Tag Archives: craig fleener

Lt. gov. candidate Fleener apologizes to Parnell, and asks for apology in return.

Below is lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener’s response to the dust-up between Fleener and Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign. Fleener is running as an independent with Bill Walker. Read the back story here:

I and NCAI conference organizers and participants expected Governor Parnell to speak as listed on the program. When he did not take the stage after he was introduced and I was told by an organizer that he was delayed in traffic, the universal opinion was that Gov. Parnell was a no show. It is now known that Parnell declined the invitation by email to the NCAI office manager but apparently the information never made it to the meeting coordinators, Alaska Native leaders, or conference attendees and Parnell remained on the program. While I did check my sources all the way to the top of those in charge at the conference, I apologize for stating Governor Parnell was an unexcused no-show. I would ask that Governor Parnell and his campaign manager, Jerry Gallagher, apologize for calling me a liar. I would also ask that the underlying Native Alaskan issues addressed in my opinion piece not be lost in this unfortunate dust-up concerning event attendance.


Parnell’s campaign accuses Fleener of telling ‘outright lies’

Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign lashed out at independent lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener over an opinion piece that Fleener wrote in the Anchorage Daily News. The op-ed, which questioned Parnell’s absence during a recent conference ,“is based on completely fabricated information, which can only be described as a campaign of outright lies,” campaign manager Jerry Gallagher said.

Fleener, who is running with independent candidate Bill Walker, said that Parnell’s excuse for not attending the National Congress of American Indians to give opening remarks was that he was “caught in traffic.” Fleener said the organizers were left “scrambling to fill his spot,” to give the remarks. He said that such behavior by Parnell was symptomatic of Parnell’s relationship with the Alaska Native community. Continue reading


Weekly roundup: Aloha moderate malarkey flu

aloha It’s still very early in the election season. The sun is still low and coy, objects hidden under the snow haven’t even begun to think of stirring, and most Alaskans haven’t even begun to think about who they’re going to vote for in the upcoming elections.

It feels a lot like Joe Miller time.

I know that many of you common-sense conservatives have written Miller off. But common-sense conservatives have never been accused of being commonly sensitive enough to feel the fury of that small group of primary voters, the ones that Sarah Palin awoke from their long slumber and the ones that are now gathering during these long winter nights to plan for a Miller win, much like they did in the early days of 2010.

Word is that the meetings are happening with increasing frequency, particularly in the Mat-Su Valley, where there’s something in the water which makes everyone feel dispossessed. The meetings are revivalesque, I’m told. In other words: those people vote.

In the meantime, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell , who also tries really hard to act like he’s dispossessed, is plugging along, sending out press releases accusing Begich of being soft on energy and not “enthusiastically” supporting Murkowski’s bid to end exports on oil. I say be careful of what you wish for. Any more enthusiasm from Begich and he’ll be knocking at your door, using that soon-to-be-grating,  folksy voice to try and convince you that he’s as “independent as Alaska.”

And he’ll keep going until you agree.

Speaking of Begich. How’s this for his new moniker, a la Art Hackney: “Malarkey Mark.” And isn’t it interesting that the national Republicans are bashing him giving a speech in Hawaii rather than being in D.C., voting to extend unemployment benefits? Maybe they’ve been employed for so long that those same Republicans forgot they don’t like the bill?

Besides, in addition to attending fundraisers and giving a speech, Begich likely spent the rest of his waking hours in Hawaii convincing Alaskans that he’s as independent as they are. Indeed, you can’t throw a stone this time of year in Hawaii without hitting an Alaskan. Former Mayor Tom Fink is reportedly there, giving lectures to anyone who will listen on laissez faire economics and school choice. Rep. Les Gara is riding a girl’s 10 speed bike around Oahu. It was the affordable one available, he said.

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

Speaking of throwing stones, neither of the two Republican candidates running for lieutenant governor showed at the first state-wide candidate forum in Anchorage on Tuesday night. Mayor Dan Sullivan had other plans, so he declined immediately. Sen. Lesil McGuire called in sick right before it started. Malarkey? Who can blame her? I’d be sick too if I were a moderate Republican in that crowd, in this state, where to win statewide office, you have to get at least a handful of those Valley folks to cast their vote for you. Maybe the remedy is in the Valley water.

Anyway, because no Republican showed, the show was left to Democrats Sen. Hollis French and Palmer teacher Bob Williams, and independent Craig Fleener. As expected, Gov. Sean Parnell took a beating.

Sen. Hollis French, as usual, was like, “au contraire Parnell!” He was like, “Oil companies j’en peux plus!”

I don’t know Craig Fleener well enough to poke fun at him. He seems really nice, smart. Besides, he’s a former Marine.

But the line of the night belonged to Bob Williams.

Bob Williams? I hadn’t heard of him either, and yet he has blue eyes and even comes with props! On Tuesday night, there was a red cup, yellow cup and green cup, and some sort of piece of cloth all of which represented something important enough to warrant them. I can’t remember what it was, however. (My dog ate my notes, and then I suddenly came down with the moderate malarkey Republican flu.)

What I do remember, perhaps the only thing I remember, is when Blue Eyes called Parnell a wimp.

That got the requisite, snide, liberal chuckle. But Williams wasn’t done. Because it’s so uncool in school to call anybody a name, he went on to explain what he meant was that Parnell is “Wildly Inaccurate, Misleading, and Partisan.” It doesn’t quite work as an acrostic, but nobody, least of all Parnell, is going to challenge him.

What else is going on out there? Mayor Dan hired his buddy, high school friend and chief-of-staff Dan Kendall to run ML&P. His qualifications for running one of the state’s largest electrical utilities? For 30 years he was a corrosion technician for ENSTAR. For 30 years, he did nothing but drive around in his truck, getting a big union paycheck to check for cronyism. Oops! I mean corrosion.

Whispers of Eagle River Rep. Lora Reinbold, and Valley Rep. Wes Keller organizing what’s being called a “conservative caucus” in the House to push out the moderates. Because, you know, Alaska’s Republican dominated House is so full of moderates. Must be something in the water.

And there’s lots of talk about the good bureaucrats at Revenue and DNR, who could probably use a chug or two of Valley water, trying to untangle the state from the very last vestige of the Palin regime. Next session, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA, will be likely be a goner, taking its hundreds of millions with it, and one of the countless big dreams of a big natural gasline. Aloha AGIA.

As William’s might put it: “Alaska Gets It in the….Abdomen again.”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Republicans a no-show at first statewide candidate forum

The first statewide candidate forum of the year was last night. Three people running for lieutenant governor answered questions posed by KTVA reporter Rhonda McBride at the YWCA in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday night. Two Democrats — Alaska state Sen. Hollis French, Palmer math teacher Bob Williams, and independent Craig Fleener — fielded questions from McBride, a seasoned reporter, about education, tribal rights, federal regulations, natural resources, health and public safety, just to a name a few.

One of the two Democrats will be running with Byron Mallott in the general election. Fleener, who will skip the primary process, will be running with independent candidate Bill Walker.

The two Republican candidates, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and Alaska state Sen. Lesil McGuire didn’t show up for the forum. At the time the event was announced, Sullivan said that he had a personal engagement that evening. McGuire called in sick at the last minute. It was too bad. McGuire, who is a moderate Republican, shines no more brightly than when she’s speaking extemporaneously in front of a crowd.

French said that neither of the Republican showed because they wouldn’t be able to defend Gov. Sean Parnell’s record. Namely his decision not to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, which would insure up to 40,000 Alaskans on the federal dime. Then there was the issue about new regulations on Medicaid-funded abortions which made news earlier that day. The issue was only alluded to at the forum. Had McGuire showed, however, she would likely have been asked about it.

Throughout the night, Williams and French generally held the Democratic line. Fleener, a Gwich’in Athabascan from the Interior, and former Marine and currently a major in the Alaska Air National Guard, as well as the state’s former deputy commissioner of Fish and Game, displayed more of an independent streak. He’s more inclined to talk about giving parents more choice over education options, had stronger words for federal government encroachment, and mentioned, more than once, that as an independent, he’s “free from party and political corruption.”

When asked to give Gov. Sean Parnell a letter grade for the job he’s doing so far, French gave him a “D,” Fleener a “C-“ and Williams an “F.”

Williams, an up-and-comer to watch in the Democratic Party, called Parnell a “wimp,” which stands for “wildly inaccurate, misleading, and partisan.”

It doesn’t exactly work as an acrostic, but it was the line of the night, the delivery was spot on, and if nothing else, last night showed that Williams is a politician to watch.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com