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Liz Ruskin, APRN

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

Cameras Catch Rep. Young Twisting Arm in Capitol

Politics often involves a bit of arm-twisting, but footage of Alaska Congressman Don Young today shows him literally twisting the arm of a young man in a hallway of the U.S. Capitol. Young says he shouldn’t have done it.

July 31, 2014

ASRC Gets Option To Buy Into Offshore Chukchi Drilling Operations

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and a handful of North Slope village corporations now have the option to buy into offshore drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea. It’s part of a new agreement with Shell Oil. But with the future of that company’s Arctic operations up in the air, the deal raises more questions than answers.

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July 31, 2014

Sullivan Campaign: Poll Says We’re Winning

The U. S. Senate campaign of Republican Dan Sullivan is drawing attention to a poll that finds he’s ahead of Democratic Sen. Mark Begich by 5 percentage points. That’s just outside the poll’s margin of error. It’s based on interviews of 500 Alaskans in late June by Basswood, a Republican firm. The Sullivan press release is aimed a rebutting an analysis sponsored by CBS and the New York Times that rival Republican Mead Treadwell was circulating earlier in the week.

July 30, 2014

Campaign Profile: For Joe Miller, 2010 Looms Large

Republican Joe Miller is vying for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. But the specter of his 2010 run against Sen. Lisa Murkowski looms large over his current campaign. Some of the residual effects strengthen Miller’s candidacy. But the negatives are persistent.

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July 28, 2014

YouGov Model Shows Treadwell Within Reach of Begich

Most polls in the U.S. Senate race show Dan Sullivan ahead of rival Republican Mead Treadwell in the primary. But the Treadwell campaign is trumpeting a new analysis by the polling firm YouGov. It shows Treadwell would do better against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in November than Sullivan would.

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July 28, 2014

In U.S. Senate Race, GOP Rivals Lag Far Behind Sullivan

Campaign finance reports from Alaska’s U.S. Senate race show Republican candidate Dan Sullivan is increasing his financial lead over GOP rivals Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller.

July 24, 2014
Campaign Profile: Sullivan’s “Amazing Credentials”

Campaign Profile: Sullivan’s “Amazing Credentials”

As a candidate for U.S. Senate, Dan Sullivan has a bucket of advantages. He married into an acclaimed Athabascan family. His own family, back in Cleveland, are six-figure donors to Republicans in high places. One of his biggest assets, though, is his resume. But political opponents say his record has thin spots and complain he oversells himself.

July 21, 2014

Kerry Names Ex-Coast Guard Boss Special Rep to Arctic

Secretary of State John Kerry today named former Coast Guard commandant Robert J. Papp Jr. as special representative to the Arctic. Kerry created the new position to elevate Arctic issues in America’s foreign policy and national security strategy as the U.S. prepares to assume the chair of the Arctic Council.

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July 16, 2014

Murkowski Joins Democrats on Vote for Birth Control Coverage

A U.S. Senate bill requiring companies to cover birth control in employee healthcare plans failed a procedural vote today . Both Alaska senators voted for the bill, aimed at undoing the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of only three Republicans to vote for the measure, dubbed the “Not My Boss’s Business Act.”

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July 16, 2014

House Considers Bill To Provide Advance Funding To IHS

The CEO of Kotzebue-based Maniilaq Association on Tuesday urged a U.S. House subcommittee to pass a bill that would provide advance funding for the Indian Health Service.

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July 15, 2014

Sullivan Reports Almost $1.2M In Donations In 2nd Quarter

In the U.S. Senate race, it appears Republican candidate Dan Sullivan is sustaining his fundraising momentum.

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July 15, 2014

Denali Commission Money Survives House

Congressman Don Young fends off incursion from fiscal hawks, but the commission remains a shadow of its former self.

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July 11, 2014

Sportsmen’s Bill Falls to Senate Gridlock

A bill to ensure hunters have access to federal land was blocked in the U.S. Senate today, even though nearly half the Senate had co-sponsored it. Sen. Lisa Murkowski , who crafted the bill, was spitting nails after it was derailed. It’s the latest round of an ongoing fight over whether to allow amendments – in this case, amendments about gun control – on the Senate floor.

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July 10, 2014
Mead Treadwell, ‘Big-Picture Guy,’ Runs for U.S. Senate

Mead Treadwell, ‘Big-Picture Guy,’ Runs for U.S. Senate

Some people go into politics for prestige, some for power. Talk to Mead Treadwell for a while and it’s clear, he just loves policy. This is the first in a series about the three Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Sen. Mark Begich in November.

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July 10, 2014

Begich Co-Sponsors Bill Responding To Hobby Lobby Decision

Senator Mark Begich today joined other Democrats in sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal for a company to deny employees certain health benefits, including birth control, if they are required to be covered by federal health care law.

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July 9, 2014

U.S. Senator Still After ANC Contracting Advantages

A U.S. Senator from Missouri is continuing her crackdown on the advantages Alaska Native Corporations enjoy in government contracting.

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July 2, 2014

Treadwell Urges US to Check Putin in Arctic; Sullivan Spotlights ‘Pro-Putin Rally’

In a recent presentation in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell spoke of the need to stay on neighborly terms with Russia. It’s caused a bit of a ruckus. Dan Sullivan, Treadwell’s rival in the GOP primary for U.S Senate, issued an email yesterday saying Treadwell attended a “pro-Putin rally,” echoing the words of an anti-Russian columnist who denounced the conference where Treadwell spoke.

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July 1, 2014

U.S. House Passes Bill To Open NPR-A

For the second time in six months, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at greater oil industry access to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

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June 27, 2014

Senate Bill Includes $6 Million For New Icebreaker

A bill moving through the U.S. Senate has $6 million for a new Coast Guard icebreaker. That would make three years in a row of small appropriations for the ship, projected to cost nearly a billion dollars. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is on a mission to get Congress and the Administration to make Arctic issues a bigger priority.

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June 26, 2014

All Hope for Knik Bridge Rides on Federal Decision

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday signed a bill to finance a $900 million bridge across Knik Arm. A decade ago, bridge proponents hoped to fund the project entirely with federal earmarks. But then Congress banned earmarks, in part due to public outrage over this bridge and another in Ketchikan, both derided nationally as “bridges to nowhere.” Now, the Knik project all depends on winning a low-interest from a federal program known as TIFIA.

June 24, 2014