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.
As the state financial crisis brings Alaska within two weeks of a state government shutdown, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar get a blow-by-blow account of the legislature’s budget battle from the Alaska Dispatch News’ on-the-ground reporter, Nat Herz. Before getting to Nat, Casey and Forrest talk about the shooting at in Washington D.C, the resurrection of the AHCA in the U.S. Senate, and the Alaska GOP’s stunning failure to eject any of the three Homer city council members they were targeting for recall this week.
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.
On our May 28 episode of Alaska’s most listened-to political podcast, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss Trump’s new budget and more White House scandals, Sen. Dan Sullivan’s town hall, and the legislature’s voting down Drew Phoenix’s nomination to the Human Rights Commission because he’s transgender. Casey and Forrest also talk with Rep. Jason Grenn about his first legislative session and Matt Buxton about taking over the helm of The Midnight Sun.
On our May 14 episode of Alaska’s most listened-to political podcast, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the hot political issues of the day– James Comey’s dismissal, the state budget, the legislative session as it careens towards overtime, the Real ID bill, and the censure of Rep. David Eastman. Casey and Forrest are also joined by a surprise guest this week. Former legislative staffer and UAA student Genevieve Mina tells us about her experience as a young person in Juneau during the legislative session. We greatly appreciate Genevieve being available on short notice, after an extended House floor session on Saturday prevented our previously-scheduled guest from making it on the program.