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Oh no they didn’t… the week in gaffes, goofs and OMGs

TALL TALES from Juneau

Eyes on the Babcock/Arduin/Dunleavy administration

Oh yes, they DID.


It’s been a week of face-palm inducing, cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping gaffes and goofs in Juneau and beyond. It’s hard to know where to begin. So, we may as well start with the “beyond Juneau” part.



The Senate Armed Services Committee recently questioned top generals on President Trump’s “national emergency” declaration along the U.S.-Mexico border. Sen. Dan Sullivan was unsurprisingly supportive of the national emergency. To justify this support, he asked U.S. Northern Command General Terrence O’Shaughnessy how many Americans were killed by opioid drug overdoses last year. The answer was 72,000.

“So, if that’s not an emergency, 72,000 dead Americans killed by opioids and heroin in one year, I have no fricking idea what an emergency is,” said Sullivan.

The Senator obviously also has “no fricking idea” that more than a third of those overdose deaths come from legally-prescribed opioids. Or that the DEA itself has concluded that drug traffickers “transport the bulk of their goods over the Southwest Border through [legal] ports of entry using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers.”

He also, apparently, “has no fricking idea” that drug traffickers are already a step ahead of a wall, with their ability to use tunnels, drones, submarines, and narco-torpedoes, and that our money at the border should be spent in smarter ways than The Wall™.

And finally, does the senator believe that more than 40,000 dead Americans a year would constitute a national emergency too? If so, what steps is he fighting for to combat the staggering amount of gun deaths in this country every year? We have no fricking idea.



UAA graduate Lance Pruitt (R-East Anchorage) was home talking to constituents at the break-out session from the Anchorage caucus this weekend. Everyone at the session was pretty unhappy about the governor’s budget. And how did Pruitt defend the 41% proposed cut to the university system by Gov. Dunleavy? He said, “We’re not producing Harvard-level graduates at the University of Alaska.”

Remember that Pruitt may have some extra incentive to defend the governor’s horrendously unpopular budget. His wife, Mary Ann Pruitt, is literally on the governor’s payroll making a whopping $185,000/year as his Communications Director for the purpose of PROMOTING IT.



Donna Arduin, the temporary Outside budget director, is rapidly becoming one of the least popular tourists in Alaska state history. Her deadpan facial expressions to the Senate and House finance committees while explaining “it’s not her job” to understand how her cuts affect people, it’s just to make the numbers work, have gained her no friends. Here’s her latest tweet to Alaskans, full of patronizing budget-splaining.

Does everyone feel better now? It’s just for our own good.



Freshman Sarah Vance (R-Homer) caught the attention of people who actually understand how budgets work last week when she went back to Homer to meet constituents. There weren’t actual torches and pitchforks, but 300 Homer residents were less than pleased by Vance’s non-answers to serious budget questions. Some of them proposed instituting a state income tax to help deal with the massive cuts to services. Vance told them (and I quote) “I don’t think of income tax as revenue.” … Looks like Ms. Vance has less of a learning curve and more of a learning cliff.



Commissioner of Administration 2.0 (after top pick Jonathan Quick stepped aside because he got caught falsifying his credentials) Kelly Tshibaka had a hearing in front of Senate Finance. When questioned by Sen. Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel) about what experience she’s had in rural Alaska, she answered that she’d been hunting and fishing and “I’ve been to the oil fields at the North Pole.”…  When Donny Olson (D-Golovin) followed up for more clarification, she said, “You know, the Arctic Circle.” Someone should find out if she can see the North Pole from her house, and then give her an Alaska geography lesson.



Fairbanks City Councilman David Pruhs spoke in a meeting concerning the non-discrimination ordinance passed (and now to be vetoed by Mayor Jim Matherly) said that people in the LGBTQ community who came forward with their experiences of discrimination were “full of shit.”Mr. Pruhs is apparently defending the opinion that all LGBT people are treated with basic respect and dignity, just like he treats them.



Mike Coons, who was appointed to Commission on Aging by Gov. Dunleavy, was one of the few to testify in favor of the governor’s PFD repayment bill last week. He said “these socialists” who don’t support the bills can donate their PFD to the government if they want. Not sure who these “socialists” who don’t support the biggest socialist program in the state are, but they may need to brush up on socialism. Mr. Coons may want to do that too since he apparently loves him some communal ownership of the resources, and sharing in the wealth generated by that common ownership, but not… socialists.



Zipline devotee and perennial candidate for every office, and from every political party under the sun, Dustin Darden, is running for yet another office – this time for Anchorage Assembly. It’s hard to pick just one quote from his list of answers to a questionnaire from the Anchorage Daily News, so here are two:

Q: What steps have you taken to prepare for this job? What strengths do you bring to office, and what in your life demonstrates those strengths?

A: I smoked some really good salmon. I landed a 360 flip down the 4 stairs at Enstar Gas company, you know the ones closest to Spenard Road.

Q: There could be tough budget times ahead with state cutbacks. What can the city do to make up for those cuts?

A: Make things like bird houses or furniture out of trash give them away for early presents “nothing wrong with early”

There’s more. So much more. Including ziplines. You can read the whole thing HERE.



Former State House Representative Liz Vazquez is another Anchorage Assembly candidate with things to say. She has lots of feelings about crime. It started off with a Facebook post of a guy with face tattoos.

“Look at this scary guy! I’m sure SB91 likes him.” Who wants to break it to Vazquez that Scary Guy is not from Alaska, and therefore Alaska Senate Bill 91 has no particular opinion of him. And also… is Scary Guy seriously 7 feet tall?  We’d definitely notice him around if he lived here. But… SCARY!!! So that’s all you need to know.

At this point, you may be thinking that satire is dead. But no. Believe it or not, Vazquez herself has topped this weird, fear-mongering babble with even MORE weird fear-mongering babble!  WATCH THIS.

This video should be saved forever and kept as an example of worst political ad of all time. It’s must-see TV if you haven’t watched it yet. Make sure to share it with your friends in West Anchorage as a dire warning. And let us know if you can answer the questions on everyone’s mind. Why does that thug keep calling her Grandma? Is she carrying an actual lead brick in her purse? What happened to the dog? Inquiring minds want to know.



Remember, you can do something to help get good, competent people into office. Start by volunteering with our phone bank team this weekend! Anchorage Municipal ballots drop this Tuesday and we’re calling our hearts out Wednesday night from 5:30-8pm and on Saturday from 10am-2pm for great Assembly and School Board candidates. You can RSVP HERE or by emailing

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And, get our weekday news roundup, PRESS CLIPS in the morning by signing up HERE.

*This article is reposted with permission from the Alaska Democratic Party



One Response to “Oh no they didn’t… the week in gaffes, goofs and OMGs”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Repuke Pruitt has the most punchable lege face in Alaska. Looks like another Magat hat brat from Kaintuck with his paid for smirk.

    If you superimposed Mitch McCTurtle’s ugly face over the tax lady’s face you couldn’t tell one from the other. That is an ugly thought.

    The pathological liar in the orange kremlin annex has racked up 9014 lies/misstatements in 773 days, the federal deficit is soaring, the trade deficit is still expanding, relations with allies has hit near rock bottom, billionaires keep billionairing, Kim Young Un is still building nukes and Mueller is still finding criminal wrongdoing by the Drumpf crime family and syndicate.

    Life is good…..or bad derpenmding.

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