Tracy Out, Stieren In — According to public inspection files at local media outlets, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s reelection campaign has changed advertising agencies. The files show that up until the beginning of June the campaign had been using John Tracy’s group Brilliant Media Strategies. Now Murkowski’s ad buys are going through radio talk show host Dave Stieren’s firm PS Strategies.
Happy Birthday — To our site owner Jim Lottsfeldt… we have it on excellent authority he is 71. Wait, we’ll check our sources on that.
What’s It Worth — There is a lot of public opinion polling going on around the state as candidates and groups prepare their messaging for the fall elections. One we took notice of was a poll in the South Anchorage House District 22 race asking voters how they might view an endorsement of Jason Grenn by the Governor.
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.
Wait, What? — In early June the State Senate voted 14-5 to pass the Governor’s Permanent Fund overhaul bill. That move prompted a pretty harsh email response to several senators from Rev. Glenn Clary .
Clary, you’ll remember, has served for years as political consigliere to Anchorage Baptist Temple (ABT) and Dr. Jerry Prevo, and until recently Treasurer and Executive Committee member of the Alaska Republican Party. Here is his email: Clary is clearly frustrated by working tirelessly to get people elected and then watch them do in the capitol what they swore on the campaign trail they never would. (Joint the club)
In a conversation I had with him yesterday, Clary said he sent the email primarily to Sen. Cathy Giessel and a few other select Senators, though couldn’t recall who. Giessel voted in favor of SB128, is up for reelection, and just happens to represent the district where ABT is located, so she is ground zero for Clary’s frustration.
At first blush it is hard to envision ABT or Clary personally supporting Giessel’s challenger AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami, but when asked Clary indicated he was open to the idea, saying “What’s wrong with supporting Vince Beltrami?”
If you need to take a minute to gather yourself after reading that, go ahead, I know I did after hearing it. Don’t get too excited Beltrami backers.
Clary’s email was clearly written in a moment of frustration and his statements to me were more “I’m open to hearing him out” than “I’m ready to jump onboard.” None-the-less, Republicans can’t be happy to hear that in a key race one of their biggest backers is willing to jump ship or simply sit it out.
Making Moves — This week candidate for State Senate District L and overall man-about-politics Jeff Landfield secured the endorsement of the Anchorage Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO. It’s an interesting turn. Landfield ran as the right-wing alternative to Sen. Lesil McGuire four years ago. With this endorsement, he appears to be angling to be the moderate, can-work-with-everyone alternative to conservative opponents Rep. Craig Johnson and Natasha Von Imhof.
Also receiving a primary endorsement was Southeast Anchorage Republican Rep. Bob Lynn. He is running against former Assemblyman Chris Birch.
Bad Week — It was a bad week for Alaska Republican Party officials. They badly missed the mark after trying to scare party loyalists with spurious claims Gov. Bill Walker would appoint the state’s next Attorney General from among Democrat boogeymen Hollis French, Beth Kertulla, or Marcia Davis. Turns out the Governor wasn’t looking at any of them, choosing well-respected lawyer Jahna Lindemuth instead.
Then they pretty obviously just made up the idea that First Lady Donna Walker had something to do with Attorney General Craig Richards’ departure.
Finally, the same misguided folks claimed TMS tried to “campaign smear” by listing Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux among the attendees at Vince Beltrami’s campaign kick-off because, as they claim, we are a “union-fueled blog.”
Logic is a horrible thing for some, but we like to employ it here at TMS, so riddle us this Republican Party officials: if we are a union propaganda site, then why would we consider Rep. Ledoux’s attendance at the AFL-CIO President’s event a smear?
Who knows, maybe next week their party-backed blog will get something right.
Fly Into The Sun — If you have morsels you’d like shared in this column, please email us at email@example.com.
Reasons We Hate Matt Larkin — Jealousy, mostly. This week the owner of local polling firm Dittman Research spent much of his time at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and President Obama. Just to ensure our hatred for him reached its full potential, he sent a picture: Deadline — Last night was the deadline for 2nd quarter fundraising for federal candidates, so your email inbox is probably packed with last minute pleas for money. The report we’re hearing the most anticipation over is Steve Lindbeck’s.
Democrats are convinced he had a big quarter, perhaps somewhere in the range of $400K. That would be huge for two reasons. First, Lindbeck didn’t start raising money until May, so that total would represent only a two-month haul, rather than a full quarter. Second, it would be almost twice as much money as Democrat golden boy Forrest Dunbar raised in his entire campaign last cycle against Young ($237K).
We’ll be waiting to see if the hype matches the numbers.
Days until the Primary Election — 47
Days until the General Election — 131
49th State Fundraiser — Saturday night Sen. Lisa Murkowski held a fundraiser at the still-under-renovation downtown restaurant, The 49th State Brewery. (Beer was good, renovation is looking pretty sweet) The turnout wasn’t necessarily the millennial vibe it was billed as, but it was well attended. Notables included Mead Treadwell, Jack Ferguson, Jim Posey, Frank McQueary, Margie Johnson, Jennifer Johnston, Ted Snyder, Ben Mohr, Scott Kendall, Branch Haymans, Lindsey Holmes, Cheryl Frasca, Gail Phillips, Bonnie Jack, Sam Moore, and Cale Green.
Big Opening — Maybe the most impressive event of the week — and that is saying a lot in a week that had tons of events — was the Tuesday night campaign kick-off of East Anchorage Democrat Ivy Spohnholz. By the looks of it she had about 100 people show up including Jeff Logan, Rep. Harriet Drummond, Rep. Andy Josephson, Trevor Stores, Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar, Rep. Les Gara, Rep. Matt Claman, Joelle Hall, David Dunsmore, Chris Constant, Amy Coffman, Steve Haycox, Kay Brown, and John-Henry Heckendorn. Word is she raked in over $13K that day. That is not bad at all.
Also — Seen on the way into Spohnholz’ fundraiser was a house with this 4x8ish sign in the window. I don’t know exactly what it means, but it would seem they aren’t happy with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz about something. Here are just some events you can find on our Political Calendar —