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.
In June, we looked at how Democrats could wrest power from Republicans in the State Senate, or at least create a bipartisan coalition.
The short version of that story is that, yes, there is a potential path for Democrats to have a role in senate leadership. It requires them winning at least two seats currently held by Republicans and getting at least three more to jump ship and organize with them, letâ€™s not pretend it is the most likely of scenarios. But it is plausible.
Candidates for state office had until midnight last night to file their last major financial disclosure (7 Day Reports) with the Alaska Public Offices Commission before the election on Tuesday. These reports detail all donations made to campaigns during a three-week span between the end of the 30 Day Report period on October 8 and the 7 Day Report period ending on October 29.
If you ask anyone involved in campaigns which races they think are in play, you are only going to get a version of the truth…
A fair warning, we are about to examine some really, really early absentee ballot return numbers in Alaska. Political analysts on both sides of the aisle have warned us about taking too much from them and so we pass that caution on to you. However, if you are like us, you just need to know what those numbers say anyway, right?