Dash for cash I — With end of year campaign finance deadlines, politicians of all kinds were hitting it hard for last minute donations. In east Anchorage we’re told up and coming progressive wunderkind Forrest Dunbar has been raising around $1000 a day since declaring his candidacy for Anchorage Assembly. He declared his run on December 11th, so that means he had 20 days to raise year-end money, lets do some quick calculations, and…. we project he has raised at least $20,000 to this point.
Dash for cash II – Over in the west side of town, and not to be outdone, we’re told Eric Croft has been working the phones for donations , raking in at least $60,000. Year-end money is important because state campaign finance laws inexplicably apply limits on an annual basis instead of per election cycle. Candidates who raised money in 2015 can now reach out to those same donors today. (Happy New Year!)
Assembly Dance — Why is it that conservatives had to go scrambling at the last minute to find someone to run against Forrest Dunbar in 2016, but left-of-center assembly candidates are already stacking up like cord wood to run in 2017? The Downtown seat has two candidates who have already declared: “Mr. Fairview” Chris Constantand longtime Democrat politico David Dunsmore. In the Midtown district, Marcus Sanders has now filed to take a shot at the seat currently held by Assemblywoman Elvi Gray-Jackson’s when she terms out next year.
Stretch and Grow — Former Governor Sarah Palin, yes we really are talking about her, keeps raising questions about whether she plans on running against U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. First she said it was a possibility in a radio interview, then she put her Arizona home on the market, now we’re hearing murmurs from Washington D.C. that she is seriously considering the possibility.
Our favorite story of the “will she run?” rumor mill that is starting to get traction is how Palin has a favorite new yoga spot in Anchorage. That yoga studio must be popular among politicos because I hear nothing but talk of her and her apparently newly “enhanced” physique. According to those who overheard the conversations, when fellow yoga practitioners told Sarah how much they miss her and ask whether or not she’d run against Lisa, she tells them “I’m thinking about it.” Well, there you go, all the confirmation you need.
Is Palin really gearing up, exploring, or some other political verb for ”maybe” with regard to Murkowski’s seat or is she just stirring the waters for another round of attention? Its Alaska, so you never know.
Flip Flop Mojo — Anchorage Municipal Attorney Bill Falsey, delivered he and his wife’s own baby this week. Good for you Bill, but don’t think heroic actions like that will let you throw one past us at the Midnight Sun.
A few weeks ago Falsey re-wrote the ballot language for the LGBT non-discrimination referendum petition. It went from fairly short language that essentially said “should this ordinance remain law?” to a much, much longer version that boils down to “Should this law be repealed?” Conservatives weren’t happy and are accusing Falsey of muddying the issue and trying to confuse voters, but according to insiders we spoke with they completely missed what was really going on.
When the initiative was first submitted we contacted a dozen political professionals, both in Anchorage and outsider “pros from Dover” types, to see how if they thought the referendum would pass. Just about the first words out of each of their mouths was “which side gets the “no” spot on the ballot?” You see it’s well established political dogma that in ballot proposition, initiative, or referendum fights “no” is the strategic high ground. The theory being that there are a million reasons to vote no on anything, but you really have to sell people to vote yes.
Ka-ching — Congrats to lobbyist Kris Knauss on scoring a $60K contract to lobby for CH2M Hill.
Push Hard — Speaking of new lobbying contracts Heather Brakes scored $45K to advocate on behalf of advocacy group U.S. Term Limits. That has to has to be fun, a job where you push for legislation that ends the jobs of everyone voting on it. Well, good luck with that.
Because It’s Alaska — Proving everyone in the last frontier needs a lobbyist, Kevin Jardell has landed a $10,000 contract to lobby for the Alaska Zoo and their capital budget requests.
Lobby Down — Rounding out the lobbyist section of today’s column is a question. WIth Mayor Dan Sullivan now out of the picture in Anchorage and new boss Ethan Berkowitz calling the shots, who will the Muni’s new lobbyist be? It was Wendy Chamberlin, but Berkowitz is looking around.