Monthly Archives: September 2014

Murkowski comes out for Senate candidate Sullivan in new ad

This ad for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the most popular politicians in the state according to polls, is a hard one for Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign:

Begich’s campaign responded with their own video, showing the painful 10 second between when Sullivan was asked if he wrote in Murkowski’s name in 2010, and when he said “no.” Sullivan’s campaign said later that he didn’t vote for anyone in the 2010 Senate race because he was concerned that as the state’s attorney general at the time, he would have to make a legal determination regarding the election and thought his vote would be a conflict of interest.


Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 9.23

  • Becky Bohrer reports that a federal judge has ruled Alaska must take additional steps to provide materials in Native languages for Alaskan Natives with limited English. This is not a permanent ruling nor does it rule on the plaintiffs’ claim that the state violated their Constitutional rights. It does allow the possibility for federal election observers.
  • Public Policy Polling’s latest findings confirm similar polls regarding the U.S. Senate and Governor’s race. Dan Sullivan is ahead of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich 43/41, while Bill Walker is beating Gov. Sean Parnell 42/41. Interesting polling results for 2016 election contenders as well.  The Huffington Post has included many of the U.S. Senate polling for quick comparison and with a colorful graph.
  • Dan Sullivan gave an interview to conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin with The Washington Post’s Right Turn Blog. Her conclusion? Dan Sullivan is Mark Begich’s worst nightmare.
  • Ben Carson, neurosurgeon and known conservative talking head and first contender for the 2016 presidential race? The Hill has his coy pseudo-announcement.

Continue reading


Parents of Senate candidate Sullivan gave $300,000 to Crossroads

U.S. GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s parents, Sandra and Thomas Sullivan, gave $300,000 to the Karl Rove-affiliated super-PAC, American Crossroads on Aug. 29. The donation was first reported by the Center for Public Integrity, which also reported that the donation had been reported incorrectly.

The Sullivan family gave another pro-Sullivan super-PAC, Alaska-based “Alaska’s Energy / America’s Values.” $375,000 pre-primary.

Mark Begich’s campaign pounced, charging that the Sullivans were trying to “buy their son a Senate seat.” The Alaska AFL-CIO affiliated Alaska Workers’ Voice took it further in a sarcasm-drenched tweet:


KTVA’s news director responds to Greene’s controversial departure

Here’s KTVA’s news director Bert Rudman’s official response to reporter Charlo Greene’s abrupt, profanity laden on-air departure on Sunday night:

By now many of you have seen one of our reporters use inappropriate language and quit her job during Sunday night’s newscast. We apologize.

In addition, she had a personal and business stake in the issue she was reporting, but did not disclose that interest to us. This betrayed the basic bedrock of responsible journalism.

At KTVA we strive to live up to the highest journalistic standards of fairness and transparency. Sunday’s breach of those standards is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

Thank you for watching our news broadcasts and be reassured our mission is to present the kind of journalism that lets you make informed decisions about the community in which we all live.


Senate candidates Sullivan and Begich release new ads

Here’s GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s recent ad, using Elaina Spraker to attack Sen. Mark Begich on gun rights and on his record of supporting Obama’s judicial nominees. Elaina is an icon in the largely male-dominated hunting world. She’s married to former Board of Game member Ted Spraker, a well-known, outspoken hunting rights advocate in the Kenai. The charge that Begich is anti-gun is a bit of a stretch. He was one of five Democratic Senators to vote against a gun control bill last year, helping to kill it. However, he also voted to confirm Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom the NRA opposed. Too, generally speaking, Begich has been accommodating to Obama’s bench picks, voting to confirm all but one of Obama’s federal nominees following filibuster reform.

Begich came out with his own more uplifting ad on Monday, where his mother Peggy and wife Deborah debate whether Begich is frugal or cheap.


Tweet of the day: Because the NYTs has done such a stellar job of covering Alaska

Apparently, the New York Times trusts highly suspect online opt-in surveys, but not Alaska reporters:

(Full disclosure: I’m a stringer for the New York Times.)


Anti-pot group complained in past to KTVA about Greene’s coverage

Below is an Aug. 14 email that Kalie Klaysmat, director of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, sent to KTVA news director Bert Rudman expressing concerns about the now infamous KTVA reporter Charlo Greene’s coverage of the pot legalization initiative that will be on the upcoming general election ballot.

In a story that’s gone viral, Greene, who for months had been reporting on the initiative, announced on air Sunday night that she was the owner of Alaska Cannabis Club and that she was quitting her job. “And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but … fuck it, I quit,” she said on air after reporting a story about medical marijuana. The anchor apologized for Greene, and then after a commercial break, the station ran yet another story reported by Greene about marijuana.

Klaysmat’s email was distributed by the group, “Big Marijuana/Big Mistake,” during a press conference on Monday, where members of the group spoke about being “shocked” by Greene’s antics and about being “saddened” that the public has so far received such biased reporting from one of the main news outlets in the state.

In addition to the email below, Continue reading


Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 9.22

  • Thought the question for U.S. Senate control would be answered on November 4? According to the Washington Post, there is a strong possibility of that not happening until close to the new Congress’ scheduled start on January 6. The AP has it down to five bullet points.
  • The Hill published the results of a Gallup Poll that found only 4 in 10 of the public care a “great deal” about which party controls Congress after the November elections.
  • Becky Bohrer with the AP reports that the EPA has asked for a dismissal of a lawsuit alleging it overstepped its authority regarding the development of the proposed Pebble Mine. Arguments will begin on September 26.
  • Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker made his first pit stop in Fairbanks since forming the Walker/Mallott ticket over Labor Day weekend. The Fairbanks Daily Miner has details.

Continue reading


Loose Lips: KTVA goes bong. V2RD hits Alaska. Delbridge joins Parnell campaign.

Meantime, just another Sunday at KTVA, only this time going to pot and potty mouth when reporter Charlo Greene, the Anchorage girl who came to the new station from WOWK in West Virginia, took to the mic, in a moment that will go down in broadcast history:

What you missed on this video (and what you can see in others that don’t include the infectious laughter) was Greene’s admission that she owns the Alaska Cannabis Club. Greene has done multiple stories on the pot initiative and the anti-pot folks had for a while been complaining about her attitude, complaints which were supposedly brushed off and complaints that will come back and haunt the station manager, particularly when the first FCC complaint gets filed in three…two… one…bong!

The anti-pot folks wasted no time. They sent out a fundraising email two hours after the incident entitled appropriately, “loss of local control.”

If you’re up at 7 a.m. on Monday, tune into the Dan Fagan and Glen Biegel show. They’ll be talking to Brad Keithley about some of the charges leveled at him. Tune in at 95.5 FM, and 1080 AM in Anchorage and 92.5 FM and 1020 AM in the Valley. Or listen on line here.

Continue reading


Comment of the day: ‘Who made Brad the Great White Hope?’

The below came from a reader in reaction to Brad Keithley’s legislative “hit list.” While I don’t endorse everything that the reader is saying, it’s provocative enough and enough people are saying variations of the same thing, that I asked if I could publish it. (Read the backstory here and here.)

Thank you for your recent posting about Brad Keithley. It’s fascinating, but, Christ, what a pompous, arrogant, craven, hypocritical, and sanctimonious ass he is. With a selective standard for measuring legislators.

Most of his comments slamming his targets could have applied to nearly every damn lawmaker. Why single out these bastards, Brad? Why not rage against the entire machine?

For example, nearly every legislator last session voted for SB 119, the capital budget bill. Only one voted no: Sen. Berta Gardner.  (See here.) The previous year, no one voted against the capital budget, SB 18, including Berta. (See here.) And yet Brad harpoons only a couple of legislators for voting for both capital budgets.

What a sham. But it’s to be expected from a newcomer who wasn’t here in Alaska during the 1990s when oil prices were below $10 a barrel. He missed the debate from that era — including the infamous 83 percent rejection by voters of a fiscal plan on a 1999 advisory ballot measure. He missed the context for larger capital budgets that started to emerge in 2005 and how they addressed pent-up demand for infrastructure that couldn’t be built during a time of fiscal restraint.

He may bristle at all this and dismiss it as nothing more than the foolish consistency uttered by the hobgoblin of little minds, to mangle Ralph Waldo Emerson. But who made Brad the Great White Hope, here to save us dumb locals from ourselves? It’s the kind of arrogance that many have come to expect from arrogant white men. So presumptuous. So full of themselves.


Mayor Dan says he didn’t ‘step in’ it

Here’s a response from Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who’s running for lieutenant governor, copied from the comments to a post on this site alleging that he had stepped in it when talking about the Permanent Fund on the Dave Stieren radio talk show recently. I wanted to highlight it because Sullivan’s response is pretty good and it’s refreshing when a public figure takes the time to do so. Judging from most of the reactions from readers, they feel similarly. Read those in the comment section here:

I didn’t step in anything Amanda. I am a big supporter of the dividend as it represents Alaskans ownership interest in our state’s wealth. Mr. Weinstrup apparently doesn’t understand that the dividend is just one part of the fund earnings. Earnings are also used to inflation proof the fund and to add to the corpus of the fund. If the corpus ever grows so large that after the dividend and inflation proofing, some earnings could be used for essential services after oil revenues are gone is certainly a discussion Alaskans will have over the next generation. This is the scenario Norway has anticipated with their Generation Fund. Growing our fund’s corpus along with controlling spending is the key and something I have firsthand experience at. As mayor I have significantly reduced the growth of government spending, produced five straight years of budget surpluses while restoring the integrity of the tax cap and saving taxpayers over $100 million in the process. Our trust fund is at an all time high. We are the only city in Alaska history to achieve a AAA bond rating and last year named us the 9th best city in America. I would say we’re doing something right. These results illustrate the skills I will bring to state government. Meanwhile, I am sure for the remaining 45 days we will have to suffer through these pathetic attempts by TPWAC (the party without a candidate) to try and manufacture ‘gotcha’ moments.


Lt. gov. candidate Mayor Dan steps in it with Permanent Fund talk

If things weren’t bad enough already for Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign, his second on the ticket, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan who’s running for lieutenant governor, talked about using the Permanent Fund to help fund state government in the future. To be fair, he was talking about far into the future, but still, dipping into the Permanent Fund is the third rail of Alaska politics.

The Democrats saw the opportunity and jumped.

“After plunging Alaska into deficits of over $7 million per day, it’s no wonder that Team Parnell is already pondering which piggy bank to raid next. The PFD belongs to the people, not government bureaucrats,” said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.



Former Alaska AG and lt. gov argue to keep Walker-Mallott ticket on ballot

Here’s an op-ed written by former state Attorney General Bruce Botelho and former Lt. Gov. Stephen McAlpine, arguing that the lawsuit to keep the “Unity” ticket off the ballot has “no merit.”

On September 17, attorney and Republican Party activist Ken Jacobus went to court on behalf of the Republican Party’s district chair, Steve Strait, in an attempt to remove Parnell’s only significant opposition from the ballot.  Mr. Jacobus’ theory is that Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell could not adopt emergency regulations to permit Bill Walker to substitute Byron Mallott as his running mate.  Jacobus has demanded that the court bar Mr. Walker and Mr. Mallott from appearing “as a combined non-party ticket”. In our judgment, this lawsuit has no merit. Continue reading


Inside/Outside morning news roundup

  • The ADN’s Rich Mauer is reporting that Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are requesting more federal oversight for the scandal-plagued Alaska National Guard. Murkowski is requesting that the GAO investigate how the DOD manages serious National Guard allegations. Begich is aiming to increase the Pentagon’s authority with the AK Nat. Guard.
  • Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker refutes Gov. Sean Parnell’s claim that Pt. Thomson deal is great for Alaska in an ADN Compass piece.
  • In another Compass piece, Anchorage Assemblywoman Elvi Gray Jackson slams Mayor Dan Sullivan on his administration’s alleged mismanagement of key muni projects and departments.
  • Sen. Murkowski told Reuters that 2015 could be the year to lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil. “I think it may be timely then,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, told Reuters.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner reports on a legal dispute between Alaska Communications System and the Fairbanks North Star Borough over whether ACS can charge the borough for daily updates to the borough’s 911 system, updates that GCI provides for free. Continue reading