Monthly Archives: September 2014

Republicans supporting gubernatorial candidate Walker

According to press release, here is a list of prominent Republicans who have committed to supporting gubernatorial “unity” ticket candidate Bill Walker:

  • Former First Lady Bella Hammond
  • Former First Lady Ermalee Hickel
  • Former Alaska State Senate President Clem Tillion
  • Former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford
  • Former Alaska State Senator Arilss Sturgulewski
  • Former Alaska State Senator Linda Menard
  • Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whittaker
  • Former Anchorage Assemblyman Dan Kendall
  • Former Alaska Attorney General Charlie Cole
  • Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Harold Heinze
  • Former Providence Health & Services Chief Executive Officer Al Parrish
  • Former Wally Hickel Ketchikan Campaign Manager Ann Graham Radford
  • Former Alaska Republican Party Chair Debbie Brown

Senate candidates Begich and Sullivan announce debate/forum schedules

Forums and debates that both Sen. Mark Begich and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan will be participating in:

  • Wednesday, October 1, Kodiak Chamber of Commerce (Kodiak)
  • Tuesday, October 21, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum (Soldotna)
  • Thursday, October 23, Resource Development Council Candidate Forum (Anchorage)
  • Friday, October 24, Alaska Federation of Native Candidate Forum (Anchorage)
  • Tuesday, October 28, Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Forum (Fairbanks)
  • Wednesday, October 29, KTUU Channel 2 Debate (Anchorage)
  • Thursday, October 30, Debate for the State  – Alaska Public Media (Anchorage)

Addition forums and debate that Begich has agreed to participate in:

  • Tuesday, October 14, League of Women Voters and Anchorage School District Student Forum (Anchorage)
  • Sunday, October 26, KTVA Ch. 11 and Alaska Dispatch Debate (Anchorage)
  • Monday, October 27, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum (Anchorage)

A reader’s account of the Juneau debate between Parnell and Walker

You can read straight news stories about the debate between Gov. Sean Parnell and “unity” candidate Bill Walker here, and here, This account, from a reader, who obviously favors Gov. Sean Parnell, is also interesting:

Fun debate in Juneau today. Parnell has an improved style, and he certainly won the day.  Walker sometimes seemed confused…. The audience, about 250 people, were much more with Parnell.  No bombs were dropped.  Nothing shocking was revealed….Parnell quoted Walker from some Sept. 5 radio show in which Walker is to have said he would cut 16% – $224 million from personal services costs – the first year in office.  Parnell asked where Walker would make the cuts  to achieve that level of reduction.

Walker answered, “I will ask the departments to work smarter.” That doesn’t answer the question for me.

Both candidates are voting for the minimum wage increase and against the marijuana legalization, and they gave reasons that revealed no differences between the candidates. Both candidates favored keeping the capital in Juneau but Walker went a little further and said he would require all commissioners to live in Juneau, and the audience liked that.  Continue reading


Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 9.30

  • The AP reports that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the validity of the Walker/Mallott merger will not be appealing last Friday’s ruling that the Unity ticket is valid.
  • The DSCC has released a new ad targeting U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s anti-choice stance and support to empower employers to deny coverage for birth control.
  • Governor Sean Parnell’s lawyer as well as his policy director Randal Ruaro have used Sen. Mark Begich’s Jerry Active ad as one reason not to release documents pertaining to the Alaska National Guard scandal to Alexandra Gutierrez with APRN.
  • KTVA’s 11 Daybreak interviewed U.S. Sen. Mark Begich during a live, sit-down chat about Syria, November’s ballot measures, attack ads and public debates.  According to KTVA, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has been invited to Daybreak, but hasn’t yet responded.
  • Alaska’s polling issues have piqued interest in the UK. UK  Progressive has a piece written by Sam Wang that delved into the consistent problems pollsters have when trying to get an accurate portrayal of Alaska’s shifting political landscape.

Continue reading


Tweets of the day: Murkowski hedges on governor’s race


Latest absentee ballot requests by party

Here’s the party breakdown of absentee ballot requests as of Friday, Sep. 26:

26-Sep Counts %
R 8,495 41%
D 4,095 20%
N/U 8,323 40%
Total 20,913


In Alaska, about 27 percent of voters are registered Republicans, about 14 percent are registered Democrats, and about 54 percent are nonpartisan/undeclared. Although the numbers for Republicans look good, keep in mind that Republicans in Alaska traditionally vote absentee at a much higher rate than do Democrats. What’s also interesting is that neither party seems to be working that huge swath of nonpartisan/undeclared voters.


Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 9.29

  • Sen. Mark Begich released a new ad simply titled “Margie,” featuring Margie Brown, former President and CEO of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. In it Brown expounds on the amazing work Sen. Begich has done to help the over 3,000 jobs in the telecommunication field here in Alaska as both mayor and senator. She also mentions how great Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski work together, which will likely further rankle Murkowski. 
  • Senior political writer, Harry Enten, with FiveThirtyEight offers advice on how to read the tea leaves in the recent U.S. Senate polls. His take; Alaska has been a fairly stable race with Sullivan winning “by a couple of percentage points,” as of Friday.
  • While California’s public pension fund has decided to stop investing in hedge funds, Opalesque reports that Alaska’s Permanent Fund Corp. is sticking with their current strategy.

Continue reading


Loose Lips: Lottsfeldt relaxes. Nizich shoots. Starring says so long.

15770860_mThis past week the earthquakes reminded me of the strength of our spirits and the volatility of our politics. Actually, that’s not really true. But I aspire to be the kind of person who has such thoughts. So there’s that. Anyway, this one’s a short one. I’m working on a longer project for another publication and haven’t gotten out much. But hopefully I and Loose Lips will be back in full force later this week. Until then, here’s at least some of what’s gone on the past few days:

Jared Kosin is the new Deputy Commissioner at the AK Department of Revenue. Kosin is an attorney with an M.B.A., and has spent his career in public policy. Most recently, he worked at the AK Department of Health and Social Services. Prior to moving to Alaska, Kosin was the Policy Director and Legislative Director for the Colorado Speaker of the House, and a policy advisor in the Michigan Senate Majority Policy Office.

Thursday was Colleen Starring’s last day as president of ENSTAR Natural Gas Company. She was the first female president of ENSTAR and served in that capacity for seven years. She’s headed to Vancouver, B.C. where she will continue her career at ENSTAR’s parent company, AltaGas. Continue reading


Senate District E race preview: Dunleavy v Keogh

In Senate District E, Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy is being challenged by Independent candidate and former Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Warren Keogh. (Both have released web ads, which are below.) The district encompasses House Districts 9 and 10. It isn’t a district for anyone with fear of distances. It stretches from south of Cantwell down the Parks Highway to Houston, runs out to Skwentna, north to the city limits of Wasilla and Palmer, then up the Glenn Highway to Glennallen, goes just north of Delta down to Valdez, and through the tunnel to the City of Whittier. Just the drive between Delta and Wasilla is about six hours.

Dunleavy, towering above his Senate colleagues at 6’7″, is known as a strong conservative, whatever that means in Alaska these days. He was elected in 2012 by defeating incumbent Sen. Linda Menard in the Republican primary with more than 57 percent of the vote. He was unopposed in the general election. Prior to his election to the Senate, he was a teacher, school superintendent and school board member.

Keogh, a former Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman and resident of Chickaloon, is running for the Senate seat as an Independent. He is a Vietnam vet, a retired firefighter and paramedic, and is known, either fairly or unfairly, as an environmentalist for his opposition to coal mining in the area. Continue reading


Quote of the day: ‘Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century’

From a New York Times piece on the best places to live in the next decades as climate change begins to take a greater toll:

“If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited,” said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047. “The best place really is Alaska,” he added. “Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century.”