Notes from the trail: Four congressional candidates show up at Juneau GOP forum, Alan Gross announces road trip


Criss-cross: Alan Gross, campaigning for Congress and struggling to connect with his base in the Democratic Party, will be traveling through blue country in Southeast Alaska, including a stop-off at his second home in Juneau and then his third home in Petersburg for the Little Norway Festival, which celebrates all-things-Norwegian. He’ll travel to Kodiak, and finish off at his now-hometown of Anchorage on Sunday, May 29. He won’t be in Petersburg for the parade, but on Tuesday he’ll stop by the Sons of Norway Hall for a Norwegian cooking and baking lesson. Lots of traveling, but how much interacting?

Port of Call: In Juneau on Monday were four Republican candidates for Congress: Nick Begich, John Coghill, Tara Sweeney and Josh Revak, all at a forum sponsored by the Capital City Republican Women. The event was held at the Baranof Hotel. Arriving by cruise ship to watch the forum were more than a dozen Republican Alaskans who were on a cruise from Seattle to Glacier Bay, just for fun.

Notes from the forum: Everyone said it was a great forum. The four candidates who attended (Palin took a rain check) were in good humor and all of them kept it civil. 72 people came, popcorn was served, and people bought drinks a the bar in the lobby. The forum was moderated by Ben Brown.

One question was asked: Should there be a minimum or maximum age to serve in Congress, and everyone said yes but John Coghill, who said no (but in a funny way.)

Coghill was the kindly candidate. Tara Sweeney came across as a policy wonk, with good answers on Putin and China. The best thing Revak said all night was when Ben Brown asked, if there should be a minimum and maximum age for Congress: “Yeah, there should be a minimum age, and a psych test, and a drug test.” It got some laughs. Josh Revak asked Nick Begich if he could say anything nice about him. Nick said something about how Josh had served our country. It worked.

Spotted in the audience: Ken Alper, pro-income tax guru for former Gov. Bill Walker and legislative aide to Rep. Adam Wool, apparently there to do opposition research for some other candidate, such as … Democrat Adam Wool, who is running for Congress, sort of.

Little Norway: Nick Begich is riding in the Little Norway Festival parade on Friday, and we’re told he will be in a car with the mayor of Petersburg. Someone please send pics. Schedule of events for the Little Norway Festival is at this link.

Winning the MRAK award for best use of a campaign sign — Tara Sweeney.

Battle for Bethel: Following the congressional debate hosted by Bethel Native Corporation for congressional candidates Tara Sweeney, Mary Peltola, Emil Notti, and Sarah Palin (no show) last week, Sweeney shared some of the bowhead whale maktak from her hometown of Utqiaġvik with attendees.

Making Believers of them: Nick Begich was in Voznesenka, an Old Believer community beyond the end of the paved portion of East End Road, near Homer. He had a gathering with several members of the community. Next, he leaves Juneau for Valdez, for a meet-and-greet at Mike’s Palace on Wednesday, May 18.

Chris Constant on abortion: “We must act now! Overturning Roe v. Wade is just the first step in the Republican plan to ban abortion across the entire country. Next will be LGBTQ+ rights. To act now, sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”

Tara Sweeney, right, does not vote yes or no on the Pro Act last week.

We missed this: During the congressional forum in Anchorage, when asked whether they supported the PRO Act, Tara Sweeney did not raise a Yes paddle or a No paddle during that lightning round. Al Gross made up for her by raising his paddle really, really high — as if to add emphasis.

Who are Sarah Palin’s writers? A couple of smart guy scribes from Dartmouth College — Joshua Riddle and David Rufful — that’s who. They own, which is a content farm. They also run Sarah Palin’s Facebook page through their other company, VIP Ad Solutions LLC. They do content for folks like Diamond and Silk, Allen West, Sarah Palin, Stacey Dash, and Chicks on the Right. 

Car show: Kelly Tshibaka, running for U.S. Senate, is the keynote speaker at car, truck, and bike show on Thursday, June 9, 3 pm at the All American Training Center, 35930 Kenai Spur Highway. More details in upcoming editions of “Notes.”

Endorsements: Rico Worl, who owns The Trickster Company in Juneau, has endorsed former Gov. Bill Walker for governor.

The next congressional candidate forum is on May 25, 6-8 pm in Anchorage. We’re not sure why Republican John Coghill is not on the invited list but Must Read Alaska will be there. See you there!

Notes from the trail: Mat-Su GOP women are with Nick, March On women support Constant, Peltola

Notes from the trail: Dunleavy fundraiser, and observations from the forum in Anchorage

Notes from the campaign trail: Abortion’s love language in the media, Democrats queuing up someone to take on Murkowski

Read: Notes from the campaign trail: Palin a no-show in Bethel


  1. Gross Al creates the stupidest ad straight out of the gate.

    All the ignorant and paranoid women in his family are sitting on the couch talking about how abortion is going to be over in the US and how they need to save abortion. Any fool knows that the issue at hand is that this is not an issue the constitution allows the federal government to regulate. This is not a right. This is up to each individual state to decide for themselves. More typical lying Democrat garbage from the Gross guy.

    • Alaska’s Constitution guarantees privacy, abortion is a non-issue here. The US Constitution is silent on abortion, until there is a Federal Law allowing abortion it us up to the States. Not impressed with an anonymous poster posting half-truths

      • Not sure you actually read Caterina’s comment with anything resembling a critical eye there Frank. But, as a dedicated leftist, I am sure you have already made up your mind that she was wrong immediately, and wrote your reply without reading what was actually written.

  2. Have you ever had muktuk? If you aren’t used to it it may have quite an impact on one’s intestinal tract.

    • Bud goes pretty good with muktuk, as long as you have plenty of vinegar to wash the aftertaste.

    • I have had it, AG, and I liked it!
      But I think that the trick, for non-natives, is to not eat more than a little bit — it is almost pure fat, after all, and non-natives are physiologically not adapted to eating as much fat as Alaskan Natives are.

    • I’ve had enough to be polite. It did have a post dinner “boomerang” effect.

      Glad I tried it, but not going back for seconds.

      Any food not “native” to a specific group of people then to be an acquired taste. Some require more acquiring than others.

  3. Adam Wool doing opposition research through his sniveling little staffer? What a joke. MADD is busy doing opposition research on his fitness to even run. Wool’s booze and marijuana pushing during the past 30 years is enough to disqualify him based on his severe brain cell reduction. Just check the ER admission records. We have them.

  4. I would like the real information on Tara. On another article where there was a meeting of several in Bethel, she made the statement of abortion. She was ONLY against the Government funding of abortion, but she was actually for it, but again not for government funding. I was tempting to decide for her, but that answer changed my mind.

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