Speculating on rumors and gossip surrounding Alaska politics is a time-honored tradition. It’s time for our weekly trip through the grand, gross, weird, wild and wonderful world of Alaska politics. (Also if you feel like you have something good, you can always shoot me a tip via email at matt at midnightsunak dot com.)
The Alaska Dispatch News has been served with what amounts to an eviction notice for its presses located at the GCI-owned former Anchorage Daily News building. The forcible entry and detainer filing in Anchorage Superior Court seeks to remove the ADN from the building and another $1 million in compensatory damages. This broke as we were compiling this Friday in the Sun so more will follow shortly.
Walker heads to Philly
Gov. Bill Walker is indeed attending a meeting of independents in Philadelphia this weekend. The Centrist Project is hosting a bunch of independent candidates for senate and gubernatorial races this weekend. The meeting intends to collaborate on strategy and potentially pool resources where available.
Walker’s become a star for the independent movement after his 2014 win (which was made possible with an alliance with Democrats). It was unclear if Walker was going to attend the meeting, though, and his office stayed mum on the issue because of its political nature.
But a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer says Walker is there, along with potential Kansas gubernatorial candidate Greg Orman, Maine senatorial candidate Terry Hates and potential Utah senatorial candidate Evan McMullin, who ran for president in 2016
Better late than never
The House Majority on Thursday congratulated Steve Wackowski on his appointment as the senior adviser on Alaska affairs to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke. The only thing is Wackowski was appointed to the position in May.
Wilson lends a hand
The latest effort to set back the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s efforts to clean up its worst-in-the-nation wintertime air pollution failed to get on the ballot. That’s despite a little help from Rep. Tammie Wilson’s office.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported on the failure an initiative—which would roll back existing borough pollution laws—to collect enough signatures for the 2017 ballot. The printed version of the story noted that Wilson had been collecting signatures at her official office, which, you know, would be a violation of legislative ethics.
According to ethics advisory opinions AS 02-01 and AO 97-02 provided to The Midnight Sun: “[I]n this regard, it is not appropriate to offer an initiative petition for signature in legislative office space.”
The online version, however, has since been updated to remove that reference and an editor’s note says it’s been updated to “reflect where petition signatures are being gathered.” So the updated story is she helped, just not with her official office.
Wilson’s personally backed a handful of the initiatives that sought to bar the borough from regulating air quality.
Still, it wouldn’t have been entirely surprising. During her 2009 mayoral run, she came under scrutiny from the News-Miner for the use of her office. A group supporting Wilson during that election also came in the sights of APOC for not registering to support her.
A high-polling wedding
Lobbyist Denali Daniels and pollster Ivan Moore are set to tie the knot on Sept. 2. They’re asking for nonprofit donations in lieu of presents and the after party is set to be hosted by Anchorage businessman Robert Gottstein.
Still a three-way race
Sen. Pete Kelly held his first fundraiser and campaign event in Fairbanks this week. He’ll be facing Rep. Scott Kawasaki next year in what’s shaping up to be one of the most contentious races, but it’s still on track to become a three-way race.
PJ Simon still plans on running despite efforts from others, including Kawasaki, to dissuade him from making this a three-way race. Simon, who’s on the Tanana Chiefs Conference’s board of directors and the board of Doyon Limited, has long eyed the Alaska Legislature.