Alaska campaigns are getting started early. This week hosts Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar dig into Gov. Walker’s first fundraiser, all the entrants into the GOP Lt. Gov. primary, and how that can impact the Anchorage mayoral race. Then our man in Fairbanks, Matt Buxton sits down with Rep. Scott Kawasaki about his run for state senate.
What is Alaska politics without a special session to talk about? This week hosts Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar dig into Gov. Walker’s announcement that he will call legislators back into yet another special session in late October. What will the call include and will legislators actually pass anything? Casey and Forrest will tell you. Then the discussion turns to campaign season as several state senate races appear to be shaping up and Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz officially filed his campaign finance paperwork this week, so we know he is running. Who will run against him and what are their chances? You have to listen to find out. We also talk with newly announced candidate for Lt. Governor, former Rep. Lynn Gattis about her campaign and whether she thinks legislators will get anything done in October.
This week it seemed like everyone wants to run for governor, or at least wanted us to believe that they do. Hosts Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar dig into all the gubernatorial race posturing as well as the fall out from the Alaska Supreme Court’s decision on Gov. Walker’s veto of PFD spending, the continued attacks on transgender folks at both the national and local level, and, of course, the Trump administration’s monumental Friday night news dump. Then we talk with former celebrity Alaska weatherman and current Alaska Marijuana Industry Association Executive Director Cary Carrigan about the state of the marijuana industry in Alaska. We may also get his expert take on Hurricane Harvey, and boy does he have a good one.
Wow, what a week in politics, both nationally and here at home. Hosts Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the political fallout from the financial quagmire of Alaska’s paper of record and share our thoughts on the Steve Bannon firing (or was it a resignation?) before getting to our comprehensive discussion of the events in Charlottesville with former local NAACP leader and current Anchorage Human Rights Commission President Wanda Green, Juneau lawyer and ACLU of Alaska board member Paul Grant, and Democrat candidate for Virginia’s 5th congressional district Roger Huffstetler.
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.
On our June 11 episode of Alaska’s most listened-to political podcast, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the continuing state budget standoff in Juneau with Midnight Sun Editor Matt Buxton and the continued success of anti-Trump candidates–as seen in the UK election. Then we talk with MSNBC contributor and former CIA Analyst/Spokesman Edward Price about former FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic testimony before Congress this week.
On our June 4 episode of Alaska’s most listened-to political podcast, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the continuing state budget standoff in Juneau and the launch of the decline to sign effort to combat Jim Minnery’s anti-transgender ballot prop in Anchorage. Casey and Forrest also talk with former Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to Alaska this week and America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords.