The week in review

15946099_mThings were put on hold there for awhile because of Thanksgiving, but Alaska’s political scene was on the move again this past week. Here are some highlights:

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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4 thoughts on “The week in review

  1. Lynn Willis

    Governor Parnell apparently does not honor a “conservative family value” of thrift and living within your means. Governor Parnell’s last two state budgets are the largest in state history at 7.9 billion followed by 6.8 billion dollars. The Institute for Economic Research at UAA projects a sustainable budget of around 5.5 Billion dollars, a number supported by many as realistic.
    Governor Parnell, with help from a Republican controlled legislature, created these unsustainable budgets. Last week we were told that the Governor and legisalture have seriously underestimated the oil production cost tax credit thereby creating a two billion dollar shortfall in state revenue to meet current obligations.
    Assume all revenues next year will be consumed to pay for the traditional operating and captial budgets. Now go get an additional two billion dollars to pay for the current budget shortfalls. Next get another three billion dollars to pay for the Governor’s realization that a one time three billion dollar reduction against the 22 billion dollar penison obligation is now necessary. You have just created a 5 billion dollar obligation against the 17 billion dollar constitutuional budget reserve.
    How many years do you think we can keep this up? Look for an end to the PFD within the next few years followed by a state income and/or sales tax then look in the mirror to see who is at fault for trusting these “leaders” with or without “conservative family values” to do the right thing.

  2. Lydia

    Governor Parnell did good for Alaskans facing up to the constitutional debt associated with state pensions. His proposal is fiscally responsible, prudent and smart. Good move.

  3. Helen

    I take offense at the comment posted by Mike that these two individuals from Nevada, Tiger and Elizabeth! Are somehow representative of Republicans that cherish family values. While I don’t know these individuals and see no reason to want to know them, I do know several Republican leaders that truly believe in family values and conduct their lives accordingly: Sean Parnell, John Coghill and Charlie Huggens to name a representative sample. Further, Mike’s assertion that somehow this pair from Nevada would make a better running mate with Governor Parnell than the two candidates currently running was mean-spirited and ridiculous. I have long been an activist in the Alaska Republican Party and am confident that the likes of Tiger and Elizabeth have no political future in the Alaska GOP. Mike, you sound like an unhappy Democrat. You have enough misfits in your own party to be concerned about.

  4. Mike J.

    Loved the “Loose Lips” story about the right-winged family values freaks from Nevada. This stuff is too good to make up. Since reading your story about these characters, I’ve read some of the funniest news reports about them. Tiger and his girlfriend are clearly walking talking train wrecks. If this yahoo thinks he has a future in Alaska politics, he must be assuming that Alaskan’s are illiterate. We’ve already had our “Sarah” experience here. We certainly don’t want a dumber version with lower morales. Why do folks from the Lower 48 come to Alaska thinking they can escape their past. Maybe Tiger could run for Lite Governor on the Republican ticket. The articles haven’t said anything about him drinking too much or being a drinker. Yep, that’s his opportunity. And when you and the lovely lucious Elizabeth, who likes taking her clothes off, are in office you can bring the vices from Nevada to Alaska. Funny. Sad. Stupid. Unfortunately, true. Ronald Reagan must be turning over in his grave with the likes of Ted Cruz, Tiger and Maxim’s Elizabeth being the moral voice of the Republican party. The Lincoln Day dinner should invite Elizabeth to be their speaker and she can tell them how Obama ruined her life.

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