WHOOPS . . . That'll teach Ear to blow off the Republican Party convention because it's usually too boring to bother with.
If you don't know the details about how Ron Paul-tea party-Joe Miller supporters took control of the state GOP, check out Lisa Demer's story at www.adn.com. The earwig takeaway is: Shut the front door -- could it get any better?
It's unclear if longtime GOP boss Randy Ruedrich decided to step down -- he's been talking about doing so for more than a year -- or if he counted votes and got out ahead of the storm, but with his exit, the party seems poised to return to the backbiting, amateurish chaos that reigned before he took over. And darlings, that is only good news for Ear.
Under Randy, the Republican Party was quite tedious -- not counting Sarah, of course. Every two years, Randy held his fractious troops together, got candidates nominated who could win, maintained useful relations with the $$$ industry, rounded up enough money to fund the chosen candidates, won the House majority again and again, tied up the Senate, and kept the governorship Republican after Sarah jumped ship. (You'll recall she left him holding hands with Capt. Zero after Randy valiantly held his nose and supported her in the general election, despite her having ratted him out in a big way). And in his spare time, he "influenced" the redrawing of election district lines to favor Republicans. Like Ear said: boring.
But the new guys? Here are some of the "instructions" emailed to Ron Paul convention attendees last week:
"We will be informing you via text message on how you need to vote on every vote that comes up. ... Our internal numbers show that if Santorum, Gingrich and Romney delegates vote as a bloc, they have a majority at the state convention. So it is absolutely crucial that we use whatever tactics necessary to promote division and confusion amongst their supporters. We promote confusion and division by:
"a) Gaining the trust of our opponents' supporters and taking advantage of their ignorance so that we can gain control of them ... Tell them whatever they need to hear so that you gain their trust and establish credibility with them. Once you've done that you will control them.
"b) Deception and Misinformation -- use any means necessary to divide and conquer our opponents."
And so it goes. Isn't it delightful? Do you suppose they know they're channeling Richard Nixon?
And who did they credit for all this end-justifies-the-means crap? When the new guy, whatzisname, took over, he said he was moved by "a tug from God."
To which Ear can only say: Hallelujah and pass the popcorn!
CALL FOR THE FAITHFUL . . . As long as we're out there on the fringe, the Alaska Libertarian Party issued an emergency call this week for people to register to keep the party from being dropped off the election ballot.
In a special May 2 edition of their newsletter, party officials say they are 57 registrations short, according to the APOC. Unless they get 57 more registrations before June 1, they apparently won't be allowed to field candidates in the August primary, which "means no candidates in November."
RATS . . . Looks like Ear missed the International Pilot Bread Festival this weekend in Saxman. Again.
ADOPTED . . . Earwigs could be forgiven for wondering if something weird is happening to the time-space continuum. Mark Begich had a big fundraiser in Anchorage this past week at the Sand Lake home of Georgianna Lincoln and Chris Cook. He also lent his weight to a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party hosted by CIRI. Nothing unusual there, but the presence of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, waxing enthusiastic about Mark at both events, was a bit of a mind-blower. As all who worshipped at the altar of Uncle Ted know, Inouye and the late Ted Stevens were attached at the hip -- calling each other brother despite party differences, sweating at spas together, maybe even braiding each other's hair.
During comments at the Dem Party event, Inouye said he missed Ted. "He was my brother. But I have a new brother," he said. "I have a kid brother." It got a laugh from the crowd, but nothing like the laugh generated during an exchange with Georgianna at her event, as reported by an earwig who was there.
The two were exchanging pleasantries and talking about her Native art collection when Inouye said, "You know, Georgianna, I have one of those oosiks." To which Georgianna responded, "I have three."
Said Inouye, "Well, mine is 12 inches."
Without missing a beat, Georgianna looked over at Irene Inouye and asked, "Is that true, Irene?"
The VIP Democrats -- and some Republicans -- who attended reportedly raised nearly $100,000 for Begich's 2014 campaign.
OUTSIDE . . . Ear is usually not that impressed by artsy stuff -- as you know, Ears got no taste buds -- but the Alaska Quarterly Review (greatly admired nationally, little heralded at home) is being honored in NYC with an exhibition at the VII Gallery. It's called "Liberty & Justice (for All)," a tribute to photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were killed covering the civil war in Libya, and includes photos and narratives of 68 photographers from 22 countries. It runs from May 10 to June 8.
Still not impressed? How about a like exhibition on May 25 in London at the Frontline Club?
The events are spinoffs from AQR's 30th anniversary issue, edited as ever by Ron Spatz.
OK, now Ear is impressed.
NOTABLE QUOTE . . . An example of how the world thinks of us showed up last week in Foreign Policy magazine. It was from a 10-year-old interview with Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia and recently convicted of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. The writer, recalling a 2002 chat with Taylor in Monrovia, included the following exchange:
Taylor: "I live well and have no regrets. I am a good Christian. I have lived and studied in Boston ... But a politician from America could not survive in Africa no more than I could survive in Alaska."
Writer: "President Taylor, I am convinced that if you moved to Alaska, you would be governor within eight months."