Senate candidate Dan Sullivan started the week off at a reportedly healthy event at the Martinson’s residence on the Hillside. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who isn’t even up for re-election until 2016, held an event to raise campaign bucks at the Bittner’s home closer to downtown. There was a luncheon to benefit the campaign coffers of Rep. Bill Stoltze and Sen. Kevin Meyer. And to round the week out, the Alaska Democratic Party held their annual Holiday Auction on Friday night.
A hatchet-job of an article appeared on a conservative website, implying that Dan Sullivan was responsible for the heinous double murder and rape of a Mountain View family.
Democratic candidate Byron Mallott spoke to the Bartlett Democratic Club, without notes I might add, at its luncheon on Thursday.
On the state government front, the Alaska Gas Development Corp. board met and Gov. Sean Parnell released the fall revenue forecast that showed a scary decline of oil production and less revenue than was previously thought. Parnell also said that he wasn’t, at this time, planning on introducing natural gas tax legislation, which basically delays Alaska getting a natural gas pipeline yet again. Independent candidate Bill Walker reacted viscerally, calling Parnell’s comments “maddening.”
Parnell also proposed spending around $3 billion to buy down some of the debt of the state’s retirement trust system – – something that was talked about back even when former Speaker John Harris was in the legislature. State Sen. Johnny Ellis has been pushing the plan for years.
The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday voted on different ways to give Mayor Dan Sullivan his controversial indoor tennis courts. All of the votes failed. The drama continues on this court and we’ll see more volleys in the weeks ahead.
A bunch of Alaskans escaped the frigid Southcentral temperatures this past week. GCI was hosting a board meeting in Florida, while some legislators headed to the nation’s capitol for education meetings. A gaggle of oil types and legislators headed to Calgary for Energy Council, where they were greeted by temperatures pushing 40 below.
This past week was also saw the inaugural of Channel 11 News being on the air under GCI’s ownership. The fight will be over ratings and viewers. Will viewers dump Channel 2’s Maria Downey and Jackie Purcell for other, less familiar faces? The two are like Alaska’s sisters, after all. We’ll see how it works out, particularly if Channel 11 ever comes across a story that makes its owners — the most politically active homegrown phone company in the state – uncomfortable.
Sadly, the world mourned the death of Nelson Mandela while closer to home, friends and a loving family were saddened by the passing of former Fairbanks Rep. Niilo Koponen, who was a liberal and a friend of my father’s, who is decidedly not a liberal.
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