The deal wasn’t yet cut between Bill Walker and Byron Mallott to join forces and tickets when Walker showed up at the Democrats’ Bartlett Dinner on Friday, with Malcom and Cindy Roberts in tow. Word is that Walker was beaming, which got the Dems beaming, which got people buzzing, and probably buzzed. Let’s hope anyway.
Alaska’s most eligible bachelor might be off the market again. Democratic House Minority Leader Chris Tuck was seen holding hands while strolling the Alaska Fair grounds with the talkative Republican talk-radio hostess, and on-and-off-again girlfriend Bernadette Wilson.
One person used the words “dignified and inspiring” to describe West-side Senate candidate Clare Ross’ fundraiser on Thursday night, which attracted about 50 people. Word is that she quietly worked the room and made every person feel important. Her speech focused on education and improving the budget process. Someone described Ross as having “it” which is about the best way to describe political magnetism.
On the other side of town on the same night, Democratic Senate candidate Harry Crawford teamed with House candidates Sam Combs and Matt Moore for a fundraiser. When he wants to, Crawford can put on some slow, easy charm, and word is that more people went back to the donation table after chatting with him than the cajun food for seconds. According to one observer, Matt Moore channeled his inner Kennedy by thoughtfully listened with one finger under his bottom lip and nodding ever so slightly to what was being said. Sam Combs, new to the political scene, seemed overly reserved if not timid. Then there were the speeches, lots of speeches. So many that you had to blink often to remind yourself that you were at a political fundraiser and not at a toast master’s club gathering. Tom Begich, Rep. Chris Tuck and Eric Croft all gave introductory speeches and then the candidates talked….
Put Alaska First, the super PAC supporting Sen. Mark Begich, has produced another gorgeous ad, this one only playing on YouTube for now. It features Anchorage–born actress Irene Bedard, best known as the voice for Disney’s Pocahontas. It’s a get-out-the-vote ad, focusing on the Native community. I’d bet that Put Alaska First has made the most creative and beautifully produced ads of any super-PAC in the country. My money says this one will spring off of YouTube and will be played somewhere around the AFN convention in October. Watch the ad here.
Marc Hellenthal’s hip? Really? Then, I realized they were talking about his hip replacement surgery. Anyway, the local hipster pollster got a new hip this week and was up and walking and making political predictions the next day.
Congratulations on the marriage of Debbie Reinwand and Paul McGuire. Debbie is one of the owners of Bradley-Reid advertising and the daughter of Juneau-based lobbyist Jerry Reinwand. Paul is Sen. Lesil McGuire’s uncle. More proof of what a small state we live in.
Speaking of love and marriage, Rep. Bob and Marlene Lynn celebrated their 61st anniversary on Saturday. Meanwhile, Preston and Lily Stevens-Becker, daughter of Sen. Ted and Catherine Stevens, celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary.
If I had a fiscal boondoggle of the week award, it would go to Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart, who spent $7,000 of taxpayer dollars to challenge a $37 fine APOC levied against him.
As is tradition, the annual Mielke Family Moose BBQ, was on the last Sunday of the State Fair, in Chugiak, somewhere after you cross Stoltze Bridge and then somewhere off Stoltze Drive. It’s a Mielke-Stoltze family reunion with a bunch of neighbors and friends thrown in. If you ever get an invite and don’t go, consider yourself worse for it. They wrap hunks of moose and turkeys in foil, and then bury the meat in the ground with hot coals overnight. Everyone gathers to watch them dig up the meat. Pasta salads and dip, cakes and Stoltze’s famous chocolate chip cookies. It’s like the best church potluck with game and without the church. The crowd, at least politically, was all over the map. Liberals and conservatives, and lots of old time Alaskans, were reminiscing and laughing and sometimes arguing. Some of the political faces spotted: Vic Fischer and his wife Jane Angvik; former Democratic Speaker of the House Sam Cotten; former legislator Mike Szymanski; former Republican Speaker of the House John Harris; state Senate candidate Rep. Bill Stoltze and his sister-in-law, Gretchen Wehmhoff, who is the Democratic nominee for the House district seat currently held by her Republican brother-in-law.
Rep. Don Young was in Fairbanks participating in their Labor Day parade and posted pictures on his FB page all smiles shaking hands with the new Alaska AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer, Jim Duncan, who at one time was the Democratic nominee against Young in a bitterly fought election contest. Makes you wonder how sincere the smiles really were.
Forrest Dunbar, the cheeky, well-resumed Rep. Don Young challenger, got some attention from the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The publication seemed particularly taken with Dunbar’s YouTube video challenge to Young, first to debate and then to take the ALS ice-bucket dump:http://youtu.be/jyzNMpIQ-ZI.
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