Blue_In_AK's Journal - Archives
(4/3/09) Somewhere in the back of my mind I keep hearing the soothing sounds of Frank Sinatra crooning, "And where are the clowns, quick send in the clowns, don't bother they're here."
The bottom line is Juneau has quickly degenerated into a circus.
Maybe it's because Governor Sarah Palin has failed to pass any meaningful legislation this year to address Alaska's greatest public policies challenges, including failing to pass her energy legislation that she told Alaskans back in January was her administrations highest priority this session.
Maybe it's because she has spent more time communicating with the outside media rather than communicating with her own staff on issues like pending legislation or stimulus funds.
Or quite simply it might be due to the fact that with only two weeks left in the legislative session, Palin's only strength has become grousing instead of governing. Whatever the reason, the capitol has become the big top.
With just sixteen days remaining in the legislative session, Palin is on the verge of being able to claim only one accomplishment this session; denying Juneau representation in the State Senate.
Today's story in the Anchorage Daily News announcing that Palin is now challenging the way new appointees have been approved by lawmakers for decades is yet another clear sign that her focus is about getting even rather than governing.
The traditional process of filling vacant legislative seats has been a standard practice for decades. Even Palin followed the same practice when she appointed Republican Wes Keller in 2007 to replace the indicted Vic Kohring.
But today, after Democrats rejected her choice of Tim Grussendorf to fill the vacated Juneau Senate seat held by Kim Elton, the governor suddenly wants to rewrite the rules. "I believe my selection of Tim Grussendorf is legitimate and it stands until they take that vote in an open, public forum with more than just the partisan participants," Palin told the Daily News.
Where was that demand when Keller was nominated? There was no vote in public, no open forum with more than just partisan participants, however Palin didn't object then.
In fact there have been six Republicans tapped to fill vacant legislative positions by Republican governors over the last six years, and every one of them went through the same process as the Democrat Grussendorf did this past week.
So why the inconsistency?
Save your brain cells.
It's growing increasingly clear that Palin is running on empty when it comes to rational reasoning. Her bizarre call for Alaska Senator Mark Begich to resign in the wake of the Justice Department dropping the case against former Senator Ted Stevens is another example.
Thankfully, Alaska's Republican congressional delegation offered a better grasp of reality, one that Palin failed to subscribe to.
"In light of the good news yesterday, I am sure many of us wish we could turn the clock back to last November," said Begich's Senate colleague, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. "Unfortunately, that is not an option."
Alaska's lone congressman Don Young went even further. "The seated senator there, Mark Begich, will be in the Senate, he will do a good job," Young told Fox News.
However the erratic behavior of the governor is not limited to trying to impose her unilateral view on legislative bodies and who should be seated, it goes to the heart of her administration that is sinking before her very eyes.
In this week's edition of the Alaska Budget Report (ABR), Publisher Rebecca Braun writes about an administration, forced to embrace the same vacuous governance as dictated by their boss.
Tensions between Palin and legislators have not abated. In addition to the fracas over stimulus spending and the governors claim of federal strings when actually there are none, lawmakers are expressing frustration because Palin refuses to lead.
"It appears the administration doesn't really push their own bills," Republican State Sen. Bert Stedman told Braun. "They ask other members within the legislature to sponsor them and move them forward, with little-apparently-support."
Take the case of Valdez Republican State Rep. John Harris who introduced a controversial measure to adjust cruise ship wastewater standards. "I was asked to sponsor the bill because the administration didn't want to. It really should have been an administration bill."
Meanwhile, legislators are finding it continually difficult to work with administration officials because they are afraid to express any policy positions on pending legislation. "They're not really allowed to say they support anything," Democratic State Sen. Johnny Ellis said in the ABR this week.
And those administration officials that dare take a public position, are quickly silenced.
Last Saturday during a marathon meeting of the House Finance Committee to discuss stimulus funds, one assistant commissioner appeared to step out of line according to Braun's Alaska Budget Report.
Finance Co-Chair Mike Hawker asked Alison Elgee, Department of Health and Social Services assistant commissioner for financial management, if the department would like to see the legislature appropriate a portion of the stimulus monies for her departments needs. "Mr. Chairman, yes, we would," Elgee responded.
Surprised that Elgee would say yes, after the governor had already said no publicly, Hawker went on to ask, "Alison, are you now in political peril for your job?"
Later, in an interview with Braun, the governor's legislative liaison Jerry Gallagher said that Elgee's statement of support was "inconsistent with the governor's position."
Right hand meet left hand. Left hand meet right hand. But at least we know clearly where Palin stands on matters of grave importance like whether she believes U.S. Senator Mark Begich should resign or not.
During Saturdays finance committee hearing, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Fairbanks), a loyal defender of the governor, voiced concerns about the mixed messages being sent by the Palin administration.
"I guess what I need to hear in each of these cases is, has the administration changed its position? Otherwise, somebody watching this could think they're peeking in on a zoo," Kelly said.
Not quite a zoo, but definitely a circus.
"And where are the clowns, quick send in the clowns, don't bother, they're here."
I was at Ted Stevens’ Girdwood home when the FBI was raiding it. While agents were removing large black bags of evidence, I asked if they’d found the bodies of Begich and Boggs. For years, I followed legislation that legalized the white collar theft of our fisheries. I watched Ted Stevens vote to confirm Supreme Court Judges who would fall on the fascist side of the inevitable Exxon v. Baker case.
I was astonished when Stevens, then chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, had a complete meltdown and refused Senator Maria Cantwell’s righteous and reasonable request that oil executives testify about their record profits and potential energy price fixing under oath.
I interviewed him about the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of returning soldiers. Stevens said that when he was a soldier, they didn’t have PTSD…it was a condition created by a weaker generation.
At the time, I wondered who in the Bush Administration did Ted forget to take fishing…Cheney? Bush’s Dad? How could his own party go after one of their own? One theory is the White House asked Stevens not to run in 2007 due to the cloud of corruption that would surround his campaign after the FBI raided his Alaska residence-Stevens refused and crossed the Bush Administration. This theory makes some sense given President Bush denied a pardon request from Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Senator Stevens was indicted last July. After reading the indictment, I was shocked. Imagine following a bank robber in a stolen getaway car. The criminal is fleeing at a high rate of speed, tossing tons of shredded hundred dollar bills out of the window. He’s swerving dangerously all over the road for miles and miles. Suddenly, the State Patrol appears out of nowhere and pulls the bank robber over. You’d be relieved he was finally off the road, yes? How would you feel if he were only charged with littering? That’s how I felt about Senator Steven’s indictment.
The prosecution was corrupt-a legacy of the George W Bush Department of Justice. They were overconfident in the knowledge of Stevens’ true crimes and wanted to insure victory by illegally and unnecessarily stacking the deck; a trademark of Republican strategy-whether caging voters and manipulating Diebold machines to affect the outcome of an election or blatantly and deliberately NOT sharing contradictory witness statements from Bill Allen. The case was promptly and justly thrown out. However, that doesn’t mean Ted Stevens is innocent and it doesn’t mean Ted Stevens was exonerated! Stop lionizing him. Or a more appropriately…stop LIEonizing him!
Senator Lisa Murkowski asked George W. Bush to pardon Stevens. She believed in his guilt and wanted a “get out of jail free” card for her colleague. Now she waxes poetic about the “Rule of Law”. How ironic-Murkowski touting the same Rule of Law she opposed with her vote on the Military Commissions Act of 2006. That dark anti-American bill legalized torture and suspended habeas corpus. Murkowski voted to suspend the fundamental right to challenge your detention. Habeas corpus is as old as the 1215 Magna Carta and was a cornerstone of the Constitution.
Murkowski, in the statement she issued yesterday on Ted Stevens’ behalf, said, “…violations of our civil liberties cannot be tolerated…” Excuse me? Really? Is that why Murkowski voted for the FISA legislation last year? The FISA bill granted retroactive immunity to law breaking telecoms. Those telecoms illegally wiretapped American citizens and violated their civil liberties! The great thing about the Rule of Law is its lack of selectiveness; in other words, the Rule of Law applies to everyone regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation. It applies to Ted Stevens just as it should have applied to the Telecoms.
Last year, Sarah Palin, while on the campaign trail, called for Stevens’ resignation. “He needs to step aside and allow our state to elect someone who will be supportive of those ideals of America – the free enterprise, the missions that we’re on to win the war, those things that have got to take place in order to progress this country. Ted Stevens has got to play a very statesmanlike role in this now.”
TALK ABOUT A FLIP-FLOP! Now she wants Mark Begich to resign. Sarah’s newest pandering position is: “Senator Stevens deserves to be very happy today. What a horrible thing he has endured. The blatant attempts by adversaries to destroy one’s reputation, career and finances are an abuse of our well-guarded process and violate our God-given rights afforded in the Constitution. It is a frightening thing to contemplate what we may be witnessing here – the undermining of the political process through unscrupulous ploys and professional misconduct. Senator Stevens and I had lunch together recently at my home and he reiterated the faith he held for vindication; he never gave up hope. It is unfortunate that, as a result of the questionable proceedings which led to Senator Stevens’ conviction days before the election, Alaskans lost an esteemed statesman on Capitol Hill. His presence is missed.”
REALLY? She never mentions it was the BUSH DOJ who broke the law. She doesn’t commend the OBAMA DOJ for enforcing JUSTICE FOR ALL. I guess Stevens doesn’t remember being thrown under Sarah’s bus in her vice-presidency quest. Bus Sarah must damn near be high centered for all of the casualties under there.
As much as I have been disappointed by Mark Begich’s Blue Dog alignment with the Judas Joe Leiberman, Palin’s statement that we “…lost an esteemed statesman on Capitol Hill…” is a slam on our newly elected Senator. By her own words, Palin disqualified Ted Stevens from the “statesman” moniker because he didn’t do last fall what she demanded-Resign!
Ted Stevens’ claim to fame has always been how many federal dollars he brought back to Alaska. Senator Begich worked hard for Alaska federal stimulus money and Palin has turned a portion down. Oh, Wait! She hasn’t rejected it…she just hasn’t accepted it….she HAS called it a “BRIBE.” So, is she going to accept the “bribe”? Would it still be a bribe had Ted Steven’s brought it home?
By the way, Senator Murkowski voted against the federal stimulus dollars for Alaska. Though you wouldn’t know it based upon her recent press releases. Ironically, the Republican campaign cry was “We won’t get any federal money! Waaa Waa!” Mark Begich brought home nearly a BILLION dollars for Alaska’s fair share of the stimulus package. Both of Alaska’s Republicans voted against the stimulus package and the Republican Governor is grandstanding by not “accepting” it.
The head of the Alaska Republican Party, Chairman Randy Ruedrich, called for Senator Begich to step down. That’s rich. In June 2004, Ruedrich admitted to three violations of the state Ethics Act and has been fined $12,000-believed to be the largest civil penalty ever imposed in a state ethics case, according to the attorney general’s office. He admitted to:
• Misuse of official position by engaging in partisan political activity in his Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission office.
• Improper disclosure of confidential information to a third party without authority. Ruedrich forwarded a confidential attorney-client privileged e-mail and attachment to attorney Kyle Parker, who represented Evergreen Resources on matters pertaining to methane gas development in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
• Incompatible outside voluntary service for the Republican Party of Alaska by acting contrary to the manner he said he would in his Ethics Act Disclosure Statement.
It is no wonder the Alaska Republican Party is well represented at the Sheridan Federal Penitentiary with leadership like this.
Senator Mark Begich will not step down. He said, “It’s clear there was misconduct by the prosecutors in Senator Stevens’ felony trial. I’m pleased President Obama’s Justice Department has brought a new sense of ethics to their responsibilities….I got into the Senate race long before Senator Stevens’ legal troubles began because Alaskans were looking for a change and a senator as independent as Alaska. Today, with our country in a severe recession, it’s more important than ever that we have a senator focused on fixing our economy so Alaskans have the jobs they need to support their families. That is my job in the Senate, and I’m honored to serve Alaskans for the next six years.”
Begich shouldn’t resign. He won the election. Attorney General Michael Mukasey could have thrown the case out before the election and did not. The evidence of extreme prosecutorial misconduct was available for Mukasey. Justice for all? Oh, wait, not under the Bush administration, not even for one of their own.
Eric Holder’s decision to throw out Stevens’ case for blatant prosecutorial misconduct was absolutely correct. Two wrongs don’t make EITHER one right. The wrongs of the Bush DOJ DO NOT make Ted Stevens innocent nor do they exonerate him. The attempts to make him a martyr by local right wing apologist talkers and writers are pathetic and demonstrate their complete lack of knowledge of Stevens’ true crimes.
Rumor has it Congressman Don Young is ready to get tanked by the Feds. Will the same blowhards call for Young’s resignation and try to seat Ethan Berkowitz? Short answer? No!
Justice for all…from Guantanamo to Girdwood.
Dear Senate Democrats,
That may as well have been the message, because Palin just gave the Senate Democrats a big fat raspberry, a Bronx Cheer, a nice wet pthththththhtht!
She has selected Tim Grussendorf as the person to replace the recently relocated to Washington D.C. Senator Kim Elton.
Normally, the Senate sends a list of 3 possible replacements to the governor, who chooses one. This time the Senators bucked tradition because one candidate shone so brightly above all others - Rep. Beth Kerttula. The candidate must be a Democrat who lives in Juneau, and Kerttula is smart, very qualified, and ready to step from her role in the house, to a new position in the senate without missing a beat. She is so beloved and respected, that hers was the only name submitted to the governor. This one is kind of a no-brainer, which means right off the bat, we know we’re in trouble.
Here’s the problem.
Kerttula has been an outspoken opponent of the governor for quite some time. And we all know how that works out for people.
So, the governor made an announcement saying she’d like to get applications from other qualified Alaskans who are interested in the appointment. It’s kind of like when the teacher asks a question, only one kid raises their hand, jumping up and down in their seat, and the teacher scans the room and says, “Anybody? Anybody else??” Obviously Kerttula wasn’t going to get the nod. At least not in the first round.
And so after interviews, Palin has made her selection. She has chosen Legislative aid Tim Grussendorf. I, like many of you, had no idea who Tim Grussendorf was. And let me start off by saying, he may be a stand up guy. *shrug* But we know this:
Until two weeks ago, he was a registered Republican. According to Grussendorf, he didn’t realize he was registered as a Republican and it was some kind of clerical error in 2006. I’m not entirely clear on how someone could have gone through the 2008 political season and not realize one was a registered Republican, but that’s the story. I guess the “R” on the voter registration card slipped under the radar. Perhaps he thought all those donation requests, and shiny 4-color postcards, and letters from the Republican party were just coincidence. We may never know.
Grussendorf describes himself as a “conservative Democrat” (which, I suppose, you’d have to be to not realize you were actually a Republican) who supports resource development and believes the mining industry isn’t always treated fairly. Palin noted his “advocacy for responsible development that will lead to jobs in Southeast Alaska.” (Here’s where you can join me in my flashback to the day the governor “took off her governor’s hat” at a press conference and said she would not be supporting the ballot initiative that would require large mines not to pollute salmon fisheries) Palin’s shadowy reasons for throwing Alaska’s fishing and subsistence interests under the bus are still a subject of intense speculation…
Grussendorf was talking to Democratic state senators on Sunday, trying to win their support.
“I know some of them want (Kerttula) to have the seat. But I threw my name in the hat knowing some of the history and I didn’t think the governor was going to select her. And if that was going to be the case I was looking at, well who else can step in there right now and get the job done,” Grussendorf said.
So, it’s clear that the governor’s pick has noting to do with what the Senate Democrats want, has nothing to do with what Juneau Democrats want, and has everything to do with what the governor wants.
Now, if you’re one of the 5 or 6 Democrats in Alaska who generally agrees with what the governor wants, and doesn’t possibly believe her judgment could be off, no need to call your legislator. But if you’re of the mind that the purpose of filling this seat is to respect what those who will be working with this person want, and what this person’s constituents want, then you might consider making that opinion known to your Democratic Senators before they decide whether or not to approve this choice.
(3/30/09) On March 19, just hours after Governor Sarah Palin held a press conference to announce that she was rejecting federal stimulus monies that would feed operating expenses, one of Palin's directors was telling lawmakers the exact opposite.
During a Senate Finance budget subcommittee closeout, Department of Revenue's Administrative Services Director Ginger Blaisdell testified that the budget for the Child Support Enforcement Division would be fine because there was federal stimulus money they planned to utilize to fill needs of the division.
Rebecca Braun, Publisher of the Alaska Budget Report wrote in her latest installment, "When a reporter questioned Blaisdell following the meeting, noting Palin had hours earlier said she is rejecting all stimulus operating monies (except Medicaid funding), Blaisdell was nonplussed."
Braun goes on to report that the following day after checking with the Office of Management and Budget, Blaisdell confirmed that Palin had removed the money from her stimulus request. "I had no idea until you brought it up to me about the operating money being cut," Blaisdell wrote in an email.
This was just one example of how the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing in the Palin administration.
<snip> - much more. )
Gryphen at Immoral Minority http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com / commenting on this: http://www.adn.com/news/government/legisla...
Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed legislative aide Tim Grussendorf to the state Senate seat that opened when Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned. It's a controversial pick that Grussendorf's own party says it will try to block.
Palin had to pick a Democrat from Juneau for the seat under state law. But Grussendorf was a registered Republican until just weeks ago, then switched to being a Democrat to qualify for the appointment. Grussendorf now needs a majority vote of the nine Democrats in the state Senate to approve his appointment.
Juneau Democratic Party officials want state House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula to get the Senate seat instead and are rallying party leaders statewide.
"We're asking them to call their senators and encourage their senator to stand behind Beth Kerttula and vote this nomination down," Rich Listowski, a state Democratic Party central committee member from Juneau, said after Palin made the pick Sunday.
We knew that there must be something fishy about this Grussendorf guy, but it turns out that it was not fish we smelled but the rotten aroma of his ill-fitting disguise.
I am very happy that the Democrats seem perfectly aware that the Governor is sending them a double agent. The guy may as well be wearing his hair up and expensive designer glasses, because he is there to represent Sarah Palin not the people of Kim Elton's district.
And don't you just love his pathetic excuse for being registered as a Republican?
Tim Grussendorf said he never meant to be a registered Republican. He said that he changed his party registration from Democrat to undeclared in 2006, so he could vote in the closed Republican primary, which had contested races he wanted to participate in. Grussendorf said he then requested an absentee ballot to vote while out of town in the Republican primary, and somehow that resulted in his party registration being mistakenly changed to Republican.
Don't you just hate it when you wake up and oops you're a Republican? But that is total bullshit and Grussendorf all but admits that it is.
"I'm a pretty conservative Democrat ... her thought process I believe was trying to find someone who can represent both districts. And I believe that I fit that bill.
"Both districts"? What does that mean? There is only one district. And that is the one that elected Kim Elton. They did not elect a Republican "playing a Democrat", they elected a true Democrat. And giving them anything less is a slap in the face to those voters.
The guy's a fraud and the Democrats need to kick him to the curb and demand that the Governor sign off on Kerttula. She is the right choice, and the one that clearly scares the Governor stupid. I am sorry, stupider.
Which in my mind makes this a no brainer for the Dems.
Gov. Sarah Palin named Anchorage lawyer Wayne Anthony Ross as her new attorney general on Thursday. We did not expect her to pick a gay-friendly AG, however his blatant prejudice expressed in a public letter to the state Bar shows that he is a poor choice for our top attorney:
"During a fight several years ago over gay rights,
-- from Wayne Anthony Ross never a quiet force, Anchorage Daily News
The state House and Senate will hold separate confirmation hearings on his appointment.
Other interesting facts about Wayne Anthony Ross, known as WAR, the initials on his vanity plate:
• He was a founder of Alaska Right to Life and represented, without fee, anti-abortion protesters charged with trespassing. "I feel I have a good relationship with the good Lord (but) if I could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I figure I got my ticket," he told a reporter.
• He was the defense lawyer for former Rep. Vic Kohring, who is serving a 3 1/2 year sentence on corruption charges.
• He opposes Native subsistence rights and was the lead lawyer in the case that got Alaska's subsistence law declared unconstitutional. When running for governor in 2002, he said he would hire a band of "junkyard dog" assistant AG's to challenge the federal law that requires subsistence preference, or seek changes through Congress.
• He wrote for the Anchorage Times and the conservative Voice of the Times, and titles like "KKK ' Art' Project Gets' A' For Courage" are listed on the publications page of his Ross & Miner law office.
• He represented Palin in her ethics case against state GOP chair Randy Ruedrich when both were on the Oil and Gas Commission, and co-chaired Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. He was hoping for an appointment to head the Department of Health and Social Services so he could "stop the department from interfering with families when they should not be interfering and get them interfering with families when they should be interfering" but he was passed over.
• He defended a man who twice poured buckets of water from a passing pickup onto anti-war demonstrators in the rain and snow. His client was convicted of harassment and violating constitutional rights.
• He was the co-chair of Alaskans for Phil Gramm. (Gramm is one of the people responsible for the current economic crisis, and as co-chair of John McCain's presidential campaign he called us "a nation of whiners.")
• He is a former vice president of the National Rifle Association and was in line to become president but was voted out of office. He is still a director of the NRA.
• He ran for governor in 1998 and 2002. (Think he'll use the AG post as a stepping stone to the governor's mansion?)
From David Hulen in Anchorage --
Gov. Sarah Palin today announced Tim Grussendorf, a legislative aide from Juneau, is her a choice to replace Kim Elton in the Alaska Senate.
Grussendorf is chief of staff for Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel. Now he must be approved by a simple majority of the nine Senate Democrats currently seated.
In picking Grussendorf, Palin is rejecting Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, the only name recommended to the governor by southeast Democratic leaders after Elton resigned to take an Interior Department position with the Obama administration in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month, Palin invited other applicants to apply, saying she thought there were many qualified Alaskans.
Grussendorf is the son of former House Speaker Ben Grussendorf of Sitka, who now sits on the state Board of Game.
<snip> - press release follows
Just one more in the series of "F yous" that Sarah has delivered since her return from the campaign.
This is outrageous. Doogan needs to go next time around.
Anonymity is an interesting thing. Anyone who has read my “About” page knows that Mudflats popped out of my head and on to my keyboard last May. I, like many of you, get frustrated with my government. There isn’t anyone who pays attention, on either side of the political spectrum, who doesn’t at some time feel like they need to get something off their chest.
I wasn’t quite sure what this whole blogging thing was about, but a dear friend of mine who is a brilliant writer was doing some work for the American Cancer Society blog, and urged me to start one of my own. And so, one evening after some crazy shenanigans from Don Young and a glass of shiraz, the first post went up on Mudflats. It was a strange sensation to write, and then click on that blue oval button that said, “Publish”. With that click, I was putting my opinion out to the world. I was giving permission for people to peek into my brain, and read my diary, as it were. I had no particular desire for anyone to know it was coming from me, and why should they care, anyway? I’m just….me. I’m not a politician, nor a writer, nor a journalist, nor a state or federal employee, nor a lobbyist. I was just a citizen who was paying attention, feeling frustrated, and liked getting stuff off my chest.
I checked my blog statistics later in the day, and noticed that two people had clicked on my article. I sat there utterly amazed. I called to my spouse, “Look at this! Two people read it!” Then, the next day, eight people had read it. I was getting about a dozen hits a day the next week. I didn’t know where they were coming from, but I imagined my little group of a dozen people who enjoyed Mudflats enough to come back and read more. Then twenty people. And by the end of the summer, about 250 a day. Maybe they liked feeling like somebody was speaking their particular truth. Maybe they liked it. It was a good feeling.
The day that Sarah Palin got nominated to be John McCain’s Vice President, life changed. My sister called me at some pre-dawn hour and said, “Did you hear?” I, like many Alaskans, was completely stunned. Sarah Palin? Was I still dreaming? Really? I knew I had to take the day off. I made a pot of coffee, and thought to myself, that my 250 people might not be the only ones interested in this VP pick. Now, many people adored Sarah Palin, and maybe some of them had blogs too….I had never checked, but they must be out there somewhere. But I knew some things about her, and her policies and positions that others might not be able to find out so easily. I decided to write my opinion. So I wrote a post, “What Is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective.” And that’s exactly what the piece was - one Alaskans perspective. My perspective. Just in case anyone was interested.
It took me about 45 minutes to crank it out and click Publish. (Yes, I was still in my pajamas at the time) And it turned out that people were interested. Really interested. By the time I’d made myself a couple eggs and toast, and sat back down there were more than 7,000 hits. By the end of the day there were 64,000. The total readership of that post ended up being almost 270,000 with more than 1300 comments. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. I began to get emails and comments asking me when I was going to post again, asking questions about Palin, and saying that this was the only “real” information they were getting.
It turns out, that Rep. Doogan did make good on his threat to expose me in his legislative newsletter. It actually suprised me, because I thought that maybe he realized that blowing up a progressive political blogger wouldn’t earn him many brownie points with other Democrats. But nevertheless, here you go.
Anonymous Blogger Anonymous No More
The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name. So I was interested to learn that the woman who writes the blog is Anchorage resident Jeanne _____.*
So, now, if you look on the About page, you’ll get to see my real name* (which Rep. Doogan almost got right). And you also get to learn that the rules of the game are whatever Rep. Doogan’s “theory of public process” say they should be. How does everyone feel about that? And as a former journalist, why is Rep. Doogan criticizing the Anchorage Daily News for protecting my identity?
And here’s another irony. Rep. Doogan thinks he has exposed me, but in reality he has done nothing but expose himself.
And with that, Mudflatters, I need to take a little time off to assess things, and take stock of how life will be changing for me and my family.
Reactions here: http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2009...
all worth reading.
FAUX NEWS GOES CITIZEN HUNTING
Yesterday, a Fox News crew from the Lower-48 called me about my ethics complaint, told me they were going to be in town and wanted an interview. I thought about it but finally decided there was no way an interview with them would end well for a number of reasons:
1) Why are they suddenly here? Yes, there have been two complaints filed within seven days (one by Andree McLeod) but this is just one more ethics complaint.
2) Is it just a coincidence that one of Palin's close advisors is Sarah (or Todd?) fan, Greta Van Sustern's hubby? Did a cry go out from the wilderness for aid and comfort?
The news crew decided that since several of us refused to be on camera, they were going to "ambush" us. Good luck finding me after my recent move!!!!!
HATE MAIL AND TEAM SARAH
Then there is Team Sarah's vitriolic response to this ethics complaint. If you remember, Amanda Coyne of The Alaska Dispatch ran a piece about Team Sarah's bloodlust. That, combined with several articles in Huffington Post that pointed out racism in the ranks, Team Sarah and several enabling Conservative bloggers claimed it was ALL done by "Liberals who were trying to make them look bad."
When hate email started rolling into my inbox, I needed only look to one of the many posts on Team Sarah calling for my head to find contributors to that onslaught:
Reply by Douglas Timbie
Is there a lawyer in the group? Can the frivolous charge-filers Andree McLeod, Zane Henning, Linda Kellen Biegel etc. be given a dose of their own medicine with counter law suits seeking restitution for harrassment. Doesn't Alaska have laws to reimburse the governor when these suits are found to be without merit.
If not, can we get pictures of these locusts, email addresses, and the home addresses, place of work, with maps distributed so these people can be given the Acorn AIG treatment. We should be very pleasant and non-threatening, but flood their emails with thousands of complaints...
Here's a sampling of the hate mails I've gotten, the majority of which were anything but "pleasant":
--Give it up fat girl!
--LOL! I read the article of some dumb ass blogger filing charges against the lovely Gov Palin, again, and I thought to myself, gotta be an ugly fat bitch filing the complaint. I WAS RIGHT. You are an ugly fat bitch. Only kinda of man that would "tap" your ugly ass is a, well, a n**ger! Go Obama, lol!
--YOU'RE A FAT UGLY-F**K WHO COULDN'T GET LAID IF SHE PRAYED FOR IT.
<and many more>
These people are poison -- and surely Sarah is cheering them on.
Phil Munger at ProgressiveAlaska has a good summary of recent events. Things are getting quite contentious in Alaska. http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2009...
Sarah Palin - Sucking So Bad, She Was Keeping Alaska's Volcanoes from Blowing Too Hard - Until Today
On the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, as Redoubt Volcano threatened a long-neglected retainment dike system holding 6 million gallons of crude oil, on Alaska's pristine Cook Inlet, Gov. Palin erupted again and again about media unfairness.
Both Gov. Palin and Redoubt Volcano have been erupting periodically over the past week. The height of eruptions for both occurred Tuesday, the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and 45th Anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake.
Another Palin eruption occurred this Tuesday. Alaskan progressive blogger, Linda Kellen, filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Palin at the beginning of the week. Here's Linda's press release: http://divasblueoasis.com/showDiary.do?dia...
The governor, in what was perhaps an unwise move, almost immediately posted a response to the complaint at the Governor's web site's press page:
March 24, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin issued the following statement in response to another ethics complaint filed today. Filed by an Anchorage political blogger, the complaint alleges the governor “… improperly used her position and state resources to serve her personal financial interests by being a walking billboard for Arctic Cat ...”
"Are Alaskans outraged, or at least tired of this yet - another frivolous ethics charge by a political blogger? This would be hilarious if it weren’t so expensive for the state to process these accusations and for me to defend against these bogus harassments. Yes, I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at an outdoor event, because it was cold outside, and by the way, today, I am wearing clothes bearing the names of Alaska artists, and a Glennallen Panthers basketball hoodie. I am a walking billboard for the team’s fundraiser! Should I expect to see an ethics charge for wearing these, or the Carhartts I wear to many public events? How much will this blogger's asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money?"
Meanwhile, today, as Redoubt Volcano again is erupting and sending ash up to 60,000 feet into the atmosphere, closing airports and roads, Gov. Palin announced just minutes ago, that she has appointed one of Alaska's most cantankerous characters as her new Attorney General.
Wayne Anthony Ross, Alaska's best-known 2nd Amendment advocate, and a member of he NRA's national board, is intensely disliked by rural Alaska Natives. He has been, over the years, the most staunch advocate of the diminution of subsistence rights for Alaska Natives, to benefit mostly White urban and out-of-state hunters. Recently, Ross defended now-convicted ex-Alaska Representative Vic Kohring, in the closing stages of Kohring's battle against his Federal corruption conviction. Kohring is in the middle of the first year of his sentence.
Before that, at the beginning of the Iraq War, Ross defended a man in Kenai, up on charges for dumping water on anti-war protesters in Kenai - in sub-freezing weather. Both the Kohring and Kenai cases were taken by Ross pro bono.
It's hard to keep up with all her scandals.
From The Mudflats:
Palin Appoints New Attorney General - W.A.R. is Declared.
Sarah Palin has named a replacement for Attorney General Talis Colberg who resigned amid a flurry of controversy stemming from his office advising state employees that complying with Legislative subpoenas in the Troopergate investigation was “optional.”
Well, the governor could not have possibly picked a more divisive and controversial person than Wayne Anthony Ross, and so that’s exactly who she picked.
Wayne Anthony Ross
Former NRA Vice President (1988-1991): Benefactor member; current Director (Chairman, Ethics and Gun Collectors Committees); former Assistant Attorney General, Family Court Trustee and Master; practicing Attorney; Colonel, Alaska State Defense Force (Area Defense Counsel); B.S., J.D., Marquette University; twice Knighted (Poland and Vatican), former Republican National Committeeman, candidate for Governor (Alaska), and teacher, columnist, gun collector — Member: Alaska, Colt. Dallas, Ohio (Honorary Life), S&W, Washington, and Wyoming Gun Collectors; Alaska Peace Officers’ Association; GOAL; Military Vehicle Preservation Association; Alaska Territorial Cavalry, Motorized (Secretary); Marine Corps League; testified before Congress and State Legislature, and numerous television and radio appearances, on firearms, lands, and hunting issues; handgun hunter (.45 caliber); fisherman; assistant wide and lodge owner; court qualified expert witness (firearms); wife. 4 children, 3 grandchildren, NRA Life members; successfully sued Alaska’s Governor to stop State’s destruction of surplus firearms and ensure their sale to public, strong supporter of junior programs. NRA Board of Directors 2003-2006.
Mr. Ross is easily identified by Anchorage residents as the owner of the red Hummer with the vanity plates that say “W A R”. The “War Hummer” as it is known, is usually found following immediately behind speeding ambulances.
A friend of mine broke the news to me this afternoon. “Did you hear who Palin appointed?” I could tell by the tenor of her voice that the answer was not good. “Wayne Anthony Ross!” (I’ve deleted the expletive that was found between Wayne and Anthony) The first millionth of a second I was thinking this had to be a joke.
She could not possibly choose an attorney who defended one of the members of The Corrupt Bastards’ Club while she tries to cultivate her image as an anti-corruption governor! But yes, he was the defense lawyer for former Rep. Vic Kohring, now incarcerated in sunny California.
She could not possibly choose the attorney who defended the guy charged with assault for throwing buckets of water on anti-Iraq war protesters on the highway! But yes, she did.
She cannot possibly think it’s wise to choose someone who is anti-subsistence and further alienate Alaska Natives and rural residents! Apparently, she does.
Ross was the co-chair of Palin’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
Or, she’s not thinking of any of those things…. Because (bluebirds sing and fly in little swooping circles, and the sun pops out from behind a puffy white cloud… The trees suddenly bloom with little white flowers) Sarah has found a kindred spirit. Together, they can climb on that white horse, rifles over their shoulders, and take the state by storm. She’ll back him up. He’ll back her up. It’s wingnut love…. Wait. What are they doing? They’re climbing off the horse and heading for the Hummer, and it looks like…..>>>>BANG!!!<<<< Oh my god, they’re shooting the bluebirds. And they’re driving away in this:
The new AG's ride.
And yes, he does still need to be approved by the Legislature.
One can only take so much Sarah Palin. And this week, she’s just plain ticked me off. So, I’m going to enjoy this Friday evening with a little “political sorbet” to cleanse the palate from a big fat indigestion-inducing overload of the current governor. The flavor? Bob Poe.
When Sarah Palin makes me feel like my head is going to explode, it’s always good news for Bob Poe. If you are not familiar with Mr. Poe, he will be running against Palin for governor in 2010, should she choose to seek that office again. She may take the “Go straight to the Presidential campaign. Do Not Pass Go. Do collect $11 million from a book deal” option. We can’t be sure.
Nevertheless, I sat this morning with my first cup of coffee, and my bowl of oatmeal, and I listened to Bob Poe on KUDO 1080am. At one point, I put the spoon down, and closed my eyes and just imagined, “This is my governor….” Wow. It was quite a shock to the system. I mean: well versed on the issues, intelligent, funny, informed, energeic, savvy, cultured yet down-to-earth… and wait til you hear this!
He said he “really likes blog discussions.” My eyes popped open. Did I drift off and imagine that in my reverie? Nope. He really said it. He went on to say that a recent study had shown that 70% of Americans trust what they hear from an individual or a friend, more than what they hear from the media. So…on the chance that a certain someone may be reading, everybody all together….wave madly at Bob Poe!!
And just in case you were wondering what might have happened if Bob Poe had been the one on the receiving end of Katie Couric’s “gotcha” question about what he reads every day, I have a partial answer.
The Atlantic Monthly and The Economist.
Now granted, he still has a long way to go to read as much as Sarah. She reads “umm…all of them,” if you recall. But I’m sure he’ll be able to catch up if he tries real hard.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Bob Poe, click HERE http://bobpoe.com / or visit the “I Know Bob Poe” Facebook page.
I DON'T know Bob Poe, but he'd have to be better than Sarah.
Sarah's Board of Game has outdone themselves this time. PLEASE, my Lower 49 friends, bring as much media attention as you can to this. These people are totally out of control.
This from The Mudflats
I’ll Get You My Pretty…and That Little Wolf Too! Palin’s War on Wildlife Continues…
I have used this term in the past, but never before has the phrase ”Palin’s war on wildlife” seemed so chillingly accurate. It is well known that Sarah Palin has stacked the board of game with “harvesters” while shunning conservationists. But, the detailed article in Alaska Dispatch by conservationist and author Bill Sherwonit is absolutely chilling. I don’t say that lightly.
Most Alaskans understand and respect subsistence hunting. I know people for whom moose was, and is, a staple food that carries their family through the winter. And most Alaskans don’t frown too much at some degree of sport hunting, because it’s understood that we, as humans, are predators too, and we somehow fit into the amazing ecosystem that surrounds us. The balance of nature is generally respected by hunters and non-hunters alike, and these two groups tend to have an uneasy, but workable alliance. At least, that’s how it’s been in the past. But now, in the spirit of free market sport hunting in the Mat-Su Valley, the Palin administration has figured out how hunters can compete even more effectively with natural wild predators. Kill them. Kill a LOT of them.
The Board of Game and Department of Fish and Game aim - or at least hope - to kill up to 60 percent of the 2,500 to 3,000 black bears that, in their opinion, prey upon an unacceptably high number of moose calves in Unit 16B, a huge area that extends from the foothills of the Alaska Range to Cook Inlet and from the Yentna River southwest to Redoubt Creek (which flows off the rumbling Redoubt Volcano).
Sixty percent! If that’s not a slaughter, what is? (The state admits it is unlikely to reach that goal, but why not shoot for the moon, eh?)
In discussing the unprecedented use of snares to catch and then kill black bears, Board member Ted Spraker talked about the inevitable “collateral damage,” in this instance involving brown bears. It is, of course, a term he borrowed from the military.
And Ben Grussendorf, the most moderate member of the Board (which isn’t saying much), described his initial gut reaction to several proposed changes this way: “Man, this is a jihad against black bears by paramilitary groups.”
Welcome, once again, to wildlife management under Gov. Sarah Palin, where everything possible is being done to kill off the predators that compete with Alaska’s human hunters for moose and caribou. No matter that many, perhaps most, of these people live in urban areas and participate in “sport” hunts.
In fact many of the ones most interested in Unit 16 moose live in Palin country, the Mat-Su Valleys. These folks - and lots of Anchorage-area hunters, too - simply want to fill their freezers with wild game and by God the Palin administration is going to do everything it can to help ‘em out, short of controlling the weather.
The Board also voted to extend the bear baiting season in Palin’s Unit 16. And they’re also gearing up to start gassing wolf pups in their dens. Probably makes it a lot easier to dispose of them that way, than waiting for them to grow up so they can get shot from helicopters.
Apparently the person who holds the newly created position with the Orwellian name “Assistant Commissioner for Abundance Management,” Corey Rossi, was able to assuage the concerns about these new policies by assuring the board that it would create an “attitude of stewardship”. Did I mention that Assistant Commissioner Rossi was a good friend of the Palins before he got this job?
And don’t think that the only people affected by these new policies are semi-lazy old guys who want to be able to go out with their buddies and be guaranteed to bag a moose without a whole lot of looking around. Nope, this is a family affair. The Board voted 4-2 to let children from the ages of 10-15 come along for the fun, killing bears since public participation will be required to reach the enormous kill goal for bears.
Sherwonit’s final point, and it’s a good one, is the fact that hardly any attention is being paid to these issues. Alaska conservationists may be feeling beaten down, or marginalized or tired. The mainstream media may be feeling like nobody cares, and the only people they hear from are the ones who sneer at the “tree huggers” and the “radical environmentalists.”
I recall several years ago, when massive tourist boycotts were called for because of the aerial wolf hunting controversy. Alaskans got all riled up and distressed because, they said, these policies didn’t represent the average Alaskan’s opinion. Why punish the regular folks who make a living from tourism because of a few people at the top? So, where are the regular people who are outraged by this? If these policies do not reflect your values, it is an obligation to step forward and say so. There’s an old adage, “silence is consent.”
Sherwonit goes on to say:
I also remain discouraged that, with few exceptions, Alaska’s conservation groups remain out of the picture. I suppose that with global warming, oil and gas industry activities, clean-energy initiatives and other big-picture items, their plates are pretty full and perhaps overflowing. But this new push for “abundance management” - the latest buzzwords for intensive management and predator control - is way out of control.
Only a few greenie organizations even commented on the proposals considered at this meeting. Even fewer sent people to testify; and most of them quickly vanished afterward.
For much of the last weekend, I sat in the Dena’ina Center surrounded by big-game hunting guides, trappers and hunters, state wildlife managers, and Board of Game members and their support staff. At most a handful of us opposed to the state’s current wildlife-management regime bore witness to the machinations, and only one of those few represented a conservation group, Wade Willis of Defenders of Wildlife.
Perhaps the Palin administration is counting on the fact that if eco-tourists boycott Alaska travel (if this ever gets picked up by the mainstream media) will be counterbalanced by those who want to come here to kill off some of the “abundant” wildlife. Or, perhaps she just feels like tipping the scales so folks in her home district can keep themselves and their kids entertained by killing not only more moose, but bears too.
Either way, what’s clearly needed here is dissemination of information. So for readers out there who have blogs, or are in the media, or who can write letters to the editor, or tell friends, or fire up your local conservation groups, this is your official invitation to help those of us in Alaska who see this “management for abundance” for what it really is - a war on Alaska’s wildlife.
Many who understand the situation in rural Alaska (in terms of mismanaged fisheries creating communities with no viable income, and people who are forced to choose between food or fuel for their children and elders), were, frankly, a bit stunned when we read the email that came out yesterday from SarahPAC, Sarah Palin’s political action committee. It not only informed us that she would soon be out traveling the length and breadth of the land, promoting conservative values, but also this:
Recently, Governor Palin was joined by Franklin Graham as she traveled to Western Alaska. Together, Governor Palin and Mr. Graham toured the region and met with residents of the area. Many of these Alaskans have recently received additional assistance through a partnership between many state agencies and several faith-based, non-profit groups, such as Mr. Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse.
As you can see, Governor Palin is working each day in Alaska. Her bold actions have helped thousands across the state and is the example of strong, conservative leadership needed throughout the country.
You may have been thinking to yourself, “But thousands of dollars and thousands of pounds of food had already been disbursed to villages in need before Sarah Palin even made a statement about it. And then, she only traveled to two villages for half a day total, toting a plate of cookies and a couple evangelicals… And in that short time she managed to seriously tick off the very village elder that brought the whole thing to national attention! And, come to think of it, why didn’t she mention any of the many non-religious organizations and people who stepped forward to help? And isn’t there something inherently wrong with giving people food boxes that contain both a letter on official state letterhead and a proselytizing leaflet from a religious organization?”
You’ve come up with some pretty good questions, there.
In addition, I found it pretty astounding that Palin claims to have “toured the region” of Western Alaska in just a few hours….and then it hit me. It hit me like a bolt from the blue. Suddenly the entire diabolical plot became clear in a flash. She doesn’t want to be the President after all. Her sites are set on greater glory.
OK, bear with me here. Put down your coffee, and silence your cell phones. Get your tinfoil hats, and make sure they are securely fastened, because we’re going for a ride.
If she can now tour the entire region of Western Alaska (keeping in mind that the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta itself is larger than the state of Oregon) in just one afternoon, then it’s not much of a stretch to think that making an entire global circuit in 24 hours may be her ultimate goal. I mean President of the United States is OK and all, but there’s got to be something better…something more suited to her sense of self-importance….something REALLY big. That’s right. She’s not looking to unseat Obama. She’s looking to unseat Santa. Think about it. “Sarah Claus” means worldwide media, adulation from every nation, other people doing the work all year, and a way to wear those shiny leather boots without ridicule. It’s perfect.
And not only does Mr. Claus have to fear, Santa’s little helpers ought to be on their guard as well. Who needs those damn elves when you’ve got a team of Evangelicals to help you deliver the goodies. Franklin, and Prevo may be just the beginning of the parade of evangelical elves. (Elvangelicals?) Dobson is a pretty good elf name also…..
So, indulge me and picture this. It’s dark, and cold. A gentle snow is falling in the crisp night air; those impossibly big flakes that get stuck in your eyelashes. It’s Christmas Eve in North Pole, Alaska. Yes, there is really a North Pole Alaska, and it’s reeeeally conservative. (raises eyebrow) Sarah Claus is getting ready for the big night. She’s putting the finishing touches on her makeup, and zips into her tall shiny black boots. Next is the red leather jacket. She’s not an elected official anymore so no worries about where it came from. She checks her hair after having decided on the up-do which will be more manageable in the wind. Then the cute little furry hat and the big mittens. She steps out into the night to board the sleigh. Oops! Forgot the cookies. In a complete North Pole coup d’etat, traditional cookie baker Mrs. Claus has also been ousted. Back in the sleigh, rifle by her side, she calls to the wolves who will pull the sleigh.
She chuckles to herself, remembering how she dismissed the reindeer. They might have old allegiances…and besides, they welcomed that other reindeer…the “different” one with the flashy nose. She shudders as she imagines what might happen if all reindeer made this lifestyle choice. It simply cannot be condoned. Wolves will work much better. She makes sure to have a rifle by her side to remind the sleigh-pullers who’s boss, and who put a bounty on their cousins in the form of payment for each wolf foreleg turned in. As a good conservative, she has learned that fear is a good motivator. She cries out, “On Limpy and Gimpy, and Dasher and Dodger, on Hobbler and Wobbler, on Hearth Rug and Couch Throw!”
Enjoying their unprecedented invitation to the big event, FOX News, CNN and all the other major networks are standing by to film the event, and Sarah Claus glides off into the night, ready to “tour the region” of the world, spreading those conservative principles, and presents loaded with religious pamphlets. She turns back to the crowd waving and smiling. “Enjoy the food you guys!” she calls excitedly, indicating a table of light fare being laid out by the Elfangelicals scurrying around with little bells on their hats, and turned up shoes. You feel a hand on your elbow. It’s Elf Dobson, splendid in his green regalia. He holds out a tray. “Reindeer sausage pizza?”
So….is this just the paranoid rambling of an anonymous blogger? Or is this plot so crazy, it just…might….work…
And more here: http://www.adn.com/palin/story/719704.html and here: http://community.adn.com/adn/node/139020
Based on this story in the Anchorage Daily News "Legislator takes job in Obama administration" http://www.adn.com/front/story/708481.html
AK Muckraker at The Mudflats writes the following: http://www.themudflats.net/2009/03/02/oh-y... /
“Oh! Ye’ll Take the High Road and I’ll Take the Low Road, and I’ll See Governor Palin Afore Ye.”
Before that song starts running through your head and you learn to hate me, pleas stand.
(Hand on heart, clearing throat) I pledge allegiance to the Democratic Presidential Candidate of the United States of America…
In my humble opinion, pledging allegiance to a flag is a bit odd to begin with. I’d rather be pledging allegiance to the Constitution, or the Democratic Process, or Representative Democracy, or the Rule of Law, or a dozen other things. But I’m willing to stretch the metaphor a bit and think of “the flag” as being representational of those things.
But never would I “pledge my allegiance” to a person, be they a member of my own political party or not. And accusing someone of pledging allegiance to a person, seems snarky at best, and downright accusatory at worst. And yet, this is how Governor Palin reacted to the impressive appointment of Juneau Senator Kim Elton as the Director of Alaska Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior. It’s her “opening line” as a matter of fact. Here is the governor’s nastygram press release in its entirety.
“Senator Elton pledged his allegiance to President Obama last summer. We wish him well as he moves on and hope that he uses this job for Alaska’s benefit - to advance the state’s oil and gas issues, including the natural gas pipeline, and to work diligently to remove the barriers imposed upon all states that want to open up their shores to off-shore drilling. I hope he can represent Alaskans by opening ANWR, conveying the importance of responsible mining development, and building roads - all issues crucial to the future of our state.”
How very…..curt. Hardly a glowing press release, wishing a respected member of the Senate well, and sending him off to Washington D.C. with the support and pride of his governor. Why, you’d almost think that Governor Palin didn’t like Senator Elton….like she was harboring some kind of grudge, perhaps. Let’s think….why might that be?
Ohhh. That’s right, Senator Elton was the head of the Legislative Council this past fall; the very Legislative Council that hired Stephen Branchflower to investigate Palin’s role in the Troopergate ethics scandal! And now that I think of it, wasn’t Elton on the receiving end of a lawsuit to stonewall that investigation? And didn’t that report find that Palin did abuse her power under the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act? Ahh. The pieces are falling into place.
So, according to Sarah Palin, ”pledging allegiance to Barack Obama” must be what you do when you head up the council that said she was guilty of abusing her power. So, does the governor, then, believe that everyone who has supported her on the other side of this investigation has pledged allegiance to her? Someone should ask.
But back to the subject at hand. Senator Elton has represented Alaskans for over two decades. He’s been in the Juneau Assembly, the House of Representatives, and the State Senate. And the governor “hopes” he can represent Alaskans? I wonder if the Governor actually knows that there IS, a “High Road” and that it’s not only navigable, but it can be taken at any time. Really. It’s quite convenient, and it often takes you beautiful scenic vistas where the low road doesn’t go. Here’s an example.
Let’s try Senator Begich’s response.
“As a former commercial fisherman, newspaperman and long-time state legislator, Kim Elton has a broad depth of experience as a result of his nearly 50 years as an Alaskan. He’ll need to rely on every bit of that knowledge as he helps the Obama administration and its Interior Department understand the unique needs of Alaskans as the Interior secretary’s right-hand man on Alaska.”
“I’ve known Kim for many years to be a knowledgeable, diplomatic and open-minded public policy maker who puts the interests of his state first. I look forward to working with him in Washington to advance Alaska issues, from a gas pipeline to subsistence management.”
Now, it falls to Governor Palin to appoint another Juneau Democrat to fill Elton’s position. Rumor says that Rep. Beth Kerttula, the current House Minority Leader is under consideration. And if that happens, we’ll be looking for a new Minority Leader. Interested parties have until Wednesday to apply for the position. If I were a betting person, I’d also be scanning the Wasilla High School Yearbook to see if there are actually any alumnae who happen to be living in Juneau, and have become Democrats in the last week or so.
Either I’m just plain cynical, or it’s the Nyquil talking…
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