Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.12

  • The ever-widening gulf between Gov. Sean Parnell and Bill Walker’s vote count has been written up in Governing. This has emboldened the Unity Ticket to not only plan his transition team, but to also announce it at a press announced today. Stay tuned.
  • Here are the latest vote counts on the different races from the Alaska Division of Elections. Sullivan is at 48.6%, Begich 45.4%, while Walker is at 47.9% with Parnell at 46.3%.

  • The Pew Research Center conducted a survey regarding how secure Americans feel their privacy is being safeguarded on the Internet and with their cellphones. This issue is especially important to Alaskans where our connection to the Outside world isn’t through the roadway system, but with the click of a mouse. The New York Times explains that the results of this survey reveal a paradox within our society; Americans highly distrust digital communication security, but continue to utilize these services and voluntarily share personal information.
  • Now that cannabis is legal in Alaska, where these dispensaries will be located is on the forefront of business owners’ minds. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that Colorado and Washington small business owners are frequently clashing with this new style of clientele with some cities going so far as to form ballot measures to prevent the sale of cannabis outright within city limits. Is this an economic problem Alaska will soon be experiencing, or are these business owners just green with envy?
  • The 2014 election cycle isn’t even completely over, but that hasn’t stopped the political movers and shakers to being fighting over the chairmanship of the different parties’ Congressional campaigns for 2016. The Hill writes up who’s currently in the running to not only man the king’s seat, but the messaging and fundraising for the next (and with higher stakes) cycle.
  • The remains of an 11,500 infant recently discovered near Fairbanks were on the Washington Post’s radar. The 3-year-old lived its short life between the two Ice Ages, making this discovery the youngest human remains of that era in North America. There is still much to be learned from the site that will help shed light on the earliest Alaskan ways of life.
  • Alaska Political Wonks gather round, the Juneau Empire has more details on the upcoming House organization.
  • While the Democratic Party is busy rearranging the deck chairs on their Titanic, Republicans are jostling for the 11-committee chairmanships up for grabs, per The Hill.
  • ACS has been pumping up the fact that it got small slice of a state contract to provide Internet to the roughly 3K state employees in Interior Alaska, and Alaska’s news outlets continue to oblige giving the company press, even though it’s stock was down-graded by The Street yesterday and the stock is tanking. Of the pantheon of sins committed by us in the media, this is pretty small. But it bothers me because so much of the stock is owned by local investors, who count on the media to look past press releases.
  • Hollis French’s plans after gracefully backing out of the gubernatorial race have been largely unknown until now. The Juneau Empire reports that while French will be maintaining $50K for future-yet-to-be-named campaigns, he will also be returning more than $30,000 of campaign funds to contributors, donating $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Alaska and the Alaska Democratic Party (Anybody want to guess how that’s going to be divided up?). One thing for sure, French has taken this election cycle’s lemons and made them into lemonade, his way.

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2 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.12

  1. Straitlaced Radical

    I heard from a legislator recently who said that a bill would be filed this session on the matter. However, same legislator confirmed your sentiment above that all legislators use this information regularly, and there would likely not be sufficient legislative will to limit the information that division of elections provides to the point that the lists wouldn’t be useful to suit legislators’ purposes. Apparently, the legislature believes in protecting privacy, but only if it doesn’t get in their way of politicking. They would rather not have outside PACs using the info for mailers shaming voters, but don’t want to limit what they have access to.

  2. Lynn Willis

    Regarding privacy; do you ever wonder how the politicians seem to know quite a bit about you? Article 1 (Declaration of Rights) Section 22 (Right of Privacy) of the Alaska Constitution states: “The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section.”
    This is how the legislature (who apparently wants to insure themselves access to affordable data for campaigns) implemented this right of privacy in Alaska Statute 15.15.400: “The director shall prepare both a statewide list and a list by precinct of the names and addresses of all persons who voted in the election and their political party affiliation. Any person may obtain a copy of the list, or a part of the list, or a computer tape containing both residence and mailing addresses of voters, by applying to the director and paying to the state treasury a fee as determined by the director.”
    How about a bill this session that allows me to inform the Division of Elections that I do not want any of my voter registration information or other data provided to the state to be released to other than select agencies for official purposes only.

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