- Energy Council is this week. Every year a hand full of legislators travels to D.C. to learn more about the oil and gas industry. While there, legislators also visit members of Congress to educate and lobby for Alaska issues. Among those wandering the Capitol halls this year — talking about lands locked up in the National Petroleum Reserve, opening ANWR, and offshore revenue sharing — are Reps. Mia Costello, Benny Nageak, Eric Feige, Dan Saddler and Pete Higgins. Senators include Bert Stedman and Johnny Ellis.
- Full disclosure: I had planned to have a little fun with Energy Council and write about how if it met in Aleknagik, say, it wouldn’t be nearly as popular. But then I talked to Mia Costello, and if there’s one person in the world that can squeeze the sneer and snark right out of me, it’s she. Lesson? Don’t call Mia Costello when you’re writing a column that’s supposed to cater to the worst of of our impulses.
- Sandy Parnell’s uncle passed away in Nebraska. Gov. Parnell and the First Lady are out of state attending the funeral.
- What else can’t I have fun with? Alma Upickson, the North Slope Borough’s most recent government affairs director, was terminated this week. Rumor has it that she got sideways with the borough’s Chief Administrative Officer Jake Adams. Upickson is just the latest of many who have gotten fired from the North Slope Borough, which is said to be a mess that’s really messing with people’s lives. There’s nothing fun about that.
- And again something serious: Ten Alaskans who donate thru Pick. Click. Give will be chosen to win a cash prize equal to the 2014 PFD thanks to a donation by ExxonMobil. There’s still time to give.
- Here’s one: Rumor has it that Rep. Bob Lynn, who’s 81 years old, told folks that he would retire upon passage of HB 1, which limits the time a non-citizen with a temporary visa can have a driver’s license before having to get it renewed. On the face of it, it sounds pretty innocuous, but I’m nervous. There’s something that gets conservatives too excited about the words “driver’s license” and “immigrants” in the same sentence. In any case, it was so important to Lynn that he’s been hanging around to see it pass. We’ll see if he is serious about retirement. Hopefully, whatever he does, he’ll continue writing his Facebook posts, which are fascinating. I’m being serious here.
- APOC requested a $75,000 increment and actually got a $100,000 decrement reducing the commission’s budget to $175,000 less than they were hoping.
- Speaking of APOC: the organization’s staff said that even though Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott lives in Juneau and his campaign headquarters is in Juneau, he can’t solicit or receive money from Juneau residents during the session. To put it another way, for at least three months, Juneau residents are denied their constitutional right to express free speech by giving to a candidate of their choice. It gets worse: Incumbent legislators aren’t allowed to raise money at all during session. Paging the ACLU?
- Another subcommittee said no to a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. for about
$670,000$620,000 for employee performance bonuses and incentives. There might have been a mix up in the request, however. Or maybe the AGDC guys read the Wall Street Journal and are familiar with executive bonus compensation? Okay. That’s a little snarky.
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