Happy New Year to all my readers and welcome to the final Sunday Minefield of 2017! This week’s column is shorter than normal because it’s New Year’s Eve and we will all be partying. Well, I know I will.
2018 will definitely be a busy year for politics in Alaska. In fact, legislators and staffers from all over the state are getting ready to head to Juneau for the upcoming legislative session starting on January 16. I received a copy of the form they use for shipping personal effects to Juneau. Check out the text at the bottom:
Wait, no guns, booze, or porn? They must buy it all in Juneau or else we definitely have some smugglers on our hands.
January 1 not only ushers in the New Year, it is also the first day of the new Pretrial Services Division established under SB91. Their page on the Department of Corrections website provides limited info but it does have a countdown clock. Those who hate SB91 would probably refer to it as more of a doomsday clock.
With the Anchorage mayoral election a little over 3 months away, it’s still just a two-way race between incumbent Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and conservative Rebecca Logan. And it looks likely to stay that way. The deadline to file is February 9, 2018 but the Landmine hasn’t heard of anyone else seriously considering throwing their hat in the ring. Interesting to note, due to the cycle of the Anchorage Assembly terms there will be no assembly elections in April, only mayor and school board. That could lead to woefully low voter turnout but who knows as this will be the first vote-by-mail election. Hopefully the energy will pick up in 2018.
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas and her husband, Kevin Sund, welcomed a baby girl, Olive Jane, on December 23rd. Congrats to them both. Heidi and Kevin, as someone with a 12/21 birthday, might I suggest to please try and make sure she gets BOTH a birthday and Christmas present every year, unless you want her to turn out like me… This was the worst part of my childhood. Gifts from family routinely said “Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday”
On the topic of commissioners, I would like to give Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Leslie Ridle a shout out. I was flying back to Alaska from New Mexico this week and saw on her Facebook that she had some Alaska Airlines first class upgrades that were expiring on 12/31 she was giving away. I was lucky enough to get one from her. Alaska Airlines will definitely need to be buying some more Jack Daniels.
One more thing about commissioners; you all can call me Commissioner Landfield now. Mayor Berkowitz did the unexpected and appointed me the to the Anchorage Sister Cities Commission and the Anchorage Assembly confirmed me last week. A big thanks to Mayor Berkowitz for the appointment! I learned my lesson and waited to announce this until after I was confirmed. I will be one of the co-chairs for Magadan, Russia. Check out their webpage for info on Anchorage’s sister cities.
Word on the street is that Alyse Galvin, a community activist and leader of the Great Alaska Schools movement, will run against the Dean of the House, Congressman Don Young. She is also the wife of former Sarah Palin Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin. I hear she will be running as an independent. She joins a long list of folks who have tried to unseat Young over the last 40 plus years. Will she be the one to finally succeed?
The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman named Edie Grunwald person of the year. Here is the article about it. Grunwlad’s son was murdered in November of 2016 and she has since become a criminal justice advocate. She is also a candidate for lieutenant governor and has been rather creative in her recent radio ads. She straight up asks for campaign donations. Very aggressive, I respect that.
The Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) has hired Brandon Brefczynski (imagine having to spell that to everyone) to be their new external affairs manager. He will replace Sarah Erkmann Ward who recently announced she is launching her own company, Blueprint Alaska. Brandon is an experienced staffer and great guy. Congrats to him.
This is just a hunch but I don’t think the president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, Judy Eledge, cares that much for longtime ADN reporter Rich Mauer. He was recently hired by KTUU to cover the legislature in Juneau. I doubt Rich will be doing any stories on the ARWC…
William Weatherby is running against House Speaker Bryce Edgmon. He recently made this rather interesting Facebook post. Is it just me or does that look like a very large testicle, a very small testicle, and an extremely small penis? Imagine those campaign meetings…
Should I be happy that ADN political reporter Nat Herz mixed me up with Juneau Empire political reporter James Brooks? Where is my damn Taco Bell Nat???
Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s to an awesome 2018!
If you have any political news, stories or gossip (or any old pics of politicians or public officials) please email me at [email protected]