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Friday, January 28, 2022

How Many Brownies (and Alaskan Jobs) Did Lisa Murkowski Just Give Away?

Friday afternoon, the offices of the AFL-CIO in Anchorage were hopping. Look at the sinister faces of all those “union thugs.” That’s one thing I’ve never understood. How can any Alaskan, in a state with the second-highest union density in the country, think of unions as “thuggery.” Union men and women are your neighbors, your friends, your kids’ soccer coaches, your fellow church members – people who work hard, and enjoy good jobs with benefits that let them enjoy life and give back to their community by volunteering, putting money into the local economy, sending their kids to college… all that scary stuff.  And the great thing is that they’d like everyone to experience the same benefits. What a concept!

Peggy Wilcox from APEA-AFT held a “bake sale.” I grabbed a corn muffin and a chocolate chip treat and filled out a card saying what I would have paid for it, if they’d been charging. My imaginary $7 went into the fake collection pile. When I left, she’d raised about $140 in funny money. What was the point?  To prove that you can’t pay for schools and infrastructure by having bake sales. No matter how yummy the treats are, it will require more.

The crowd wrote letters of thanks to Mark Begich for his support of the American Jobs Act, and letters of recrimination to Senator Murkowski for falling right back in line with Republican leaders in D.C. who ordered the ranks to vote against the bill. To Democrats who voted for Murkowski expecting an independent voice, and who did not listen to those of us who warned them, I shall clamp my hand over my mouth quickly before the words, “Told ya so” slip out.

To soothe their weary psyches, those who came to write letters enjoyed bratwurst and sauerkraut, and those big fluffy pretzels with gooey cheesy stuff.

And it isn’t like the American Jobs Act is some intangible, philosophical idea that has no real world benefit to Alaskans. When Murkowski voted against the bill, she voted down $62 million for school infrastructure funding that would have supported 800 Alaskan jobs.

(taps on calculator furiously)

That means that every man, woman and child in the state would have to purchase about 350 brownies from Peggy in order to cover that piece of funding alone. But that’s not all Murkowski voted down.

She voted against putting 8,000 unemployed Alaskans back to work, $2.5 million for community colleges, $219 million to support jobs that would put 2,900 Alaskans to work, $70.5 million in jobs for teachers and first responders, cutting payroll taxes in half for Alaska’s small businesses, and the list goes on and on.

Let’s just say that’s a lot of baked goods, and a lot of irritated constituents.

After my fluffy pretzel, I sat down and wrote my senator a letter.  You may not have a giant twisted carb snack, nor neon orange dipping sauce, but I bet you do have a pen and paper, or a computer, or a phone. Trust me, it will feel good telling your senator exactly what you think of her priorities, and her loyalties.




28 Responses to “How Many Brownies (and Alaskan Jobs) Did Lisa Murkowski Just Give Away?”
  1. REALLY says:

    Tongass Low Down

  2. ks sunflower says:

    AKM – that’s a great letter. I particularly like the last paragraph. I personally think we pay our politicians too much because most of them are wealthy or become so shortly after beginning their service by charging speaking fees for what are essentially campaign speeches. They become used to the privileges and benefits that accrue to their new positions as federal Representatives and Senators.

    I also dislike that their pensions vest after a short period of service, unlike most Americans who have to work decades or even do without pensions. No small wonder they cannot identify with working Americans.

    • fishingmamma says:

      Write to them and tell them that.

      • mike from iowa says:

        I think Sen. Murray of Washington was the only elected varmint of either party to offer a bill to cut wages for Congress and it was deeeeeefeeeaaaatttteeeedddd.

  3. Moose Pucky says:

    Such a good letter. Moose Pucky would like to help drive the point home with a nice swift hoof kick.

  4. Millie says:

    I didn’t – and haven’t – EVER voted for Lisa Murkowski and am amazed that many Alaskans did!!! She is another Republican fraud that we have in Congress. Next election cycle – vote them (and HER) out. Pay attention to the coloring of the box you do in the voting booth. Review and vet the candidates prior to your very important vote PLEASE. This fits for nationa, state and local voting.

  5. OzMud says:

    Great letter. Think she’ll read it? I always wonder if senators and governors actually see the personal letters or not. But I write them anyway – always the optimist 🙂

    • OzMud says:

      PS – When I moved to Australia I actually had to go online and find a recipe for New York hot pretzels and corn tortillas learn how to cook them because NOBODY on this silly island makes NY pretzels or
      California tacos! Talk about culture shock!

      • Zyxomma says:

        Poor OzMud. The NY Times posted a great recipe for real New York pretzels in their Dining and Wine section, and there is a gourmet pretzel shop three blocks (streets, not apartment houses) from mine. Unfortunately, they no longer make the 5-pepper pretzel, which was superb. They have mustard, jam, honey mustard, peanut butter, and butter (I think) for dipping.

        Here’s a recipe:

        Just curious: Do you have a press for making tortillas?

        • ks sunflower says:

          Back in the day when we were newly married and without much money, I made everything I could from scratch. One of the things I needed to make because we lived in a very rural SE KS community was tortillas (both corn and flour). My dear husband took two square of 6″ X6″ wood, screwed a 1 1/2 ” X 1 1/2 inch foot-long piece of wood to top of one of them and then connected them with a piano hinge. It worked like a dream (and still does). No varnish or anything is needed. I used squares of wax paper (though you could use parchment paper which would last a bit longer) because plastic wrap and parchment paper were too expensive for our budget.

          I know they sell nifty little metal presses, but this homemade version does the trick and is fairly inexpensive.

          • ks sunflower says:

            Please excuse the typos and grammatical errors – have just finished treating my dear hubby for a bad case of poison ivy. Just thinking about the images of that rash made me careless (of course, much easier to treat it than to suffer from it).

          • benlomond2 says:

            ahem…. a thick dowel is used by my wife’s family… a rolling pin without the handles. the receipe is a handful of this , and a touch of that,,, if I ever suggested a press to them, I’d NEVER get homemade tortillas to go with my chile verde ! ( and made with New Mexico green chili… none of that wimpy green stuff they grow here in Cal! chuckle.. awlfully fun explaining to TSA going thru the scanners, so we put ziplock bags frozen in the luggage when we fly back from there..

    • fishingmamma says:

      I wrote a letter to Joe Biden and got a personal response. May have been written by a staffer and robo-signed, but it did NOT say “thankyou for your input”, which is the sum of the entire content of the reply I got from Murkowski on the same subject.

      BTW, when I write my (and any other) congresspeople, I always also write to the President and the Vice-President. They need to know that they have our support and that we are writing letters.

  6. bubbles says:

    i sent a thank you to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer of New York.
    i hope the people whose Senators did not support the President or the people of their states will remember and vote accordingly in the future. i especially hope that Alaskans will start this very day to prepare for election 2014 and acquaint the people with Scott McAdams if he is still willing to run against Lisa for the Senate. i really like that man and i think he would serve Alaska well.

    • benlomond2 says:

      I’d like to see Scott run for Don Young’s seat……2012 is sooner…. but I’m not an Alaskan,,,

    • leenie17 says:

      Good reminder…I’ll send off a note to Gillibrand and Schumer today.

      They nearly always vote the way I want them to and I sometimes forget that it’s just as important to give the ones we agree with a ‘thanks and keep up the good work’ so they know we support them!

      I got a nice response last week from Schumer regarding the email I sent about supporting Net Neutrality. I know it was a form message, but it actually did respond to some of the points I made so I was rather impressed!

  7. Simple Mind says:

    Politics is hard. With the increase in money-for-media campaigning, Washington has become a close cousin to Hollywood, a land of smoke and mirrors. And so when seeking to become the leader of the greatest nation in history, it is somehow a plus to claim that you have no political experience whatsoever. Herman Cain claims that his “9-9-9” plan is a simple fix to the most complex economy on the planet instead of what it really is, a radical drop in taxes for the wealthy and a radical increase in taxes on the poor. Saint Ronald Reagan is portrayed as your amiable uncle while his administration was illegally selling arms to Iran to pay for terrorists in Nicaragua who bombed schools and clinics, murdered teachers and health workers and left that country with a ruined economy and over 30,000 deaths. I am not equating Lisa Murkowski with these people but I am pointing out the lengths to which Washington/Hollywood will portray an image that is directly contrary to reality. Murkowski wants you to see her as the reasonable, independent, consensus-building moderate. She is not. She is a relatively junior politician pledged to a party whose stated goal is to defeat anything the President tries to do. In matters that count, she takes her orders from them, not the people of Alaska.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Wasn’t it none other than the sage(brush) sage of Crawfish,Texas that said a leopard can’t change its stripes? Maybe it was fool me twice-we won’t get fooled again? Can’t remember and it doesn’t matter. Carry on.

  8. Alaska Pi says:

    Thank you for sharing this event with us AKM ,
    The information about what we lost a chance at with LM’s myopic vote hurts.

  9. mike from iowa says:

    The rethuglican party and their leaders,who ordered the ranks to vote against this bill,sound exactly like the union leaders and the rank and file thugs they constantly whine about. I don’t think you could accurately describe,in so many words,the similarities between what rethugs claim they hate and the way they operate. They are so union-like before being union-like was uncool. BTW whats that green,leafy looking stuff on the table near them yummy looking brownies? Is that roughage?

  10. NMJ says:

    I especially love the last sentence:

    “I urge you to reconsider supporting the American Jobs Act, and the will of the majority of Americans who do not have the advantages that you enjoy.”