Who is Robin Brena, cunning lawyer and political needle-mover in Alaska?
Until a couple of years ago, no one had much heard of him.
Since 2012, Brena has poured a quarter million dollars into Alaska Democratic races and to independent groups opposing Republicans.
And that’s only the known amount. No other single Alaskan is putting so much money into campaigns — no Republican, no Democrat, no undeclared. Only the Gottstein empire comes close.
In 2014, Brena also purchased Gov. Bill Walker’s law firm for an undisclosed amount, although records show it was between $200,000 and $400,000.
What does he get out of being the kingmaker? He becomes the governor’s top adviser. He calls the governor and you can be sure Walker picks up the phone. This is a tight relationship, and it’s what is running government in Alaska today.
To see what Brena and Walker are pushing, one need only observe his drumbeat on the “Our Fair Share” theme to know that there is something in the works to raise taxes on oil companies. His Alaska Dispatch News column of Oct. 24, 2016 is the foreshadowing of what is to come because Brena is not giving out money for no reason. The people he supports will need to follow his direction in oil and gas taxation or he can just as easily take them out during the next election cycle.
THIS YEAR’S TALLY
Since the beginning of 2016, Brena and his wife Barbara have spent what is technically known as gobs of cash on Democratic races in Alaska, making them the biggest players in Alaska politics today.
Here’s the tally from this year, as reported through the primary. Make no mistake, any of these politicians who are elected will take a call from Brena at any time of day, for any length of time. And they won’t argue with him.
Robin and Barbara Brena’s known contributions for 2016:
01/27/16 $ 500.00 Shirley Ann Cote’
02/09/16 $5000.00 Alaska Democratic Party
10/13/15 $ 500.00 Matt Claman
06/29/16 $ 500.00 Jason Grenn
07/15/16 $ 500.00 Paul Seaton
07/12/16 $ 500.00 Jim Colver
06/27/16 $ 500.00 Harry T. Crawford Jr.
07/01/16 $500.00 Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
06/23/16 $5,000.00 Alaska Democratic Party
06/27/16 $ 500.00 Daniel (Dan) H Ortiz
06/25/16 $ 5,000.00 House Democratic Campaign Committee
06/24/16 $ 500.00 Matt Claman
06/29/16 $ 500.00 Les Gara
06/27/16 $ 500.00 Zach Fansler
07/10/16 $ 500.00 Adam Wool
06/27/16 $ 500.00 Ivy A Spohnholz
06/12/16 $ 500.00 Luke Hopkins
06/27/16 $ 500.00 Dean Westlake
08/03/16 $35,000.00 Together for Alaska
08/13/16 $ 500.00 Louise B. Stutes
08/15/16 $500.00 Jeff Landfield
09/29/16 $500.00 Patricia Faye-Brazel
06/29/16 $500.00 Jason Grenn
06/24/16 $500.00 Matt Claman
06/27/16 $500.00 Ivy Spohnholz
06/12/16 $500.00 Luke Hopkins
06/27/16 $500.00 Harriett Drummond
08/01/16 $478.87 Dean Westlake
Total: Brena known 2016 expenditures to date: $61,978.00