New To The Crew — Even with Mayor Dan Sullivan now disposed of, Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to expand her campaign infrastructure. Earlier in the week Murkowski announced the addition of Robert Dillon as Communications Director and 5 campaign interns statewide.
One recent addition you may not have heard of, but you should keep an eye on, is the campaign’s Deputy Political Director Terranova Tasker. First off, she may have the coolest name in the AK campaign game. It’s like a character out of a Quentin Tarantino film— one of the good ones.
More importantly, the 24-year-old Tasker already sports an impressive resume having worked on the campaigns of Sen. Ted Stevens (2008), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (2010), and Sen. Dan Sullivan (2014).
Jobs To The Left — If you are politically minded, communications talented, and looking for a new gig, Gov. Bill Walker and the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association (APDEA) may be looking for you.
The Gov is looking for a replacement for Deputy Press Secretary Aileen Cole. The Gov’s office says they are looking for someone with social media management experience and a willingness to live in Juneau.
The APDEA is seeking a communications specialist. They say,”The ideal candidate will have experience in designing and creating visually engaging digital content as well as the ability to clearly communicate both orally and in writing.”
Midnight Sun On The Air!!!! — Master of Morning Radio Rick Rydell (AM 650 KENI) has asked us to come on every week and share Friday in the Sun with his audience. So listen for our inside scoop every Friday morning at 7:35
Northern Exposure — The first rule of the Center-Right Coalition is you don’t talk about the Center-Right Coalition. In case you’ve never been, it’s an informal monthly meeting of Republican political activists begun many years ago by Mead Treadwell and Chris Nelson. As each meeting begins, attendees are told what is said there, heard there, and done there is supposed to stay there. Rebecca Logan once tried to have me expelled from the meeting for even mentioning the group existed on my radio show.
It was odd then to see candidate-for-State-Senate, Rep. Shelley Hughes post pictures of the meeting on Facebook. I’m guessing she’ll be getting a talking to.
Facebook Fail — Bless his heart, but someone needs to tell Fairbanks Senate candidate Luke Hopkins that if he is going to make his Facebook profile pic his campaign logo, then it needs to fit in the box.
Never Forget — In Alaska, when you talk about campaigns holding a grudge most people immediately think of Joe Miller and the gaggle of his supporters still in the state. But Miller’s people have nothing on former Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign. They don’t forgive or forget those who weren’t with them.
Take the Democratic State House primary race in Southwest Alaska between Zach Fansler and incumbent Rep. Bob Herron. I’ve been told by several sources Fansler has been inundated with support from Begich team members who remember things like this:
“Sullivan is reaching out too. He met with key Bethel leaders Friday, introduced to some by Democratic Rep. Bob Herron, a former Marine who said he considers Sullivan — an officer in the Marine reserves — part of the Marine family and a friend”.-ADN, October 14, 2014
Leftover From The SCC — One of the items left on the cutting room floor from our piece last Saturday on the Alaska Republican Party’s State Central Committee (SCC) meeting was the issue of pre-primary endorsements.
From time to time, the Party will weigh in on contested primary races and tell Republican voters who the party establishment thinks they should vote for. Few people question this when there is an incumbent that has drawn the party’s ire by working with Democrats, as in the case of Rep. Jim Colver.
I was asked repeatedly this week, though, about the case of Rep. Lora Reinbold. She was thrown out of the Republican Majority for not toeing the line and has a legitimate Republican challenger in Crystal Kennedy. Why then, would the Party give her an endorsement in the primary?
I am told by party officials the endorsement was given in December before Reinbold had a challenger. That still begs the question of why Republican Districts would give endorsements before they know what the alternatives might be. It is even more odd that GOP insiders would offer an endorsement on legislators before the legislative session even happens. But hey, it’s the GOP, they do what they do.
Kenai Goodbye — Kenai City Manager Rick Koch resigned this week. Koch is one of four Republicans vying for the State House seat left open when Rep. Kurt Olson announced his retirement. Koch’s resignation doesn’t take effect until December 31st. The primary election is on August 16, so if he loses and the Kenai City Council wants him back, he’ll have plenty of time to un-resign before the process of replacing him goes too far.
Pic Fun — This came in this week
Headline Fun— Loyal reader Paul Oliva came up with an Alaska politics headline generator. It’s pretty funny, check it out.
Trump Event — No offense to the campaign kickoff of State Senate candidate Tom Begich, but clearly the most anticipated political event of the week was the Alaska Republican Party’s rally and fundraiser for the Donald Trump campaign. Among the approximately 50 attendees were notables Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock, former Chairman Randy Ruedrich, Jerry Ward, Sen. Lesil McGuire, Hugh Ashlock, Scott Kendall, Alaskans for Trump Chairman Jim Crawford, Mike Robbins, Ric Davidge, Dave Cuddy, and Paul Kendall.
More notable perhaps, is who didn’t attend. Other than McGuire no legislator or legislative staff attended — even though many were in Anchorage —, nor did any Anchorage Assembly member or candidate for legislature, or any of Anchorage’s cadre of conservative voices. There was no Rick Rydell, Mike Porcaro, Dave Stieren, Paul Jenkins, etc.
The event didn’t really have the energy or enthusiasm one has come to associate with the Trump campaign. It felt more like a run of the mill Republican Party fundraiser, which I guess it was.
Fly Into The Sun — If you have morsels you’d like shared in this column please email us at [email protected].
It’s a big week with lots of campaign kickoffs happening. Here are just some events you can find on our Political Calendar —