It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means summer is finally here! Well, hopefully. Alaskans all over the state are camping, fishing, boating, and relaxing this weekend. We should also remember and reflect on all those who have fought for and served our country.
Because it’s Memorial Day weekend, the column is shorter than normal this week. I deserve a break too!
June 1, the filing deadline to run for the legislature, lieutenant governor or governor, is only five days away. More people continue to file, but as of this writing no Democrat has yet filed to run for governor.
Speculation about whether Mark Begich will run continues to swirl. At this point, we think it is more likely he won’t. He has a successful consulting firm and his son is in high school. But if not Begich, will another Democrat file to run? The other obvious candidate is Senator Bill Wielechowski (D – Anchorage). Multiple sources say he has not ruled it out. He is not up for senate re-election this year. So he could run and it would not affect his senate seat. But if he decided to run for governor he would have to put a statewide campaign together very fast. That means raising money and traveling. Bye-bye summer!
We will soon all know what the field will look like. But if no Democrat files, this will be the second election in a row without a Democrat on the ballot for governor. Many Democrats don’t like the idea of that. Libertarians do though. A strange consequence of having no Democrat on the 2014 gubernatorial ballot was that the party with the second most votes was the Alaska Libertarian Party. This resulted in them getting a seat on the five member Alaska Public Offices Commission. Imagine two Libertarians on APOC – there goes the campaign donation limits!
On the Republican side, Mead Treadwell is considering entering the race. This recent Landmine article goes into more detail about that. Word is some establishment Republicans are so against Mike Dunleavy that they have asked former Alaska Senator and Governor Frank “the Bank” Murkowski to run. He is 85, so that seems very unlikely, but if he did run, we found his campaign slogan.
A high level Republican told the Landmine, “Running for governor in Alaska this year is like running into the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor right after the meltdown, with no radiation suit.” That about sums it up.
Representative Lora Reinbold (R – Eagle River) announced that she will run for the senate seat that Senator Anna MacKinnon (R – Eagle River) is vacating. Soon after Reinbold announced she is running, Representative Dan Saddler (R – Eagle River) also announced he is running for the seat. YES! It seems Reinbold may have the early advantage. Check out the “Endorsements” section of her website. Both MacKinnon AND Saddler are on there.
The state house will be very different next year. Representatives Sam Kito, Justin Parish, David Guttenberg, and likely Les Gara aren’t seeking re-election. Representatives Scott Kawasaki, Chris Birch, Lora Reinbold, Dan Saddler, and George Rauscher are running for the state senate. Representative Mike Chenault is running for governor. Even if every other incumbent wins, and some of them are in very competitive races, the house will have a 25% turnover next year. Much higher than the usual turnover.
Pro tip to Senator Natasha von Imhof (R – Anchorage) – if you are going to bad mouth and talk shit about your colleagues to fellow legislators, you should really cho-ooo-see more carefully. Because it will likely always get back to me.
Arctic lover Nils Andreassen has taken the job as Executive Director of the Alaska Municipal League. Andreassen has been the Managing Director at the Institute of the North since, well, forever I think. All the best to him in his new role. Andreassen takes over from longtime Executive Director Kathie Wasserman, who is retiring. All the best to her as well.
Suzanne Downing is extremely obsessed with two things – lying and Mark Begich. Everyone knows she routinely writes things that aren’t true. Like recently saying Department of Administration Commissioner Leslie Ridle is part of Mark Begich’s non existent campaign for governor. She also recently wrote that Mark Begich asked to be included in the upcoming gubernatorial debate at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association’s (AOGA) annual conference this week. ADN reporter Nat Herz tweeted it out, and AOGA quickly responded that it was untrue. I also heard this rumor last week but determined it to be just that. As her dear leader would say, FAKE NEWS!
Former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom is being talked about by many after a Facebook post he made this week of him and his wife. His new wife.
Mystrom is absolute legend status. I’m glad to see somebody other than myself is enjoying barely there swimwear. Rick, get on board and abandon those board shorts!
The only year-round liquor store in Bethel lost its liquor license this week after the state Alcohol board decided to pull their license. This was in response to the City of Bethel protesting the store because of alcohol related problems they said it caused. However, another liquor store, Bethel Spirits, which is only open one month a year, had their license renewed with no protest from the City of Bethel. Guess who owns that one? Bethel Native Corporation. Move along folks, nothing to see here…
The price of Alaska Crude has been over $70/barrel since mid-April. The only people happier about this than oil industry folks are legislators. Remember that bumper sticker…
This Week’s Loose Unit
Some weeks are hard to choose, other times the winner is clear. This week the Loose Unit is a clear winner. Check out this video of a guy who showed up to the DMV in Anchorage after it had closed.
“Bring my mother fuckin ID, bitches!” There is really not much to say other than this guy is definitely a Loose Unit! When the police arrived, they actually asked him for his ID. YES!!! You can’t make this stuff up. I wonder how he reacted when Walker cut the PFD? I don’t even want to imagine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.