View Post

Leg With Louie: Part and Parcel of a National Voter Suppression Strategy

One clear sign that this voter suppression effort in the Alaska State Legislature is tied to the spirit of Trump’s false claims of election fraud is that Homer Representative Sarah Vance will likely file a new “election integrity” bill. In a recent constituent newsletter, she reported that she would soon file her Election Integrity Act (capitalized for increased legitimacy), which …

View Post

Leg With louie: Organized

The State Senate has managed to solve the Rubik’s Cube of legislative organizing with an all-Republican face but for the inclusion of one rural Dem, Senator Lyman Hoffman. There are mysteries at the heart of this combination: promises and deals made. We know that behind it all, someone gave up something to get something. Legislators like Senator Mike Shower, who …

View Post

Leg With Louie: The Starting Gate

The 2021 Legislative Session starts today, with COVID precautions in place. It will be a different year (whatever that means anymore). For one thing, the introduction of visitors from around the state in the gallery to the ovation of House or Senate members – one of the great, humanizing formalities of legislative floor sessions, will be missing this year. Also, …

View Post

Leg With Louie: two things you can do today

The Dunleavy Administration has officially squashed hopes that it will pursue a broad vote at home effort anytime soon. The announcement by Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer that Alaska will not conduct a vote at home for the August primary. The legislature provided the Administration with authority, but no mandate to conduct a statewide vote at home in its COVID-19 response …

View Post

Leg With louie: To Bag or not To Bag

The Novel Coronavirus has caused changes in how we interact. With people, with time itself, and with things. Wearing or not wearing a mask in public has become a political act to some. Distillers of fine gin are now distilling sanitizing hand gel. Single-use plastic bags are temporarily rescued from their glide path to oblivion by frontline retail workers deeming …

View Post

Leg with Louie: Toward an Electric Tomorrow

Imagine, some future day after a bruising legislative session, our legislators and staff head homeward from Juneau, in quiet vehicles that require little maintenance, have zero CO2 emissions, and that glide lightly along the highway. By the time they reached their home districts, all of the accumulated malice, rancor, and ill-will of a typical session would be gone, replaced by …

View Post

Leg With Louie: Building the new economy starts now

Yours may be cowboys, Willie, but my heroes have always been journalists. Even today, in the middle of the daily whirlwind of sheep-dip and gibberish from our highest officer in the land, with uncertainty on all horizons and a pandemic at our door, journalists are out there asking questions, arranging facts, allowing citizens a foothold of logic in the world …

View Post

Leg with Louie: Ways to participate in the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

I am easily distracted. In the middle of trying to write that sentence, I watched a youtube video of John Prine concert footage from 1980, then read a beautiful lonesome poem by Antonio Machado, another by William Stafford. I checked in on the rhubarb bush just exposed from under the snow and already starting to sprout, and also I tried …

View Post

Leg with Louie: Power-Play During a Pandemic

The Governor’s budget vetoes came through this week. The cuts were not as dramatic as some may have feared, but they were made in bad faith. The Legislature put together their budgets working tirelessly under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting their health and safety at risk in doing so, while maintaining good communication with the Administration throughout the …

View Post

Leg With Louie: No time for big cuts

The Legislature passed the FY 21 operating budget and FY 20 supplemental, and the FY 21 Mental Health Budget up to the Governor before going into recess. By the constitution, the Governor has 15 days, Sundays excluded, to take action on a bill while the Legislature is in session – and the Legislature is still technically in session.  The Governor’s …