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We Build Alaska

The Sunday Minefield – December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas to all the Landmine readers! For those of us living in Southcentral, we are all going to have an extra white Christmas with all the snow that has fallen. Because it’s Christmas Eve, this week’s column is a bit shorter than normal. Anchorage Assembly member Kevin Cross announced his resignation from the Assembly this week. Senator Scott Kawasaki (D – Fairbanks) picked up a big challenger. And some true idiocy locked in this week’s Loose Unit.

A friendly message and reminder to all our readers. The Landmine is made possible by myself and a team of awesome Alaskans. I am heading back to Juneau in January for my sixth session in a row reporting on the Legislature. If you enjoy the content we provide, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation. You can click here to donate. We have a donation system that makes it super easy. We would really appreciate it. And thanks to everyone who has been supportive!

A Few Things This Week

Anchorage Assembly member Kevin Cross announced his resignation from the Assembly on Tuesday (12/19/2023) at their last meeting of the year. You can read more about it in this Landmine article. Long story short is Cross said he is tired of the toxic politics in the city and on the Assembly and wants to focus on doing things where he can actually make a difference. He will remain on the Assembly until April so a special election for his seat will be on the April mayoral ballot for voters in Chugiak and Eagle River. This will avoid a costly, separate special election.

Republican Leslie Hajdukovich filed a letter of intent to challenge Democratic Senator Scott Kawasaki. Kawasaki, who has represented Fairbanks in the House and Senate since 2007, has consistently defeated big Republican challengers. He’s going to face another one next year. Hajdukovich comes from the Wien aviation family and married into the well known Hajdukovich family in Fairbanks. She also served two terms on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board. This is going to be a race to watch, especially because Kawasaki’s district includes Fort Wainwright and next year is a presidential election year. Kawasaki’s two Senate wins happened in 2018 and 2022 – both non-presidential election years.

The pro-Hamas lunatics from the Party of Socialism and Liberation showed up to the Anchorage Assembly meeting again this week. Especially horrible was the main organizer, Michael Patterson, and his wife Cynthia Gachupin. They seem to have perfected two things – coopting not particularly smart young people for their bullshit cause and lying.

A few of these wackos got in my face after the meeting. When I told one rude and aggressive one, Billy Henthorn, that he should read some books and educate himself, he responded by saying he can read better than I can. Then proceeded to call me a coward and insult me. This was after he shouted out “Fuck Chris Constant” after the meeting adjourned. Henthorn was a legislative intern during session for Representative Stanley Wright (R – Anchorage). I highly doubt he will ever be finding work in Juneau.

This Week’s Loose Unit 

This week’s designee was a real no-brainer. This week’s Loose Unit is the Anchorage Assembly, namely Assembly members Karen Bronga, George Martinez, Felix Rivera, Meg Zaletel, and Zac Johnson. During discussion on renaming the Port of Alaska the Don Young Port of Anchorage, several Assembly members went fully loose. Instead of making an easy, slam-dunk political move, they spent a bunch of time bad mouthing and disparaging the late Congressman Don Young. It was maximum loose and shitty behavior. You can watch some of it here:

Keep in mind, a naming panel recommended the name change and all three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation sent them a letter asking them to rename the port after Young. But they apparently found it more appropriate to insult a dead man who did more for our state than all of them combined will ever do. In the end, these Loose Units voted 8-4 to table to matter indefinitely.

If you have a nomination for this week’s Loose Unit, or if you have any political news, stories or gossip (or any old pics of politicians or public officials) please email me at

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1 month ago

It is a bit ironic to memorilize Don Young while simultaneously taking a principled stand that we should not insult each other. I’m not aware of any other succesful Alaskan politician who was as comfortable insulting, belittling and dismissing constituents as was Don.

We should be nicer to each other. But, it’s hard to take that premise seriously without also having some misgivings about venerating the late congressman.

Maelin Savage
1 month ago

Too often, on this site, my votes are recorded opposite of the way I voted, or it will say I already voted when I haven’t voted.

1 month ago

What did the assembly say that was insulting? Everything was true.

Captain Pajamas
1 month ago

Jeff, Don Young WAS a bully. He WAS disrespectful to women. He assaulted and physically threatened people many times. He was a big figure in Alaska politics no doubt, but this idea that he is above and beyond criticism is quite frankly slavish and a bit pathetic. The Assembly represents the people of Anchorage, and is beholden in no way shape or form to promoting Don Young’s Legacy.

1 month ago

I’d like to know exactly what Don Young “did” for Alaska besides be in office for too long. When I first moved to Alaska in the 1970s a friend of mine who worked in Washington DC told me that Alaska’s representatives in Washington (including Stevens and Young) were a joke to the other representatives and would never have any real power or influence because they were basically angry blowhards and their antics pissed off too many of their peers. And so it proved to be: neither Ted Stevens nor Don Young got any of the plum appointments such as committee… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  Allen

Hey Don did his best
To help Florida get Federal highway project funds.

1 month ago

Kevin Cross was only on the Assembly for less than 2 years, it seems like he didn’t really want to put the effort in to be there at all, just be a placeholder for Dave. Yet he tries to spin it like quitting on his constituents is something noble.

1 month ago
Reply to  Allen

Dave Bronson

John Weddleton
1 month ago
Reply to  Allen

Kevin is a really hard worker on the Assembly, a creative and independent thinker. When he learns new information, he reevaluates his thoughts on issues. He doesn’t have a political mind set. He views the world through the eyes of a good business owner. It is a loss to Anchorage that he is leaving.

1 month ago

Yes, some of the assembly comments were rather juvenile, but let’s face it, SOMETHING is going to get named after Don Young and, while I think a port is a somewhat strange entity to chose, I agree that the assembly should have just voted for it just to get t out of the way. I never voted for Young and agree with the negative comments, but it’s a small enough thing to ask to throw the right a bone. Heyzookreesto!

E. Lizardo
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

How about the rest stop at the top of Turnagain Pass? We can be generous and include both sides.

1 month ago
Reply to  E. Lizardo

Or the Anchorage landfill?