My Last Loose Lips: Oh, Christmas Tree. Grabbing a Cupcake in D.C. Au Revoir.

Loose LipsNext holiday season, the U.S. Capitol will have a tree from Alaska for the first time. In 2015, the tree will be chopped down from the Chugach National Forest, unless the environmentalists get involved, of course.

Andrew Halcro has thrown his hat into what is turning into an exciting Anchorage mayoral race. He’s a big personality, as is the frontrunner Dan Coffey. And it’s made all the more interesting that Halcro’s father, Republican booster Bob Halcro, donated $500–the max– to Dan Coffey’s campaign shortly before the first of the year.

The Legislature has a new public website! Click here for information about past and current legislators, bills, floor schedules, and links to live streaming of hearings. This is the first redesign of its webpage since 2007.

Monique Martin from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has joined the DHSS commissioner’s office as the Deputy Director of Health Care Policy. This job was previously held by Josh Applebee.

Why is Matt Mackowiak still listed as a state employee? Mackowiak, the relentlessly self-promoting Republican communications consultant from Texas was hired by former Gov. Sean Parnell to provide “communications” advice, coincidentally during the campaign. We all know that it’s against ethics laws for a state employee to work on a campaign on state time. I’m sure that Mackowiak and Parnell and Parnell’s adviser Cindy Sims were all very careful to keep the two separate.

Speaking of Parnell: One of the big political mistakes of the his administration was its lack of inclusion of a member from organized labor on the Alaska Gas Development Corporation’s (AGDC) board of directors. With the Walker administration’s termination of three of AGDC’s board members, there’ll be some open slots and it’s probably a safe bet that the new governor won’t be dumb enough to make the same mistake as Parnell. Any bets on who it might be? Rick Boyles of the Teamsters? Laborers’ Joey Merrick? Or the AFL-CIO’s Vince Beltrami?

Political fortunes can turn in an hour, sometimes even less. Last year, Speaker of the House John Boehner was in Alaska and a fundraiser was hosted in his honor. (I can personally attest to the fact that Boehner cried in front of his Alaska audience.) Back then, the former president of the Anchorage Women’s Club, Judy Eledge, was all aflutter, eagerly trying to pose to get her picture taken with the speaker. This past week, she’s been on a tirade on Facebook against Boehner, applauding and hero-worshipping those Republicans who voted against his bid for speaker.

The institution commonly known as the Bob and Mark show is now missing a Mark. Apparently, there were irrevocable differences:


Also, rumor has it that Joe Miller will be hosting his own talk show on KOAN, the home of Dan Fagan, Glen Biegel, Tom Anderson, and Eddie Burke.

Lacey Wilcox, who was on the third floor during the Murkowski administration, and then went to the Department of Revenue, will be moving back to the third floor of the capitol where she’ll serve as the governor’s deputy legislative director. Cue the Hotel California.

Bob Penney and DC lobbyist Jack Ferguson hosted a dinner on Tuesday evening, after all the congressional swearing-in brouhaha. Rumor has it that each of the guests, about 25 – 30, raised their wine glasses and each made a toast to someone that inspired their life. Ted Stevens was off limits because of his iconic status. Hugh Ashlock toasted Anchorage furrier Perry Green and Jack Ferguson toasted attorney and former state Senator Cliff Groh. With the exception of Lisa Murkowski, no one remembered Groh, which is a reminder to all of us about how soon we all forget and are forgotten.

Rep. Don Young’s new executive assistant and scheduler, Paula Conru, is accomplished in her own right, but she’s also Kip Knudson’s wife. Knudson is director of the Alaska state office in D.C. He was hired by former Gov. Sean Parnell and many have been wondering if Gov. Bill Walker will keep him employed.

Also on Tuesday night in DC, Saltchuk’s Harry McDonald, Alaska lobbyist Kris Knauss and Sen. Charlie Huggins were spotted at the BLT Steak House on I Street sitting next to a table where former governor and White House COS John Sununu was holding court. The ever amiable Knauss is said to have engaged the former governor in conversation.

A tip from me: If you’re in D.C. make sure you grab a cupcake from Baked and Wired in Georgetown, if nothing else so you can say that you grabbed a cupcake in D.C.

And I’m disappointed that no one spotted me having breakfast Thursday morning at the Old Ebbitt’s Grill with Obama’s former COS Pete Rouse, who has ties to Alaska and worked for Lt. Gov. Terry Miller in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Speaking of me: I have some news. This will be my last post. will become inactive. I’ll be joining Sen. Dan Sullivan’s D.C. office as a senior adviser and speechwriter.

I’ve been hammering away at this blog for two years now. It’s been exhilarating, humbling, and exhausting. But what made it all worth it was the readers. The blog was premised on the theory that I could attract quality readers if I did my level best to report and to think and to write to the best of my ability. Sometimes, depending on my energy level, I was better at it than others. But if the blog is to be judged by the fruits of my labor—the number and quality of readers–then I guess I’d have to say it was an overall success.

I had to think long and hard about where my talents would be best served. I chose to work for the senator because of his intelligence, integrity and honesty. He has the potential and desire to be great for Alaska, and I think I can do at least a little to help him.

I will miss this blog keenly, though, and all of those who urged me along. Lynn Willis, who many know through this blog, has been an amazing support to me. I’ll miss his insights and his and Jon K’s epic battles. I’ll miss AH HA’s common sense and Garand Fellow’s plain-spokenness and Andy’s probing questions. I’ll miss Forecaster’s Walker-boosterism, and Straightlaced Radical setting us all straight. I’ll miss Tom Bodett turning the light on for us, and Crude is Rude’s strange rants. I’ll miss Mayor Dan Sullivan’s brave defense of his role in helping to build a dynamic city, which we all love. Thanks to all the readers, including the advertisers, particularly to the two longest ones: Geneva Woods and GCI, two great companies who took a risk in me. Thanks to Dan Fagan, Rick Rydell and Dave Stieren for all the shout-outs. Thanks to the always aggravating Ashely Reed, who was also always unfailingly encouraging. My father, the brilliant writer. who himself was a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Vice President Agnew, and the block off of which I’m a chip, has been the best editor and father than any girl can ask for.

I’ll miss Alaska state politics so much. I’ll miss all the very smart state workers who I talk to regularly, and those who I have never talked to but hear a lot about. I’ll miss the very many smart lawmakers and legislative staffers, many of whom are working so very hard to do what’s best for the state. I’ll even miss Rep. Lora Reinbold’s war again Common Core, Rep. Les Gara’s loquacity, and I’ll miss Sen. Cathy Giessel, egg timer and all.

I’ll still be in and out of the state, and anything can happen. So it’s not goodbye — something more like au revoir, as Hollis French might say.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


109 thoughts on “My Last Loose Lips: Oh, Christmas Tree. Grabbing a Cupcake in D.C. Au Revoir.

  1. Truth Teller

    The commenter who has chosen the name Vicious Truth appears to be the one masquerading as a pathetic shill for the Democratic voice – – whatever that is. His rant makes little sense and is indefensible against reality. I suspect its one of Begich’s nasty little negative nuts. I saw where Max Crow posted some despicable comments on FB as well. Maybe it was because of low lifes like these that helped Alaskans choose a new direction. Amanda, you did a great job. Sometimes I agreed and other times I didn’t. These folks are pathetic, really pathetic, individuals and losers. What makes me laugh most is why do these imbeciles continue to read you if they dislike so much of what you write. You are Alaska’s #1 political reporter, blogger, opinion writer and political analyst. Go girl !

  2. vicious truth

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Pathetic shill you are, having masqueraded this past cycle as a moderate voice.

    At least your true colors are flying now. I’m appalled at what you did to decency, to democracy, to the spirit of Alaska and her people.

    I wish you the absolute worst in your new endeavor.

  3. Miz

    How many of us opened this morning out of habit? Who came here hoping there would be a new post?

  4. Andy

    I can’t quit you darlin. Oh well, on to bigger and better things and a steady paycheck,
    carpe diem.

    Always remember” the truth shall set you free”. Your blog site informed us masses
    via insight, factoids, and generally high quality journalism. It was fun poking at all the folks out there, regardless of political persuasion.

    Stay truthful Amanda, and we will always have a warm spot in our digital hearts for you… I . for one, will miss you greatly!

  5. AH HA

    Wow, here is one to ponder;

    Halcro anounces his candidacy for Anchorage mayor and gets eight comments. (Most negative)

    Amanda Coyne Anounces a move to Senator Sullivan’s staff and generates one hundred comments in a twenty four hour period (nearly all positive)

    Is there any chance we can interest you in a mayoral race?

  6. akmom

    Well, crap. Now where will I get my ak politics fix. I don’t post much but check often. To be honest, I have been as engaged by the posters as the blog. A rare thing happened here. I felt like we had honest dialogs about the issues facing this great state. I will miss that. I feel that I came away better informed.

    I am not a huge fan of Senator Sullivan but will remain optimistic. But please accept my best wishes for your new adventure! Lana Jones-Edwards

  7. David Boyle

    Amanda, thank you for your insightful writing and shining the impartial light on Alaska politics. We could use much more of it. It seems as if your education at the University of Iowa has paid off very well. All I ask is that you provide objective, impartial advice to Senator Sullivan. Please don’t become a part of the “palace guard”. Thanks for your service to Alaska. From a fellow Iowa Alumnus.

  8. Maryanne

    Congrats. Thanks for making my mornings informative and special. I’ll miss you bunches. Best of luck.

  9. Alex

    Who is thois small-minded know nothing Meg? Her comments are the literary equivalent of a 3 year old. Lots of blather that doesn’t even rhyme let alone make sense. From my perspective, you covered the race accurately and fairly. Meg’s statements are ridiculous. Is she suggesting that Grace Chang got her job with the Walker administration because of her coverage of his campaign? The list goes on and on. Meg is sim$ply someone intent on showing us that she’s not very bright but does have opinions. I hope she keeps blathering away as I ffind her comments comical. Unfortunately for her, I think most of your other readers do to. Meg, you made your point. Now go away and keep your personal problems to yourself or better yet, start your own blog. You could title it Megk4 Moron World Daily.

  10. SouthPaw

    Meg –

    Stop trying to defend your ridiculous comments. Let those of us, who appreciate Amanda and her dedication to this blog and all her readers, wish her well and give her praise as she sets off on a new path. Stop dragging your negative BS into this. Please stop posting.

    Again…. Thank you, Ms. Coyne. You have worked hard to provide unbiased coverage of Alaska politics. Broke stories, kept us all informed and gave us some good laughs. Thank you!

  11. Mark Springer

    Your blog has been a uniquely Alaskan institution, naming names most of us know (there were a few I didn’t recognize, but whatever) and speaking truth to power through informing your readers of who’s doing what, and where.
    The somewhat flaccid criticism you have received since announcing your career move does nothing more than cast aspersion on the commenter.
    Anyone under the age of 70 should know the distinction between a blogger and a journalist.
    Amanda, I put you up there with Tom Snapp for bringing us the news.
    Senator Sullivan (that has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it) is clearly a talent spotter and good for us he is.
    Do us all a favor, and keep a diary.
    One question- did your dad coin (no pun intended) the phrase “Nattering nabobs of negativity” or did Agnew come up with that himself?
    And I’d make some bank on your US prexy prediction.
    I hope you can get Senator 100 and “the 101’st Senator” together, if they haven’t already met.
    Best wishes from Western Alaska and Quyana for all you have done so far. Go kick some more ass in DC!
    Mark Springer

  12. Meg

    No. I have said she was not a journalist, nor was her election coverage objective. She would not have so quickly received a coveted political job if it was. I do find it very questionable that she would continue to pretend to cover Sullivan’s transition, staff picks with accolades (balash) and other happenings without revealing that she seeking a job with him. And I questioned her claims to support affordable health care and women’s issues, which she used to buttress her tough stances on Begich. I don’t know how someone who cares about those issues could go to work writing speeches for someone who has promised to work to undermine them. Despite all of the name calling, no one has refuted that if Begich had won Nat Herz went to work for him in d.c. this blog would have exploded. And rightfully so. You should not pretend to be a journalist when you are actually a political operative.

  13. Orwell was an optimist

    Best of luck to you. I’m not impressed with the senator and hope his tenure is only one term but you will have no problem with many options. in the market of writers there is a shortage of people of your caliber. From what I know of DC the staffs run the show anyway. Best to you in all future endeavors.

  14. Orwell was an optimist

    “Alice Rogoff’s pet frog, Dermot Cole,” That is some funny stuff there. Dermot should know better. The turn that ADN has taken and now a neutral voice being lost are significant. Alaska needs a voice that will dig anywhere. I would nominate Craig Medred. Everyone is convinced Craig is out to get them. A good start for a journalist.

  15. Gregg Browngoetz

    I am saddened to see the end of this blog. You have a gift for writing and politics. I suppose those gifts can be of use as a Senatorial staffer, but I still hate to see it end. This blog has given me faith that the 4th estate might live on in the new media age. I suppose that was a little much to put on the shoulders of one writer/muckraker. Good luck in your new career. Perhaps, we will see you again in the service of journalism and political investigation.

  16. Thomas Devon

    Meg you are engaged in name calling: you have accused Amanda of being unethical, dishonest, and a shill.

  17. Meg

    There is no rancor, name calling or anything else in my point. It’s just the objective fact that she is taking a job with a person she claims to have objectively covered, immediately after that claimed objective coverage. She did not objectively cover that election. Had she, she would not be getting a coveted job in the senate that goes to political supporters. Why is pointing that out so horrible, abominable or anything else but the truth? I also agree that Moore is not objective or Fagan or Rachel Maddow. The difference is, none of them insist otherwise. She and most of these comments do.

  18. Care Clift

    Oh, no… don’t listen to the criticism, I wish you the best. You were one of the only reporters (maybe the only Anchorage reporter) that actually wanted to interview Libertarian candidates. You gave me a fair interview. And despite the fact that I disagree with his politics, Dan Sullivan was very polite when I met him! Have a great experience in Washington. We will miss your blog, here.

  19. Registered Juneau Democrat

    I have always enjoyed your blog and felt that you were fair in your bashes and your accolades. Unlike a lot of politiical reporters and analysts, you didn’t let much BS pass by. You called it straight up. At times you were hard on Begich and other times hard on Sullivan. At times you were hard on Parnell to the point of being relentless. Other times you were criyical of Walker. What I know is that Alaska benefited from your writing.
    The rest of this post is an open letter to two of your commenters, Meg and Cammeron – Like me, you’re probably not thrilled that Sen. Begich lost the election. Still, that’s no reason for the rancor towards Amanda. Your words just don’t ring true; nonetheless, you both are entitled to your opinions, eroneous or not. But here is my confusion: if you find Amanda’s blog problematic or biased, why are you reading it ? I don’t read Shannon Moore’s column because I don’t like her perspectives or rants. Nor do I read her conservative counterpart for the same reason. Therefore, I don’t have to make a ludicrous spectacle of myself or be venomous. Your comments and behavior are abominable, awful and detestable. Again, your opinions are important. Sharing them in the right forums could be improved upon. Sharing them here, especially since you aren’t required to read this blog site, is not the right forum. I hope to work with both of you, Meg and Cammeron, in electing Dems. Acting out here doesn’t help our cause. And yes, it is my Dem opinion that Amanda Coyne’s site has been fair.

  20. Derp

    Good luck Amanda, have enjoyed reading the blog. But please tell me you didn’t endorse the Michelle Scannel imitation?

  21. Scott Ogan

    Best of Luck. I am sure those that need their daily political gossip fix will be in withdrawal. Your blog was a major step up from the liberal “Ear.” You obviously has inside sources that kept folks well informed. I would bet you are getting offers to assume your blog, but they will obviously have to be well connected to fill your shoes. Any enterprising takers out there?

    I worked with Dan on the 14th floor, and he is a great advocate for Alaska and I am looking forward to how he will help shape the US Senate with some new blood. The best part of having an experienced Marine in leadership, is they do not flinch when there are incomings.

  22. Scott Ogan

    Best of Luck. I am sure those that need their daily political gossip fix will be in withdrawal. Your blog was a major step up from the liberal “Ear.” You obviously has inside sources that kept folks well informed. I would bet you are getting offers to assume your blog, but they will obviously have to be well connected to fill your shoes. Any enterprising takers out there?

    I worked with Dan on the 14th floor, and he is a great advocate for Alaska and I am looking forward to how he will help shape the US Senate with some new blood. The best part of having an experienced Marine in leadership, is they do not flinch when there are incomings.

  23. Scott Ogan

    Best of Luck. I am sure those that need their daily political gossip fix will be in withdrawal. Your blog was a major step up from the liberal “Ear.” You obviously has inside sources that kept folks well informed. I would bet you are getting offers to assume your blog, but they will obviously have to be well connected to fill your shoes. Any enterprising takers out there?

    I worked with Dan on the 14th floor, and he is a great advocate for Alaska and I am looking forward to how he will help shape the US Senate with some new blood. The best part of having an experienced Marine in leadership, is they do not flinch when there are incomings.

    One thing, I find those outspoken critics who cloak themselves as an avatar, and are cowards. I know it makes for interesting and titillating reading, but wearing a hood and burning crosses while hurling accusations is akin to the modern day Klan. If bloggers cannot uncloak and say it openly, it should not be said, nor given any other credibility, other than pure entertainment value. It is a hateful trend that makes objecting disagreeable and uncivil. Man (or woman) up!

  24. Meg

    Name calling. Very intelligent and intellectual. There is nothing similarly mean spirited in what I wrote. I’m not calling anyone names or attacking, I’m pointing out the obvious. I can also guarantee you Amanda is making more on staff in the senate than she made as a free lance reporter, or blogger. I am not begrudging her sucess. It’s a great step up for her. And I’m glad this blog is exposed for what it was. I read her blog because she offered insights that I couldn’t find other places, some insider political gossip, and good links. But to claim her coverage of that election, or anything, was journalistic is ridiculous. And that is a claim she and many of these comments make. If she had that claim or any of you did, it was gone when she immediately applied for a job with the guy she was supposed to be objectively covering.

  25. Drue Pearce

    Farewell to the Blog –
    Amanda, your voice will be sorely missed by thousands of Alaskans attempting to keep track of the fascinating game of politics as we play it here in the Last Frontier.
    Best of luck in DC.

  26. Cameron

    How cute! The Republican mean girls have come out to defend poor Amanda. If it doesn’t work out with Sully, they’ll find something for you at Shell, the Chamber…somewhere I’m sure.

  27. Cameron

    Such vitriol aimed at Meg for pointing out the obvious truth…My bs meter went off when Amanda referred to Joe Balash as “affable.” Anyone who has the displeasure of working around that guy knows the truth. No wonder!

  28. Sara E.

    Amanda, one last award please…………
    Your recent commenter, Meg, deserves recognition for her mean-spirited stupidity. As someone familiar with your blog and government salaries, her assertion about the high paying position is absurd once again showing her lack of intelligence. Having somwhat of a clue what your blog revenues were, I suspect that you’ll actually be taking a pay cut.Meg’s one of those women that’s simply unhappy when other women are successful. Someone else called her a bitch, I agree.

  29. SouthPaw

    Meg –

    You’re a dumb bitch.

    Congrats Amanda. Dan is lucky to have you on his staff. You will be missed by many, here in the blogosphere. You are brilliant and an excellent writer that captured the crazy world of politics for those of us who don’t live in it everyday. Thank you Amanda. Good luck.

  30. russbrown

    as a two year resident (Dem) of the state, I appreciated the insights into AK politics you provided to a noob like me – good luck

  31. Alaska Cod Piece

    What a loss! First we lose Bob Tkacz and his coverage of the AK legislature, now Amanda Coyne.

    I wish you well, but my family does worry about Sullivan’s stance on women’s rights, access to health care and the environment.

  32. forecaster

    blue, don’t go giving credit for my work to someone else. My daughter tells me I’m funnier than those people (whom I’ve not met).

  33. Meg

    I agree that across the board when people purporting to be journalists and objective, cover an election, and then go to work for one of the candidates shortly after the election it is irrefutable that their coverage was biased. Look, it okay to love Amanda’s coverage and blog because you agree with her. But, it’s not okay to pretend that this doesn’t stink of exactly what it is: political payback. I’m sure if Mark had one an Nat from the ADN took a job with him two months after the election Amanda and all of her follower would be outraged. And they would have a right to be. That is my point.

  34. Tim

    Meg, I assume you raised similar complaints when Grace Jang, Mike Mason, Julie Hasquet, Glen Johnson and Jay Carney started working for the government. Will you share them here?

  35. Meg

    I am not unhappy or miserable. I am pointing out the obvious. She is taking a well paid position with the man. If she held his feet to the fire, he would not have hired her. The crampaign is barely two months past, and she was obviously talking to him about employment Lon before today. His staff is not a team of rivals. The campaign was barely two months ago. She was not acting as a journalist and to pretend she was demeans the profession. She has obviously been in negotiations for this positions for sometime, and she did not reveal to her readers she was seeking to get a job with one of the people she was purporting to “cover.” Im not begrudging Amanda her sucess in getting this new job.

  36. Anonymous

    Amanda – your craven servility to the Alaska Republican establishment will sorely be missed. Good luck in your new job – shouldn’t be much different than your old one.

  37. Mary S

    Meg, you must be unhappy and a miserable person. Amanda held Sullivan’s feet to the fire on many occasions. As she did Begich, who was obviously your choice. I know who you are and know how unhappy your life is. The tuth is you don’t really matter. Read the comments and relish what a bitchj you ate.

  38. Meg

    This is good news for Amanda. And I am glad she wil not be pretending to write a journalistic blog on Alaska issues anymore. The fact that no one commented on Amanda’s claim that she was allegedly covering the election between Sullivan and Begich objectively, something she asserted over and over, is obviously now proven false. Or the hypocrisy of a person who claims to support women’s rights and access to health care who will now be paid to promote a man who will work to undermine them at the federal level. Either those claims by Amanda were subterfuge to make her support of Sullivan more credible or she was being dishonest about those issues too. This blog was an extension of his campaign, and Amanda is being rewarded for that. That is not a journalistic loss for Alaska. Unless of course, as all the praise in the comments suggests, you agreed with her bias. I’m grateful that what was obvious before is now a proven fact.

  39. Duane Bannock

    Please allow me to add my sincere thanks for your efforts in providing accurate reporting of the things that matter! Sen. Sullivan has made a wise choice indeed, so we look forward to you sharing your positive words there.

    Best Wishes from all of us at the Tall, Dark and Handsome Show!

  40. Jennifer B. Johnston

    Congratualtions on your next assignment! It bodes well for our new US Senator and the state.

    Also, thank you so very much for being there. You provided the Alaskan community a much needed resource. I hope some of our up and coming reporters look to you and your blog as a fine example of reporting that can and should be done in this state.

  41. John Boyle


    Thank you for showing all of us what real, objective journalism looks like in this state. Many of us here are going to be scrambling to fill the void now that is no more. Best of luck in your endeavors in Washington! Senator Sullivan is a good man and he is fortunate to have an individual of your caliber on his staff.

  42. Elaina Spraker

    Congrats Amanda, I have been impressed from the git-go with the individuals who Dan surrounds himself with, you will be a perfect addition to the team. The only problem I foresee is my morning coffee and news reading will greatly suffer from the absence of your blog, somehow I will have to fill the void.

  43. Art

    I suggest that people archive and we all get together online once a year and share our thoughts about your various stories/insights and what you meant in each of our lives. Online drinks and appetizers will be provided.
    Dan Sullivan is smart indeed…

  44. Judy Eledge

    God speed Amanda. I have always thought you a gifted writer. Will be interesting to listen to the speeches from Senator Sullivan where I believe the two of you might disagree! By the way, I always give people a second chance and try hard to respect people I don’t particularly care for….most certainly in a Party position of which I no longer hold. Mr. Boehner received his second chance and he failed it miserably!

  45. Sherry Whitstine


    What an excellent opportunity for you! It was so nice to have finally met you in person after many years. I knew you would be doing something other than a blog someday! Glad you found your place with Senator Sullivan.. Congratulations!

  46. Laurie Herman

    What a loss! As I will be in mourning for quite some time over this loss to Alaska’s political scene, black will be my wardrobe color for the near future. Senator Sullivan made a wise choice indeed.

  47. Garand Fellow

    Dear Ms. Coyne, thank you so much for this amazing enterprise. You identified a niche, turned it into a franchise, and thereby gained a unique, remarkable and fervent following. I cannot recall anything similar in the media. You cornered the market in honesty, established a new Alaska standard for objectivity, and had the entire state anticipating each new edition. From a reader’s end it appeared effortless and seamless, but I know that as excellence always must it likely took everything you had. This was great fun for me, and I am grateful.

    The Dan Sullivan campaign was one of the 4 campaigns in which I worked last year, and therefore I cannot be other than happy that Senator Sullivan is smart enough to know he needs you in DC. I am greatly reassured that you will be looking out for Alaskans in that shire of power and greed. Good luck, and thanks again.

    Garand Fellow

  48. Lisa Parker


    Becky Hultberg and Tom Wright are spot on in their comments. Your comments, insight and reporting have been spot on. Let’s see if there is a publication or individual that will pick up on what you have created. As some have said it will take a special person to follow in your footsteps. The Senator and Alaska are fortune to have you on our side. Till we see you in DC.

  49. Rebecca Logan

    See you in DC- I suppose I’ll be more productive at work now since I won’t have your blog to check several times a day… in the 25 years that I’ve been in Alaska I don’t remember any other reporter being as thorough and fair as you have been on this blog.

  50. Brenda Hewitt

    Amanda-Congratulations! I hope you find a good safe place to live in DC. I have some contacts there if you need a recommendation. I loved DC but you also have to be more alert there-watch your purse and pockets. You’ll do great and I’ll be thinking about your ability the next time I hear Seator Dan speak. All the best.

  51. Holly

    I’ve followed your blog for over a year – it was phenomenal writing through and through. Best of luck – your perspectives will be missed.

  52. Miles Baker


    Excellent. DC is a complicated place, and you will help make it less so. So glad you are joining Senator Dan’s team. The contribution you’ve made to the political discourse in Alaska through this blog had been invaluable. I hope the new job won’t require you to purse the lips too tightly, we still need your voice. Good luck and congratulations.

  53. Common Sense

    I hope that means you’ll be writing and advising him on the importance of health care in this country. It’s not something that can always be “All for One.”

  54. Sarah Erkmann

    Thank you for your tireless efforts to tell the stories no one else would, Amanda. You provided a valuable public service to Alaskans that resulted from hours of dedicated work. Your absence will be felt acutely, but we know you’ll bring the same energy and passion to your new role. Stay in touch.

  55. Alaska Pi

    Best wishes Ms Coyne.
    I disagree with you often ( most especially about Senator Sullivan ) but have long appreciated your specific blend of explicit bias and reportage. It is easy to know where you stand and adjust for the POV as regards where facts fit in.

  56. Rachael Petro

    Wow. Just wow. The accountability spread equitably and the humor will be missed. Many others have said it multiple ways already, but Thank You and God speed.

  57. Tina

    Amanda, As a daily (okay, maybe more like hourly) reader of your blog, your judgment, commitment, and sense of fairness have been evident. Kudos to you for the spirit to take this grassy road.

  58. Sam P

    Well, just dang. The state of reporting in Alaska just went dark. We will miss your writing and your even-handedness. Best wishes to you — it will be an amazing experience.

  59. Sean Parnell

    You’ve done a great job of digging, writing, publishing, and informing Alaskans. You gave us all the opportunity to see a more complete picture of political news in our state while setting a high bar for ethics and quality. Both Sandy and I will miss reading your column and we wish you the best in D.C.
    Sean Parnell

  60. Perry


    Great news and as you head to DC please keep Alaskans posted on the great work being
    performed there. At least write about something that will make us proud of our newest
    US Senator.

    Best wishes to you both;

    Perry “G”

  61. Perry


    Great news and as you head to DC please keep Alaskans posted on the great work being
    performed there. At least write about something that will make us proud of our newest
    US Senator.

    Best wishes to you both;

    Perry “G”

  62. Roger That

    Alice Rogoff’s pet frog, Dermott Cole, must harbor some weird obsession with Bill Walker.
    The governor wrote a stupid op-ed article and Cole applauded. This just simply shows the lack of understanding of the issue. The administration is backtracking 100 miles per hour. They know the op-ed was a mistake. Can a frog leap backwards too?

  63. Roger That

    Sen. Sullivan has made the coup of the decade. Every other politician in the state are kicking themselves wondering why they didn’t offer you a job. Your analytical skills, institutional knowledge, perspective and absolutely beautiful writing style will enhance the Senator’s standing. Congratulations to both Sen. Sullivan and Alaska’s best – – Amanda Coyne.

  64. AH HA

    @Amanda, You are a special sort of person of a kind not often seen in these days. You have been given three gifts. Honesty and Integrity are the first two and the third is the wisdom to know their true value.

    I will miss you and I promise that the next time I am in the DC area, I will look you up and you can buy me a cup of the Senators Coffee.

    In the mean time, not to sound selfish but what of us, your commentors ? Many if not most of us do not ‘fit in well’ in other places as many are prone to thinking things over and forming independent opinions… and this generally gets us in trouble with the ‘powers’ that be.

    I guess I’m wondering, have you given any thought to having someone run the site in your absence? surely there are several here who are quite capable.

  65. Straitlaced Radical

    Kudos and best wishes to you and the senator, and regrets for the rest of us. You’ve made the political scene better in our state for the reporting effort you put forward and bringing about this forum that so many of us have enjoyed. Godspeed and thank you.

  66. joe blow

    Wow, did not see this coming. Excellent news for you and for the rest of us, I’m sure. I know you’ll do a good job.

  67. Angelina


    Congratulations! The best going to work for the very best, Dan obviously recognizes talent when he sees it. You’ll be greatly missed. Thank you for making the press clips something to look forward to each morning. I look forward to seeing you when in DC.

  68. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    Thanks Amanda… Happy trails to you.
    ..and thanks to your contributors,
    I learned something new every day.
    God Bless all of you !!

  69. Lindsey Holmes

    Amanda, thank you for all your hard work and insights over the past two years. You will be missed by so many, but I console myself that you will continue serving us in your new role with Sen. Sullivan. Best of luck on your new venture!!!!

  70. Gretchen Stoddard

    Congratulations! How exciting! What a lot of smart, interesting women around that campaign and now probably around the Senator’s office. I will miss this site greatly and I hope your commenters collect somewhere we can follow similar discussions…. but great for Senator Sullivan and for us.
    Thanks so much for all you have done & all you will do!

  71. Damian Bilbao

    Amanda, congratulation and good luck. Thank you for your insight and hard work. It was always appreciated.

  72. Bethany

    Huge loss for us voracious political readers–you have filled a void we didn’t even know we had here in Alaska. But what an exceptionally pleasant surprise that you’ll still be doing great work for Alaska. Many blessings to you in your new role…may it be a stepping stone to even better things. And be careful of those D.C. cupcakes.

  73. Twig

    If Sullivan is good enough for Amanda Coyne, he’s got my support. Over the past year or so, I have come to value your insights and perspective. I feel that I learned a lot about government and politics from you. Most of all, you made politics fun. Maybe you can start a blog for Dan ! Good luck.

  74. Becky Hultberg

    Not a goodbye – just a see you later. Your wit, your hard work and your good instincts will be sorely missed. But most of all – I’ll miss your willingness to shine a bright light when words don’t match deeds- no matter the person, issue or consequences. Our newest Senator is lucky to have you and Alaska is fortunate that you’ll be working to promote our issues. Keep speaking truth to power girl!

  75. Stacy Schubert

    Amanda — CPG49 said it best. I’ll miss your posts. Best wishes to you and in your next chapter.

  76. Ron Jordan

    You will missed for your reporting of the facts. But you will do well for all of us with Senator Sullivan.


  77. Blue Duck

    Amanda you excelled at calling BS. I imagine Walker, Forecast (Merrick Pierce) and Whitaker are therefore all breathing a huge sigh of relief.

  78. Tom Wright


    Many thanks for your willingness to keep so many of us posted throughout the last couple of years. Your insights and reporting will be truly missed. I for one am appreciative of your efforts and look forward to working with you in the future. Good luck in your new endeavor and I am certain you will be an excellent addition to the Sullivan team.

    You will be missed.

  79. CPG49

    Amanda, best wishes and good luck in your new job. There will definitely be a void in political news in the 49th state. You’ve been fair, broke more stories than the rest of the state’s political reporters combined and offered insights that others missed.
    I’ll miss your fabulous writing. How one person accomplished all you did is beyond me. You kicked ass girl.

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