And Now for Something Completely Different.

6 09 2008

Yes, there is life beyond Palin. It may seem hard to believe, especially here in Alaska, where the media is swarming on the small town of Wasilla like ravens on a dumpster full of french fries. (Trust me, it’s a good metaphor)

As everyone in the Lower 48 + Hawaii is finding out, the cast of characters in Alaskan politics is full of…well…characters:

Walt Monegan, the noble Police commissioner who said, “I’d gladly die for the governor, but I would never lie for the governor”

Chuck Kopp his non-vetted replacement who famously proclaimed, “I am not a sex harasser!”

Mike Wooten, the trooper in Troopergate who has a list of offensive deeds, but was axed by whom Palin wanted to axe for what many feel is personal revenge.

Stephen Branchflower, the rock solid non-partisan investigator, and Thomas Van Flein, his nemesis and the private attorney now representing Palin. Palin’s new private attorney.

And the whole supporting cast of children, children’s boyfriends, extended family, ex-coworkers, the almost fired librarian saved by the outraged masses at the last minute*, the fired police chief, and of course, Palin herself – the lip-sticked pit bull moose-skinning gun-toting mother of 5 (or 4 say some), who either rose like a star, or flimflammed her way to the top…depending who you ask.

But, yes, there is a whole political landscape outside the governor’s little world. There is big news developing with two of those characters who haven’t been discussed much lately – Don Young, and Sean Parnell.

Don Young. That’s him up there standing in front of the giant portrait of himself, wearing an Alaska state flag bolo tie. When people who don’t know about Don Young ask about Don Young, they are met with one of three reactions: the eye roll, the head shake/chuckle combination, or an expletive. It never fails. He is absolutely indescribable, but I’ll try. He is a cocky, loud mouthed, angst-ridden, bloviating, jaw-dropping bully. He looooves pork, and people that love pork, love him. He’s a porketarian of the highest order. His annual fundraiser is even a pig roast and he’s proud of it. The grill at the event is usually a $30,000 barbeque donated for the event by Veco corp, the now defunct oil services company whose president and vp have plead guilty to felony counts of bribery and agreed to dish the dirt on what feels like half the Republican politicians in Alaska…and one Democrat just for the heck of it. Many are either on their way, or already in prison.

Don Young himself is currently under investigation by the FBI, and has spent more than a million dollars from his campaign fund on lawyers and hasn’t even been indicted yet. All of this does not keep Alaskans from voting for him. He’s been holding Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives since 1973, and most Alaskans just look upon him as an inevitability, like snow. He just keeps coming back, no matter what you do. And besides, we’ll overlook a lot, as long as we get our pork.

The last time Don Young was up for reelection, the Democratic challenger (a woman, and Alaska native) Diane Benson got 40% of the vote. While this may not sound like much in other elections, 40% against Don Young with a progressive female candidate on the ballot was huge. This proved that Young was vulnerable. Smelling blood in the water, hoards of lower level politicians began circling the wounded bloviator.

This time around, he may go down. State legislator Ethan Berkowitz, a rising Democratic star, stand a very good chance of unseating him in the upcoming election. Progressive Alaskans are doing the happy dance all over the state. For them, it is a dream come true. But…there’s one more hurdle to overcome. The hurdle is named Sean Parnell. Sean Parnell is what many like to call a ‘Palin-bot’. He shares Palin’s idealogy, and is “supportive” of her administration. Translated, this means whatever she says goes, and he doesn’t argue. Critics say he’s an empty suit and an empty head. He also doesn’t like to show up at debates, or give interviews…too uncomfortable (sound familiar?). BUT, he has Sarah Palin’s ‘full support’, which is enough for many in the state.

Berkowitz doesn’t fare as well against Parnell in the polling, and it might be a tight race if that was the match-up in November. Parnell might very well swoop into office exactly like Palin, by getting the anyone-but-the-incumbent-as-long-as-I-can-still-vote-Republican vote. That’s a big slice of the pie up here.

I went down to Convention Central at the Egan Center in Anchorage on primary night, just to watch the returns. And, as many predicted, the race of the night turned out to be Young vs. Parnell. We all bit our nails, drank $8 beers at the bar in the corner, chomped peanuts and watched the big board. At times there were only four votes separating the two candidates. Progressives stopped doing the happy dance and started worrying. Many Democrats and independents I know voted for Young, simply to assure that he would stay in the race long enough to be taken down by Berkowitz. (The Alaskan version of Rush Limbaugh’s operation Chaos, urging Republicans to cross over and vote for Hillary). They will be happy they did. At the end of the night, only about 150 votes separated the two candidates, with Young holding a razor thin lead over Parnell, and hanging on by his fingernails.

Then the absentee voting began. There were 25,000 votes to be counted. The result? After more nail-biting ups and downs and the Division of Elections working into the night, Young maintains his lead by a scant 239 votes. With still more absentee ballots to be counted from overseas, this is about as close as it gets. The last of the absentee ballots will be rounded up by Wednesday, and it’s anyone’s guess. There will likely be a recount.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the Division of Elections is under the purvue of none other than…the Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell? Oh, it’s true. Who said life beyond Palin would be boring?

Now that you’ve welcomed a new Alaskan eccentric into your political world, please sit back and enjoy this little homage to Don Young from TPM Muckraker who refers to Young as a “one man mud wrestling match”. Enjoy.

*correction from previous post


Actions

Information

59 responses

6 09 2008
Mil

Here we go. AKMuckraker, you are *the* source for on the ground Alaskan news. Thanks for keeping us informed.

6 09 2008
tammy

Now I have a question for Alaskans. Al Franken has a commercial running in Minnesota where he says Norm Coleman went fishing with Ted Stevens in Alaska. I think it goes that there was some oil lobbyists or people that worked for the oil industry on this trip. And one of the guys that was on this trip got indicted in Alaska. Anyone know who this is?

6 09 2008
Scott Bodenheimer

I’ll google Ethan Berkowitz, because I’d like to help him with his campaign. A link to his campaign in your blog might be a nice addition.

6 09 2008
Ana Gama

Muckracker,

Question. At the end of that clip at 6:09 mark, Young is at the podium in the Congress and says something about the “mink back home.” Biting back those who have bitten him. Who is he referring to? Palin?

6 09 2008
Ky

Great metaphor! Why do they like fries so much?

I have forwarded your blog onto my grandparents, who live in Fairbanks, and are very liberal. I’m sure they could use the moral support, right now.🙂

Keep up the good work, Mudflats!

6 09 2008
ds55

To Tammy: Regarding the Al Franken ad, here’s a link to the video ad:

6 09 2008
All I Saw

Probabaly Bill Allen, former owner/head of VECO.

I think I heard he’s retired to (Arizona?) a very rich man after VECO sold to CH@2M Hill.

6 09 2008
Cassie

Good Lord! I just took a break to get dinner out of the oven and to tell my spouse of my morning reading….and there’s still more. Why do you even bother to vote? Wouldn’t it be cheaper (and the same result) to just ask who wants to do what this term?

Any suggestions on how to quit this site? It’s just too well done (your information, not dinner!)

6 09 2008
sheila

AKM,

Just read your latest. What I really like about your work is it’s accuracy. So I’d like to mention that I believe the Wasilla librarian was not fired.

Palin tried to fire her, like she fired so many others in those non-partisan positions within Wasilla during her tenure as mayor. Why? because the librarian, Dorothy Emmons, would not censor books at Palin’s request.

However, some people in Wasilla backed up Ms Emmons and stopped Palin.

I know it’s a small thing and I think you just got riffin’ on the firing thing🙂

But I want to keep you and this blog righteous because I really love it.

BTW, an Obama volunteer just stopped by the studio canvassing the neighborhood. I gave him the link to this journal so that he can pass it on to our AK campaign heads for research.

Thanks for your work.

Sheila

Sheila,
You are correct about the librarian. I even posted on that previously in Palin Bans Books., but sometimes I type faster than I think! I appreciate you mentioning it, because accuracy is important.
AKMuckraker

6 09 2008
LaughingAt...

he was right about one thing (i hope):
those that bite get bitten back

6 09 2008
Kitten StCyr

Cheers to you, mudflats.
I am one of those who chose a republican ballot for the primary this year, but after the last two presidential elections,I’ve become suspicious of any race that comes down to a few votes.
In the primary, I ‘m pulling for Don Young (aurgghh- my hands are shaking from typing that sentence). The only way to make my vote count in this state is to practice active cynicism. Someday I’ll explain to you how I legally voted in both presidential party primaries. The old rules don’t work anymore – and I can’t waste my time wishing it were not so.
From Kitten, in Homer – where, mark my words, someday long after we are all dead, there will be a statue of Frank Vondersaar in front of city hall.

6 09 2008
NMJ

Will somebody please, please explain to me how, in a state that’s almost literally rolling in never-ending money, Alaska is so greedy about pork? And yet, none of this bounty seems to be used to make the lives and communities of Alaska better?!?

Why do they put up with this?

What do they plan on doing with it all? Use it for campfires in the next Ice Age?

6 09 2008
Ana Gama

Sheila,

The librarian got a termination letter. Palin’s intent was to fire the librarian until she was stopped from carrying it out. See this article from the Anchorage Daily News.

http://www.adn.com/sarahpalin/story/510219.html

Wasilla keeps librarian, but police chief is out (2/1/1997)

City librarian Mary Ellen Emmons will stay, but Police Chief Irl Stambaugh is on his own, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin announced Friday. The decision came one day after letters signed by Palin were dropped on Stambaugh’s and Emmon’s desks, telling them their jobs were over as of Feb. 13.

The mayor told them she appreciated their service but felt it was time for a change. ”I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment …” the letter said.

Ana Gama,
See my note to Sheila above. And thanks!
AKMuckraker

6 09 2008
CRFLATS

Thank you Kitten. I too used the R ballot. I hated doing it, but it was the right political thing to do. The R’s created the closed ballot, so as a Non-Partisan voter, I get to use it. Use it I did, and so did many like minded people. I voted for Don Young because he is less a threat to Ethan—chances are great he will be on his way to the slammer. Ethan is a great guy, and he has my vote and donation.

I always lamented that Hunter S. Thompson passed on before he got a chance to take a look at our politics. As he said so well:

“When the going gets weird, the Weird Turn Pro”

6 09 2008
GJ in Idaho

put up with it? Hey, pork is better than moose….I’ve eaten moose, when I couldn’t afford pork and it’s the cheapest meat on the market. Most everyday folks don’t sit watching MCM news all day like we have been the last few days, they have lives to live, kids to feed and take care of, and even jobs to go to, they just sometimes vote when they are told or reminded that this is going to be a close race….who do they vote for may just be the last person they heard about just before they walk into the polling booth.

I’ve been told that absentee ballot voters take more time to think about and study their votes to make them count, so I’m thinking we better start a campaign to enlist th absentee crowd. Let’s win the election before the election in those states that allow you to vote early by absentee

6 09 2008
CRFLATS

NMJ–We are Porked up in Alaska–but not everyone gets a fair bite. For one thing, we are only 50 yrs. old, and the Feds did rape and pillage for almost a hundred years prior to Statehood–so we legitimately had/have some catching up to do–we only have 10 highways, and very little infrastructure for manufacture–we still behave and are treated like a colony. I come from a small fishing community that has 3 roads that lead to salmon streams and some houses. We have about 2 miles of sidewalks, and the kids walk in the streets during long dark winters ’cause we can’t afford to remove all the snow. Our community doesn’t see the “Pork” that Wasilla and better connected towns do. We pay over $6/ga for gas, and $5 for heating fuel. We live here-with difficulty-because we love it, and have for generations.

6 09 2008
Mother Who Thinks

Ahh, Don Young! Well-remembered for his adroit speaking skills and malaprops. He was always screwing up. Many years ago, he introduced a well-known and respected woman state senator, Arliss Sturgulewski, as “Sturgis Argelewski.”

She quickly and dryly thanked her colleague “Yon Dung.”

He’s still around and still screwing up.

6 09 2008
Palmdale, CA

Here’s a delightfully snarky article in the Calendar section of today’s LA Times. I don’t normally get that far into the paper, mostly because what it covers doesn’t apply up here in the high desert. But my sis pointed me to it.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/business/la-et-brief6-2008sep06,0,7446019.story
Wish I knew how to do tinyURLs so it wouldn’t wrap…

And I just heard from a friend in AZ pointing me to an iReport type picture on msnbc.com. By the time I looked — not more than 5 min. later, the trolls had gotten to it. It was the Governator one — Sarah in her red, white & blue bikini with the BIG gun. So Vice-Presidential! Geez, it was bad enough when the porn stars were running for gov here when Gray Davis got the axe, but at the national level it’s just plain pathetic.

6 09 2008
willpen

WOW….you guys up there have way more problems than we do in the whole damn country. I think that the media should be exposing this stuff so that people see where Palin was spawned.

6 09 2008
Cynthia Ohio

Wow, the corruption is mind boggling. I grew up in a very Republican environment here in Ohio, and it was always assumed that the Republicans were free of corruption and the Democrats were not. It has truly been an education for me these past eight years. I don’t know how y’all up in AK put up with it! I would be so upset about all this. What an obnoxious twit that guy is. Good grief, I don’t like him. I just want the Republicans to get their clocks cleaned by the Dems this election because there needs to some consequences to their overt corruption and lying.

6 09 2008
GJ in Idaho

Sorry, didn’t mean to imply I bought the moose meat…it was pork that was cheap then as now…

And I have always supported getting community block grants to every community big or small that help people live better healthier live…”your pork barrell is stinkier than my pork barrell” as never made much sense to me.

As a Grantwriter from the 60’s I know how much all communities need help to get the taxes we collect coming back to us and out to the place that are good for all members of the community not just on side of the isle or the other…

It use to be you could count on 8yr of GOP pork going to industry and business and 6yrs going to Demo -Health, Education and Welfare programs. Now the later seem to dirty words…

6 09 2008
All I Saw

NMJ

Alaska was facing a serious deficit until oil prices spiked.

A few years ago oil was less than $30 a barrell.

We are totally dependent on the global oil market which we all know has a serious case of schizophrenia.

Pork was necessary when oil was low, not so much now which makes it easy for Sarah to rhetorically reject.

She rode into office on record high oil prices – she would have had to make some real choices if oil had been low.

Her record indicates successful governance when awash in money – nothing more nothing less.

6 09 2008
Palmdale, CA

More media pushback:
http://www.truthout.org/article/running-from-reality
Bob Herbert’s NYT piece. I like the way he’s addressing the hypocricy of the OP along with McCain’s “judgement”. Keep it up! This is what we need. Now, if only some of the Repubs would do the same in public and not just when they don’t know their mics are open!

6 09 2008
Merle

CRFLATS, since you coming from a small fishing community, maybe you can give us some insight on what exactly Palin’s 1993 conviction for operating illegal drift nets means in the local community and commercial fishing contexts.
What exactly is a ‘drift gillnet’ and how does it differ from a ‘set gillnet’?

6 09 2008
sheila

Ana Gama,

Thanks for the clarification on the Wasilla librarian. Especially good to provide the news link. It’s what makes this blog clean.

6 09 2008
NMJ

Thanks to all for the answers. I was operating under the impression that if enough money was available, people would demand sidewalks, better streets and schools, etc., and if that didn’t happen, they would march on the capitol with torches and string ’em up.

And thanks for reminding me that Alaska as a state is only 50 years old. It must be like living on the frontier, only with much harsher environment. It’s true that, when every moment has to be spent surviving day-to-day, there’s not much mental or physical energy left over for politics.

I think Alaska is beautiful; decades ago I spent my honeymoon there. It wasn’t until this Palin creature dropped into our midst that I discovered, to my surprise, that Alaskans feel like we consider them as…I don’t know…maybe “second-class citizens”. I’ve lived all over the country and have globe-trotting friends (I don’t have the money) and I’ve never heard anything remotely like that.

6 09 2008
femalady

You are even good when I don’t have a clue who you are talking about or what the context is! You explained pretty well, and I appreciate that, but Duh! Following Alaskan Politics really is a combination of a maze and a soap opera and lots more fun for us in the lower 48….we don’t have to live with it…unless the Palin gets elected. Then God help us!

6 09 2008
MJC

Muckracker,

I particularly like the GREEN background you used in your video.
Someone else we know really likes the green screen too.
By the way, is that you in the video?

MJC, No, the excellent video is from the folks at TPM Muckraker. Even though the ‘last name’ is the same, we’re not related.
AKMuckraker

6 09 2008
GJ in Idaho

It’s so nice to see the lower 48 mnm taking a crash coarse in AK history and politics…I do feel for you Mudflaters having to share your park benches, bar stolls, and beautiful back drops with those fuzzy microphone poked into your faces….must be a kick getting to see your good bad and ugly on TV these days

Hope you are charging big time for the moose burgers and beers. Put a jar on the counter to collect money for the clean up when they all leave… some small towns have been left $$$$$$in debt after the news crews leave town

6 09 2008
GJ in Idaho

Oh, btw…stock in shredding machines has just gone up, check to see if there are any left at the Wal-mart will you?

6 09 2008
CRFlats

Merle, I am unfamiliar with a Palin conviction re: driftnets. I was under the impression her husband & family operated a set net site in Bristol Bay. A set net site, like all of Alaska’s fisheries, is heavily regulated. If you do not properly secure your net with anchors, you are then using the set-net like a drift net, which is a different license and regulated differently. It is illegal to use a drift net like a set net and vice-a-versa. In my community, we practically self-police our fisheries, and do not put up with illegal behaviors. Our resource is too precious. Bristol Bay is more of a Wild West atmosphere, and their season is only about 3 weeks.

6 09 2008
femalady

Question: In reading the article about the firing of the Librarian and the Police Chief, it sounds as if the reason was because they backed her opponent in the election. Where did the story come from (and the source) that she tried to fire the Librarian because she wouldn’t cooperate with censorship and fired the Police Chief because he intimidated her? Of course firing because a city employee backed the opponent is not necessarily good but not nearly as bad as censorship and implied intimidation ! Is this a story that grew legs? Thanks.

6 09 2008
Sue

OMG. I want to know who clapped after he threatened to bite back. Honestly, I can’t decide whether I’m really envious or really relieved that I’m not a journalist in Alaska right now.

There has to be at least one novel in all of this. All the King’s Minks?

6 09 2008
SD Surfchick

What I love about this blog: 1. no ads. 2. fact-based 3. well-written 4. a light touch (with humor) 5. concise. I had always thought blogs were bloated and self-absorbed. Not only do I read you for the politics, you’ve changed my view about the value of blogs. Lord, how we need a San Diego muckraker like you. I had thought WE were the corruption capital of America.

6 09 2008
bwilder

So is it the freezing temperatures or the months of darkness that
drive Alaskans to insanity? No offence MudFlats!

6 09 2008
All I Saw

Big myth about our cold weather.

I liken the weather in the Anchorage/Wasilla area to that of Chicago in winter. It certainly gets really cold here, but not for very long… usually. Not unusual for us to experience 40-50F temperatures in mid-winter either – we call it the “Chinook Winds” that ride in on the warmer waters of the South Pacific.

There’s a reason most of the population lives in Southcentral Alaska – the weather is much milder than most of the other state.

Our summers are much cooler (which I prefer), except of course when we have wildfires.

6 09 2008
All I Saw

bwilder

I can’t speak to the differences in daylight because I was born and raised here and I find it really odd to have black night by 8pm in the middle of summer.

One just gets used to it – sleep when yer tired, fish until midnight.

6 09 2008
JD

I have just send this e mail out to all of my friends on my mailing list and please feel free to copy this letter, if you find it useful, and sent it to your friends on your list. The more who knows, the better we are.

Dear Friends:

So like had nothing else to do (I do) I took part of my Saturday off to do a little research of my own, based on John McCain´s acceptance speech Thursday night, September 4, 2008.

I am known among friends to be a bit rebellious and also question authorities, especially when they blow air up my…you know what…and I am sure my lovely girlfriend would say now, as she reads this “don’t you have something better to do” and I do babe. I will get on that “honey-do-list” when I am done here.

This year is a very important election year, after 8 years under the Bush administration, its time for a change and educating our self, with a library as big as the internet offers today, versus 8 years ago. It’s clear that we can make our own opinion today on rights and wrongs, and not take the political speeches raw, but do a little home-cooking our self.

So I have tried to keep this brief and listed my sources of information, all reliable and non partisan groups, so you can look up and do a little after reading and make a wise choice on November 4th.

OH and PLEASE do forward to friends that need some deeper education in this difficult process😀

John McCain: I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them.

Fact: According to the non patrician and non profit organization, Tax Policy Center Obama will decrease the tax burden on families with an income of $250,000 or less:

“The Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers (see Figure 2). By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increase—a 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income.”

“McCain would lift after-tax incomes an average of about 3 percent, or $1,400 annually, for middle-income taxpayers by 2012. But, in sharp contrast to Obama, he would cut taxes for those in the top 1% by more than $125,000, raising their after-tax income an average 9.5 percent.”

Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411750_updated_candidates_summary.pdf

John McCain: My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat…

Fact: Obama’s plan would require businesses to contribute to the cost of insurance for employees or pay some unspecified amount into a new public plan. But his proposal specifically says, “Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.” And it offers additional help to small businesses that want to provide health care in the form of a refundable tax credit of up to half the cost of premiums. We’ll note that neither man has defined what exactly a “small business” is.

Source: http://www.factcheck.org

“We now face an opportunity — and an obligation — to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday’s health care debates… My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness.”
— Barack Obama, Speech in Iowa City, IA, May 29, 2007

Source:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

John McCain: We all know that keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second-highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from going overseas.

Fact: Though John McCain has not defined small business, his tax plan does call for a cut in corporate tax from 35% to 25%. According to Center for American Progress Action Fund, such tax cut would generate alone $3.8 billion tax cuts for the five largest American oil companies.

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/pdf/oil_tax.pdf

John McCain: We’ll — we’ll — my friends, we’ll build more nuclear power plants. We’ll develop clean-coal technology. We’ll increase the use of wind, tide, solar, and natural gas. We’ll encourage the development and use of flex-fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

Fact: Though John McCain does have plans for alternative energy, wind, tide and solar energy is not one of them. In a town hall meeting on July 18, 2008 in Warren, MI he told supporters that he doesn’t think that renewable energy is likely to be “as much of the solution as some people think” And “we can not reply on it.”

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OJnZ1iDEfo

John McCain: I have fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know their names.

Fact: Though John McCain has fought wasteful spending in Washington D.C. it is kind of ironic statement that he gave during his acceptance speech. While Sarah Palin was mayor of the town of Wasilla, AK she hired a group of Washington D.C. lobbyist to lobby for money for her town and received a total of $26.9 million in Federal funds.

Since becoming the Governor of Alaska, she has this year alone submitted a budget for Federal money in the amount of $197 million dollars, including $25 million for studying the Alaskan salmon and $2 million to studying the Bering Sea Crab.

Oh, and lets us not forget the famous “Bridge to no where” that she first supported, then declined, but still took the money for other projects in Alaska.

Yup, McCain sure made her famous.

Source: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/budget/
http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-earmarks3-2008sep03,0,6145252.story

Friends, I hope you see my point in this “small” email, but without education, we can not make an educated choice

May I finish up here with a famous quotation by a man who will be known in US history forever, not for the best, but for where we are today:

“They had their chance. They have not led. We will. And now they come asking for another chance, another shot.”

“Our answer?”

“Not this time.”

“Not this year.”

“This is not a time for third chances it is a time for new beginnings.”

Gov. George W. Bush Acceptance Speech at First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA, August 3, 2000

Hmmmm…..was he thinking about 2008?

6 09 2008
Merle

Thanks for the set net – drift net info, CRFlats, that’s how I figured it – I’m more familiar with the scene a bit further south on the Canadian side, but the terminology is the same I guess, and there’s similar close local self-policing, especially anywhere near First Nations reserves. Bristol Bay includes several different local indigenous-only fisheries located around the bay, so I can only imagine that any sort of citation issued there documents precise location as well as dates, time of day, etc.

Palin was charged with a felony in 1993 in connection with operating a drift net without a permit, and also for fishing without a photo ID.
She plead down to criminal negligence on the illegal drift net charge.
http://orca.courts.state.ak.us/names/search_results.asp?txtLastName=palin&txtFirstName=&selLocation=ANY&txtYear=&txtRecordsPerPage=30&Submit=Search

6 09 2008
GJ in Idaho

This place is just to additictive….I just remembered I have tomatoes, cukes, blackberries (the kind that hang on vines), to pick, a lawn to mow and such, but I can’t tear myself away from this blog…

If it was the 60’s I’d ask for some of da stuff they must be giving that poor Palin baby to keep it so calm and cool doing all her appearances. Why is she still dragging all those kids before the public? McLiar has sent his all away, cept for the other blonde moma….did you notice the other night that she introduced all 5-7 or her off spring. I suppose now it’s going to be popular to pro-create your way to an election.

6 09 2008
Jen in Japan

I’m one of those absentee Alaska voters, a military spouse living in Tokyo. (One poster said it was hard being a liberal in Fairbanks–it’s probably as difficult as being a political progressive in the military!) It’s been a relief being outside the country during the buildup for the election. No stupid ads, no inane “political” conversations. I was able to look at things with a cool detachment until McCain tapped Palin for her novelty value. Voting absentee has never seemed more important than it does right now. Thank you, AKM, for your research and insight. I run down the stairs every morning to see what you’ve posted while I was sleeping. Keep up your good work. You must be exhausted.

6 09 2008
Gryphen

Damn Mudflats you are making me embarrassed for my state.

Don Young is one of the biggest assholes in the country and he has been our Congressman since 1973, And Ted Stevens has been our Senator since 1970, so we have no idea what it is like to have an honest representative in Washington.

The only positive thing I can say about these jerks is that they are colorful and certainly not boring.

But hey Mudflats since your blog are getting all of this attention right now do a neighbor a solid, and in the not too distant future perhaps feature a little post about Mark Begich or Ethan Berkowitz, maybe even a little Diane Benson, just to let the rest of the world know that we have some good guys, and gals, up here as well.

And if there is any justice in the world maybe in the very near future when somebody asks us about the politicians that represent us we can hold our heads up with pride and hold forth about their honest and integrity.

Gryphen – We’re on the same page. We’ve been a little heavy on the ‘black hats’ but the ‘white hats’ deserve some mention too.

6 09 2008
Gryphen

Sorry muckraker I used the name of your blog as your name, I actually do know better then that.

6 09 2008
tspey

Love the pic of the Don interviewing in front of a portrait of the Don. Priceless.

I remember when Veco’s Allen moved the pork roast to his crib. Let’s just say I had a bird’s eye view. The Don was just one of the many republican politicos who were guests of honor at these functions. Stevens, Murkowski, Leman and a myriad of state legislators whom Allen won ‘favor’ with. The Don and Uncle Ted are the Kings of Alaska politics and guess who is the bitter, jealous, win at all costs queen?

http://tspey.wordpress.com/

6 09 2008
Gina

AKM

Thank you for all of your work. I hope you are managing to sleep, eat, etc.
And thank you all for your insightful posts. I found this blog soon after the
SP revelation, and have been pretty hooked since. Negative side effects – I’m behind in housework, schoolwork, work work. Positive side effects – I have a new commitment to finish my degree, be actively involved (donating, emails, conversations in my daughter’s dance studio’s waiting room, etc), and include my children in discussions of political matters.

I’d also LOVE to visit Alaska!

‘Sleep’? ‘Eat’? I’m sorry…I’m not familiar with those terms. =)
Thanks for caring,
AKM

6 09 2008
Smitty

From DailyKos

Once again, forks to a gunfight. The McCain campaign is dispatching lawyers and operatives to Alaska, preparing to meet this issue and fight it head-on as if it were Florida 2000 all over again. Democrats, it seems, are pinning their hopes to state legislators and regular order.

Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin’s firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called “October surprise” that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.

In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska’s bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called “troopergate” investigation.

6 09 2008
Darcy

Your state political life is fascinating, and I speak a someone from Upstate New York (wow, Elliott Spitzer’s hooker thing seems so long ago ). We also had a “Troopergate” with Spitzer, only that involved him allegedly using state troopers to spy on a political adversary in the state legislature. I don’t think they ever figured that one out. It got punted by the sex scandal.
Anyway, I just wanted to say I love this place, and please keep doing what you’re doing. I love to learn new things about Alaska, and I by no means think people there are venial, untrustworthy, and corrupt. It’s just fun hearing about it when they are😛

6 09 2008
Kwachie

So here’s my question. I’ve been reading blogs and news feeds and watching videos until my eyes are bleeding and my head is swimming, and clearly the McCain/Palin ticket is a Ticket to Nowhere for America … but my question is, is America going to go ahead and buy it anyway? Why are McCain’s poll numbers still climbing?

I waver between being absolutely convinced that THIS time the voters will not go to the polls with nothing but smear campaign ads in their heads and, conversely, convinced that we have obviously not hit absolute rock-bottom in this country and that, until we do, we’re destined to keep repeating the same screwed up history.

Does anyone know what the process is for ex-patriating to Canada?

Kwach

6 09 2008
little debbie

the political news here is great! what i really enjoy, and why i will keep coming back after the election, is all the details included about living in alaska, the people and culture in general–keep it up! i am afraid they wouldnt like me there..so darn dem and liberal and all.. 😉 vote obama!!

6 09 2008
TSPEY

Lil’ Debbie,

Alaska IS a great place to live regardless of party affiliations. As a dem myself one has to be very calm, cool and collected. It also helps to be on your toes, especially when venturing away from somewhat dem-friendly Anchorage.

Last week, I found myself discussing what I thought of Palin at the Alaska State Fair in Palin country (a.k.a. the Valley). With every freshly printed and purchased ‘McCain/Palin’ or ‘Our Mama Beats you Obama’ shirt that walked by I kept blurting out what I thought about Palin. Luckily the evil eye glances my way did not result in any bodily harm.

Let’s just say as an Alaskan fly fisherman, Palin is no friend. Votobama!🙂

6 09 2008
JC

Mudflats is a terrific blog, enjoy your writing and your commenters seem quite civilized –

Okay, lets get the important things out of the way first: Great media metaphor. Ravens like fries for the same reasons we do – high carb, high fat, tastes good. Ravens love carbs and fat, helps them be sleek and healthy in the cold winter.

Winter here is not nearly as cold as Chicago. Chicago is damp, windy, gets in your bones and won’t go away cold. Alaska is dry, if you dress for it you’ll live, if you don’t you’ll die cold that is easier to deal with; as long as you dress well and eat your fries, you’ll be fine.

Now onto politics: “Palin’s new private attorney” is actually representing the Governor and the Governor’s office. He is not being paid the going rate, according to the Anchorage Daily News, (he is taking less) but he is being paid by the State of Alaska. He is not Sarah Palin’s private attorney. He is a private attorney representing Governor Sarah Palin and the staff in her office.

Mike Wooten is still employed by the Alaska State Troopers the last time I looked at the employee listing on the state’s web page.
He was not axed by anyone.

Help! This post is cursed! Thanks, and fixed.
I promise I will never post before I have coffee. I promise I will never post before I have coffee. I promise I will never…
AKMuckraker

6 09 2008
Wyogal

Ky,
It’s not that ravens love french fries, they just love free food, from dumpsters, road kill, landfills, unattended picnic tables, etc.

6 09 2008
JC

The post is fine, this stuffs been coming so hard and fast its impossible to keep track of everything – the blogs are so important covering what the MSN won’t look at or say.

Keep up the good writing!

7 09 2008
Bea Scott

Thanks for sharing! Finally, something other than Palin!

7 09 2008
spalavra

Something new about Alaska! It’s good to read about something else. This Palin character is just one of those topics that makes you want to cringe. But good to see Alaska is full of self-absorbed politicians. That explains Palin a little better why she thinks she can run a country with as much as she knows.

7 09 2008
Miemaw from Texas

AKMuckraker,
One of the best posts ever. Good insight into Alaska politics, and I suspect politics in general. Maybe with an exception or two.

I don’t see many Congress Critters who would do a sit down with local reporters, and be so confrontational. Bad press – not good for a candidate.

And, I don’t see many reporters in the lower 48 who would risk the confrontation, by asking the tough questions, and the even tougher follow-ups. Denied access – not good for reporters.

Palin, as Mayor of Wasilla — got around all that with a “gag order” to city employees, if I recall.

Now, like the “ethics complaint” she filed against herself — to benefit herself, she has imposed upon herself a “gag order.”

Interesting politial concept. Almost as interesting as the mink bite thing.

My speculation is this…. since she turned on her party when she was on the oil and gas commission board, and ratted out one of her own… she would have no qualms about doing it again….. and, if this V.P. thing doesn’t work out….. she’s looking at the U.S. Congress. House or Senate. Take your pick.

(Just an old woman’s instinct.)

Especially after reading your column, and seeing Josh Michael’s video primer on politics up north.

7 09 2008
madmatriarch

Ravens love Big Macs found in the back of pickups, fish entrails (sp?) in garbage cans, anything people drop when leaving a grocery store. They are the delight of my life up here. You need to come in the winter when they are in town to appreciate them. As for Mudflats, you are the greatest thing after Ravens! How refreshing to have a fun writer talk about this crazy place.

8 09 2008
DEwind: The Week That Was September 1st – nemski.com

[…] Mudflats describes Don Young as: He is a cocky, loud mouthed, angst-ridden, bloviating, jaw-dropping bully. He looooves pork, and people that love pork, love him. He’s a porketarian of the highest order. His annual fundraiser is even a pig roast and he’s proud of it. The grill at the event is usually a $30,000 barbeque donated for the event by Veco corp, the now defunct oil services company whose president and vp have plead guilty to felony counts of bribery and agreed to dish the dirt on what feels like half the Republican politicians in Alaska…and one Democrat just for the heck of it. Many are either on their way, or already in prison. […]

9 09 2008
Rhett O'Rical

i i am psyched about the idea of “arnie” getting recalled. he thought he was part of the “bush plan.” and could one day amend the constitution so he could be prez? hah! arnie is like reagan, never met anybody who voted for him.

my favorite streets episode:




%d bloggers like this: