If you have ever worked in an office, odds are you have heard about or been part of an office pool. They happen for things like the Super Bowl, March Madness, and even the date a baby will be born. Juneau is no different. For years, staffers and legislators have done $5 March Madness brackets. Well, that was until this year.
Representative Scott Kawasaki (D – Fairbanks) was handed off the March Madness brackets a few years back. Since then, he has organized it. Things were going fine, staffers and legislators, from both parties, were choosing brackets and getting ready to have some fun following the tournament. That was until someone in the senate complained about an email that was sent out about the brackets. Apparently, this person thought that there was an “illegal gambling ring” in Kawasaki’s office. Give me a break.
I would be willing to bet big money (maybe Scott “The Bookie” Kawasaki will book my bet) that if the house was controlled by Republicans this would not be an issue. Kawasaki, after all, is challenging Senate President Pete Kelly (R – Fairbanks) for his senate seat this November. Sources confirm that once this went up the chain, Senate Rules Chair Kevin Meyer’s (R – Anchorage) office contacted House Rules Chair Gabrielle LeDoux’s (R – Anchorage) office to inquire about the “illegal gambling ring” Kawasaki was running. You can’t make this shit up.
Needless to say, the March Madness bracket pool in Juneau has been cancelled. According to several staffers, this was something that fostered camaraderie in what is a stressful time in Juneau. Instead, petty politics had to get in the way.
One staffer said, “I was really excited about this. Things pretty much suck right now in Juneau and I was really looking forward to following the brackets this month.” Another said, “I am just sad I was not able to do it. I was looking forward to getting a bracket, whatever that means.”
Well, as messed up of a situation as this is, the Alaska Landmine has some good news. I reached out to Representative Kawasaki’s office and let him know that the Landmine will pay $100 to the winner! We gonna keep the party going. His office agreed to let me know who the winner is, and I will make sure they get the $100.