Alaska Ear: Really super voters (10/21/12)

Sheila Toomey

REALLY SUPER VOTERS . . . Darlings, all those whiners lamenting overregulation and the alleged loss of liberty obviously haven't voted in Gambell recently.

In the August primary, 112 ballots were cast in the St. Lawrence Island village, which was something of a puzzle to officials at the Division of Elections.

They couldn't help but notice there were only 78 voters in Gambell.


Turns out there was a simple explanation: Poll minders there had received three sets of ballots: One was supposed to be just for registered Republicans et al; one just for Democrats et al; and one with just the ballot propositions for folks who didn't want to choose a party.

But you know how confusing instructions can be. And the candidate names on the different ballots were mostly different. So the poll minders gave one of each to everyone.

Until they ran out of the prop-only ballots. Then they could only give two ballots to each person.

So some people only got to vote twice instead of three times -- hey, isn't that a denial of equal rights?

Just kidding.

The state election review board figured out what happened. Eager not to disenfranchise anyone, they threw out the prop-only ballots, since the propositions were also on both the other ballots, and let the rest stand. Luckily no contest was close enough for the super democracy to make a difference.


APOLOGY DUE . . . Ear is so distraught. Bristol got voted off "Dancing with the Stars" this week. Ear didn't actually watch it (and wouldn't on a salary), but it was her partner's fault, right? It must have been.

Apparently it's a rule that DWTS losers have to go on the Jimmy Kimmel show -- no, Ear has no idea why. An arcane form of TV torture, perhaps.

When Bristol showed up Tuesday night, Kimmel tried to apologize, sort of, for all the rude Sarah jokes he's made over the years, according to an online account of the event.

But when he said, "I'm sorry," Bristol snapped back, "No, you're not."

And really, he wasn't. You could tell.

So Kimmel offered to let her "make 48,000 jokes" about his mother, "just to make us even."

Bristol was not amused. "I don't know your mom," she said.


APOLOGY DUE? . . . In case you have any money left over in this election season, a couple of email solicitations from the Anchorage Baptist Temple, sent out over Pastor Jerry Prevo's name, urge you to send a check to help Billy Graham buy a bunch of full-page ads in national publications to endorse Anyone-But-Obama.

"On Thursday, Billy Graham had a visit from Mitt Romney," an Oct. 12 note says. "Because Rev. Graham is concerned about the present administration's attack on Judeo/Christian values, Rev. Graham said he would be supporting Mitt Romney."

Says one dated Oct. 10, "When Billy Graham speaks, people listen."

The ads will cost $1.2 million and Graham said, "I have committed to raise $100,000 toward this project."

"If America does not repent from the direction it is going, God will have to judge America or apologize to Sodom," one warns.

But, d'Ears, the coolest thing is, "Your contribution is tax deductible," according to the message. "If you would like to help, make your check out to Anchorage Baptist Temple."

Huh, you say. Political contributions are not tax-deductible, are they?

Get real. This is a contribution to God. Of course it's deductible.

DOES HE KNOW? . . . Bob Atwood must be spinning in his grave. The University of Alaska Anchorage has chosen former Daily News columnist Mike Doogan as the 2013 Atwood Chair in Journalism. He succeeds former Daily News photo editor Richard Murphy, who is this year's Atwood professor.

Mike says he'll teach a course on the difference between writing news and opinion. (Definitely not a distinction that Bob Atwood made.)

Before signing on with the ADN, Mike was city editor at Atwood's Anchorage Times. But not for long.


A (STUPID) QUESTION . . . Earwigs are scratching their heads over the bickering in the Pete Kelly-Joe Paskvan Senate race in Fairbanks. The kerfuffle is over whether "lobbyist" is the plain English word for the puffed-up title "director of state relations."

Yes, it is. Everyone knows it is. Lots of companies use it. It's never even been a question before.

Was Kelly a lobbyist for the University of Alaska? His title was director of state relations. As a former Senate Finance chair, he was quite a catch for UA since he'd be lobbying his former colleagues, something he pointed out when he got the job. (A seriously OCD earwig forwarded a bunch of newspaper stories on the subject.)

Now Kelly apparently objects to being called a former lobbyist. Supporters say if he was a lobbyist, he would have had to register. No, d'Ears, UA lobbyists are among the exceptions to that rule. Look it up: AS24.45.161(2).

The only real question here is, how much more trivial can this campaign get?


AN ACTUAL QUESTION . . . Why doesn't Lesil McGuire have a page in the big election booklet delivered to everyone last week?

Her office says it was just a "miscommunication" within the campaign team and they'll be mailing the information to constituents very soon.


KUDOS . . . to Michael Mauer, who just won an appointment as a White House intern. He's the only Alaskan on the list of a kazillion kids. (Sorry, Ear stopped counting at 93.) Michael is the son of Barbara Jacobs and Richard Mauer (yes, that Rich Mauer).


FOUNDING FATHER . . . Vic Fischer's memoir, as told to Charles Wohlforth, is scheduled to be officially "launched" on Oct. 30 with a celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. at the UAA Consortium Library. Vic is one of the few remaining authors of our fab Alaska Constitution.

The book is called "To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey."


ON THE MOVE . . . Jason Lamb, Channel 2 news-star, has landed a job at WTVF in Nashville, Tenn., a nice move up the TV-Land ladder. He's gone in mid-November.


OOPS . . . The earwigs who reported spotting Rep. Mike Hawker dining with Frank Prewitt at Southside Bistro last week need to polish their glasses. Not so, sez Mike.


FLYING FACTOID . . . In honor of Alaska Day, which was Thursday, in case you missed it: Alaska is 2½ times bigger than Texas. At low tide, Alaska is three times bigger.

For some reason, this fact really cracks Ear up.


UNALASKA COPS . . . Oct. 10 - "Suspicious Person/Activity - Officer observed a Deadliest Catch star urinating in puddle and advised the man, as he zipped his pants and denied any such activity, that it was illegal to urinate in public."





Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Find Ear online Sunday night at Message Sheila at