Monthly Archives: June 2014

Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision will likely be a winning issue for Begich

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision to allow corporations such as Hobby Lobby, which brought the case, to opt out of the ObamaCare birth control mandate for religious reasons. The decision has huge implications, not only for ObamaCare mandates, but perhaps for companies who, in the future, have religious objections to workers vaccinations, or psychiatric care, or blood transfusions, all of which are also in conflict with certain religious beliefs.

It’s also likely to be used as a further wedge between the two parties, Continue reading


Loose Lips: Furniture subcommittee. Prevo’s seal. Who drank the Kool-Aid?

feminism The Legislative Council subcommittee on furniture for the Anchorage Legislative Office building met on Monday morning. Members included Rep. Bill Stolze, House Speaker Mike Chenault, and Senate President Charlie Huggins. All in all, a pretty esteemed group to be sitting on a subcommittee dealing with furniture, but sit they did and they decided to recommend to the entire committee that they use existing and state surplus furniture where possible. They also authorized no more than $100,000 for new furniture, which seems pretty responsibly meager considering that the full Council authorized a $100,000 payment to developer Mark Pfeffer–the master of no bid contracts–just to advise on the purchase of new furniture. Continue reading


Begich’s bottlenecked party problem

According to D.C. buzz, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has perhaps gone too far in protecting U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and other vulnerable senators from having to take tough votes on legislation dealing with controversial issues such as an EPA rule limiting carbon emissions or construction of the Keystone Pipeline, as well as a host of other bills. Reid and other Democratic leaders have done that, by and large, by blocking those bills from coming to the floor.

The system under Reid’s leadership has been so bottlenecked Continue reading


Will Hobby Lobby ruling have on impact on Alaska’s Senate race?

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the now-well known Hobby Lobby case that companies can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare. The ruling marks the first time that the Supreme Court has allowed companies the ability to declare a religious belief.

The ruling could have huge implications for other mandates under ObamaCare. Continue reading


Cue the campaign music videos

As far as I know, Forrest Dunbar, the Democrat running for Rep. Don Young’s seat, is the first candidate of this season to use a music video as a campaign tool. Even though “Your Love,” the song that he remixed, brought back certain mixed memories for some of us–peach schnapps, Izod shirts with upturned collars, the Iran-Contra scandal — it worked to get him some attention. And who can forget this faux-folk song from Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in race?  The one below is aimed at Sen. Mark Begich. I don’t know who it came from or whether it will stick. But some of it is a little clever.



Book Review: Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State

Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State
By Ralph Nader

During our last great energy crisis, which President Carter combated in part by installing solar panels on the White House roof, a wood stove in the living quarters and proposing that goats crop the White House lawns, I had a ringside seat at a debate, televised live on the old Phil Donahue show in Chicago, between my boss of those years, John Swearingen, and Ralph Nader.

Swearingen, chairman of Standard Oil Co. of Indiana (later Amoco, then BP Amoco, finally BP), was one of the last of the great old-school oil company executives Continue reading


Loose Lips: Whisper campaigns. Young and Hard. Pink boxer shorts.

18955141_mShe described it “as the most magical day of her life.” Cook Inlet Tribal Council CEO Gloria O’Neill and Roger Phillips stood on the Kachemak Bay’s McDonald Spit last Friday and said, ‘I do” and that they would, forever and ever. For eternity. Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful marriage.

APOC has “accepted” Randy Ruedrich’s complaint against the Anchorage Women’s Republican Club, for what he says is funky bookkeeping.

Long time state worker Jerry Burnett who recently Continue reading


GOP Senate candidate Treadwell begins ‘True Alaskan Conservative’ theme

Here’s Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s first widespread radio ad of the campaign season. The spot is airing along with a television ad introducing the theme, “The True Alaskan Conservative.” (I’ll post the TV ad when I get it, but it’s basically a cut version of this one.) What makes him more conservative than the other GOP challengers in the race –Joe Miller or Dan Sullivan — is anyone’s guess. But that likely won’t matter. Treadwell’s message is clear and to the point, and is one that the public will likely remember if Treadwell has the money to be able to disseminate the ads widely enough. Whether they’ll believe it is another story.


Three GOP Senate hopefuls take to the stage for first debate

On Thursday night, the three Republican Senate candidates—Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan—took to the stage for the first primary debate that featured all three. The lead-up to the debate was not without drama, which culminated with the former chair of the Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich, filing a complaint with APOC against the Anchorage Women’s Republican Club, which organized it.

But all that drama, as these things do, fell away as the candidates stepped on stage, where for two hours–without a break–they answered questions from the organizers, Continue reading


New poll shows Senate hopeful Sullivan leads in primary, tied with Begich

A poll conducted for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign released on Thursday shows that Sullivan has a 9 point lead over Lt. Gov. Treadwell among all primary voters, and a 23 percent lead over Joe Miller. Among “likely” voters, Sullivan leads by 18 percentage points over Treadwell and about 28 percent over Miller. Among “very likely” voters, Sullivan is at 46 percent, Treadwell is at 23 percent and Joe Miller is at 13 percent.

Still, 24 percent of all primary voters are undecided. And about 17 percent of likely and very likely primary voters are undecided as well, the poll finds.

The poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information, Continue reading


New American Crossroads ad attacks Begich over taking undue credit

Below is an American Crossroads ad attacking U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for taking credit for things that the ad claims he shouldn’t take credit for. The ad continues a theme that has been playing out between the campaigns of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and Begich for weeks now. (See the ads here, here and here.)

As expected, it quotes Rep. Don Young, who recently told a camera crew during a recent campaign shoot in Fairbanks, that he was tired of Begich’s claims about his accomplishments. “Don’t take credit for something you did not do,” Young said in an impromptu interview by a camera crew that regularly works for Young and for Art Hackney, an Anchorage based ad-man and strategists for American Crossroads.

Among other things, Young was referring to a road that was recently built in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, that was an effort by Continue reading


Pro-Begich Super-PAC releases third ad attacking Sullivan on HB 77

Here’s another ad from Put Alaska First, the pro-Mark Begich super-PAC, going after GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan over HB 77. The ad features Beth Northlund, the executive director of Anchorage Park Foundation, talking about the controversial, complicated bill that got scuttled because of the controversy last legislative session. On one side, the rap on it is that it proposed to give unprecedented powers to the DNR commissioner to issue permits. At the time of its drafting, Sullivan was the DNR commissioner. Those who helped draft the bill, including Sullivan, said that it cut through red-tape that was impeding development. In any case, the public came out in droves to testify against it and the bill died in the Senate. This is the third ad Put Alaska First has made featuring HB 77. The first featured a moose hunter—the claims of which were a ‘stretch’—and the second featured well-known former Democratic lawmaker Sam Cotten. I’d bet that Put Alaska continues to focus on the issue because it works.

Here’s the response from the Sullivan campaign to the ad: Continue reading


Loose Lips: Power brokers. Campaign cash. APOC complaints all around.

18955141_mTo the extent that Alaska has power brokers, many of them were at Rep. Bill Stoltze’s political fundraiser for his state Senate bid at the Aviation Museum in Anchorage on Monday. About 70 in all showed, with a hefty dose of sports fishing enthusiasts in the room lead by Kenai angler Bob Penney. Spotted: Linda Leary from ACS; Bill Eckhardt and Dan McCue from Alaska USA Federal Credit Union; Tom Gimple with Geneva Woods Pharmacy; AOGA’s executive director Kara Moriarty; GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and his lovely wife Julie Fate; Verne Martell; Mat-Su Borough Assembly members Steve Colligan and Ron Arvin; SCI President Eddie Grasser; awesomely dressed Marie Evans and Michael Hurley from ConocoPhillips; AK Republican Party Vice Chair elect Frank McQueary; Rasmuson Foundation President Diane Kaplan; Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux; Mark Davis from AIDEA; retired Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone; and Ketchikan state House candidate Agnes Moran. Rumored take at the door was north of $15,000.00. Continue reading


The Alaska GOP Senate debate will go on

Below is the press release from Anchorage Republican Women’s Club chair Judy Eledge about the tumultuous GOP Senate debate. Eledge is the organizer of the debate and spent a very busy day Tuesday scrambling for a debate sponsor, lest the ARWC be in violation of federal campaign laws. Already two of the four Republican women’s clubs who were helping put it together have pulled out. No word on if they’ll get back in. Read the back story here.

Anchorage Republican Women would like to thank the U.S. Senate Candidate who offered to cover the costs of the June 26th debate to avoid any issues with the Federal Election Commission.  However, ARWC is committed to this event going forward, but without raising any potential FEC issues. ARWC began this effort in early May and has dealt with many obstacles along the way.  While the ARWC does not feel that their hosting the event would have violated any FEC regulation, we are proud to announce that HOT TALK KOAN 95.5FM 1080AM and The Talk of The Valley KVNT 92.5FM 1020AM have agreed to take their place as sponsors.  As broadcasters, there is absolutely no question under the FEC’s applicable guidelines that KTUU can stage this event.  (See 11 CFR § 110.13(a)(2) and 11 CFR § 114.4(f)(2)). The ARWC is extremely pleased that this event will go forward as planned and, like the public, we look forward to an informative and spirited evening.