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GOOD MORNING from somewhere in Alaska … It’s Monday, May 8, 2017…France has elected her youngest president ever, age 39…The U.S. House is in recess this week…Obama has officially joined the “resist” movement by defending Obamacare, which is so bad for America that it’s one reason Trump was elected…But first…
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60 YEARS AGO: On May 10, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated Mike Stepovich to be Alaska’s territorial governor. Stepovich served as the last federal governor before Alaska became a state.
SLOW-WALKERING THE LEGISLATURE? It’s been two weeks since the Senate Bill 26 conference committee was named, and the Legislature is waiting for the Walker Administration, for which SB 26 is its highest priority. Legislators have asked for models that show the difference in impacts between the House and Senate versions of the bill, which are substantial. But so far…crickets.
Today is day 112 of session. Next Tuesday, the 120th day, is the last day of session, per the Alaska Constitution. Eight days of session left and the Administration seems to be withholding critical information.
The modeling information is public data — paid for by public money, and it’s also needed so that lawmakers can have a well-informed debate on the most important fiscal policy decision since the creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund. SB 26 is, after all, the governor’s cornerstone fiscal policy legislation.
And, on top of that, the Department of Law has been reviewing for nearly a month the “poison pill” inserted by House Democrats (can’t pass without first passing an income tax), but Law still hasn’t provided lawmakers with an opinion about whether that pill is legal.
Why is Walker dragging his feet on getting SB 26 passed? Is he pushing for a government shutdown?
THIS WEEK IN JUNEAU
9 am – Senate Finance takes up HB 111, oil and gas taxes and credits.
9 am – Senate Finance, HB 111
1 pm – House Resources, presentation on Pebble Prospect by Commissioner Andy Mack
1:30 pm – House Finance, Overview of economy and fiscal policy
FERRY SYSTEM MANAGER RESIGNS: Capt. Mark Neussel’s last day running the Alaska Marine Highway System is May 12, after he submitted his resignation last week. He said he needs to care for family out of state. The ferry system is under pressure to restructure in lean budgetary times. No replacement has been named by Commissioner Marc Luiken.
PASS THE DRAMAMINE: The biggest question at the Alaska Republican Party’s State Central Committee meeting on Saturday was whether four legacy Republican women’s clubs, which had withdrawn from the National Federation of Republican Women, would be admitted to the ARP with voting rights on the central committee in their own right. Equal to the Alaska Federation of Republican Women in their representation.
The four — Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and North Pole, are money-raising machines for the party and wanted to break away from a national organization they don’t feel any of their hard-earned money should go to. They want every cent being spent on candidates here in Alaska. And they have collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
After much spirited discussion, they won admission to the ARP SCC.
Five clubs have remained with NFRW, and its Alaska branch, the AFRW: Kenai Peninsula Republican Women; First City (Ketchikan) Republican Women; Matanuska Susitna Republican Women; Valley Republican Women; and Midnight Sun Republican Women (Anchorage).
Another Anchorage club has been launched under the AFRW banner, making it the third Republican women’s club in the state’s largest city, which signals the party is growing, at least in women’s involvement. They’re working on a club name.
OBAMAS ARE MAKING BANK: Barack and Michelle Obama not only have a $65 million memoir book deal, but add another $400,000 for Barry’s speaking engagement to the investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald in September. Under the protective watch of the Secret Service, of course. They are well on their way to joining the upper one-tenth-of-one-percenters that they criticized when they were in office. President Obama finds himself in the speech making business, full time. In other words, not much has changed.
FRENCH FAMILY ELECTIONEERING: Now that it’s President-elect Emmanuel “Landslide” Macron in France, we can marvel at France’s youngest president ever, age 39 who has a 64-year-old wife, (his high school drama teacher not all that long ago). Oooh la la.
Dazzle your coworkers with these random Macron facts: When Macron was born, eight tracks were all the rage. Kobe Bryant was born in ’78. The Bee Gees released “Stayin’ Alive.” (The movie The Graduate had been release about a decade prior.)
BREXIT: Across the channel in Great Britain, the end of Europeanism is at hand and it looks like Prime Minister Theresa May will continue untangling the country from the European Union. The mood in England is decidedly conservative.
Was I prescient or what with my piece about a potential shutdown. I could get a draft opinion from Law in at most a day or two; it might take longer, sometimes much longer, to work through the politics of issuing a formal AGs Opinion however, and some of them would be eligible for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
I would still be preparing for the Administration to do the Shutdown Gambit. If I were a Republican Senator, I’d be thinking about that.
Contrary to Mr. Wohlforth’s article trying to categorize the ominous “Shut Down” as failure; IMHO (in my humble opinion) shutting down would be the best thing for the people of Alaska (non-governmental types, at least).
* Reminder, we’re in a recession. Vetoing the PFD would be the nail in the already prepared political coffin for the governor.
* There are a significant number of people signed up to support a referendum on the Permanent Fund Restructure – please save us time and shut down.
* There is a rumor that a large set of dollars is also behind an Income Tax referendum.
Much as I dislike having to say this – We will remember in 2018 …
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