Paul Jenkins

For a guy with no natural gas, no money, no support from North Slope oil producers and no legislative backing worth a hill of beans, Gov. Bill Walker is clinging to dreams of building a gas line on his own terms like a shipwreck survivor clutches a life ring.

It smacks of deja vu all over again. He did the same years ago, with the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, and is hard at it again, even surrounding himself with people he worked with in those days. There was, it should be noted, no gas line built then; there may not be one built now if he gets his way. Some fear that in chasing his dream he may be tossing out the baby with the bath water...

Paul Jenkins

Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said a local businessman was prosecuted years ago for vandalizing his own business. There was no such prosecution. This is the corrected version.

As the dust settles from a shocking bit of vandalism that stirred so much attention in Anchorage, all of us in this city -- each and every last one of us -- should be thanking our lucky stars.

It seems Sudanese immigrants living in a Spenard apartment awoke last Sunday to find “Go Home,” “Leave Alaska,” “Get Out,” “Go Now” scrawled on their cars, and their tires flatter than Gov. Bill Walker’s re-election chances. Oh, and there may have been a profane word used too...

Paul Jenkins

A little more than four years ago during a Senate election campaign, I wrote , “Joe Miller's political future in Alaska is, not to put too fine a point on it, deader than Alabama roadkill. Draw a chalk line around it and call somebody to clean it up. The worst part? Miller insists on killing it even deader.”

Things change, but at the time, that observation was spot on. Fast forward to today’s packed Anchorage mayoral contest, substitute Dan Coffey’s name for Miller’s and you have a good assessment of Coffey’s predicament as some view it nowadays...

Paul Jenkins

When I was a kid in Florida, my dad let me use his car for the evening. It was an MGA, a wire-wheeled wonder I dreamed of getting upon graduation. He warned me not to take it to Daytona Beach that night -- or else. "You understand?" he asked. No beach. Or else.

Ah, Daytona at night. Heaven. Testosterone and steamy possibilities. Irresistible. It was only a quick 45 miles thataway, and my friends were going, and, hey, how would the old man ever know? Over and back, I says to myself. Who’s the wiser? So, I did what any kid would do; I disconnected the odometer cable and headed northeast at warp speed, running lights-out in the moonlight to dodge cops on unopened sections of Interstate 4. There may have been alcohol involved...

Paul Jenkins

If you are around politics long enough, you come to know there is but a single certainty: It is as nasty as the floor of a bologna factory, and twice as messy. Eventually, unless you have the soul of a dung beetle, it will turn your stomach.

Take, for instance, the shameful political ambush of June Stein.

Stein is the hard-nosed former Bethel district attorney sacked without warning as head of perhaps Alaska’s busiest, most difficult rural prosecutor's office -- one dealing with an agonizing number of cases involving sex crimes and domestic violence...

Paul Jenkins

Gov. Bill Walker now finds himself at loggerheads with lawmakers correctly cranky about his grandiose expansion plans for the $10 billion Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline.

His idea is to have ASAP compete with the $65 billion Alaska LNG Project, even though that could ball up the state’s business relationship with producers, who have spent hundreds of millions getting this far, and scare the bejeebers out of the market, which craves stability.

For its part, the House leadership -- to its credit -- stepped up with House Bill 132 in a bid to block him from recklessly, irresponsibly competing with the much larger project now being undertaken by North Slope producers BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, along with the state of Alaska and TransCanada. (Walker promises a veto.)...

Paul Jenkins

So, there you are, Big Oil Inc. plugging away, spending hundreds of millions of dollars doing prep work for a long-awaited $65 billion liquefied natural gas project to monetize vast North Slope reserves.

After fits and starts spanning decades, a gas line finally may make economic sense, you are thinking. It would be a nice, long-term addition to your investment portfolio, and promises decades of stable returns.

Then -- kablooey! -- the public end of your public-private project partnership goes nuts...

Paul Jenkins

An angry Sen. Lisa Murkowski finally has Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s attention -- and all it took was a not-so-veiled threat to bite a chunk out of Jewell’s department budget.

Murkowski has had a snootful of the Obama administration’s myopic energy policies and view of Alaska as a second-class colony with interests subordinate to whatever green whim is très chic at the moment. Like most right-thinking people, she apparently trusts the Obamas and Jewells as most of us trust gas station sushi...

Paul Jenkins

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Note to self: Buy more stock in the Outhouse Rat Tin Foil Hat Co. because the wackadoodles will be breaking out of Bonkersville in short order. Lawmakers, it turns out, are thinking about exempting Alaska from daylight saving time. They might as well be deciding whether to eat puppies.

The state Senate State Affairs Committee is advancing Eagle River Republican Sen. Anna MacKinnon’s entirely sensible measure that would exempt Alaska from the annual pain in the patoot time-switch beginning in 2017 -- leaving Alaska five hours behind the East Coast, instead of four, from about March to November...

Paul Jenkins

What is it with liberals and the Koch brothers? Our “progressive” friends must spend an inordinate amount of time peeking beneath their beds each night to ensure those ol’ boogeymen are not hiding there. If you believe the left -- and, really, who does? -- the libertarian businessmen and philanthropists are devils incarnate.

It has become tres chic in distribute-the-wealth circles to excoriate the brothers willy-nilly -- their supposed political sins conjured from thin air by the sorry likes of failed Democratic pooh-bah Harry Reid -- as if leftist billionaires Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and their fat cat pals somehow do not exist...

Paul Jenkins

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