Nine Senate Democrats, eight Republicans to meet at Alyeska Resort for legislative planning confab

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The Alaska Senate majority has been meeting as a caucus in Girdwood at the Alyeska Hotel. That means all but three members of the Senate are invited — Sen. Shelley Hughes, who is the outgoing majority leader, Sen. Mike Shower of Wasilla, and Sen. Robert Myers of Fairbanks. All three are fiscal conservatives.

The caucus meetings started earlier this week, as some members came to Anchorage for the Resource Development Council breakfast on Thursday, during which two members of the caucus, Sen.-elect Cathy Giessel and Sen. Click Bishop, both Republicans, gave their views on the budget and how they hope to increase it.

The Senate organized into a bipartisan coalition after the Nov. 8 election, and the members of the majority excluded three budget-minded Republicans, but included radical Democrats such as Sen.-elect Forrest Dunbar of Anchorage and Juneau Democrat Sen. Jesse Kiehl.

The coalition gave most of the control to the Democrats by naming Anchorage labor lawyer Sen. Bill Wielechowski as both Rules Committee chair and Transportation Committee chair. There are nine Democrats and eight Republicans in the majority caucus.

In the last recent pre-legislative organizational meetings, now-outgoing Senate President Peter Micciche held the conversations in Anchorage and ordered Subway sandwiches for lunch. Micciche, who hails from the Kenai Peninsula, called his caucus of 13 Republicans and one Democrat a “caucus of equals” and took the view that they should not spend lavishly on themselves.

Stevens, a liberal Republican from Kodiak, has richer tastes and will now spend untold thousands of state dollars hosting the 17 caucus members at Alaska’s ritzy vacation destination in the middle of a ski season weekend, as legislators prepare to head to Juneau next week and face reduced revenues and a budget deficit of over $1 billion.

The resort reports that the skies are clear above the lower-mountain fog today. “Join us on the slopes for a beautiful inversion, some fresh mountain air, & breathtaking views! Today’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies, calm winds, and a high temp around 20*”

Silvertip and Mighty Mite have both been groomed off the top. Groomer’s choice today is Mighty Mite. Tonight there will be live music at the Sitzmark venue starting at 9 pm with the band Zero Miles to Empty.

The Alaska Legislature begins on Jan. 17, and although the Senate has organized and given Democrats control, the House is still struggling to agree on its leadership team, as the House is nearly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats and those without a party.

43 COMMENTS

  1. It is way past time for term limits, these (Rank Choice) Thieves needed to be replaced long ago as they only work for the deep state (( dark Money )) donors that created a way to get reelected by changing the rules again!!! Think About It !!!! Time to change people in power 🙏⏳🙏 can you spell Murkowski !! always remember that a majority of government employees count the votes and it seems that we have the same government all the time for some reason and they still have the same jobs, maybe we need term limits for Government employees too!!!

  2. Yes Republican legislatures being lead by the noose by the demos. What could possibly go wrong. No PFD, taxes, no government oversight.

  3. Until these idiots move the Capitol to Willow where it belongs, they really should have to meet in Juneau, complete with rotten winter weather and very few “amenities.” The idea that we should pay them to meet at the most expensive hotel in Alaska is ludicrous on its face. They were elected, not crowned.

  4. This is all the beginning of a “party-less” political system. Rank Choice Voting will only hasten this inevitability. Think Soviet Politburo or Chinese CCP.
    And it’s all being presented to us as moderation, cooperation, more/better choices – so the politicos can “get more done” for We the People.
    Voting doesn’t work anymore – the whole system is corrupt – RCV, the Voting machines, the tabulation, the ballot harvesting, the mail-in ballot process, all buoyed by the relentless algorithmic programming of social media propaganda.
    This ends one of 2 ways – enslavement or violent revolution.

    • RCV does indeed appear to be working as intended—it’s clearly working to minimize extremists like yourself from the decision making process. We will get an excellent chance to see your preferred legislative approach meltdown over the next two years in the House as McCarthy is cut off at the knees by a few select extremists in his own coalition. Despite the prevalent attitude around here that bipartisanship is akin to treachery and communism and those who agree to work together are evil, it is how legislation gets done.

      • Righteousness and unrighteousness don’t mix. When a government is 50/50 split and leaders have financial interests more than the people. Then what to do. Pray we get one leader like king josiah, or wait for the collaspe, cause no one knows what is right.

        • You do know that God left the people of Israel, His chosen, to suffer under Pharaoh as slaves?

          You know that right?

          And that God often allows good people to die while wicked prosper?

          You know that, too, right?

          In the times of Covid, one of the worst super spreader events with the highest death toll resulted from a pastor (who didn’t know he was sick) presiding at a funeral. Dozens died, about 100 were infected.

          In the Nazi era, many Catholic clergy were gassed in concentration camps next to God Fearing Jews.

          God’s ways are not ours. All things work to His ends. Even the wicked and woke. Even the tragic. We’re not meant to understand at this level, if ever.

          I know your Bible misses several pages, but you can read history. If you bother is another matter.

          Assuming it’s not on one of the pages your Bible is missing, look up this verse: Psalm 64:10.

          It has many interpretations, but one of the most consistent is a version of shut up and listen.

          Try it sometime.

      • Hilarious. Do you even understand that we have a representational republic? Or do you think that everyone who thinks just as you do should be telling everyone else what to do with their lives? Please define “extremist.” I think it is simply a euphemism for “someone with whom I disagree.”

      • If you read history and civics printed before 1990, you’d know the intent of the Founders was to make “getting things done” as hard as possible.

        At every level.

        It’s a feature installed to prevent “extremists” from any side being to be able to take advantage of the heat of a moment.

        One of the many failures of RVC is it bypasses the intentional slow roll of our system for populist quick fixes.

        One mistake the left always, always makes is assuming right now is forever and they will always be ascendant. History says otherwise.

        One day the replacement for the GOP will figure out how to use RVC to its advantage. It’ll be fun (assuming I’m alive to see it, the GOP are idiots) to watch the left howl about it’s unfairness when that happens.

    • “This ends one of 2 ways – enslavement or violent revolution.” Jefferson’s gonna be pissed when he sees you outdoing his trademark hysterical exaggeration.

  5. Hughes, Shower, and Myers should be caucusing with Dunleavy. Our only hope for rationality and a statutory PFD. The upcoming Session with that nasty Giessel is going to be nothing but a cluster —k…….all the way to June.

  6. June 16th; first run of red salmon. Also what is the government rate? This group is NOT government at this time. It is a wonderful destination in this state.

  7. How much is all of this glamorous, privileged expense costing the State of Alaska? This group doesn’t want the average residents to receive their full statutory PFD, but they don’t seem to mindlessly spend the money on themselves.

  8. Hope they don’t overexert themselves, they are all covid vaccinated plus boosted. There is a lot of unxplained heart attacks occurring. They all are under enough stress without the skiing.

  9. If you are one who thinks that politicians are actually working for “we the people”… well I have news for you. Look at what is prioritized during Legislation. It’s certainly not the peoples welfare or best interests they have in mind. Both parties are equally guilty. This goes for Congress as well as State Legislators.

  10. The quickest way to solve our fiscal dilemma is to sue the Legislature for failing to re-fund the CBR as proscribed by the State Constitution. The ongoing issue is the Legislature pretends the PFER is not “in the General Fund”. The PFER is available for the Legislature to spend anytime they want with a simple majority vote – therefore it is “in the General Fund” as opposed to the PF corpus which is protected from their greedy paws. The PFER is not a constitutionally protected account – as is the CBR.
    Assuming the CBR is properly re-funded, the Legislature can still raid it again but only with a 3/4 vote.
    This will cause more fiscal discipline to balance the budget and stop overspending.
    The battle can then properly rage between a vast inefficient government industrial complex and the size of the Dividend.

    • Sadly I think the quickest way to slice this (note: quickest, not best) is to let the legislature have the Perm Fund. All of it, corpus included.

      They will spend it dry inside of a decade and this long festering issue will pop.

      Nobody will have any money for anything. Anyone with sense will have out migrated and taken their money with them.

      Then they will all be living out Milton. Ruling in hell instead of living in paradise.

  11. One of the things which I find amazing are the parallels between Lisa and Cathy Giessel.
    To say the least they’re both incredibly dishonest and deceitful. If you believe what we’re told by the media, pollsters and pundits it would seem that both of those names would be referred to as ‘also ran’ instead of Senator and whatever title one is supposed to bestow on Cathy.

    I simply can’t forget Giessel being censured https://mustreadalaska.com/republicans-in-two-valley-districts-vote-to-censure-former-senate-president-cathy-giessel-for-siding-with-democrats/ prior to losing in 2020 to Roger Holland. There used to be a bunch of Giessels previous campaign ads on YouTube in which she quite honestly lied in the ads compared to her actions once elected. Here we go again as she simply steps back into a position of higher authority than what one might expect for someone who was censured quite recently.

    As for Lisa it’s quite obvious the only way for someone who’s failed the bar exams a handful of times (I’m pretty sure five is a handful) is the way it happened. Having also been censured (by every Republican district in AK if I remember right) she ends up getting re-elected as well. When she lost to Joe Miller in the primary her first fundraiser was back in DC which to me shows just how deeply rooted in the swamp she actually is.

    Now here we are starting 2023 and Lisa is welcomed back by the Republican Party of AK after all of the statistics about her political alignment were made public. I’m quite sure she didn’t need to ask.

    As for Cathy I’m seeing that she’s back to where she was when she lost in 2020.

    I’m beyond baffled by what is actually going on that these two (and others) continue to be re-elected while doing the opposite of what’s supposedly important to the voters of AK to the point of being censured for 5heir actions. History is there so that we can learn from it! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    One thing that I know for damned sure is that two republicans can’t run for the same position even against a weak newcomer (Lebon/Nash/Dibert) let alone against a candidate with campaign pockets as deep as Murkowski’s! History and the democrats teach us that one candidate per party works better. Why can’t a lesson as simple as that be learned?

    We’re apparently doomed to repeat History as it doesn’t appear that we’re learning from it unless we truly have no control over what goes on in politics!

  12. One of the things which I find amazing are the parallels between Lisa and Cathy Giessel.
    To say the least they’re both incredibly dishonest and deceitful. If you believe what we’re told by the media, pollsters and pundits it would seem that both of those names would be referred to as ‘also ran’ instead of Senator and whatever title one is supposed to bestow on Cathy.

    I simply can’t forget Giessel being censured https://mustreadalaska.com/republicans-in-two-valley-districts-vote-to-censure-former-senate-president-cathy-giessel-for-siding-with-democrats/ prior to losing in 2020 to Roger Holland. There used to be a bunch of Giessels previous campaign ads on YouTube in which she quite honestly lied in the ads compared to her actions once elected. Here we go again as she simply steps back into a position of higher authority than what one might expect for someone who was censured and unelected recently.

    As for Lisa it’s quite obvious the only way for someone who’s failed the bar exams a handful of times (I’m pretty sure five is a handful) is the way it happened. Having also been censured (by every Republican district in AK if I remember right) she ends up getting re-elected as well. When she lost to Joe Miller in the primary her first fundraiser was back in DC which to me shows just how deeply rooted in the swamp she actually is.

    Now here we are starting 2023 and Lisa is welcomed back by the Republican Party of AK even after all of the statistics about her political alignment were made public and I’m quite sure she didn’t need to ask!

    As for Cathy I’m seeing that she’s back to where she was when she lost in 2020 fighting with her own party and the Republican Senate majority is done away with. To say that Myers, Hughes and Showers are too conservative must imply that Forrest Dunbar is a moderate Republican. I wonder what the people in their districts think about this process?

    I’m beyond baffled by what is actually going on that these two (and others) continue to be re-elected while doing the opposite of what’s supposedly important to the voters of AK to the point of being censured for their actions.

    History is there so that we can learn from it!

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    One thing that I know for damned sure is that two republicans can’t run for the same position even against a weak newcomer (Lebon/Nash/Dibert) let alone against a candidate with campaign pockets as deep as Murkowski’s! History and the democrats teach us that one candidate per party works better. Why can’t a lesson as simple as that be learned?

    We’re apparently doomed to repeat History as it doesn’t appear that we’re learning from it unless we truly have no control over what goes on in politics!

  13. Would they not be bound by the open meeting laws? And also would this number in attendance not constitute a quorum? Was this gathering posted publicly?

    • Yes, but it’s been a long time since they cared about the law. Especially with our left of center activist judiciary.

  14. The “Septic 17” would have faired better if they had moved their little caucus to the Golden Lion Hotel. Rent would have been reasonable.

  15. Every hotel in Alaska has reduced rates in the winter EXCEPT The Alyeska Hotel. Current rates on their website approach 400$ per night. Leave it to the dems to brazenly display their complete lack of concern for fiscal restraint right in the faces of Ak voters.

    • You can’t expect our rulers to live like serfs do you? That’s for us. Not them.

      It’s exhausting work planning how to bankrupt a state and its people. They need the creature comforts.

  16. The Ghost of Ted just down the street would be creepy if not spooking the business at hand!
    Spend , spend & behind doors scramming the budget to that all inclusive unity vote! Oh how predictable !

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