Alaska Ear: Just askin' (9/22/13)

JUST ASKIN' ... Did you see that former Valley Rep. Vic Kohring lost an appeal to overturn his felony conviction for political corruption?

Despite the setback, Vic isn't done with politics. He's running for the Wasilla City Council. The election is Oct. 1, which leaves Ear wondering:

Will Wasillans really elect someone who isn't allowed to carry a gun?

STARTING LINE ... Darlings, the food fight has begun. With a few days left as DNR commissioner, TODS (The Other Dan Sullivan) just had to fire back when lite guv and U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell accused him of carpetbagging. (The world assumes TODS is resigning to run against Treadwell in the GOP primary next year.)

Mead told Politico he had a jar of mayonnaise in his refrigerator that's been in Alaska longer than TODS.

Sullivan claims 16 years of Alaska residency. He was a lawyer here for a while, moved back to D.C. to work in the State Department, and then returned in the Palin administration.

TODS' comeback?

Avoid eating sandwiches made by Treadwell.

Silly? Of course. Ear loves it.

You can read the stories on For details on Alaska residency for both candidates, check

OH PLEASE ... Did Mark Begich really remove a routine grip-and-grin photo of him and the EPA director from an earlier press release after the big armed-feds-in-Chicken flap? Ear didn't catch the switch but an earwig sent in both versions.

OH PLEASE II ... Did the Treadwell campaign hire Rick Gorka as a communications aide? You may remember Gorka as the Mitt Romney press secretary who made headlines by telling reporters trying to question the presidential candidate to "kiss my ass."

OH PLEASE III ... Once again, Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Except Ear and a Few Others, has been declared one of the most corrupt members of Congress. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) issues the list annually. This is Darling Don's fifth appearance.

His sins allegedly include earmarking money to benefit a campaign contributor, accepting gifts from lobbyists and using campaign donations for personal expenses.

So, what else is new? We've elected Don Young 21 times. We're going to elect him again in November 2014. It's obvious we don't care if he's a crook, so don't waste your time piling on.

For the record, the GOP scored 11 spots on the list; Democrats claimed six. All were members of the House.

You can find the full report, etc., at

RETRO RESCUE ... Remember that postcard solicitation Mayor Dan sent out, asking constituents to take part in an online survey? Ear got one and felt so honored.

The deadline was Friday, but by midweek, when earwigs tried to pass along their opinions about "how things in Anchorage are going," the online password didn't work. Calling the suggested phone number got a sorry-can't-talk-to-you recording.

Turns out a lot of Anchortowners have something to say to the mayor and crashed the system.

Word is, Hizzoner is now mailing out paper surveys.

Retro saves the day.

A QUESTION ... Speaking of postcards, why did a group supporting Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, paper Alaska voters with a classy oversized postcard urging us to support him for his protection of Medicare? (He is "standing up for you.")

I'm pretty sure we can't reward him with our vote, and how likely are we to send him campaign contributions?

Could it be that someone at the Healthcare Leadership Council thought AK was the state code for Arkansas?

ON THE MOVE ... Former ADN reporter Liz Ruskin was visiting Anchorage last week -- reacquainting herself with Alaska issues and pronunciations for her new job as Washington, D.C., correspondent for the Alaska Public Radio Network.

IT'S ONLY MONEY ... Every politician in Alaska has his or her hand out these days, trying to collect as much dough as possible by the end of the year, so it's nice to hear about people giving money to actual worthy causes.

A UAA Culinary School Benefit at Cuddy Center Wednesday reportedly raised $80,000 for student scholarships. Among those present: Retired Judge Peter Michalski and businesswoman Jo Michalski, Aleut Corp. President Thomas Mack, Rep. Lance Pruitt, lobbyist Laurie Herman and lawyer Dan Hickey, and a gaggle of Cuddys. Margie Johnson got an award.

On Thursday, the APU Iron Chef event pitted the men's and women's Nordic ski teams against each other. Using Chef Al's Kincaid Grill kitchen, they served meals to supporters, reportedly raising $100,000 for the teams' 2014 Olympics bid.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at or 257-4341.

Sheila Toomey |