Governor targets Nageak through surrogate hit squad



Rep. Ben Nageak
Robin Brena

Lawyer Robin Brena is hosting a fundraiser tonight to raise cash to replace Reps. Benjamin Piniqluk Nageak, D-Barrow, and  Bob Herron, D-Bethel, with two more malleable Democrats.

To be clear, this is Gov. Walker going after Nageak through his close longtime Anchorage law associate Brena, and the Democrats.

Brena would not be doing this without the governor’s approval.

Just as Republicans are targeting Rep. Jim Colver for being too complicit with Democrats, Democrats have found two among their herd who are unacceptable.

Except in the case of the Republicans, the entire party held a vote. 100 percent of the leaders and bonus voters from every district in the state decided Colver was simply a bad actor.

The Democrats went through no such process. Their targets were decided at the top.

Here we have a governor and his Democrat cronies going after an Alaska Native because he’s not toeing their line and hauling their Democratic water.

They claim they want a bipartisan coalition, but refuse to admit there already is such a thing. What the leading Democrats don’t like is that Herron and Nageak are part of the bipartisan coalition, whereas Reps. Chris Tuck and Les Gara are not.

Make no mistake, this is about power. Nageak is chair of the powerful House Natural Resources Committee.

Brena, you’ll recall, is a close legal associate of Gov. Bill Walker. So close, that when Walker was forced to drop his lawsuit against the State over the Point Thomson settlement with Exxon, he simply transferred it over to Brena.

Brena, who eventually dropped the lawsuit, was also the oil and gas director on Walker’s transition team in 2014-2015. He was part of the leadership of the Governor’s Tax Camp in Fairbanks in June, 2015.

Brena bought Bill Walker’s firm for an amount that Walker did not disclose fully when Walker became the “nonpartisan” governor.

The governor’s anti-Nageak fundraiser is cohosted by: Mark Begich, Casey Steinau (chair of Alaska Democrats), Kay Brown (executive director, Alaska Democrats), Stephen Blanchett, Colin McDonald, Agatha Erickson, Kate Consenstein, Chris Tuck (Democratic House minority leader), and these Democratic legislators: Les Gara, Andy Josephson, Harriet Drummond, Geran Tarr, Sam Kito, Adam Wool, Scott Kawasaki, and Ivy Spohnholz. The cohosts include union reps. Joelle Hall, Tom Wescott, Joey Merrick, plus names you’ll recognize from their Begich connections: Forrest Dunbar, Eric Croft, David Ramsuer, Susanne Fleek, Schawna Thoma, and Elvi Gray-Jackson.

Democrat Les Gara, wrote this: “These are CLOSE elections and GREAT candidates. Busy? Then please HELP ON-LINE – websites below. Whether you’re from rural or urban Alaska, we are all in this together. A better legislature helps us all! I’m joining friends from Western Alaska and Northwest Alaska to help.”

Evidently we’re not ALL in this together.

Nageak is the most beloved sitting legislator and being targeted by his fellow Democrats who prefer to eat their elders.

And the “GREAT” guy they are putting up against Nageak? We checked his Courtview record and it’s not pretty. Not pretty at all.

DEMOCRATS PULL SWITCHAROO:  The Democrats are also going after Bob Herron, the Marine Corps veteran who has served the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. Herron’s campaign is largely self-funded.

His challenger, Democrat Zachary Fansler, raised nearly all of his money from the Alaska Democratic Party (Anchorage).

Bob Herron is a life-long Democrat.

Zach Fansler, however, switched to being a Democrat so he could run against Herron.