Loose lips: The Mia Costello will squeeze the sneer right out of you edition


  • Energy Council is this week. Every year a hand full of legislators travels to D.C. to learn more about the oil and gas industry. While there, legislators also visit members of Congress to educate and lobby for Alaska issues. Among those wandering the Capitol halls this year — talking about lands locked up in the National Petroleum Reserve, opening ANWR, and offshore revenue sharing — are Reps. Mia Costello, Benny Nageak, Eric Feige, Dan Saddler and Pete Higgins. Senators include Bert Stedman and Johnny Ellis.
  • Full disclosure: I had planned to have a little fun with Energy Council and write about how if it met in Aleknagik, say, it wouldn’t be nearly as popular. But then I talked to Mia Costello, and if there’s one person in the world that can squeeze the sneer and snark right out of me, it’s she. Lesson? Don’t call Mia Costello when you’re writing a column that’s supposed to cater to the worst of of our impulses.
  • Sandy Parnell’s uncle passed away in Nebraska. Gov. Parnell and the First Lady are out of state attending the funeral.
  • What else can’t I have fun with? Alma Upickson, the North Slope Borough’s most recent government affairs director, was terminated this week. Rumor has it that she got sideways with the borough’s Chief Administrative Officer Jake Adams. Upickson is just the latest of many who have gotten fired from the North Slope Borough, which is said to be a mess that’s really messing with people’s lives. There’s nothing fun about that.
  • And again something serious: Ten Alaskans who donate thru Pick. Click. Give will be chosen to win a cash prize equal to the 2014 PFD thanks to a donation by ExxonMobil. There’s still time to give.
  • Here’s one: Rumor has it that Rep. Bob Lynn, who’s 81 years old, told folks that he would retire upon passage of HB 1, which limits the time a non-citizen with a temporary visa can have a driver’s license before having to get it renewed. On the face of it, it sounds pretty innocuous, but I’m nervous. There’s something that gets conservatives too excited about the words “driver’s license” and “immigrants” in the same sentence. In any case, it was so important to Lynn that he’s been hanging around to see it pass. We’ll see if he is serious about retirement. Hopefully, whatever he does, he’ll continue writing his Facebook posts, which are fascinating. I’m being serious here.
  • APOC requested a $75,000 increment and actually got a $100,000 decrement reducing the commission’s budget to $175,000 less than they were hoping.
  • Speaking of APOC: the organization’s staff said that even though Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott lives in Juneau and his campaign headquarters is in Juneau, he can’t solicit or receive money from Juneau residents during the session. To put it another way, for at least three months, Juneau residents are denied their constitutional right to express free speech by giving to a candidate of their choice. It gets worse: Incumbent legislators aren’t allowed to raise money at all during session. Paging the ACLU?
  • Another subcommittee said no to a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. for about $670,000 $620,000 for employee performance bonuses and incentives. There might have been a mix up in the request, however. Or maybe the AGDC guys read the Wall Street Journal and are familiar with executive bonus compensation? Okay. That’s a little snarky.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com  


7 thoughts on “Loose lips: The Mia Costello will squeeze the sneer right out of you edition

  1. Lynn Willis

    Ever see any Energy Council trip reports from any of them? Not one thing has come to Alaska directly as a result of this Energy Council “spring break” for legislators. The only thing keeping attendance numbers down this year is election year embarrassment. After all these trips costing all these dollars what is the benefit? All we hear at constituent meetings is that the collective ‘we’ can’t afford a pot to pee in; however, they seem to have plenty of cash for themselves.

  2. Samuel Abney

    I will say, however, APOC needs serious reforms. It’s run like the Spanish inquisition — guilty until proven innocent. At one time, and it still may be this way, the accused isn’t even allowed to rebut accusations made against them.

  3. Samuel Abney

    Nope. Sorry. I’m right. The logic behind the rules about Juneau are very similar to the logic behind denying D.C. Congressional representation. Check your legislative history or maybe just a 5th grade social studies text book on why the founding father’s established the federal district the way they did.

    Your scorn is unprofessional, your criticism is baseless and your motivation smacks heavily of hackism. Perhaps if you weren’t so militantly in lock step spewing indignation, you wouldn’t embarrass yourself quite so much.

  4. Tim W.

    Mr. Abney’s comments about capitol cities is plain wrong. I am not aware of any other place in America where the residents of a capitol city’s free speech principles are denied as they are in Juneau. For someone who claims to be a liberal and then says that your constitutional rights may vary depending on where you live is very misinformed or not liberal. The APOC constraints are neither “traditional” as Mr. Abney claims or constitutional. The APOC decision he mentions as evidence or reasoning to justify DC congressional representation and voting rights is a quantum leap of illogical proportion. Assuming that Mr. Abney is a Democrat based on his statement that he is a liberal and supports Byron Mallott, I would suggest that he is even out of step with the leadership of his own political party. It’s always interesting to read and listen to what people think about their government and public officials. It makes it easier to sometimes understand the divergent schools of thought and the lack thereof that goes into the development of some governmental decisions.

  5. Samuel Abney

    I tend to be fairly liberal and am supporting Byron Mallot or anyone who has the best chance of beating the Governor. However, Juneau is a capitol city. Those living in the area are aware of the traditional constraints imposed on citizens of a capitol city. I feel those constraints are necessary, appropriate and well-thought-out. Such constraints used to be conventional wisdom.

    If their speech is being denied, no one’s pointing a gun at their head forcing them to stay there. There are tradeoffs (sometimes political) every where you live.

    I support the APOC’s decision for the same reasons that I oppose DC getting voting representation in Congress.

  6. Turnagain area resident

    I’ve known Mia Costello since high school. She is a good person and is a great public servant. This year will be the first opportunity that I have had to vote for her. She’s getting my vote for sure.

  7. berta

    Energy Council is a boondogle that is the equivalent of a college spring break. The only difference is that the trip is paid for by your state government. On a related topic in this column, why do we funf apoc at all? The agency has developed such a bad name in recent years that you wonder why its kept around. Some would say that the agency is more corrupt than the politicians.

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