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.
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.
The long-rumored matchup became a reality today when Kawasaki officially filed to run against Kelly.
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.
Juneau’s newest marijuana grower and dispensary opens up Saturday in a building that should be all too familiar to watchers of the 2010 elections.