State candidates fundraising reports are due to APOC by mid February and will include all monies raised in 2013 as well as for January 2014. Pundits are guessing that Gov. Parnell will likely report between $300,000 – $400,000 and that his two opponents, Byron Mallott and Bill Walker, combined won’t equal Parnell’s totals. Such is the power of incumbency in a state with $500 per-calendar year campaign limits. The limits were enacted in 1996, when Democrats thought it was a really good idea to handicap their big donors, the one fundraising advantage they had. They were like, we’ll be the party of ethics! Republicans, who were working hard, and succeeding, at building the party’s registration, were like, you take the ethics, we’ll take the money for the people and we’ll win! And they did, and continue to do so.
Voted the best name for incoming legislative staffer: “Alectra,” who reportedly will work for House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt. Speaking of legislative staff comings-and-goings, there’ll be at least one legislative office that has had 100 percent turnover since last year.
And then there’s the true American hero joining the ranks of legislative staffers. Senate President Charlie Huggins, co-chair of the Alaska Legislative Veterans Caucus, recently added Eric Hollen to his staff as a veterans affairs specialist. Hollen was a ranger in the U.S. Army and later, after sustaining a life-altering injury, went on to represent the United States in shooting at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Quote of the day courtesy of Jimmy Fallon: “Alaska may legalize marijuana. Which would bring a whole new meaning to the term, “Baked Alaska.” Speaking of pot, Chris Rempert, from the Marijuana Policy Project, has moved to Alaska to run the campaign. Let’s give him a the usual big Alaska welcome by telling him we don’t like Outsiders.
Irony alert of the day: Shalon Harrington, who works for Mayor Dan Sullivan and traveled with him on the now controversial D.C. trip, used to work as Sen. Lesil McGuire’s chief of staff when she was Shalon Szymanski. Both are vying for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination. Using some mysterious formula, Sullivan recently paid the city back $214 for the trip. He said he was “going the extra mile,” to do things right. $214? 2014? If some opponent can’t make something of that, then we all deserve to remain perpetually baked in Alaska.
Correcting hyperbole: In an earlier version, I called Mayor Dan Sullivan’s trip “infamous.” It’s not infamous yet, as was pointed out. It’s merely controversial.
Correction: An earlier version of this post spelled Alectra’s name as “Electra.” And here I thought it couldn’t get any better.
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