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Best Alaska political moments of 2011 that would make good movies

  • Author: Andrew Halcro
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published December 30, 2011

Andrew Halcro is a bit of an actor himself. Here's one of his projects from a couple years back -- a reading from Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue."

With the end of the year quickly approaching, I look back at some of the most notable stories in 2011 that would have made obvious movie plots.

"Limitless," starring Alaska State Senate President Gary Stevens

Feeling that the voter imposed 90 days to complete his work isn't enough time, Stevens' tries to get his colleagues to swallow a bill that would give them an extra 30 days worth of power. Critics hail it as the feel-good movie of the year for those who like a longer, more inefficient legislative session.

"Crazy, stupid love," starring State Reps. Kyle Johansen and Charisse Millett

After declaring their undying devotion to each other, the two decide to leave a well-attended party in a huff. In doing so, they leave behind any chance of reconciliation with their friends and cause a lynch mob from Ketchikan to go searching for Johansen's re-election chances.

"Mission Impossible IV," starring AGIA and a large supporting cast

After failing to do the job they promised, the team tries to escape the political fallout by invoking a ghost protocol where nobody will admit the existence of a $500 million boondoggle.

"Bad Teacher," starring the State Senate Majority Coalition

Angry at Principal Sean Parnell for doing his job, coalition members attempt to hold the entire class after school. The movie is panned by critics who ask, "Didn't the director watch 'School House Rock' before he made this disaster?"

"The Hangover Part II," starring Wasilla City Councilman Steve Menard

A hard night of drinking and trashing a hotel room causes Steve Menard to awake to the cost of damages and facing a recall petition. The movie receives an AA rating (Alcoholics Anonymous).

"The Help," starring Frank Bailey

After serving for years at the feet of an incompetent and petulant boss, former Sarah Palin aide Frank Bailey pens a memoir about his time in the "House of Palin." The book receives worldwide attention and causes Sean Hannity of Fox News to ask Bailey on national television, "How could you write such a book, even if it was true?"

"The Muppets," starring ex-State Reps. Pete Kott and Vic Kohring

Having been caught reaching into their puppet master's candy jar and bragging about it on FBI videotapes, the pair set out in search of redemption after being freed from jail. Critics say the movie is one of 2011's, worst as the pair are not fuzzy, cute or likeable.

"Happy Feet II," starring Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and John Martin.

Concerned about the implications of sidewalk campers roasting marshmallows on an open fire in front of city hall, Mayor Dan re-introduces a law to ban Martin (or anybody else) from turning downtown Anchorage sidewalks into city parks. Critics hail the movie, saying the sequel was better than the original.

"Unknown," starring Escopeta Oil Co.

After reportedly discovering the largest natural gas find in Cook Inlet in decades, government agencies cast doubt on the find by saying they have yet to be supplied with evidence of the discovery. Stay tune for the sequel, which critics are hoping is more significant than the original.

"Friends with Benefits," starring Alaska lawmakers Les Gara and Hollis French

Faced with a proposal to lower oil taxes, Gara insists the governor extol the virtues of existing exploration tax credits and incentives as a way to boost production. Months later, an oil and gas consultant will conclude that the credits Gara and French are pushing are too generous and are disconnected from actually producing oil.

"We Bought a Zoo," starring the Mat-Su Prison

Construction of a new prison is approved by state lawmakers ,who then turn out to be surprised at the cost of operating the facility. Critics label the production as yet another government genre that is hard to watch and expensive to sit through.

"Contagion," starring State Rep. Chris Tuck

As paranoia sweeps Anchorage about the TSA, Tuck embarks on a desperate mission to warn travelers that the new screening devices at the airport are actual portals into another universe. Critics are mixed on the film with one reviewer writing, "If it gets me to my destination without having to stand in line behind 100 families travelling during the holidays, beam me up."

"The Adjustment Bureau," starring ACES and Alaska lawmakers

As Alaska's oil production drops 140,000 barrels per day after the ACES oil tax is adopted, the state Senate declares it needs more evidence that higher taxes are hurting oil production. The film is a collection of antiquated notions about investment, an intense dislike of the oil industry, and a denial of reality. Meanwhile, the subplot has future forecasts calling for a 13 percent decline in oil production by 2020, with 50 percent of that production expected from investments that have yet to be made.

Andrew Halcro is the publisher of, a blog devoted to Alaska issues and politics, where this commentary first appeared. He is president of Halcro Strategies and Avis/Alaska Rent-A-Car, his family business. Halcro served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003, and he ran for governor in 2006 as an Independent.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch. Alaska Dispatch welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)

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