Loose Lips: Saving souls and votes. Tolstoy saw Wasilla from his house. Grrl power in the House.

loose lipsIn 1971, the dream of the trans-Alaska pipeline was becoming a reality. The Native Claims Settlement Act was being settled. Steel was being ordered. Tractors being juiced. The Teamsters were dreaming in dollars. Texans and Okies were packing their bags and Reverend Jerry Prevo saw him a big chance to build a big church and save lots of souls. As a business model, it worked. Throughout the years, the Anchorage Baptist Temple has turned into a powerhouse of God and politics. On Sunday, ABT celebrated its 43rd pastoral anniversary. About 1800 parishioners attended the ceremony including Gov. Sean and Sandy Parnell, Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and his wife Julie, Rep. Don Young and his fiancé Ann, Sen. Cathy Giessel and Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.

This one, on the Sarah Palin endorsement of Walker-Mallott, says so much:

Paln welcome to the tea party

Late Monday morning, the Wasilla City Hall was all abuzz and scurrying about, not over the imminent release of the Sarah Palin tapes and how they might again reflect on the character of the town. But because it’s very important that there’s cake when you’re swearing in a new mayor, even if this one– Bert Cottle—has been around the burb for a long time. A bunch of Cottle family members and well-wishers attended along with Senate president Charlie Huggins, Reps. Lynn Gattis and Bill Stoltze.

Speaking of the Palin audio tapes: I feel like since I started it, I should say something about them. But I just can’t bear to listen to them. I tried a few times. But they made me feel so sad for them, for all of us who helped turn this family into what they’ve become, that I could only get through a minute or so. So, the best I can come up with is this line from Tolstoy, who could apparently time travel and see Wasilla from his house: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anyway, if you’re less inclined to fall into deep pools of Tolstoy-esque existential dread, listen to them here, on TMZ, where they belong. 

So many people are bemoaning the fake Facebook identities and anonymous tweeters that have suddenly popped up. I don’t mind them though. I think it’s kind of fun trying to guess who they are. Who’s the Billy Walker who’s tweeting as @AKGovWalker? Is this person one and the same as Facebooker BackTrack Billy? Who’s @AKPolitico? Any guesses? All I know is that they’re entirely too clever to be over 40, politicians, or anyone with the last name of Palin.

About 150  people were at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Anchorage on Monday evening celebrating the upcoming launch of Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s Upper One Games’ ground-breaking video game based on a story from Alaska Native culture, which will be released on Nov. 18.  Some of the faces at the reception included the following: hostess Gloria O’Neill, president of CITC; Diane Kaplan; CIRI CEO Sophie Minich; Denise Morris; former mayor and state House candidate Matt Claman and wife Lisa Rieger; Laurie Herman; Reps. Harriet Drummond, Geran Tarr, Bill Stoltze; Susan Anderson from the CIRI Foundation; Linda Leary; Amy Purdy; Robert Harris; Sen. Lesil McGuire; Pat Marrs; Dispatch Publisher Alice Rogoff; Carl Marrs; Fran Ulmer; and Mike Boling.  Here’s a taste of the gorgeousness:

On Tuesday evening, La Cabana, on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, was the venue for a political fundraiser benefiting Speaker Mike Chenault, Rep. Shelley Hughes, and House candidate Dave Talerico. Some of the folks spotted were: Jeff Logan, Alex Von Wickman, Rep. Craig Johnson, Rep. Lora Rinebold and lots of Shelley Hughes’ friends from the Valley.

One of the worst things about fundraisers in someone’s home is that you inevitably have to take off your shoes at the door and therefore you have to find matching socks. One of the best things about going to these fundraisers is that you get to see so many nice homes. Lawyer Susan Urig and Alaska Railroad executive Jim Kubitz, who had an event for West Anchorage House candidate Matt Claman on Tuesday, live in one of the best in Turnagain, overlooking the Inlet. At the event, Claman spoke about the importance of bringing different groups together and about the dangers of extremes on either side. He was, apparently, talking about his challenger, Anand Dubey, who is known to pal around with the Tea Party/Joe Miller crowd. And also probably about at least one Anchorage lefty, Nick Moe, who is supporting Dubey, which I still can’t quite figure out. About 20 people showed. Spotted: Claman’s wife Lisa Rieger, Begich staffer Diane DiSanto, his chief of staff Dave Ramseur, lawyer Nancy Groszek, former DNR Deputy Director Larry Ostrovsky, former head of the AK Democratic Party Deb Williams, Rep. Harriet Drummond, artist Debbie Bloom, and all around rock star Francine Lastufka, all of us in matching socks.

Last week, Mike and Linda Leary hosted an Oktoberfest-themed event in their Eagle River home for Rep. Lynn Gattis. On Tuesday evening they did it again. Only this time for Gov. Parnell’s campaign with a crowd of more than 60 people. Some of the attendees included: Bob and Anne Bulmer of Alaska Executive Search, Susan Fischetti, Deputy Attorney General Jim Cantor, Charles Sink of Chugachmiut, Rick Fox of Galiano Marine Services, ACS CEO Anand Vadapalli, Jim Palmer, Steve Eng of NorthRim Engineering, and the Superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District Deena Paramo to name a few. Also, five legislators showed: Sen. Fred Dyson, Reps. Dan Saddler, Lynn Gattis, Lora Reinbold and Bill Stoltze.

On Wednesday, there was another Eagle River fundraiser, this time at the Elks Club, for Senate candidate Rep. Bill Stoltze and state House candidate Cathy Tilton.  In addition to Eagle River’s political elite – – Sen. Anna Fairclough, Rep. Dan Saddler, and Assemblywoman Any Demoboski – – there was about 25 friends and supporters who showed.

Meanwhile, Democrats were also gathering Wednesday evening at Pam Tesche’s residence in downtown Anchorage where she was hosting an event for Sen. Mark Begich and special guest Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Are you getting tired of reading about fundraisers? Try writing them. And know that these are really just a smattering of the many that were held this week. Take heart: It’ll all be over in less than two weeks.

They were women and they came from everywhere, from Wasilla, Fairbanks, Kodiak, and Juneau and even from Ketchikan. When the private dining room door closed inside the Brew House on Wednesday evening in Anchorage, almost every Republican female state House representative and House candidate was present. They’re a tight-lipped group of gals, but with less than two weeks left in the campaign and with most of the races all but decided, you can pretty well guess they all came to talk about House organization. This year, they have numbers and numbers are power, if they can hang together, which women in the House don’t have a history of doing. From what I’ve heard, lots of scenarios were discussed and kicked around. There’s been a lot of talk about Rep. Charisse Millett as the next Majority Leader, and Rep. Lynn Gattis at Rules. Obviously, that the women are meeting at all causes the boys of the House some trepidation, for sure. Stay tuned.

To make my father smile, and for all the politicians who are too afraid to tell a joke:

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


13 thoughts on “Loose Lips: Saving souls and votes. Tolstoy saw Wasilla from his house. Grrl power in the House.

  1. Amy Carroll

    To the many people at work and around town who have asked if the above comment is mine: NO. It’s someone else with the same name.

    Amy Carroll (from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Juneau Alaska)

  2. Shayne

    I’m a life-long democrat who has voted for politicians from every political party over the past 30 years and have always supported the candidate that has Alaska’s interests first. Throughout that time I’ve realized that a single persons endorsement doesn’t change the candidate or their possisions on various issues. I came into this election with an open mind, but it’s clear that Sean Parnell is leading Alaska in the wrong direction. I’m supporting Bill Walker and Byron Mallott!! I think all democrats know that four more years of Parmell will not address any issues we specifically care about. His number one priority is staying employed, not Alaska. We need to unite our support behind the candidate that will once again make this state fiscally sound. Vote Walker/Mallott on Nov 4th!

  3. Debbie McCann

    Ugh, I get really tired of people who don’t know Bill Walker bashing him! Bill is one of the nicest, kind and giving human beings I have ever met. I’ve known Bill well for 4 decades and he works tirelessly on behalf of the state of Alaska which he is passionate about. If you hear or see him not being your idea of politically correct, that’s because he is not a politician. Bill is a 100% organic statesman. He brings to the table 30 plus years of owning and operating and budgeting successful businesses having satisfied employees who’ve worked with him for decades. Bill is a team player, not an egotistic, power crazed nut job who is drooling for a political career. He is trying to head off a fiscal train wreck by offering his service to the people of Alaska. No wonder Sarah Palin has endorsed him. She gets it and knows we need to get off the train that got left to us 6 years ago, it’s derailing!!

  4. akmom

    Amanda: The loose lips columns are my very favorite. You are doing justice to the legacy of “The Ear”. That was always the first place I turned to in the Sunday paper. Now I wait for “Loose Lips”.

  5. Sissy G.

    Now Walker is spreading some jibberish that Palin’s endorsement isn’t a “full endorsement.” What the hell does that mean?
    Alaskans are going to need a bew disctionary that provides meaning to all of the Walkerisms that will emerge. Straight talk and honesty, unfortunately, aren’t in Walker’s mind set.

  6. T. Miller

    Bill Walker is one of the most disingenuous politicians I”ve ever come across. Does he believe in anything besides self-promotion, self-enrichment and political expediency? I”ve been a democrat for almost 30 years, usually splitting my ticket a little with a vote now and then for the GOP. Thiis year, I’m all GOP. Upset with Begich, his union goons and don’t want to be part of any Palin Shennanigans.

  7. bleary eyed

    Why is the Palin/Walker endorsement a surprise? Sarah saved every dance for the democrats her entire time in office – aces, agia, supreme court appointments, etc., etc. She is simply rejoining the pinheaded pandering populists that we just spent five years cleaning up after.

  8. Amy Carroll

    Amanda, you are 2/3 right.

    The funny guy/gal behind the afore-mentioned facebook site is not a Palin, is not a politician, and is over 40.

  9. Anonymously Ashamed

    Palin”s endorsement stole what little faith I had remaining in the Democratic party. Walker is proving to be a fraud and a liar. Of xourse, Palin would like him. Now, I know I don’t.

  10. Ed Flemming

    Twice a week, I love your blog. Loose Lips is the most informative and entertaining artiicles. Keep up the good work. I sat up late tonight and kept hopefully checking to see if there was going to be one. Just want you to know it was worth it too.

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