Tag Archives: brad keithley

Comment of the week: Will Keithley’s money make a difference?

From a comment by Lynn Willis, responding to Brad Keithley’s announcement that he will put $200,000 of his own money into going after state candidates who claim to be fiscally conservative when campaigning, but who aren’t so fiscally conservative when they’re in Juneau:

While I applaud Mr. Keithley’s efforts, I fear that without serious changes within the institution of the legislature picking off a few fiscal offenders will accomplish very little.

Governor Parnell, despite having the constitutional authority to do so, will do nothing. At best he will spin the numbers (as he did with the pension buy down) to create the best mirage of fiscal management he can.

Here is what will happen regardless of who is in Juneau. The majority caucus will first meet in secret (because they have exempted themselves from state open meeting law) where they will remind the members that any caucus member who fails to support the next budget will be kicked out of the caucus and banished to political irrelevancy. Next they will meet with constituents to complain about how they are running out of money but “formula spending” ties their hands and it is the fault of Alaskans that they have to spend so much. Then it’s off to remote Juneau where these committee chairs will, without explanation and against their own legislative rules, hold bills to death often in a trade for even more spending. Next, the Governor will sign yet another record breaking budget into law while the opiate of the PFD calms the masses and the march to the fiscal cliff will continue.


Keithley to spend big targeting big-spending lawmakers

Until now, with a few exceptions, most of this fall’s state legislative races have seemed pretty predictable. The Democrats might pick up a few seats, but the House will stay in Republican hands, and though there might be one or two new faces in the Senate, it’s been assumed that there wouldn’t be huge upsets or surprises.

Brad Keithley spending up to $200,000 on some races could shake things up.

Keithley a lawyer until recently with Perkins Coie and now a consultant, has tried, and to some extent succeeded, in elbowing his way into Alaska’s political class by preaching fiscal responsibility. Last winter, he was toying with a self-financed run for governor. His model was Ross Perot’s self-financed independent presidential run. Keithley opted out of the governors race, however. Continue reading


Quote of the day: Alaska grows government-dependent millionaires

Here’s Brad Keithley responding to a report that shows Alaska is 5th in millionaires per capita:

“Fifth in the nation in number of millionaires…no statewide income, property or sales tax and yet, Alaska still ranks low in philanthropic giving and relies on the state to fund one-hundred percent of things like sports arenas and tennis courts when, in other states, alumni, donors and contributors routinely are expected to pick up fifty percent of such costs. What is wrong with this picture? Effort, expectations and behavior…(T)he state can no longer afford to fund all things for all comers.”


UAA kind of sort of responds to Keithley’s charges of retribution

Last evening, I posted an article about Brad Keithley’s allegations against the UAA athletics program and UAA Chancellor Tom Case. Keithley claims that he is in the process of being barred from any association with UAA athletics. He says that it’s because he’s been critical of the athletic program, that he expressed concerns to Case about the hiring of a UAA women’s basketball coach who had a reputation in other schools and who resigned shortly after he was hired amid allegations of “professional misconduct.” He also wrote to the university about a student athlete who felt uncomfortable working with the basketball coach.

He also indicates that he might be being punished for a trip by the women’s basketball team that he paid for and which appears to be against NCAA rules.

The allegations are serious. I sent an email to the university about them. The questions and the response are below:

  • Why is the university considering barring Keithley from further association with its athletic program? Keithley says that it’s because he’s been critical of the program and has raised concerns with the treatment of a female student athlete. Is this true?

  • What action was taken when Keithley came to Chancellor Case expressing concern about a female student athlete’s concerns about working with women’s basketball coach Nate Altenhofen?

  • What, if any, action has the NCAA taken against the university regarding the 2011 trip Keithley paid for involving the UAA women’s basketball team?

  • The NCAA has indicated that the trip was against rules. Whose responsibility is it for ensuring that the university would follow such rules in this case?

  • In 2012, women’s basketball coach Nate Altenhofen resigned following accusations of “professional misconduct.” According to news accounts, he was being investigated for such allegations. What is the latest in that investigation? If complete, can you release the results? If not, can you tell me when it will be complete and what the public will know about the investigation? When he resigned, was he given any kind of severance package?

  • Does the university have an overall quote on Keithley’s accusations?

Here’s how the UAA chancellor’s office responded to the above questions:

UAA has been working with the NCAA since July 2012 on an investigation that looked into the women’s basketball program and the conduct of former head coach Tim Moser. It was not focused on UAA athletics generally, nor was it focused on Altenhofen. NCAA bylaws prohibit UAA from commenting further on an ongoing NCAA investigation.

Former coach Altenhofen resigned in the midst of an investigation into professional misconduct in August 2012. In accordance with Board of Regents policy, UAA will not comment further on personnel matters.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Allegations of cover-up and retribution involving UAA athletics

New allegations have surfaced about UAA’s athletic department which include accusations that the UAA chancellor’s office turned a blind eye to improper treatment of at least one female athlete. Brad Keithley, a lawyer and a possible candidate for governor, is making these allegations on his website. He is also charging that UAA is involved in retribution against him for, among other things, speaking about these issues. Keithley says he is in the process of being permanently barred from further association with its athletic programs

These are serious allegations, and I’ll try to get a response from the university on Tuesday.

Until recently, Keithley was a major donor and was highly involved in UAA’s athletic department.

In his blog, Keithley details how he had a meeting with UAA Chancellor Tom Case about the 2012 hiring of women’s basketball coach Nate Altenhofen and about his concerns with Altenhofen’s sketchy reputation, the lack of adequate community involvement in the hiring, and background checks. Three months later, Altenhofen resigned amid allegations of “professional misconduct.”

Keithley writes that he contacted Case again about a female student athlete who was uncomfortable with Altenhofen, and wanted to transfer, but was denied that transfer by UAA. Keithley, who was then working for a firm that had represented the university, was asked by the university to withdraw the letter because of potential conflicts of interest. The student never got her transfer and enrolled in is now at a community college, according to Keithley.

Most recently, Keithley says he is in the process of being permanently barred from further association with its athletic program for what he says is retribution for criticism of the program and for paying for the UAA women’s basketball team to travel from the University of Virginia to Washington D.C., where he hosted a tour of the Capitol followed by dinner for the team and coaches with the Alaska congressional delegation.

This is against NCAA rules, something that Keithley didn’t know at the time. Neither, apparently, did the university, which touted the trip and Keithley’s involvement with it on its website. He was given a special award following the trip for supporting UAA’s athletic department.

He was recently interviewed by the NCAA about the trip, which so far has not recommended sanctions against Keithley. However, Keithley says that he was not interviewed by UAA about the trip.

When he heard about being barred from the athletic program, Keithley sent an email that was distributed to the president of the University of Alaska, the chair of the Board of Regents and the UAA chancellor, questioning the university’s process and proposed actions, he writes. He has yet to get a response.

Keithley’s allegations fall on the heels of the firing of UAA Athletic Director Steve Cobb after an incident involving a coach slashing a hockey player with a stick began to make headlines and Gov. Sean Parnell expressed serious concerns about the public’s perceptions of the UAA athletic department.

Keithley writes:

To paraphrase an NCAA standard, UAA has become an institution out of control.  There appears to be no accountability remaining in the system for bad decisions or for arbitrary and biased procedures.  Put another way, when UAA screws up the first reaction appears not to be, how did that happen and how do we fix it, but instead, how do we silence or undermine those who call us out on it so that we don’t have to worry about that again.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


GOP official and Keithley take their fight to Facebook

men fighting Some sort of public brouhaha was bound to transpire between Brad Keithley, who is threatening to run for governor, and Frank McQueary, who’s fast becoming the whole trust in Alaska’s GOP shrinking braintrust. They’ve been griping about each other through intermediaries, one of whom would be me, for months.

Now, it’s spread onto Facebook. (Read here and here.)

To be fair, McQueary is the one doing the griping, and Keithley is the one defending himself, but I do detect a gripe in his voice as he does so. As there should be.

Keithley has been touting a message, and it’s one that Republicans, especially Republicans in the governor’s office, don’t much like. Namely, he’s been criticizing Gov. Sean Parnell for overspending and has been calling on him to walk his fiscal conservative talk and to substantially cut the budget. He has said on numerous occasions that if Parnell’s budget isn’t substantially decreased, then he’d consider taking a shot at running as an independent candidate.

By substantial he’s talking about $1.5 billion. That’s a lot of money. Keithley’s been taking his message to the people, armed with charts and graphs, which lay out a worst-case scenario if the budget isn’t cut.

McQueary doesn’t believe that our economy can sustain such a serious budget cut. Besides, he’s suspicious of Keithley’s motives. He’s long been wondering if Keithley isn’t a Democratic spoiler. He points to contributions that Keithley has made to the Dems. Further, he points out that the Alaska Constitution mandates that a candidate for governor be a resident of Alaska for seven years. Keithley says that by the time he runs, if he runs, he will have fulfilled the residency requirements. McQueary isn’t buying it. He points out that Keithley didn’t registered to vote here until 2010.

Keithley argues back that residency doesn’t require voter registration.

And it goes on.

This piece is on the verge of epitomizing the kind of “he-said-she-said” reporting for which sites like this were supposed to provide an antidote.

But I have no great insights here, except to say that perhaps they should get together and have a cup coffee. They’re both smart people and agree on more than they disagree, and if they used their brain powers to figure out HOW to cut to the budget, then we’ll all be in better shape.

Keithley: Since you brought it up, this one’s mostly on you.

As McQueary said when I talked to him, quod erat demonstrandum. Spenard translation: Them’s fightin’ words.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Why are some Republicans so nervous about Brad Keithley?

Brad Keithley, one of the potential independent candidates for governor, must have the Republican establishment scared. I know this because I get texts and emails from those political activists who appear to be scared. They are going through his voting record, trying to make the case that he’s a Democratic operative who moved to Alaska just to sabotage Gov. Sean Parnell, much like Vic Vickers, who moved to Alaska to run against Ted Stevens in 2008.

In order to run for governor, a person has had to live in Alaska for seven years. Keithley has said that he will have been here seven years if and when he files for governor.

Republicans are also trying to make his voting habits an issue. It appears that the first time Keithley voted in Alaska was in 2010. He freely admits this and says that he didn’t register to vote in Alaska when he first moved here from Texas and he doesn’t recall voting in Texas since 2000.

Their fear is understandable. Keithley has been talking and writing to an increasingly growing audience about the spending problem in Alaska. His point is a simple one: since oil prices began to rise in the mid 2000s, Alaska has been on a spending spree that rivals the last big spree the state went on in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

You can still see bumper stickers on cars that were made in the earlier spree’s honor. “Dear God, give us another oil boom and, this time, we promise we won’t piss it away,” it reads.

Keithley’s point: we have had another oil boom, and we’re pissing it away. A fact that he is continually hammering away on is that since Parnell took office, the budget has increased by 55 percent.

Parnell, it should be noted, calls himself a fiscal conservative.

It’s a simple message, and although we can argue about the best way to cut spending, it’s hard to argue that we shouldn’t at least try, unless you’re Parnell, who has no plans to significantly cut the budget for the next five years, or for as long as he’s in office if he gets a second term.

The people who benefit from all the state government largess —  people like the developer Mark Pfeffer, the master of sole source government contracts, and a prolific campaign contributor—aren’t likely happy about what Keithley is preaching. Those people are arguing that the state’s spending keeps Alaskans working. Which, as Keithley points out, sounds suspiciously like Obama’s stimulus plan. Unlike the federal government, however, nearly all of Alaska’s revenue comes from one source, and that one source is continually declining. Even if the producers do start to pump more oil because of the recent tax cut, the state is heading for a fiscal cliff.

According to UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, Alaska doesn’t have the savings to forestall a fiscal crisis much after 2023.

Keithley thinks that it’s important that Alaskans hear that message.

Keithley is threatening to run for governor, but hasn’t yet filed. If he does, there will be all sorts of time to dig deeply into his past. For now, however, he’s a private citizen speaking what he feels is a message that needs to be heard. Some, apparently, don’t want him to tell it.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Keithley: Sticks and stones may break his bones. But politics? We’ll see.

laughAs I previously reported, Brad Keithley is making noises about running for governor. If he does so, he’d likely run as an independent, and he likely would be self-financed. He’s well-educated and cultured. He knows as much about college basketball and more about music than anyone who is running or has talked about running to date. And he’s also proving to be rather unorthodox compared to most politicians.

So far, in front of groups, on talk radio, and on his blog, he has focused on Gov. Sean Parnell’s handling of the state’s fiscal affairs, which could prove to be a major weakness for Parnell.

Under Parnell’s “fiscally conservative” administration, the budget has grown 55 percent. There are all sorts of reasons for this: declining federal funds and ballooning health care costs, to name a few. But there’s been loads of fat in Parnell’s budgets. And he’s done nothing to address what Keithley and others call a looming fiscal crisis. In fact, Parnell doesn’t even talk about it.

Inexplicably, Bill Walker let this one get away from him. Someone was bound to jump into the budget-sized opening. Too bad for Parnell that it increasingly looks like it’s Keithley who’s doing so.

That Keithley might have enough money to be self-financed, and not beholden to anybody, should be enough to make Parnell nervous. But already Keithley is proving that not being beholden also provides the flexibility to say and do what he pleases, and to break the so called “rules” of politics. This should be particularly unnerving for Parnell, who is nothing if not conventional.

Last week, for instance, Keithley posted correspondence on his blog that belittled his own candidacy. Most politicians would have tried to bury it. Keithley highlighted it by republishing the criticism in full, saying that it brought him “humor:”

Meant to tell you, I was recently at a meeting that included several Alaskan republican leaders. It was rumored that you were considering running for governor. When I heard their reactions, I was actually embarrassed for you. Of course democrat friends in JNU and on the hill hope you run, as there’s not a chance in hell you can win, but you will help push the vote in their favor. Best part? Several of those I mention above are people you told me were good friends and who you respect immensely. You are the laughing stock of that town. So gratifying to watch…

Keithley’s pitch-perfect response:

The humor? That ‘Alaskan republican leaders’ are wasting their time talking about personalities. (If you believe the writer, at least.) My recommendation? They spend their time instead talking about things that really matter, starting with ways to reduce the upcoming budget. Otherwise … they won’t be leaders for much longer.

Truth is, some Alaska Republicans, the smart ones, are talking about Keithley. In fact, they seem to be talking more about him than they are about Walker, who has been running for months. And they aren’t laughing.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

Clarification: As far as I know, Keithley posted the correspondence in full. The author of the email that he published, however, says otherwise.