Alaska Ear: A question ... (5/26/2013)

Sheila Toomey

A QUESTION . . . When did the oil tax bill, SB 21, become the "More Alaska Production Act"?

Did Ear doze off and miss a legislative change of title for the big oil tax cut signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Sean Parnell?

The press releases fired off by pro-industry spinmeisters over the past few days refer to it that way. Apparently we're supposed to call it "MAP." (Wouldn't it be MAPA?)

Earwigs who followed every step of the controversial bill's progress missed the legal name change, which of course never actually happened. Ear checked the legislative record. The name of the bill that passed is as follows:

"An Act relating to the interest rate applicable to certain amounts due for fees, taxes, and payments made and property delivered to the Department of Revenue; providing a tax credit against the corporation income tax for qualified oil and gas service industry expenditures; relating to the oil and gas production tax rate; relating to gas used in the state; relating to monthly installment payments of the oil and gas production tax relating to oil and gas production tax credits for certain losses and expenditures; relating to oil and gas production tax credit certificates; relating to nontransferable tax credits based on production; relating to the oil and gas tax credit fund; relating to annual statements by producers and explorers; establishing the Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board; and making conforming amendments."

OK, Earwigs can see the need for some shorthand here. But really, darlings, can't at least we hold off until we see More Actual Production? The Acerbic Appendage figures this is a test to see if we are indeed the mindless sheep the spin docs believe.

Speaking of BAAAA . . . The Republican Party of Alaska put out a pretend-outrage press release, accusing state Rep. Harriet Drummond of picketing against us plain folk Tuesday outside the Dena'ina Center. In fact, she and others were picketing the governor's signing of SB 21 (see above). Current GOP chairman Peter Goldberg was shocked, just shocked! that Drummond's sign said something like: "Corrupt Bastards' Club Meeting. Third Floor."

A dueling press release from the Alaska Democratic Party pointed out that said "club" was named by Republicans and funded by Veco to ... (drum roll)... reduce oil taxes.

It's all pretty routine political skirmishing, but here's Ear's question: Was it really a good idea for the Republicans to spotlight a sign hardly anyone would have noticed, thus reminding Alaskans about oily Veco and Corrupt Bastards?

Just asking.

Oh yeah, the GOP press release called SB 21 the "Make Alaska Productive Act."

RUNNING . . . The dump Lindsey Holmes movement has a face now. Clare Ross, a Sand Lake resident and development director for the Anchorage Library Foundation, announced she's running for the seat.

SPRING DRAFT . . . Those tea tipplers are still trying to get Our Sarah to run for Sen. Mark Begich's seat next year. They have a new poll that claims she's two points better than Lite Guv Mead Treadwell. Ear is betting we haven't seen the real Republican candidate yet, but that's another story.

What passed for Palin news this week is that Sen. Lisa Murkowski said out loud she's not enthusiastic about a Sarah candidacy. (Pause here to LOL).

"I think there are a lot of outside interests that would like to see Sarah Palin in some form of elected office," Lisa told a Capitol Hill newspaper. "Most in Alaska recognize our former governor is really not involved in or engaged in the state anymore, that she's moved to other interests."

ADIEU . . . Friends of Jeff Mittman gathered at Ginger Monday to say so long. Jeff is leaving his post as executive director of the ACLU in Alaska. Ernie Hall and Harriet Drummond were there from the Assembly. Fran Rose, Hugh and Lanie Fleischer, Donna Goldsmith and John Letourneau were among the other guests. Jeff is headed to Saint Louis.

ON THE MOVE . . . The new executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce is Jim Lavrakas. Yes, the long-time Daily News photog and author of "Snap Decisions," who "retired" down there with Nurse Ruth (his wife) so he could hang out with his fabulous boat and run a guided fishing biz.

GOOD TASTE? . . . And from Alaska? Seems so unlikely. But Anchorage-born Erin Sullivan has been named one of Wine Enthusiast magazine's "Top 40 Under 40" Tastemakers in America. Yes, she's one of those Sullivans.

Let's see if Ear can parse the connection: Granddaughter of George and Margaret, daughter of the late Harvey, niece of Mayor Dan and sister of super dishy Patrick, the Ralph Lauren model.

You can read all about it in the June edition of the magazine. It's the cover story.

KUDOS . . . Alaska film editor Brad Swenson scored the Best Editing prize last week at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. "The Darkness" is a short drama from Crooked Pictures and Tri-Seven Pictures, both Alaska outfits. A celebration is planned on June 19 at TapRoot in Spenard. Brad says check for details.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 and

Sheila Toomey