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

Round two

Both the Knowles and Palin campaigns held press conferences today to talk about yesterday’s Fagan show and the e-mail chain that Knowles and Palin argued about yesterday.

Each camp appears to be saying the other is flashing the race card late in the campaign.

At the very core of this argument is that Palin doesn’t support rural preference for subsistence and fishing rights - which her opponents want to make sure everyone knows - while Palin wants to publicize ties to the Native community and says Knowles uses subsistence to divide voters.

What’s inflamed the issue is the distinction between pointing out Palin’s positions, or that she didn’t attend meetings like the Native Get Out the Vote forum in Fairbanks, and actually accusing her of being anti-Native.

The Palin camp wants people to see the e-mails as an attack co-signed by the Knowles campaign, while the Knowles campaign calls this McCarthyism and misdirection.

Finally, it’s further complicated by the nature of chain e-mails - in which people keep adding their comments to the tail of the chain. Do you blame someone who writes the first e-mail for what’s written in the last e-mail?

I’ll provide an update that describes both camps’ arguments soon.

Also today: Halcro criticized Knowles for an e-mail that blasts Halcro on issues like the Permanent Fund and the Longevity Bonus, and all three attended a pretty tame debate in front of restless high school kids at West High.

Libertarian Billy Toien stole the show by saying he thinks the drinking age should be dropped to 18.

  7     November 2, 2006 - 10:37pm | alaskastraightalker

Why does it seem

it's always the Republicans who play the race card, the gay card, and the other cards? Because it's right out of the Karl Rove playbook.

That's why the RNC ran racist ads in Tennessee; That's why Palin is playing the race card now, deceiving the press and the public about the real issue. She has said she is against an amendment of the constitution to allow a rural preference on subsistence.

Knowles has said he supports allowing the people of the state to vote on the issue, as does Ted Stevens and other members of the delegation.

Knowles and Palin have a difference of opinion on subsistence- it's fair for each of them to point that out without resorting to name calling and race-card playing.

As I said on the next thread, perhaps Kyle can get some e-mails sent by Palin campaign staff and/or supporters, and post them. I bet they'd make great reading, and show Palin's basic hypocrisy on the whole e-mail biz.

  November 3, 2006 - 7:34am | Black3

Equal access to resources

for ALL citizens is one of the fundaments of Alaska's very existence. That unique piece of the Constitution was a visceral reaction to fish traps and other exclusive use rights handed out by the Fed during Territorial days. The United States accepted our Statehood and our Constitution with that provision.

Ted Stevens' otherwise great career is seriously marred by the fact that he allowed ANILCA to become law; it could easily have been killed in '80 and would have gone away in a Reagan government with a Republican Senate. Mike Gravel wasn't right on much, but he was right on that one. Stevens' was more interested in get along-go along so that he could be minority leader and backed the Democrat legislation. If he hadn't done that, he might have been majority leader the next term. Both he and Alaska have suffered for it.

Alaska should never volutarily relinquish this fundamental priciple of our government. Tony Knowles compromised Alaska's sovereignty by abandoning the Hickel Era assertions of that sovereignty in the federal courts and by acceding to tribal status, as that term has meaning in federal law, for Alaska Native entities. That status was never even conferred by the BIA until the Clinton/Knowles Era except to Metlakatla and Arctic Village, nonparticipants in ANCSA.

Alaska set an example to the Nation in establishing legal equality for all its citizens. If we are to have some people be "more equal than others," let the Fed do it, and we can duke it out with them in the Courts.

  November 3, 2006 - 11:02am | rfn

About that last part...

"Alaska set an example to the Nation in establishing legal equality for all its citizens. If we are to have some people be "more equal than others," let the Fed do it, and we can duke it out with them in the Courts."

Or could have done so but Tony wasn't up to it when he had the chance. Alaska Constitution? WHAT Alaska Constitution?

But we understand. He had his hands full encouraging that merger....

  November 3, 2006 - 8:13am | jacekone

mixing terms

In one paragraph you managed to confuse ANILCA, ANSCA, state sovereignty, tribal sovereignty and federal Indian law, not to mention the role of a governor.

Tribal sovereignty is a hot issue in Alaska right now. Uneducated individuals, such as yourself, are not assisted by dilletantes like Palin who appear even less informed than you on the subject matter.

The BIA has full authority to federally recognize tribes and grant them legal status: this has never been a state issue. Most people blame Clinton for the recognition of tribes in AK, not TK. I would attempt to eliminate your obvious confusion on this subject, but frankly, your 3rd paragraph makes very little sense.

Equal Access is another hot topic, so it does not serve the electorate when Sarah states she supports that, yet wants to give priority to those in greatest need of the resources. She talks in ephemereal terms, just like a democrat. At leat we know where Tony stands.

  November 3, 2006 - 9:08am | Black3

I doubt you could eliminate

anyone's confusion, since you've amply demonstrated you don't know what you're talking about.

The BIA doesn't not have direct authority to recognize tribes, per Article I, Section 8, all relationships with Indian tribes are the purview of Congress. DOI/BIA is merely an executive agency charged to carry out Congressional mandates.

There are no treaty tribes in Alaska, and in Venetie, the USSC held that only Metlakatla and Arctic Village might have the status of "dependent domestic sovereigns" as that phrase has meaning in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia.

I think if any of this doesn't make sense to you, that is more your issue than mine.

  November 3, 2006 - 6:06am | jacekone

Race is dem issue

Race, minorities, poverty: these are all classic democratic issues. Republican issues include the military and fiscal conservatism. You give Rove too much credit. Regarding Palin: she is using classic democratic maneuvers in her campaign, which is a disappointment to conservative women such as myself. She is not substantive and takes umbrage when questioned on native issues, i.e. accusations of racism instead of answering the questions.

  November 2, 2006 - 11:04pm | lewisandclark

Seems Like What?

I remember the latest time that card was played a year ago in New Orleans.

My caucaision friend, a professor, was just as devastated by the storm as anyone there.

I don't remember the republicans being the one that put that card on the table.

I think you are being arbitrary and capricious, Straightalker.

  November 3, 2006 - 9:24pm | mike_l

Caucasian friend

was it Dan Fagan? The pro-Palin posts are about as stupid tonight as some shameless pimping of Ms. Conservative.

Never mind the pipeline. Never mind the LNG and Prop 2 nuts that surround her. Never the mind the Jerry Ward's and Robin Taylor's who will get jobs in Juneau. Her conservative values trump all, even though she can't spell the word or explain what it means.

A vote for Palin is a vote against the gasline contract getting signed, and it's a vote for lunatics that will run our state. This candidate and her Jerry Springer inner circle of friends will set this state back 20 years. That is the plain and simple truth -in my opinion. The two-bit spin masters here are doing a very poor job of explaining Palin's anti-rural views, her bias towards the Valley, her desire to move the capital out of Juneau, and her passion to bring the government into our bedrooms.

  November 4, 2006 - 6:28am | lewisandclark

Yeah rignt.

You sound more paranoid every post. Maybe you should tell that therapist of yours the meds aren't working anymore.

Never met Fagan. Not in any inner circles. Just care not to see the
"nuts that surround" And "two-bit spin masters here" "who will get jobs in Juneau" "doing a very poor job of explaining" Tony's "anti-rural views."

To answer the question, and if you want to further your education in New Orleans he is the Vice Chancellor of the University of New Orleans Graduate School. He has about a 40 million dollar budget. He is an icthyology professor first.

His house got "wack jobbed" out by Katrina.

But then you know it all so you I'd guess you won't need to be looking for any school I'd guess.

Speaking of Rural/native/ racial issues why would one particular Tsimshian think they were better than any Tlingit just by their birth right?
Would you call that person a "racist?"

  6     November 2, 2006 - 9:05pm | lewisandclark

Jim D, AFSCME Dems, and the bush people.

Tony's former admin commissioner and crew, now at the AFSCME shows their true "no concern" attitude for bush people, the little guys, with so few votes that nobody at the ADP (Same Actors) care about them. Like so many others the Knowles camp is "not able to help them." They feel betrayed by his previous administration. Don't buy in to his sound bite, because you'll just sit and wait as "nothing happens."

From this AFSCME Link:

[There was a lot of discussion and actually a desire by the Bush Committee members to more or less ask Jim (Duncan) to take a look at restructuring or consider going back to times past, of having an individual or maybe two individuals who were largely responsible for Rural Business Agent representation. I am not sure that Jim (Duncan) would be too wild about the idea, but I am just bringing it up as a desire of the committee. They thought that one individual who more or less specialized in Rural issues there would be a better benefit to the membership.]

[And lastly, I mentioned to Jim that there is a little problem as far as some of the arrangements of travel of the folks to the committee. And I have talked to Jim one-on-one about that.]

[And additionally, one of the teleconferences that was scheduled soon after the Committee, Kim Metcalfe inadvertently missed the meeting herself and she is always the person who sets up the bridge to the teleconference. So people were kind of waiting around and nothing happened. So there was a suggestion, if possible, that the Committee Chair be provided the opportunity to initiate those teleconferences in case staff is not able to help them in a particular circumstance.]

Really competent people inadvertantly receiving pay over there at the AFSCME. They are the ones really "helping" Tony.

  5     November 2, 2006 - 7:34pm | etolin

Its over

Reportedly Palin's lead has never dropped below double digits over Knowles during the entire campaign.

Clearly, Knowles will attempt to leverage any divisive issue to suit his purposes - attempting to cleave to any issue to get himself elected.

Its hoped Governor Palin will help sort out and help to end these difficult issues which divide Alaskans.

Oh, I heard on tonight's news Knowles said he'd run again. Maybe it will take three times and he'll get the hint.

  November 2, 2006 - 10:29pm | alaskastraightalker

Rasmussen poll last week

" Alaska: Sarah Palin (R) has lost most of her lead in the race for Governor of Alaska. Palin earns 42% of the vote compared to 40% for former Governor Tony Knowles (D). See Data. When leaners are added, it's Palin 45% Knowles 44%. Earlier this month, Palin led by seven. In August and September, she held a double-digit lead."

I guess you are behind the times.

  November 3, 2006 - 12:04am | christineofkodiak


Was Halcro part of the Rasmussen poll? It would seem that without him the results might be somewhat skewed.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:42pm | ellebelle2005

Reported by whom?

Take a look at the numbers and try again:

  4     November 2, 2006 - 6:27pm | jacekone

Race card

Palin is playing the race card in order to entice the frustrated non-native voters over to her side. Most of the electorate is sick and tired of the race card being used in every election (ala Jesse Jackson), so this is a magnificent way for Palin to exploit the low-level anger for her benefit. She has already alienated Natives (sans the Bristol Bay cronies) so she has nothing to lose with this tactic. The TRUTH is that every known Palin position is anti-native and she refuses to own that. She is the small town girl who believes people should accept she is pro-Native just because her husband and kids are Yup'ik. This has never been about race. This is absolutely about state issues that affect a large class of rural voters who are predominantly native. However, when she makes it about race then she gets the undecided non-native voters.

  3     November 2, 2006 - 6:22pm | coldstrings


The emails were bound to happen. The Alaska Native community has a right to defend itself and their homeland. They have the right to political association. They feel threatened, and it is hard to blame them, what with the Alaska Outdoor Council, and two of its members, Sarah Palin and Ron Sommerville, both in the news at the same time.

Race card? The race card is always there, now. Right below the surface across Alaska.

The majority of Alaskans support a constitutional amendment for a rural subsistence priority. Tony Knowles favors letting the people vote on it. I concur.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:05pm | lwilson

Wrong, wrong, wrong

The majority of Alaskans most likely DO NOT favor a constitutional amendment for rural subsistence. There is no reason for a constitutional amendment to favor one Alaskan over another. It's very presumptious to assume that you know what the majority of Alaskans think on anything, but most probably agree with equal treatment for all Alaskans, as the constitution now mandates. Most Alaskans would probably also agree with Sarah Palin that if there is undue (urban) competition for scarce rural resources, fish and game regulations could address this by adjusting the season length for residents of that GMU.

Sommerville should be very publicly fired from the Board of Game. His statements are offensive to all Alaskans. His little joke is even more offensive than Kerry's was to veterans.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:52pm | coldstrings

Beg to Differ

As the saying goes, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Poll after poll on the issue have consistently shown the majority of Alaskans support a subsistence priority. Fortunately, you do have an opportunity to put the issue to the test. Let Alaskans vote.

Thank you for your comments regarding Sommerville and Kerry. I concur.

  November 2, 2006 - 9:50pm | marty2

Let's vote on it.

I, like many Alaskans, am in favor or voting on a constitutional amendment that would change the constitution to state that rural residents may have priority use of fish and game in times of shortage.

However, that doesn't mean that I believe the majority of Alaskans would approve that amendment.

The outcome of that vote is very unclear. The campaign for and against it would likely be divisive. But I do think we should give it an up and down vote. Having grown up in the bush, I understand the need for use of the fish and game.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:42pm | jacekone

You are presumptious too

You stated what the majority of Alaskans want: that they "DO NOT" favor a const amendment to eliminate the equal access provisions. Do you not read your own posts?? How odd. You continue on to state that most Alaskans would agree with Palin, yet accuse the OP of being presumptious. Why do you alone get to speak for the people? Regardless of what you or I think the majority of Alaskans favor, the amendment of the state const can only be decided in the voting booth. Moreover, the state const guarantess equal "access" to natural resources, not equal treatment, as you said.

Palin stated at AFN that she believes that those with the greatest need should be allowed to harvest the resources first. However, when that statement is coupled with her position that she favors the state approach (equal access) it is clear that she has given very little thought to this topic. Palin gets $$ from the sports fishing/hunting industries and that primarily drives her policy. It is very likely that she has not reconciled her own position on subsistence, based on her contradictions.

Furthermore, it appears she has given little personal thought to most of the issues in this election, based on her inability to discuss them with intelligence.

I think most Alaskans want to keep equal access but they want state control over federal lands, too. It really should be voted on.

  November 2, 2006 - 6:35pm | jacekone

Of course

the native community is threatened by Palin. She is an unknown quantity. She refuses to articulate her positions on issues that directly affect natives, but wants everyone to know she "honors" native culture and will protect it "until my dying day" ---- whatever that means. What does it mean, Ms. Palin? This is robo-democratic talk, IMO: it means nothing.

  2     November 2, 2006 - 5:04pm | signwaver

perfect ending

It would be my guess that the Palin camp could not be happier that the Knowles campaign
chooses to take their last gasping stand, with 5 days to go, to elevate the final campaign discussion on rural/urban divide. What a sweet parting gift to the Princess.

Tony the great Divider at his best.

Palin wins this entire free for all, gets even more native votes,
more "other" votes out of this conversation, and she wins fairly large on the 7th.

Today I would call it:
Palin 47
Knowles 39
Halcro 8
Undecideds 6
(if they dont know who by now...half
aint even going to vote)

Palin is back in control of the numbers. And rising.

Knowles needs a miracle picture of the Queen in a bad situation.

Wait.........she smoked pot.
Oh dang, so did Tony. A lot.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:07pm | signwaver

what planet you on sprinklerdude?

Tide turning towards Palin?

Lincoln didn't help move the "ugly" racial undertones email around?

Did you listen to Fagans show today? Conservatively, it was 60-40 Palin in support.

Scanlan is and has been on the Knowles payroll. Fact. Her name better show up on the APOC as paid.

This has been going on for 3-4 weeks. Tony said on Fagan he "hadn't seen the email".
Another untruth.

I love that you tonybots all think this guy called in to plant the issue. Bless you all.
So Palin could get the "race" issue going?
Right. Sitting on a 6-9 point lead, minimum, she goes racial?

She apologised. Its now Knowles turn. For sending that email around to Rural folks.

And all those Native leaders at Palin's press conference standing behind her? Guess they know b.s. when they see it.

And who is that yapping press person for Knowles? Ear plugs.........please.

  November 2, 2006 - 6:25pm | rfn

Whose invention?

I vaguely recall Tony having invented the urban/rural divide at some point during his first term. Not invented the term; invented the divide.

Thing I found intriguing about it, though Lindauer (before he imploded) was repeatedly asked what he would to to clean that up but continually evaded the issue.

It was as though he didn't even recognize that it existed....or perhaps that he thought Tony was doing just perfectly.

Doesn't necessarily mean anything now but it sure brings back memories!

  November 2, 2006 - 5:40pm | Sprinklerhead

Uh, wait a minute, not so fast.

Let's get the facts straight here or is that too much to ask of a Palin supporter.

First of all, the Palin campaign was the first to launch into the race issue on the Fagan show yesterday. Their telephone plant, Scott (also a Palin supporter) called in to the show and accused the Knowles campaign of sending out mailers that stated that Sarah was anti-Native. Which turned out to be another false statement, by the way, read the emails at the beginning of Kyle's blog.

Then, they tried to capitalize on the issue by asking Sarah her stand on rural priority and the Native issues. It was very cleverly turned around by the Fagan show to make Knowles look bad. However, most of the listeners that paid attention got the point...once again Sarah calling the pot black when in fact she did not research the issue.

Again, today, Senator Lincoln had to call in to straighten Dan out on the facts of that email.

Come on, people! Wake up! Palin is the one throwing accusations around. Let's get to the issues and not be so petty as to accuse the other party of playing the race card. If you didn't want to play the race card, then you shouldn't have had your people calling in to set the stage.

It's Sarah that owes the Knowles campaign an apology. They were obviously shocked at this latest mud-slinging and it is so childish. I agree with the caller on today's show. Apologizing to everyone and anyone just in case I did something wrong is not an apology. She mentioned specific people in her accusations, and they deserve a specific apology.
As far as that goes, I heard Tony apologize to Sarah on the show, too..did Dan mention that...nope. Sarah was too busy screaming for anyone to catch that part.

The tide is continuing to turn and it's not towards Palin.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:18pm | arajack

Dan and a lot of others

that would normally be clear thinking, have been mesmerized by Sarah and had their brains turned to mush. Look at her own writings. She cares only about one person; her. On todays show, Dan played all this crap-ola about he decided how to vote after Tuesday's show, but he will not tell us until Monday. Maybe. Has he developed a little bit of arrogance? Does he think we are going to sit all in a tither waiting for his announcement!? Is bozo going to announce in the morning show. I Can't wait. Glory and bless us, this election will be over soon.

  November 2, 2006 - 7:50pm | jacekone

Palin is provincial

She is a victim of 'small town girl syndrome'. Her little world of Wasilla has revolved around her pretty face her entire life. I believe she never expected to be questioned so harshly on her positions, or lack thereof, and that is precisely why she is so underprepared. She is the worst type of female candidate and an insult to thinking women.

  1     November 2, 2006 - 4:46pm | mike_l

Mike to Knowles

you don't have to press Palin. She will put her foot in her mouth without any assistance.

Stay positive and stay specific on the issues, which can be contrasted to Palin's lack of specifics.

Also remind people how she supports moving the capital to the Valley and expressed an intent to be biased towards the Valley as gov.

Lastly, you are the candidate who will get the pipeline contract signed. Palin has an anti-oil agenda and is surrounded by LNG nuts. You can't expect the oil and gas industry to negotiate with someone who is so advesarial with them in the press.

  November 2, 2006 - 6:04pm | turdball

Nude pic of Sarah Palin

So whos been sending the nude email of Sarah Palin. It got to me from someplace called paug vik. Not a nice thing to have circulating

  November 2, 2006 - 7:26pm | arajack

Add to the name of t-ball

childish, brain-dead, sick-o-----

  November 2, 2006 - 6:45pm | alaskastraightalker


you accidentally sent it to yourself

  November 2, 2006 - 9:46pm | turdball

No CT I did not

Tony looked less orange this time around. Good trick by Halcro saying Tonys missing. I remember the bumper stickers "Wheres Tony" because he was never around. He is just amazing. No salaries paid this time around in the APOC reports, but on the slope knowles flyers went on the beds of the employees of BP.

Remember when Carrs and Safeway merged. No competition and now grocery prices are outrageous. We can't afford tony anymore. He needs to go back to his tan. And flipping burgers.

  November 2, 2006 - 9:27pm | mike_l


I just hope someone photoshopped the darn thing. Yuck.

  November 2, 2006 - 9:41pm | turdball

You just asked for a copy

You just asked for a copy inthe other blog

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