- Often times I roll my eyes at the Capitol building, boys-on-the-bench hallway chatter. For one, the bench warmers tend to be white males who make too much money and have too much time on their hands. Secondly, they use their time gossiping instead of say, doing something really useful like reciting poetry. But often they know what they’re talking about. Recently, some of the gossipers were talking about the most vulnerable legislator. The general consensus is that it’s Rep. Lindsey Holmes, who has two Democratic challengers: former Assemblyman Matt Claman and Clare Ross. They boys on the bench think that Holmes has a better chance against Ross than Claman. Indeed, Ross is campaigning hard, if campaign literature drop-offs are any indication.
- Meantime, finding a challenger to Rep. Mike Hawker has become a project of Jeff Landfield’s. The young, impetuous Landfield is taking to Facebook, as is his wont, sending out a call for possible candidates to run against Hawker. What he has against Hawker is anybody’s guess, except that Landfield, who ran against Sen. Lesil McGuire in 2012, just won’t stop getting stuck on and into things. Just call him the tar baby of Alaska.
- Moore and Landfield? I told you he doesn’t stop. And neither does she. Shannyn Moore has a new radio show which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. on Fox News Talk Radio KOAN. The station is holding tryouts for a conservative co-host who can go “toe-to -toe” with Moore and “keep the left in check.” Landfield, is, of course, on the docket for Friday. Listen at 95.5 FM or 1080 AM.
- Rumors are flying about the possibility of the tennis court money being re-appropriated by the Legislature.
- Days until the election: 202.
- Last week, GOP senatorial candidate Dan Sullivan announced that he raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of the year. I’m told that this week, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura each contributed $1,250 to his campaign.
- The Republican National Committee’s six-city short list for their national convention is Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. If it’s Ohio, Sullivan can expect some “Welcome Home,” banners, courtesy of the national Democrats.
- Does anybody else see some similarities between Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and the former chair of Alaska’s GOP Russ Millette? In the Melville story, Bartelby was fired from a law office because he had a breakdown. But he just wouldn’t leave. Millette, in a sense, was likewise fired from his position as chair, and he likewise refuses to leave, or at least to give up the title. On April 14, he signed an email to Sen. Mike Dunleavy as “Dually Elected Chairman of The Alaska Republican Party per April 2012 ARP Convention.” The email Millette sent as “Dually Elected Chairman” is about amending the constitution to allow for school choice. He urges Dunleavy to “seriously consider going with an Advisory Vote and get the school choice question on the August Primary ballot.” Last I heard, that idea had been floated around but quickly dismissed. Apparently Millette is too busy being chair of the party to have noticed that those who oppose school choice are far more organized than those who support it, and chances are, at this point, it would lose at the ballot box.
- At at press conference last Sunday evening following passage of the minimum wage bill, the House Rules committee chair, Rep. Craig Johnson, suggested that he thought the session would likely go beyond the scheduled adjournment date of April 20th. “I can’t see how we can get out of here in time,” he said.
- In my ADN column last Sunday, I said that City Hall-cum-bench-warmer rumor mongers were saying that Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan had been avoiding Juneau these last weeks because of the tennis court controversy. Sullivan himself responded to the rumor:
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.
- Richard Petersen of Kasaan was elected president of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He replaced Ed Thomas who has lead the Southeast tribal government for nearly 30 years.
- I know that the “breastfeeding is sexy” story is getting overplayed, including by me. But, as Rep. Shelly Hughes herself indicated, if there’s an “abundant” resource worth extracting, then by all means, we should. In that spirit, the press release that called breastfeeding sexy, was also offensive to at least one other person in another way. Hughes said that, among other things, breastfeeding, “could reduce anti-social behavior, incarceration and sex-trafficking” which produced the following tweets:
@Amanda_Coyne not only that, since my supply was only half “abundant” my son is doomed to…jail? Sex trafficking?
— Megan Collie (@m_collie) April 15, 2014
@m_collie We might as well just put him in prison right now.
— Amanda Coyne (@Amanda_Coyne) April 15, 2014
@Amanda_Coyne he will be missed.
— Megan Collie (@m_collie) April 15, 2014
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org