CAPT. ZERO . . . OMG, where to begin making fun of the "withdrawn" oil tax bill. So many snarky jokes, so little space.
Incredulous earwigs are wondering who's madder: House Republicans who loyally backed the governor even as the ground gave way beneath them, or the bipartisan Senate coalition annoyed that his announcement excoriated them when everyone blames the administration's inept sales job?
Ear's favorite reaction was the Juneau wag who announced that killing the bill was Parnell's birthday present to Revenue chief Bryan Butcher. His birthday was Wednesday, according to his Facebook page. Killing the bill meant Butcher no longer had to sit at tables in legislative hearing rooms being raked bloody by members of both parties.
Happy birthday, Bryan!
WANTED . . . Speaking of people who should have withdrawn, admit it, you've been wondering what's going on with Bristol Palin's ex, Levi Johnston. Earwigs who wear pinky rings and gold chains report the Wasilla Wanker was briefly in demand recently. Seems a bidding war developed for an "exclusive" interview with Levi and his most recent pregnant girlfriend. The winner? TMZ. There was quite a bit of interest from what we hear. No word on how much TMZ paid but every little bit helps with those child support payments.
Correction, d'Ears. TMZ doesn't pay for "news" interviews -- that would be wrong. They apparently license your photograph and pay for that.
JERKED AROUND . . . Is someone really calling homeowners in the path of the Seward Highway-92nd Avenue Connector Project, identifying himself as Rep. Chris Tuck, and telling them the project has been delayed? The state Department of Transportation called Chris to warn him someone was using his name, for what purpose remains a mystery. Maybe just to upset people already involved in eminent domain proceedings?
Chatting with Chris gave Ear a chance to congratulate him on getting one of the bigger laughs during the ritual final floor speeches on the last day of the regular House session. Wanna-be speakers had to announce a "topic" ahead of time -- "sentimental goodbye" apparently didn't cut it. Tuck listed his subject as "We all Have One." After letting his audience titter over what he might mean, Tuck said he meant "one of those constituents." That got a small laugh. His colleagues all knew what he meant. But the big laugh came when he pointed out that, depending on how redistricting settles out, and if he gets re-elected, retiring Rep. Mike Doogan will be one of his constituents.
AND THE WINNER IS . . . Did you check out the three names given to the governor to fill Carl Gatto's Valley House seat? Earwigs cringed at David Eastman's postings on something called homeschoolalumni.org. Marvin Yoder got defeated last week in his bid for the MEA Board. So betting is Shelley Hughes gets the appointment. Isn't she a sister of former school board member John Steiner?
However, keep in mind the appointment is in the hands of Capt. Zero, so anything can happen for any reason.
CAN'T WAIT . . . Rep. Berta Gardner has filed for the open Senate seat in Midtown, but some of her colleagues apparently can't wait for the election. One day last week, Sen. Joe Paskvan and DNR Commissioner Butcher both referred to her as Sen. Gardner. Paskvan is a fellow Democrat so we can understand his wishful thinking, but Butcher?
TONE DEAF . . . Will someone please tell Mayor Sullivan to stop trying to be funny. Earwigs report the skiers and volunteers gathered at Kincaid Park for Kikkan's homecoming event were not even slightly amused when he said, "Guess I won't be building condos out here." Har, har.
CAPITOL NEWSROOM . . . What's the name of that Channel 2 reporter who grabbed a nearby suit jacket while getting tarted up for his part of the governor's live TV interview Wednesday and put on Parnell's jacket by mistake? That's Dan Fiorucci's story anyhow. They sorted it out but Ear can only imagine the governor's horror at maybe having to don a reporter's sport coat.
One of those wires attached to Les Gara during his cancer surgery in New York was apparently connected to his iPod. Legislative folk got a message from him, perhaps as they wheeled him into recovery, that he is now cancer-free. Great news! Les had to miss the special session. Who says cancer doesn't have an upside?
ADIEU . . . Longtime Republican budget guru Cheryl Frasca is retiring -- for real this time. Currently director of Mayor Dan Sullivan's Office of Management and Budget, Frasca has been a player in public money matters since the late '70s when she worked in Senate Finance for Bill Sumner. Her work with Sen. Al Adams (a Democrat, sort of) and Sen. Jan Faiks led to her being tapped by Gov. Wally Hickel for state OMB. She spent three years in muni government working for Mayor George Wuerch, then moved back to the state as head of Gov. Frank Murkowski's OMB.
Cheryl says she'll probably do some consulting. "I just want to do projects and travel and live life," she said.
Cheryl told a reporter with the temerity to ask that her retirement has nothing to do with the contentious budget revisions the city just went through.
FROSH . . . So, who was that Howard University freshman in the Washington Post photo of HU's protest of the Trayvon Martin killing? Right in front? Yes, Octavia Butler, daughter of Anchorage lawyer Rex Butler. Hmmmm. Wouldn't her dad be on the other side in that case? After all, he is a defense attorney.
Nevermind. Rex couldn't be more proud. Not only did she have a 4.0 grade point average her first semester, he bragged, but she managed to protest without losing her vaunted fashion sense. "Her green hoodie matched her green and black sign," he noted.
Compiled by Sheila Toomey. The Ear column is available beginning early Sunday morning to our print and electronic subscribers, and is posted Sunday night at www.adn.com/ear. Message Sheila at 257-4341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.