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

The emails: A guide to who's who

If you're reading through the Palin emails, here are some of the key figures during her administration. Wondering about others? Email us at emails@adn.com with the details.

> Kris Perry: Palin adviser from Wasilla, played a key role in her 2006 campaign for governor and was director of governor’s office in Anchorage under Palin. Traveled with Palin during 2008 vice presidential campaign.

> Mike Tibbles: Palin’s first chief of staff. Was legislative liaison and deputy commissioner of administration for Frank Murkowski before quitting to run John Binkley’s campaign for governor. Joined the Palin campaign after the primary. Palin named him head of her transition team and then chief of staff. Resigned on May 1, 2008, never giving a public reason. Former Palin aide Frank Bailey claims in his book that Tibbles was forced out of the inner circle because he wouldn’t jump at Palin’s every demand. Now a lobbyist at the state Capitol for the cruise ship industry.

> John Bitney: Longtime legislative aide and lobbyist who joined Palin’s campaign after she won the Republican primary. Bitney, who was a high school classmate of Palin’s, was her campaign issues coordinator, writing speeches and talking points. Palin made Bitney her first legislative liaison after he was elected, but he left the governor’s office in July 2007. Bitney has told reporters he was fired after Palin was informed that he was having an affair with the wife of a friend of Palin’s husband. Now a lobbyist at the state Capitol for the City of Cordova.

> Mike Nizich: Palin’s chief of staff. Nizich has worked for governor’s of both parties for more than 20 years. He was originally Palin’s deputy chief of staff but was promoted after Mike Tibbles left the governor’s officer on May 1, 2008. Nizich has been an outspoken defender of Palin, particularly crticial of the ethics complaints against her. Nizich is currently chief of staff for Gov. Sean Parnell, Palin’s successor.

> Ivy Frye: One of Palin’s closest confidantes. Frye held several different positions in the Palin administration, mostly as a special assistant. She was a Palin family friend who had worked as a legislative aide for Wasilla Sen. Lyda Green, who eventually became one of Palin’s worst political enemies. Frye spent time working for Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, and helped research Palin’s book, “Going Rogue.”

> Frank Bailey: Once one of Palin’s most trusted aides, who recently published a tell-all book called “Blind Allegiance” that slams Palin as petty and vindictive. Bailey was among the first to join Palin’s campaign for governor and was later given jobs in her administration, including director of boards and commission. Bailey was best known publicly as a central figure in the “Troopergate” affair, in which he pushed for the firing of a state trooper who had a tumultuous divorce with Palin’s sister.

> Meghan Stapleton: Palin’s first spokeswoman as governor, and later Palin’s personal spokeswoman and employee of her political action committee, SarahPAC. Stapleton was an anchor for NBC’s KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage before becoming spokeswoman for the Anchorage telecommunications company ACS. She joined the Palin administration as its original press secretary and communications director. Later left the administration but did contract work for the state. She publicly re-emerged during Palin’s vice presidential run as family spokeswoman and a leader of the “Truth Squad,” a McCain-Palin campaign effort that sought to discredit the Legislature’s investigation of Palin over “Troopergate.” She remained as Palin’s personal spokeswoman until February 2010.

> Bill McAllister: Political reporter for NBC’s KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage until he became Palin’s communications director and official spokesman in the summer of 2008. Palin “redeployed” him in June 2009 to be a special assistant handling communications in the department of law. Recently left the department of law and was hired as a reporter by KTVA CBS 11.

> Dan Fagan: Right-wing radio talk show host who was enamored of Palin, declaring in the summer of 2007 that she had a “heart of gold” and was “obsessed with integrity.” Subsequently became one of Palin’s harshest attackers and, according to Bailey’s book, an obsession of the Palins.

> Sharon Leighow: Was alternately Palin’s deputy press secretary and her press secretary. She was the producer of Dan Fagan’s KFQD-AM radio show before joining the Palin administration in December of 2006. Currently press secretary for Gov. Sean Parnell.

> Andrew Halcro: Among Palin’s most outspoken critics, particularly through his blog. Was the first to charge that Palin fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he wouldn’t get rid of the state trooper who had gone through a messy divorce with her sister, the matter that became known as “Troopergate.” Halcro is a former Republican state legislator who ran an independent in the 2006 governor’s race, losing to Palin. His family owns Avis Alaska and he’s a political consultant.

> Walt Monegan: Palin’s public safety commissioner who fired him in July 2008 because, he said, he refused to fire a state trooper who went through a bad divorce with Palin’s sister, the matter that became known as “Troopergate.” Monegan now heads the Alaska Native Justice Center in Anchorage.

> Mike Wooten: The state Trooper who went through a bitter divorce with Palin’s sister and was the target of complaints by Palin and her family starting in 2005. The Palins said Wooten drove drunk, hunted illegally and committed child abuse, among other things. Palin’s public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, said he felt the issue had been settled with a with a 2005 internal investigation that led to Wooten being disciplined for illegally killing a moose and using a Taser on his 11-year-old stepson. But Monegan said Palin wouldn’t let it go and fired him in 2008 for refusing to get rid of Wooten.

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