Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 10.30

  • Last night’s U.S. Senate debate was electric. It started out as inspiration to one of the most beautiful pictures of the night, but quickly fell into a winner-takes-all style verbal brawl. KTUU has the entire debate up on their website incase you missed it and are feeling left out of the water cooler banter, but the Free Beacon has a snippet of one of the most passionate parts of the evening. Too dramatic for your blood? The Brookings Institute has the key issues itemized in easy to follow bullet points.
  • The Sullivan campaigned had Moore Information out of Portland (Not to be confused with Ivan Moore) conduct a poll and the results show him with a 4 point lead over Sen. Mark Begich with a 4% margin of error. The Hill points to early voting breakdown as one of the reasons for Sullivan’s surge. 35% Republicans, 19% Democrats and 44% Undeclared/Nonpartisan. What those numbers mean is anybody’s guess, but Moore Information is interpreting it as the extensive ground game by the Democratic Party not coming to fruition.
  • My last midterm election piece for Politico before November 4 is up and ready for your digestion/dissection. Outsiders may think they know Alaska, but they don’t. We are unique, right down to the way we use Crisco.
  • Steve Kornacki with Real Clear Politics explains what a win for U.S. Senator Mark Begich will mean for the future of the Senate. Both Begich and Sullivan could use this to bolster their case for support.

  • Civil war is on the horizon. This time it isn’t a reenactment of blues and grays running across the field against a backdrop of smoke and cannon fire. This civil war is an internal one within the GOP over the direction of legislation come January when the keys to the Senate Majority Leader’s offices are handed over to the Republicans. While this civil war might not involve actual cannons, The Hill wants there to be no mistake in that battle lines are being drawn between Boehner, McConnell and Cruz. The victor will not just have a shiny title, but the power to shape a legacy that will affect millions.
  • Ballot Measure 2, the legalization of marijuana initiative, could go the way of alcohol in terms of minimizing its impact in Bush Alaska. The AFN’s position on marijuana is known and many communities are proposing making themselves “dry” to pot. The Dispatch brings up excellent sticky issues that come about if “dry marijuana” communities become a reality; notably how it would work with current federal laws that explicitly state small amounts within private homes are protected under right to privacy.
  • ABC did a really interesting piece on wax: not the kind you put on your skis, but the kind that you might be smoking completely legally before you put on your skis. If you don’t blow up your house first, and you’re still standing after one hit.
  • Citizens Against Walker’s APOC report reads like a Who’s Who amongst the Republican Jet Set. Both Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Bobby Jindal were named per state law as part of the RGA’s $1.3 million donation.
  • Dermot Cole has an article on the Congressional debate on Tuesday in Fairbanks, but the majority of the story seems to tilt toward explaining why Forrest Dunbar should be elected as Alaska’s new representative.
  • Fairbanks never fails to create interesting state House and state Senate races. The Fairbanks News Miner has the lowdown on what APOC reports reveal about how much Fairbanks area candidates have raised & spent. The big surprise was how there is just a $22.60 difference between Rep. Pete Higgins and Adam Wool. There is also an article on the always colorful House District 9 race and its three uniquely Alaskan candidates.
  • The Parnell campaign had a big mea culpa after realizing that they had accidentally added an extra “0” in their claim that AGPA (Alaska Gasoline Port Authority) paid in attorney fees to Bill Walker’s law firm in 2011. The actual amount is, “$200,000” and not $2 million. It might be a lowly “0”, but what a difference it makes.
  • Alaska is not the only one upset by the drop in O&G prices. Iran has seen a 30% drop in revenue. Bloomberg explains that this could cause pressure with the looming November 24 nuclear accord deadline between the U.S. and Iran and potentially ending Iran’s financial isolation.
  • Obama has become an unofficial dirty word this political season. The LA Times has a piece where Sen. Mark Begich avoids calling the president by name, but not to be outdone, the White House’s own press secretary won’t even use the “O” word. Watch this clip from the Daily Show via Salon for a good chuckle.
  • Put on your statistic caps and prepare for the glory that is data mining, brought to you by Wesleyan Media Project. There are tables and graphs (!) chocked full of information regarding how different national and gubernatorial races have spent their money; breakdowns of Dark Money, partial disclosure and full disclosure PACs; ad subjects and so much more.
  • Also at Politico is a continuation of my article regarding Sen. Begich continually ignoring Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s “No means no” stance on using her (and her image) against her will for political gain.
  • In the era of Facebook, ever wonder what that means to elections? The Washington Post had the same question and discovered some interesting things about our FB election habits, including that only Mainers (19.73%) are posting more about the elections than us Alaskans (18.38%). While women out posted men in every state, there are age discrepancies and lots of other data points.
  • I missed this a few weeks ago but it’s still a great one. KTVA has a piece on 5th grader William Scannell’s class project. He and a trove of fellow Pacific Northern Academy students are sending postcards to child refugees across the globe. Scannell is on his way to turning it into a movement. The fire in the 9-year-old’s eyes when he talks about the project is both uplifting and terrifying, as things that matter always are.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


11 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 10.30

  1. AH HA

    Amanda, Really nice piece for Politico. I hope you charged a premium for that… It’s cut above what we are used to seeing written about Alaska.

  2. AH HA

    After all of the lies, fabrications, boasts, lame talk and empty promises I’ve heard recently from those already elected and those hoping to be elected, reading about Young Mr. Scannell’s class project is like a breath of fresh air.

  3. Sandra

    Being on the receiving end of the line for telephone polls has been fascinating, frustrating and tiresome all at the same time. I changed my voter registration from D to Non-Partisan and I was the target of both campaigns. I was disappointed in the large number of push-polls that were directed my way and it didn’t take long to figure out this was for the Republican running for the U.S. Senate. Some of these polls were from the RNSC where they had not figured out Byron Mallot had deserted the D ballot to run on what is called the unity ticket. Getting back to the push polls, they would indeed have shown Sullivan in the lead given the wording. I, in good faith, tried to answer the questions but gave up on three of those polls where my response could easily be manipulated. So much for those early polls that seem to feed the later polls.

  4. Mike Heatwole

    Really well done, balanced piece in Politico Amanda. Too bad most of the AK press has not approached the election coverage of our statewide races in similar fashion.

  5. Mark Springer

    Great Politico piece, Amanda. Short, sweet and very colorful. I have to agree that you are now the top political writer in our state.
    MS in Bethel

  6. Jon K

    The ADN hasn’t done Alaskans any favors this election season. Dermot’s latest article on the Young-Dunbar race is the latest example – and I’m not even voting for Young. Nat has done a decent job covering the Senate campaign. But the coverage of the Governor’s race has been awful. I don’t know if this opinion is because of my support for Parnell, but I don’t think the paper has been fair to Parnell and it certainly hasn’t run very many, if any, articles that scrutinize Walker’s promises, criticisms of Parnell, and assertions.

    To give just a few examples – reporters love pouncing on hypocrisy and flip flops but they are letting Walker’s pass by without comment. For example, Walker’s main criticism, at least lately, of AK LNG is a perceived lack of transparancy. This is an overblown charge – and if reporters would actually explain to Alaskans how much information is available for public review and how little is kept confidential, we’d understand that. Even so, when Walker ran AGPA he kept a ton of commercial details confidential – e.g., he wouldn’t even tell Alaskans the name of the pipeline companies he was working with! Another example that hasn’t gotten any attention is Walker’s position on AK LNG, which keeps changing. In recent debates he said he isn’t going to slow the project down and he would stay the course. Fine. But he also said he wants the state to be in control and he doesn’t like the confidentiality provisions – so the obvious questions are what is he going to do to get control? And is he going to release information that must be kept confidential under contracts executed by the parties? Will he seek to modify the contracts? Get new legislation? What? How can you say you are going to stay the course under a process that you consider to be fatally flawed?

    Walker’s flip-flops on the budget have been well documented by many at this site, but not in the ADN. Again, why? Walker says the deficits “horrify” him and yet he wants to let local governments off the hook for education spending, he wants more infrastructure, he wants to extend Cook Inlet oil and gas credits to the North Slope, he wants to lower the cost of energy in rural Alaska, he wants 51% control of the AK LNG project, etc., etc.

    Amanda, do you have thoughts as to why we aren’t seeing any real scrutiny of Walker’s campaign from the ADN? Is Rogoff behind Walker and exerting editorial control? Are the reporters just disdainful of Parnell and letting their bias influence the coverage? Or am I just blinded by bias and failing to see where the ADN has done a good job educating the public on Walker’s campaign?

  7. John Q. Public

    Re Citizens Against Walker’s APOC report:

    Interesting that they are spending money to hire companies in Virginia and Florida but not one dime in Alaska.

    Maybe it should be called Citizens of Anywhere but Alaska Against Walker.

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