Tweets of night: #Disunityticket or #Dipshits?

A little context here: Ben Sparks is GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign manager. Vince Beltrami is the president of Alaska AFL-CIO. Chris Maloney works for the Virginia-based Black Rock Group, which is consulting for Sullivan’s campaign. Kyle Kohli works for the RNC and is here in Anchorage.


33 thoughts on “Tweets of night: #Disunityticket or #Dipshits?

  1. Sandra

    It was not Julie Sullivan’s old home week — Southeast Alaska is not her stomping grounds. She’s Athabascan, Southeast is Tlingit/Haida. Native people just get excited to see other Native people so don’t write anything into that yet.

  2. Bowhunter

    Nobody cares what you, your buddies or multiple personalities think. There are a number of FB sites and twitter accounts you can post your propaganda. Keep it there.

  3. Lynn Willis

    I don’t agree that Parnell routinely “works through” anything. I suggest he, perhaps more than any other Governor in our history, is pulled and pushed along by forces and events he cannot control. He characteristically displaces action until he is forced to react to problems like the closure of the North Pole Refinery with the legacy Sulfolane contamination, the illegal creation of state jobs for sitting legislators, and the National Guard Scandal. You are correct that Walker will have a hell of time with this system that has been so carefully crafted over all these years. Sean Parnell was a State Representative and a State Senator so he is considered a “trusted brethren” guaranteed not to upset the status quo.
    Your observation that conflicting interests are always at play is correct and that is necessary and proper; however is your observation based on the assumption that these decisions are made in an open and honest political forum? They are not. Soon after the election the majority legislative caucus will meet in secret because they have exempted themselves from the state open meeting laws. At that time the “sheet music” for the band will be handed out and they will be reminded that failure to support the next deficit funded state budget will result in their being ejected from the caucus. Once ejected from the caucus they will become ineffective as far as their fellow legislators are concerned. Although the election will have been held, this time there might even be a not-so-veiled threat about pursuing the National Guard scandal by demanding legislative oversight or asking for further investigation to bring justice and closure to this sad situation. Only legislators and their chosen confidants will know what was said in this or subsequent caucus meetings.
    When they return to far away Juneau they will resume the practice of allowing individual legislators who are in the position of committee chairs to exercise individual veto power over legislation by simply refusing to hold hearings on bills with no explanation required. This practice is in direct violation of Legislative Uniform Rules which state in Rule 24. “(a) A committee acts on all bills referred to it and reports its actions and recommendations to the house as soon as practicable. Committee reports must be in writing and the report must be signed by a majority of the members of the committee. The report will note the recommendation of each member signing the report.” Following that rule allows each bill to have its “day in court”. If the legislators don’t like that then they should clearly grant this veto power to individual legislators or stop introducing so many bills. Purchasing this defacto veto power to refuse to act on bills is was what Bill Allen was doing and the legislature did nothing to prevent it from happening again. In fact, the state job created for a sitting legisltor was for the Chair of the House Rules Committee – a job described as the “gate keeper” who schedules bills to be heard by the entire body. Next summer between sessions, very few if any committee hearings will be held to reduce the backlog of hearings required. They could hold hearings to return next January with committee reports and recommendations for legislative action – but they will not. Then they have the audacity to question those who attempt to circumvent them with initiatives and referendums.
    I agree that the Ketchikan lawsuit is necessary to clarify this apparent equal protection bias against Alaskans who live in organized boroughs. The State Constitution clearly places the responsibility for establishment and maintenance of public schools on the legislature. Bill Walker wants this resolved, Sean Parnell, as usual, wants to not upset the status quo.
    I am being criticized for pointing out that about 50% of my property taxes pay for schools while many Alaskans pay no local taxes to support schools. I am not asking for a property tax reduction. I can see the benefit of my paying local taxes for those services that should be provided by local government. For example why should by neighborhood street maintenance be a state obligation? My critics apparently want us all to be equal wards of the State.
    I think I understand how the political system works in Alaska and I am not satisfied with the results.

  4. Twig

    I think Vince should ay off of twitter for a while. His frustration screams thru his twitter account. Think about it – – how much fun is he going to have going to his national labor conventions being seen as the guy who turned the US Senate over to the Republicans. They’ll all be whispering behind his back about the political arrogance and stupidity of the Walker/Mallott ticket.

  5. Mike

    Hey Anonymous!

    If you can’t handle a few curse words being written by adults to fellow adults in a political blog’s comment section-go back to watching Leave It to Beaver. I like this website. I like the comments, even the ones that are from our lefty brethren. It gets heated sometimes because this is a community of people that realize the true, real repercussions of elections and sometimes that takes the form of “vulgarity” or “uninformed opinions”. Amanda is fostering a place where we can go and blow off steam via our words and not our fists. If the comment section is too much for you, just skip it while reading her other posts. Otherwise, you are more than welcome to voice your opinion, just cut the elitist cr@p.

  6. Anonymous

    The fundamental misunderstanding that Mr. or Ms. Willis has is that the decisions he/she doesn’t like are done in a political process. All the interest groups are vectors pulling from every direction of the compass. Parnell is more adept than any other governor I can recall at working through this. The idea that Walker would do as well with these same people and interest groups has no merit; it’s even silly.

    There is a lawsuit that may tell us why some Alaskans pay for their own schools (to some degree) and some pay nothing. That is one of the many interesting features of the road to a post-petroleum economy in Alaska.

  7. Garand Fellow

    The reports from the Alaska Native Sisterhood and AN Brotherhood Camp in Petersburg is that Dan and Julie Sullivan wowed the crowd. The US Marine was a welcomed and well-received Alaskan, and it was old home week for his wife.

    Begich is said to have been morose and brooding. He looked disgusted and defeated, possibly bitter.

    Byron Mallott was seen by those I heard from as having gone from starting pitcher to bat boy right before the starting game of the World Series. People are perplexed as to how this happened.

  8. Jon K


    I call a spade a spade Lynn. The reason why I’m not freaked out is bc we have the money and resource potential to manage our needs. We are a state with a small population and with over $65 billion in the bank. We also have extraordinary resource wealth waiting to be untapped. I can’t same the same about any other state – if you want to see what a true fiscal mess looks like read about New Jersey and California.

    Of course, if we have a bunch of people like you that whine about having to pay for services from their local govt, then we will have a harder time coming up w solutions. Why Alaskans think they are entitled to receive a ton of govt services without paying for them is just beyond me. If anything needs to change here it is the free rider mentality that you embody.

    Once we get people thinking clearly and looking at reality we can put ourselves on a sustainable path bc we have the resources to develop manageable solutions.

    Now if Walker wins and decides that the state should pay for the entire education tab by letting local governments off the hook for education and if he decides to build a gas pipeline w a 51 percent equity stake then we are screwed. This is when I will start to share your panic. I don’t trust Walker. He will destroy the economy and our budget with hairbrained schemes.

    Re taxes and credits you don’t understand how the credit system works. I’m not going to explain it now.

    I have also explained at least ten times why the AOGCC will not be an obstacle to the gasline / LNG project. You seem more interested in repeating the same debunked points over and over. It’s time to put this one to bed Lynn. It ain’t an issue.

    As to whether this project is real, tell me why some of the most sophisticated companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this project. And why have Exxon, BP, and Conoco put their top LNG folks on this project – your man Walker keeps telling us that the producers aren’t for real bc they have other projects in the world. Well then why are they wasting the time, money, and their top talent on this project? Go and read about who is working on this project – this is the A team. And also explain to me why are they buying hundreds of acres of land? Why are they spending nearly $5 billion to develop a gas field? Why have they submitted an export application with DOE and initiated the FERC process? Exxon simply doesn’t do this stuff unless they are serious about a project.

    Oh, and LNG projects w $50 billion price tags are under construction. We can compete.

    But the biggest point that you completely miss is the value of the North Slope gas resource, which is trillions of dollars – you can’t just look at the costs Lynn. You have to look at the benefits and the extraordinary opportunity. Do you have any idea what it will do for the producers’ balance sheets to be able to monetize this resource?????

    Finally your man walker has said that he will drive the gas line process through FEED with the state having a 51 percent equity stake. This means that walker wants to spend about $1.5 billion on a project that you don’t think is real. Talk about wasteful! Query: is Walker serious? If so, you should be very concerned Lynn. Not only does he want to spend well over $1 billion to get through permitting and engineering, but he also says he is going to get us a 51 percent equity stake. Assuming Walker isn’t lying of delusional – which isn’t a safe assumption – how much will it cost to acquire a 51 percent interest in the project Lynn? Maybe Dermot Cole can ask Walker? Joking. Dermot will not write anything that could potentially aid Parnell. Maybe Dermot will turn his acid pen to these issues after the election and will bemoan the failure of analysis from the press corps. Ha!

    Lynn, bottom line: if you really care about the deficit you wouldn’t be voting for Walker.

  9. Lynn Willis

    I would not want to be seated next to anyone but you when the engine on the plane caught fire. I expect you would tell me that that flames coming from under the cowling were actually a good thing because burning that fuel now will reduce the amount of fire at the crash site.
    SB 21 is arguably not the savior you seem to think and we can now glide to a happy future. I voted to keep SB21 for reasons I explained. I understand the tax credits now have shifted from exploration credits to actual production credits. Am I wrong? If I am correct then extracting oil from more challenging strata will result in higher production costs and greater tax credits. Couple that scenario with falling prices (apparently to be hedged by the wise Middle Eastern producers any of who might experience an “Arab Spring” and be desperate to sell at any price) and we are in trouble.
    Yes we have a substantial resource base; however, as in the past getting those resources to market are still a substantial challenge. That transportation cost is what will quite probably kill any North Slope gas project from either Parnell or Walker. As you know, I am absolutely opposed to the State of Alaska being an equity partner in any venture. I can understand tax credits and infrastructure support or other traditional government function. We don’t especially have a stellar record in our attempts to create markets in any case. I like railroads and was talking to a guy the other day about what happened to the four railroad grain cars the state purchased when the “Delta Barley Project” was going to be such a “sure thing”. He thinks two of them are still here somewhere but certainly not part of the trains from the North carrying Delta Barley.
    I understand that the leases in Eagle River will not substantially reduce the budget but every bit helps including not paying an additional $ 47,040.71 to print an addendum to the latest Official Voter Pamphlet. But those who spend billions (and those who support them) do not worry about such trifles .
    I hear Parnell’s commercials describing how AKLNG is “moving forward”. He claims engineers are working on the project, which is true. Then he claims we have five off-takes. Are there five off take valves staged in some pipe yard in Alaska Jon, or are these just push pins stuck into a map? Then he claims we have a route for AKLNG. Do we have all the permits and right of ways firmly established now or is this just basically a line on a map. Last, but not least, Parnell claims we have the gas. How much gas has the AOGCC approved for release from the North Slope? Is it any more now than the “zero point zero” amount I was told by Cathy Forester of the AOGCC on a talk show in December of last year? Remember, we didn’t hear from the AOGCC during any of the hearings on SB138 (the AKLNG legislation).

  10. Lynn Willis

    I try to be accurate in what I say. What have I posted that is “factually baseless”? Don’t kill the messenger and remember everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. I don’t equate my not being impressed with Parnell’s performance to “hating” him.
    Regarding education, some call it “forward funding” others call it “catching up” after static funding for the last few years. I don’t care about what has been spent compared to what must be spent over time. Right now about 50% of my property taxes pay for public schools. How many local tax dollars do the Alaskans in every community residing in an unorganized borough pay for schools?
    Regarding the pension liability, ask Bill Stolze if he didn’t describe the pension buy down as a “tourniquet” not a cure. If you make a substantial pay down outside the operating budget so that you can avoid that years’ operating budget expenditure you certainly can claim you reduced the operating budget – but did you really? To me that represents a net expenditure of state dollars. In any event Parnell has created and supported the largest budgets in state history; a creation and approval that required substantial reduction of our cash savings which wouldn’t have been there had it not been for ACES.

  11. Alan Putnam

    This Twitter war has been going on all day. It’s pretty good entertainment, second only to the Baylor/TCU game.

  12. Anonymous

    I love the passion of the comments left by many of the readers. With the exception of those uninformed or those who can’t seem to communicate without vulgarity, this blog site really seems to enjoy a good number of intelligent, passionate and well-informed readers that stand ready to share their views and defend their beliefs. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful society if more people followed suit?
    Amanda, your site is a breath of fresh air and a source of quality and mostly unbiased information. With the deterioration of some of our larger media outlets in Alaska, your site is becoming increasingly important to many. Good luck for the future.

  13. 959 member

    Beltrami is the worst kind of labor leader. I wish he would quit the swearing, name calling and such with his twitter account. He gives organized labor a bad name.

  14. CPG49

    Lynn Willis – Like you, I am a fiscal conservative. The budget was what it was because 1) the state forward funded education, and 2) state significantly paid down pension debt. Both of these expenditures were huge and extraordinary. The actuial operational cost of government came down! You seem like a smart guy with a huge mental block as to this reality. I believe the guy who says you hate Parnell is correct in the sense you refuse to believe the facts. Your rhetoric sounds good but it is factually baseless. Nelieve what Jon K is telling you. Come on Lynn, you’re better than this.
    Walker would be a fiscal disaster.

  15. jack

    ..a lot of bad mouthing here,..but not much substance or issues. Sounds like some desperate folks out there working to keep the oil lobby and the CBC club in charge. You know the crew right?, Hawker, Parnell, and the LIO folks…and “sneaky Dan” Sullivan and the “Turnagain Country-Club” folks? They love burning` through state money… good “conservatives” that they are.
    That`s why the people standing against Parnell have chosen two good Alaskans, Bill Walker and Byron Mallott, to stand up for them for a change, instead of the oil companies. To get rid of Parnell and his cronies To take Alaska back from this..

    “The following 12 legislators all have four things in common: 1) Every one of them has taken more than $10,000 from VECO; 2) When VECO owner Bill Allen asked to be relieved of his requirement to register as a lobbyist, they crafted and passed legislation ending Allen’s requirement to register; 3) When presented with hundreds of pages of evidence of VECO’s bribery, each of them refused to respond; 4) When asked to admit or deny under oath whether or not they had taken advantage of the illegal polling, services that VECO Vice President Rick Smith admitted having provided to more than 100 of the company’s favored candidates, every one of the still seated legislators below refused comment…”
    “Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, $32,000; Rep. Ralph Samuels, R-Anchorage, $10,250; Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, $21,350; Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, $17,550; Sen. Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, $18,000; Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, $23,350; Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, $45,200; Sen. Con Bunde, R-Anchorage, $18,650; Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, $10,480; Rep. Richard Foster, D-Nome, $16,750; Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, $21,700; and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, $14,275.”

    “Watch closely as they go to bat for everything VECO fought for – and remember them next election.”

  16. Jon K

    Lynn, you are in for a rude awakening w Bill Walker. The man is NOT going to deal with the deficits in any meaningful way – at least he won’t if he follows through on his other campaign promises.

    In any event, here are just a few of the things you overlook:

    Oil prices are down now. That doesn’t mean that they will never rise and we are stuck in a $90 world. OPEC is not going to allow prices to continue to fall. Fortunately for us our oil can go to the highest bidder on the world markets.

    We are also fortunate bc SB 21 RAISED taxes at lower oil prices relative to ACES and eliminated the 20 percent capital credits. The press NEVER covered this. far better to talk about how parnell used to work for conoco than explain to alaskans how sb 21 works. Moreover, the producers can no longer spend down their tax bill – we were paying for 50-70 percent of the costs of a project depending on the tax rates in place. These changes to ACES – which our press NEVER covered – will save the state billions and billions. Les and Bill W and Hollis simply mislead Alaskans by failing to mention what Sb 21 took away from the producers. It was a trade off, not a give away.

    Re: north slope oil: The north slope has a ton of oil remaining to be exploited – light, tight, heavy, and shale. Better still, we have a ton of companies active on the north slope w money to spend. This level of activity is unprecedented. It should provide you with some hope.

    It is also worth pointing out that every major resource basin in N America has seen a resurgence – and not just bc of shale. Alaska’s north slope could be next. It is criminal that our press corps refuses to write about all of the positive developments happening all across the north slope.

    Alaska LNG is moving forward and will provide billions every year to the state if it happens – the biggest concern all Alaskans should have is Bill Walker messing it up. And Walker will if he tries to take “control” of the project, which means delays, a ton of money, changing legislation, and trashing contracts that have already been executed. Walker’s gasline “plans” pose a much bigger threat to our future that some stupid lease in Eagle River bc it will result in a failed project. Guaranteed. Why you can’t see that is sad. Go ahead. Ask him or his supporters how Bill will implement his plan to end study hall and take over control. You will hear stammering and then they will change the subject. Where is the press on this? Seriously? Why isn’t anyone asking Walker how his plan to get control works? How much will it cost? How do we get 51 percent? Anyone?

    Back to the main point here: We have staggering natural resources and financial wealth. We are triple A rated. Our credit is strong. Smart policy can put us on a sustainable path.

    Eeyore – open your eyes and look at reality. It is not nearly as bleak as you think.

  17. Lynn Willis

    Correction: I meant to say the largest budget in state history was followed by the second largest budget in state history which was then described as a budget cut.

  18. Lynn Willis

    I suggest we are not on “good financial footing”. I suggest we are in serious fiscal trouble. Consider alone the loss of state revenue sharing to the organized boroughs such as the Municipality of Alaska. I don’t know if you live in an organized borough but our fellow Alaskans who refuse to organize and subject themselves to local taxes are only going to become more of a fiscal burden as we, in the organized boroughs, pay ever increasing local taxes.
    I voted to keep SB21 as I realized it was necessary because Alaska is no longer in the “cat bird’s seat” for domestic oil production. That said, as I pointed out, oil prices are falling to a point that whatever increased production we realize simply won’t generate the revenue it might have. Also, the remaining oil is described as heavy or oil much more difficult to extract for which we have to grant tax credit to the producers for the additional costs of production of that oil .
    I am a fiscal conservative and have no use for politicians of any stripe who spend beyond our means. That is why I appreciate the efforts of Mayor Dan Sullivan; however if Parnell’s treatment of his new Lt. Governor is anything like that of his current Lt. Governor, Mayor Sullivan won’t be allowed within 100 feet of the next proposed budget. Being a fiscal conservative does not mean I favor punishing those less fortunate than I as seems to be the case with the medicade expansion. Am I to believe some of these boneheaded projects we are paying to study ad nauseum are worth more than the health of our citizens? Would you support further funding the Kodiak Space Port over providing social services to Alaskans? Sick people get to go the E.R. whenever they want and until you are willing to force people away from that source of medical care (which is the most expensive) you are going to pay for it if they cannot. To illustrate, I am angered every time I pass the new LIO and think how that money could have been spent. Then I get to visit the brand new leased office space in Eagle River set aside for legislators. I now expect them to begin to commute to Anchorage as soon as the LIO is finished.
    Regarding the claims that Parnell cut spending; if you are in a two car race and lose the race you can always claim you came in second. That is the deception used by Parnell to claim he “cut spending”. The second largest budget in state history was followed by the second largest budget in state history and Parnell then has the audacity to claim “he cut spending”. The Pension “buy down” still cost us 3 billion dollars yet that was spun as a “spending reduction” by the elimination of the obligatory pension payment from the operating budget for a single year (FY15). Yes it did reduce the future obligatory payments; however, starting in FY16 the pension liability is still the third largest operating budget expenditure with education and medicade and will be for the foreseeable future.
    I have stated before, after almost five years of this I am now ready to fire Sean Parnell and give somebody else a chance. I agree facts are important – not image.

  19. speechless

    What middle school do these people attend? Instead of discussing the pressing issues of the nation people resort to name calling and denigrating others integrity. The Sullivan proxies did the same to Mead Treadwell. I say trot all the candidates out there and actually have serious debate. No more soundbites, no more robocalls, and don’t send me anymore mailers.

  20. Doug

    Lynn, yopu are so informed at times. And not,sometimes. Your sense of history is sometimes convenient to support your cause. You won’t want to believe this be cause it doesn’t support your ever running Narrative, however, Parnell has cut spending and provided some leadership to help keep the state on good financial footing. Significantly investing to reduce our pesion debt will save millions and millions for future generatuons. It was fiscal responsoibility at its finest. Forward funding education was a good move too. Best of all, his leadership on SB 21 which is generating significant more revenue than ACES – – yet not Bill Walker or Byron Mallott or a single Democratic legislator has noticed. Lynn, its your narrative. You can decide to keep it an informed and honest narrative or one that lacks facts. Up to you. For the most part, I appreciate and enjoy your commentary on government. Wish more Alaskans paid attention to state affairs as much as you.

  21. Lynn Willis

    If you were here for the crash in the late 80’s you will hope that all we have to cut from the state budget is 16%. Am I to understand some of you believe Parnell will not now have to also significantly reduce state spending after approving the largest (and unsustainable) state budgets in history?
    If Parnell has done such a good job why aren’t his supporters reminding us of his accomplishments from all that spending? If all we got as a net improvment from all those billions was 16,000 jobs and a few slogans then those have to be some of the most expensive jobs and slogans in history.
    By the way for all those who think increased production will now save our bacon by allowing us to spend within our means and replenish our cash reserves, Alaska crude is now down to about $88/bbl.

  22. Sam P.

    Walker has already made a deal with the devil. Shaking hands with Mallott — that helps him get Native votes. Shaking hands with Begich? Well that’s just political ebola.

  23. DB

    Bill Walker, aka Daddy WarBucks, has promised everything to everybody, all the unions. Unfortunately, for the rest of us he will have to implement an income tax, sales tax and perhaps a statewide property tax. This is all to appease his supporters in Valdez, which he has represented legally for many years (sole source contract?).

    Walker seems to be out of touch with reality when it comes to a budget. Does he really expect department heads and commissioners to come up with 16% cuts? Bill, welcome to bureaucrat land.

  24. Frank G.

    I heard aabout the interview that Walker did the same day the unity ticket was formed with the conservative umbrella group LIBERTY UNITED. He certainly wasn’t embracing Byron Mallott that night and wasn’t supporting Mark Begich either. The Ds are so stupid. No matter who wins in November, the Republicans have the governorship. Both Walker and Parnell are pro-life, anti-LBGT, and will cut the liberal programs. Mr. Beltrami was played like a foolish fiddle that he is. Meanwhile Begich is loosing too.

  25. Chris Lloyd

    Vince is a low rent douchebag. He is a failure in his private life and it has spattered all over his public persona. While the message Vince is delivering is accurate (Sullivan really is an inflatable McCandidate) the problem with Vince is Vince.

    Beltrami has never won anything for anyone other than his own paunchy self. The man is a menace to the trade union movement. All you Republicans better hope Vince Beltrami stays on the scene, because without him your job would be a lot more difficult.

  26. Walker insider

    Walker campaign, as in with the campaign? Yea right. Bill Walker has no respect for Mark Begich. Well known.

  27. Walker Campaign

    Walker Fan, you are speaking for yourself. Bill Walker has been asked to make numerous endorsements and he has declined all requests. His consistent response is that he will stay in his own lane and run his own race. For a “unity” ticket, Walker wants the message to be conveyed that he is willing to work with all candidates Alaskans elect. He personally knows both U.S. Senate candidates. Bill Walker grew up in the school of hard knocks and to insinuate that he judges people on the degrees they hold is indicative that you do not know Bill Walker. Ivy league or 9th grade drop out like his own father who had to support his family and went on to serve Alaska in WWII in Castner’s Cutthroats as an Alaskan Scout, fought for statehood and refused to file for bankruptcy although he lost everything material in the ’64 earthquake makes no difference to Bill Walker. Who are you representing and what are you fighting for is the question that is important to Bill Walker.


    There is no way Walker is going to endorse Begich. I’ve known Bill a long time. He thinks Begich is a dumbie. He’s the only member of the Senate without a college degree.

  29. Northern Observer

    Public Note To Vince :
    Please Viince, you’re in serious need of completing your anger managgement classes. Remember, at AFL-CIO school they taught you the importance of not looking like a stupid labor goon by being professional and articulate. In other words, they want you to #quitactinglikeadipshit.

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