GOP Senate candidate Sullivan releases new campaign ad

U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan released a TV ad on Friday morning, claiming he’s the “conservative choice for U.S. Senate,” who has been endorsed by the Club for Growth, fought the EPA, ObamaCare, and for “pro-growth tax reform.” The ad isn’t going to make your heart melt. It’s not going to raise your blood pressure. It might not even capture your attention for 30 seconds. It’s a decidedly unexciting ad, from which Sullivan himself appears detached. However, the campaign has been polling, and maybe the buzz words will stick with some.

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Joe Miller’s fundraising is looking up–reports $101,000 in 1st quarter

GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller reported raising $101,000 in the first quarter of the year, which ran from January to March. It’s a significant increase from the $30,490 he raised in the last fundraising quarter. No loans have been made to the campaign, he says, and he has $300,000 cash on hand, much of which was rolled over from his 2010 run.

Miller will make an official campaign announcement on April 21.

Dan Sullivan, his primary challenger, reported raising $1.4 million in the quarter. Mead Treadwell has yet to release his numbers. Sen. Mark Begich raised a little more than a $1 Continue reading

Dan Sullivan or Dan Sullivan? Alaskans are confused.

Sullivan v Sullivan KTUU 5This should have been a good morning for GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan. FEC filings show that he brought in $1.4 million in the first quarter of this year, which runs from January to March. He raised $100,000 more than he announced last week. This means that he bested U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the quarter by about $400,000, which is no small feat. Sullivan has filed two quarterly reports, and he’s beat Begich’s fundraising totals in both. He still has just under $2 million cash on hand. Continue reading

Group makes media buy in Alaska to draft Sarah Palin for U.S. Senate

palinAccording to an FEC filing made on Wednesday, a group called the Tea Party Leadership Fund is spending $10,000 on a radio buy in Alaska opposing U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and urging Sarah Palin to run for his seat. Washington D.C. lawyer Dan Backer is the treasurer of the group, which as of February has raised $3.8 million this election cycle.

Backer is also one of the lawyers behind the most recent Supreme Court decision to strike down a slate of campaign finance restrictions.

According to Mother Jones, Backer’s group Continue reading

The homes that KABATA plans to demolish

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Sometime before Sunday night when the Legislature adjourns, the House is expected to take up a concurrence vote on the Senate version of the Knik Arm bridge project that would build a bridge between Anchorage and Point MacKenzie. It’s currently in what’s known as the “limbo file.” The House can take it up any time. The bill that passed through the Senate dictates that the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority, or KABATA, cannot destroy property it acquires unless it gets the same federal loan that it’s tried and failed to get five times in the past. However, it is allowed to destroy the four Government Hill properties it already acquired, at a cost of about $3 million. One of those is the former home of Anchorage writer Charles Wohlforth, who spent years remodeling it. Read on to see pictures of the house and read the rest of the story. Continue reading

A first look at first quarter fundraising numbers in Alaska’s Senate race

The Federal Election Commission filings for the first quarter of the year are beginning to roll in and be analyzed. Here’s what some reporters in the national media are writing:

From the Huffington Post on Outside funding of Put Alaska First, the pro-Sen. Mark Begich super-PAC:

In advertisements to support Sen. Mark Begich (D), Alaska-based super PAC Put Alaska First has questioned the home-state credentials of the one-term senator’s opponents and critics. The group has cast potential Republican opponent Dan Sullivan as an interloper…But the pro-Begich Put Alaska First also relies heavily on out-of-state support, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. Nearly all of its funds have come from the national Democratic group, Senate Majority PAC, and most of that money has been paid to a Democratic media buying firm created to work with Senate Majority PAC and other national super PACs.

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First Lady Sandy Parnell’s Volunteer of the Year awards

First Lady Sandy Parnell announced the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards on Wednesday.  “We are so fortunate to live in a state where so many people dedicate their lives to helping others,” Sandy said. “I applaud these Alaskans for their service and encourage others to find ways to strengthen our communities through volunteering.”

The volunteers will be recognized at a luncheon and ceremony in May.

Below are the list of recipients: Continue reading

Loose Lips: The gossipy boys-on-the-bench edition

Loose Lips

  • Often times I roll my eyes at the Capitol building, boys-on-the-bench hallway chatter. For one, the bench warmers tend to be white males who make too much money and have too much time on their hands. Secondly, they use their time gossiping instead of say, doing something really useful like reciting poetry. But often they know what they’re talking about. Recently, some of the gossipers were talking about the most vulnerable legislator. The general consensus is that it’s Rep. Lindsey Holmes, who has two Democratic challengers: former Assemblyman Matt Claman and Continue reading

Holmes’ bill levels playing field between public defenders and prosecutors

On Tuesday, the Legislature unanimously passed HB 262, introduced by Rep. Lindsey Holmes, which gives the Office of Public Advocacy (OPA) and the Public Defender Agency (PD) latitude in contracting expert witnesses and other services to defend people who don’t have enough money to hire a private lawyer.

As it stands, when securing certain services like expert witnesses or contract lawyers, OPA and PD are required to put in a formal request for procurement. The Department of Law, which is the prosecutor, doesn’t have to, which can give the already powerful DOL an advantage. Also, the bill ensures that public defenders Continue reading

Parnell announces debate schedule

Gov. Sean Parnell’s re-election campaign confirmed that he will be participating in at least eight debates leading up to the general election in November, three of which will be before the primary election. So far, Parnell doesn’t have a Republican primary challenger. In the general he’ll be running against Democrat Byron Mallott and Independent Bill Walker.

“Our debate schedule, along with this early announcement, will ensure all Alaskans have an opportunity to learn about our goals for the next four years,” Parnell said in a release.

Indeed, it’s so early that it’s likely that many media outfits haven’t yet scheduled debates. So Continue reading

Alaska state Rep. Hughes apologizes for calling breastfeeding “sexy”

On Tuesday, Rep. Shelly Hughes, a Republican from Palmer, apologized for her “poor choice of words” when she described breastfeeding as “sexy” in a press release about a resolution to encourage the practice.

The release, which has gotten a fair amount of attention, was sent to media on Monday night, and was headlined: “Smart and Sexy: Legislature Encourages Hospitals to Promote Breastfeeding.” The “smart and sexy” part was later dropped from the official release on the House majority website.

“My intent was to draw attention to this incredibly important issue. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of attention I hoped to receive,” Continue reading

Legislature passes bill that restricts abortions for poor women

On Monday, the Alaska state Legislature passed a bill that defines medically necessary abortion. The bill now heads to Gov. Sean Parnell’s office after the Senate voted to agree to strip family planning money from the bill. The vote was 13-7. Only one Republican, Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman, voted against the House version of the bill. Democrat Sen. Donny Olson, from Nome, voted for it with the rest of the Republicans.

The bill would only effect women whose abortions are paid for through Medicaid, which provides health care benefits to the poor.

The family planning money had been a source of contention Continue reading

On night of lunar eclipse, House majority release calls breast feeding ‘Smart and Sexy’

6089097_sThe House majority press office is really busy this time of year. The media is particularly pesky. Bills and resolutions are getting passed, and with each one that does so, a press release goes out. Four releases went out Monday from the office. Sometimes the press office writes the releases. But usually, at least the shell of them come from the office of the lawmaker who carried the bill. The press office’s job is to check, proof, and disseminate.

One of them, which was sent out on Monday night about a resolution offered by Palmer Rep. Shelly Hughes encouraging breast feeding, said that the practice was “sexy.” In full the headline read: “Smart and Sexy: Legislature Encourages Hospitals to Promote Breastfeeding.” Continue reading

ObamaCare costs less than projected

The CBO on Monday said that ObamaCare will cost $104 billion less in subsidies than projected over the next decade. Obamacare’s lower-than-expected costs will come largely because premiums will be cheaper than previously thought. Republicans in Washington had no immediate response to the news. So far, more than 7.5 million Americans have signed up for ObamaCare. The three GOP Senate candidates in Alaska—Joe Miller, Dan Sullivan and Mead Treadwell—have all vowed that they would work to repeal that law if they were elected. None have said what they would do with those who have signed up or with the many more millions of citizens who work for small businesses that don’t provide health care, or those with preexisting conditions who have been denied insurance benefits.
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