Alaska Politics Update

From time to time I will point to reporting from Alaska politics blogger Amanda Coyne, as I did first when the “Palin Brawl” was in the news.

So here we go

NRA not endorsing Senate candidates, but does endorse Governor Parnell for reelection

NRA decides not to endorse anyone in the Senate race between incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich and Republican Dan Sullivan (he was Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources but resigned to run for Senate, and was Attorney General from June 2009 until December 2010) the other Republican Dan Sullivan is currently Mayor of Anchorage.  US Senator Lisa Murkowski (D) is up for reelection in 2016.

The NRA has chosen to endorse Governor Sean Parnell who is running for reelection.  Parnell signed a version of the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, made famous in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

I was gonna say with that information, vote for Bill Walker, but Walker is not an easy choice either.

The Walker campaign is now the (almost ruled illegalunity ticket of Independent Bill Walker and Democrat turned Independent Byron Mallott.

Why a unity ticket

One of the driving forces behind the ticket merger was the Alaska AFL-CIO’s decision to boycott the three-way governor’s race, echoing the popular complaint among Parnell opponents that the overcrowded arrangement essentially rigged the election in favor of the incumbent.

His record is complicated, and both parties could like him, depending on the issue.  He is for Medicaid expansion, for raising the minimum wage, against the Pebble Mine due to impact on fisheries, but also supports oil and gas exploration and drilling including in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and pro 2nd Amendment.

News Roundup 9/26

  • Mineweb is reporting that on Thursday a federal court judge has validated an agreement that the EPA would stay its regulatory process against the Pebble Mine Project until no earlier than January 2, 2015.
The ruling stops (quote is edited by me)

EPA’s attempt to expand its authority under the Clean Water Act by stopping the Pebble Project before the Pebble Partnership even files for permitting.


Legislation has been introduced in Congress to clarify EPA’s role in the Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process to ensure that the agency doesn’t deny permits before applications for permits are filed.


  • Yesterday’s [9/25] 6.24 earthquake was the second largest earthquake in Alaska’s history and according to a seismologist in the Dispatch, “We got lucky.” The earthquake’s effects were still strong enough to momentarily interrupt the Chamber of Commerce’s press conference with U.S. Senate candidate, Dan Sullivan.
Finally, Senator Mark Begich is both right and wrong at the same time

U.S. Senate Mark Begich reaffirmed his support for airstrikes against the Islamic group ISIS


Begich reiterated however that he doesn’t support arming Syrian rebels, which both the President and GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan support. In a telephonic town hall recently, Begich said that he worries that today’s U.S.-friendly “moderate rebels,” might be tomorrow’s enemies.

“Just like ISIS was a year and a half ago – they were part of these rebels, and now they’re the problem,”
Begich said.

Begich is correct to worry about today’s allies becoming tomorrows enemies, but the problem is that airstrikes won’t stop ISIS, even if not arming the Syrian rebels would prevent those weapons from being used against us when our allies become our enemies.

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