Alaska ear: And so it goes (3/17/13)

Compiled by Sheila ToomeyMarch 16, 2013 

AND SO IT GOES . . . Our esteemed lawmakers, back from the energy junket and facing another 30 days together, seem to be getting on everyone's nerves, including each other.

Rep. Bert Stedman, whose people skills are sometimes questioned, was sitting on a bench chuckling, showing off buttons that read "The only good sea otter is a dead sea otter." He's trying to put a $100 bounty on arguably the cutest critters in the water because they eat too many fish. He put the buttons away when a reporter approached. He said the buttons weren't his idea but . . .

Speaking of the congeniality challenged, Rep. Bill Stoltze was reportedly so rude that Ear can't repeat what he said about Charisse Millett after she talked for 11 minutes on the House floor on March 4, pushing HJR 6, her unopposed nonbinding resolution asking the federal government to please clean up abandoned oil and gas wells in Alaska.

But not to worry, the Chugiak lawmaker offered a printable quote (with bad mind visuals) during debate in the Labor and Commerce Committee on repealing the film subsidy:

"I don't like to have artificial stimulation -- but that's a different style I have."

Ear hesitates to mention that Bill was once alleged to have baked cookies in the nude -- OK, stop.



SWEET TALK . . . Denizens of the Capitol pressroom were debating whether eating any of the Girl Scout cookies dropped off there by an aide to Rep. Mike Hawker obligated them to write something nice about his problematic natural gas pipeline bill.



A QUESTION . . . What did Don Seckers, the lobbyist for ExxonMobil, like best? The chance that the billion-dollar tax giveaway he testified about Thursday might not go through, the way he wanted it to? Or the root canal he had scheduled for Friday? Hmmm. Tough call.

OK, enough already. Here's an on-point view filed by an earwig trapped in Juneau for the duration:

"Four weeks to go this session, and it feels like every bad bill is getting legs. One day I listen to debate that we don't need gun control because the answer lies in mental health programs, and then the next day I listen to debate on why we need to cut $8 million from Behavioral Health programs."

Or, why doesn't The Divine Appendage just quote former Senate President Clem Tillion, who spoke at the Alaska Legislature centennial celebration in Juneau on March 3.

"To watch an American legislature in action is to believe 'Alice in Wonderland' is normalcy."

(That's a quote of the week from Bob Tkacz's "Laws for the Sea" electronic newsletter.)



ACT TWO . . . On another stage of the statewide political drama, watch for a new effort to remove Debbie Brown as chair of the Republican Party of Alaska. Debbie was part of the crypto-Libertarian take-over last year and the crown rests uneasily on her head. Earwigs who usually know what's going on say she's going to be charged with some form of dereliction of duty.

Waiting in the wings is vice chair Peter Goldberg, who was not part of the fractured take-over. He was elected unanimously and automatically becomes chair if Debbie goes.

Seems like our GOP brethren are headed into an era like the one that preceded Randy Ruedrich's 13-year reign -- when party chairs sometime lasted only days in office.

Tough on them. Fun for Ear.



BECAUSE WE MUST . . . In case you missed the latest Sarah send-up, she's allegedly writing a book about "the war on Christmas."

Oh, wait. It's not a send-up. The Associated Press says she's really doing it. It's called "A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas," with IS in caps. The message is how saying "Happy Holiday" to people who perhaps celebrate different winter solstice festivals than the one Christians celebrate equals kissing up to the devil. Or something like that.

The only real question is why issue a Christmas book announcement in March? To quote a Washington Post blogger:

"Christmas books are like Christmas albums: They are not things you make and announce in March when your career is going anyplace good."



DEFINITION . . . of irony? The ADN story about Tuesday's Assembly meeting included the following:

"Several police officers in uniforms and helmets with visors were standing by in a back room in case of trouble, said Assemblyman Chris Birch."

So, the Assembly relied on protection from police at a meeting focused on how the Assembly plans to screw over city employees, including police? Shouldn't they have called in "privatized" security? Maybe that Joe Miller guy who handcuffed a reporter who asked questions he didn't like is available.


Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Email ear@adn.com. Find Ear online at adn.com/ear.

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