Loose Lips: Kelly has a Democratic challenger, social media gaffes, Graham leaves Commerce


  • This from a source in the know: “WITHOUT a Dan Sullivan – or a Mead Treadwell or Joe Miller – campaign spending placed on TV and radio alone, in the (Alaska) U,S. Senate race, has now exceeded $20 million from Feb through Nov 4, 2014.”
  • Word is Department of Commerce Assistant Commissioner Robbie Graham has resigned her position with the state and will become the vice president of operations at the Anchorage Daily News. Graham’s partner, Craig Medred, writes for the Alaska Dispatch/ADN, and their talented daughter, Katie Medred, writes for the Anchorage Press.
  • Last week, both Alaska’s Democratic Party and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign made a big deal about a twitter mess-up made by GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan. When he filed for office, whoever does his tweeting said that he filed in Fairbanks, not in Anchorage. They used that as further evidence that he’s not a “real Alaskan,” etc… However, Sullivan’s campaign could have hit back with its own example of a social media gaffe that could point to a bigger issue in the candidate. On Memorial Day, whoever posts on Begich’s Facebook page pretending to be Begich, said about his visit to Unalaska:  “It was a privilege to visit this site during Veterans Day weekend.” It was quickly fixed. Sullivan’s campaign didn’t say a word about it.
  • Happy birthday to John R. Coyne Jr. The best father in the world, a Marine and a Korean War Vet, who knows the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
  • The State of Alaska is seeking to join a lawsuit brought by Pebble against the EPA to prevent the agency from doing what it’s basically already done: “taking land by prematurely limiting development before the state’s permitting processes have a chance to work,” so says the state. Pebble filed the suit earlier this month. Via Attorney General Michael Geraghty: “The EPA’s action undermines Alaska’s ability to utilize its mineral resources to grow the economy and create jobs if, after detailed and lengthy environmental review, permitting is warranted.”
  • Republican Fairbanks state Sen. Pete Kelly has a Democratic challenger. The challenger, Tamara Kruse Roselius, is 52 years old. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that she has a law degree but not a license. Instead, “she’s volunteered her legal expertise through the Disability Law Center to local parents with special needs children. She said she helps parents navigate the school system and ensure that their child’s needs are met.”
  • Monday, June 2, is the last day to file for state and federal office.
  • Upcoming Events:
    1. June 5, 5 – 7:30 p.m.,  Rep. Shelley Hughes’ campaign kick-off at the Palmer Downtown Deli, 550 S. Alaska Street.
    2. June 5, 6 – 8:00 p.m., Sean Parnell fundraiser, 183 View Avenue, Fairbanks.
    3. June 5, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Yes on One’s first “Statewide Day of Action House Party,” at Tim Steele’s House, 2124 Solstice Cir. Anchorage.
    4. June 7 and 8, 11:00 a.m., Eklutna Potlatch and Pow-Wow. In conjunction and celebration of the National Congress of American Indians mid-year conference, June 8 – 11 in Anchorage.

8 thoughts on “Loose Lips: Kelly has a Democratic challenger, social media gaffes, Graham leaves Commerce

  1. Anonymous

    Congratulations to Robbie Graham on her new position at the Anchorage Daily News. While Ms. Graham is bright and articulate, I don’t think anyone would give her high markings for her business acumen or experience. Obviously, her new position would be an important one for a newspaper concerned about making money. They aren’t. The Alaska Dispatch was losing money hands over fist. I suspect that the Anchorage Daily News will be in the same boat. You see, it just doesn’t matter. This isn’t about losing or making money. It’s about controlling the news media in the 49th state. But for what goal? The money behind it is anything but clean. Did you know that Alice Rogoff, the new publisher and owner of the 49th state’s largest paper, is married to David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group and on the day of the World Trade Center attack on 9/11 was hosting a reception for Bin Laden’s brother in Washington, DC? Yep, that’s the money that now owns Alaska’s largest community newspaper. Keep your eye on the money. Look at the dummies in management at the paper. Rogoff isn’t a dummie. So what’s really going on?

  2. Alaska Cod Piece

    Well said, –train. DNR Dan (OH>DC>AK) goes back and forth between Anchorage/MatSu/Fairbanks to campaign, using the same tired clichés, bash the feds, bash Obama, blah blah blah, without offering any new ideas. What are this Cheechako’s views on alternative energy? Health care for remote regions? Women’s issues? Education? Preventing suicides? Halibut and king salmon bycatch? Ocean acidification and climate changes? Attracting more people into state agencies as workers retire in droves?

    Unlike ALL other Senate candidates (and governor candidates) DNR Dan has yet to travel to a coastal community or other remote regions to speak with people in the fishing industry or First Alaskans (probably because he can’t pronounce the names of most Alaska villages, let alone where they are located). So much for representing All Alaskans.

    He doesn’t have the courage to look Alaskans in the eye and talk with them honestly about Pebble Mine, Coastal Zone Management, or HB77 which would change the way our lands/waters are managed and REMOVE the public from the process to “streamline” permitting for large development projects. To name a few.

    This is the man who, along with OilShill Parnell, changed the mission statements for the Dept. of Natural Resources to remove the words “conserve” and “future generations” — without legislative approval, by the way, which is against AK statutes. DNR Dan/Parnell sided with Pebble in a lawsuit to try and stop Lake & Peninsula voters from going to the polls to protect salmon.

    A George Bush war monger, a Palin appointee, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and bankrolled by his mega-wealthy family bucks and Koch-minded neo-cons, who claimed a non-resident fishing license just five years ago.

    “These six things doth the LORD hate: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19

  3. lolz train

    A more civil campaign? Against a candidate who hides behind AFP and pretends the Koch’s dont support him? And Coyne bobbleheads this factoid?

    A more civil campaign against a candidate who hides from a critical fisheries debate? Who hides from the CPG debate? Who hides behind rhetoric and prepared speeches and would be absolutely eviscerated if he was ever actually on the hotseat?

    A more civil campaign against a candidate ready and willing to give up his role as DNR Commissioner, but not give up his role as a Marine- so he can conveniently dodge critical debates to conduct urban combat training that will be of absolutely no use when he is elected?

  4. Lynn Willis

    I appreciate your observation that your father understands the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial day recognizes those who have died during war or conflict with enemies of the United States. I don’t believe recognition and remembrance should be limited to only military members who have died. For example, those who perished on Flight 91 on September 11th fighting the terrorists were not military personnel yet they died in defense of this nation and should be honored..
    Veterans Day recognizes all citizens, including both living and deceased, who have served in the military.

  5. Ty M.

    Amanda, your loose lips column always makes for a fun read. Your mention of the Begich – Sullivan campaign’s twitter wars make for an opportunity to wish that the Begich campaign focus on the issues and stops the negativity and sticks to a discussion of the issues. Your mention of their tweets show how low the Begich campaign has sunk. I hope they felt the slap you gave them and they consider going back to a more civil and better campaign.

  6. Smitty from the Hill

    Senator Pete Kelly may have a Democratic oponent; however, I think it would be pushing it to suggest that he has a significant challenger. Pete is hard workin, honest and a good family man. I appreciate all he has done for our city. Keep u the good work Pete!

  7. Jon

    Outside money is dumping millions into the Alaska media market to attempt to influence the federal senate race. All the media outlets throughout the state will benefit from the largess. Unfortunately, the increased revenues to date does not aear to benefit the public with improved reporting. I have been very disgusted with the news coverahe from KTUU and KTVA. Neither station can keep the two Dan’s. Apart. Likewise, the print news coverage leaves a lot to be desired. Very disapppinted to see the Alaska Dispatch take over the Anchorage Daily News for two reasons: 1) the elimination and concentration of news sources isn’t good for the community, and 2) while many of the Dispatch reporting staff reresents comppetent and quality reporters, there has always been a weak editorial presence. I’m$ sure that the newspaper can use Ms. Graham’s experience she’s developed at Commerce and translate that to the business side of the paer. Best wishes to Ms. Graham who is known for her dynamic involvement in the community. It’s nice that this site pointed out Mr. Meded a as he is truly the best reporter at the Alaska Dispatch. Hope all the media outlets make money and invests some of it back to improve reporting to the community

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