Justice has a friend in U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan

It was always the most unsavory of plea deals, a smudge on the rule of law. What happened to U.S. Senator Ted Stevens was dirty politics right out of "House of Cards."

For the better part of a decade, the U.S. Justice Department has refused to prosecute the multiple alleged crimes of Bill Allen, whom DOJ lawyers let off the hook in exchange for his testimony against the now-late Senator Stevens.

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Feature: The Supreme Court, some rare scotch, and the glue of friendship

STORIES ARE WHAT WE LIVE FOR: What would it be like to watch a case being heard at the U.S. Supreme Court when it involves one of your best friends, moose hunting, and a hovercraft?

You just might want to go out for a nice steak dinner afterwards.

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Action Alert: Testify on Governor's Permanent Fund Makeover Bill

Alaskans Invited to Comment on Governor’s 'Permanent Fund Makeover Bill'
Using Permanent Fund Earnings & Dividends

SB128, Governor Bill Walker's Permanent Fund Makeover Bill, has just two Senate committees -- State Affairs and Finance. The State Affairs (Sen. Bill Stoltze) public hearing is Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
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Legislators need to hear that since the governor did not cut the budget, Alaskans are concerned that he'll restructure the Permanent Fund and add new taxes, without making cuts.

Below you will find information and links to help you understand the bill and how to get involved.

The Senate State Affairs committee scheduled public testimony beginning at 5:30 p.m. so Alaskans may weigh-in on Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to give the the Alaska Permanent Fund a makeover.

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Huckabee, Paul, Santorum drop; Alaska ballot down to eight

Three more Republican candidates for president have declared their campaigns ended. Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum suspended their campaigns after the Iowa Caucus.

Huckabee and Paul have not endorsed a candidate, while Santorum has thrown his support to Marco Rubio.

The Alaska Presidential Preference Poll ballot has been winnowed to eight: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump.

The next big hurdle facing the remaining eight candidates is the debate in New Hampshire, leading up to the New Hampshire Primary on Feb. 15. The debate is scheduled for 8 pm Eastern Time (4 pm Alaska) on Saturday, Feb. 6.

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Medicaid in Alaska is budget tsunami

A chart from the Dept. of Health and Social Services shows the challenge to Alaska's budget posed by exploding Medicaid costs in Alaska.

As federal Medicaid match drops, as state population expands, and Alaska takes an economic hit due to oil prices, the chart below (circa 2014) may actually represent an optimistic outlook. Without change to how Alaska pays for Medicaid, the cost for Alaska in 2028 will be greater than the the entire state budget is today. ,

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Tax cap signature gatherers reach goal; now voters decide

Citizens gathering signatures on a petition to roll back the Anchorage property tax cap increase may have reached their goal. They needed 5,700 Anchorage residents to sign the petition, and they've likely exceeded it, according to sources who have been involved in the signature drive.

The petition copies must be turned into the city Clerk's Office by the close of business on Feb. 3.

The petition application was filed by former Mayor Dan Sullivan and sponsors Bob Griffin, Chuck Spinelli, Mike Porcaro, and Assemblyman Bill Starr. More than a dozen people have worked the city hard to get the required signatures in about a two-week window since the petition application was approved.

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Alaskans can view state government spending once more

A VICTORY FOR SUNSHINE IN GOVERNMENT: Governor Bill Walker's administration has restored the Alaska Checkbook, which had been closed to the public since June, 2015.

Alaskans are once again able to see exactly how funds are being spent by State government -- up to a point.Contribute_today!.jpg

For instance, a quick review of payments made by the State of Alaska to the Alaska Forum on the Environment show the state paid the group over $90,000 in the first quarter of 2015, mostly for training and development. 

Extrapolated for the entire year, ACE would receive upwards of $360,000 a year. The Alaska Republican Party has not been able to locate an equal amount of state funds for training and development for the Alaska Miners Association.

"Government in the sunshine is the best kind of government," said Suzanne Downing, communication director for the Alaska Republican Party. "When the people can see how the money is spent, it goes a long way to keeping corruption out of state government."

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Alaska GOP resolution calls for Arctic National Defense Policy

FEB. 2, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNEAU - The Alaska Republican Party's State Central Committee, meeting in Juneau over the weekend, unanimously passed a resolution in support of the creation of a national defense policy for the Arctic.

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Offered by Ric Davidge, District 20 chair, and Chris Nelson, long-time political activist, the resolution calls upon the president and Congress to prepare an Arctic Operations Plan (O-Plan) and the joint force structure required to execute that plan.

Davidge and Nelson co-chair the Alaska Republican Party's National Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee.

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Where to cut? Start at the top

GOVERNOR WARBUCKS: Governor Walker trimmed his staff last year, but gave the remaining crew hefty raises. Alaskans are always asking, what can we cut? Salaries we pulled from a fall salary schedule might give them a clue:

Al Kookesh, policy and program specialist: Range 24, $100,860
Ryan Colgan-Mitchell, policy and program specialist: Range 24, $100,860
Craig Fleener, special staff assistant, Range 25: $128,124
Rebecca Braun, policy analyst, Range 23: $97,056
Amanda Price, senior adviser, Range 23: $112,752

Voila: The Alaska Republican Party just found $539,652 (plus associated travel and benefits), the state can cut and no member of the public will be harmed.


Iowa results: Two of top three GOP candidates are Hispanic

Republican voters of Iowa put Hispanics in the spotlight for this presidential election cycle. The first place finisher, Ted Cruz, and the third place finisher, Marco Rubio, are both Hispanics.

“Where is the media on this?” asked RNC Chair Reince Priebus this morning on Fox News.

The national media ignored the remarkable narrative in front of it: The field of leading Republican candidates is not only broad in terms of ideas, but represents a wide swath of America's story. Democrats have no such diversity in their field. 

"In terms of delegates awarded last night, Hispanic Americans made history -- regardless of party affiliation," said Peter S. Goldberg, Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. "Cruz and Rubio were awarded 15 delegates, and Trump was awarded 7." Iowa Republicans also gave three delegates to fourth-place finisher Ben Carson.

"Added together, over 60 percent of the Iowa delegates were awarded to minorities," Goldberg said. "Reince is right: Where's the media?"


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