Boehner hopes to fish for more than cash while in Alaska

Mike Dunham
J. Scott Applewhite

Ohio congressman John Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is touring Western Alaska with Alaska congressman Don Young. A statement from Young's office confirmed that the two were in rural Alaska Monday and that Young was showing Boehner "the unique challenges as well as some of the great things Alaskans are doing."

On Tuesday, Boehner will attend a fundraiser at the home of Deanna and Dana Pruhs in Anchorage. Pruhs is the owner of a construction business who has served on the Alaska Board of Game as an appointee of former Gov. Tony Knowles.

An invitation to the event prominently features Young's name along with several co-hosts, including Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, former Alaska GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich, Carl Brady, Art Hackney, Bob Penney, former Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

Ruedrich said Boehner would be raising money for several political groups, including the Republican National Congressional Committee, The Freedom Project (Boehner's PAC) and the Ohio Republican State Central and Executive Committee. Ruedrich said it is typical to raise funds for several groups, including the state party for the main honoree, at these types of events.

Lindsey Whitt, communications director for the mayor, confirmed that the event was on Sullivan's calendar for Tuesday, though it wasn't certain whether the mayor would attend.

Commissioner Sullivan served in Washington, D.C., as assistant secretary of state for economic, energy and business affairs from 2006 to 2009. His name has been floated in the press as a potential Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Mark Begich, including in a recent article by James Rosen for McClatchy Newspapers and a Wall Street Journal column by Karl Rove.

The other co-hosts named on the invitation were Ron Duncan, Vicki and Jim Jansen, Mark Johnson, Patti and David McGuire, Gloria O'Neill, Colleen and George Starring, and Josie and Curtis Thayer.

Boehner was spotted at the Double Musky Inn restaurant in Girdwood on Sunday evening. Daily News vice president of advertising Marti Buscaglia was dining with friends when they noticed Secret Service agents entering the kitchen and wondered what was up. The speaker of the House is second in the line of succession for the presidency, after the vice president, and so receives a high degree of security.

Boehner and a small party entered and sat at the next table. Buscaglia said she spoke with Boehner and others in his group and learned that, among other things, he had visited the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward and hoped to go fishing.