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Friday, January 28, 2022

Alaska Gov Pals Around With Insurrection Instigator


The former guy and the hopefully soon-to-be former guy, Instagram photo 7/28/21

The on-again-off-again fundraiser to fight the Recall Dunleavy campaign has finally happened after being canceled earlier this summer. The governor, who decries “east coast elites” and out-of-state influence on Alaska campaigns, brought at least a dozen Alaska Republicans with him to Donald Trump’s east coast elite golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey to collect out-of-state money to influence an Alaska campaign.

Donald Trump, you may remember, is the one who fomented a violent insurrection attempt to overthrow of the United States government because he lost the election. He and the Tall One are buddies.

The dozen or more Alaskans Dunleavy brought on his field trip represented almost 20% of the total 65 guests who reportedly attended the event. 

Random Fun Fact: The Alaska Democratic Party has more than twice the Facebook likes as Trump’s golf resort! #justsaying

[Feel free to add to that margin ^^ by liking our Facebook page HERE!]


Alaska’s former half-governor, Sarah Palin, who quit the job midway through to hawk her memoir after losing a bid to become Vice President is once again “hinting at a run” for the Alaska senate seat. She’s been “hinting” at this for more than a decade but this time, apparently, she’s waiting for a sign. 

She got it on Twitter.


Don Young has had lots of ideas about science over the course of his legislative career. There was that time he wore a propeller beanie to make fun of wind turbines, said he’d just cut all the old growth timber because “it’s dying anyway,” complained about how gray wolves are a protected species and then threw out the idea that the wolves should be turned loose on America’s homeless population as a way to reduce their number, denied the existence of a subspecies of beluga whale because they all look alike, and told senior citizens to go about their lives and not worry about “the beer virus” which he said was “overblown.” The list of scientific opinions from the Congressman who has never owned a computer is long, but here’s the latest.

He now has a theory about salmon runs, specifically why king salmon are on the decline – nuclear submarines. Yes, nuclear submarines. Because maybe there’s a Russian submarine wreck that’s leaking radioactive waste into the ocean. Bear in mind that red salmon were plentiful this season so maybe it’s in some area of the ocean where only kings go? Who knows? Either way, Don Young thinks we really should study it more and figure it out. He also says, “I know people laugh at me.” So there’s that.


The Alaska State Ethics Act is a comprehensive rule book about how elected officials should behave and what they must do to act honorably in their positions, and what behaviors are considered dishonest, and deceitful. 

One gigantic rule is that you can’t use public money to campaign. Seems like a no-brainer, right? A mayor, hypothetically, couldn’t use property taxes from residents to run for reelection; and a governor (NOT hypothetically) can’t use state funds to do that either. But that hasn’t stopped Mike Dunleavy.

He’s announced that he’ll be hiring a PR firm for the cool sum of $250,000 to create an ad campaign pushing his plan that promises giant PFDs, power cost equalization, and constitutional amendments to “fix” budget issues, with absolutely no plan of how to pay for it all over the long term, no new revenue sources, no oil tax reform, and no strategy from keeping his TALL ideas from collapsing the economy once he’s out of office.

The administration put out an RFI (Request for Information) asking any organization who is interested in this quarter-million dollars of public money to submit an application within THREE days. THREE days?! That’s a pretty heavy lift if you don’t have a heads up.

Here’s what they want to know:

Response Information:

Media agencies interested in providing the required services must submit a written RFI response to the Procurement Officer below. Response are limited to (2) 8.5”x11” letter size pages. Responses must also include the following information:

  • The agency’s experience and qualifications,
  • Staff names and titles,
  • Methodology used for advertising to reach the approximate 67% of Alaskans unfamiliar with the proposal
  • The agency’s proposed costNOTE: This RFI does not extend any rights to prospective firms or obligate the state to contract with any agency for the required services. If a contract is issued, the state, at its discretion, may issue multiple awards.Procurement Officer contact information:
    Interested parties must submit a written response by FridayAugust 6, at 12:00 p.m., Alaska Time. Responses may be E-mailed to the addresses listed below. Responses received after the deadline are unacceptable.

Stay tuned to find out the name of the lucky winner who was able to find the announcement, and put together an RFI response in 72 hours!

So, does this blatant messaging of all the things that are likely to be the centerpiece of Dunleavy’s 2022 partisan platform, and being paid for with public money, constitute a violation of the Ethics Act? Likely yes.

As always, Dermot Cole is on it. Read his article for more analysis and links.

Will he probably use the “Oh, but I haven’t ACTually declared I’m running again and this is just to make the public aware of things that may or may not be my entire campaign if maybe I choose to run but I haven’t made up my mind yet” excuse to try to skirt the ethics law? Undoubtedly.

Is Dunleavy able to even deliver on his “50-50 plan” which makes empty promises of gigantic PFDs, and Constitutional Amendments? Not if the past is any indicator.

Just for you, fans of the classic ‘Better Off Dead’

As a matter of fact, number crunchers and fiscal politicos of all stripes from Senate Finance Chair Bert Stedman, to Senate President Peter Micchiche, to Brad Kiethly, to Cliff Groh, are basically calling BS on Dunleavy’s jiggery-pokery snake oil fantasy.

The governor’s plan proposes to overdraw the Permanent Fund by $1.5 billion, and then take ANOTHER $3 billion to act as a “bridge” while the legislature figures out all the other things that the governor can’t seem to figure out himself – like how this can possible happen without new revenue, or oil tax restructuring, or devastating cuts to things that have already had devastating cuts.

But hey, it’s almost an election year, so as long as he’s got state funds to make empty promises, then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Dr. Michael Savitt

As long as Dave Bronson is the mayor of half of all Alaskans, Juneau is NOT going to be the only place mired in what-the-heckism. Any and everything covid prevention is currently best described as a hot mess.

Anchorage’s new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Savitt, a pediatrician who was described in a press release as having “extensive experience with infectious diseases and has a degree in psychology,” appears bumbling and uninformed. He replaced an actual epidemiologist who has resigned from her position. So did Bruce Chandler, the Anchorage Health Department’s longtime medical officer who specialized in infectious disease control and prevention.

The Blue Alaskan reports:“At yesterday’s Health Policy Meeting with Dr. Savitt and David Morgan in attendance, Anchorage Assembly Woman Austin Quinn-Davidson asked Dr. Savitt what the reproductive number of the virus was in Anchorage to which Dr. Savitt—the pediatrician who is alleged to have ‘extensive experience with infectious diseases’ responded to Quinn-Davidson asking her what she meant by ‘reproductive number.'”Quinn-Davidson explained to pediatrician Dr. Savitt that the reproductive number is a ‘really important aspect of infectious disease. It shows how quickly the virus is growing in the community; it’s one of the top factors we used to determine the risk of COVID while I was mayor and while we had an epidemiologist on staff.'”


Apparently being a psychology major doesn’t give one all the answers. One of the Save Anchorage Facebook group people might want to send over some burn cream. AND A MASK!

At a press availability last week, Mayor Bronson revealed that he is unvaccinated and has no intention on becoming vaccinated but was following CDC guildelines – to which a reporter asked why he wasn’t wearing a mask in an indoor setting with a lot of people in the room for an extended period of time. To which Bronson said he’d already had covid so it was basically the same thing. To which the reporter said no that the CDC doesn’t say anything about if you’ve already had covid, only if you haven’t had the vaccine. To which Dr. Savitt spoke up saying that until the CDC “clarifies” whether they mean unvaccinated people AND people who’ve had covid, he’s just going to assume they mean both.

SPOILER: They don’t mean both.

Mask up, Anchorage. And avoid the Mayor and his staff.


David Morgan

And it’s not just Savitt who calls into question the Mayor’s judgment. Anchorage’s new Health Department Director, David Morgan, has big problems of his own. He has come under fire from the Assembly, who must confirm his nomination, for downplaying the pandemic and making comments on social media skeptical of COVID science, and acknowledging his lack of experience in public health. Assemblyman Kameron Perez-Verdia said, during a recent work session, that his inbox was full of emails from Anchorage residents opposing the appointment.

“Those have included people that you’ve worked with in the past, and it appears that there are a number of examples in your past where you’ve left organizations worse off than you found them.” That reference was about allegations that Morgan basically ran a non-profit into the financial ground. You can read the details on that one HERE.

This is your first of many many reminders over the next three years that voting in local elections matters. A LOT!

RIP Richard Trumka

[Leading the march – Alaska AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka make their way to the Hilton in Downtown Anchorage]

We end with a heavy heart as we bid farewell to an inspirational fighter, a true leader, and a champion for working people everywhere. Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO has passed away of a heart attack at 72 years old. It’s hard to overestimate his impact on the labor movement as the head of the largest labor organization in the country for the last decade.

He deeply believed that a rising tide lifts all boats, fought hard and tough every day for workers’ rights, and visited Alaska several times over the years, including to support strikes against hotels who were overworking, mistreating, and underpaying staff.

If you want to honor his memory, and continue the fight, tell your Senators to support the PRO (People’s Right to Organize) Act, to keep the labor movement strong and protect the rights of workers to organize.

The Alaska Democratic Party voted unanimously at the State Central Committee meeting in May to support the PRO Act for all the good it does for workers in Alaska and the nation.

You can also continue to boycott the Hilton in Anchorage, which not only brought the ire of Trumka and Unite Here!, but who also were the secret donors behind funneling massive campaign dollars to Dave Bronson’s campaign for Mayor.

Rest in peace after a job well done. Now we continue the fight.



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