Hosts Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar are both back after a short summer break and boy do they have a lot to cover. There is, of course, the failure of the Trumpcare and its impact on how Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s is viewed by Americans and her own constituents here in Alaska. We also delve into the Legislature’s many, many special sessions, how the Governor and Lt. Governor primaries are already shaping up, and the unfortunate events in Chancellorsville, Virginia over the weekend. And don’t worry, Anthony Scaramucci (The MOOOOCH!) even gets some time on this week’s podcast.
With Casey Reynolds out this week and Congress and the Alaska State Legislature mired in equally sluggish progress on their agendas, Forrest Dunbar is joined by guest host Judy Jessen to discuss the BCRA, oil industry tax policy in HB 111, and they even delve into Trump’s deepening scandal involving his campaign’s (and family’s) collusion with Russia. Then pollster Ivan Moore stops by to unveil results of his latest polling on Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Don Young, Bill Walker, and, in a surprise, tells us who Alaskans would vote for in a head-to-head match-up between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
It has been an odd week in Alaska politics. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg came to the Last Frontier, learned our savage ways, and decided to educate the world about them (only to get a few details wrong). Then, with our endless legislative special session now set to focus on oil industry tax policy (HB 111), the Republican State Senate Majority, including Sen. Pete Kelly and Sen. Cathy Giessel, seemingly held a press conference to rail against cushy cash subsidies state government gives to oil companies. Wait, it was Republicans complaining about what a sweet, sweet deal the resource industry gets in Alaska? Democrats in the House Majority responded by holding a press conference of their own to point out some fine print in the GOP theater that makes the Senate plan much more oil friendly than they let on. Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar sort through all of those political shenanigans, talk some healthcare and weed policy, and even bring in Alaska Tax Division Director Ken Alper to explain the fine points of oil tax policy at play in the HB 111 fight.
The Senate’s health care bill continues to put Alaska’s Senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski, in the national spotlight as one the bill’s must-have votes. Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the politics of the situation and then we invite in Becky Hultberg from the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association to tell us how the policies in the bill will affect Alaskans. We also delve into the state legislature’s remaining work to be done on oil and gas tax credits and recent polling being done in Anchorage that may illuminate April’s mayoral election.
With the Senate’s new health care bill and the Legislature’s budget deal dominating Alaskan politics, that is right where Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar dive in. First, we talk with Rep. Ivy Spohnholz about how the state operating budget deal came together and what made it in. Then Disability Law Center of Alaska Legal Director Mark Regan joins us for a detailed discussion what the new health care bill looks like and whether Alaska’s Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski will be able to find enough to like for it to get her vote.