Tag Archives: bill stoltze

Hawker under fire from opponent over Anchorage LIO furniture vote

The Alaska Legislative Council on Wednesday voted to authorize $500,000 to furnish the new Anchorage Legislative Office building. The expenditure, proposed by Committee Chair Rep. Mike Hawker, passed the committee 10-2. Reps. Bill Stoltze and Max Gruenberg voted against the measure.

Hawker came under fire for his vote by his Democratic opponent Sam Combs, who called it an “appalling example of fiscal mismanagement.”

“How on earth can he justify spending a half million on furniture–a 500% increase–while the state is in deficit spending and Anchorage teachers are being laid off,” Combs, an architect, said. Continue reading


Mystery video illustrating Anchorage LIO deal

This video which is supposed to illustrate the Anchorage Legislative Office deal showed up in my inbox last week. I’ve asked around, but nobody is taking credit for it. It looks like it’s professionally made, but the facts are a little off. Rep. Mike Hawker and Rep. Bill Stoltze are named as the pigs in the video. The wolves are developer Mark Pfeffer and Bob Acree. To be fair, Stoltze had no more to do with the deal than did Democrats Rep. Max Gruenbert, and Sens. Lyman Hoffman and Dennis Egan. Other Republican House members who signed off on the deal include Craig Johnson, Lance Pruitt and Peggy Wilson. Senators included Kevin Meyer, Lesil McGuire, Dennis Egan, John Coghill, and Peter Micciche.

Continue reading


Ron Arvin to file for Stoltze’s House seat

Mat-Su Assembly member and Deputy Mayor Ron Arvin has announced his intention to file for the District 12 House seat currently held by Rep. Bill Stoltze, with Stoltze seeming blessing. Arvin, a second-term Assembly member, was endorsed by members of the Valley legislative delegation in his last race including Senate President Charlie Huggins, Reps. Stoltze and Gattis to name a few.

In a related matter, Palmer City Council woman and state Senate candidate Edna DeVries has indicated that she’ll be supporting Bill Stoltze’s Senate bid and will most likely be dropping out of the race. Continue reading


Rep. Bill Stoltze announces he’s running for state Senate

Co-Chair of House Finance Bill Stoltze announced on Friday to a crowd of about 200 at the Senior Center in Palmer that he’s running for state Senate. The seat is a newly created one that will take part of Sen. Fred Dyson’s Eagle River district and join it to the Valley. Much of it will encompass Chugiak, where Stoltze lives and has represented since 2002.

Candidates for the seat so far include Edna DeVries, the former state legislator and current Palmer City Council member, and current Palmer Mayor Delena Johnson, who filed to run in mid-December and for whom Stoltze actively campaigned in her last mayor’s race. Stoltze, a tireless campaigner, is favored in the race.

Stoltze will miss the House, he said, which is more egalitarian than the Senate. However, he’s looking to switch chambers because it’s the best thing for the Valley, he said, which deserves the “best possible representation.”

It’s unknown who will run for Stoltze’s House seat.

The move will change the dynamics of the House leadership. There was a possibility that Stoltze would angle to be the Speaker next session, a position that’s chosen by the majority caucus. Now it looks like Rep. Craig Johnson will emerge as one of the front runners for Speaker if he wants it. Some speculate that Rep. Mike Hawker will try to get one of the co-chairmanships of the Finance Committee, replacing Stoltze.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Legislators can breath easy: Redistricting is finally a go

Some Alaska legislators had been waiting with bated breath to learn whether or not they were going to be able to keep their districts. As of Monday, many of them can now let that breath out. Alaska Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy ruled that the state’s latest redistricting plan, one in a long list of them, is good to go. As it has in the past, it can be appealed, but in any case, this one will likely stick.

Most legislators will keep the districts that they currently have. It does, however, pit North Pole Republican Reps. Tammy Willson and Doug Isaacson against each other. It also opens up another Senate seat in the Mat-Su Valley. Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Ron Arvin has filed to run for that seat as a Republican. However, it’s likely Rep. Bill Stoltze’s for the taking, if he wants it.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Thank God it’s Friday: The shut the f#%k up edition

Thank God it's Friday facts Wednesday was not the best day for Wilda Laughlin, the legislative liaison for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. In fact, it might be forever remembered as “F-bomb Wednesday.” As many in the state knows by now, Laughlin thought her phone was on mute when she was listening to a House Finance Committee hearing on the department. The hearing was not going well. Legislators were getting frustrated by the lack of answers to their questions. And as legislators are wont to do, they didn’t hide their frustration.

In the middle of a scolding of the department by Chugiak Republican Rep. Bill Stoltze, Laughlin blurted out over the phone, “shut the f#%k up.”

After a long silence, Stoltze recovered gracefully. It’s unclear, however, if Laughlin will, which might seem unfair. The political arena is full of “hot mic” gaffes, and many have committed more serious ones than hers, both inside and Outside. The difference, however, is that Laughlin’s fate is left up to bureaucrats, who tend to be less forgiving than voters. And of course, she is a she and people tend to be less than sympathetic to foul-mouthed women than they are to men.

Below are some more well known “hot mic” mistakes made by both Alaskans and national figures. Some of them were punished for their mistakes. Others, mostly men, were forgiven.

  • Dan Fauske, the director of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, once called the Senate Finance Committee Chair Steve Frank a “moron,” after a private telephone conference, when he thought the line was dead. Fauske is now the state’s highest paid worker.
  • During the Hickel administration and the huge retroactive back tax fight, there was a teleconference between BP officials and the Speaker of the House Ramona Barnes, who was supporting the industry’s position. She changed her mind quickly after someone from BP called her a “bitch.” He assumed the line was dead. It wasn’t. The mistake looked like it might cost BP billions. However, after an extensive lobbying session, Barnes calmed down, resumed her pro-industry stance and saved BP billions.
  • In South Korea following a 90-minute meeting between Barack Obama and Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, journalists overheard Obama tell Medvedev, on a hot mic, to give him “space” on missile defense, saying, “This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility.”
  • During his 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush called New York Times reporter Adam Clymer a “major league asshole” just before a campaign speech to Vice-President Dick Cheney, whose response “big time” was also said on a hot mic.
  • Before a Fox-News interview in 2008, a hot mic picked up Jesse Jackson telling a fellow guest that because Obama was talking down to black people, he wanted to “cut his nuts off.”
  • In October 2010, a voice-mail was accidentally left on Joe Miller’s spokesperson’s cellphone. The voices belonged to KTVA reporters, who were discussing a Miller campaign event. At the event, could they find a registered sex offender, they wondered? Will there be violence? And if so, how best to publicize it? Though even Fox News said that there was no bias in the stories that the station produced, two producers were fired after Sarah Palin got involved, calling them, not so originally, “corrupt bastards.”
  • Speaking of corrupt bastards. Who could ever forget oilman Bill Allen getting caught on tape telling former legislator Pete Kott that he “owns his ass?” Or former Rep. Vic Kohring, who is now running for Wasilla City council, all but begging Allen for money for his child’s Easter eggs?
  • Speaking of sex offenders? Unfortunately, there was never a hot mic moment when Bill Allen was allegedly having sex with teenagers in his hot tub.
  • Speaking of animals and Sarah Palin: Everything was going fine. Thanksgiving 2010 was right around the corner. It was a beautiful day and the turkey was pardoned. The trouble started, as it’s likely to start with Palin, when she decided to give an interview to a local TV station. As she spoke about freedom, this great country, blah, blah, the camera focused in on a worker in the background, shoving turkeys neck first into a grinder. That’s not quite a hot mic moment, but anytime a writer can get animals and Sarah Palin into the same paragraph, he or she should stretch to make it work.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com