Alaska Politics Blog

This is the place to talk about Alaska politics, state, local, national. Public life in the Last Frontier has rarely been more interesting -- a full slate of federal and state elections, the influence of former Gov. Sarah Palin, the usual hardball Alaska politics. Come here for news, tidbits and information, and join the discussion. We encourage lively debate, but please keep it civil and stay on point. Don't use profanity, make crude comments or attack other posters. Posts that violate the Terms of Use will be deleted. Repeat offenders will lose their ability to post comments.

New Senate organization announced - 11/7/2012 12:48 pm

Homer Revealed - 8/22/2012 2:08 pm

Seven-day countdown - 5/25/2012 8:37 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED) - 5/23/2012 10:51 am

Gara to seek re-election - 5/2/2012 2:04 pm

For one lawmaker: Good news - 4/27/2012 12:20 pm

Anticipation in the Capitol - 4/26/2012 11:38 am

Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

"That's what you get when you say no."

Gov. Palin talks with husband Todd Wednesday during one of the AGIA presentations.(AP/Al Grillo)Gov. Palin talks with husband Todd Wednesday during one of the AGIA presentations.(AP/Al Grillo)

Update, 7 p.m.: See related story on adn.com main page.

Wesley Loy reported in from the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel, where the Palin administration is amid the first of a three-day briefing of state legislators and others on its proposal to give a North Slope gas pipeline license to TransCanada Corp.

The Palin administration's message is blunt: Give TransCanada the license or keep wishing, hoping, praying that the big North Slope oil producers will someday actually construct a pipeline.

What would happen if legislators next month reject the license and $500 million state subsidy of TransCanada's project?

"They own us at that point," Tom Irwin, state natural resources commissioner, said of the oil companies.

"That's what you get when you say no."

Wesley estimated 200 to 400 people are at the pipeline briefing, which runs through Friday. More than 30 of the state's 60 legislators are present. Others include state officials, consultants, union representatives, legislative staffers and oil company executives, but not many ordinary folk.

The special legislative session on Palin's TransCanada deal starts Tuesday.

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  39     June 1, 2008 - 6:06am | Stags_Leap

Halcro's Blog

has a good op-ed piece today regarding the flaws of AGIA and Palin's TC proposal. Quoting one portion:

"On June 13, 2006 the company (TransCanada) sent a letter to state officials warning them of independent pipeline proposals. "As you will recall, TransCanada has consistently advised your administration to be wary of independent pipeline proposals that would seek to develop a pipeline without the agreement and support of the ANS producers”, they wrote."

  38     May 30, 2008 - 3:24pm | _Syrin

stole my words- except "think" no use for that with this group.

Give TransCanada the license or keep wishing, hoping, praying that the big North Slope oil producers will someday actually construct a pipeline.

Syrin's words from... Wouldn't it be Nice
Maybe if you think and wish and hope and pray it might come true...... If anybody else was there, there wouldn't be a single thing Alaska couldn't do..... You should step down..... And than we'll be happy

  May 31, 2008 - 1:38am | Cartman3_15

Lame

So very lame.

  37     May 29, 2008 - 8:41pm | volcanoman

This whole business overlooks a number

of significant issues, not the least of which is absolutely no mention of the morality in being complicit in the gouging out of the Alberta Tar Sands which will leave an area the size of Florida right on the Arctic/Pacific flyway as a permanent region of poisoned water.
P.S. Water runs downhill, right into the Arctic Ocean
This is not hyperbole, the rumored 500 swans, ducks and geese that accidentally/incidentally died from landing in the waste pond about a month ago did so because the noisemakers were shut off (this from internal correspondence).
Therefore it is explained as an anomaly, the noisemakers being the only reason birds won't land in them on a regular basis.
So in reality there will be how many noisemakers for how many hundreds of years to keep how many hundreds of thousands of acres from sucking migratory waterfowl into the poisoned pools of wastewater?
Other animals and fish are already bearing witness in the form of increased tumors and fouled aquifers.
This includes the human denizens of the area as well.
All to satisfy the insatiable thirst for oil, not for the Lower 48 gas markets as advertised.
You don't think this will be tied up in court for years as people become aware of a bigger and intentionally perpetrated pollution that will dwarf the Exxon Valdez?
The state's penchant for wearing blinders going into this is laughable at a minimum, recklessly optimistic on the other.
Seems they are in harmony with Ralph Samuels who when asked about this scenario simply stated "We don't care what happens to the gas when it leaves Alaska."
Your "we" don't include me Ralphie.
You should show us the conscience you had when you first became a legislator, not this new found arrogance you are known for now.
Canada is already running short on natgas and many Canadians are getting apprehensive about the international squeeze play they find themselves in. www.tarsandswatch.org
The other side of the coin is Canada fully intends to export Tar Sands oil to China in large quantities using our gas to boil it out.
The same gas we supposedly cannot export?
Now just who is zooming who?
Amortizing a $50 billion dollar pipeline is going to be paid for by whom?
All that evermore expensive steel being used up, all the energy required to mine, refine, melt and smelt, roll and it will toll when the costs are passed right back on to you and me.
The only two countries in the world capable of producing that amount of steel are Russia and China, just what the old U.S. trade deficit needs, send them more money to consolidate their gains over the rest of the world rather than making a concrete effort to sell something, anything, to them.
An LNG line remains the best scenario for the long term, financially and morally.

  May 29, 2008 - 8:49pm | rfn

Add to that

the fact that oil refineries use a lot of heat. There is still a lot of oil in the ground in Alaska and more in ANWR and elsewhere. Warehoused against the day when Americans wake up and discover they've been scammed. TAPS remains operable (no thanks to the "good stewards" who "maintain" it). Alaska's gas could be used to refine Alaska's petroleum to produce jet fuel to keep the air cargo carriers basing here. Here. Not in Canada where they're building a huge new cargo airport to be be tar-sands based jet fuel to take away the business.

If there's any gas left after supplying Alaskans needs and fueling an entirely new refinery and petro-chemical industry, fine, it can be exported as LNG. First to Alaska's coastal and river villages and then, if there are a few dribs and drabs left, sold on the world market.

I am continually astounded by the number of "Alleged-Alaskans" who put Canada's interests ahead of not only Alaska's but also of America's.

  May 29, 2008 - 9:25pm | volcanoman

And add to that

outfits like Crowley are getting totally and obscenely fat hauling coal to Newcastle, i.e. fuel from Hawaii, and other points Outside, to haul up the Kusko and every other little dot on the map, plus owning the interior fuel companies and the former Yutana Barge Lines.
Haul that stuff all the way back up to the Arctic Ocean every year, someone is having a very good laugh at the villages' expense.
Amazing Alaska still doesn't produce its own avgas and how many other viable products.
Nope, just keep on bending over in the old submissive style, no backbone, just another resource colony living out and playing our part in the Resource Curse.

  36     May 29, 2008 - 1:53pm | Stags_Leap

drama at AIDEA

Sarah Palin recently named Ted Leonard as the new director of AIDEA. Ted has less than a year at the Dept. of Commerce. But of course, he is from Wasilla and a friend of the Palin's.

This is just pure madness.

  May 30, 2008 - 2:34pm |

See that, Stags ...

.

  May 29, 2008 - 7:42pm |

Could you possibly be

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  May 30, 2008 - 8:44am | Stags_Leap

The difference

is I don't feel the need or desire to stoop to that kind of foul language, even though I don't think much of you personally.

You come here on an hourly basis to lob cheap shots at anyone who criticizes Palin.

I think it's unfortunate that a sitting governor allows her associates to post this kind of garbage on a public blog. It just confirms my suspicions of the character of those that she is surrounded by.

  May 30, 2008 - 8:56am |

Lobbing cheap shots

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  May 29, 2008 - 7:55pm | TheSdog

cartman

An appropriate post would have been to tell us what Mr. Leonard's qualifications. You, instead, as always drag down into some course nonsense that offers no counterpoints.

Looking at the press release from AIDEA it looks sparse.

If that is all their is it may be the only thing that mattered was he was from Wasilla. Remember the ag Board? You can make an argument she is more likely to know qualified people from the valley.

Then again, how many qualified people are there in the Valley? That is not meant to be mean or nasty but it is a legitimate question.

  May 29, 2008 - 8:02pm |

What would have been appropriate

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  May 30, 2008 - 4:52am |

Cart_muncher is an example

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  May 30, 2008 - 8:12am |

Can't handle the truth

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  May 30, 2008 - 10:39am | Emperor

The majority...

...aren't always necessarily right.

The majority approved of slavery.
The majority approved of segregation.
The majority disapproved of women voting.
The majority approved of Japanese internment camps.
The majority approved of Richard Nixon.
The majority approved of Frank Murkowski

The list goes on and on of examples of when the majority has been wrong.

In my opinion the majority is wrong about Palin. I'm not convinced she was even qualified to be Mayor of Wasilla, never mind Governor of Alaska.

  May 30, 2008 - 10:44am |

You sound like Sdog now ...

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  May 30, 2008 - 11:15am | Emperor

My point...

...is that the constant use of approval ratings as the default whenever a Palinite runs out of answers, just confirms the lack of substance of Palin and her supporters.

  May 30, 2008 - 11:31am |

Lack of substance cuts

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  May 30, 2008 - 11:38am | Stags_Leap

clarification

I don't think anyone here dislikes Sarah Palin -the person. In my case, I think she is -as Governor, completely incompetent when it comes to running the state. I also think she -as a Governor, needlessly surrounds herself with loyalists who are incapable of objective decision making. As such, you have a case of groupthink run amok.

But it is wrong for you to suggest anyone here hates or dislikes Sarah Palin -the person. We all have issues with her -as a Governor, and her lack of substance, lack of transparency, and delaying a viable gasline contract from going forward because she and the wingnuts in her inner circle think Big Oil is the boogyman.

  May 30, 2008 - 11:37am | rfn

Consider the positives....

while blogging their insecurities and hatreds away they're not abusing their spouses, kicking small animals or attempting to run down children on bicycles in their SUVs. Wish I could say the same for their propensity toward elder abuse.

The world is a less violent place because of The Blogosphere!

  May 30, 2008 - 11:43am | Stags_Leap

I guess

we could just agree to revert to fascism, where ordinary citizens are too afraid to voice their opinions regarding their government and elected officials.

Saying you think a governor is incompetent or wrong, doesn't equate to hatred and insecurities. The insecure ones are those trying to bully away any critics of the former prom queen. You have been listening to way too much talk radio, dude.

  May 30, 2008 - 12:13pm |

Willfully spreading lies and

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  May 30, 2008 - 12:49pm | Stags_Leap

that sounds like Palin's TC proposal

"raising questions based on malicious and non-factual assumptions." -or is at least embodied in the bullet points her "team" uses to disparage the producers for the benefit of a non-viable proposal by a Canadian company.

  May 30, 2008 - 12:53pm |

Another two-

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  May 29, 2008 - 10:21pm | haut_monde_ak

Sorry Mr. Cartman...

I did my homework.

If you don't like my opinions then don't read them, it's really that simple. No need for profanity because it will get you banned. I actually like reading your posts (when I take the time) because I enjoy ridiculous humor...and you supply lots of it. That being said, you are entitled to your opinion. Period. Opinions are like...... Lighten up, Cartman, and take a break from blogging once in a while. Go volunteer, or do something more useful than this. It's just a blog....

  May 29, 2008 - 11:30pm |

Making stuff up,

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  May 29, 2008 - 10:26pm | akgen

odd,

the only 'homework' you seem to do is negative comments towards the gov.

  May 29, 2008 - 10:41pm |

Not so odd

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  May 29, 2008 - 8:22pm | TheSdog

Well cartman

It appears he is not qualified from what is available on the internet. So why do you not prove them wrong or at least try to debate the point with facts.

And how do you know they did not look it up?

Right now, as usual, you look like the fool. Now, if you can find something out there to show he has decent qualifications then that could change. The problem is if you have not done it yet, it would be a reasonable conclusion it is in fact you who have not done homework.

  May 29, 2008 - 8:33pm |

Sure dog

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  May 30, 2008 - 2:36pm | TheSdog

As usual

you make no point.

List his qualifications.

Make an argument.

You must have some ability to post something other than personal attacks. And if you are going to post them at least learn how to make them humorous. It might keep the rest of us from yawning when reading your posts.

Then again, perhaps I could direct patients here to read your posts in lieu of an Ambien prescription.

  May 30, 2008 - 2:38pm |

It took you

.

  May 29, 2008 - 5:41pm | haut_monde_ak

Agreed...

It was mentioned (though of course NOT by the ADN, no... no..., they would never print something so negative about the Queen and her Court) that he (Leonard) bragged about the "great money" he was about to make in his new position. Sounds like leadership to me....

  May 29, 2008 - 7:19pm |

"It was mentioned"

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  May 29, 2008 - 10:26pm | haut_monde_ak

Person ax??

Don't have one. Do you?

I just don't like phony, unqualified, under-educated and self-serving politicians with no private sector work experience, no military experience, etc. I wanted to like Palin, being a female, but once I heard her speak, that was it for me. Don't know her, don't live in the Valley, don't plan to ever become a politician, so therefore no ax to grind.

  May 29, 2008 - 11:26pm |

It's quite clear

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  May 30, 2008 - 12:00am | haut_monde_ak

It's quite clear, you don't know her either....

or you would question a number of things about Palin:
1. It took her 5 years to complete a journalism degree at a second-rate university. Why?
2. She has almost no work experience to speak of, other than being the mayor of a tiny town of approx 3,000. Have you looked at her resume? I did, long before I made a choice of who to vote for. (I carefully looked at all of the candidates).
3. She ousted Ruedrich from AOGCC for using state time to conduct political business, but then turned around and had her staff (on state time) contact delegates to oust him from the Republican Party leadership.
4. She's incredibly anti-oil, and has created a tremendous rift between government and industry all the while her husband collects a paycheck from Big Oil. Conflict of interest or hypocrisy?
5. She's pro-life, yet knowingly risks the life of her own infant for her self-serving agenda and flies transcontinentally with preterm premature rupture of membranes? No physician in their right mind would have ever recommended that she do what she did. Even if I did like her to begin with this decision alone would change my mind about her.

I can think of many more, but I have a long swim in the morning. I prefer swimming or running to bantering with an idiot any day. Perhaps you could try a useful hobby yourself? Or are you filled with too much venom to slither away from your keyboard?

BTW, check out this website in regards to the above comment: www.andrewhalcro.com. It's prominently featured. And oh, BTW, I read lots of websites across party lines.

  May 30, 2008 - 12:10am |

Horrors?

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  May 30, 2008 - 11:19am | Emperor

So what are her qualifications?

If it wasn't the governor's chair, what kind of job do you think she would be qualified for based on her education and experience?

  May 30, 2008 - 11:28am | rfn

President.

But not Vice President. That requires hoping for the demise of someone innocent to get ahead. Definitely not something Governor Palin would enjoy.

Her education and experience in running a government far exceed those of many popular presidents, for example, George Washington.

  May 30, 2008 - 5:47pm | Emperor

The world is a very...

...different and increasingly difficult place to govern. I'm not sure I would want Washington to be President today. But then he has leadership qualities that sure could be useful today in the Governor's mansion.

  May 30, 2008 - 3:39pm | haut_monde_ak

Incredibly delusional statement....

Even for you, rfn, that's quite a stretch.

You are saying Palin is more qualified to be President than a man who has a highly-regarded university named for him amongst the numerous other landmarks, etc? Sure, he had only an elementary level education but come on, people died in their 50-60's, if they were lucky.

She has a journalism degree, lest you forget. And it took her 5 years to acquire it. Not exactly rocket science, is it?

  May 30, 2008 - 4:02pm | rfn

Patrice Lumumba

had a university named after him, too. Along with many public landmarks. So if your logic is carried forward, you'd rather have Patrice Lumumba as Governor of Alaska.

The question was level of education; Governor Palin has more education than did George Washington. I do admit that an elected official having a journalism degree is most unusual, especially when they're elected as a Republican. Most take other career paths like "environmental spokesperson". The five year issue? I know many who are unable to take the requisite courses for a bachelor degree in four or even five years because they (the required courses) are not offered every semester. Seems that the patience and strength of character to stick it out and finish the degree is virtue personified.

So, yes, if "attained level of education" is the sole criteria (read the whole thread; no "cherry picking"), then Governor Palin is far more qualified...on that basis...to be President than was George Washington. Of course that's not the sole qualifying aspect; just the one that was used in opposition.

Bed made; lie in it.

  May 30, 2008 - 4:16pm | haut_monde_ak

Do you mean he HAD but NO LONGER has a university named for him?

The Peoples' Friendship University of Russia? Oh, is that what you mean? Considering Lumumba died in '61 it would be rather difficult for him to be Governor now wouldn't it? Surely you could have come up with a better example than Patrice Lumumba! Your attempt at trying to be really intelligent failed miserably.

Then, according to your logic, millions of Americans with educations beyond the elementary school level would be more qualified to be President than George Washington? Right?

Who's bed should I lie in? What an odd comment to add. Is that your new 'closer"?

  May 30, 2008 - 5:31pm | rfn

What part of the word "had"

in my original analysis of your education "argument" did you find so challenging?

Not surprising, though, that you recognized the name.

The logic was not "mine"....it was that of folks who felt that Governor Palin's education was somehow deficient. I merely pointed out that our very first President had no "higher" education but that did not disqualify him. Fact remains, by the standards of the person who posed the argument, indeed many Americans with an education beyond elementary school would be more qualified than was President George Washington.

Of course if you'd like to make a Journalism degree insufficient to qualify as "higher education" I'm not sure the editors of The ADN....or even The NYT....would agree. It might clash, ever so slightly, with the U.S. Constitution.

Perhaps an apology is due to all those people who have studied and attained a degree in Journalism over the years and who you now denigrate?

  June 1, 2008 - 9:26am | haut_monde_ak

Interesting how you bring in....

an obscure person who died in '61 into the equation, a person who most less-educated individuals wouldn't have a clue who he was. And in case you did not get it before, it would be tough for him to be governor since he's been dead for over 40 years.

The argument isn't about the journalism degree in itself, it's that it took Palin FIVE years, yes, FIVE years to complete a simple four year degree at a second-rate university, and now people praise her for her intellect. What? Sorry, in my book, if it takes you more than the usual time to complete a degree then you are not very smart.

Besides, there's a difference between writing about curing cancer and actually curing cancer.

Why do you not ask Palin who Patrice Lumumba is?

  June 1, 2008 - 1:18pm | rfn

You

lose.

Again.

Tell your tale about it taking more than 4 years to get a degree to all those students who have had to spend 5 or 6 years getting the requisite courses because they are not all offered every semester or even every year. Perhaps you'd like to apologize to them now? After all, some of them are now editors and may be feeling a little miffed.

No need to ask anyone about who Patrice Lumumba was (remember, he died). Those who recognized the name were either around at the time he played his games and made headlines (so are elders) or are members of his fan club. Choose.

  35     May 29, 2008 - 12:52pm | cat966

Its always amazing how smart the ignorant are

If you haven't bothered to go to the AGIA information seminars at the Sheraton how can you judge anything.
Lyda Green and Charlie Huggin's must not care, because they only live in the Valley, and have not been there. LINDA MENARD has been there. The Governor's office has offered to pay the legislator's way there. It sure would be nice to have a well informed Special session. Instead of an Election year campaign road trip for AGIA.
We should keep in mind at election time who really cares about ALASKA's future,

  May 29, 2008 - 1:56pm | TheSdog

cat

You do not need to taste manure to know you should not eat it.

If the founding fathers had overthrown British rule and not replaced it with a viable system it would have been a waste of time. There simply would have been another revolution eventually.

Caring about Alaska's future is not enough. You can care about a lot of things but if you do not have the right idea to get there it is irrelevant.

You can assign good motives to AGIA if you choose. Reasonable people can disagree about that. It is not the isuue though because we all know where you can end up even with good intentions.

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