The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has added $1 billion to the 2017 budget to fund the first U.S. polar icebreaker to be built in over 25 years.
“This is a significant victory in my decade-long fight to turn our nation’s focus to the Arctic and embrace our role as an Arctic nation," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who serves on the subcommittee. "I have long fought to fully fund the acquisition of Arctic-capable icebreakers instead of the piece-meal approach that the Administration has been taking for the last eight years. This funding moves the concept of a new icebreaker from aspiration to reality."
The U.S. Coast Guard needs at least three heavy and three medium icebreakers. It has just one medium vessel and only one functioning heavy icebreaker. Russia has 11 heavy icebreakers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to report the 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill, which includes these funds, on Thursday, after which it heads to the Senate floor.
Click here for audio of Senator Murkowski speaking in the Defense Appropriations markup about the need for icebreakers.
MAY 19, 2016
WALKER CALLS SPECIAL SESSION WITH A LAUNDRY LIST: In calling for a special session today, Gov. Bill Walker went out of his way to compliment the House minority caucus for the work they had done.
The most recent "work" they did was to vote against extending the regular session by 10 days. Those 10 days would have allowed critical pieces of legislation the time needed to make it over the finish line.
Democrats said no, just like last year.
UPDATE: May 24-We have learned that Gov. Walker called the Democratic minority leaders into his office and specifically instructed them to vote against the budget last week. He wanted the budget to be part of special session. The pink slips that will go out later this week to state employees now rest squarely on Walker's shoulders.
Why would they not to want keep working on important legislation? They dug in their heels so the governor would have to call for a special session, and that would make it more likely they could get everything they want -- including an income tax on Alaskans.Read more
Join us for an under-40 wrap-party featuring the next in a series of videos showcasing our up-and-coming conservative leaders. And BBQ.
The Alaska Republican Party has a big responsibility to you, the voter, to ensure we are helping the best candidates at the local, state and national level, as they represent us in our government. We ask that you join us in pledging $100 a month as a Freedom Club member, so we have the freedom to hire solid staff and run a professional office.
We're proud and thankful for these founding members of the Freedom Club: Tuckerman Babcock, Paulette Simpson, Linda Hutchings, Bruce Schulte, Suzanne Downing, Rhonda Boyles, Curtis Green, Robert Hall, Portia Babcock, Chere Klein.
Click on the invitation below and join us in building a modern Alaska Republican Party. Thank you!
Luke Hopkins, former mayor of the North Star Borough and Democrat to the marrow, is challenging John Coghill for his Senate seat, District B.
Although the ink is barely dry on Hopkins' ill-advised appointment to the board of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, (SQUIRREL!!!), he's off to his next gig.
The following opinion was published by the Alaska Dispatch on May 13, 2016:
By SUZANNE DOWNING
Alaska Dispatch News columnist Steve Haycox made a valiant attempt in a May 6 commentary in ADN to convince readers they’d be better off with anyone but Donald Trump as president. His unsupported claims about racism and vague notions of people upset with Republican policies trip him up from the get-go.
That doesn’t stop him, however. He dredges up the tired old litany of the disappearing middle class, ignoring that, according to Pew Research, average hourly wages for most workers are about the same as they were in the 1960s, when adjusted for inflation.Read more
Indie-candidate Margaret Stock, running for U.S. Senate as a likely Democrat, has raised nearly $270,000 in six weeks, all in support of her bid against U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, according to FEC filings.
Stock, who is an immigration lawyer, could only have raised that much money that fast with the help of Mark Begich's fundraising list, say those close to the campaign. "It's been a Godsend," according to one source.
"She has no natural constituents, so it's obvious that Stock is working in lockstep with the Democrats to launch her false-flag candidacy," said Suzanne Downing, Communication Director of the Alaska Republican Party.
Stock is one of the keynote speakers at the Alaska Democratic Party Convention this weekend, wedged between Democratic congressional hopeful Steve Lindbeck and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who is to speak at 8 pm Saturday at the Den'ina Convention Center in Anchorage.
WILL SANDERS PROTESTORS WALK OUT ON WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ?
The Alaska Democratic Convention could be more contentious than people expect, said several insiders. A few disgruntled Democrats have circulated a protest petition against Wasserman-Schultz' visit, and may be planning a picket or alternative event. Some sort of political theater is to be expected from Bernie Sanders' supporters.Read more
The verdict is in: Alaska is a solidly conservative state, even more so if you sweep in data from conservative parties that are not Republican.
You wouldn't know it by reading Charles Wohlforth in the Alaska Dispatch last week as he went into contortions to make the case that Alaskans are becoming more liberal.
The Dispatch has engaged liberal prognosticator Ivan Moore to guide the thought processes in the newsroom. Ivan and Charles are trying to convince us that Alaskans are more moderate than in years past. He has "proof" in his polls.
For a sample of Ivan's unbelievable results, we bring you his predictions from October, 2014:
544 sample: Begich 48.3% Sullivan 41.6% Other 6.5% Undecided 3.6%
330 sample: Begich 50.1% Sullivan 42.2% Other 5.3% Undecided 2.4%
ACTUAL RESULTS: Sullivan beat Begich 48.6 to 45.4.
544 sample: Dunbar 42.6% Young 44.4% McDermott (L) 9.5% Undecided 3.5%
330 sample: Dunbar 46.1% Young 40.6% McDermott (L) 9.6% Undecided 3.7%
ACTUAL RESULTS: Young beat Dunbar 51-41.
Just days before the election in 2014, Moore crowed: "Begich has a 6.7% lead in one, 7.9% in the other...Young up by 1.8% when you look at the wider population, but zero in on the people who are the highest probability to turn out and Dunbar has a lead of 5.5%. That's what happens when you really tick people off two weeks before an election."
Turning to a credible well of information, here are the fresh numbers extrapolated from the Division of Elections:
Just three weeks remain for candidates for statewide office to make up their minds. June 1 is the last day to file as a candidate for the 2016 state elections. Here's a list of candidates who have already filed.
Also, because of the extended legislative session, ballot measure 15PFVR “An Act Allowing Qualified Individuals to Register to Vote When Applying for a Permanent Fund Dividend” will now appear on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot. It had been scheduled for the Aug. 16 primary.
An official statement on the cost of Permanent Fund voter registration puts it at nearly $1 million. These costs are avoidable, since online voter registration is quite simple and widely available. But it's not enough for the petition pushers, who insist that everyone be automatically registered to vote if they file for a Permanent Fund dividend -- unless they purposefully opt out.