Friday In The Sun!!! (August 5)

Friday in the Sun is here


The Big News Of The Week — Has to be the announcement of our live blogging event on election night we are calling Election Live. With the cancellation of Election Central, politicos of all stripes will need a central source for happenings on primary election night and real-time analysis as returns come in.

You can get all of that right here at The Midnight Sun.

We’ll have an impressive lineup of contributors, all of whom have either run for office or worked at a strategic level on campaigns, so we’ll be able to give you insights none of the mainstream media can. Contributors include conservative voices and former candidates Michael Dukes and Duane Bannock, former Republican party and campaign staffers Taylor Bickford and Casey Reynolds, pollster Ivan Moore, former Sen. Mark Begich, and Andrew Halcro.

If you want to find out what the election returns mean in real-time on primary election night, join us right here at

Oh Ed… Nooooo — It was an adorable moment Thursday when Senate candidate Ed Wesley’s daughter called in to The Dave Stieren Show during her father’s interview. That was until she had to remind her father why that day, August 4th, is a special one; It was her birthday. You can listen to the full interview here:


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.

Days until the Primary Election — 12
Days until the General Election — 96

All In — According to Vince Beltrami, it’s official, his petition to run for state senate as an independent candidate against incumbent Republican Cathy Giessel has been approved by the Alaska Division of Elections. That means what is sure to be one of the ugliest races in the general election is officially a go. We can’t wait.


Weed Wars — Much has been reported about Governor Walker’s decision this week to remove Marijuana Control Board member Bruce Schulte. What has gone unreported is what appears to be a simultaneously timed and a possibly related personnel move.

The Governor’s office confirmed to us this week that his Deputy Legislative Director Lacy Wilcox is no longer working in his administration. The Governor’s Communications Director Grace Jang wouldn’t comment any further than that the split had occurred.

Word on the street is there were those in the administration who felt Wilcox, who has a history of involvement in the marijuana legalization and regulation movement, was involving herself too heavily as an industry advocate.

As a result, both she and fellow industry advocate Schulte had to go.

Naughty Girl — In case you missed it, a story we posted last weekend about a report on Facebook that Rep. Lora Reinbold chastised a female soldier for having a Beyonce  iPhone photograph displayed in public has taken another step further. Chugiak-Eagle River based Alaska Star newspaper reported Amy Armstrong asked JBER officials about the incident for a story, the military has now launched an investigation.

The whole thing has now become a campaign issue in the race between Reinbold and her Republican primary challenger Crystal Kennedy. The two had this exchange on Facebook this week:


Fly Into The Sun — If you have morsels you’d like shared in this column, please email us at [email protected].

This Week’s Campaign Fail — Goes to Rep. Dan Saddler who apparently wasn’t told the election is on August 16:


At It Again — Fiscal conservative advocate Brad Keithley spent well over $100,000 of his own money two years ago in a campaign to convince lawmakers that the state was on the verge of a budget crisis, only to see Republican candidates and radio hosts alike declare loudly he was being an alarmist. They of course then acknowledged he was right the day after the election.

Keithley is back at it again this cycle. Word is he will be spending his own money to run radio ads beginning tomorrow to support Wasilla area house Republican candidate David Eastman and South Anchorage Senate candidate Rep. Craig Johnson in their primary battles.

Eastman is advocating a fiscal philosophy in line with Keithley’s and making it a priority in his campaign. Johnson appears to be getting rewarded for his opposition to pressure from the Governor and State Senate to reform the Permanent Fund to provide revenues to cover state services, even though he’s been apart of the supposed problem for years.

Haterade — The primary election is only 12 days away and things are getting nasty. In case you missed it, and judging by the ratings every single person in Anchorage did, Amy Demboski on her radio show this week launched into a nasty attack on her former Anchorage Assembly college and current state house candidate Jennifer Johnston.

Demboski claims Johnston is“the most ineffective legislator I have ever worked with” and then accuses her of trying to trade her vote on controversial labor ordinance AO-37 for tennis courts.

It is a pretty blistering attack you can listen to below (starting at the 21:20 mark). It will be interesting to see if the former Mayoral candidate has any pull with Republican primary voters in a part of Anchorage that didn’t really support her failed candidacy.

Big Event — The big fundraiser of the week was the shindig thrown at the home of Robin Brena for rural Democratic candidate Zach Fansler and Dean Westlake. The turnout was impressive with the likes of Sen. Mark Begich, Schawna Thoma, Sarah Sledge, Brian Partch, Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) Executive Director Kay Brown, ADP Chairwoman Casey Steinau, Joe Roguska, Rep. Chris Tuck, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, and Rep. Geran Tarr. We are told each candidate ended up bringing in a little over $6,000 from the event. Not bad for one night.

Paaaartay — Speaking of events, it looks like several election night parties are starting to coalesce. Former Mayor Dan Sullivan said last night at a fundraiser for his sister Colleen Sullivan-Leonard that he will be having an event at McGinleys. It also sounds like the Republican Party is putting together their own event, though they haven’t announced details. The Democratic party says they are doing nothing that night  and Sen. Lisa Murkowski is having a get together at 49th State Brewery (Odds are good this will be the best catering of the night).

The most fun may be had at known karaoke hotspot Asia Garden where always fun candidate Jeff Landfield says he will be holding his own election night party. The drama of politics mixed with ample booze and karaoke. Like a car wreck, I feel oddly compelled by my lesser angels to go see what happens.

The event does bring up this fun question: What are the best election night karaoke song? Feel free to tell us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter (@midnight_sun_ak).

So far these are the best songs we’ve compiled:

Campaign Theme Song Most Likely To Sing It
  1. I Won’t Back Down -Tom Petty
  2. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  3. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
  4. Born Free – Kid Rock
  5. In America – Charlie Daniels
Pete Kelly
DNR Dan Sullivan
Tom Begich
Forrest McDonald
Mike Chenault
Candidate Has Lost Most Likely To Sing It
  1. If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
  2. Fuck You – Cee Lo Green
  3. Blaze of Glory – Bon Jovi
  4. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
  5. Royals – Lorde
Charisse Millett
Ross Bieling
David Eastman
Adam Crum
Lora Reinbold
Candidate Is Behind Most Likely To Sing It
  1. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
  2. Ain’t Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up – Garth Brooks
  3. Livin On A Prayer -Bon Jovi
  4. Faith – George Michael
  5. Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
Jim Colver
Peter Micciche
Lance Pruitt
Wes Keller
Lynn Gattis
Candidate Has Won Most Likely To Sing It
  1. We Are The Champions – Queen
  2. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
  3. Simply The Best – Tina Turner
  4. TNT – ACDC
  5. It’s Gunna Be Me – NSYNC
Lisa Murkowski
Vince Beltrami
Cathy Giessel
Dan Saddler
Jason Grenn

Here are just some of the other events you can find on our Political Calendar

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