Wedding Bells — Congrats to Sen. Lesil McGuire’s former staffer Amy Saltzman and Rep. Steve Thompson’s budget staffer Joe Michel who will be tying the knot this week.
New To Admin — Speaking of Saltzman, TMS is hearing she pulled her name out of the running for the Department of Administration legislative liaison position. That leaves her former colleague in Sen. McGuire’s office, Genevieve Wojtusik as the frontrunner.
GCI PAC — GCI’s effort to raise and spend millions to influence legislators into supporting use of earnings from the Permanent Fund for state spending is staffing up. TMS hears they have brought on board former Shell spokeswoman in Alaska and KTUU reporter/anchor Megan Baldino as well as former Dan Sullivan for U.S. Senate campaign manager Ben Sparks to help craft and deliver their message.
Joshing — The Spenard area state house campaign of former Chilkoot Charlie’s owner Mike Gordon is gearing up. In a sign his campaign is for real and he knows what he’s doing, Gordon has brought on board longtime legislative staffer and campaign veteran Josh Applebee to manage his campaign.
Fly Into The Sun
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Gay-Pocalypse (Part 1) — The listener to the Bernadette Wilson’s radio show noted something odd, after listing herself as the prime sponsor for the effort to repeal the LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance recently passed by the Anchorage Assembly, the diminutive mouth hasn’t mentioned it on air. Such bouts of self restraint in an opportunity to draw attention to herself isn’t exactly what she’s known for, so TMS checked it out and sure enough, the station’s podcast log lists no reference to the repeal on the show. We contacted station management and they said it wasn’t them who told Wilson she couldn’t talk about it on air.
Gay-Pocalypse (Part 2) — Perusal of the repeal application shows something interesting. The application for referenda states the application must contain, among other things, the name, signature, and date of signature of a sponsor, alternate sponsor, and 10 qualified Muni voters. Alternate sponsor Stephanie Golmon WIlliams dated her signature “8-25-15”. That may be a problem considering the ordinance was not passed until September 29th, over a month after the dated signature. It will be interesting to see if this error is considered grounds enough for the Muni Attorney to reject the application.
Gay-Pocalypse (Part 3) — As we mentioned in an article earlier this week, one of the key differences about the LGBT fight this time around is likely to be the business community won’t be sitting on the sidelines this time. In fact, TMS was told that Monday, while many at the Muni were finding out a repeal had been filed, a group of connected business leaders were meeting just a few blocks away to decide the best way to get money into the fight, should a repeal effort happen.
Senate Comms Fail — The big legislative drama of the week was the leak of Senate Democrat Caucus press secretary Frank Ameduri’s resignation letter to the media. In it Ameduri blasts the Dems for being far too timid and on occasion flat out lying in their spin. In the least surprising news of the year it would seem Frank, who had hoped to stay on until January 1, is no longer on the legislature’s payroll.
So who leaked the document? Was it a legislator or colleague looking to burn Ameduri or did he do it himself to bring light to their shady ways? Well, if the Dem caucus and staff are feigning outrage at the leak, they are doing a hell of a job of it. We can’t print here all of the responses we’ve received from Dems, mostly for language, but needless to say they are mad. One staffer to a Democrat told us they thought Ameduri leaked the doc to set himself up as a political blogger and they questioned why he was so careful to submit his communications plan only on paper to caucus leaders, but sent his scathing resignation letter to legislators email accounts which are regularly monitored by staff? Was is to not only spread the document’s audience, but also widen who had access to the document and thus broaden the list of potential leakers? They believe so.
Who will replace Amduri? Multiple sources say the Dems are actively looking, but are having a difficult time finding someone. We’ll let you know who they find.
Taking Stock — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is finally getting a challenger. We hear Anchorage immigration attorney, MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient, and Harvard graduate Margaret Stock is throwing her hat into the ring. According to the State of Alaska Division of Elections Stock is a registered Republican, but there is some buzz going around that she will run as a Democrat.
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Kickin It — The fundraiser event of the week so far has been the state house campaign kick-off of former South Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Birch. He is mounting a Republican primary challenge to longtime Republican legislator Bob Lynn. Word from the event was that it was a typically well attended Petroleum Club shindig, with outgoing South Anchorage Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston, Mat-su Assemblyman George McKee, Alaska Republican Party Chairman Emeritus Randy Ruedrich, and most of the Americans for Prosperity-Alaska staff making an appearance. Matt Larkin of Dittman Research will be managing the campaign.
Calendar Launch — The Midnight Sun has launched a calendar page to keep up with all of the political happenings. Check it out at http://midnightsunak.com/political-calendar/. To submit an event, email us at [email protected].
New Additions To The Calendar