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Conference this week tackles Alaska's fiscal crisis, away from public view

  • Author: Nathaniel Herz
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published October 12, 2015

A conference on Alaska's fiscal crisis this week features more than a dozen state legislators, state Revenue Commissioner Randy Hoffbeck, and a managing director at the credit rating agency that recently warned the state about impending downgrades.

The gathering, however, is closed to news media, and afterwards participants are allowed to talk about what was said at the conference, but not who said it, based on rules set by organizers at the Institute of the North.

The rules -- long-standing for the institute's conferences -- are designed to increase participation and comfort level, Deputy Director Penny Gage said in an interview last week.

At least one attendee missed the memo, however. Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki tweeted a picture Monday of a lunchtime presentation by Rasmuson Foundation President Diane Kaplan.

Kawasaki's photo showed Kaplan standing below a PowerPoint slide with poll numbers on the approval ratings of Gov. Bill Walker and the state Legislature.

"Diane Kaplan with Rasmuson Foundation showing us polling on how much Alaska doesn't like #AKleg," Kawasaki wrote, using the hashtag abbreviation for the Alaska Legislature. He added: "#feelingloved."

Diane Kaplan w/@rasmuson showing us polling on how much AK doesn't like #akleg! #akgov #feelingloved… https://t.co/8zWMygKAxt— Scott Kawasaki (@alaskascott) October 12, 2015

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