The Trail : A blog on the 2006 Alaska governor's race by Kyle Hopkins

About the blog: The race to become Alaska's next governor is on and it's about to get muddy. Grab your boots and follow the Daily News along the winding campaign trail.


Blog : Alaska Politics

Happy trails - 11/8/2006 8:05 pm

Forty-two - 11/8/2006 8:01 pm

Election hangover - 11/8/2006 10:25 am

Tonight (updated) - 11/7/2006 12:18 pm

Full Moon - 11/6/2006 7:11 pm

Fishy photos? - 11/6/2006 12:08 pm

Smelly deal? - 11/5/2006 3:31 pm

Sunday best (part two) - 11/5/2006 3:18 pm

One to watch

Two Republican governors asked to meet with Sarah Palin today at the Anchorage airport, says Palin spokesman Curtis Smith.

The first meeting fell through - she was supposed to talk with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but Romney didn’t make it. A meeting with Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt is still on for later tonight, Smith said.

He said it’s unclear why the governors want to talk with Palin, but here’s why it’s worth a second look: Romney is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which exists primarily to get Republicans elected and keep them in office.

The RGA could be an important ally for Palin -- who is now busy fund-raising -- because it’s willing to spend money. On Friday, for example, the Association announced it would funnel $750,000 into ads in Michigan, where Republican Dick DeVos is challenging Democrat incumbent Jennifer Granholm.

The RGA sent out a press release the day after Palin’s win in the primary, congratulating her on the victory. According to the Association Web site - which today features a picture of Palin on its front page - donating to the RGA helps support “governors and gubernatorial candidates in the critical areas of message development, polling, TV and radio, and voter identification and direct financial support.

  7     August 30, 2006 - 9:01pm | laupan

Credentials??? Ability??? Hmmm

Jeeze…. I think raising a family, managing a family budget, managing the nuances of dealing with relationships, both in and out of the family with and for the family members, nurturing egos and nursing the family members is a lot like managing a small business. This is not a business you delegate to other people, as "the mom" you're on the line. Plus she is successful at it.

This is a little different then playing at running a business or being a manager in a business when others do the work and the day-to-day operation. I guess if one has done neither that one would not know.

She also made the commitment to graduate, which she did with high honors.

Being on boards is great however was anything ever accomplished or was it just showing up? In most cases people use this as a resume filler, you always must look into what was achieved by the board to see the value.

Having been Governor and the experience is fine however was anything really accomplished? Do we really want to go there to the anxiety closet again? Why?

I would think that having been there and done that it would be reason to be motivated and move on to the next step in elected office the House or Senate. Is there a reason why this is not attractive? Maybe this is something to analyze more closely, what is in the Governor's house that is so attractive that you would want to go back again is there a reason to investigate this further???? Maybe "somthin" is buried under that there "back stoop"

As voters we should take the fresh approach, what will Ms. Palin's good management approach do for the Great State of Alaska, cleaning house and removing the dust, cob webs, grunge and crud that has built up over the many years, a good four-year spring-cleaning if you will.

The nurturing and administrative skills she has to assist The Native Alaskans issue and allocate more resources which has been overlooked for many years and is sorely needed. It is quite possible this style is exactly what the State needs.

  6     August 30, 2006 - 4:15pm | laupan

Governor's Meeting

According to the “Old Bull of The North Woods

  August 30, 2006 - 8:20pm | celtic_green

Ladies and Gentlemen... Palin's new spokesperson:

"[Sarah] is a successful Mom...a great ROLL model...and she's HOT!"

Thanks for chiming in. Now go take a nap...maybe have a cookie.

  August 31, 2006 - 6:50am | laupan

Thank you my lad, thank you,

Thank you my lad, thank you, we are just one of many of the "lil people"

“May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within.

May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart till it glows,
Like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come
and warm himself at it, as well as the friend.

And may the light shine out of the eyes of you,
like a candle set in the windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the rain be on you - the soft sweet rain.

May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up,
And shed their sweetness on the air.

And may the blessing of the great rains be on you,
that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.

And may the blessing of the earth be on you - the great round earth;
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people you pass
as you are going along the roads.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

  August 30, 2006 - 5:10pm | undeclared

Let's Talk About Experience

A few things seem to be missing from Palin's biography. According to her own biography she has no experience whatsoever in the private sector! If I pay the annual dues, I can claim all of the same "professional positions" that she does!

She lacks any military experience and her education is pathetic compared to Halcro and Knowles. Take a look:

Education: Yale University, AB, Economics (1968)

Military Service: U.S. Army, 1962 to 1965, 82nd Airborne, MACV J-2 (Military Assistance Command Vietnam, intelligence unit).

Political and Government Positions:
Member of Anchorage Assembly
Mayor of Anchorage
Governor of Alaska.

Business & Professional Positions/Service Organizations Membership:
Owner/Operator, Grizzly Burger
Co-Owner/Operator, Downtown Deli & Café
Partner, Downtown Investments Company
Anchorage Comprehensive Land Use Planning Commission
KAKM Board of Directors
March of Dimes Board of Directors
Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Pew Oceans Commission

East Anchorage High School 1982
Willamette University
University of Alaska Anchorage

Continuing Professional Education:
Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University 2003
Harvard Business School 2004

Political and Government Positions:
Alaska State House of Representatives 1999-2003
Chair House Transportation Committee
Vice Chair House Transportation Committee
Co-Chair Community & Regional Affairs Committee
Vice Chair Labor & Commerce Committee
University of Alaska Budget Sub-Committee
Administration Department Budget Sub-Committee
Fiscal Policy Caucus

Community Positions:
Chair: Sand Lake Community Council 1996-1998
Member: Anch. School District Citizens Budget Task Force 1995 & 2003
Municipal Budget Advisory Commission 1998
Mayor's Transition Team 2003

My vote will be cast based on experience and leadership not looks.

  5     August 30, 2006 - 7:30am | rfn

Tony Logic

Watch out, Sarah!

If your meetings with governors from other states results in you getting some financing Tony will be all over you like a bad suit for being "beholden to outside lobbyists".

Now HE's pure. Greenpeace and The Sierra Club have members in Alaska so the contributions they bring to his campaign from outside are really from inside.

After all, Alaska is THEIR state; so proclaimed in their efforts to recruit activists in Portland (OR).


Tony Logic!

  4     August 30, 2006 - 5:28am | turdball

Republicans become Democrats

Heard on the street in Soldotna. If Dave Carey (D for life until after he left the seminary) wins district 33 and in November he won't become of the majority and will in fact change his party affiliation back to D in memory of his dear mother.

What to do?

And what young republicans are politely refusing to work on some campaigns. And which are to cozy when their mates are out of town?? Two staff members who work for leadership were very friendly in Juneau. The ear is way behind on this one. Is it true Kelly Wolves is running for something or other on the Peninsula. I thought the Governor made it legal to hunt that species from a plane. Perhaps the jet is too fast.

  August 30, 2006 - 5:43am | turdball

New Political blog

Can anyone tell me how to start a political blog?? There is much more interesting tidbits than even the ear will print to share. Like which legislator has been declared the meanest to staff in Juneau?? How is parking determined at the capitol?? Oh yes there is a hi.archy Which lobbyist wears a speedo to swim? Where is the best poker in Juneau?? Who are the players and who isn't allowed to play?

Where will staff whose bosses either did not run or lost in the primary or November election land a job. Especially the ones who make life hell for reporters.

It would be great to ask and answer the questions the ear is afraid to.

Who plays the best practical jokes? Who is the best and worst to work for in the capital? Which senator lives in the capital building during session? Which representative?? And why all the security cameras in the LIO and the Capital. Its not for security, its to watch staff with reporters. Who watches? and how is that information used? Is it legal to watch who talks to who or is an infringment of freedom of speech. Who put those cameras in the buildings. I dont like someone watching how many times I go to the bathroom in a day. And other people should be more concerned about talking to friends and reporters.

Comeon lets dish the real stuff. A litte bird told me to do it.

  September 2, 2006 - 9:57am | qtwkids

Great questions

I think your idea is innovative. That would be interesting info. Let us know where to go to read it.

  August 30, 2006 - 11:03am | billy_muldoon

Starting a new blog

It's easy. Go to and follow the step-by-step. It's free, it's hosted by Google, and it's where the legendary Tribal Fires were first set ablaze.

Billy Muldoon

  3     August 29, 2006 - 9:00pm | celtic_green

The Whole Truth

Nice work, Kyle, pointing out that Bitney is a lobbyist. In Sunday's article you quoted Paul Fuhs a few times yet failed to mention he was a lobbyist. I know Palin's campaign is only for "outsiders" - y'know...none of those crusty insiders capable of wheeling and dealing. Still, lobbyists playing key roles in her primary and now general election campaign?

Finally, in this blog you make no mention of why Curtis Smith's radio show was "short-lived." Not important as far as you're concerned, eh? Got it. I guess we can't expect you to be the only reporter NOT whipped by the Palin charm.

  September 8, 2006 - 8:39pm | Airforceone

Short Lived Radio Host

It was actually a pretty good show. Too bad the host couldnt resist slamming major advertisers along the way. Money talks...opinions walk.

  August 30, 2006 - 5:57pm | thetrail


I haven't talked to Smith about the radio thing, but apparently The Ear has. Here's the link.
-- Kyle

  August 30, 2006 - 8:09pm | celtic_green

A Mulligan

Did you refer me to THE EAR for a more detailed report on why Palin decided to hire a spokesperson who just got canned from KFQD?

You have started your vacation a bit early and downed some of the really good stuff, I'll bet.

Let's promise each other we won't let a gossip column be our guide to electing our next governor. I'm letting this one go and forgetting it even happened.

We should know what kind of people our candidates choose as staff. Today a spokesperson, tomorrow the commissioner of [fill in the blank].

  August 29, 2006 - 9:04pm | akpoliticalanimal

Didn't we just vote on a change in lobbyist laws?

Would having lobbyists on campaigns be unlawful under the new law? I agree with Celtic--so much for running a campaign without operatives. Fuhs and Bitney both lobbyists and Smith a political operative from the legislature and Republican campaigns. Not all is as she wants us to believe.

  August 29, 2006 - 9:16pm | celtic_green

Reporters Need Love, Too!

This is one reason we won't see any aspect of the Palin campaign thoroughly researched.

Most reporters like to be respected, but more importantly they like to be liked. Questioning Palin on any level is tricky business if that's your motivation. Don't expect any "deep" questions so long as the current group of reporters remains on the beat.

  August 29, 2006 - 9:29pm | akpoliticalanimal

We do like Kyle

But I have to agree your stories on her haven't been hard hitting. When will there be an examination of her changing positions? Some research? The public does deserve a thorough look.
I do have to say that the editorial on Saturday was very good. They pointed out that Sarah felt she should be in on the secret negotiations with Frank and the oil companies. That's pretty naive and not at all proper. She has no claim to know anything more than any other person in AK just because she's a nominee.

  August 30, 2006 - 5:36am | northeastbear

its not just Kyle

The press has taken her line of bull for months. Why? She has no plans, she lies, opps I mean she changes her story-- example on her gas line deal or where she stands on other issues. Slogans get you only so far. Maybe I am forgetful but was not Palin the same person who appeared in ads paid for by the port authority to pimp for the LNG line? Yet during the campaign she has been allowed to say she is open minded on which line she supports. Which is it? She lied then on TV or lies now on TV? Yet not a peep from the fourth estate. Kyle tell us you have some journalistic interest in nailing her down on any subject or policy. Now when was the last time a statewide candidate was allowed not to answer the question why she ordered tax paid city employees to do campaign work on the clock? Typing thank you notes to campaign contributors is not something that even Frank would try to pull off. But will not there be any effort to get a straight answer from Ms. Ethics?

  2     August 29, 2006 - 8:44pm | redpike

Frank in a Skirt???

What's up with all the "skirt" comments? A good Democrat and a Tony Knowles supporter should demonstrate the tolerance and equality that the left always CLAIM to have, not the sexist bile you are spewing.

  August 29, 2006 - 9:09pm | celtic_green

Watch the Name-Calling!

It's o.k. to argue but please hold off on the name-calling. I mean, is it necessary to call someone!!!

  August 29, 2006 - 9:32pm | akpoliticalanimal

I'll curb my comments

and stop calling her a skirt if the palins will start addressing the issues raised. but don't taunt me by calling me a D!

  August 29, 2006 - 9:00pm | akpoliticalanimal

I'm not a Democrat

Never said I was one. I know you think that Sarah has the market on Republicans. Not. This is one that doesn't support her. I notice you don't address the real issue--that she'll allow the RGA to come in and do her dirty work.

  1     August 29, 2006 - 5:11pm | akpoliticalanimal

She's Frank in a Skirt!

Politics as usual...she's no different than the boys she beat. Here's how it works--the RGA comes in as the "bad guys" and run negative ads against Tony Knowles (they did it against Fran Ulmer in 2002 and look who they sold us then!) She'll say "SHE" isn't going negative and it isn't her fault the RGA is trashing Tony Knowles. She will be powerless to make them stop. All the while she'll try to make people think she's the "positive" candidate. Yeah right. Don't be fooled people. She's no different than Frank. In fact, remember in 2002 she did ads for Frank against Fran Ulmer.

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