Loose Lips: A whisperer bets on dirt. Fischer=Gandhi? Joe and Judy behave.

18955141_mDavid Mayberry has been appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He is a lawyer who has represented lots of oil and gas companies for Crowell & Moring, LLP. He’ll have to be confirmed next session.

I wrote earlier about a whisper campaign claiming that GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has lots of “dirt” on him that will come out if he wins the GOP nomination. Those of us who have seen the oppo file have rolled our eyes. Talk show host Bernadette Wilson, who supports Mead Treadwell, isn’t backing down. “I’m still taking bets theres info laying around on Sullivan if there’s any takers :),” she wrote in an email to a group of “dear friends” which was then passed on to me.

Jim Lottsfeldt, an Anchorage-based lobbyist and the head of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s super-PAC, had a fundraiser on Thursday for Forrest Dunbar, the young and inspiring Democrat who’s challenging Rep. Don Young. About 40 people showed, including former Speaker of House Mike Bradner, Jane Angvik, railroad VP Jim Kubitz, Heather Flynn, state House candidate Sam Combs, head of the AK Democratic Party Kay Brown, and super Realtor Bonnie Mehner and her husband Bill.

Stefanie Moreland, Special Assistant to Governor Parnell, is moving to ADF&G where she’ll serve as Deputy Commissioner.

About 40 people showed up to the Petroleum Club on Wednesday evening for a fundraiser sponsored by Arctic Slope Regional Corp. for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan. Some might have read that ASRC, surprisingly, endorsed Sullivan for the primary and general election, which was likely a shock to Sen. Mark Begich. It apparently surprised board member Eugene Brower, who said that although members were polled individually, a formal vote wasn’t taken. Anyway, among those spotted at the event: Kevin and Tara Sweeney; Doug Smith from Little Red Services; Linda Leary from ACS; Doug Chapados from Petro Star Refinery; and former MLB player and team mate of Hank Aaron, Wade Blasingame.

Sympathy and prayers to Labor Commissioner Diane Bloomer over the loss of her father.

Loose lips in Ketchikan and Wrangell tell me that Rep. Peggy Wilson appears to be supporting Chere Klein-Enright to replace her in the Legislature. Klein-Enright served as a legislative aide to Wilson.

Speaking of Southeast: Democratic lt. gubernatorial candidate Hollis French as of Saturday night was weathered-in in Juneau. He was sleeping on the airport floor, trying to make it back from a whirlwind tour of Southeast, where, among other things, he got some above-the-fold coverage in the Ketchikan Daily News, and was quoted as saying the rumblings about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott dropping out of the race to make room for independent candidate Bill Walker were a “fantasy.” He also compared Vic Fischer to Mahatma Gandhi, and the fight over oil tax repeal to India fighting the British Empire. Whatever you think of the comparisons, it’s probably safe to assume that Fischer will never stay the night at the Taj MaHawker.

Speaking of the Taj MaHawker: Some of you might have seen this one from artist Greg Solomon: 


And now there’s this:


The Ketchikan story about French was written by talented, outgoing reporter Andrew Sheeler, who’s now on his way to cover cops at the Bismark Tribune. Not for the first time recently, North Dakota’s gain is Alaska’s loss.

Another loss for the state’s media: KBBI and KDLL Public Radio News Director Aaron Selbig is leaving Homer at the end of this month to take a job as news reporter at Michigan’s Interlochen Public Radio. He and his wife Nova will be missed, as will Selbig’s reporting. The poetically named Shady Grove Oliver has been appointed to replace Selbig.

Speaking of Mallott: His team is gearing up. And how! The campaign welcomes Amanda Frank as their new Fairbanks coordinator. The campaign’s new communications team consists of: Laury Roberts Scandling who will serve as director; Jordyn Grant, media manager; Ellen Silverman, audio/visual manager; and, Bill Hawthorne, technical manager. Let’s hear it for more communications from the campaign!

After all the lead-up, it was actually more iceberg than arugula at the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club annual salad luncheon on Thursday, where everybody, even Joe Miller and Judy Eledge, behaved. There had been some expectation of tension, mostly because the event was held at the home of Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is running for Senate, and some staffers for other candidates thought that it gave Treadwell the home-court advantage. Look no further if you need proof that we’re headed into the silly season. Anyway, more than 100 people showed, among them Joe Miller and Dan Sullivan, as well as Gov. Sean Parnell and the first lady. Legislators attending included: Sen. Cathy Geisel and Reps. Shelley Hughes, Gabrielle LeDoux, Dan Sadler, Craig Johnson, Mia Costello and Lance Pruitt. Lynette Sullivan was there representing the mayor. The colorful couple Tiger Helgelien and his wife, Elizabeth Halseth, the former half-term Nevada lawmaker who posed for Maxim lad-mag, were there. Admin Commish Curtis Thayer and the governor’s legislative director Heather Brakes too. And the Mead Brigade, consisting of a group of young, mostly out-of-state men dressed in blue blazers trying to get guests to wear Treadwell stickers. However, most of the guests were too polite to do so.

There was little love between the Joe Miller supporters and the Treadwell guys in blue blazers the night before, as the two camps were on the corner of Northern Lights and the Seward Highway waving signs. “Ask them where they’re from,” one Joe Miller supporter told me when I walked up with a notebook. “Ask them if they’re getting college credit,” she said. Frankly, the Treadwell boys looked so young and earnest, I didn’t have the heart.

Bill Walker and his supporters were on the Benson corner, too. “Walker Wednesday,” they call it.

Alaska Libertarian Party chair Mike Chambers was on that corner holding a sign for Joe Miller. “I’ll support Joe through the primary,” Chambers said, rather defensively. The Libertarian Party’s candidate in Alaska is Mark Fish, who could likely use some sign wavers about now.

Passing the peace pipe? What issue would draw for a fundraiser a former Republican and Democratic governor, a former executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party, the president of the Anchorage Women’s Republican Club, a pastor at the Anchorage Baptist Temple, and a handful of legislators? Read the Political Daybook for the July 15 event.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


13 thoughts on “Loose Lips: A whisperer bets on dirt. Fischer=Gandhi? Joe and Judy behave.

  1. John Smith

    I find it very hard to believe that Bernadette or anyone else involved in this “whisper” campaign would be able to come up with something damaging when the FBI cleared him for above top secret security clearances in the Marine Corps and the US Department of State. The fact that they continue this pathetic display of ignorance and incompetence is kind of cute and funny. Funny childish that is.

  2. Derp

    Well, if he had a fundraiser at Jim Lottsfeldt’s aka “head of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s super-PAC”, then maybe that means the national Ds are getting ready to pump some money into him? It seems like a smart investment for them to make, 100k his way (versus the 10m they’ve spent on Begich) could help turnout youth voters for Begich if nothing else. But a worthwhile investment in his own right too, I think.

    If I was a decision maker at the D House PAC, I’d give him 100k now, and wait to see what he does with it.

  3. Z-Topper

    Forrrest Dunbar is probably the brightest and most dynamic challenger to face Don Young. This challenger with a strong D ground game courtesy the DNC could beat the dinasour and bring some fresh new blood to DC. Run Forrest Run.

  4. Alaska Libertarian

    I am very disappointed to hear that the Libertaian’s Chairman, Larry Chambers, was out waving a sign for Joe Miller. Our party needs to focus on promoting our own values, beliefs and candidates.
    Joe Miller is not a libertarian: rather, he is a political opportunist. I hope that our party chair would either focus his politiical efforts on the Libertaruan Party or resign his position.

  5. Cindi T.

    Why a certain female talk show hostess feels a need beyond her radio show to make herself look dumb is beyond me.

  6. RJ

    Bernadette seems to enjoy attention a bit too much. Why is it that everyone interested in slinging mud is attracted to Mead Treadwell?

  7. Lynn Willis

    The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) is perhaps the last standing institution to protect Alaskans. These appointments need to be watched. To illustrate, wait for your next ENSTAR bill to see how the RCA is protecting us.
    The AOGCC will have a lot to say concerning release of gas that might better be used to produce oil which is certainly more valuable than gas. The role of the AOGCC was not addressed during all the hearings on the AKLNG project with the administration and their legislative supporters claiming it wasn’t time to hear from the AOGCC. Therefore, we were not even allowed to receive information on the application process from the producers or current estimates of available gas for export. The role of the AOGCC was broached at the last Mayor’s Energy Conference; however, Commissioner Balish stuck to the administration line. This is a subject that might be discussed in the upcoming Governor’s race.

  8. Rebecca

    Damn straight Mallot is gaining momentum! He’d be letting down quite the population of Alaskan democrats if he didn’t continue to fight for them!

  9. Northern Observer

    Read your post about Mallott’s communications’ team. Is he running for Governor or to be President of CNN ? For a campaign that I have to imagine isn’t rolling in campaign cash, that’s one of the largest campaign communication teams I’ve ever seen. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of traction they get. Given the low poll numbers Mallott iis resting on, there is only one direction the campaign can go.

  10. CPG 49

    I love the Taj MaHawker cartoon. Funny until you think of the lack of fiscal restraint and common business sense that went into the deal.

  11. Robbie

    What’s the deal with the Mead brigade of young boys? They always seem to be in some unifform – – polo shirts with Mead logos, now blazers and sometimes flourescent t-shirts with the campaign logo. Does Mead have some sort of weird uniform fetish or what?

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