Nat Herz Profile picture
Covering Alaska's environment & government for @AKEnergyDesk, former XC ski racing journalist Email: nherz@alaskapublic.org Encrypted: natherz@protonmail.com
12 Nov 20
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
5 Nov 20
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
4 Nov 20
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
2 Apr 20
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
18 Oct 18
A year ago, I started hearing tips that some of Alaska's most influential lobbyists were helping candidates for the Legislature and governor organize fundraisers.

This is significant because Alaska law bars lobbyists from engaging in "fundraising activity."

(thread)

#AKelect
The state Legislature approved the prohibition in the early 1990s.

The legislator who pushed for the law told me he did that because when lobbyists help candidates fundraise, it makes it harder for the candidates to say no to lobbyists' requests once they're in office

#AKelect
I did a bunch of reporting and found what seemed to be pretty clear cases of two lobbyists violating the prohibition on fundraising activity -- they'd been emailing out invitations to fundraiser events to their clients and friends.

#AKelect
Read 12 tweets