Friday in the Sun!!! (October 7)

Friday in the Sun is here

Connecting The Dots — Thursday we were hearing shock from a number of Democrat lawyers at the decision by Judge Andrew Guidi to reverse the election results in House District 40 and declare Democrat-but-Republican Majority member Rep. Ben Nageak the winner. A large part of that shock appeared predicated on footnote 82 of the decision which says Judge Guidi found former Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich a more trustworthy source than successful progressive campaign manager John-Henry Heckendorn.

Many found that finding astonishing to the point of making them wonder if there wasn’t something deeper going on. After some research, a loyal The Midnight Sun reader thinks they might have found the answer. According to OpenSecrets.Org, here is Judge Guidi’s political donation history:


Well, that certainly explains things.

It’s Over — We have offered our opinion over the last few weeks that the combination of Sen. Bill Wielechowski out flanking the entire Alaska Republican establishment on the PFD and his endorsement by the NRA makes him all but unbeatable in his re-election bid this year.

Now we have numbers to back up that assertion. Here are fresh polling numbers from Hays Research on that race:


The poll was conducted from September 26-28.

Days until the General Election — 32

More NRA Drama — Speaking of NRA endorsement drama, Wasilla Republican house candidate, and NRA member since 2004, Colleen Sullivan-Leonard was none too happy to see her Democrat opponent Sherie Olson get the powerful group’s endorsement.

After Sullivan-Leonard called them to see why she never received a candidate questionnaire, the NRA sent her one last week.

All seems right in the world now. The NRA’s website now lists that race this way:colleen-endorsment

2016-09-eagle-river-invitationScore One For Lora — Among the many fundraisers that took place last night was one for Rep. Lora Reinbold. Among the listed sponsors for the event are Rep. Dan Saddler and Sen. Anna MacKinnon. That is interesting considering both Saddler and Mackinnon endorsed and featured prominently in ads for Reinbold’s primary challenger Crystal Kennedy.

Prior to the election, we were hearing a lot of insiders eagerly rooting for Reinbold’s ouster. It would appear the realities of legislative organization have allowed Reinbold to force the establishment to come to her rather than the other way around.

Republican Freshman Conclave — Word is a private meeting is being organized at Jennifer Johnston’s house two weeks from now for likely Republican freshman legislators. We hear former Speaker Gail Phillips and former Majority Leader Ralph Samuels will be in attendance. Some think the two legislative vets are being brought in to help the GOP freshmen get on the same page about organization. We aren’t sold on that as both Phillips and Samuels are pretty shrewd in their dealings with legislators and getting in the middle of organizational drama can get pretty ugly. It is more likely they will give the newbies advice of what to expect as new legislators.

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.

Still Proud — The Alaska Republican Party and Alaska Democratic Party both sent out their absentee ballot application mailers this week. Interestingly the letter from Republican Chairman Tuckerman Babcock included this line about this year’s elections:img_0852

“We could lose our Supreme Court, our once proud military, our free economy, our individual rights to free speech, religion and the individual right to keep and bear arms.”

We were wondering exactly what Babcock meant by “our once proud military” since we feel our military continues to have every reason to be proud of themselves, their institution, and their mission. He clarified the line saying:

“Our military has every reason to be proud, but in the sense that we can be proud of the support for a strong military. As in the phrase “the once proud English Navy”…the individuals are still proud and we of them, but embarrassed by our failure to properly support them. Perhaps an old fashioned way to say it.”

So there you go.

On a side note, how thrilled do you think Sen. Lisa Murkowski is to have her picture right there with Donald Trump’s? Given what we know about Murkowski, we are guessing not much.

PFD Battle — Alaska Republicans continue to struggle to find a foothold in the battle over PFD funding after getting outflanked on both sides. Gov. Bill Walker securely holds the adult in the room “using PFD money to fill the budget shortfall is the responsible thing to do” position and with his lawsuit against the Governor, Sen. Bill Wielechowski owns the “I’m going to keep the government’s hands off your PFD” position. Republicans continue to flail somewhere in between.

In what is likely the kick-off to a run for Governor in two years, Sen. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference yesterday in front of the Fred Meyers on Muldoon to announce he will introduce a bill to restore the amount of the PFD after-the-fact.

Now yet to be elected Mat-Su Republican David Eastman sent the following note to Republican colleagues yesterday:

“I have been working with my senator, Mike Dunleavy, on what we will be calling “The 2016 PFD Restoration Act”.

“Should I be elected in November, I plan to drop a companion bill at the first opportunity. A press release to that effect will go out shortly. If you would like to be listed as having expressed interest in serving as a co-sponsor, please contact me by 3pm this afternoon.”

It looks like the bill will at least be introduced in both legislative bodies. Anyone want to give odds on it getting to the floor or passing? 

PFD Crater — Ivan Moore of Alaska Survey Research released some of his quarterly polling results on Alaska politicians yesterday and the most notable result shows Gov. Bill Walker’s numbers cratering since vetoing the PFD money:


Governor, let us introduce you to the third rail of Alaska politics.

Money, Money, Money… Money! — This is the last day to donate to state candidates before they have to file their 30-day APOC reports, so if any of them have your email address you will probably be inundated with emails begging for last minute cash so their reports can look as impressive as possible.

According to our sources, one candidate’s report is already looking pretty impressive. We hear Vince Beltrami is closing in on $90K raised just since the primary election. People smarter than us say that is a record for money raised in that period. His opponent, Sen. Cathy Giessel is no fundraising slouch, so we are guessing she will do pretty well in the same period as well.

One Last Thing — Here is a new attack ad on Rep. Lance Pruitt that will begin running today.


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

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




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