Political predictions for 2015

I’ll likely come to regret it, but because my predictions for both the primary and the general elections were pretty…good…I thought I’d try my hand at predicting political events for 2015. It’s risky, because for the elections, I had at least fundraising reports to go by, say nothing of candidates. Here, mostly I just have gut, and the only big Alaska election in 2015 will be the Anchorage mayor’s race. However, this year will be a big one in politics nonetheless. As oil prices continue to decline—which I predict that they will–the state will face one of the biggest fiscal crises in its history. Tensions, particularly during the legislative session, will be high between the Legislature and the new administration. And there’s the U.S. Senate race right around the corner.

So take my gut as you will. But remember, so much about politics is unpredictable. Few, if any, foresaw Sarah Palin’s rise. Six months ago, few, if any, could envision that Bill Walker and Byron Mallott would team up and that they would win the election. Who knew that the FBI was camped out in room 604 at the Baranof, their listening devices taped to the wall? Only a few saw Joe Miller coming in 2010. More than a few, including me, see him coming back in 2016. Read on for that one and more predictions.

Walker’s Medicaid expansion campaign promise

A major campaign promise of Gov. Bill Walker was that he would expand Medicaid. “I will implement Medicaid expansion on Day One,” he said repeatedly on the trail. The line was on his campaign website, which is still up. Its day 34 as I write this, and the state still hasn’t expanded Medicaid. He did try. Shortly after he was elected, he directed the new DHSS commissioner to try to make it happen. However, the current Medicaid payment system is such a mess that it’s virtually impossible to add a new wave of recipients to it. That’s not his fault. However, it could be argued that it is his fault for repeatedly make such a big campaign promise without checking to see if it’s doable. Also, he said that he could expand Medicaid without legislative approval. That’s true, technically, however expansion is going to cost and the Legislature needs to appropriate those funds, and it’s hard to fathom that given the fiscal crisis, they will.

Prediction: Walker didn’t live up to his campaign promise on day one, and I don’t think he’ll be able to do so this year.

Rep. Don Young

Rep. Don Young has seen better election cycles than the last one, when he ran against under-funded and relative unknown Forrest Dunbar, and only won by 10 percentage points. Many have since said that had the Democrats put some money behind Dunbar’s campaign, he could have very well won the race. In other words, Don Young, who has been invincible, is vulnerable.

Prediction: In 2015, Young will see a significant primary challenge develop, and a credible Democratic opponent like Hollis French or Sen. Bill Wielechowski will also file.

The next president of the University of Alaska

There are big changes in store for the University of Alaska. UA president Pat Gambell and UAS chancellor John Pugh will be retiring mid-year. Also, Governor Walker will have four board of regents slots to fill which could significantly alter the school’s direction.

Prediction: Brian Rogers, former legislator and current chancellor of UAF will be the next president of the University of Alaska.

Will Mark Begich run for mayor?

Rumors have swirled about whether or not Mark Begich will run for Anchorage mayor, spurred on in no small part because he hasn’t dispelled them and no other Democrat has filed. However, Begich is nothing if not politically savvy, and he has scads of other opportunities in the upcoming years, including the U.S. Senate, Congress and possibly taking a run for governor. Running, and risking losing the mayor’s race would be bad for him, say nothing of being mayor of the largest city in Alaska at a time of major cuts and declining state dollars.

Prediction: Mark Begich sits the mayor’s race out.

Anchorage mayor’s race

The two dominant candidates that will emerge in the Anchorage mayor’s race will be Dan Coffey and Andrew Halcro.

Prediction: Dan Coffey will be Anchorage’s next mayor.

Laying the groundwork for the 2016 Senate race

As chair of Energy and with control of the purse-strings of the Interior Department, Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be a powerful force in Washington D.C., and has the ability to get big things done for Alaska. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a powerful force with Alaska conservatives, who care less about practicalities and more about ideology. I’ve been told by pollsters that although she’s very popular among the general public, she’s in big trouble among primary voters, a problem that she seems to be assiduously avoiding. She didn’t tackle it in 2010 either, and look what happened. Neither I nor the pollsters are the only ones who see the problem.

Prediction: Before the year is over, both Mark Begich and Joe Miller will begin to lay the groundwork for a 2016 Senate bid.

A new political powerhouse

Last month, the Alaska chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-funded group, held a dinner where the seemingly impossible happened: the tea party and the establishment GOPers were eating a meal together without a pie being thrown in someone’s face. At the start of the dinner, the head of the group vowed that it was in Alaska for the “long haul” and would be a force in Alaska politics.

Prediction: Americans for Prosperity will lay the groundwork to be a force in Alaska politics, and will work to counter the power of the unions.

Showdown in Juneau

Of all the governors in recent history, Gov. Bill Walker probably has thxe most personal touch. Word is that he’s in close contact with some key lawmakers—kibitzing, asking their advice, making them feel good, which is really smart and something his predecessor hardly did at all. However, it won’t likely be enough to overcome the building animosity between Walker and other legislators, particularly the ones who Walker’s COS Jim Whitaker accused of being corrupt in a 2006 ADN column. And it won’t help in the long-run that Walker’s surrogates are trying to push the narrative that the budget crisis, which Walker repeatedly vowed to solve, is really a legislative problem. That might give Walker some temporary breathing room with the public, but in the process, it’s dragging legislators through the mud, something that so far at least, surrogates on the other side have refrained from doing. And, in the end, as governor with line-item veto power, the budget will be his, and he’ll be ultimately responsible for making the tough decisions.

Prediction: Expect a chilly and contentious relationship between lawmakers and the governor in the upcoming legislative session, which will deteriorate as the session goes on.

Showdown in Juneau part II

As I predicted above, the relationship between the Legislature and the governor isn’t starting off smoothly, and I don’t see it getting better. I predict that one way that shaky relationship will manifest itself is through the confirmation process.

Prediction: At least one of Gov. Bill Walker’s nominees–DNR Commissioner Mark Myers, and/or Attorney General Craig Richards–will have a tough time getting confirmed.

The Fairbanks LNG trucking project

In 2013, the Legislature passed and the governor approved a bill that would provide $363 million to help finance a project to truck LNG from the North Slope to Fairbanks. Many legislators knew then that it was a half-baked measure, and that it was unlikely that Fairbanks could ultimately afford the trucked-in gas. Now, as the numbers are being crunched, their suspicions are proving prescient. Initial estimates of the costs are expected to be roughly $19 per thousand cubic feet, $4 more than what Fairbanks said it could afford.

Prediction: The LNG trucking project, like so many other ideas to economically power Fairbanks, will go gently into the good night. The good news: Few will protest, because as oil prices decline, so does the cost of heating fuel.

The role of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott was never as “anti-oil” as many in his party, and certainly not as anti as Gov. Bill Walker, and those who are surrounding him, are perceived as being. Also, unlike Walker, Mallott, who hasn’t spent nearly all of his professional life fighting the oil companies, is free of conflicts of interest.

Prediction: Mallott will emerge as “the” key player for oil and gas in the administration as Walker’s and his attorney general’s conflicts, both real and perceived, become more front-and-center.

The LNG line

The LNG line, the big one, has been a dream in the state since the 1970s. Now, estimated to cost as much as $65 billion, it’s still an incredibly iffy proposition. Before leaving office. Gov. Sean Parnell took it as far as it has ever gone. Now, it’s up to Gov. Bill Walker to take it further. In order to stay on track, legislation that dictates municipal taxes must be passed, and in the next year, how much and how the state will tax the gas needs to be hammered out. On the campaign trail at least, Walker was not a fan of the way state ownership in the line was envisioned, say nothing of the confidentially agreements inherent in the negotiations between the producers and the state.

Prediction: Will Walker change the way the line’s structured? Will he push for legislation to keep the project on track? I have no idea. What do you all think?

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


37 thoughts on “Political predictions for 2015

  1. CareClift

    Gary Johnson will return to Alaska, as he has done before! There’s your presidential candidate. I also agree that Joe Miller should run against Don Young. He would win that primary, for sure!

  2. Crude is Rude - Gas is Groovy

    My political prediction in 2015 ??? 🙂

    I predict in 2015 Bill&Byron will develop a roadmap to all the low hanging fruit Alaska needs to develop a wildly successful and widely diversified permanently sustainable statewide economy…

    The planning and deployment of this Diversified Economy Project will not be revealed until 2016-17…

    …the Diversified Economy Project will be like a rising tide that floats all boats,
    it won’t sink anybody’s biz-position,
    but despite the overall transparent fairplay of the project,
    there will still be many complaining grouchy idiots making a lot of useless noise.

    The implementation of the Diversified Economy Project will require very little CAPEX-risk for the AK-budget..
    Alaska is set like an impending avalanche of success,
    it won’t take much effort to trigger the avalanche,
    but there will be plenty of effort utilized in the form of rapid expansion of good solid union jobs and many biz-opportunities for small-biz statewide.

    …Rotten Real Politics forces good people to hold their cards close to their chest,
    no matter how great & impeccable the plan really is,
    Alaska & America is burdened with powerful people with mental-health problems who will seek to wreck any Real Progress we make.
    Too bad we have too many icky bigshots and predatory corporations worldwide who choose to keep Alaska a destabilized resource extraction colony,
    just like how Africa has been treated over the past 1000 years.

  3. LysanderSpooner

    “1. I am not sure how he is identified as being a member or charter member of this so-called club except in your mind. He has done nothing to earn what you deem to be related to the CBC.

    2. I have seen a CBC hat but have never seen him wear one nor consider it funny to be considered with those under investigation.”

    Seriously, Wright? Nice revisionist history. Too bad people aren’t as stupid as you seem to think they are. And too bad for you your boss’s own words, linked below, prove you wrong.


  4. Scott Ogan

    A person that makes scurrilous accusations as an avatar, is a person that is ethically challenged. Their comments, while building themselves up by tearing others down, are not worth wasting your time worrying about it.

    Scott Ogan

  5. Claire

    Dear Forecaster,
    It’s condescending Fore, don’t you know…..Caster, when you repeatedly write the name of the author of this good blog as Amanda, Coyne, or Amanda Coyne as an ending to a comment or to make your point, Forecaster. This is her blog. That is her name. It’s her name.com. But we all know it, Forecaster, and we don’t need a reminder, Fore…. It doesn’t make you smarter or sound like an intelligent writer. You just sound, well, rude. Forecaster.
    But everybody is entitled to be rude. and to be unintelligent. and allowed to write. and allowed to be anonymous.

  6. Tom Wright


    Thank you for your input. It is our intention to work with the Governor to reduce spending and protect our credit rating at the same time. Both will be objectives we will try to achieve. Although the Governor has until February 19th to submit his budget amendments, both bodies have requested these amendments be submitted as close to the start of session as possible in order to provide for the public to weigh in and evaluation of those amendments. Major reductions will be painful and it does take some time to evaluate what services the state should offer and which to reduce or defund altogether. It is not an easy process as each program has its own constituency. It will be interesting to see how the Governor, House and Senate prioritize reductions. It is improbable that reductions will match the current deficit, however, it will have to be substantial, at least in my mind. I cannot and will not speak for other members of either body nor the Governor.

    Again, thanks for your comments.

  7. Garand Fellow

    Mr. Wright, thank you for weighing in. I must say that I don’t ever assign enough credibility to certain bloggers to even ask for substantiation but I certainly applaud the challenge you have given in this instance.

    I hope you and the leadership ask Governor Walker to submit a balanced budget, that is one that reduces spending to the level of expected revenue. You may recall that during the campaign Governor Walker said that if elected he would immediately stop spending more than the state is taking in – then an amount of $7 million per day he repeatedly said. The very short legislative session requires that legislators have a balanced budget as a starting place in my view, and with that tool each proposed change to the budget can be carefully considered, vetted and tested.

    It might not hurt to ask the governor to pay careful attention to the advice and concerns of the credit rating agencies. Governor Walker can and should avoid a credit rating downgrade, and the warnings given by two of the rating agencies are valuable to any governor, especially a new governor, for the purpose of maintaining ratings. I think that most Alaskans, and certainly all Alaska Republicans, expect the state to keep its fiscal house in order (and we would very much like to see the federal government do so) and that requires that the state spend no more on operations than it can reliably expect in income. That is really all the credit rating agencies are saying; they expect a AAA credit to not use one-time reserves to meet ongoing, recurring expenses, and if the state does otherwise then it probably is not a AAA credit.

  8. birchstick

    Amanda, of all the weird and goofy things you link to in your stories, I wish you had one for the 2006 ADN article penned by Whitaker.

    Thanks and happy new year.

  9. Tom Wright


    I am nor going to get into a back and forth dialogue with you so this will be my final post to your comments and questions.

    1. I am not sure how he is identified as being a member or charter member of this so-called club except in your mind. He has done nothing to earn what you deem to be related to the CBC.

    2. I have seen a CBC hat but have never seen him wear one nor consider it funny to be considered with those under investigation.

    3. At the same time as anyone else who read the papers.

    4. The Speaker’s father and Bill Allen both started oil field service companies in Alaska at about the same time and were friendly competitors often bidding on the same projects. That relationship carried through during the time Qwick Construction was taken over by the Speaker after his dad’s prolonged illness and death,

    5. That is public information which I do not have at my disposal. The Speaker has taken a number of contributions from many different sources. It is no different than many organizations, individuals or PAC’s that have contributed thousands of dollars to candidates that they support.

    6. No.

    7. Again, Qwick Construction is a family owned oil field service company that has done little if any oil field related work since Representative Chenault has been elected. This too has been disclosed and is available for review by the public.

    Again, this is my last response to you Mr., Mrs. or Ms. Forecast. If you truly believe in what your accusation, please take them to the proper law enforcement agency. It is easy to hid behind anonymity and make false accusations without any basis whatsoever. Good luck in your endeavors whatever they may be.

  10. Forecast


    Among the issues that need to be discussed:

    1. Your boss was a proud, charter member of the Corrupt Bastards Club. Tell us why we should not think of him as corrupt?

    2. Recall those hats the members of the CBC wore? Why did they think it was soooo funny to wear those hats that identified them as corrupt?

    3. Tell us when your boss first knew of the bribes felon Bill Allen was giving to legislators.

    4. Tell us about the relationship your boss had with Bill Allen?

    5. Tell us how many thousands of dollars your boss took from Bill Allen in campaign contributions.

    6. Was your boss aware that Bill Allen was passing out bribes for many years before the DOJ issued indictments for corruption?

    7. Once we get these questions answered, we’d like to have a discussion about the oil field service company your boss has an interest in.

  11. Diane Witt

    Forecast is not me. You implying he/she/they is — says more about your own rabbit hole mind than it does me.

  12. Lynn Willis

    “Forecast” is exercising his right to free speech. Free speech rights are not intended to make one comfortable or to only support the opinion of the majority.
    Nobody can “make up” the truth and if refuting a lie takes effort, than you need to make that effort rather than simply call for censure. “Forecast” , nor anybody else, has any obligation to be either correct or civil in what he posts. That said, Amanda Coyne has an equal right to not tolerate libel or slander being posted to her web site. Profanity and insults diminish the strength of any argument and I am certain “Forecast” understands that.

  13. R.Smith

    Here are my predictions…………
    1. Don Young will do something dumb that will embarass Alaskans.
    2. Alaska Dispatch will continue to lose respect in the eyes of the public with their anti-business agenda and weak stories.
    3. A potentila presidential candidate will visit Alaska.

  14. Blue Duck

    Tom – be careful in what you ask for – Forecast is becoming notorious for making stuff up and having a very tenuous grasp of “facts.” He (? Forecast sounds a lot like Dianne Witte) will send you down a rabbit hole.

  15. Tom Wright


    As Speaker Chenault’s Chief of Staff, I continually read your remarks about his being corrupt. There is nothing further from the truth. If you have knowledge of specific actions that you believe are corrupt, you should report them to the proper law enforcement agencies.

    While I respect your right to contribute to blogs such as Amanda’s, it is tiresome to read your allegations without supporting dicumentation.

    If you wish to discuss this further, our Junesu office number is 465-3779.

  16. AHHA

    While disagree with forecaster on nearly everything and usually find him generally disagreeable, I think that having been told what is expected he may make an effort toward civil discourse

  17. Forecast

    Duck. I’ll offer a few examples that refute your assertions.

    AG Richards saved Alaskans billions of dollars due to his work on the TAPS valuation cases. He has well over a decade of experience working at the highest levels on oil and gas issues. It was Richards and Robin Brena who exposed the lies Parnell was making about TAPS being shut down (unless we gave away the oil) that was some of the best testimony ever seen in Juneau.

    Dr. Myers is the former head of USGS, and is the guy who helped put Cook Inlet oil and gas development back on the map. How? By using rational, good judgement. Cook Inlet oil and gas can be developed for a fraction of the costs of some of the boondoggles favored by the incompetent “leadership” in the legislature. You want examples of blatant bad judgement? Go talk to Mike Hawker about his scheme to refurbish the Anchorage LIO. Or the hundreds of millions he and his ilk have wasted on BS studies.

    The story here is why some legislators who have some of the worst records imaginable would think they must stop the most competent Alaskans ever to be nominated.

    There is a war going on here. Those who want the corruption and bad practices of the past to continue do not like it one bit.

  18. Brandon Wall

    Amanda – I hope you’re wrong. Joe Miller for US Senate 2016 = bad news and 0-3 for Joe Miller. Joe Miller vs. Don Young = Congressman Miller.

    And gutsy call on Mayor race. If Halcro runs, Halcro wins. If I was a gambling man (which I am) , I’d put lunch on it.

  19. Jon k

    Clearly I disagree with forecast and I agree with those that think he is wrong and often obnoxious. But I can’t for the life of me understand why folks want to have Amanda censor the guy.

    A related question is why do so many on the left post intemperate comments like his?

  20. Lightbulb

    ADN readers will continue to “jump ship” to amandacoyne.com. Many have noticed a sad, slow decline in a certain ADN oil and gas “journalist,” and have adjusted accordingly.

    The remainder of the ADN staff write like cub reporters. Or produce shrill, emotional, useless opinion pieces.

  21. JCD

    Amanda, I really am a fan of your blog and enjoy the many divergent perspectives left in the comments section. Most are very intelligent people that seem to really understand what is going on. Some I agree with, others not so much so. One commenter, who seems to be commenting a lot lately, is insulting and very poorly informed. He goes by tha name Forecaster. Can you block this ifiots comments. They are a waste of time, are poorly thought out and he never offers any sane rational or backup to his continuously erroneous claims and positions. There were many people that were for anyone but Parnell and I can understand that position. Then there are some real small-minded know nothings like Forecaster. You should have given him an award as the worst commenter on your blog. I suspect Bill Walker would even agree. I suspect Gov. Walker is embarrassed to have his support as it weighs on how people might view his intelligence.

  22. Blue Duck

    Forecast – Mark is clearly very smart and capable. He has an amazing resume. But you shouldn’t equate intelligence with good judgment.

    Craig has very little experience and while he is very smart he has never run a large organization and he knows next to nothing about most of the issues that he has to address. His only meaningful experience is litigating property tax issues.

  23. Forecast

    One of the predictions offered is worthy of an additional comment. That is the idea that AG Richards and Com. Myers will have a hard time with confirmation.

    Now why would that be? Here are two of the brightest, best educated, articulate men to have ever served in Alaska. Why should their service be an issue? Their resumes are golden. ( In fact, it is Dr. Mark Myers, Amanda.)

    The issue the corrupt leadership like Chenault have with these good guys is they are super smart and dedicated to putting Alaska first. These guys will be EFFECTIVE. The corrupt people in the legislature hate the idea that these two guys will be working hard for the best interests of Alaskans. So they must be stopped, by some of the dumbest, most incompetent legislators that ever crawled out from under a rock.

    That is what is wrong with the gerrymandered legislature. And it is that corrupt mentality that is killing our state.

    To put this in a little perspective, it is the legislature that put the charter member of the Corrupt Bastards Club in as Speaker. And that speaks volumes.

  24. Blue Duck

    1) The Walker Administration will improve state – tribal relationships and will empower tribes by giving them criminal jurisdiction and native / rural preference. There will be blowback.

    2) Walker will not be able to deliver in a meaningful way on his pledge to lower rural energy costs.

    3) Walker will take credit for attracting new oil and gas companies to the state.

    4) Walker will propose a budget that cuts the operating budget and legislators will hypocritically say the cuts don’t go far enough.

    5) Walker will refuse to allow his cabinet to sign the confidentiality agreement with AK LNG and he will therefore never understand what is going on with the project. Based on his ignorance about the project he will then kill AK LNG and try to pursue a state led project where we partner with Asian customers, who will give us many non-binding commitments in flowery press releases written in broken English while behind the scenes the Asians will demand that we front the costs of the project. It is unclear where the money will come from to pursue the project. Things will not end well.

    6) Walker will come to realize that governing is very hard and involves difficult trade offs that aren’t amendable to 750 word compass pieces.

    8) The ADN will continue to write favorable puff pieces about cabinet members and it will give the administration the benefit of the doubt. This will be a good thing – for too long the press has been too cynical and negative.

    9) Walker will realize that the federal government is one of the biggest obstacles to economic development in this state.

    10) Craig Richards will start filing various lawsuits agains the producers.

    11) forecast will continue to make shit up, name call, and attack the motives of those he disagrees with instead of engaging in honest debates based on facts. Forecast, in other words, will continue to be our token ADN commentator.

  25. Lynn Willis

    My humble predictions:
    1.Nothing will happen with Medicaid expansion until after the Supreme Court weighs in again. If the Supreme Court maintains the status quo, the legislature balks at funding, and yet he wants to be Governor again, Walker will “line item veto” the Medicaid funds into existence.
    2. To save face and conserve funds by all partners involved, negotiations will result in extending the “pre-feed” evaluation period for the AKLNG project.
    3. All Cabinet appointees will be confirmed after the requisite “showboating” by the usual suspects as this battle is not worth the political capital.
    4. Governor Walker will produce a proposed budget that will force the legislature to “put up or shut up” regarding spending cuts, re-appropriating funds, and additional taxes.
    5. Unorganized boroughs will feel the pressure to form local taxing authorities.
    6. The Ketchikan Lawsuit which prohibits the state from allowing dedicated funding for schools be taxed from local governments will hit the legislature like a wrecking ball if upheld in the State Supreme Court..
    5. The majority caucus will be tested to allow membership only to those who will vote for the budget .
    6. Fairbanks gas will be on the “back burner” (pun intended) as lower heating oil prices give relief. The LNG trucking scheme will end and any gas will eventually come from Cook Inlet.
    7. The Legislature will repeal the 90 day restriction and return to a 120 day session.
    Excuse my nautical analogy; however, the Titanic has just hit the iceberg and while the lights are still on and there are dances on the promenade deck, we are losing speed and taking on water. Those who were in command and ignored the warnings of icebergs and sped into the night will want to remind us how strong the ship is, what a capable crew they are, how we really must focus on other matters, that rescue is just over the horizon, and that certainly we have nothing to fear (all while they sidle toward the few lifeboats).

  26. Anonymous

    @Forecaster, do yourself a favor…..

    Many of the people who comment on this site disagree with each other and sometimes quite profoundly. But, on the other hand, most who utilize this site prefer to utilize reasoned argument coupled with respectful dialogue to make a point or support an argument. Your rants and personal attacks are so childish that it’s becoming doubtful that anyone is going to listen much longer. Please make an attempt at maintaining civility.

  27. AH HA

    1. Hollis French and Mark Begich will toss a coin to see who runs for mayor and who gets installed as port director. My bet is that AFL-CIO owes French big for stepping aside and will back him either way.

    2. Murkowsi (however you spell it) will easily get reelected. Unlike Begich, she owns (or is owned by) the native vote and so has divided the left leaning voters in half and can concentrate her reelection efforts in Anchorage and Fairbanks since the rest of the state is a virtual lock for her.

    3. Walker will not prove to have the leadership ability required to steer the state through our fiscal crisis. The end of twelve months will leave his ‘brand’ in a largely unpalatable condition.

    4. Don Young will not seek reelection. He has in the past indicated that he was seeking someone to follow in his footsteps and had also mentioned that he would like to see a native Alaskan as Alaska’s next representative. I suspect that Dan Sullivan’s Spouse, Julie Sullivan could well be in the running for this seat. For those of you who know little about her pay attention… she is very, very sharp and would make an excellent choice for the state.

    5. Byron Mallott’s star will ascend as his Co-Governor’s wanes but only if he can mange to maintain his credibility. Honestly I had thought that the only reason that Mallot was not viable in the gubernatorial race was that he had been saddled with Hollis French as his running mate. If he can engineer a better choice for the next election, we could see him running against a failed incumbent.

  28. Garand Fellow

    I think that by the end of 2015 many women in leadership positions will be willing to say aloud that there is no Alaska Gas Line Fairy. I look first to the women in the Senate Majority, and then will come the women on House Finance. Quietly two or three women working on the 3rd Floor will weigh in within the administration, and possibly women outside of government such as the state chamber will kick tires on coming clean. The instigation will be the men who use the AGLF as an excuse to draw down savings; those guys will continue to say that gas line unrestricted revenues will kick in before the SBR and CBR are exhausted even though no one on the inside really believes that to be true. Once the women have spoken the truth a few men like Senator Stevens and Rep. Seaton will tiptoe in, and by 2016 the House and Senate minorities will say they were there all along. In fact, D. Cole, of the Dispatch, will say that Gara and Wilycowski were the very first to speak the truth. Possibly the DNR commissioner and deputy commissioner, and the Revenue commissioner will hold hands and jump in about that time (or I suppose they might hold hands and leave). By then many others such as former governors, barely remembered former commissioners, etc. will say it’s time to balance ongoing annual expenditures with recurring revenues and to stop spending the reserves (coded language for, “There ain’t no AGLF”).

    One benchmark along the way is that gas line authority executives will have earned their PERS “high-3” so pressure from that direction will subside and Dudley Dooright will leave the field. A possible benchmark will be when the credit rating agencies see that not only was the FY2016 budget not balanced but the FY2017 budget is entirely unlikely to be balanced, and in the write-ups associated with corresponding credit rating downgrades the agencies will mention that there will be no pipeline to bring NS natural gas to market.

    The sooner these women do this the more money left in cash reserves. Women are avid fiction fans – Downton Abbey Season 5 begins in a few hours, so don’t call these women this evening! – but they don’t believe the fiction. Women cannot be disillusioned because they never really drink the Kool-aide in the first place. They know the truth right from the beginning. (So you can bet that mass shootings in schools and theaters won’t ever be done by women.) In 2015 Alaska women leaders will deflate the Alaska Gas Line Fairy, and none too soon.

    Don’t think for a minute that I will celebrate being spot-on with this prediction. Postponing the truth as long as possible works OK for me. I’m already counting upon receiving my 50th annual PFD many years from now. I also believe that Penelope Cruz will appear in Downton Abbey Season 6, take off all her clothes and jump Carson. And I can hardly wait. I cannot explain it but somehow I know for sure that if the AGLF goes away there is no chance Penelope Cruz will remove her clothes in Downton Abbey.

  29. Forecast

    I am a goooood forecaster. I predicted little Sean Parnell was gonna get his oily ass handed to him by the much more capable Bill Walker.

    Forecaster 1 Coyne 0.

    Now. Its 2015. Happy New Year to everyone. We have the most intelligent governor in our history- and a governor who was actually born in the territory of Alaska. A good mix.

    In random order:

    1. Gov. Walker is smarter, kinder and far more informed than the House “leadership”. Chenault is a charter member of the Corrupt Bastards Club. This was the club where most of its members were arrested and sent to prison for screwing their constituents by taking bribes. Members of the House almost deposed him this year- favoring Tammie Wilson. Many are taking stock of the situation. “Gee, do I align with a walking joke like Chenault, or align with a governor who is trying to rescue Alaska from the disaster created by the House and Senate “leadership”. It was this failed leadership which passed SB-21, created massive spending increases, and has now caused a $3.5 billion dollar deficit that will- unchecked- wreck the Alaska economy.

    Prediction: Honest legislators are going to align with an honest governor. Chenault will be left sputtering and swearing, and smoking three packs a day from his nicotine stained fingers.

    2. The gas line. Farts in a tube. Coyne is flat wrong about what she thinks Parnell accomplished. She should read the HUA signed by Parnell. In this “agreement” is a sentence that says they are agreeing to nothing. Parnell killed a project that was coming together under AGIA that would have given us first gas in 2019. Parnell was a saboteur who killed a project.

    Prediction: Gov. Walker will move a project forward in a way that is logical, and in our best interests. Walker will start with the markets- which he already took the first steps towards in his first 30 days.

    3. LNG Trucking is ALREADY dead, Coyne. Your “prediction” is about an event that has already transpired. AIEDA and MWH have said “bye, bye” to one another LAST week. Legislators passed this nonsense with a unanimous vote- which says a lot about their lack of competence… Where were the warnings about this failed project in the legislative record?

    And finally, file this under gas line 051. Its not a LNG line, Amanda. LNG is the stuff made AFTER the methane leaves the end of the gas line.

  30. Julio Franco

    Begich will run against Murkowski after spending a year telling us how similar they are to each other? Yep, that sounds about right. Unfortunatly, Begich will win because Republicans won’t turn out for Lisa and if it is a three way race with Miller, well, Begich will win by 20%. Last month @Amanda wrote that the race will be won in the Valley. I agree – the Valley will be good to Begich.

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