Monthly Archives: June 2014

Former GOP chair Ruedrich files APOC complaint against Republican women’s club

In a rare move that’s likely to shock many in political circles, former Alaska Republican Party chair Randy Ruedrich has filed an APOC complaint against the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, the club chaired by Judy Eledge.

In his complaint, which was filed late Tuesday afternoon, Ruedrich alleges that the ARWC is not keeping proper donor-records. Specifically, he says that it has failed to disclose aggregate contributions. Contributions to political groups under $100 are not subject to detailed APOC reporting rules. However, names and address of donors are required when donors exceed more than $100 a year, even if those contributions are in small increments.

Ruedrich said that it appears that the ARWC wasn’t keeping track of small donations, and therefore couldn’t account for aggregate contributions Continue reading


Alaska GOP Senate debate might violate FEC laws. Will it go on?

What was supposed to be a relatively seamless GOP Senate candidate debate sponsored by four Alaska Republican women’s’ clubs, including the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, has turned into an event which, as planned, might violate federal election laws.

The debate is scheduled for Thursday night at East High School in Anchorage, and all three major candidates—Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan—were expected to attend. The organizers were charging $10 at the door.

At issue is who, Continue reading


Mike Miller and Mikse Willoya-Marx withdraw from state Senate races

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is reporting that former Alaska state Senate President Mike Miller is dropping his bid against Fairbanks Sen. Click Bishop. Miller told the paper that he withdrew because the race would be a “‘distraction” for the Republican party at a time when the party needs cohesion. He told the paper that he had been talking to Bishop over the past few weeks, and that the two “agree on a whole lot more issues than we disagree on.” Bishop is considered a moderate, union-friendly Republican. Miller was likely to draw conservative votes in the race.

Mikse Willoya-Marx, the Wasilla Democrat in Senate District E, has also dropped out of the race. Willoya-Marx was challenging state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, who will now face former Mat-Su Assemblyman Warren Keogh, who’s running as an independent, in the general.


Mayor Dan Sullivan mulling ‘reasoned response’ to APOC over fine

Below is Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s response to a question I asked about if he plans to fight APOC’s staff decision to fine him $187.50 for a campaign violation. APOC said that a statement that Sullivan sent from his official office was “election related” and therefore should not have been sent from his office. The statement in question was an apology for comparing union membership to slavery at a lieutenant governor’s forum. Read the back story here:

I am going to present a reasoned response that suggest that when something of this nature is so ‘de minimus,’ a cautionary warning to try and avoid candidate/elected official conflicts might be more appropriate than an arbitrary $187.50 penalty. The headline generated is completely out of proportion to the actual event, probably punishment enough.


APOC recommends fining Mayor Dan for issuing an apology

Anybody else think that APOC is stretching here?

A report by the state agency that regulates campaign finance laws says Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan broke state law by issuing a campaign-related press release through his city spokeswoman last month. The report, written by an agency staff member, recommends that Sullivan pay an $187.50 penalty.

At issue is whether or not Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan should have sent an apology for comparing union membership to slavery. Sullivan made the comments at the candidate forum, but many, including the NAACP asked for comment from him as the mayor. He, his spokesperson Lindsey Whitt, Continue reading


Wash Post lowers Begich’s chances of winning, still betting on Sullivan in primary

The Washington Posts’ Election Lab, a joint effort between the Post and a group of political scientists, now only gives Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich a 43 percent chance of retaining his seat in the upcoming election. That’s a six-point drop since May, when the Lab gave Begich a 49 percent chance of keeping his seat.

What’s changed? Campaign contributions, said political scientist Eric McGhee, who is a contributor to the project. The group has yet to include polls in its model, and unlike other people and organizations that predict races, its model doesn’t include subjective information, Continue reading


Lt. gov. candidate Fleener apologizes to Parnell, and asks for apology in return.

Below is lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener’s response to the dust-up between Fleener and Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign. Fleener is running as an independent with Bill Walker. Read the back story here:

I and NCAI conference organizers and participants expected Governor Parnell to speak as listed on the program. When he did not take the stage after he was introduced and I was told by an organizer that he was delayed in traffic, the universal opinion was that Gov. Parnell was a no show. It is now known that Parnell declined the invitation by email to the NCAI office manager but apparently the information never made it to the meeting coordinators, Alaska Native leaders, or conference attendees and Parnell remained on the program. While I did check my sources all the way to the top of those in charge at the conference, I apologize for stating Governor Parnell was an unexcused no-show. I would ask that Governor Parnell and his campaign manager, Jerry Gallagher, apologize for calling me a liar. I would also ask that the underlying Native Alaskan issues addressed in my opinion piece not be lost in this unfortunate dust-up concerning event attendance.


Loose Lips: Atwood’s ghosts. Dunleavy busy bush hogging. Alaska Republican Assembly endorses.

18955141_mDonna Sheridan has been threatening to retire for years. Now, she’s really going to do it. Sheridan, who has been running the administrative side of BP’s Juneau office for years, is finally calling it quits. Rumor has it that she’ll be hanging out in the sunshine state of Florida.

On Wednesday evening, Carl and Pam Brady hosted a fundraiser at their Anchorage home for Gov. Sean Parnell. Approximately 60 people showed. Some of the guests: Carl Marrs, Mayor Dan and Lynnete Sullivan, Diane Kaplan, Larry Cash, Mary Hughes, Jerry Hood, Rudy and Natasha Von Imhoff, Dan Coffey, Ed and Cathy Rasmuson, Art and April Hackney, and Kyle Parker. Continue reading


Why so few female candidates?

From Slate’s Amanda Marcotte on why politics is so male-dominated:

After performing 45 interviews with experienced candidates and officeholders and holding multiple focus groups with other politicians and staff members, the [Institute for Women’s Policy Research] found that women had smaller networks than men to access for funding, faced sexist nonsense while campaigning, and had far less support on the homefront than male candidates, who can often depend on a wife who devotes herself to his career full time. One thing the researchers did not find is that women lack ambition. “Ambition is not an issue or a deficit with these women,” Denise L. Baer and Heidi Hartmann, the study’s authors, write. “Most women self-recruited for their first office or campaign, and only one in four say others recruited them for their first office.

In the upcoming races in Alaska, nine women are running for state Senate, compared to 16 men who are doing so. Twenty-six women and 56 men are running for state House.


Murkowski and unions urge voters to vote against repeal

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with the North Slope Contractors Association and the pipeline trade unions, held a press conference on Friday afternoon to urge voters to vote against ballot measure 1 in August. The measure would repeal a recently passed oil-tax overhaul, and would revert it back to ACES, the system that was passed during Sarah Palin’s tenure in Juneau.

Murkowski, the eight union reps and contractors all said basically the same thing: The future of Alaska is at stake. Under the new regime, the state stands an economic chance. Under the old regime, it doesn’t. Continue reading


Young issued ‘letter of reproval,’ signaling end of investigation

On Friday, the U.S. House Committee on Ethics released its final report on the panel’s investigation into allegations that Rep. Don Young misused travel expenses and accepted gifts improperly.

The report follows years of various investigations into Young’s activities, all of which now are over. Ultimately the panel issued a letter of reproval for actions which “demonstrated a lack of appropriate safeguards and an inattention to the relevant standards of conduct.”  It also said that Young did not act “corruptly” or in “bad faith.”

The panel ordered Young to pay $59,063 to his campaign fund and to various gift-givers, and to amend his financial disclosure reports, Continue reading


Young: Caught on camera

U.S. Rep. Don Young, not known for always being appropriate, was caught on camera on Tuesday being particularly inappropriate as one of his colleagues, Rep. Scott Garrettwas talking about a bill to rename a post office after Joseph D’Augustine, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.  Watch the video here. 
Don Young yucking it up
Matt Shuckerow, Young’s spokesperson, sent a statement to The Daily Caller, which first had the story:

“ The House cameras caught Congressman Young in a light-hearted moment interacting with a colleague. As a veteran himself, his actions were obviously not related to the legislation being discussed on the House floor and he clearly meant no disrespect.”


Parnell’s campaign accuses Fleener of telling ‘outright lies’

Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign lashed out at independent lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener over an opinion piece that Fleener wrote in the Anchorage Daily News. The op-ed, which questioned Parnell’s absence during a recent conference ,“is based on completely fabricated information, which can only be described as a campaign of outright lies,” campaign manager Jerry Gallagher said.

Fleener, who is running with independent candidate Bill Walker, said that Parnell’s excuse for not attending the National Congress of American Indians to give opening remarks was that he was “caught in traffic.” Fleener said the organizers were left “scrambling to fill his spot,” to give the remarks. He said that such behavior by Parnell was symptomatic of Parnell’s relationship with the Alaska Native community. Continue reading


Where does Begich stand on EPA carbon rules? Staff declines comment on hot-button amendment.

On Wednesday night, the Senate Appropriations Committee scuttled a politically problematic vote that would have included an amendment that blocked the EPA from finalizing proposed carbon emission limits for power plants.  The amendment was to be offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to a funding bill for the Energy Department and water programs. Sen. Mark Begich is a member of the committee. He’s been under fire for his alleged support of carbon taxes and regulations.

Heather Handyside, a Begich spokesperson, declined to say Continue reading


Murkowski calls for investigation into VA in Alaska

Below is a letter U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General calling for an investigation into the VA system in Alaska. Specifically, Murkowski wants the IG’s office to look at allegations of whistleblower retaliation around scheduling issues at the VA clinic in Anchorage and staff shortages at the clinic in the Wasilla. Both the New York Times and the Mat-Su Frontiersman have recently reported about the issues in Anchorage and Wasilla, respectively. Continue reading