Bedtime in Alaska – Open Thread. Brian!

3 10 2008

When I was a child, I used to love seagulls. My sister once introduced me to a very special seagull named Oscar.  Oscar was a very ordinary herring gull, but for some reason Oscar took a liking to me.  He would show up everywhere I went, sometimes travelling hundreds of miles just to see me.  He was my little squawking shadow. You might think that he would get lost in a crows of dozens of birds that looked virtually identical, but my sister always seemed to be able to spot him and would reassure me, “Of course that’s Oscar!”  She was older and wiser and I never questioned this. 

In that spirit, I present today’s picture of Brian.  (It’s probably actually Brian’s younger brother, or cousin, but Brian is really more of a grand idea than any one particular animal, right?)   Anyway, the picture was shot out the window and isn’t very good, but Brian was in a hurry today, and didn’t stay to pose for pictures.

In other business:  Countdown to Truth! 6 Days Until the Release of the Branchflower Report!

We had a little surprise today with the Supreme Court deciding to hear the appeal on quashing the Legislature’s investigation into the Troopergate scandal.  I’m going to assume that our competent Supreme Court will come to the right decision on Wednesday when they hear arguments.  So we march on and urge the members of the Legislative Council to release the report.

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Top 10 Reasons to Release the Report (courtesy of Gryphen at The Immoral Minority)

Tonight #7: This investigation has cost Alaskans $100,000. The last time Alaskans spent that kind of money with nothing to show for it, was on exotic dancers and cocaine back in the oil drenched 1980s.

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(I wasn’t here then, so don’t look at me!  AKM)

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Another Record Breaker?

3 10 2008

I did see a few flakes today, but hopefully the snow will hold off and the sun will shine!  Join all those Obama “operatives” as the McCain campaign likes to call them, at the Park Strip at 1:00!  Unless, of course, you’d rather join the Palin Victory rally in the gymnasium of the Anchorage Christian School….same day, same time.  Decisions, decisions…





There They Go Again! Emergency Motion Filed With Supreme Court to Stop Troopergate Investigation. Updated*

3 10 2008

Boy the McCain-Palin campaign REALLY doesn’t want anyone to know the results of the Branchflower report. This report, due out next Friday contains the results of the ethics probe known as “Troopergate.” An emergency appeal was filed with the Alaska Supreme Court, after Judge Michalski ruled Thursday that the investigation should move forward,

They’re asking the state’s high court to decide by the close of business today whether it will hear their appeal.

The action comes the day after Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski threw out their lawsuit attempting to halt the Legislature’s investigation of what’s known as Troopergate. The suit was filed on behalf of a group of Republican state legislators who oppose the investigation.

Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute and Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson, representing the group of anti-investigation legislators, want the state Supreme Court to decide their appeal by Thursday.

That’s because Steve Branchflower, the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, is set to finish his report by next Friday. Branchflower is looking into Palin’s dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, and whether she improperly pressured him to fire a state trooper divorced from her sister.

“The plaintiffs and Alaskans will suffer irreparable harm if the investigation at issue continues and if the resulting investigative report issues as planned on Oct. 10, 2008,” the lawyers for the anti-investigation state legislators said in their emergency appeal.

The lawyers argued that allowing the investigation to proceed would threaten the right under the Alaska Constitution to a “fair and just” investigation by the Legislature. They also argued the Legislative Council overstepped its authority in investigating.

The state legislators whose names appear on the appeal are Wes Keller, Mike Kelly, Fred Dyson, Tom Wagoner, Carl Gatto and Bob Lynn.

Judge Michalski, in dismissing their lawsuit Thursday, ruled the conduct of the Legislature’s investigation did not violate the right to fairness.

He found much of the argument against the investigation is not for the courts to decide but is rather “business to be left to the legislative branch.”

The judge Thursday also threw out the argument of Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee attempting to quash subpoenas ordering state officials to testify in the investigation.

The attorney general’s office has not joined the appeal to the state Supreme Court. Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Colberg would not be saying what his next move would be until he has a chance to discuss it with the subpoenaed state officials.

And who are these lawyers warning us of the “irreparable harm” that the state of Alaska will suffer?

Liberty Legal Institute is a far right-wing legal firm based in Texas.

The institute has taken on a variety of cases in defense of conservative Christian positions. Anchorage attorney Kevin G. Clarkson said he and the Texas group were donating their work on the suit. “We just want to take the politics out of it and bring fairness back into it.”

Clarkson said he and Liberty Legal Institute were donating their work on the suit. “There is no nonpartisan reason to complete this investigation until after the election,” he said. “We just want to take the politics out of it and bring fairness back into it.”

(eye roll)

This is all moving quickly. We’ll find out soon if the court has made a decision today.

UPDATE: 

Yes.  The Supreme Court of the State of Alaska will hear the emergency appeal.

In a written order issued about 4:30 p.m. today, the Supreme Court said it would hear oral arguments on the appeal at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and agreed to rule by the end of the next Thursday.

The urgency on timing is because Steve Branchflower, the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, is set to release his report next Friday.

OK, break out that big red Sharpie you save for circling important dates in Alaska politics on your calendar.  Wednesday at 3:00.  The game continues…





Rep. Les Gara on KUDO!

3 10 2008

Mudflats contributor and one of the White Knights of the Troopergate investigation, Democratic Representative Les Gara of Anchorage is going to be a guest on KUDO radio shortly!

Les has been an outspoken advocate of getting the truth out there, and getting the McCain campaign and their lawyers out of our Alaskan Department of Law.

Kathy Phillips is filling in for CC.  The show runs from 3-6pm Alaska time. (1 hour earlier than PST)

To listen, click HERE!

The call-in number is 907-569-1080





Palin’s Tax Returns Released

3 10 2008

All across the nation, forensic accountants are polishing their reading glasses, dusting off their fine-toothed combs and plunging in to Sarah and Todd Palin’s newly released tax returns that became available on McCain’s webisite the day after the Vice Presidential debate.

To view the tax returns and the Public Financial disclosures, go HERE.





Alaska Republicans vs. Gandhi

3 10 2008

“First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you. Then you win.” So said, Mahatma Gandhi. How can it not make a person chuckle when the McCain-Palin crew makes you think of Gandhi?

There’s no doubt that the Alaska Republican Party is not amused by the massive anti-Palin rallies that have been taking place here in the great city of Anchorage. The “Hold Palin Accountable” rally, which drew a crowd of about 1800 was the largest in Alaska history. It broke the record set two weeks earlier by 1500 who assembled at the “Alaska Women Reject Palin” rally. What was the third biggest? No one even remembers.

And then there was the delivery of the petition to remove Attorney General Talis Colberg from office for telling state employees to ignore subpoenas, and furthering the stonewalling of the ethics investigation known as “Troopergate” which looks into Palin’s alleged abuse of power.

They ignored the first rally, but they couldn’t ignore the second one, or the petition, which garnered much more media attention.

The second rally was dismissed by McCain-Palin as being a “pro Obama rally and nothing more,” or so said Meg Stapleton. Stapleton, Palin’s mouthpiece, and member of the “Truth Squad” was the subject of several of the scathing signs present at last week’s rally. She is now reviled by many Alaskans for slandering respected public figures who have dared to speak truth to power regarding Palin’s ethics investigation.

So, (counting on fingers)…that’s ignoring, and then mocking….what’s next? Ah…now they fight you.

Well guess what landed in my inbox last night? A plea from the Alaska Republican party! Please enjoy the email in its entirety:

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Alaskans Call to Action

3 Ways to Show Your Support for Governor Palin!

Thank you for supporting the McCain-Palin ticket. Right now, we are calling upon all Alaskans to help in three simple ways.

  • 1. Sign our petition in support of Governor Palin. Barack Obama‘s operatives have attempted to smear and politically damage our Governor. Please print, sign and fax in the petition below to show your support. We need as many signatures as possible to put a stop to this politically motivated injustice.
  • 2. Join us for a McCain-Palin Victory 2008 vice presidential “debate watching” party at our Alaska Headquarters tonight, October 2nd, as Governor Palin and Senator Biden debate in St. Louis! The debate starts at 5:00 PM, so the party will start at 4:30 PM at our Anchorage Headquarters (307 East Northern Lights Blvd.). Don’t miss this important and historic opportunity to show your support for our Governor!
  • 3. Join us for a McCain-Palin Victory 2008 rally to “Support Governor Palin” this Saturday, October 4th! It will take place at the Anchorage Christian School Gymnasium (6401 E. Northern Lights Blvd, at the corner of Northern Lights and Baxter Rd) at 1:00 PM. All are encouraged to attend.

This is your call to action, and please forward it to friends. Please help us show Alaska’s support for Governor Palin to the nation and world. Thank you.

Petition in Support of Governor Palin:

Please print, sign, and fax to the Alaska Republican Party at (907)276-0425.

We the undersigned voters of Alaska, herby [sic] call for an immediate end to the Obama operative led inquiry in the Alaska Legislature, whose sole purpose has been to smear and politically damage Governor Sarah Palin. The Legislative Council’s Walt Monegan investigation has been hijacked by Obama supporters and as a result no longer has the support of its own committee. We urge our elected officials to stand up and put an immediate end to this political circus that is wasting countless taxpayer dollars and tarnishing the fair reputation of the great state of Alaska.

Print Name: ______________________

Signed:__________________________

No fax machine? You can also drop off your signed petition at one of the following places:

McCain-Palin/Victory 2008 Alaska Headquarters
307 East Northern Lights Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99503

Alaska Republican Party Headquarters
1001 West Fireweed Lane
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

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I just can’t stop smiling. I’m not sure how many people will show up at the Anchorage Christian School Gymnasium for the Pro-Palin rally, or why they have scheduled it at exactly the same time and day as the Alaska statewide Obama rally, which may break a record again. I also don’t know where these petitions are going to end up, or what they are actuallly asking for. But I am proud of them for providing the high-tech “fax it in” option for those who can’t drive to the Republican Party headquarters to submit them in person. Soon they will have mastered the spell check on their email, and it surely can’t be much longer after that before they master the free online petition.

And as for “tarnishing the reputation of the great state of Alaska”? I think Alaska politicians are doing a fine job of that without the help of “Obama operatives”. I wonder what conservative Republican Wasilla resident and State Senate President Lyda Green will think when she finds out she is an Obama operative? How about right wing radio pundit and columnist Dan Fagan? I wouldn’t want to be in THAT room!

OK….(fingers again)….that’s ignore, mock, fight… There’s only one left.





Open Thread – Countdown to Truth, 7 Days to Go!

3 10 2008

Thanks to all of you who are submitting daily emails to the Legislative Council urging them to release the results of the Branchflower Report as soon as it becomes available!  You guys are fantastic.  It is absolutely critical that these council members realize that the eyes of the nation are upon them, and that Americans have the right to know the results of this ethics investigation before they cast their vote in November.

That said, when Mudflatters got on task today they discovered three things.

  1. Senator Kim Elton is fully on board with releasing the report!  So, we can remove him from the list of emails to send.
  2. Senator Lyda Green is also going to vote to release the report!
  3. Gary Wilken, however, seems to think that this is none of your business if you live outside of Alaska.  Here are some of the responses to emails he received:

“I don’t care what happens in New Jersey. Do me a favor and let Alaskans take care of Alaska.”

“Hi Lisa in NC, Let Alaskans take care of Alaska.  Move here, then you can lobby me.  G. Wilken”

“Thanks and have a great New York day.  G. Wilken”

First, I assure you not all Alaskan Legislators are this rude.  Senator Wilken simply fails to realize that Governor Palin is much more than the Governor of Alaska. She is the Vice Presidential nominee of the Republican party, and when we vote for her, we are voting for a woman who could easily become the next President of the United States.  All of them.  Even New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.  So when you send your emails today, think about gently and politely reminding him of that fact!

That said, the Countdown to Truth continues!  Fellow blogger Gryphen over at The Immoral Minority has compiled a Top Ten list of reasons why the Legislative Council shoudl release the report (a la David Letterman).  You’ll get one a day as a big GOLD STAR for getting that homework done!

#10: Maybe once the report comes out people will stop naming their pitbulls “Sarah” and making them wear lipstick.  Because that is just all kinds of wrong.

 #9: It will give Meg Stapleton the opportunity to stop lying about Walt Monegan and Troopergate, and to start lying about why Sarah got her ass handed to her in tonight’s debate. 

 #8: If it doesn’t come out then, what will Alaska Progressive bloggers write about all weekend?

So now we’re down to 12 Legislators.  Thank you Kim Elton and Lyda Green for your commitment to release the report!  Will we be able to take anyone else off the list today?  Send those emails and post if you get responses.  This is something you can do that actually will make a difference! 

If you need a refresher about what to say, here’s the original Homework Assignment!  And thank you!

Today’s subject line should read:  7 Days

Links to the 12 remaining Legislative Council members are in the first comment under this post.

Go get ’em!