Friday in the Sun!!! (December 9)

Friday in the Sun is here

More Moves — Here are the latest in legislative staff moves we’re hearing:

Former Chief of Staff to Sen. Johnny Ellis,  Amory Lelake is returning to the legislature after a stint working in Anchorage Mayor Berkowitz’ Department of Health and Human Services. We hear she will be working for incoming speaker Rep. Bryce Edgmon as a senior staffer to the majority.

Former journalist turned Republican legislative staffer — it’s amazing how many of those there are given how liberal Republicans complain the media is — Rena Delbridge will be the new Senate Majority Press Secretary.   

Buddy Whitt, the husband of former Rep. Shelley Hughes’ campaign manager Lindsey Whitt, will be working for Senator-elect Shelley Hughes this year.

It sounds like former Deputy Commissioner of Revenue in Gov. Parnell’s administration and AGDC CFO Bruce Tangeman will be sliding over to work for incoming Senate President Sen. Pete Kelly.

Other staff pick-ups we’re hearing are former Rep. Mike Hawker staffer Juli Lucky will be working for Sen. Anna MacKinnon, former Rep. Bob Herron staffer Linda Hay is heading to Rep-elect Delena Johnson’s office, and former Rep. Jim Colver staffer Angela Stephl will be working for Rep-elect Colleen Sullivan-Leonard.

Days Until The Next State Election698

Days Until Muni Election116

Still Fighting The Fight — Former candidate for state house and Anchorage Assembly Dustin Darden isn’t giving up. He is the last candidate with his signs up at the popular intersection of Benson and C St. Who knows, he could run for Assembly this spring….

Speaking of Spring — Word is out that West Anchorage Assemblyman Tim Steele, who has been making it clear he wouldn’t run for re-election for over a year, has apparently changed his mind. We are hearing from progressive insiders he has let them know he will be actively seeking another term. We checked into it and sure enough, he filed a letter of intent (LOI) with APOC on December 1  to do that very thing.

In case you were wondering, here is the complete list of others who have filed an LOI to run this spring:

FYI, Paul T Steele, is Tim Steele. From this list, interesting races look possible in East Anchorage between

From this list, competitive races look possible in East Anchorage between Terre Gales and incumbent Pete Peterson (not yet filed but expected to) and the University-Abbott district where “Father of the Tax Cap” Don Smith and former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz aide Felix Rivera will be competing. Both of those races currently have third candidates, so this could get interesting.

Lobbying For Who? — A reader and South Florida radio listener sent us this clip of a Miami-area sports radio show called “The Big O Show with Alex Donna” from yesterday. Is it possible the “Frank from Anchorage Alaska” that called in to lobby for support of Miami Dolphins brass is known Dolphins super-fan and Alaska lobbyist extraordinaire Frank Bickford?    

If it is Bicks, this could be a problem. His job as a lobbyist depends on his credibility with elected officials. How long is that going to hold up when they hear him tout the capabilities of Ryan Tannehill?

Jeff Landfield

He’ll Be Missed — Tonight is the going away party for man-about- Alaska Jeff Landfield. Landfield says he is moving to Australia. Say what you will about Landfield, and people say a lot about him (actually so does he), but he has been nothing if not a refreshing change of pace from the usual buttoned up and boring candidates .

We’ll miss you, bro. If you are interested in celebrating Landfield’s departure in the living-out-loud way only Landfield can, you can join us at Asia Garden tonight from 8 PM until the cops break it up and FEMA begins the damage assessment.

Fair Is Fair — Back on November 2, ADN Columnist Charles Wohlforth had a piece in The Daily Beast titled “Why Hillary Clinton Could Actually Win Alaska Over Donald Trump” where he wrote:

“(Sen. Lisa) Murkowski wasn’t conservative enough for Republican primary voters in 2010 and was defeated by Joe Miller, whose brown-shirted security detail put a Jewish reporter in handcuffs at (sic) public event.”

Afterward, we called out Mr. Wohlforth the impropriety of his suggestion that Joe Miller or his supporters were in any way linked to anti-semitic or Nazi ideology.  

We didn’t see it until recently, but just after we called out Mr. Wohlforth’s words, so did blogger Craig Medred. Unfortunately, Mr. Medred went beyond justified criticism of Wohlforth’s words to say this:

“Or maybe Wohlforth’s boss, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, a card-carrying member of the country’s ruling elite, put Wohlforth up to this in an effort to irritate Hopfinger, a man who long ago grew tired of being referred to as Alaska’s hand-cuffed reporter.”

While we find Mr. Wohlforth’s characterisation of Joe Miller and his supporters inappropriate, we would be remiss if we didn’t also point out how offensive it is for Mr. Medred to suggest that his former employer Ms. Rogoff ordered Mr. Wohlforth to characterize Mr. Miller with Nazi imagery. There is absolutely no evidence or good reason to believe such a thing happened.

Mr. Medred owes Ms. Rogoff an apology.

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.

Hot Rumor — We don’t have any specifics we are at liberty to release yet, but we are hearing from insiders that the Governor’s new Chief of Staff Scott Kendall will be shaking up his staff in the coming weeks. We’ll keep you apprised of the moves when they happen or are imminent. 

Grinds My Gears — It may only bother us, but has anyone else noticed that the Mayor’s Charity Ball actually distributes a lot of it’s money to non-charities? In the last few years “charities” receiving money from the ball include the Anchorage International Film Festival, Anchorage Opera Company, Chugiak Youth Sports Association, Cook Inlet Soccer Club and the Alaska Dance Theater.

While those are all fine groups, they are activities, NOT CHARITIES. Charities by definition provide to those in need. To us that means feeding, clothing, house, providing medical care, etc to people who are without those needs. In some years it appears more than half the money went to activities rather than charities.

Providing money to these groups has misdirected resources that otherwise could have gone to real charities the ball has raised money for such as the Girdwood Health Clinic and Lutheran Social Services, who both got money this year.

In our opinion, Mayor Berkowitz should either make the ball change it’s name to something more truthful, get the ball to actually give its money to charities, or tell them he won’t be participating in or doing the press conference for their group next year.

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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5 Comments on "Friday in the Sun!!! (December 9)"

  1. Is there a legal definition of Charities that you can site, that says charities by definition are “those in need”?

    Because here is the legal definitions

    Charitable organizations—the organizations in the GuideStar database—fall under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. The Internal Revenue Service divides charitable organizations into two groups: private foundations and public charities. With the exception of religious organizations and nonprofits whose gross receipts are less than $5,000, the IRS usually defines every charitable organization as a private foundation, unless the nonprofit specifically requests classification as a public charity.

    A public charity is a charitable organization that (a) has broad public support, (b) actively functions to support another public charity, or (c) is devoted exclusively to testing for public safety. Many public charities rely on contributions from the general public. Donations to public charities are tax deductible.

    Public charities are the organizations people usually think of when they hear the word charity. These nonprofits’ missions range from helping the poor to easing community tensions to advancing religion, education, or science.

    Maybe do your homework before launching into tirades that are not based on facts.

    Kinda like this whole debate about FAKE news…

  2. LysanderSpooner | December 9, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Reply

    Medred must think no one notices how unattractive it can be to grind a personal axe in public.

  3. Yeah, like the daily grinding of front page Dispatch noise of the supposed Alaska National Guard scandal for weeks leading up to the last governor election, and then poof, after the election of the Make Alaska Great Again Dynamic Duo, no words ever again from the Rogoff millstone.

    Like that kind of public ax grinding, right Lysander?

    • LysanderSpooner | December 10, 2016 at 10:15 am | Reply

      No. Nothing like that. What you’re talking about is partisan sour grapes about a serious criminal/institutional issue you would have preferred to see swept under the rug strictly for partisan concerns. What I’m talking about is personal stuff, like Medred’s obvious sour grapes — still — over his release from the Dispatch.

      Nice try, though.

      • To paraphrase, the job of the free press is to find worthy news stories, and smother them to death unless they fit the narrative (be it Democrats or Republicans with bylines…).

        It’s funny how fast the National Guard story fell from the Dispatch Headline News after the 2014 Governor election. Ran non-stop prior, hardly catch a whiff after.

        Not saying Parnell didn’t run a wimpy campaign, but don’t try to tell me my eyes were lying to me at how fast the National Guard story, which was a poster child Dispatch story from the minute the Walker / Mallott team formed in September through the election, dropped off the radar screen immediately after the election.

        Nice try though. It is a primary reason why Trump is the soon to be President.

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