Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.21

  • While it is old news that House District 36’s newly elected House member, Dan Ortiz (I) is caucusing with the minority Democrats, the Ketchikan Daily News reports that the reason was that he was given two choices: “Caucus with the Democrats or no caucus at all.” The majority didn’t invite him. Apparently, they are big enough that they didn’t need to extend an olive branch to the House’s only Independent legislator.
  • Unlike in Anchorage, the Peninsula Clarion reports that the Municipality of Kenai is being proactive in discussing marijuana in the borough in a realistic manner,
  • Jim Hunt can breathe a sigh of relief as the Seward City News announced that the December 4 Special City Council meeting for the city manager’s evaluation has been postponed to December 8.
  • Gov-elect Bill Walker spoke before the Resource Development Council yesterday where he extended an olive branch with the oil and gas crowd by saying, “You can’t be anything but pro-oil development in this state to be a successful governor in this state.” To which AOGA’s Kara Moriarty tweeted “Thanks for the shout out Gov.-elect Walker! AOGA looks forward to working with you to get more oil in the pipeline!” It all seemed so copasetic, until later that day, when Walker released the names of his transition chairs, which include Robin Brena, an artful lawyer who has spent years taking on the industry, and often winning. It seems to indicate that there’s probably no exchanging of friendship bracelets in their future.

  • Gov.-elect Bill Walker’s transition chairs are official. Might want to stop by a stationary store and whip out some congratulatory notes since their inboxes will be full.
  • The Juneau Empire reports that Alaska unemployment insurance tax will fall by 19% in 2015. This is the second year in a row for a drop and that creates an estimated $91 million dollars Alaskans kept/will be keeping in their paychecks.
  • The study by Montana-based Headwaters Economics that blasted the U.S. Forest Service for not doing anything to transition to young growth brought out the ire of the USDA, which was like, “naw un!” The Juneau Empire has the lowdown on this squabble and what it means to the Tongass and our timber industry.
  • John Skidmore of the Alaska Department of Law wants the public to be warned that while marijuana legalization is coming, it hasn’t happened yet. He told the Fairbanks News Miner that people caught selling or possessing pot before the new laws go into effect can still be prosecuted. Maybe that’s why APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez tweeted her most recent misgivings.
  • Want to know how the Keystone XL pipeline bill died? The Hill can help you with that. Want a chuckle over Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) transparent reasons for her push?  The Daily Show has you covered as well.
  • Obama’s speech moved many people last night. It moved Alaska’s congressional delegation. It also many in the House into responsive actions like vowing to stop Obama, filing legal action against the Obama administration, and possibly censuring the president to plain shutting down the government. However, impeachment doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
  • Politico explains why of all the places Pres. Obama could have visited after his immigration speech last night-he went to Vegas. Hint: It has nothing to do with the slot machines and everything to do with Nevada’s growing Hispanic electorate and their role in 2016’s outcomes. Luck be a lady tonight.
  • The New York Times thinks that the Democratic Party has an immigration problem. Over at the Washington Post, there’s an article that explains the winners and losers of Obama’s immigration plan.
  • The long awaited 6,000-page Torture Report was the main reason the weekly caucus meeting with Senate Democrats and the Administration evolved into a chaotic fight. The biggest point of contention was over the highly redacted accounting of the alleged abuses. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told the Huffington Post that he thinks that the American people should be able to read a less redacted report released. “I think the American people should know,” he said. So do I.
  • The New York Post is jealous of our bright green lawns and wonders why The Last Frontier is the ONLY state in the union that hasn’t received the benefit of winter’s lasting kiss.

3 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 11.21

  1. Anonymous

    The Ortiz situation is bad for the entire region as only the District 34 representative will be in the room when decisions are made. Similarly, Senator Dennis Egan was not asked to join the senate majority (although Senator Stedman is in the senate majority – sort of). Power has moved to the Railbelt.

    On the plus side, Governor-elect Walker has said that the entire cabinet will reside in Juneau and that is helpful to the region.

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