Some big surprises in 30 day state House and Senate fundraising reports

Campaign reports for those running for state office were due on Monday. They’re commonly called 30 day reports, because the reporting period runs from February 2 and ends July 18, 30 days before the primary race.

Money doesn’t mean everything in politics, but it means a lot, and the numbers so far do give you a sense of the depth and reach of a candidate’s support, and how candidates are spending what they raise.

A few surprises: The money in the governor’s race was interesting (see that story here). But the real shockers were in two Anchorage races—one House and one Senate–where two Democrats substantially outraised the Republican incumbents: Continue reading


Dear APOC: You need a website that works

I said last night that I was going to write about the 30 day APOC reports from state House and Senate candidates which were due yesterday. However, the APOC website has been acting twitchy and I can’t get the information. This isn’t new. Since I’ve been covering politics, the agency’s website always seems to go down during times of high traffic, which is ironic considering one of the main purposes of the agency is transparency. Here’s the agency’s mission statement:

To encourage the public’s confidence in their elected and appointed officials by administering Alaska’s disclosure statutes and publishing financial information regarding the activities of election campaigns, public officials, lobbyists and lobbyist employers.

I’ll continue to try, and maybe in the future APOC can try to encourage the public’s confidence in their state agencies by ensuring that the publication of financial information regarding the activities of election campaigns, public officials, lobbyists and lobbyist employers, is done in a timely manner that doesn’t involve wanting to throw your computer across the room. 


Video: Last Tuesday’s GOP Senate candidate debate

Below is the entire 2.5 hour GOP Senate candidate debate that took place in Homer last Tuesday, courtesy of the Joe Miller campaign. If you can’t find time to watch the whole debate, the intros, which start at about minute 3, will give you a pretty good feel for the candidates. Joe Miller, as he always is, is more articulate than his reputation would lead you to believe. Mead Treadwell is the newly minted, staunch tea party conservative—an ideological turn that’s designed to appeal to primary voters and for which most of the media has given him a free pass–and Dan Sullivan tries to save something for the general election.

Leave a comment and let me know what strikes you, particularly those who have time to watch the whole thing.

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RNC #FireReid robocall coming to a phone near you

Below is the script to the robocall that will be played in Alaska as part of the Republican National Committee’s new “Fire Harry Reid” campaign.

President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have blocked hundreds of bills that would spur job creation. Their partisan agenda has caused our healthcare costs to skyrocket. Their environmentalist billionaire backers won’t let the Keystone pipeline bring affordable energy to our state. A vote for Senator Mark Begich is just another rubber stamp on their failed agenda. It’s time to Fire Harry Reid. It’s time to vote against Senator Mark Begich.

Variations of the script Continue reading


Updated: If court ruling stands, thousands of Alaskans will lose ObamaCare subsidies

Big news from the Washington Post:

A federal appeals court panel in the District struck down a major part of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, ruling that the tax subsidies that are central to the program may not be provided in at least half of the states…. The three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with plaintiffs who argued that the language of the law barred the government from giving subsidies to people in states that chose not to set up their own insurance marketplaces.

This could be the biggest blow yet to ObamaCare.

Hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously upheld the subsidies, which likely means the case will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Alaska is one of 27 states that opted out of creating its own exchange. That decision was made by Gov. Sean Parnell, along with the decision not to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. Because of Parnell’s decision, if the ruling is upheld, which is unlikely, thousands of Alaskans will become ineligible for subsidies, and across the country, tens of billions of dollars of federal money will be forfeited by the states.

Since As of April, 12,890 Alaskans have signed up for healthcare under ObamaCare. If you make less than 400 percent of the poverty level in Alaska– $57,400 a year for a single person or $117,760 for a family of four—you will qualify for subsidies. Continue reading


Thirty day APOC report shows Parnell has wide lead in cash on hand

Gov. Sean Parnell didn’t report as much money as at least one of his challengers in the governor’s race, but he spent less during the period than his other two opponents. All told, Parnell raised $285,000 during the latest reporting period, which runs from February 2 until July 18, which is 30 days before the primary. That number included $100,000 that was given to Parnell from the state Republican Party. However, given that Parnell is the incumbent, his numbers looks less impressive when compared to the other two candidates in the race, Democrat Byron Mallott and independent Bill Walker. But compared to them he was relatively frugal. Parnell’s campaign only spent $170,000 during that period and still has $450,000 cash on hand going into the general election.

Mallott reported receipts of $297,000 during this reporting period. However, $48,000 of that was his own money.  The Alaska Democratic Party gave him $59,000, He spent $277,000 in the same period.  Continue reading


Parnell raises $285,000 in latest reporting period

Gov. Sean Parnell raised more than $285,000 during the latest reporting period, which runs from February until July. That number includes $100,000 that was given to Parnell from the state Republican Party. In total, the campaign has raised $693,295 since it’s inception in May 2013 and has about $450,000 cash on hand.

“As we travel the state, Sandy and I are humbled by the strong and deep support we see,” Parnell said in a release. “We are especially grateful to all our volunteers, contributors and event hosts. Together, we will continue to build Alaska and ensure more freedom and opportunity for all Alaskans.”

I’ll update when I get the numbers of the other two main candidates in the race: Democrat Byron Mallott and independent Bill Walker.

As of 4 p.m. on Monday, the website of the Alaska Public Offices Commission was down, as it tends to be during high traffic times.


GOP Senate candidate Sullivan’s new ad focuses on Alaska ‘roots’

Doubts raised about GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s Alaska creds must be working, because the campaign just put out in a response to those claims, using one of the best weapons they have: Sullivan’s wife Julie Fate Sullivan. The new ad isn’t exactly a roaring response, but it sets the stage for what could be one. ”I’m a lifelong Alaskan, born and raised here.  Our roots go back thousands of years,” says Fate, which is more than any other spouse of any other Senate candidate can say.

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Much is known about Sullivan. Less, however is known about his wife, who will likely play a larger, more visible role in the campaign, particularly if Sullivan wins the primary.

Fate, of Athabaskan descent, is the daughter of Mary Jane and Hugh “Bud” Fate, a highly respected Alaska couple from Fairbanks. Continue reading


Loose Lips: The Valley ‘Charmer.’ Reports from the gutter. The not-so subtle Dubey.

feminism Spotted in May with his thumb out: Brad Snowden, who few know but who is running for governor, on the Park’s Highway, making his way from Wasilla to Anchorage after the tea party Freedom Festival. Spotted recently: lite gov. candidate Hollis French with his thumb out in Juneau, going from the ferry terminal headed downtown. Really, where else?

Valley folks are talking about how Arni Thomson, a big commercial fishing advocate, is increasing his opposition to sitting Valley legislators who are more inclined to support sports fishing than commercial fishing. First he went after Sen, Mike Dunleavy in a letter earlier this year to the Board of Fish, where he called a letter from Dunleavy “disingenuous,” “outlandish” and “lacking leadership.” Now Thomson appears to be supporting DeLena Johnson’s Senate bid against Rep. Bill Stoltze. Street talk is he also intends to support the “Three Amigos” next. Para el pescado?

Brad Keithley is also supporting Johnson over Stoltze. Continue reading


ObamaCare: September surprise for Begich?

From Dan Fagan:

You think Sen. Mark Begich has a lousy record to run on now, wait until the fall season rolls around and with it a major hike in health insurance rates in Alaska. The Heritage foundation estimates health insurance rates will shoot up 13 percent in Alaska once the state finalizes its rate.  Other states will see even higher increases with estimates showing rates going up almost 25 percent. According to, so far no state has finalized its rate, but 21 have posted bids for 2015. You guessed it, premiums went up in all 21 states.

Fagan is getting his information from a Politico story called “ObamaCare’s Next Threat: A September Surprise.” Continue reading


WaPost: EPA to release proposal on Friday to stop Pebble

Big news from the Washington Post:

The Environmental Protection Agency will issue a proposal Friday under the Clean Water Act that would limit mining activity in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, according to two individuals familiar with the decision. The proposed determination, which will now be subject to a public comment period, represents the latest step by the Obama administration to impose restrictions on a massive gold and copper mining project, called  Pebble Mine…Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)  has repeatedly warned EPA not to issue a “preemptive veto” against Pebble Mine, though Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and other Democratic senators from the Pacific Northwest  such as Maria Cantwell (Wash.) have argued it poses too great a  risk to the wild fishery.


Treadwell shows that he’s willing to break Reagan’s 11th Commandment

I’ve been traveling today–hence the few posts–so I haven’t been able to listen to any of recordings of the GOP debate in Homer last Tuesday night, nor have I had much chance to talk to people who were there. But a few press releases from the candidates and from the Democratic party gave me of flavor: Mead Treadwell tried to out conservative Joe Miller, and Dan Sullivan, with an eye on the general election, tried to save something for the middle and for the Independents, votes that will determine if Mark Begich gets sent back to D.C. this winter.

Treadwell went so far as to spend his closing comments on parroting Begich’s attacks on Miller and Sullivan, and he sent out a release Continue reading


Murkowski one of three Republicans to vote to advance anti-Hobby Lobby bill

As she’s done in the past, particularly on social issues, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski bucked her party and voted to advance a bill that would have reversed a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows closely held corporations to decline to provide employees insurance coverage for some forms of birth control based on religious objections. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich. As expected, it failed.

In addition to Murkowski, two other Republican senators voted to advance it: Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom, like Murkowski, are known for being moderate Republicans.

Murkowski’s vote is consistent with what she said in 2012 after she supported a measure called the Blunt amendment that would have done through Congress what the Supreme Court eventually did. Continue reading


Young far out raises Democrat Dunbar: Where are the national Dems?

U. S Rep. Don Young reported raising $131,258 in the 2nd quarter of this year, which runs from April until the end of June. He spent $236,784, leaving him with $589,812 cash on hand. His challenger, Democrat Forrest Dunbar, raised $36,500 during the same time period and has $30,603 cash on hand.

Dunbar, a first-time candidate, mined the numbers for some good news. Most of his money has come from 303 individual donors, and about 90 percent of it from Alaska donors, his campaign said. In contrast, Dunbar says that only about 20 percent of Young’s money has come from Alaskans and that “the vast majority” has come from lobbyists and federally-registered PACs.

It’s not surprising that Young would out raise Dunbar. What might be surprising about the numbers Continue reading


In Homer, Treadwell calls Roe V. Wade ‘mistake,’ tries to out-conservative Miller

I’m waiting to get some audio from the GOP Senate debate on Wednesday night in Homer. Until then, here’s some tweets from Mead Treadwell, who I heard spent a lot of time trying to out-conservative Joe Miller. Among other things, Treadwell called for the elimination of the ‘fraudulent” IRS and of the income tax, vowed not to support an immigration bill while Obama is in office, and supported congressional term limits, a position that probably doesn’t sit well with Rep. Don Young, who is the longest serving Republican in the House, and would likely have the late Ted Stevens shaking his fist. As Treadwell repeatedly reminds us, he has been in Alaska for 40 years, and until he ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, his reputation was one of a moderate, wonkish Republican who seemed most interested in international organizations and treaties. Now, he’s a pro-life, “stand with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee” conservative firebrand.