Tag Archives: anchorage daily news column

Cowbells, rain and drama won’t keep politicians from Juneau

Here’s the first part of my new weekly column that was published in today’s Anchorage Daily News. Please know that I’ll continue to update this blog throughout the week, so check early and often:

It’s an unstable world. Couples break up. Friendships die. Stars and governments form and then explode. A vital appendage, the Daily News’ Ear, up and falls off on us. But know this: Politicians will always descend on Juneau in January, where rain and sleet greet them, and so does a lonely microphone, just awaiting the speeches of Rep. Les Gara.

And, of course, you can count on drama mounting as the rain continues to fall, as men beat their chests and women weep over education reform, natural gas taxes, cutting out the Department of Revenue’s purview over cattle branding.

The latter is a bill by House Speaker Mike Chenault, who got a little write-up in the Washington Post, courtesy of Alaska Robotics, for welcoming the session with a cowbell, or as he put it, a “cow bill.” He smiled for the camera. But we all know that Chenault wouldn’t mind having a cattle prod or branding iron on hand, particularly as the session heats up.

It all makes you wonder why anybody, particularly the young, would want to get into politics. Maybe it’s a desire for conflict and drama, much of which was on display when the Young and the Restless Republicans chose their new officers. To the surprise of some, the once-demure Harmony Shields, staffer to Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, turned Superwoman and snatched the No. 2 spot from the hands of those who wanted to keep it from her.

Read the rest here.