OUR WAY ... Looks like the Republicans will be employing the Democrats' favorite election strategy for their U.S. Senate primary next year, whether they want to or not:
Welcome to the Alaska dance known as "Three Is Not a Crowd."
If your candidate can't get 50 percent of the vote, rustle up a third contender, then all he has to get to win is 33 percent.
Mead Treadwell, The Other Dan Sullivan and Honor Code Joe Miller? It's not official but that's certainly the hot bet right now.
So Miller siphons off the wacko vote, leaving Treadwell and Sullivan to battle it out for sanity. GOP/PTB (Republican Powers That Be) seem to be pushing Sullivan despite that carpetbag hanging around his neck, but Treadwell already has more than enough support to win a three-way race, according to recent polls. Right?
And Miller could never take it -- right? He couldn't get a third of the vote plus one, right?
Flying factoid: Miller got 90,740 votes in the 2010 General Election that Lisa won with her write-in -- that's 35.5 percent.
Thanks a lot guys.
OUR SARAH ... Because it's legally required, here's the latest pronouncement by our former half-governor:
Despite the fact that everyone knows they don't exist, Palin issued a video ad this week crowing about having revealed the existence of the nonexistent "death panels" in Obamacare. Earwigs with stronger stomachs than The Luscious Lobe (Time, Washington Post, NY Daily News) report the video features a roaring grizzly bear and granny being pushed off a cliff.
Earwigs remember her original statement won PolitiFact's 2009 "Lie of the Year" award.
A WARNING ... From the gods? A well-positioned earwig reports there was a 4.0 earthquake at 5 p.m. Tuesday, just as Assembly Chair Ernie Hall was announcing a proposed ordinance that would allow builders to hire industry pals to "review" the safety of stuff they plan to build -- like houses and schools. More or less.
A QUESTION ... Did a candidate for higher office really get throw-up drunk at a Peninsula event last week? You'll have to ask someone who was there.
PHOOEY ... The Republicans had their annual picnic Thursday at Kincaid Park and nothing really interesting happened -- nothing anyone's repeating to Ear anyhow.
The governor, the lite gov and all the Anchorage Republicans you've elected to office were there -- not that Ear actually took attendance. Tea Partiers papered cars with anti-Treadwell stuff; Randy Ruedrich flipped burgers; but the scariest sight was political operative Curtis Thayer and gonzo lobbyist Ashley Reed deep in conversation.
Circulating rumors included Charlie Huggins deciding not to run for lite gov and Chamber of Commerce boss Andrew Halcro considering a run for Anchorage mayor. He joins Dan Coffey and Kevin Meyer as mayoral noncandidates folks like to speculate about.
Gotta love a state where Republicans provide the juiciest gossip.
OUT AND ABOUT ... Spotted Wednesday at Cafe del Mundo, Cindy and Malcolm Roberts getting pointers from artist Perry Eaton for their upcoming visit to Paris. Cindy sported a giant "Bill W" button.
When asked "Which Bill W?," she smiled and said, "Both."
Earwigs say the Paris exhibition of Perry's masks is scheduled to close this weekend so, alas, the Roberts will miss seeing it.
KEEPING SCORE ... The latest round in the battle between Channels 2 and 11 played out this week when KTVA (11, aka Denali) reportedly hired weatherman, movie star and retired Coast Guard guy Robert Forgit from KTUU (2). They've also hired Lori Lester (Lori Tipton until she married radiomouth Bob Lester) from FOX/ABC as a morning show anchor.
Meanwhile, Laura Oates has stepped in to co-anchor KTVA's nighttime news with M.J. Thim, following Grace Jang's move last week to KTUU. Laura's a real pro, and earwigs are delighted to see her again.
(All these spinning anchors are making Ear dizzy.)
ADIEU ... Nothing smooths out the rough edges of a life like dying. Ear noted the obituaries last week for Bill Ray, a longtime Juneau senator, one Ear vividly remembers from cub reporter days. Bill was an old-fashioned muscle-man pol back when the poker, booze and deals were out where everyone could see them (if they wanted to).
Reporters tend to remember Bill for his mouth rather than his good works. For instance, an earwig reports he once told APRN reporter Dave Donaldson that two Juneau buildings he helped get money for were named after him: One was the Bill Ray Center, which housed UAJ classrooms and offices. The other was the SOB.
True dat. RIP Bill.
FISHY FEMS ... The Kenai River Women's Classic kicked off Thursday with a dinner and fundraising auction. Big money items included a Barbara Donatelli kuspuk, a fur and beaded headdress, a humungous birch burl bowl that went for $7,000 and a week at Bob and Jeannie Penney's Cabo San Lucas palace (OK, their luxury condo).
Paul McGuire was the auctioneer. Attendees included Chugach Alaska Corp. Chairman of the Board Sheri Buretta, YWCA CEO Hilary Morgan, former lite gov and UAA President Fran Ulmer, CIRI CEO Sophie Minich, D.C. pol Veronica Slajer and a pile of Penneys.
Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org  or call 257-4341.
By Sheila Toomey | email@example.com