Alaska Ear: Grimm Tale (11/3/13)

Richard Mauer

GRIMM TALE ... These days Everyone Who's Anyone seems occupied with collecting campaign money for next year's races -- which is great for hungry consultants and media outlets that will rake it in once the advertising season starts. But it's really borrrrring for earwigs. Everyone is so well behaved when they have their hands out.

Which brings us to fun speculation about Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is not raising money -- not noticeably, at least.

Warning: You'll need a political GPS to follow this imaginative trek. The tale starts with the conclusion that whoever wins the Republican Lite Gov primary in August will be our next governor. Here's how we get there:

Lisa is not asking her usual donors for money for her 2016 re-election campaign. All other incumbent senators are raising money. Supposedly, Lisa has concluded she can't win the 2016 Republican primary, largely because of her support of gay marriage. If she doesn't run, Gov. Sean Parnell will resign to run for her seat. When he resigns, the Lite Gov who gets elected next year will become governor.

Problems with this? Lisa says she's running. And earwigs claim she's not soliciting donations because she's been asked not to tap big donors so they'll be flush to fund TODS's (The Other Dan Sullivan's) campaign.

BTW, "facts" seem to have no noticeable effect on this speculation.

IT'S NOT GENDER ... Earwigs couldn't help but notice the new AFN bosses are both women -- Ana Hoffman, CEO of Bethel Native Corp., and Tara Sweeney, a vice president at Arctic Slope Regional Corp. The hullabaloo has focused on their gender because it's the first time the AFN has elected two women.

However, earwigs who actually understand Native politics say the real news is age, not gender. The headline should be, "Two young people wrest control of moribund organization from old farts."

Or words to that effect.

Brace for change, darlings.

WHOOPS ... Ear was interested to read in the Fairbanks News-Miner that "Toni Mullet" won the AFN Native Citizen of the Year Award last week. Ear wasn't familiar with Ms. Mullet but did note that she spent "three decades as a teacher in Yukatat, Anchorage and Juneau."

This led to suspicion that the News-Miner is hiring, which is a good thing, but from out of state, which isn't always so good.

Anyhow, someone eventually corrected the item to properly laud Toni Mallott, Byron's wife, who did spend time in Yakutat.

But, let's not be judgmental, darlings. It's not like Mallott is a famous Alaska name -- oh, wait a minute, it actually is -- and Yukatat could be a village along the Yukan River, right?

BIG WHOOPS ... Embarrassing mistakes must be contagious. The Legislature issued its official poster of lawmaker mug shots this week -- a beautiful color production with 60 smiling faces -- OK, maybe Bryce Edgmon and Pete Higgins aren't smiling -- but mostly.

It also includes a great photo of former Sen. Joe Paskvan, who is no longer a legislator. His photo is labeled "Pete Kelly," who is a Republican senator from Fairbanks.

Paskvan is the Democrat Kelly beat last year.

Compared to this, the label that says Wes Keller represents something called "Wasillas" is a minor flaw.

ALL IN THE FAMILY . . . Mike Anderson, press aide for Don Young, is now communications director for TODS' U.S. Senate campaign. Matthew Shuckerow, who was with Lisa, has taken over as Don's press secretary.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . Yes, d'Ears, that really was Rep. Les Gara at Wayland Baptist University in Muldoon Friday. He was recruiting foster parents.

ON THE MOVE . . . Artsy earwigs report activist, politician, etc. Diane Benson is performing this weekend in England -- the only American invited to participate in an Origins Festival at RichMix, a non-profit arts venue in London. She's presenting her "Voicing Tribal Women," a collection of three one-act plays.

WHO'S BACK? ... The High Plains Drifter, but just for a visit. The boot pictured above belongs to former Gov. Steve Cowper, here for an appearance at the World Affairs Council lunch at the Hilton Friday. He appeared with Lite Gov. Mead Treadwell and author, etc. Willie Hensley to mark the 25th anniversary of the so-called "Friendship Flight" from Nome to Provideniya, Russia.

Ear was feeling all fuzzy and nostalgic about the event until perusing the classy eight-page program, titled, "REFLECTIONS OF FRIENDSHIP FLIGHT, From Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, Chair, Alaska Historical Commission."

The program features reminiscences of people who were aboard 25 years ago, including by David Ramseur, a Cowper aide back then, whose present position is described as follows:

"He is currently chief of staff to Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Bewitch."

Probably not a poke at Begich by the guy who hopes to take his seat, right? Probably just another spellcheck situation, right?


Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or