TALL TALES from Juneau
Eyes on the Babcock/Dunleavy administration
The Commies did it edition
I DIDN’T THINK ANYONE WOULD SEE ME ON THE INTERNET
Well, the latest float in the parade of caustic, hyper-partisan, and ill-advised appointments by Governor Babcock has already come and gone. Tammy Randolph, we hardly knew ye. Yes, she has removed her name from consideration to be appointed to the University of Alaska Board of Regents. She said she was shocked and surprised that anyone would see her “private” (not private) Twitter account. We need no longer worry that a person who tweets that Michelle Obama is a man, Native elder Nathan Phillips is a crisis actor paid by George Soros to harass the Covington Catholic High School boys, who calls a congresswoman a terrorist because she wears a head scarf, and says of the controversial appointment of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, “If there is no sperm, you must confirm” will end up in a position of influence at an institution of higher learning. Oh, and she’s also a Q-Anon/Pizzagate conspiracy theorist. You know, those folks who scour the internet for secret messages from “Q” who they are pretty sure is a high-ranking government official who has teamed up with Donald Trump to save us all from celebrity pedophiles and the “deep state.” #BulletDodged
THOSE DARN COMMIES!
Thought you heard the last from Art Chance, the infamous vitriolic former employee of the Dept. of Administration who got the boot for his racist and misogynistic social media venom? Well, he will not go gently into that good night. Chance has resurfaced, ranting about the Dunleavy administration and saying he didn’t “turn down” the position like they said he did, but that they were just “chicken****” and got rid of him to avoid any more blowback. Now he’s blaming the communists for Randolph stepping away from the Board of Regents. No, really.
Hoo boy. The administration said that Chance not being employed by the state was “for the best.” If there had been any lingering doubt about that, Mr. Chance has removed it.
(whispering) Don’t tell “the communists” but it was really us who first posted all the wackadoo images from Tammy Randolph’s Twitter account. You can jump in and follow along with @alaskademocrats on Twitter and HERE on Facebook.
There’s a narrative that laments that the only thing that could unite the warring tribes of Earth is if we were invaded by aliens. Well, close enough. Outside-budget-hacker Donna Arduin arrived in her little silver space ship from the Lower 48 and has proceeded already to unite the divided factions in the Alaska legislature. It’s an inconvenient way to have a kumbaya moment, but we have it nonetheless. A supplemental budget was just put forth in advance of the regular budget which is due to crash to the earth like a ton of bricks on February 13. This supplemental budget adds a little bit of money for earthquake related expenses, but it also CUTS money already promised by the previous legislature. $20 million just got ripped away from schools across the state with literally no notice to school districts at all. Hey kids, think of it as a surprise – like a jack-in-the-box, only scary, and coming to cut your budget.
A Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article quotes Sens. Kawasaki (D), Bishop (R), and Reps. Hopkins (D) and LeBon (R) as pretty much hating it. That’s right, Democrats and Republicans unite in their consternation. Group hug, you guys!
Some school districts, like the Kenai Peninsula Borough have already been spending this money since August on rehired teachers. Our little green friend from the Lower 48 tut-tuts and says that the school districts should have known better than to spend this money given to them by the previous legislature because that was then, and this is now, and too bad, so sad.
WHAT TOOK SO LONG?
Every washed-up, ousted, morally ambiguous and unelectable Republican seems to have been scooped up, brushed off, and ushered into the new administration except one - the self-titled “Mayor Dan.” Well, the long wait is over. The other Dan Sullivan is now earning a cool $103,000 a year on the Regulatory Commission of Alaska which certifies pipelines and public utilities and such. We’re assuming that the Regulatory Commission is less… exciting than his last job, so maybe “Mayor Dan” can keep himself out of trouble this time.
Bless their hearts. The Senate Majority does an online survey every year to take the pulse of the state and see where everyone stands on the issues of the day. And of course, once you put that survey out there, accountability compels you to share the results. Those results, year after year, never quite say what the Senate Majority wants them to say. For instance, 63% of Alaskans think that public safety response is satisfactory or better than expected. 59% think state spending is about right, or TOO LOW. More than half think K-12 education funding is straight up too low. 61% oppose the Pebble mine. Keep those numbers in your back pocket when the budget comes out with cuts to education, and a budget that is hacked to pulp. And of course, you’ll be seeing a giant push to get Pebble mine built at the headwaters of Bristol Bay and the heart of the Alaska salmon industry. Dunleavy only wants a government “by the people” (as he says ad nauseum) when it fits his own agenda. You can see the results of the full survey HERE, including a nifty little word cloud at the end.
THE BEST BILL IN JUNEAU
Sen. Bill Wielechowski deserves a round of applause for earning the "Champions of Public Safety Award" from the Public Safety Employees Association. And if your irony-meter hasn’t broken from overuse, please note that on the same day the governor who just stood before us all and said that public safety is his number one priority just cut $3 million for Village Public Safety Officers in that supplemental budget mentioned above.
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You have two weeks to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and prepare for the budget reveal. We’ll be back.