Loose Lips: The castration edition


  • The Anchorage Daily News on Saturday published a story about how Anchorage Sen. Lesil McGuire’s ballot missed arriving at the Division of Elections by the due date in the last muni race. According to the piece, her staff faxed in the ballot, but it didn’t go through. Then they tried again. Emails were exchanged. Phone calls placed. Lots of time was put into it. Lawmakers aren’t supposed to use their staffers time for things that aren’t directly related to state business except in “infrequent and unusual situations.” McGuire is running for lite gov. If she wins, she’ll be in charge of the Division of Elections. That she can’t get it together to vote isn’t going to go down very well with the electorate and will likely be used against her.
  • One of Mead Treadwell’s last remaining paid campaign employee, the quick witted, vituperate tweeter Fred Brown who was serving as his press secretary, resigned earlier this week. The RNC has hired him and dispatched him to Arkansas where he will be working with Rep. Tom Cotton in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor which has become one of the most watched and tightest races of the campaign season. According to sources, Treadwell didn’t take too kindly to losing the gifted Brown.
  • Federal Election Commission reports are due no later than April 15th. Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan have both released their numbers and have raised $1.05 million and $1.3 million respectively for the 1st quarter of 2014. While Treadwell has not yet released his numbers, the buzz is that his take for the quarter could be less than 20 percent of what either of the leading candidates raised. No reports on Joe Miller’s campaign cash numbers, though I’ve been told fundraising is picking up.
  • Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is said to be shaking up his campaign. Deputy campaign manager, Ben Sparks is now campaign manager. Additionally, the campaign has hired a political director, Phil Bartell, who is from Wisconsin and appears to be a disciple of Gov. Scott Walker. The former campaign manager, Ben Mohr who recently became a father, will be working on coalition building.
  • More on Joe Miller: I’ve been told that we’ll see a kinder, softer, more media-savvy Miller than what we saw in 2010. In his first public appearance of the campaign season at UAA, however, there was some debate whether or not his staff was going to let reporters who showed to be able to tape his talk to students. Unlike in the past, things didn’t get heated. But it still doesn’t bode well that he had to be reminded that when he’s running for office in a public place, the cameras and recorders can follow. With impunity.
  • About 100 people, including Sen. Mark Begich himself, showed up for the “Alaska Natives for Begich” gathering at CIRI’s headquarters in midtown Anchorage on Saturday. Pamyua provided the entertainment. The food included moose stew, moose and black cod soup, lots of salmon and lots of pilot bread. And Begich’s staff has to win the award for the most creative campaign giveaway yet: a bingo marker with his name on it.
  • Anyone close to the legislative process knows that legislative organization is never too far from the minds of our elected state officials. The current Speaker of the House, Mike Chenault, is the only legislator to have served three consecutive terms in that position. Now, some are speculating that we shouldn’t be surprised to see him serving in the same position, after the elections, when the next Legislature convenes in 2015.
  • Mayors from around the state descend on Juneau, off and on, during the last three weeks of the legislative session. Absent this year, during this time, has been Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan who in the past was a fixture in the halls of the Capitol at this juncture. According to sources, he’s staying out of Juneau during the closing days of the session because of the controversy surrounding the “infamous” tennis court appropriation from last year.
  • From the good amendment department: On Saturday the state Senate adopted an amendment offered by Anchorage Sen. Johnny Ellis that would prevent the use of eminent domain to destroy properties in the residential neighborhoods of Government Hill until a $350 million federal loan is approved. It’s the same loan that’s been denied five times in the past. The full bill is heading to the House, and rumor has it that because its passage is a priority for Senate President Charlie Huggins, and Speaker Mike Chenault has his own priorities, like the minimum wage bill, it might sit for a while until someone blinks.
  • And finally, even though it’s in a land way far away, who can resist a good political ad about castration? This one’s from Iowa, my home state, where a new Suffolk University poll of the Iowa GOP Senate primary shows state Sen. Joni Ernst narrowly leading wealthy business executive Mark Jacobs. The jump is being attributed to the ad. Enjoy, if you’re wired that way:

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


10 thoughts on “Loose Lips: The castration edition

  1. Mayor Dan

    Amanda – you need better sources. I never go to Juneau during the last two weeks of the session – everyone is too busy. I have made three trips this year, most recently March 24th.

  2. 357

    Mead Treadwell has done little but campaign for the past year. He criticizes his opponent for raising money ouitside the state; yet, he attempts to do the same with little success. Iin fact, his whole campaign has found little success. His campaign staff have virtually all quit and a re working in other Republican campaigns where their boss has a chance. The latest, Fred Brown quit last week. Treadwell campaigns morning, noon and night while being on the state payroll. This guiy has the moral compass of a snake (I don’t mean to insult snake lovers). If he is going to stay in the race, at least he should resign his position and quit inappropriately spending the state dime. It is simply wrong. At most, Treadwell is a RINO because he is doing more to help Mark Begich than anyone.

  3. Lynn Willis

    These state “leaders” have plenty of assistance from the Alaska media perhaps eager to reap their future election advertising dollars. Note the ADN headline this morning on the article about this issue: “SENATE VOTES FOR KNIK ARM BRIGE”
    I understand reporters don’t write the headlines. If you bother to read the first line by Richard Mauer, this senate dodge becomes a little more apparent;
    “JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate voiced strong support for the Knik Arm bridge Saturday, passing a bill that would put the fate of the $900 million-plus project in the hands of federal highway officials.”

  4. AlaskaCodPiece

    It is sickening how the Parnell administration and Legislature (and DNR Dan) are always screaming about ‘federal over reach” – yet they are the first to hold out their hands for federal money for huge boondoggle projects, disaster relief, etc. Hypocrites all.

  5. Brad

    Treadwell is proving to be a very selfish person. He’s been running this race for a year and has garnered very little support, even from his own staff. Depsite what he says, he knows he can’t win. He has a full time job paying him 125K, but it appears that he just doesn’t have anything better to do except campaign. Something is missing in his life that he can only find when campaigning. It’s sad.

  6. Lauren

    Reading your blog is the best and most enjoyable part of my day. I love your “Loose Lips” columns. They are inormative, insightful and gossipy all at the same time. They often make me feel that I”m in the room when events are being held or decisions are being made. Thanks for everything amandacoyne.com.

  7. Lynn Willis

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, can save face and deny reality like the Alaska State Senate. Now we are told the KABATA Bridge depends on federal funding which has already been denied five times. Would anyone like to give odds on any future federal funding for the Alaskan “bridge to nowhere” that still is remembered as such in Washington D.C?
    What a win-win for the hypocritical senate majority. Now, to further distract us from their ineptitude at driving us into 7 million dollars per day deficit spending at the state level they can blame the feds for us not having this bridge
    This cowardly displacement of the truth that we simply cannot afford projects like KABATA is brought to you by the same Senators who curse the Feds for too much spending yet will now curse the feds for not enough spending on KABATA.
    Just keep voting for them – that is all they ask.

  8. Cooper

    As someone with an interest in the Government Hill neighborhood, I was extremely pleased to read about Jonny Ellis’ amendment to the KABATA legislation. For the sake of our community and the property owners whose properties were taken by the state, it is too bad that such legislation wasn’t in effect earlier. I might suggest that good public policy dictates that this amendment should be the law and standard operating procedure for all state projects.

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