From a speech by Sen. Fred Dyson on the Senate floor about state funding for family planning. He also said that women could ship contraception to Alaska, including by “GoldStreaking” it on Alaska Airlines:
I did some research…There are a dozen places here in town at least where you can buy condoms, a dollar a piece. There are some exotic ones that are more than that, an amazing variety. And talk with the pharmacist, birth control pills are $18-30 per month. By comparison, in the vending machines down here the pop is $1.75-$2.50 per bottle. You know, 4-5 lattes will pay the $18 per month. So it is my position no one is prohibited from having birth control for economic reasons.
UPDATED: As promised, below is a comment from GOP Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s campaign on the new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee campaign, “GOP addicted to Koch.” The campaign is drawing attention to the fact that the Koch brothers recently closed an Alaska refinery because of costs while spending $600,000 so far on ads attacking Sen. Mark Begich. The refinery was a mainstay in Interior Alaska’s economy, and took with it at least 80 jobs.
The DSCC is pressing the Senate GOP challengers for a response. Dan Sullivan’s campaign has declined comment. No word yet from Joe Miller. Treadwell’s campaign pointed out that Begich seemed cavalier about the closure when it was announced. Further, Begich’s Great Land PAC took $5000 from the Koch brothers in 2010. Here’s what his spokesperson had to say:
“Yet again Mark Begich is showing Alaskans they cannot trust what he says. In 2010, his Great Land PAC took a $5,000 donation from Koch Industries. Not only does Begich take Koch money, Begich simply dismissed the news of the Flint Hills Refinery closing as ‘ the private sector making a decision.’ From Obamacare to hypocritical attacks to failed campaign promises, it is clear that Alaskans cannot trust Mark Begich.” Fred Brown, campaign spokesman.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t known for his quick quips. But a line that he used on the Senate floor as he was railing against Senate Republicans will provide the theme around a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee campaign, a campaign in which Alaska plays a starring roll.
The line: “The GOP is addicted to Koch,” is sure to be something Alaskans will hear over and over again as the DSCC uses Internet ads and videos, as well as social media to tie Republicans to politically active billionaire brothers.
Energy Council is this week. Every year a hand full of legislators travels to D.C. to learn more about the oil and gas industry. While there, legislators also visit members of Congress to educate and lobby for Alaska issues. Among those wandering the Capitol halls this year — talking about lands locked up in the National Petroleum Reserve, opening ANWR, and offshore revenue sharing — are Reps. Mia Costello, Benny Nageak, Eric Feige, Dan Saddler and Pete Higgins. Senators include Bert Stedman and Johnny Ellis.
If he was going for impact, he succeeded. Sen. Mark Begich’s annual remarks to the Legislature on Monday are still rebounding through the Capitol building. On Wednesday, Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault sent out yet another press release about those remarks. Specifically, he responded to charges by the Alaska Democratic Party, which was responding to a Monday press release issued by Chenault.
To recap: Begich made remarks. Chenault responded. The Dems responded to Chenault. Chenault responded to them.
It seems like one issue after another for BP (BP). Ever since the Gulf oil spill disaster, the company has had uncertainty in payout looming over their heads, with another setback coming recently. Now, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could prove to be another headwind for BP. BP owns 19.75% of Russian state oil company Rosneft (OTC:OCRNL), which is worth about $65 billion overall. With the Western world still uncertain how to approach the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there is a possibility that economic sanctions would be imposed on Russia, potentially harming Rosneft’s business, and consequently BP. In fact, a recent dip in Rosneft’s share price caused a loss of nearly $1B for BP overnight
About 30 or so people made their way to GOP Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s campaign office in Anchorage to celebrate fat Tuesday. The food, much like the people who showed, was interesting. Tacos, baklava, cornbread, and Girl Scout Thin Mints. Like the crowd, none of it should have mixed, but it did.
Ramona Specking who manages a hotel and speaks French, German and conversational Spanish was there. Irene Green who runs an international bed and breakfast who speaks those three plus Dutch and Italian had with her an Italian national who biked part of the Iditarod trail. Lars Gleitsmann, a geologist Continue reading →
Below is a statement from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott in reaction to House Judiciary Committee action of HJR 33 to change the composition of the Alaska Judicial Council.
“Alaska’s judiciary is under attack and Alaskans need to rally to its defense. Our judiciary is universally regarded as one of the finest in the nation. That is because of the selection process our founders established in the state constitution—that the governor appoint a judge from among candidates recommended by a seven member panel that consists of three lawyers, three lay citizens and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Now some politicians want to fundamentally alter the make-up of the judicial council to reshape the judiciary into an ideological rubber stamp of government actions. They also seek to impose insurmountable barriers to lawsuits filed by citizens against corporate interests. We cannot allow them to take away the judiciary’s independence or weaken its power to protect the public.”
Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault sent a message back to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich following Begich’s annual address to the Legislature on Monday. In a press release, Chenault said that he “wished to correct the record and call for clarity and results for Alaska, instead of more Beltway-style speeches.”
The move was unusual for Chenault, who, although a Republican, is normally more conciliatory.
In his speech, Begich highlighted a variety of federal legislative successes, including keeping the F-16s at Eielson Air Force Base, increased funds for the Arctic, and fighting federal government overreach.
Democrats sometimes tell me that I write more about Republicans than I do about them. If that’s true, it’s because we have more Republican elected officials than we do Democrats. Besides, Dems are less willing to dish than are Republicans. That’s not to say that Democrats aren’t worthy of attention. And if Republicans continue with what can be viewed as a radical social agenda, and if more Democrats at least pay lip service to being pro-business, which they might, I suspect that the majority will slowly whittle away.
It’ll be the biggest, most expensive, and most important project in the state’s history. The large diameter natural gas pipeline, as being discussed, will outlive us all and our children and our children’s children. It’ll outlive Rep. Les Gara’s outraged moralism, and Rep. Lora Reinbold’s fears of gays getting married. It’ll outlive Mike Chenault’s tenure as speaker of the House and it will outlive Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. The gas will still be flowing down the pipe when archeologists unearth Sen. Lesil McGuire’s shoe closet keeping time with Sen. Continue reading →
Democratic campaign rhetoric this year bristles with female-friendly ideas. The party hasn’t merely reprised its long-standing endorsement of abortion rights; it’s also calling for pay equity for women, stronger protections for pregnant women in the workforce, broader paid sick leave and family leave measures, and universal early childhood education. Are any of those ideas likely to move forward in a bitterly divided Congress that’s already turned from legislating to electioneering? Not a chance. But passing new laws isn’t the point. The point is to send a message to female voters — especially unmarried women and working mothers — that the Democrats are on their side… ‘Women will determine the Senate,’ Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told me.
On the heels of several anti-choice votes in the Alaska state Legislature, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund have launched a campaign to educate voters about candidates’ positions on women’s health issues. The campaign, the organization said, will be modeled on campaigns waged in the lower 48 that have brought attention to women’s health issues and have helped get pro-choice candidates elected.
Not only will the campaign target state lawmakers, it will also focus on the upcoming U.S. Senate race in Alaska, which Planned Parenthood has named as one of its “top electoral priorities.”
U.S. Senator Mark Begich announced today that the FCC will be awarding two Alaska telecom companies $41 million to improve cell phone and broadband service in rural Alaska.
“This is a great day for rural Alaska,” said Begich. “Today’s FCC auction results mean that Alaska companies will now be able to provide sorely needed telecommunication services across our vast state. From Eek, to Nunam Iqua, to Unalaska, several rural communities will soon be better connected.”
The funds came from a program called the FCC Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I Auction, which is part of a larger effort to expand mobile broadband coverage Continue reading →