Category Archives: Dan Coffey

Alaska News Roundup for April 8


  • Sue McClure’s Seward Borough Assembly Report is the stuff of political wonks dreams come true. It is funny, wry and full of political nerd excitement. Here is but a sample exert: “ Wolf then moved for reconsideration, so we will vote whether or not to reconsider at our next meeting!” McClure could be the Marilyn Hagerty of Assembly reporting.
  • A deal between Shell and BG Group for $69.7 billion (yes, with a “B”) has the AP if this is the beginning of a wave of mega-merger within the energy industry.
  • Prudhoe Bay is no longer #1 oil field in the U.S. In fact, The Fiscal Times reports that since the last EIA (Energy Information Administration) report from 2009 came out, Prudhoe Bay has been bumped from its top spot and is now sitting in the bronze section of #3. With Natural Gas, it’s even worse with a ranking of #10.

Prudhoe Bay Ranking


  • Palmer’s own Bill Mohrwinkel of Arctic Wild wrote an op-ed in The Hill to remind readers that the Last Frontier is much more than oil.

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Live Blogging from Election Central

Click HERE for the results as they come in!

11:01pm.  Mayoral Bloodbath Round Deux:  Demboski vs. Berkowitz, starting…NOW!

11:00pm.  Result update with of 97.6% precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 36.84%
  • Dan Coffey at 14.48%
  • Amy Dembowski at 24.31%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.60%

It looks like it will be a runoff since the magic 45% of votes was not reached by a single candidate.

10:45pm.  Just spotted:  Nick Moe and Samuel Moore.  Not talking with one another, but here.  Also here:  former APD Police Chief Walk Monegan sporting the only Andrew Halcro button in the room.

10:43pm.  The party is winding down.  Media is putting away their gear.  Not so for the Dispatch and APRN.  They are in their own worlds typing away on their keyboards with fury.

10:39pm.  Result update with 93.5% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 37.56%
  • Dan Coffey at 14.33%
  • Amy Dembowski at 23.84%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.54%

10:30pm.  Alaska Commons called it quits.

10:24pm.  Amy Demboski is being interviewed by the Political Pipeline. “He [Ethan Berkowitz] is for big government and I’m for small government” paraphrasing of Amy Dembowski’s last remarks to Austin Baird.

10:22pm.  The Amy Demboski signs are blocking my view of the rest of the room. Arg.

10:19pm.  A VERY short “Ethan! Ethan! Ethan!” chant happened.  It was quickly shut down.

10:16pm.  It has been whispered to me that Andrew Halcro is not planning on showing up at election central tonight.  Reporters’ faces are a mixture of shock and disgust as this information telephones around the room.

10:15pm.  Reporters are huddling.  Looks like they are about to collectively call the elections.

10:11pm.  Just spotted:  Former Lt. Gov. candidate, Craig Fleener.  Looking really happy and surrounded by lots of people (not just reporters).

10:06pm.  Amy Demboski and supporters have arrived!

10:04pm.  Mayor Dan Sullivan is being interviewed by KTVA (sporting jeans) while Ethan Berkowitz is doing the same over with KTUU.

10:02pm.  Former Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D R-Anchorage) is here.  Talking to notable Republicans.

10:01pm.  Mayor Dan Sullivan has arrived.  Nobody is talking to him.  Awkward.

10:00pm.  Result update with 59.7% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 39.01%
  • Dan Coffey at 13.78%
  • Amy Dembowski at 22.96%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.34%

9:56pm.  Photographers with better/cooler/flashier cameras than I have flocked to Berkowitz’s interview with KTVA,blocking my view.  Total score for this station on landing the first interview from the candidate.

9:55pm.  The Dems have ARRIVED!!

9:52pm.  There is shouting from the lobby.  Not quite clear what is happening.  It isn’t chanting.  Oh, its Ethan and supporters!

9:40pm.  Tam Agosti-Gisler and supporters have arrived with lawn signs in tow.

9:47pm.  The Dispatch is calling the School Board Seat E for Kathleen Plunkett.

9:38pm.  Result update with 50% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 38.73%
  • Dan Coffey at 13.67%
  • Amy Dembowski at 23.25%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.48

9:30pm.  Suits (i.e. political wonks) have arrived.  It’s getting real in here.  A definite political divide is already happening in the room.  I guess that article about political leanings and pheromones had something to it.  That or it is a wicked small state and people whose good idea of a Tuesday night is to be on the second floor of the Dena’ina Center is even smaller in number.

9:20pm.  There was a collective gasp though out the room at the results showing a tie between Halcro and Demboski.  Austin Baird with Political Pipeline showed up.  He is sharing a table with Alaska Commons.  Looking rather chummy.

9:16pm.  The room is beginning to fill up.  I’ve moved from my massive conference table of one to a smaller side table.  Bonus:  I have access to a plug and a wall behind me.

8:47pm.  Mayoral candidate Dustin Darden and three supporters just walked into the room.  He had a brief chat with Steve MacDonald about a possible interview.  Now he is talking with the Dispatch table about sign waving today.  FOT6C9B

8:44pm.  People (read reporters at this point) are milling around talking smack about politicians from previous election cycles.

8:30pm.  KTVA just showed up.

8:20pm.  More of the Dispatch team has shown up.  Enough to almost fill a conference table.

8:00pm.  I arrive at Election Central.  Second floor of the Dena’ina Center.  Steve MacDonald with KTUU, Devin Kelly and the Dispatch and the Alaska Commons’ team are all here and setting up for the “big” event.  The room is vacant except for the real journalists…and me.  They are all anxious.  Like race horses at the gate, waiting for the bell.  This is fun!FOT6278











Alaska News Roundup for April 7

  • Today is the Anchorage Muni elections. Click HERE to find your polling location. Polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm.Election Info


  • Devin Kelly with the Dispatch reports further on Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Demboski’s signage vandalism. This time, THERE. ARE. GUNS!
  • Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner explains the House Chamber drama that unfolded during HB115’s legality debate. The bill to has passed the House. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez explains that the bill would allow Alaska to claim federal lands (nearly 170 million acres) and that there is an extremely low possibility of the federal government being ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ with this development.
  • Fairbanks City Councilman Jim Matherly is throwing his hat into the Fairbanks mayoral ring. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details as to his early announcement for the October elections.

    Fairbanks Mayor Candidate

    Photo Credit of Profile

  • Ready your IMSAI 8080 because we’re in for an update on Arctic War Games! Russia has upped the anti with the presence of military aircraft within view of Alaska! The Dispatch explains the where, possible why and what this means to The Last Frontier.

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Lunch Break: ANC Mayoral Candidates’ Fun & Games Edition

It’s the Fun & Games edition of Lunch Break in honor of the Anchorage mayoral candidates!

Sure, you could choose your candidate by reviewing Alaska Political Pipeline‘s sit-down interviews, KSKA’s heady Running debates and/or the Dispatch’s in-depth profiles, but where’s the fun in that?

Today’s politicians have to be polished with canned answers and are less likely to reveal their true selves due to the ever constant worry of becoming television fodder.  That leaves the last bastion of political vulnerability:  campaign Twitter accounts.

Thanks to AnalyzeWords, all the Anchorage Mayoral candidates’ Twitter feeds have been analyzed for personalities, emotional states and thinking styles.  The results are revealing and somewhat surprising.

True, some campaigns have employee(s)/volunteers to handle their social media, but because Twitter is a constant of-the-moment social media tool, the pulse of how a campaign is really doing and the true makeup of a candidate can be found in the distillation of its 140 characters.

  • The most upbeat award goes to Ethan Berkowitz
  • The most plugged in award goes to Jonathan Harrison
  • The most analytic award goes to Andrew Halcro

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Alaska Morning News Roundup April 3

  • Holy Bill of Rights Batman! Sen. Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla) suggested during a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing that the state should start to collect DNA samples from middle schoolers so that it could then be compared to later crime scene samples. Nate Herz with the Dispatch has all the Minority Reportesque details.
  • The Kenai City Council unanimously passed a resolution yesterday in support of Robert Ruffner as a new member of the Board of Fish. This piece of news should put a spring in his step as he heads to his confirmation hearing with the House Resource Committee today.
  • Mat-Su coal mining is no longer a sure thing since a coalition of environmental groups have banded together in filing a lawsuit against a Usibelli Coal Mine permit with the federal courts. The Frontiersman explains that this filing occurred after it discovered that existing community members would be left out of voicing mining operations (future problems/issues) once Usibelli began operations.

    Image credit of

    Image credit of

  • Municipalities can now begin breathing a sigh of relief as regulations involving what muni’s role in regulating marijuana passed the House and is now headed to the Senate. Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner explains what specific clarifications HB75 currently entails.
  • Alaskans now have buddies to listen to The Smiths with to help dull the pain of financial realities stemming from the falling North Sea oil prices. The Dispatch reports that Great Britain’s (particularly Scotland) will be feeling monetary heartache as well.
  • In coffee spitting news, the Peninsula Clarion reports that the Senate Finance Committee has advanced the operating budget, but it does not include forward funding for public education. The slashing and burning doesn’t end there. The Fairbanks News Miner informs of education funding cuts that have left many speechless.Education Shock Tweet


  • The Dispatch’s Devin Kelly has the skinny on how the Anchorage mayoral candidates will be utilizing their time during the Weekend of Decision.
  • The Not-Rep. Geran Tarr’s Version of Erin’s Law received its first hearing in the Senate Education committee hearing, per the Juneau Empire.
  • Paging Yereth Rosen: Slate is wondering if Alaska is the next place where exploding permafrost will become the norm.Permafrost Explosion


  • Taking a page from the scorched earth policy book, Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) has proposed a constitutional amendment, HJR21, on term limits for state legislators that would prevent a state representative (elected every two years) from serving more than four full or partial successive terms or a state senator (elected every four years) from serving no more than two full or partial successive terms.
  • Alaska has joined 14 other states in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage bans, per APRN.
  • The Juneau Empire explains the changes occurring to charitable gaming.
  • Oil rigs off the coast of the U.S. dropped in number by 11 to a new lowest oil rig count of 802 since 2011, per Business Insider.Oil Rig count Graph


  • Read (and listen) to APRN’s in-depth interview with the two contenders for School Board Seat F.School Board Seat F


  • Business Insider explains what the Iran deal means to Alaska’s price per barrel. It isn’t good.
  • Politico reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski could be of a handful of republican senators that could help confirm Loretta Lynch as the new U.S. Attorney General.
  • The Anchorage LIO appears to be on its way into “new” digs known as the Egan Center! The Dispatch explains that the Taj Mahawker’s lease funding is no more.
  • In Kids Say the Darnest Things News:
    Funny Tweet

Lunch Break: When Bad Campaign Ad Strikes

The Anchorage mayoral campaigns’ APOC reports show interesting uses with their war chests.  Devin Kelly‘s Dispatch article about run-off funds (or in some cases, lack there of) got me thinking about the likelihood of fresh campaign ads after the April 7 results.

Whatever topic these future run-off candidates take-on, use former Rep. Vance McAllister’s (R-LA) 2014 “Blessed” re-election campaign video as a guide of what not to do.

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This cringe worthy video was the campaign’s response to the kissing scandalto which it alludes.  Unfortunately, this video didn’t save McAllister’s re-election bid.  In fact, it did the opposite.  The lack of warmth between the McAllisters and most importantly: how the issue was addressed within this 30 second spot is the reason politicos have pointed to this video as the deciding nail in McAllister’s political coffin.

Let this video serve as a lesson.  Pick your messaging carefully.


Alaska News Roundup for April 2

  • Gov. Bill Walker’s Commonwealth North speech was by all accounts intense with the focus on increasing public involvement on budgetary issues. I have it on good authority that interest in the speech increased after Becky Bohrer tweeted this:Becky Bohrer Tweet


  • House Judiciary Committee members utilized the hearing on domestic violence to discuss their pets, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Read all about whom within the Anchorage mayoral race is making it rain in today’s APRN.
  • After completing their happy dance, Shell Oil officially responds to the fed’s green light for offshore Arctic drilling with UPI.
  • In a poll of just “264 likely voters” conducted by Ivan Moore, and paid for by the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association… show Ethan Berkowitz is leading in the Anchorage mayoral race with 3% while Coffey, Halcro and Dembowski have a close three-way tie of about 16% a piece. The Dispatch explains what else Moore’s poll found.

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Alaska News Roundup for April 1

  • Things just got nasty in the Anchorage mayoral race with Amy Demoboski’s latest campaign mailer that throws considerable amounts of shade on her opponents. It also helps that gone is her sweeter than honey headshot and in its stead is a serious picture that screams, “I have a sock full of pennies and I know how to use them.”
    Amy Dembowski Headshot

    Photo credit of

    Dembowski Hit Piece


  • U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland has ruled that the Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawyers will be allowed to serve the subpoena against Alaska Communications to prevent hypothetical deletion of emails on ACS’ servers from a former EPA employee and an attorney that is representing the anti-Pebble fighters, per Peninsula Clarion.
  • The Kodiak Launch Complex is rounding third base and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2015.
  • Yesterday’s House HHS committee hearing on Medicaid expansion was more dramatic than an episode of La Mentira. The Seward City News has who from their neck of the woods testified while APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez’s and Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner’s Twitter feeds captured the moment-to-moment action (including some serious side-eye by Rep. Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage)).Rep. Vasquez

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Alaska News Roundup for March 30

  • Politico explains why after the Chamber of Commerce has spent millions getting “their” type of candidate into office, GOP office holders just aren’t turning into their lap dogs. Take heart Rachael Petro! Sen. Dan Sullivan’s groveling quote (also trending on Twitter) from a February teleconference is the lead in the story and highlights how the senator remembers where his bread gets buttered.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 6.47.32 AM


  • It’s getting down to the wire with this legislative session means that there are lots of things to watch on Gavel to Gavel (and who’s working the hallways) the week, but the Juneau Empire thinks that the Senate Operating Budget, School Fundraisers involving food that do not meet federal nutritional standards and the repeal of the “Art in Public Places” state policy are the ones to follow.
  • In celebration of Seward’s Day, put on your history hats because the International Business Times is ready to school us on the “facts, price, history” of the Alaska purchase for $7.2 million.
  • The Juneau Empire explains how Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s (R-Wasilla) zeroed-out funding for public broadcasting will detrimentally impact over 100,000 Alaskans that have no over-air TV service.
  • Last week the new fracking regulations came out and there was quite a kerfuffle within the energy industry about varying additional costs of $11,400-97,000-per-well these new regulations would create. The Washington Post put the numbers through the test and discovered that the claims are so extreme and the issue so complex that they awarded it Two Pinocchios.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.41.07 AM


  • The Great Land Trust and the Frontiersman have joined forces to highlight Mat-Su Valley “King Makers”. Don’t go clutching your pearls. It isn’t à la Richard Neville; think more along the “I Heart King Salmon” lines.
  • Devin Kelly with the Dispatch feels there’s a whiff of the 2014 senatorial race surrounding certain the Anchorage mayoral candidates.
  • The New York Daily News reports on a new video by Charlo “F*#k It, I Quit” Greene where she ponders running for Anchorage mayor as a write in candidate while rocking a look that gives Carmen Dell’Orefice a run for her money. Fierce!
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  • The battle over Net Neutrality is not over by a long shot. The Hill reports on five different things that “could kill” the FCC’s updated Internet rules.
  • APRN reports that budget cuts might not happen to the Anchorage Police Department. In fact, all legislative discussions seem to point in an increase in budget to combat violent crimes.
  • The Seward City News explains the Seward City Council’s decision to approve $8 million expansion of the Providence Seward hospital and up to $1 million toward affordable senior housing.
  • With the change in time as we know it looking more and more likely to become reality, Nate Herz with the Dispatch reports on the formalizing opposition. This tweet alone says so much.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 9.18.58 AM


  • Now that the $1.5 million “Choose Respect” campaign has gone the way of the Dodo bird, the Juneau Empire explains what Alaska got for its money.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is quoted by RealEstateRama for her support of the Senate passage of the bipartisan Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015.
  • Reuters/Ipsos conducted an online poll of 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organizations and individuals posed to the U.S. 34% of Republicans thought that Pres. Obama was more of a threat than Mr. Putin (25%) or Mr. Assad (23%).Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.46.00 AM


  • The TimesUnion uses Alaska’s state hostess, Miss Alaska, as an example of superfluous state symbols.

Alaska News Roundup for March 25

  • This might not be the best FB picture to have up when mired in a controversy involving bribing elected officials.Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 7.57.54 PM


  • In more Dan Coffey news, Devin Kelly with the Dispatch explains why the order by Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi for the city to search their records and turn over emails, letters or documents relating to the onerous AO37 could have negative repercussions on mayoral candidate Dan Coffey.
  • Becky Bohrer with the AP interviewed Gov. Bill Walker on his legislative must-haves: Medicaid expansion and Interior energy.
  • Rep. Don Young and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) are leading the charge to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug (i.e. ability to use for medical reasons). CBS News explains that this simple reclassification would give states more wiggle room to determine their own regulations, medical marijuana dispensaries banking access, allow scientists the ability to really study cannabis without fear of prison and VA doctors to prescribe pot to their patients.
  • The salvo heard across the state yesterday was launched from the House chambers when the majority voted to keep the LNG pipeline project as is-basically thumbing their nose at Bill Walker’s veto threat. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez caught the grandstanding in prose.Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 9.17.23 AM


  • The security breach on Premera Blue Cross has started a multistate investigation by the federal Insurance Commissioner and his counterparts in Alaska and Oregon, according to the New York Times.
  • Former Albert “warmest smile with the coldest eyes” Kookesh is continuing the fight against subsistence violations all the way to the State Supreme Court. KCAW has the titillating backstory and what is expected to happen.
  • The public was invited to testify on rate increases on hunting and fishing licenses last night and by the looks of this Tweeted photo…Fairbanks did just that.Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 9.06.37 AM


  • The Dispatch reports that the Anchorage Assembly has added sixty-four teachers to the 2015-2016-education budget.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the City of Fairbanks website was hacked, though no security breach of any information or payment process occurred. Gold star Ryan Rickels!
  • The Dispatch covered the Samoan Community’s Anchorage mayoral candidate forum. Dan Coffey and Dustin Darden were no-shows.
  • KTOO has the update on where Rep. Mike Chenault’s (R-Nikiski) bill to allow Alaska to seize federal lands is in the legislative process.
  • The Washington Post’s Fact Checker is not amused when they are misquoted regarding their Three Pinocchios award the FCC’s reclassification on Net Neutrality.
  • In bad news that just got worse; The Hill reports that ISIS has successfully hacked military websites because the IT departments haven’t been updating their CMS (making them wicked easy to hack) and military members’ penchant to brag allowed for easy authentication of information stolen. The worst part is that the DoD has “no indication of a data breach on the agency’s system”.


  • The Wasilla City Council backpedaled on previously passed ordnances that prohibited baking marijuana edibles in the privacy of one’s home, per the Dispatch.



Alaska News Roundup for March 24

  • Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey is desperately trying to deflect the mounting scandal over the audio recordings of him allegedly admitting to bribing Anchorage Assembly members. Devin Kelly with the Dispatch covered the most recent mayoral debate with lots of descriptive imagery.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan gave his first joint session speech yesterday to much fan fare. KTVA has footage.   KTOO has their take, with an unfortunate photo of Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), or, you could just read Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner’s Twitter feed for the highlights.Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.18.31 PM


  • The Nome Nugget’s editorial chastises Sen. Dan Sullivan for signing onto the Iran Letter.
  • It will be a whale of a time in Juneau with the Juneau Empire reporting that the $10 million whale stature and sea walk will arrive at summer’s end and complete for 2016’s tourist season.
  • Laurie Schmidt is Shell Oil’s new Vice President. APRN has the backstory on who Schmidt is replacing and her impressive resume.Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.56.46 PM


  • Rep. Don Young was victorious in the House passage of the HR360 Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) that is now on its way to the Senate for reauthorization. Indian Country Today explains the historical importance of this bill and why not all tribal nations are completely happy with the current language of the bill.
  • The Dispatch has the details on the tentative new contract between Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration and the Anchorage Police Department.
  • The Washington Post has an entire article outlining the “dreariest” cities in graphs (!) in the U.S. utilizing Anchorage’s own Brian Brettschneider’s methodology. Anchorage and Alaska as a whole ranks pretty high for dreariness.Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.24.45 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.25.15 PM


  • The Seward City News was on hand at the legislative town hall in Seward this past weekend and has insight on how Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) thinks this legislative session is going and how it might end with an extended special session.
  • The Wilderness Society’s VP, Allen E. Smith, wrote an extensive anti-ANWR piece in Roll Call today where he called Alaska greedy for wanting to open it up to exploration. Ouchie.
  • Alaska Robotics has their latest video, this time with Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) saying “YOLO” before playfully recreating the  “tongue gate”.YouTube Preview Image


  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is leading the charge of a bipartisan effort to responsibly manage nuclear waste, per The Hill.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner has the skinny on Sen.  John Coghill (R-North Pole) and Sen. Johnny Ellis’ (D-Anchorage) joint crime reform bill that targets ways to lower Alaska’s recidivism rates.
  • Politico explains what all Alaskan politicians know down to their DNA: talk radio is the medium to conquer for election night victory.
  • The Hill explains the House Intelligence Committee’s Protecting Cyber Networks Act, which will provide legal liability protections for companies that share cybersecurity information with federal government agencies as a reaction to heightened cyber attacks.
  • The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly unanimously to appoint Jerome Selby to the Providence Kodiak Medical Community Advisory Board.Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.42.14 PM

Alaska News Roundup for March 23

  • The Mudflats has the backstory on how the recorded audio of Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey allegedly admitting to bribing Anchorage Assembly Members in a conversation to current Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Starr came to be known. Get your popcorn ready.


  • This week in the Alaska Legislature there are lots of issues being discussed in both committees and on the chamber floors. The Juneau Empire thinks the update to the Alaska Military Code, the nomination hearings for new Gasline Corporation Board members and SenDan Sullivan’s joint legislative speech today.
  • According to the AP via the IRS, Alaska is the state least likely to have low-income families using paid tax preparers. Most likely is New York.

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  • Forbidden money is the subject of a piece by Pat Forgey with the Dispatch on how the legislature is looking to “clawback” some of the appropriations of previous years and yes, the PFD is mentioned.

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Alaska News Roundup for March 20

  • KTVA has the details on why Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey is threating to sue media outlets. It’s to prevent the public from hearing the conversation he had with Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Starr where Coffey allegedly mentions bribing the assembly with “$250 at a crack” for votes in full.
  • Something for the techie wonks: James Brooks with the Juneau Empire revealed that there is a possibility of reliable, better internet connectivity in Southeast Alaska with a fiber-optic cable running between Juneau and Whitehorse. The buzzword for this project is supposedly “reliability”, though the “Silicon Canal” is way snappier.
  • Meet Bethel’s new District Attorney: J. Michael Gray. The Tundra Drums has his solid resume and is known to exercise control in all things, but that probably won’t stop a shiver running down your back if you ever hear the words, “Mr. Gray will see you now.”

    Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.07.33 AM

    photo credited to

  • Fracking just got more bureaucratic with the announcement by ABC News that companies drilling on federal lands will now have to disclose what chemicals are being utilized in the fracturing process.

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Alaska News Roundup for March 18

  • While Alaska does not officially have full-time legislators, Alaska Pipeline discovered that more than half of state Senators did not have a full-time job.
  • Nathaniel Herz’s crystal ball was correct in predicting that Gov. Bill Walker was going to unveil his Medicaid expansion bill yesterday to a standing room only crowd. The bill was not welcomed with open arms by everyone, per APRN. Which is odd, because over the weekend…Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.14.49 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.25.27 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.14.18 AM


  • The Washington Post reports that the Notorious 47 (including Sen. Dan Sullivan) have no intention of backing down on challenging Pres. Obama’s and five other world powers’ nuclear negotiations with Iran. In fact, they are planning to continue their aggressive challenge.

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News Roundup for March 16

  • Paging Campaign Managers. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute conducted a survey on how Millennials get their news and the News Observer explains the poll’s findings.

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  • This week in the state legislature, there are many things happening everyday, but the Juneau Empire feels that the bill for greater regional representation on the state Board of Regents, continuing discussion on Medicaid expansion and the whether Alaska should adopt a “countermand” amendment to give the state the power to nullify or repeal a federal law, executive order or judicial decisions, and any other federal action that is perceived as harmful to the state.
  • The Nome Nugget wonders if Nome is ready to pay for the Deep-water port proposal that has been the subject of many a congressional hearings on Arctic policy.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski showed diplomatic strength on behalf of Hyder, Alaska by beginning a dialogue with Canadian officials over their proposed eight-hour closure at night of a road between Hyder and Stewart, British Columbia, per KRBD. This road is the only connection between the two communities and its closure could create medical crises since the area’s medical center is in Stewart.
  • APRN reports that the Chukchi Lease Sale 193 (part of Shell’s summer drilling plans) decision by the Department of the Interior is expected later this month.
  • KCAW has the details on the proposed office closures in Sitka and Valdez due to the state budget cuts.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.43.36 AM


  • A microcosm of Alaskans’ views on marijuana was on display at the Palmer seed swap where the Frontiersman caught snippets of conversations and the overall feel of the event.
  • Super PAC’s, Amy Demboski has one and now Dan Coffey does too. Devin Kelly with the Dispatch delves into the rise of Super PAC’s on local elections, who’s behind Coffey’s and how it is likely to affect the Anchorage mayoral election.
  • Loretta Lynch’s nomination outlook is the focus of a piece by Politico with Sen. Lisa Murkowski as one of a few select senators whose votes are still unknown.
  • Bristol Palin’s engagement announcement made a splash with media outlets jumping to put their spin on the latest in Palin News. The Hill went the traditional route, while the Washington Post took a Mean Girls style of reporting.

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  • The National Journal wonders what Net Neutrality will mean to your pocketbook.
  • KTOO has the latest on the myriad of ways AHFC is helping Alaska to improve its aging housing stock since over half of all homes in our state are forty-thirty years old.
  • The Alaska Democratic structure came out in full force against Sen. Dan Sullivan’s signage of the infamous Iran letter over the weekend. Alaska Democratic National Committeewoman, Kimberley Metcalfe wrote an impassioned op-ed in the Juneau Empire, while Alaska Young Democrats tweeted this picture:Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.14.50 AM


  • The Juneau Empire has a photo spread of Bill Walker and several legislators puttering around the halls of the capital on Saturday, but all for a good cause with the annual Fahrenkamp/Kelly Classic Legislative Putting Tournament to raise funds for Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation and the YMCA. KTVA has footage.