- Rep. Sam Kito III, the newest member of the Legislature who was appointed to serve the remainder of Beth Kerttula’s term, got something special for his birthday: adjournment sine die.
- Republicans will be gathering this upcoming weekend in Juneau for their state convention. The meetings will be held at Centennial Hall, and unlike the convention of 2012, the Ron Paul/Joe Miller factions aren’t expected to make a scene. This is because it’s expensive to get to Juneau. This, by the way, isn’t a coincidence. I’ve been told that one of the main reasons that it was held in Juneau was to keep them away.
- Miller is expected to show, however. He, along with fellow GOP candidates Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan, will participate in a candidate forum. But I’ve heard that the choice of moderator, Ben Brown, isn’t making Miller very happy. Not sure what the problem is. From what I’ve heard he’s polite and well spoken. In fact, maybe that’s the problem.
- There’s a kind of sort of new political consultant in town. Former legislator Tom Anderson has hung out a shingle offering political consulting services. You can expect that he’ll likely be involved in at least one statewide campaign and several legislative races in Alaska this cycle.
- Rep. Peggy Wilson announced her retirement as the legislative session shut down. She has served in the Legislature since January 2001. Already Republican Patti Mackey has announced her candidacy. Mackey is the president and CEO of the Ketchikan Visitors Board. She also serves as a board member on the Alaska Travel Industry Council. She ran in the primary against Wilson two years ago.
- With the legislative session behind us, politicians are wasting no time swinging into full-throttle fundraising mode. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott hosted an event on Saturday at his Juneau campaign headquarters from 3 to 5 p.m. And Gov. Sean Parnell, who is leading in the grab for campaign cash among the three gubernatorial candidates, will be having a fundraiser this Tuesday evening at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Anchorage.
- The Anchorage Chamber will be hosting a gubernatorial forum on Monday. All three candidates—Gov. Sean Parnell, independent Bill Walker, and Democrat Byron Mallott—will be there. (Bonus drinking game: take a slug of water each time Parnell says “fiscal discipline,” Mallott says “communication” and Walker says “gasline.”)
- The buzz from local broadcasting outlets is that California-based Target Enterprises is making inquiries and starting to place media for Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign. The likely connection between this firm and Parnell is Nick Ayers, who is a partner at Target Enterprises and served as campaign manager for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 2012 presidential campaign, as well as executive director of the Republican Governors Association.
- Speaking of fiscal discipline, Parnell’s campaign has so far been pretty good at it, employing only a campaign manager full time. Now he’ll be gearing up. Luke Miller, a member of the governor’s press office, is expected to resign his position and become the chief spokesman for the Parnell campaign. Prior to becoming a state worker and part of the governor office’s press operation over a year ago, Miller worked for Rep. Don Young in D. C., where he actively reached out to reporters and tried his best to avoid the bunker mentality that seems to beset political spokespeople. It’s a mentality that, if put into dialogue, would go something like this:
Spokesperson “Most of the press don’t like us, so we’ll try to only talk to those who do.”
Media: “They won’t talk to the press so they must be doing something wrong.”
Spokesperson: “We can’t get a break because they constantly are suspicious of us.”
Media: “They’re hiding something and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”
- This, in dialogue, is the mentality of a good spokesperson:
Spokesperson: “Most of the press don’t like us, but we’ll continue to try to work on them, mostly through their egos because, aside from legislators and lobbyists, they’re the most egotistical bunch of people alive.”
Media: “They must be doing something wrong, but at least they’re trying!”
Spokesperson: “These poor, penniless people are such tools.”
Media: “I’m such a good reporter that the spokesperson talks to me!”
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