BAIT 'N' SWITCH ... Apparently economic issues, especially oil taxes, aren't compelling enough to get Alaska conservatives to the polls in sufficient numbers to torpedo the bipartisan coalition in the state Senate. To remedy that problem, a political-Christian group plans to spend $40,000 promoting the idea that important "social" issues are at stake in November.
So says a call to arms issued this week by Jim Minnery, who runs Alaska Family Action. He says the group will use the money to defeat senators who dare to work across party lines.
Minnery's arsenal will include 10,000 to 15,000 full-color mailers for each Senate race, two robocalls, maybe voiced by Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee, between Nov. 2 and 5, email text blasts, and pressure from pastors on their respective flocks.
"Like it or not, although most conservatives are fearful of our economic future under the current regime, many Alaskans are primarily motivated to get to the polls by social issues," Minnery says.
Ear wonders what social issue fights are left to win in Alaska: parental notification just got upheld by the Superior Court and will probably make it through the Supremes; the Alaska Constitution outlaws gay marriage; the Anchorage gay rights initiative was buried for the third time; and no destitute women can use state money for an abortion.
Darlings, Ear thought the drive to topple the bipartisan Senate coalition was about oil taxes, not the Talibanization of Alaska, so what's really going on here?
ON THE ROAD .... Was it wrong of Ear to giggle at a press release issued this week titled: "Treadwell Visits Alaska Dinosaurs in Texas Museum"?
So the geezers who used to run Alaska retire to Texas? Ear thought they all went to Palm Springs.
Oh, all right. Our Lite Gov was visiting the remains of actual dinosaurs dug up in Alaska and exhibited at the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
And no, Ear did not make up the name of the hall or the museum.
The exhibit actually sounds pretty cool. It features a one-of-a-kind dino dug out of a Colville River cliff in 2006, called Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum -- and yes, that perotorum means it's named after Perot. (He must have provided the pith helmets.)
Treadwell got a sneak preview of it all. The exhibit doesn't open until Dec. 1.
QUESTIONS ... What were Mike Hawker and Frank Prewitt talking about at dinner last week? Earwigs spotted them at the South Side Bistro.
Where was Republican operative and perpetual Don Young supporter Curtis Thayer last week during Don's Octoberfest fund-raiser at his Anchorage headquarters? Ear stopped by to say howdy (or something) and was told Curtis had a previous engagement: a tour for him and his family of the West Wing of the White House. The one in Washington, D. C. You know, where Satan lives.
UNALASKA COPS ... "An intoxicated man phoned police to report he was with another even more intoxicated man and was worried this second inebriate might fall into the water while trying to step from the dock to his boat. Officers responded and attempted to help the second inebriate onto his boat, only to have him step from dock to air. The hold officers had on him prevented him from going fully into the water. He was eventually loaded onto his vessel and turned over to a sober third party."
By SHEILA TOOMEY