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UA Board of Regents Meeting: Highlights December 3, 2008

Posted by roothogreport in Executive, Legislature.
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I went to the UA Board of Regents meeting on non-political business, but it was a long meeting, and I had the opportunity to hear what Martha Stewart (no, not that Martha Stewart), the university’s Director of Federal Relations, had to say about the new political reality for Alaska in Washington, D.C.  Here are the high points:

  • She thinks that Alaska won’t be badly damaged with regard to appropriations: although Stevens is gone from the appropriations committee, his best friend Dan Inouye (D-HI) is the chairman, and Inouye knows what it’s like for Alaska due to his friendship with Stevens and his experience as a senator from a non-lower-48 state.  Inouye is likely to remain friendly to Alaska.
  • With regard to our existing Senate committee appointments, she said that having Lisa Murkowski on the Energy & Natural Resources committee is going to prove very beneficial to Alaska as we work to restructure the U.S.A.’s energy economy.  She also mentioned that Mark Begich has put in for a variety of appointments, including Appropriations and Commerce.  She thinks it’s unlikely he’ll get Appropriations but Commerce is a definite possibility.
  • She characterized Stevens’ staff as “still in shock” after the defeat, and unsure of their future.  She’s not sure how many, if any, will be picked up by Begich for his staff, but that Stevens’ office on the Hill will close December 22.
  • Of Don Young, she said, “This is probably his last term in office.”  I didn’t have a chance to ask why she thinks that.  Young’s challengers have certainly improved in terms of credibility and posing a legitimate threat, but he won this past race pretty handily even if it wasn’t the 40% thrashing he usually delivers.  Perhaps Stewart is expecting that Coconut Road earmark to catch up to him in court?

That was basically it.  There were other highlights to the meeting, but for the most part they were university-related, not politics-related.  Enjoy your Wednesday.

Oh wait- I just remembered I have one other quote to relate.  University President Mark Hamilton apparently met with Governor Palin at the Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament in Anchorage last weekend- just prior to her trip to Georgia to campaign for Saxby Chambliss- and Hamilton had this to say:

“I reminded her that we [the University] have no money… she was very happy and very upbeat, and what that means in a political setting I have no idea.”

Sounds like politics as usual.

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Remembering Bob Bartlett December 2, 2008

Posted by roothogreport in Legislature.
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Constitutional delegate Vic Fischer (center) talks to Bob Bartletts grandson (left) and historian Terrence Cole (right) at the Bartlett reception Monday night.

Constitutional delegate Vic Fischer (center) talks to Bob Bartlett's grandson (left) and historian Terrence Cole (right) at the Bartlett reception Monday night.

I’ve been busy for the last couple of days, with some assignments and otherwise, and yesterday I attended the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents meeting on the UAF campus.  It was an interesting meeting for a variety of reasons, and there were a few political tidbits I gleaned, but this post isn’t about that.  While I was there, I talked to UA public relations officer Kate Ripley (a former Alaska newspaper reporter), who was kind enough to let me know about a semi-exclusive reception in honor of E.L. “Bob” Bartlett yesterday evening at the UAF Museum.  My interest in history predates my interest in politics, so I jumped at the chance to attend.   (more…)