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It's been 24 hours since 87-year-old Alaska Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young announced on Twitter that he has COVID-19 -- two hours after we asked him whether he had it.

He and his staff have released no information since then:

alaskapublic.org/2020/11/13/asi… #AKleg #AKelect
Young's opponent, Alyse Galvin, said she couldn't reach him on the phone to offer a concession today -- she left a voicemail on his wife's phone instead.

alaskapublic.org/2020/11/13/asi… #AKleg #AKelect
And now Anchorage GOP Sen. Josh Revak, who attended a dinner party with U.S. Rep. Don Young last week, has tested positive for COVID-19, scoops @AK_OK:

adn.com/politics/alask…
Read 3 tweets
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, says he's tested positive for COVID-19.

He's America's oldest Congressman and the Dean of the House. He was first elected in a special election in 1973:

alaskapublic.org/2020/11/12/ala…
Updated: Young was at a recent party for his longtime ad-maker, Art Hackney, according to @MustReadAlaska

Many Alaska GOP figures were present, including US Sen Dan Sullivan's COS, who's awaiting test results but hasn't seen Sullivan since Election Day

alaskapublic.org/2020/11/12/ala… Image
Questions that Young's staff has not answered today (1/2):

--When did Young test positive?

--What type of test was it?

--How many members of the Congressman's official and campaign staff have been tested, and how many staff members have tested positive? Any volunteers? #AKleg
Read 5 tweets
Quick thread on Alaska's U.S. Senate race, since people have been asking about it this morning.

Dem-endorsed independent Al Gross, who's trailing by nearly 60,000 votes put out a memo this morning saying: We still think we're going to win. Here it is #AKleg #AKsen #AKelect (1/x)
Their argument, summarized, is: Only about 200,000 votes have been counted so far, and as many as 150,000 absentee/early/questioned ballots won't be counted until starting next week (more on that delay in a separate story).

Gross: "A question mark on this race should remain"
The campaign of Gross' opponent, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, sees the math very differently -- as do a number of Dems/progressives I've spoken to.

Gross trails by about 60,000 votes. In theory, he needs to win @ least 70% of the uncounted votes to pull even.
Read 9 tweets
ALASKA: 29% of precincts:

BIDEN: 38%
TRUMP: 58%

GROSS: 37%
SULLIVAN: 58%

YOUNG: 58%
GALVIN: 41%

#AKleg #AKelect #AKsen
BALLOT MEASURES:

Yes on 1 (oil tax increase): 39 percent
No on 1: 61 percent

Yes on 2 (open primaries/ranked choice voting: 47%
No on 2: 53% #AKelect #AKleg #AKsen
One big change now that a second set of results are reporting: Robb Myers (R) takes a 1,600-vote lead over independent Marna Sanford in Fairbanks/North Pole with 8 of 12 precincts reporting. At least 5,000 or so ballots won't be counted til next week.

#AKleg #AKelect
Read 6 tweets
The House State Affairs Committee is underway with a hearing with a former procurement officer. They're talking about some MORE fishy contracts inked by Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka.

And no it's not the one @DermotMCole has been digging into.

#akleg
Speaking now, I believe, is Barry Jackson, Retired State Procurement Officer, who's looking at a contract Tshibaka is the project manager on. He's pointing out that the prior experience requirements are biased.

#akleg
Read 39 tweets
APOC is now back after a break. They have voted 3-2 to hear the issue of the Defend Alaska Elections' disclosure on an expedited basis.

They will likely take it up at some time on Wednesday. Figuring out precise timing now.

#akleg
Yes on 2's Gottstein says anytime on Wednesday works for him.

Is Lee Baxter good with that? ....

Oh, he's not on the phone.

#akleg
They're literally just waiting for him to call in.

[Beep]

"Mr. Baxter, is that you? .... No.... We will continue to wait."

Ah, now he's on.

#akleg
Read 4 tweets
The APOC hearing between Yes on 2 for Better Elections v. Defend Alaska Elections, alleging that Defend Alaska Elections has been constantly violating campaign finance law on several different levels, is underway.

#akleg #akelect
The main topic of today's case before APOC is whether APOC should take up the complaints on an expedited basis.

#akleg
Yes on 2 has brought three different claims against Defend Alaska Elections but is focusing in on a complaint about how DAE has been violating the three biggest contributors.

"It has never been correct," argues attorney Samuel Gottstein.

#akleg
Read 25 tweets
With all the concern about slow mail delivery and slow absentee ballots this year, I checked to see whether this year's ballots were slower than normal. The answer? No. (thread) adn.com/politics/2020/… #akelect #akleg
This year's absentee ballots arrived at the Division of Elections proportionally *earlier* than they did in the 2016 and 2018 primaries. #akelect #akleg
The folks at @ak_elections record ballot arrival dates and the dates they sent them out (and the date that a request for an absentee ballot was received), making this analysis possible. #akelect #akleg
Read 8 tweets
1. @GovDunleavy pretended Tuesday that he learned of Kevin Clarkson’s pursuit of a young, low-level state employee that day. He said Clarkson did the right thing to quit. #akleg
2. But Dunleavy knew about this “deeply disappointing” behavior for months. Clarkson was suspended without pay starting Aug.1, which Dunleavy kept secret from state employees and the public. Clarkson was due back Sept. 1.
3. Had Anchorage Daily News reporter @kylehopkinsAK not kept asking questions, leading to publication Tuesday, Dunleavy would probably have been content with the secret one-month suspension, making a lie of the “high expectations” prattle. #akleg

dermotcole.com/reportingfroma…
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The House HSS and State Affairs committees are meeting on COVID-19 safety in high-risk state facilities.

It'd be REALLY interesting given state's plan to open Pioneer Homes to visitors but it looks like the administration is a no-show.

#akleg #akgov

akleg.gov/includes/_play…
First up was testimony from Marvin Jones, the president of Unite Here, who says hotel workers need better protections, saying there's "a financial pressure to work."

That some hotels have no safety and no training in place to deal with it.

#akleg
Then they play a video from Unite Here of a call between an employee and someone with the Anchorage Hilton, where the supervisor appears to say if they're asymptomatic that they're fine to come in.

The employee said they had some symptoms and got tested.

#akleg
Read 38 tweets
Woo! A busy #akleg day!

Up first is the H. Finance, which will hear an updated fiscal outlook and an update on federal CARES $. It sounds like they're still in a digesting stage on Dunleavy's proposal from last night.

👀: akleg.gov/includes/_play…
📄: akleg.gov/basis/get_docu…
Leg. Fin. Director Pat Pitney going over the state's spring revenue forecast that estimated oil would drop by $20 per barrel and production would be down ~4K barrels.

"We believe that both the price estimate and the production estimate could be very optimistic."

#akleg
And if oil revenue wasn't bad enough, Pitney says if the COVID-19 market crash lasts ONLY one year that the long-term impact on the state's POMV draw would be a $300M hit. And that's IF it returns to 7% returns.

That's because the draw is a rolling five-year average.

#akleg
Read 28 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: The House Finance Committee is hearing an update on how funding approved through the federal CARES Act can be spent to help Alaskans impacted by COVID-19.

LIVESTREAM ➝ akl.tv #akleg
This document is the basis of today's presentation by the Legislative Finance Division and provides a summary of funding available to Alaskans through the CARES Act:

akleg.gov/basis/get_docu… #akleg
And here's a copy of Legislative Finance Director Pat Pitney's presentation:

akleg.gov/basis/get_docu… #akleg
Read 11 tweets
A few observations from reporting this week on the new crisis state of Alaska's budget. (thread)

(The situation was summarized by multiple sources familiar with the matter as: "We are f***ed.) #AKleg
The first and most striking fact: Even if oil prices recover to $35/barrel next year (and they're at $23/barrel now), Alaska still will not have enough cash to pay another year's bills -- even without any Permanent Fund dividend whatsoever.
Putting this another way: Alaska has $1.4 billion in its main savings account. It's going to spend $1 billion of that in the next fiscal year. Then we'll have a $500 million deficit and only $400 million to pay for it. (Again, this is if and only if oil prices recover.)
Read 13 tweets
(1/x) Some folks have asked why someone infected with coronavirus in Washington state and who died in Washington state is being counted as Alaska's first death from the disease. It's because of how epidemiological statistics work. #akleg #akgov
(2/x) From what I understand, folks who track vital statistics at various states use driver's licenses (and occasionally family claims or voting records) to determine residency.
(3/x) There's something called an "inter-jurisdictional exchange of vital events," which in Alaska takes place weekly. States send other states death certificates for their residents. In this case, it was a Washington death certificate coming to Alaska.
Read 7 tweets
#akleg House Speaker Bryce Edgmon: "We’ve never seen anything like what is happening in Alaska. Many people have already lost their jobs and are facing mortgage payments and other expenses they can’t afford.
This is unprecedented in many ways, including oil dropping to $23/barrel and the Permanent Fund losing nearly $10b in value, all of which is happening at the same time.
We’re working collaboratively to pass legislation to allow Unemployment Insurance to be immediately accessed by those impacted by COVID-19.
Read 7 tweets
Hey #akleg twitter, I'm usually able to handle stuff pretty well. A lot comes across this desk, and I've got a strong stomach. But I cried at my desk today, and I want you to know why.

It's because of a guy named Bill Brokaw. 1/10
Bill is an 80-year-old Alaskan. He's a veteran, and so is his 83-year-old wife. She has Alzheimer's. They're both in the Palmer Pioneers and Veterans Home.

He first wrote me in March, after Gov. Dunleavy's administration laid out plans for steep rate hikes. #akleg 2/10
His first letter was thoughtful. Eloquent. He spelled out the issue and how cost increases could force him and his wife out of Alaska. As I read it, his letter felt optimistic that letting the public know would result in solutions from Juneau. #akleg 3/10 adn.com/opinions/lette…
Read 10 tweets
The Board of Regents is now hearing from Gov. Dunleavy directly. Follow live on alaska.edu/bor/live/

#akleg #akgov
Dunleavy, whose budget cut the university by $136M: "What I'd like to say is the university is an integral part of the state. ... The university has been a beneficiary of the state for years. ... Some of us are still living in a belief of $85 to $90 per barrel oil." #akleg
Dunleavy says his Feb. 13 budget "has caused quite a conversation for the state."

He says it's about "a new funding reality for the state" and calls "the game in Juneau about how much funding we can get for services in our districts." #akleg
Read 52 tweets
Four short years ago, no politician would have thought about taking the PFD without working with Alaskans. For decades, the PFD grew under the protection of the people and benevolent politicians. (1/5) #akleg #akgov
However, today it appears work has been completed by those intent on killing the PFD – representing a major setback for those that believe in following the law and a sustainable government. (2/5) #akleg #akgov
Unfortunately, with this action the PFD is no longer a dividend, but a primary source for government spending and growth. (3/5) #akleg #akgov
Read 5 tweets
#akleg

Best part of my day was when I was in prison. I've been co-teaching poetry every other week with my friend Erika, (side note, it's through a program called Infinite Writers, originated/organized by University of Alaska faculty).

1/
We warmed up our bodies and our voices and Erika led us in a cool lesson brainstorming metaphors for emotions together. Our discussion was clever and nasty and joyful and sharp. In our laughter, there were no guards.

2/
Anger was "quicksand" and boredom was "everything in reach" and fear was "an outgoing tide, slowly backing away from the shore.”

"I don't know the word for different kinds of waves," one woman had whispered to me as we wrote.

3/
Read 13 tweets
The Board of Regents is now back. President Johnsen is giving a presentation about the budget. "Yes, we enjoy huge public support ... but a simple majority is not enough and as a result uncertainty reigns and uncertainty is disabling the university in many ways." #akleg
Johnsen on financial exigency: "Given the very poor hand we have, it is the only tool available to us. ... None of us want to be here today." #akleg
Johnsen, rhetorically: "How can something so great, built by so many over so many years, be crippled by so few so quickly?" #akleg
Read 29 tweets
Let's do a little thread on the impact to Anchorage of Dunleavy's vetoes, and the actions of his #akleg allies, as presented to today's Assembly Budget/Finance Committee, shall we?
@NolanKlouda, an economist from the University of Alaska, gave a presentation on the budgetary reductions and the predicted job losses, breaking out Anchorage from a statewide report he co-authored with @mgeconAK.
The report estimates about 48% of the budget cuts will fall to Anchorage, slightly larger than our approximately 41% of the state's population (I should note though, this analysis doesn't include the failed "reverse sweep" elimination of the PCE, which will devastate rural AK)
Read 17 tweets
1. The following may be a little long, however I ask you to please read it through, then really consider what I am saying/asking and consider sharing this thread.

Late last night someone reached out to me for some assistance regarding the doxing of the “22” the governor...
2. and his chief of staff. Initially I found it all very funny. After all, these folks seem to have “shut down” in regards to listening to constituents and other Alaskans who are weighing in on the current situation. Hell, they seem to have shut down in regards to doing...
3. their jobs, and upholding their oath of office.

All of those things may very well be true.

Unfortunately, the doxing that has taken place has only created a bigger mess. Talks had been taking place between all 3 groups regarding the vetoes and meeting location(s)...
Read 18 tweets
we live in a red state in which Republicans just dismantled state university education. it takes years to build the infrastructure for viable higher education and all that has been undone in two weeks. thousands will be fired and the rest will leave. this is seriously evil shit.
programs for the vulnerable, seniors, the homeless: all cut. scholarships: cancelled. the worst of #akleg gone off #22strong alone, “obeying” the gov. this is textbook fascism. red states, again, please take note of the rightwing movement in your states bc you could be next.
as I mentioned before, this hurts people of color—indigenous communities in a state with a large native population—the most, in every possible way. it is targeting them. it is not just about anti-intellectualism, though that is a part ofc. textbook fascism.
Read 20 tweets
#akleg A little thread on Wasilla. I was wondering to myself how Wasilla became such a stronghold for anti-government sentiment so I read up a bit on the history. 1/x
It's always seemed incongruent that such an anti-government crowd wants so badly to become the capital of Alaska. The home of Palin and Dunleavy and the site of this splinter session of the Alaska legislature trying to decimate the government. What's underneath all that?
Before colonization the land was inhabited by the Dena'ina people and the city of Wasilla was named after a respected Dena'ina Athabascan leader. The photo is from the City of Wasilla website and the text is from "Native American Placenames of the United States."
Read 20 tweets

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