Politics Archives - Page 2 of 29 - Alaska Watchman
 

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Alaskans who wish to cast an absentee ballot in the Aug. 18 primary election have until Aug. 8 to make the request. Any registered voter may ask for an absentee ballot for any reason. When making the request, it is important to select “All in Calendar Year” to ensure that you request a ballot for both the Aug. 18 primary as well as the Nov. 3 general election. Those who wish to vote on the...

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The question of whether conservative candidates in Alaska support a binding caucus has become a major topic on the campaign trail this year. It came to the forefront over the past year after members of the Republican majority in Juneau were stripped of leadership positions, committee memberships, staff and office space when conservative senators were punished for refusing to vote with the majority caucus to cap Permanent Fund Dividend payments or to override Gov. Mike...

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that Dario Borghesan will become the newest member of the Alaska Supreme Court. Borghesan is a former state attorney who argued in 2015 that the state should be able to restrict state funded abortions through Medicaid. While his own views on abortion are unclear, Borghesan supported the state’s claim that it should not have to pay for elective abortions with public funds. After graduating from Michigan Law school in 2008, Borghesan...

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Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued a strong warning to restaurant and bar owners that if they don’t follow a series of health suggestions, he may shut them down again. He had Sarah Oats CEO of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailers Association lay out the “guidelines” which were developed after the mayor called representatives of the hospitality industry to the table. Oats said they are just trying to keep from being shuttered again. “I have...

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Former U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller has endorsed former Alaska Right to Life director Christopher Kurka for Wasilla’s House District 7 seat, while District 7 Republicans are backing former Rep. Lynn Gattis in the Aug. 18 primary. The seat is open following the retirement of Colleen Sullivan-Lenard. Gattis, who served in the State House from 2013-2017, represented both District 9 in rural Mat-Su and District 7 in Wasilla. She has been a supporter of pro-life...

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy waded into the mask mandate controversy during his June 30 press conference. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz imposed a mask mandate across Alaska’s largest city, which prompted the governor to exempt state employees working in state buildings. Dunleavy didn’t directly address his differences with the mayor but did reiterate his consistent message of encouraging mask wearing, an approach he says has yielded impressive results. He also said he has no current plans to...

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On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states cannot prohibit tuition grants or scholarships to private religious schools if they award the same grants to secular private schools. The court’s ruling dealt with a state scholarship program in Montana which banned the use of taxpayer funds at religious or sectarian schools. The high court noted that states have the right to decide whether to fund private schools, but if they do, they...

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A week after announcing the city would hold its annual 4th of July fireworks show, the Juneau Assembly reversed course and put a stop to the Independence Day celebration. On June 29, the Assembly voted 5-4 to reject an emergency ordinance that authorized the fireworks show by mandating face coverings during the event. Since the ordinance failed, the fireworks will not happen. It typically begins around midnight on July 4. Only seven people spoke during...

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The City and Borough of Juneau will consider whether to establish a review committee to ensure that all proposed legislation is not tainted by so-called “systemic racism.” Assembly Member Rob Edwardson introduced the proposal at the June 29 Assembly meeting and it will be up for public comment and debate next month. Edwardson’s ordinance would create a seven-member committee to alert the Assembly of any legislation believed to be contaminated by “systemic racism.” The Assembly...

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Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has told all state employees that Anchorage’s new emergency order mandating face masks in public doesn’t impact those working at state facilities located in Anchorage. “The recent enactment by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz of the facemask mandate for the Municipality and Borough of Anchorage in response to COVID-19 does not apply to State of Alaska buildings and facilities within the Municipality of Anchorage,” Clarkson wrote in the June 26 memo. A...