complaint really isn’t the topic…

Commissioners to APOC Staff: Try Again.

Some of you have been following the saga here on Mudflats about my APOC complaint against Alaska House District 5 Representative William Thomas, Jr. (R-Haines) and his re-election campaign. The complaint (plus amendment) deals with 17 ads placed and designed by campaign Deputy Treasurer James Studley and charged to various Haines businesses. My complaint asserts that they should be considered illegal campaign ads in total, either illegal in-kind contributions because some of them were paid for by corporations, or illegal independent expenditures because they were coordinated with Studley as well as others campaign staff. We left the story at the…

The APOC Hearing Has A Part Deux: The Deliberation

A week ago Friday, I testified at the hearing for my first APOC complaint–Kellen vs. Thomas et al. It seemed to go very well…better than I’d hoped.  I wasn’t planning on writing another post about it until there was a decision (I didn’t want to irritate the Commission until after they decided) but I also expected there would be one by now. To my surprise, we are still awaiting the “verdict” from the Commission.  This is amazing, as today was the end of their 10 days. I actually believe that this is a very good sign…they wouldn’t need this amount…

APOC Complaint Against Rep. Bill Thomas Campaign (R-Haines)–The response(s).

Back on October 13th, I posted about the APOC Complaint I had filed against the re-election campaign of Representative Bill Thomas, Jr. (above, on the left, with Sen. Al Kookesh, who appears in several of the ads.) The complaint is in response to a newspaper advertising campaign consisting of 12 ads which ran in the Chilkat Valley News during the weeks leading up to the primary election: …Upon further research, it was impossible to determine exactly what category of legal contributions these ads were attempting to fit, if any: James Studley was the one who coordinated the entire ad buy….