WINNING LOSERS ... It's apparently a fact of elections that campaign workers invariably gain weight in the months leading to the big decision. Especially when the big decision drones on for weeks after everyone votes. It's those bad hours, unreliable pollsters, rude phone calls, the general stress of everyone getting their freak on.
To prove that tubbing up isn't inevitable, earwigs report 17 people working for the Begich Senate race entered a fitness pact. Fruit and veggies instead of pizza and nachos. The result: Almost everyone lost weight, reports John Vezina, one person more than 30 pounds. No one gained, he said.
And, oh yes, another bonus for them. Looks like Begich won the Senate race too.
YOU BETCHA ... So there was Ethan Berkowitz on KFAR radio last week, reports an earwig. A caller asked if Ethan would ever wave an oosik on the floor of the House of Representatives like Don Young once did.
Ethan said he would never do that. But if he did wave an oosik around, his was bigger than Don's.
MS STATEMENT ... It was impossible to avoid Sarah on the airwaves this past week. Seems like every person with a mic or blog interviewed her, prompting snarky columns about overexposure, especially given she lost the election.
Sarah said, and Ear totally believes, that she never make those stupid remarks about Africa or NAFTA. But, in at least one appearance, earwigs heard her take credit for a bill to ban investment of state money in the Sudan -- land of the Darfur genocide and other depressing evils. Her comments prompted quick dispatch to Ear by Rep. Les Gara of a March 11 letter from the Office of the Governor, explaining why Palin did not support divestiture in "Iran" (oops, sounds like Sudan). Here are a few selected quotes from the letter, signed by an aide. To read it all, click on the attached link.
"A divestiture policy would restrict the investment opportunities available to the pension systems and would likely result in a combination of lower returns and higher return volatility. Implementing a divestiture policy would also increase costs for the retirement systems ... (the retirement board) is not in a position to determine or implement social, economic or foreign policy."
The bill never passed so the governor never had to decide whether to sign it. Changing her mind on the subject is not a bad thing, but it doesn't make her "support" retroactive.
DISS-ORGANIZED ... Ear hears negotiations are ongoing between soon-to-be Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, and the new Senate coalition. Just a suggestion guys, but give him what he wants. Earwigs who understand the complexities of building state budgets say you need him more than he needs you.
MUST SEE ... Former Gov. Frank Murkowski is scheduled to address the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday. All things considered, Frank the Bank could be very interesting if he chooses to.
OOPS ... Alaska Airlines is advertising a special 50th anniversary of statehood fare between Anchorage and "select Alaskan cities" at up to 50 percent off. "Save 50% for the 50th State," says the ad on their Web site.
And all this time, Ear thought we were the 49th state.
VERBATIM ... From Sarah: "2012 - that sounds like years away."
WHAT WERE THE ODDS ... Mad-Zoo ADN bloggers report Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren won $620 in the Mat-Su Youth Court fund-raising raffle last month. Van Susteren got hit up by then-Wasilla Mayor Dianne Keller during the Sarah media frenzy. She bought 10 of the $2 tickets and apparently donated her winnings back to the cause.
ONE AND THE SAME ...For the cover of his new Alaska mystery, "Frozen Sun," former newsie Stan Jones hired the beautiful Heidi Rae Johnson from Cordova as his cover model. Writer and former Voice of the Times editor Tom Brennan spotted her picture there and decided he had to have her for the cover of his new novel, "The Snowflake Rebellion" due out in January (Plot: Alaska secedes from the Union).
But Tom didn't want Heidi bundled up in a fur-trimmed parka, like on Stan's book. He wanted her naked. On an Army tank.
It was cold, but Heidi was a good sport.
Writes Tom: "The cover is getting me into more trouble than the novel will. It was drawn from a photo we took of (Heidi) posing on top of the tank on Fort Richardson, dodging MPs. Is there a statute of limitations on such things?"
Alas, for obvious reasons, the picture is not attached.