Loose Lips: Kissing Stoltze’s ring, Mayor Dan’s got signs, Treadwell got wind?


  • I wasn’t there, but I hear that more than 150 of the Valley’s political elite and community activists turned out for Rep. Bill Stoltze’s Senate campaign kick-off on Thursday night in Wasilla. Valley politicians who didn’t come sent emissaries. Ben Sparks, who is the campaign manager for GOP Senate contender Dan Sullivan was there. The new RNC operatives, the Mat-Su Field Coordinator Paul Cason was there, straight from wherever RNC operatives come. Local hockey legend Steve MacSwain was there. Palmer councilwoman Edna DeVries Armstrong, who has endorsed Stoltze, showed. Noel Woods. Benny Cottle. A whole gaggle of businessmen came to kiss the ring. Sen. Lesil McGuire was there and she brought with her all of her personal political magnetism. Stoltze doesn’t have that kind of magnetism. But he makes up for it by tirelessly working for his constituents and through sheer Valley-type ruthlessness. Expect a bruising battle between him and Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson, whom he campaigned for in her mayoral run. Word is that he feels betrayed because she knew he was eyeing the seat.
  • Speaking of McGuire: Word is that her former husband Tom Anderson is no longer working with her. Hackney & Hackney have taken over.
  • Signs of the election. Large 4 x 8 signs touting Dan Sullivan for Lt. Governor are sprouting. Expect to see a lot more. Rumor has it that the mayor is working with the best GOP sign guy in the state, Joe Law, who’s been the GOP’s go-to sign guy for years and has a great reputation for securing locations, getting the signs up and keeping them up. Word is that he’ll be putting up 250 of these large signs throughout Southcentral.
  • DNR Dan Sullivan is off somewhere this weekend as a Marine reservist, kicking down doors. It’s got something to do with urban warfare, which might put him in good stead for campaigning in Anchorage. If he ever gets around to campaigning in Anchorage.
  • New Sullivan staffers: Thomas Reiker has joined the Sullivan for Senate campaign’s communications team. Prior to joining Sullivan’s campaign, he worked in the NRCC’s general counsel’s office. He has also worked as a legislative aide in Juneau. Long time Juneau school teacher, recently retired, Ken Kelsch is slated to be the coordinator for the campaign’s Juneau operation.
  • Mead Treadwell is heading to the Kodiak Crabfest to talk fish. Anyone else feel a second wind coming from his campaign? Or is he just filling the vacuum that nature abhors?
  • Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker will also be in Kodiak eating with the fishes, not sleeping with them, like Luca Brasi.
  • Meanwhile, Mark Begich is ubiquitous. Close your eyes. Count to three. Open them. Hello Senator! Women for Begich. Vets for Begich. Alaska Natives for Begich. Pilots for Begich. I won’t be surprised before it’s over that there will be Bike Riders for Begich. Peony Lovers for Begich. Lapidarians for Begich. This weekend, he’s having two BBQs. See below.
  • Upcoming Events:
    1. May 23, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Geran Tarr’s Campaign Kick-off Event at the home of Beth Nordlund, 3230 W. 31st Ave., Anchorage.
    2. May 24, 11:30 – 1 p.m. Begich BBQ. Russian Jack Springs Park.
    3. May 26, 3:00– 5:00 p.m. Begich Memorial Day BBQ. Jewel Lake Park, 4401 W. Dimond Blvd.  
    4. May 28, 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Fundraiser for Sam Kito III at the Sweet Basil Restaurant, 1021 West Northern Lights Blvd., Anchorage.
    5. May 28, 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Parnell for Governor Fundraiser at the home of Cindy Sims, 8345 Skyhills Drive, Anchorage. If you’ve never gotten the chance to talk to a commissioner, this is the place to be. They’ll all be there. Just bring your checkbook!
  • Today Friday, is Shirley Cote’s last day at work as the Director of Alaska’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The former Soldotna police chief was appointed to the position by Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008.
  • NHL Enforcer Joins Parnell Team: When Governor Parnell stood up for Alaska’s hockey community last year, little did he know how warmly some of the town’s hockey players would respond. Justin Johnson, affectionately known in the hockey community as “JJ”, had a long road from UAA, then the Alaska Aces along with a couple other ECHL teams, followed by a couple of different jerseys in the AHL and finally in April 2014, at the age of 32, suited up as a New York Islander for his first NHL game. Now, he’s back home and is volunteering with Parnell’s campaign.
  • State senators NOT up for election this cycle include: John Coghill, Charlie Huggins, Johnny Ellis, Lesil McGuire, Bill Wielechowski, and Bert Stedman.
  • I couldn’t find any on Friday, but on Thursday night at least, nestled in the news on KTUU’s website, were sponsored-content stories about cell phone service, paid for by Verizon. It’s a controversial editorial practice, though lots of other websites are doing it and the stories were labeled.
  • Did you see Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s cute new haircut?
  • Six couples filed a legal challenge in South Dakota on Thursday to the state’s ban on gay marriage, making it state number 30 with pending legal challenges to gay marriage bans. That leaves North Dakota as the only state in the country with an unchallenged ban on same-sex marriage.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


27 thoughts on “Loose Lips: Kissing Stoltze’s ring, Mayor Dan’s got signs, Treadwell got wind?

  1. Mjolnir

    Stoltzes isn’t qualified for an office just because he’s a career politician. Our country needs people like DeLena who have real life experience working, running businesses and raising families. Perhaps our country would be in a better place with fresh ideas that people like Delana bring.

  2. Brad

    I agree, Tim and Elaine. He should have resigned when he entered the race. He’s collecting $125,000 for what? Alaska should get rid of this position in our government and hire someone for $50,000 – $75,000 to oversee elections. Treadwell has done nothing as Lt. Gov. except, like you said, travel around the state on the state’s dime.

  3. Tim and Elaine

    Suggesting that Treadwell has some sort of serious momentum going on because his campaign wrote an op-ed piece, followed by a press reampaign swing to kodiak is ridiculous. I will admit that this is far more than what the Treadwell campaign normally does. The only thing normal is that once again he travels the state while taking a state paycheck to campaign. I find this reprehensible as this is basically all he has done for the past year.

  4. amy

    Let”s hope that someone files suit in North Dakota too. Same sex marriagge is the civil rights issue of today. What is the big deal?

  5. Frank

    Seems like people are trying to exploit Tom Anderson and beat up McGuire for hiring him. That’s lame. Candidates shouldn’t be judged on the character of their consultants; rather, they should be judged on their own character and record. Nothing else. McGuire’s character has several flaws and leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, her record of success as an elected official is admirable. Making a decision about her one way or the other is difficult and full of contrasts. Her issues have nothing to do with Anderson so let him alone

  6. Husker

    I agree. Anyone deranged enough to hiire Tom Anderson as a political consultant lacks the morals and good judgment necessary to legislate and administer on behalf of the public. In Se, McGuire’s case, I am going to support her for having the courggae to terminate the guy.

  7. Dana

    I read with curiosity that Lesil McGuire had hired andw fired Tom Anderson as her political campaign consultant. Why would any statewide candidate hiire Tom Anderson as a political consultant? Is there a prison trainin program for this career option? The fact is simply that he doesn’t have any experience in this area. It was good that she terminated him and switched consultants. But why on earth hire him in the first place? Makes me seriously question her judgement.

  8. Tom McGrath

    I wish that Mayor Dan would do the right thing by the 65% that elected him as Mayor of Anchorage and stay in his current job. There is a lot that will not get done if he leaves and a lot of damage can be done in those few months befor Dan Coffee is sworn in.

  9. #southpalmerguy

    Super Voter aka Steve –
    Relaz. Chill. Quit the mean. Doesn’t look good for DeLana. Fortunately, we have two fine candidates for the Chugiak-Palmer senate seat. Both candidates are good people. Bottom line for me is that Bill Stoltze has worked hard, reached out to our community and has become part of our community. He has earned our trust and support. If he weren’t running, II would have no problem or hesitation supporting DeLana. I will be very disappointed in her and her husband if they practice the politics of personal destruction and negativity. If that happens, I won’t support her for anything. Here’s the bottom line, Bill has done a lot for ourr community. Its his time and place. Politics is all about timing. DeLana, as much as we like and appreciate you, this is not your time or place. Rethink this and do what’s best for our community. There is no reason for you to run this time. It won’t be a good ending.

  10. Leslie

    Amanda –
    You should have posted the respective candidates’ campaign kickoff inviitations. Mayor Johnson”s was uber dumb looking as she was dressed in he “Ramno-style” outfit. The Palmer mayor is an okay person; however, I think she will find this race against Stoltze to be humiliatingly unsuccessful. From talking to my friends on the city council, it sounds like most of them are even going to support Bill Stoltze.

  11. Dak

    Interesting that you think Treadwell is getting some wind behind his campaign. I was thinking this myself the other day. His campaign is starting to sprout signs and he’s traveling the state. His speeches are becoming more confident and inspirational. If this guy self funds in the $500,000 range I think Sullivan could be in trouble. Could come down to the wire on August 19th.

  12. Anonymous

    “If DNR Dan ever gets around to campaigning in Anchorage.” HA!
    That applies to elsewhere in the state, Ms. Coyne.
    He seems to think that running robotic ads on tv and negative press releases is all it takes to win votes. Like Palin, he hides away and only dares appear at highly scripted, controlled events instead of mixing with the people.

    During the winter I asked on this blog why DNR Dan was not meeting with rural Alaskans and his campaign responded by saying “he will when the weather gets nice.” Ha – now that’s a real Alaskan attitude!

    Meanwhile, fishing friends in Kodiak tell me that Treadwell is spending two days there and marching in the annual parade. It is his second time there; likewise, Bill Walker also is in Kodiak for a few days. DNR Dan has cancelled two visits there and hasn’t visited other fishing towns that I know of.

    What’s he afraid of? That he’ll get hammered with questions about why he and Parnell are trying to change protections to our lands/waters to ‘steamline’ permitting, while removing the public’s voice and chance for appeals (HB77) ? Or that he supports large scale mining in Bristol Bay despite the outpouring of opposition by thousands of First Alaskans and fishermen? Or that he was behind tanking the Coastal Zone Mgmt program, making Alaska the only state where people have no say over coastal development (he handed that over to the “overreaching” feds.)

    As a Viet Nam veteran I can say that I respect DNR Dan’s service to our country and his courage to fight (Bush’s) wars in faraway countries. But his courage fails when it comes to talking face to face with rural Alaskans about how he wants to pillage this great state for the benefit of foreign mega-corporations.

  13. Mlinda

    So glad to hear that Lesil is getting rid of Tom Anderson. I’m sure she was just trying to help the father of her son. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize how horrible the optics were of associating with him. In addition to his convicted felon status, he has no track record nor experience as a political consultant. How ridiculous. Any politician that would assocaie with him should not be elected. My congratulations to Lesil for being smart enough to get away from him.

  14. Mary

    Love tour Loose Lips column. Laughed out loud when I read about Begich’s coalitions. Keep up the great work.

  15. Smitty

    Having two Dan Sullivan’s on the ballot has to be a pollster’s nightmare. Its interesting to note that Mayor Dan’s signs are starting to pop up everywhere. By contrast, I have not seen a single DNR Dan sign. Wonder why?

  16. Linda

    I attended the Bill Stoltze campaign kick-off. The turn out and support was amazing and a well-earned tribute to someone who has been a big Mat-Su supporter for years. I have always had a high regard for Senator Huggins and was happy to see him hosting the event for Bill. It was one of the best attended political events that I have ever been to. Proud to be a supporter of Bill’s.

  17. John C.

    In response to the comment made by “Super Voter” :
    Based on your comments, I would suggest a better moniker might be “Super BSer”. For those of us who have lived in the Valley for some time and have known Representative Stoltze for years, know him as a man of integrity and principles. Furthermore, your assertion that he asked Ms. Johnson to run is beyond laughable. Obviously you are a supporter of Ms. Johnson’s and are probably upset that Stoltze had at least five times the turnout that Johnson had at her recent campaign kick-off. Furthermore, I doubt if Ms. Johnson would appreciate your negative comments about Rep. Stoltze. I have been at more than one public gathering where she sang praises of Rep. Stoltze’s commitment and good works for Palmer. In fact, if memory serves me, she even made him an honorary ciitizen of Palmer as an expression of gratitude for his serviice to the community. During her reelection as mayor, Johnson even hosted a fund-raiser for herself using Rep. Stoltze’s birthday as a draw for her own event. So, your comments lack credibility and are either grossly ill-informed or fraudulent. Mayor Johnson is a decent person that doesn’t need to be dragged down by negative individuals like yourself. It is a shame that your mother never taught you better.

  18. Brad

    Have you ever noticed how much bigger Sullivan’s bulg is than Treadwell’s? Just an observation.

    Get behind the candidate that would get behind you.

    We’ll have a Women for Dan coalition soon enough ; )

  19. Super Voter

    Bill feels betrayed? Mayor Johnson had her name in the ring long before Bill announced. Fact is he asked her to run. The caimpaign will be bruising only because Bill is a nasty guy. Expect the lies and misinformation to fly from the Stoltze campaign.

  20. 49er

    As a long time UAA hockey fan, I have followed JJ’s carreer with affectionm and admiration. He’s one of the hardest working and nicest guys ever to play in the program. He’s a real ambassador for UAA. If Parnell is good enough for JJ, he’s good enough for me.

  21. Palmer Pioneer

    Let”s be clear. The Stoltze-Johnson race might be bruising but make no mistake, Stos the odds on favorite and will win this race.

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