Loose Lips: We’re off to the races edition


  • Rep. Sam Kito III, the newest member of the Legislature who was appointed to serve the remainder of Beth Kerttula’s term, got something special for his birthday: adjournment sine die.
  • Republicans will be gathering this upcoming weekend in Juneau for their state convention. The meetings will be held at Centennial Hall, and unlike the convention of 2012, the Ron Paul/Joe Miller factions aren’t expected to make a scene. This is because it’s expensive to get to Juneau. This, by the way, isn’t a coincidence. I’ve been told that one of the main reasons that it was held in Juneau was to keep them away.
  • Miller is expected to show, however. He, along with fellow GOP candidates Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan, will participate in a candidate forum. But I’ve heard that   the choice of moderator, Ben Brown, isn’t making Miller very happy. Not sure what the problem is. From what I’ve heard he’s polite and well spoken. In fact, maybe that’s the problem.
  • There’s a kind of sort of new political consultant in town. Former legislator Tom Anderson has hung out a shingle offering political consulting services. You can expect that he’ll likely be involved in at least one statewide campaign and several legislative races in Alaska this cycle.
  • Rep. Peggy Wilson announced her retirement as the legislative session shut down. She has served in the Legislature since January 2001. Already Republican Patti Mackey has announced her candidacy. Mackey is the president and CEO of the Ketchikan Visitors Board. She also serves as a board member on the Alaska Travel Industry Council. She ran in the primary against Wilson two years ago.
  • With the legislative session behind us, politicians are wasting no time swinging into full-throttle fundraising mode. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott hosted an event on Saturday at his Juneau campaign headquarters from 3 to 5 p.m. And Gov. Sean Parnell, who is leading in the grab for campaign cash among the three gubernatorial candidates, will be having a fundraiser this Tuesday evening at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Anchorage.
  • The Anchorage Chamber will be hosting a gubernatorial forum on Monday. All three candidates—Gov. Sean Parnell, independent Bill Walker, and Democrat Byron Mallott—will be there. (Bonus drinking game: take a slug of water each time Parnell says “fiscal discipline,” Mallott says “communication” and Walker says “gasline.”)
  • The buzz from local broadcasting outlets is that California-based Target Enterprises is making inquiries and starting to place media for Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign. The likely connection between this firm and Parnell is Nick Ayers, who is a partner at Target Enterprises and served as campaign manager for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 2012 presidential campaign, as well as executive director of the Republican Governors Association.
  • Speaking of fiscal discipline, Parnell’s campaign has so far been pretty good at it, employing only a campaign manager full time. Now he’ll be gearing up. Luke Miller, a member of the governor’s press office, is expected to resign his position and become the chief spokesman for the Parnell campaign. Prior to becoming a state worker and part of the governor office’s press operation over a year ago, Miller worked for Rep. Don Young in D. C., where he actively reached out to reporters and tried his best to avoid the bunker mentality that seems to beset political spokespeople. It’s a mentality that, if put into dialogue, would go something like this:

Spokesperson “Most of the press don’t like us, so we’ll try to only talk to those who do.”

Media: “They won’t talk to the press so they must be doing something wrong.”

Spokesperson: “We can’t get a break because they constantly are suspicious of us.”

Media: “They’re hiding something and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”

  • This, in dialogue, is the mentality of a good spokesperson:

Spokesperson: “Most of the press don’t like us, but we’ll continue to try to work on them, mostly through their egos because, aside from legislators and lobbyists, they’re the most egotistical bunch of people alive.”

Media: “They must be doing something wrong, but at least they’re trying!”

Spokesperson: “These poor, penniless people are such tools.”

Media: “I’m such a good reporter that the spokesperson talks to me!”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


12 thoughts on “Loose Lips: We’re off to the races edition

  1. Sandy D

    the whole thing is undignified. politics, a life in politics, is a sad effort to attain relevance. hollywood for ugly people. a life of misinformation and machiavellian behavior. the minority and their “leaders” accept their irrelevance for the sake of a seat at the table. a sound bite, 14 seconds on the local news. it’s no way for adults to behave. build a business, employ people, do something that actually risks your OWN money to advance society and improve the economy, then you’ve made a difference….otherwise you’re just diddling yourself in public

  2. JuneauLeak

    Just reporting the facts according to Wikipedia.

    On December 6, 2006, Anderson was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven felony counts of extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering involving allegations that he took bribes of nearly $13,000 in return for using his official position as a legislator to advocate for the certificate of need (CON) issuance for a residential psychiatric treatment center (RPTC) associated with the Gov. Frank Murkowski “Bring the Kids Home” initiative, and for contract changes relating to a community confinement center (halfway house) in Anchorage . In July 2007 he was found guilty on all seven felony counts[4] and was sentenced in October 2007 to 60 months imprisonment to commence at the Federal Prison Camp in Sheridan, Oregon, on December 3, 2007.

    Read more on wikipedia.

  3. Frank S.

    Throwing a PR bone to Tom? You have smart readers.
    Tom Anderson supports Lesil McGuire who supports Ashley Reid’s clients. Ashley Reid supports Amanda Coyne, quite generously, I hear from the tables of the Rustic Goat. Bad people.

  4. Leslie

    As always, love your loose lips column. It’s fun, smartly written providing considerable insight and perspective. And did I mention good, and sometimes juicy, gossip. I enjoy your columns in the Anchorage Daily News and most all your articles that appear in your blog. In my estimation, you’re the best political reporter in the state and an absolutely great writer. Keep writing. I’m a big fan (guess that’s pretty obvious). Hope next week to read about the antics of the Republican state convention. With clowns like Treadwell, Miller, Parnell and the beloved Congressman for all Alaska it should be a hoot.

  5. Milton Friedman

    The Tom Anderson news isn’t news. He has been running interference and threatening those who have been critical of Lesil for months now. Their relationship is a perfect example of what is wrong in our state. Politically corrupt felon partnered with an alcoholic party girl Senator.

  6. Lynn Willis

    Governor Sean Parnell certainly needs to have a positive image created for him by his new California image makers. Where better to have an illusion created? He desperately needs to create the image of somebody who wasn’t him over the last five years.
    Are we better off than we were five years ago? After five years of this guy what do have to show besides an overdrawn state checking account, a crisis in affordable energy for our citizens, promises of more oil production, promises of yet another gas line, promises of mega projects that still exist only on paper, a decades old ground water contamination problem originating from the soon-to-close refinery in North Pole which only got worse during his term, antagonistic relations with the feds that didn’t seem to hurt them at all, and the slogan “choose respect” (which specifically the Governor might have chosen to demand within his own state National Guard).
    Parnell has a history of avoiding debate and open discussion of issues, so as to his new spokesperson, I doubt if any person could mitigate the bunker mentality of a Governor who prefers his bunker in Juneau.
    We can do better……

  7. Sheila

    Loved the “faux” dialogue between poltical spokespeople and the media. Made for a good hearty laugh. I suspect there is more truth than jest in this writing

  8. Doug

    Interested in your mention of Tom Anderson as a political consultant. I recognize that Mr. Anderson payed the price for his crime. In fact, compared to some of the other scoundrels of the time, his punishment appeared to be more harsh than others even. Still, I can’t help but to question why a candidate would open themselves to ridicule by hiring a political felon to help guide their campaign. From my perspective, they are giving their opponents an unnecessary issue potentially. If he gets a lot of business, I think the politiciand in our state were dumber than I thought.

  9. Mendenhall Mike

    Representative Kito did a great job of taking over Beth’s seat. He represented Juneau with courage and conviction. I loolk forward to supporting his campaign. He surpriised me with hiis confidence and determination to do a good job.

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