Alaska Republicans dispute Margaret Stock claim

April 12, 2016

ANCHORAGE – The Alaska Republican Party responded to statements made by unaligned US Senate candidate Margaret Stock, who claims she needs to run on the Democrats' primary ballot because she could not run on the Republican primary ballot.

State law allows any unaffiliated candidate to circulate a petition to earn a spot on the general election ballot.

“How could she forget Bill Walker’s petition to get on the general election ballot in 2014?” asked Party Chairman Peter S. Goldberg. “If she feels she has a strong case as an independent candidate, she should run as an independent. If she is a Republican, she should run as a Republican. The only reason she should be on the Democrats’ ballot is if she is now a Democrat. If they allow her on as a nonpartisan or unaffiliated, they are effectively committing a form of voter fraud.”

Stock said in earlier emails to prospective supporters that she was running as an independent because most Alaskans are independents. But since then, she has aligned with the Alaska Democratic Party.

The Democrats have asked for a quick ruling from Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis James Menendez, but the Democratic Party has not even approved its own proposed rule that would allow such destruction of their own ticket. The rule change cannot take place until the party’s convention in May. 

"This is asking the court to make a hypothetical ruling," said Frank McQueary, Vice Chairman of the ARP. "But what is even more astounding is their admission that their brand so damaged they cannot find their own candidate, or even have their candidate identify as a Democrat. What does that say about their value to voters, if this is what it has come to?"


District 9 leaders caution Rep. Colver for record

District 9 Republican leadership cautions Representative Colver

ANCHORAGE – District 9 Republican Party leaders today issued a letter of reprimand to Rep. Jim Colver for working in close collaboration with the House Minority.

“ARP District 9 officers have been alerted that you are collaborating in the creation of a future caucus/coalition with Democrats in order to form a bipartisan House majority. This action, if true, is a violation of our party rules, which could subject you to stiff sanctions from both your home district as well as from the Alaska Republican Party Central Committee,” the district wrote to Colver. 

The letter, signed by District Chair Carol Carman, said the district will hold a special meeting prior to the State Convention in Fairbanks (April 29-30) to review Colver’s record. 

The letter cited Colver’s pattern of voting with the House minority caucus, and stated he has been an aggressor toward fellow Republicans’ legislation, filing frivolous amendments on the floor of the House.

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The base is restless: Tax talk is biting us in the wallet

News out of Camp Juneau is almost always troubling toward the end of session (April 17 this year), but these are double-trouble times.

We hear frustration from everyday Alaskans: While the private sector is laying off workers, curtailing pay raises, cutting wages and benefits, the ad campaigns are getting louder and more shrill: Democrats want us to agree to an income tax to pay for more government. They are softening the target; the beatings won't stop until we agree to pay Caesar.

Gov. Bill Walker, in Bethel last week, said he will not let lawmakers go home until they enact a broadbased tax (read income tax). He received applause.

Our Republican Party platform suggests a different path. We see the need for a smaller government footprint, less regulatory burden, and back to the basics of what government should be expected to do.

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Alaska GOP praises Alaska Senate for passage of SB 91

Alaska Republican Party Chairman Peter S. Goldberg praised the Alaska Senate for passage of SB 91, the Omnibus Criminal Law Procedures bill. The bill gives nonviolent criminals a more promising path out of incarceration.

"This is an important day for justice in our society," Goldberg said. "It's historic progress. We've long needed to create alternate justice avenues for minor drug and alcohol offenses, and to divert offenders into supervised release, counseling, and programs that promote rehabilitation. Most of the people in our justice system are in for substance abuse violations, and we need a better way to keep them from returning to prison time and again."

"There are the criminals who cause real harm to other people and they should be locked up for a very long time," Goldberg said. "Then there are the peole who are criminals in the sense that society is mad at them. If we can rehabilitate them through wise programs, especially when more cost effective, then society should do so. I hope SB 91 will achieve that goal."

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Caelus Energy to lay off 20 percent of workforce, lay down working rig

Discouraged by uncertain Alaska tax policy and suffering from now-chronic low oil prices, Caelus Energy Alaska is said to be laying off 20 percent of its Alaska workforce and laying down a working rig at the Oooguruk field.

The layoffs could affect 20 Caelus jobs and another 150 contract jobs, according to our calculations.

Caelus purchased Oooguruk from Pioneer Natural Resources in 2014. Caelus has bullish on Alaska, acquiring 323,000 acres on the North Slope in 2014. Last year it bought a majority working interest in Smith Bay offshore oil and gas leases, formerly owned by NordAq Energy. 

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ICYMI House Finance: Caution advised on Cook Inlet Tax Credits


In Thursday’s editorial, the Juneau Empire augured into the depths of oil and gas tax credits, and spudded some misconceptions.

Tax credits are complicated, but let’s first make it clear that HB 247, Gov. Bill Walker’s bill, is a major rewrite of energy tax credits, and would completely overhaul the relatively young SB 21 tax system itself. Bill’s bill needs work.

Is the governor really prepared to kill the only commercially viable natural gas we have?

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Governor brings in more gasline outsiders

FANTASY GASLAND: A year ago in January, just hours before a board meeting of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., Gov. Bill Walker hastily fired the board chair, Dick Rabinow, and board members Drue Pearce, and former BP executive Al Bolea, because Walker wanted "lay Alaskans" to run the gasline project.

Rabinow was walking through the Ted Stevens International Airport terminal on his way to convene an AGDC board meeting when he got the call from the governor's chief of staff, who told him: Turn around and go back to Texas.

The governor repeatedly stated he didn't like "Outsiders" involved (Drue Pearce is former Alaska Senate President, hardly an "outsider," but hardly a pushover).

Then Walker brought in consultants like Rigdon Boykin and Radoslav Shipkoff. These were his own outsiders, whom he had previously engaged to work on the Alaska Gasline Port Authority (AGPA - the failed Valdez project).

It's industry lore that the governor had outstanding debts with these gentlemen, debts that are now ostensibly paid off with their lucrative State contracts, which were in the millions of dollars. The governor has not been transparent in his dealings with the multitude of contractors he has paraded through the state -- but many believe this was simply a "settling of accounts."

GOVERNOR OWNS GASLINE FAILURES: During his first year as governor, Walker proceeded to decimate the entire AGDC board, save one person - Dave Cruz, currently the chair.

Walker put in place cronies from the Valdez project that he had pushed for decades, such as Luke Hopkins and the governor's own chief of staff, Jim Whittaker.

Then, through strong arming the board, Walker gave AGDC President Dan Fauske the heave-ho.

Fast-forward to 2016, and the leading candidate for AGDC president is Keith Meyer, a Texan.

There is already some industry doubt of Meyer's qualifications, but we all know the gasline is now a phantom limb of the governor -- he just keeps scratching at it, but it's no longer there.

We all know the gasline is now a phantom limb of the governor -- he just keeps scratching at it, but it's no longer there.

So what's the point of getting the "best in the business" for another economic boondoggle?


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Governor's tax ad features cast of gov workers - all favoring taxes

Governor Bill Walker rolled out a testimonial video this week that showcases several Interior Alaskans imploring the viewer to get on board with Gov. Walker's income tax plan.

The testimonials come from four people either currently employed by or retired from government service, including the head of Fairbanks Parks and Recreation Department. One lists herself in the video as a project manager for a software company, but is also listed on the University of Fairbanks directory as working at the Cooperative Extension Office, whose budget is clearly at risk. Only one person on the video can truly be seen as associated with the private sector.

The video can be seen here.

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Fairbanks to get F-35 squadrons

Eielson Air Force Base was selected as the new home for the U.S. Air Force’s first F-35As in the Pacific Theatre.

Construction is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2017, with the arrival of the F-35s expected in 2020, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The Record of Decision was signed this morning by the Air Force, finalizing plans to base the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at Eielson, bringing 54 new aircraft and 2,765 additional residents to Interior Alaska.

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Anchorage votes tomorrow on bonds and more

BONDS AWAY! A bewildering amount of borrowing is in front of Anchorage voters tomorrow. It's almost as if the Municipality and School District don't know that Alaskans are about to be buried in state taxes, fees, along with a 50 percent cut to their Permanent Fund dividends.

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