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Good morning from Somewhere in Alaska …
This will be a big week in politics. The governor is expected to announce his lieutenant governor candidate this week. The Legislature will end Wednesday at midnight. There might be vetoes from the governor. There might be a special session called by the governor. And just look at that growing list of bills (above) for the House and Senate to debate on the floor. Things are tense at the Capitol, even with oil at $116 a barrel.
HB 55 has made it to Senate Finance, last real stop before the floor of the Senate, since it will blow through Rules Committee. This bill would add billions of dollars of unfunded pensions for some public employees, and it’s just the start of it.
HB 55 burdens future generations of Alaskans in the same way the present generation of Alaskans still has not paid down the previous tiered defined benefits plan, which ended in 2006 and still is sipping at the state coffer every year, as retirees still get their pay.
There are other bills in the pipe to add even more public employees to a defined benefit plan, all part of the public employee union mission to compensate public workers even more.
Senate Finance, which appears union-controlled, is only having “invited testimony” on the bill, which means only testimony that’s friendly to the bill is being accepted. The governor will need to get his red pen out, and fast.
May 16 Monday 9:00 AM (S) FINANCE TELECONFERENCED Invited Testimony”An Act relating to participation of certain peace officers and firefighters in the defined benefit and defined contribution plans of the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Alaska; relating to eligibility of peace officers and firefighters for medical, disability, and death benefits; relating to liability of the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Alaska; and providing for an effective date.”
HB 234 may be dead. It would limit campaign donations but it’s not making it out of Senate State Affairs.
SB 177 passed the House. It would remove the hurdle of having legislative approval for micro nuclear power projects. It will go to the governor for his signature, which it will get, since it was his bill to begin with.
Stories will be up all week at www.mustreadalaska.com.
Thanks for your support and news tips in this busiest of seasons …
Baby formula crisis – over 33 percent shortage in Alaska – The Biden Administration is lagging on the issue of the empty shelves. Dangerous days lie ahead for babies if their moms have to start watering down their formula. That’s when babies start to starve. And it’s a little late to say “just nurse them.” That’s not how it works, Mr. President. Read more here.
Blogger’s partisan lies and the lawyers that repeat them – A blogger’s lie about a Must Read Alaska columnist made its way into the court record in the redistricting trial. This is how it’s done — the Leftist media coordinating with the legal lefties. Read more here.
Alaska Beacon stumbles out of the gate by attacking Must Read writer – Their confirmation bias is showing, and it’s only been a few days. Read more here.
Explainer: The fate of the Permanent Fund dividend on Friday the 13th – Our story from Friday about what was going on behind the scenes with the full or half Permanent Fund dividend. Read more here.
Explainer II: What happens next with budget, dividend? – Conference committee and the 24-hour rule. Read more here.
Dunleavy reacts, says PFD is really needed by families this year – He doesn’t hint as to what action he will take, however. He’s playing his cards very, very close. Read more here.
Who are the special interests behind the conference committee? – A look at the APOC reports for the people cutting the PFD. Hint: Labor money, and lots of it. Read more here.
Notes from the trail: Mat-Su GOP women are with Nick for Congress, while March On Alaska women are with Constant and Peltola – The women’s vote is divided on the Left, it appears, between several candidates. On the right, they are coalescing around a couple of candidates. Read more here.
Speaking of Women’s March…
If they only cared as much about the shortage of baby formula as they do about abortion…
Notes from the trail: Dunleavy fundraiser, observations from the forum in Anchorage – At 36,126 ballots recieved, it it looks like close to 7% of the ballots have been voted and returned to Division of Elections, as of last Wednesday evening. We’re expecting a new number today. Read more here.
Check Must Read Alaska today for a new edition of “Notes from the trail.” It’s a series and I hope you like it.
Joe Usibelli — chairman, coal miner, philanthropist, dies – He helped build Alaska. Joe died at age 83 in Arizona, with his wife Peggy at his side. Read more here.
25 AGs sign letter asking Garland to enforce law prohibiting intimidation of judges – There has been a lot of bad behavior by the pro-abortion side, including actual threats against Supreme Court justices. The summer of rage is upon us. Read more here.
Bernadette Wilson of AFP speaking in the Valley – The head of Americans for Prosperity Alaska talks about the group’s priorities this year, including defeating HB 55, ending “certificate of need,” and more. Tune in at our Facebook page.
Today’s podcast will feature John Coghill, candidate for Congress. Tune in at our Facebook page at 9:30 am.
Podcast with Charlie Pierce – Kenai Borough Mayor has cut the mill rate and balanced the budget on the Kenai. Watch it here.
Podcast with Danika Baldwin – Instagram influencer is going big with her new Alaska travel business, and she has a zillion views on social media, as she shows off Alaska. John Quick interviews her. Tune in here.
Podcast with Rep. David Eastman – John Quick hosts this show with the representative from Wasilla; they talk about the PFD and more. Tune in here.
Podcast with Santa Claus – That guy named Santa Claus in North Pole, who serves on the City Council, was our podcast guest on Monday. He’s running for Congress to fill in for the late Congressman Don Young. On our Facebook feed here and on podcast channels here.
Podcast with Rep. Laddie Shaw – John Quick talks with the retired Navy SEAL and lawmaker about what’s ahead in the final two weeks of session. More here.
Podcast with Tara Sweeney – Candidate for House Tara Sweeney joins us on Facebook live, and on all our stations, including Pandora. More here.
Podcast with Donna Arduin – A rock star of government fiscal health, Donna Arduin is the guest on the Must Read Alaska Show, talking about things like working with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. More here.
Podcast with Libertarian National Chair Tyler Harris – Libertarians taking over? John Quick talks with Tyler Harris, executive director of the Libertarian Party National Committee. More here.
Zack, tell us how you really feel about us!
The affable Zack Brown, who has served for the past couple of years as Congressman Don Young’s press secretary, decided to kick Alaskans in the teeth as he hits the exits.
This must mean his candidate for Young’s replacement is not doing that well in the polls and that he doesn’t want to work for the ones who are rising with Alaska voters. He complains:
“Also when we blasted out one of his [Don Young’s) pro-COVID vaccine PSAs to our full 130,000 person email list many people were absolutely apoplectic in the replies they sent to a generally unmonitored inbox. It was hilarious and sad and discouraging all at once ¯\_(ツ)_/¯,” he wrote.
Talk about disrespecting Alaskans. We knew the mailbox was unmonitored but did you have to say that out loud, Zack? And about that Don Young office vaccine mandate, that was kind of the last straw for a lot of Alaskans.
“Working in Congress is a dream fulfilled for me. But getting trolled online or on the phone/VM because my boss recognized Biden as the legitimate president or voted to make Juneteenth a federal holiday just isn’t worth it,” Brown continued.
About Juneteenth, how many days should federal workers get off? Asking for a friend. Regarding Joe Biden being legit, reasonable people can disagree.
Brown seems thankful he won’t have to tweet about those crazy ideas like election integrity and the grooming of children, or about social media censoring citizens:
“People have asked ‘Oh you don’t want to stay on the Hill and work for another member?’ And I shake my head and point to Jim Jordan’s entire twitter feed,” Brown wrote.
We kind of like Jim Jordan’s Twitter feed…
Who is running?
Marcus Sanders has filed for the House. He lists his address in Geneva Woods, the old District 18.
Stephanie Taylor has filed for the downtown seat for the Anchorage Municipal special election for Assembly.
The other candidate for the new Assembly seat: Phillips, Robin – Filed 05/10/2022 Hotch, Tasha – Filed 05/10/2022 Volland, Daniel – Filed 05/03/2022 Forbes, Rob – Filed 05/10/2022 Baker, Cliff – Filed 05/10/2022For the June 21, 2022 Special Municipal Election, ballot packages will be mailed to qualified Anchorage voters on May 31. To receive your ballot package at an address other than your Voter Registration mailing address, fill out an Application to Vote at a Temporary Address.
Doyle Holmes has filed for House for Willow. He is a Republican.Nathaniel DeMars has filed for House for Salcha. He is a Republican.Andrew Cizek has filed for Senate for Soldotna/Kenai. He is nonpartisan.
John Sturgeon: Safari Club International walks the walk – For hunting and access, this organization’s record stands tall. Read more here.
Art Chance: AFL-CIO trying to rob its members of the biggest pay raise they have ever seen – A full PFD during times of shortage would do a world of good for state workers, too. Read more here.
Jim Crawford: Legislators should listen to the people, not special interests – Read more here.
Win Gruening: Balancing Juneau’s budget is not that hard – Our columnist tried and found that, without the frills, Juneau can actually afford its government. Read more here.
The Federalist: Alaska’s election system a template for rigging by the Left – A pretty good summary of how Alaska went from having a good election system to having a completely embarrassing one. It all started with automatic PFD voter registration. Read more here.
Elaina Spraker: Not so fast, Mr. Pettyjohn, in characterizing Safari Club International – A member of the SCI group defends the reputation of an organization that seeks to protect hunting access. Read more here.
Dave Donley: Public schools were already overwhelmed by mission drift, and pandemic made it worse – The list of things that schools are expected to do has grown over the centuries and is now a mile long. Read more here.
Rep. Kevin McCabe: The right to personhood has science and logic that applies from conception forward – One group of Americans exists for which being human is not enough to be protected by law and the right to privacy: Pre-born children. Read more here.
Ryan Nelson: Palin quit Alaska for fame and fortune, wants second chance – From ACES to telling Ted Stevens to quit. No thanks. Read more here.
Murray Walsh: Sarah Palin’s political felonies – There are all kinds of reasons to not vote for Palin. Let’s start with her disloyalty to Alaska. Read more here.