Friday In The Sun (Nov 13)

People In The Sun
Odd Mix -.- The Mayor’s office has added George “Rithm” Martinez to their cadre of special assistants. Officially Mr. Martinez’s portfolio includes: youth development, diversity, and economic development. Not three subjects that intuitively go together. Mr. Martinez has an interesting background that includes stints as an adjunct professor at PACE University, Hip-Hop Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and time in the New York State Attorney General’s office.

Out Front -.- Speaking of the Mayor’s office, they have a new front desk staffer in Katie Dougherty. Doughetry replaces Laura Herman who left to be the Director of Development at the Alaskan Aids Assistance Association (Commonly referred to as Four As).

Mixed Masters -.- As TMS covered earlier in the week, former KTUU news man John Tracy and his Brilliant Media Strategies (formerly Bradley Reid) ad agency is now officially working for both Senator Lisa Murkowski’s campaign and KTVA Channel 11. The real story here maybe isn’t news and campaign working together, it’s when did ad agencies decide they could just call themselves “brilliant”? I guess it’s better than naming your agency after a fish releasing eggs, right Spawn?

Midnight Sun on the Air!!!!  
Master of Morning Radio Rick Rydell (AM 650 KENI) has asked us to come on every week and share Friday in the Sun with his audience. So listen for our inside scoop every Friday morning at 7:35.

Fun In the Sun
Does Anyone Want It -.- I would have mentioned Lisa Murkowski’s replacement for Matt Felling as her D.C. based communications staff, but word is she is having quite the time finding someone to take the gig. To Murkowski’s credit she doesn’t want to take the easy road and just hire a D.C. flack for the job, she prefers someone with Alaska bona fides. Apparently the mix of having to move to D.C. and pay that is less than awesome given the high cost of living in the District is making it hard to get an Alaskan to bite.

Apparent Unanimity -.- It was a rough special session for Attorney General Craig Richards, who somehow managed to tick off both Republican and Democrat legislators on multiple committees. TMS is now hearing grumbling from both current and former staff in the Department of Law that he isn’t well regarded there either. We keep hearing everything from “unpleasant” to “incompetent” being thrown around by department vets. Well, at least the Governor still seems to like him.

Trolling the RDC -.- Next week the Resource Development Council will be holding their annual conference at the Dena’ina Center. In fact, today is the last day to register. It isn’t unusual for these fine pro-development folks to finish a convention day by wandering across the street to former mayor and pro-development cheerleader Dan Sullivan’s pub McGinley’s for an adult beverage or two. Those conference attendees may be in for a surprise. It turns out candidate for state senate, and man-about-town, Jeff Landfield was able to outfox several candidates for a reservation to hold a fundraiser there that night. In fact, in true Landfield fashion, he’s made a short promo: https://www.facebook.com/jeff.landfield.for.state.senate/?fref=ts. Good luck, RDCers.

Top Cover On The Way -.- The private sector is getting in the game on the state’s fiscal problem. Most notably telecoms company GCI’s head honcho Ron Duncan and Lobbyist Ashley Reed are making the rounds to raise at least $1 million (although TMS has heard they want to raise as much as $8 million) to support some version of using the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve for state spending and go after legislators who try to demagogue with “raiding the PFD” rhetoric. We hear they have gone as far as hiring Black Rock Group’s Mike Dubke to help push the idea. Don’t be surprised when organized labor and the resource industry jump on board as well creating a coalition many legislators will have a hard time saying no to.

Events In The Sun
Who Was And Who Wasn’t -.- The big political event of the week was clearly the “An Evening With Friends” (political code for campaign kick-off) that Senator Lisa Murkowski threw at Williwaw. KTVA had wall-to-wall coverage of the event which included speakers Rosie Fletcher and John Tracy and attendees Gail Phillips, Jennifer Johnston, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, Alice Rogoff, Joe Riggs, Ira! Perman, Jeff Landfield, and a ton of others. What wasn’t reported, and what is arguably more notable is who wasn’t there. Besides KTUU ignoring the event entirely, it’s also important to note that no right-wing conservatives showed up. There was no Amy Demboski, Bill Starr, Mayor Dan Sullivan, Adam Trombley, and none of the Republican Party Chairmen Pete Goldberg or Randy Ruedrich. In fact you could argue there were more people there that have voted for former Sen. Mark Begich in their life than have ever cast a ballot for Joe Miller.

Fly Into The Sun
If you have morsels you’d like shared in this column please email me at mnsunak@gmail.com.  If it is interesting and true-ish, I’ll put it out there.

Events In The Sun

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About the Author

Casey Reynolds
Reynolds served as communications director for the Alaska Republican Party from 2008-2011. He left the Party in 2011 to host his own popular morning radio political talk show on AM750 / FM103.7 KFQD. Reynolds now runs The Midnight Sun (midnightsunak.com), crowned by the Anchorage Press as “Alaska’s best political blog.”