Late in the last year of his presidency, writes Tevi Troy, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a presidential scholar who also worked in the White House, Richard Nixon gave a speech at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., praising country music. “‘Country music is American, [it] isn’t something that we learned from some other nation, it isn’t something we inherited . It’s as native as anything American we could find.’” Country music, Nixon said, came directly from “‘the heart of America,’” expressing “Americans’ love of country and of religion, Continue reading
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted on Monday to confirm Patricia Millett to join the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The final vote was 56-38. Murkowski and Susan Collins of Maine were the only two Republican senators to vote for Millett’s confirmation.
Millett was the first to win confirmation since the Senate weakened the filibuster rules, which now only require a simple majority, instead of a vote of 60 to end a filibuster.
Millett’s approval means that now, among the nine circuit judges, five of them are Democratic appointees. The D.C. Court of Appeals is considered Continue reading
Stuart Rothenberg, political fortune teller and Roll Call political blogger, has published his annual “end-of-the-year awards.” The award categories range from the worst political decision of the year, which had Anthony Weiner’s name, or whatever, all over it, to the five most vulnerable incumbents up in 2014. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., made the list. Surprisingly, Sen. Mark Begich didn’t.
Perhaps that’s because Rothenberg doesn’t think much of Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, one of Begich’s main challengers, whom he gave an award for the most “interesting” candidate interview. According to Rothenberg, the interview was, “Memorable because the candidate couldn’t get Continue reading
From a fundraising letter from U.S. Rep. Don Young:
“It appears I’ve drawn some early and aggressive opposition so I’m reaching out to ask for your immediate assistance. They are vigorously soliciting from liberal activists for what they call long term planning.”
Liberal activists can organize? And they’re doing so to get rid of Young? Maybe sensing the stretch here, the letter goes on to say, “Some might scoff that this is not a formidable threat.” Who’s running against Young again?
A group of political activists, who spent a better part of a year collecting signatures while braving the harsh elements of an Alaska winter, were disappointed with the state’s decision to reject their petition to recall Alaska state Rep. Lindsey Holmes.
According to the Division of Elections, the group gathered enough signatures and the application was filed in time for a recall; however, the Department of Law ruled that Holmes’ decision to switch party affiliations from Democrat to Republican doesn’t amount to a “lack of fitness” for the job. Consequently, the recall petition was formally rejected. The repeal group has the Continue reading
Last week, Put Alaska First, a super PAC formed to support Sen. Mark Begich’s 2014 reelection effort, reported to the FEC that it paid D.C. firm Waterfront Strategies $98,000 for ads, one of which is already up. The ad counters a much publicized ad from the Koch brothers’ funded group American’s for Prosperity, featuring an actress from Maryland criticizing Begich’s support for ObamaCare. The pro-Begich ad features Alaskan Megan Collie saying Begich is trying to fix healthcare. Collie is the communications director for the AFL-CIO, the largest labor union in Alaska.
Senate candidate Dan Sullivan started the week off at a reportedly healthy event at the Martinson’s residence on the Hillside. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who isn’t even up for re-election until 2016, held an event to raise campaign bucks at the Bittner’s home closer to downtown. There was a luncheon to benefit the campaign coffers of Rep. Bill Stoltze and Sen. Kevin Meyer. And to Continue reading
Thursday began as a very good day for U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan. Roll Call, an inside-the-beltway publication owned by Congressional Quarterly, wrote a story about his campaign, highlighting that he worked for Condoleezza Rice in the Bush administration, his time in Alaska as the state’s attorney general and as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. It mentioned his service in the Marine Corps, and that he was deployed as a reservist to Afghanistan this summer.
“Sullivan’s résumé reads straight out of a Republican textbook,” Roll Call wrote.
Most importantly for Sullivan’s campaign, the article suggested that Sullivan might Continue reading
From the Wall Street Journal:
“BP has complained for months it has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses that filed damage claims after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster – even though they weren’t really affected. Now, the court-appointed lawyer supervising those payments has confirmed he approved a $173,000 payout to an ‘adult escort service’ that BP said was filed with unsigned and undated financial documents.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott spoke to a friendly crowd of about 30 people on Thursday at the Democratic Bartlett Club in Anchorage. Without using notes, he spoke for about 40 minutes on subjects ranging from education to oil to declining state coffers. With every subject, he was able to weave in the central theme of his campaign: unifying all Alaskans.
Bringing Alaskans together has been Mallott’s theme since he announced he was running for governor in mid-October. He didn’t deliver a tub -thumper, but his stump speech has gotten Continue reading
To the surprise of some, and maybe the amusement of others, Gov. Sean Parnell announced on Tuesday that he’s not planning to introduce natural gas tax legislation to be considered in the upcoming legislative session. Currently, natural gas is taxed at roughly the same rate as is oil, but it’s only worth a fraction of what oil is.
Parnell says he’s not doing so because the companies that have the lease rights to the natural gas, and who would build the line that would carry the gas from the North Slope to tidewater, haven’t met all of the benchmarks he set Continue reading
Former Alaska legislator Niilo Koponen died peacefully at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home on Tuesday. As one person put it on his Facebook page, “(t)hey don’t seem to make Alaska legislators these days like Niilo Koponen.” There will be a memorial gathering to honor his life at Pioneer Park Civic Center in the afternoon of Jan. 5, 2014. More information will be posted on the family blog here.
Here’s a short remembrance written by a grandson, Max, republished below with permission of the family:
“He was born in 1928. He grew up in Continue reading
Last evening, I posted an article about Brad Keithley’s allegations against the UAA athletics program and UAA Chancellor Tom Case. Keithley claims that he is in the process of being barred from any association with UAA athletics. He says that it’s because he’s been critical of the athletic program, that he expressed concerns to Case about the hiring of a UAA women’s basketball coach who had a reputation in other schools and who resigned shortly after he was hired amid allegations of “professional misconduct.” He also wrote to the university about a student athlete who felt uncomfortable working with Continue reading
Joe Napolitan, credited with coining the term “political consultant,” died on Monday. Napolitan worked on over 100 campaigns and served on the campaign staffs of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. He has worked on every continent and has been a personal consultant to nine foreign heads of state. He was the founder and first president of the American Association of Political Consultants and co-founder of the International Association of Political Consultants.
Closer to home, Napolitan played an instrumental role in two statewide Alaska races. He served as the chief strategist and consultant to Mike Gravel, who won a big upset in the Continue reading