Alaska ear (4/12/09)

The divine appendage

April 11, 2009 

VERBATIM ... Press release from the governor's office:

"April 6, 2009, Juneau, Alaska -- Responding to the missile test by North Korea, Governor Sarah Palin today reaffirmed Alaska's commitment to protecting America from rogue nation missile attacks."

Whew. Thank goodness. Hey, America -- you can relax now.

"IT" IS EVERYWHERE ... Lawmakers, lobbyists and staff have been talking about IT for months. The Legislative Skits made a skanky reference to IT during last weekend's performance. Ear has tried to ignore IT, but this past week IT spilled through the halls of the Capitol into the public.

"IT" is an allegedly torrid affair between two legislators.

You know how The Divine Appendage hates to dish, but there's no avoiding stories about a heated exchange in the Capitol lobby Tuesday between the male half of the duo and long-time Capitol reporter Bob Tkacz. It was tense enough to attract the attention of a Capitol guard.

The dispute, according to Bob, was over a claim that Bob had no business engaging in a casual private conversation about the rumors. Bob allowed as how the legislator was out of line complaining about his personal conversations. The legislator did not agree. The guard thought everyone should take a step back. Or so Ear was told.

When copies of an old 1991 New York Times story about Bob being stabbed in a Juneau street mugging suddenly proliferated around the building, the conversations stopped being casual.

When Ear last checked, there was talk of security tapes and accusations of misuse of state copiers.

At this point, Ear has only one question: Anybody got Jerry Springer's number?

Alors, darlings, maybe even a 90-day session is too long.

OUT AND ABOUT ... Fran Ulmer got a huge standing ovation when her name was announced Monday as this year's ATHENA Award winner by the Chamber of Commerce. The awards lunch at the Dena'ina Center was packed. Other women honored included Robbie Graham, Laurie Herman, Charlotte Fox, Sandy Harper, Carol Gore, Wendy Lindskoog, Judith Crotty, Mary Barber and Janelle Pfleiger.

• Earwigs report that New York Times reporter Bill Yardley was in Juneau this past week. He's said to be working on a story about how Sarah's governance has changed since the VP race.

POP QUIZ ... The State House passed a fawning and ultimately meaningless resolution last week, demanding that the feds apologize to poor Uncle Ted. It had the usual Ted-is-innocent tone, rather than the more appropriate Ted-is-lucky tone the prosecution misbehavior actually warrants. Who was the only House member brave enough to vote against it?

• Which committee chairman rose on the House floor last week and confidently urged his colleagues to vote to repeal "day fines," then had to admit he didn't know what day fines were?

ACTUAL FACT CHECKING ... Rumors that Joe Bottini, one of the federal prosecutors in the Stevens case, has the Alaska license plate GUILTY are not true.

According to DMV records, that plate belongs to Stephan Collins.

Hmmm. Isn't Stephan Collins also a federal prosecutor?

Speaking of Bottini, a generally well liked and respected prosecutor in Alaska, did you see his picture in Wednesday's paper? Walking behind Brenda Morris? Ear did a double-take. Didn't Joe have dark hair when he started working on the federal corruption cases? It's gray now. Tough gig?

NO COMMENT ... A booth at the Great Alaska Sportsman Show last weekend was selling targets with Ashley (anti-wolf-kill) Judd's picture on them.

STAR POWER ... You know that page in Newsweek where they do quotes from a bunch of high-powered newsmakers? There among the words of President Obama and the speaker of the Vermont House and the Israeli foreign minister are some from Julie Hasquet, spokeswoman for our Kid Senator.

"We're not going to respond to her," Julie is quoted saying.

She means Sarah's suggestion that Begich resign and give Ted a chance to get his seat back.

CASTING CALLS ... Out North Theatre is looking for an actor to play Jack Abramoff in his mid-20s in a new play called "The Black Cockerel," a drama about political corruption by a Nigerian playwright. Express your interest to

No word if there's a part for Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Who Voted for Him.

• A press release featuring the NBC logo claims to be looking for a great Anchorage family to participate in a new reality TV show called "The Great American Road Trip." Actually, they're looking nationally for seven great families, each with at least two kids between 11 and 16 years old. "Full of Fun, Daring, & Competitive Natures." Express your interest to casting director David Tapia at

QUIZ ANSWERS ... The lone House member was Rep. Mike Doogan. In his newsletter he says he objected to claims in the resolution that the prosecution was politically motivated, since there's been no evidence of that. (In fact, wasn't it the Bush DOJ that prosecuted Ted?).

The chagrined Judiciary chairman was Rep. Jay Ramras. He laughed with his colleagues when he had to ask for a recess so someone could explain day fines to him. Find out what he learned at the Gavel to Gavel Web site ( Look for the April 2 House floor session, HB 170.

And yes, the bunny man in the photo is Ramras on another occasion, mugging for the camera of a friend.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey. E-mail Find Ear online at

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