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.

At the same time, about a half-block down the street, another fundraiser was being held for Republican House candidate Matt Fagnani, who’s seeking the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by Rep. Lindsey Holmes. It was at the house that will forever be known as the Atwood Mansion, particularly since paintings of the Atwood women still greet visitors when they walk in the door. It’s now owned by John Hendrix, who heads Apache’s Alaska operations, and his wife Candace. There’s still a call button on the floor in the dining room, which many a designer shoe has stepped on to summon kitchen help. I’m told that the new owners use it to tease one another.

After a busy day of working in the Valley on Thursday, Gov. Sean Parnell’s next to last stop of the day was a fundraising reception at the New Horizons Telcom Hangar in Palmer. The food was catered by Janet Kincaid, who is affiliated with about everything that happens in Palmer, and at least 50 or more people showed. Three members of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly attended: Steve Colligan, Matthew Beck and Ron Arvin. There were also three state commissioners that came: Joe Schmidt, Corrections; Curtis Thayer, Administration; and, Bob Pickett with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. All this, and only two Valley legislators showed: Reps. Bill Stoltze and Shelley Hughes. Some of the others that were there included: John Lee, Crystal Nygard, Berkley and Cathy Tilton, Dave Cruz, DeLena Johnson, borough lobbyists Eddie Grasser and John Harris, and Wasilla City Councilwoman Gretchen O’Barr.  Parnell’s last stop of the day was at Edna Armstrong DeVries’ Valley Republican Women’s meeting. In addition to Parnell, speakers at the meeting included GOP senate candidate Mead Treadwell, Reps. Bill Stoltze, Wes Kellor and Lynn Gattis.

Sen. Mike Dunleavy was noticeably absent from the Valley Parnell fundraiser, because he’s noticeably absent when he is not present in almost any room, outside of an NBA locker room. He was taking advantage of the warm sunny evening and was home, busy bush hogging his acreage. Whatever that entails.

If counting political signs from Anchorage to Fairbanks is a scientific poll methodology, I would be predicting that Bill Walker looks like a gubernatorial favorite today. But we all know that signs don’t equate into votes. They do indicate a certain movement. And Walker is, if nothing else, a movement candidate.

Days until the election: 135

Speaking of Walker: Isn’t it interesting that Democratic cheerleader Sen. Johnny Ellis was posting quotes about oil tax repeal from Walker on Facebook?

The Alaska Republican Assembly –– the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party — on Saturday endorsed Joe Miller for Senate, John Cox for U.S. House, and Sen. Mike Dunleavy. They also endorsed House District 9 GOP challenger George Rauscher over incumbent Rep. Eric Feige, which likely stings. Feige is no shrinking liberal. Surprisingly, the group didn’t endorse gubernatorial candidate Russ Millette, who considers himself an Assembly member candidate.

The tundra telegraph is buzzing on the North Slope and in Kotzebue about the Nageak v. Westlake race for state House and about which one of them state Sen. Donny Olson is supporting. For the record, both Rep. Ben Nageak and Dean Westlake are friends of Olson, who is playing it smart and staying out of the race.

The Governor and First Lady are looking forward to November for more reasons than the election will be over. Their daughter is expecting and due in November. They are looking forward to being grandparents. The baby’s due date is very close to the governor’s birthday.

The weather in Anchorage is actually nicer this week than the weather in Saskatchewan. Which makes it safer to assume that our legislators who are attending Energy Council there are even more likely to be diligent in attending meetings. Not sure how big the Alaska delegation is, but I was told that Sen. Bert Stedman, and Reps. Charisse Millett, Kurt Olson, Dan Saddler, and Lora Reinbold were there. The big question: Did Reinbold take extra baggage? She doesn’t travel cheaply. In 2013, she managed to rack up the second-highest bill– $7,225– among legislators to move her to and from Juneau. Somehow Sen. Bill Wielechowski was able to get himself moved for $1,686.

GOP Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s campaign has hired Harmony Shields, who was working as Lesil McGuire’s campaign manager, and before that for Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.

I’ve got a new calendar starting on Monday. In the meantime, on Sunday, here’s one:

  • June 22, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Mead Treadwell for U.S. Senate. Alaska Rugby Mountain Grounds, 1580 Golden View, Anchorage.

More about Mead: Red State’s Erick Erickson endorsed him on his site. Erickson supposedly has a certain cred amongst the tea-party, and was supposedly so influential that CNN gave him his own show for three years. This, despite the fact that he called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter the “only goat f#@&ing child molester ever to serve on the Supreme Court.” And once tweeted, “That’s what the feminazis were enraged over? Seriously?!? Wow. That’s what being too ugly to get a date does to your brain.” Erickson said that Treadwell, unlike Sullivan, is meeting with Tea Party groups, and that Treadwell’s been a “good Lt. Governor.”

Alaskans by and large, don’t have much in common with Barack Obama. But there is something that at least some Alaskans have in common with him: the fondness for the bright white sun of the California desert. For the third time this past year, the president recreated in the Coachella Valley community of Rancho Mirage this past weekend. Supposedly, he and Michelle are looking for a home there. The area has been for years dubbed “Camp David West” and “Playground of the Presidents.” Some Alaskans dub it the “Winter Playground,” for those who can afford it anyway. Throw a rock there in February—please do—and you’ll likely hit a chalk-skinned Alaskan. In fact there are so many, it is not at all unusual for Alaskan politicians to have fundraisers there, as Lisa Murkowski did last month. A partial listing of those with second homes there includes: Alaska’s #1 furrier Perry and Gloria Green; former governor Bill Sheffield; Carl and Pam Brady Jr.; former speaker of the House Brian Porter; Kenai sports fishing enthusiast Bob and Jeannie Penny; former banker and philanthropist Ed and Cathy Rasmuson; former president of the Senate Jay Kerttula and former state Sens. Judy Salo, Tom Wagoner and John Sackett; former lite gov. Fran Ulmer; UAS Chancellor John and Margaret Pugh; lobbyists Kent and Jenny Dawson, and Ashley Reed; retired CPA Pat Beattie; real estate mogul Jon Rubini; former governor Frank and Nancy Murkowski; Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey; Harry Hill; Henry Penny; Begich’s COS David Ramseur; Lee and Sandee Brey; Chris  Swalling and even Todd Palin’s father and step-mother.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


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

  1. Lynn Willis

    Hello Sir. After trying to understand how we got into this fiscal mess I would like to hear from them; however, I can only assume those who bloat then approve these state budgets would have problems with Amanda’s anti-spam question.

  2. verne

    Lynn you must be the same guy I served with lo these many years ago. If not you sure think like him. With line item veto power anything is possible, yet seems improbable.

  3. YR2

    What job did Harmony get at Treadwell’s campaign? She’d be especially good at chairing Dingbats for Mead.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Anonymous, a dollar of state spending that is not covered by revenue is not a sustainable practice. Sometimes I feel like a German at the end of WWII hearing about how I should keep supporting the status quo because just around the corner I have been promised a “wonder weapon” that will reverse my fortune. That is what I hear from our State Government now as I am promised some pipeline, dam, road, bridge, public building, new batch of consultants, increased state employment, etc (or combination thereof) that will surely solve the problem of decreasing state revenue. Those promises and the new idea that the State of Alaska should now act more like an investment bank then a sovereign give me little assurance.
    I understand the operating budget is the hardest to trim; however, spending must be cut at all levels or another source of revenue must be realized if we are to avoid serious problems. My frustration is that, after five years of unsustainable spending, Governor Parnell has completely lost control or just doesn’t care as long as he and like thinkers remain in office.
    Finally, I am not impressed with a slight of hand trick such as when a 700 million dollar pension obligation under the operating budget is covered by a separate 3 billion dollar buy down from savings and the Governor then claims a reduction in the operating budget. Any sixth grader could figure that really was a net expenditure of 2.3 billion dollars.

  5. Cropper

    Amanda – you must be a city slicker not knowing what bush hogging entails. I always thought you were from Iowa.

  6. Nancy

    Cannot believe that Reinblod got a free ride this election. Talk about a Juneau joke! The constituents in her district either must not being paying attention or don’t care that her walk doesn’t match her talk. On one hand, she talks a philosophy of conservative values that she lives up to on social issues; however, when it comes to fiscal matters she is extremely careless, self-serving and seemingly indifferent to the costs that she herself imposes on the state, albeit her moving expenses pointed out in this article. For the record, Lora Reinbold is not a fiscal conservative despite her talk.

  7. AlaskaCodPiece

    “…at least 50 or more” showed for a Parnell fundraiser/reception in Palmer. Ouch.
    Would love to see a picture of that empty Telcom Hangar.

  8. Anonymous

    Lynn, dumb capital spending projects and discretionary spending are not driving our deficit. While I agree they are contributing you have to look at the main factors: pensions, health care, Medicaid, education, cuts in federal spendinhg, etc.

    The GOP used to talk a lot about earmarks as the cause for our national deficits. This was a joke – anyone who seriously wants to deal the national deficifs has to address entitlements and the military.

    In Alaska we need to have our politicians focus on the structural forces that are causing us to fall into the red.

  9. Lynn Willis

    You can tax or not tax all you want; however, at this time you need adequate oil production levels to generate the necessary revenue to avoid deficit spending if you are unwilling to truly cut state spending. All candidates for Governor will have to live with the vote of the people regarding SB21. I don’t know if the legislature could reverse the decision of the voters if it wanted to for at least a couple of years so after August that decision becomes more or less a moot issue in the Governor’s race.
    I suggest control of State spending should be the big issue for November. Given Governor Parnell’s penchant for allowing spending well beyond our means and the fact that North Slope oil reserves will never be what they once were, I see little hope now to avoid a serious fiscal crisis in Alaska if we don’t change course by electing a true fiscal conservative as Governor. The Governor of Alaska has constitutional authority to line items out of the state budget so the Governor has the necessary control. This year, not a penny was vetoed out of the budget by the Governor. I am amazed that Governor Parnell could not find a single penny that apparently was not absolutely essential for the state to function. If the next Governor does what needs to be done, I suppose he will be very unpopular.

    Speaking of excess spending, despite costing the state for the second largest moving expense amount, my Representative Lora Reinbold left the legislative session before adjournment to travel to Europe on vacation. Perhaps those extra suitcases and steamer trunks for vacation were pre-staged in Juneau which added to the cost. Glad to see she has time to travel to the Energy Conference in Alberta. At some point are we ever going to benefit from all the legislative attendance at these energy conferences over all these years? While all this travel did increase state spending, it does not appear to have increased production one barrel.

  10. Northern Observer

    So, let me make sure that I’m getting this right. The Treadwell campaign now has two major (whack job) endorsements: the first being Lora Reinbold who gets little rrespect from her colleagues and this Eriic guy who has accused a Supreme Court Justice of child molestation. No wonder the Trreadwell campaign is going nowhere fast.

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