Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Obama Administration Shines Spotlight on Oceans

President Obama announced today he intends to vastly expand the Pacific Remote Islands marine sanctuary, putting a swath of the south-central Pacific off-limits to fishing and energy development. The announcement is part of a high-profile oceans conference taking place this week at the State Department. Australian scientist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg focused on ocean acidification, which he says undermines the entire marine food chain – from plankton and shellfish to bowhead whales. Download Audio

Recall election fails to oust Unalaska’s mayor

Unalaska’s mayor has survived a recall effort that accused him of misconduct and poor leadership. Listen now

Constraints on Cook Inlet Beluga Recovery Team Sparks Controversy

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage A controversy over constraints on the participants of the Cook Inlet Beluga Recovery Team has letters flying back...

Murkowski Foresees Accord, But Sparks Fly at First Hearing

today . The committee promptly passed the first priority of the Republican leadership: a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada through Nebraska. Murkowski also outlined what she wants the committee to accomplish, which she distilled it down to a bumper sticker: "Energy is good." Download Audio

Sitka tribal council pens FBI, alleging racism in police dept

Sitka’s tribal council wrote a letter last week to the Anchorage division of the FBI, regarding a tasing incident of a Native Alaska teenager in the Sitka jail last year. The letter alleges that prejudice exists within the Sitka Police Department and asks the FBI to consult the tribe during the investigation. Download Audio

Juneau goes to the polls to elect a new mayor

Juneau residents are hitting the polls on Tuesday to elect a new mayor. Two candidates are vying for the spot: Ken Koelsch and Karen Crane. The city decided to hold the $35,000 special election after the death of Mayor Greg Fisk. Fisk died of natural causes shortly after winning last year's election. The mayoral candidates have served on the Juneau Assembly before.

Begich Painted as Soft on VA Scandal

Outside political groups are plugging Alaskan airwaves with ads about Sen. Mark Begich. One recent line of attack highlights the scandal at the VA, claiming Begich isn’t helping veterans. We take a closer look at the claim. Download Audio

Anchorage Clerk Resigns As Investigation Mounts

Anchorage Municipal Clerk Barbara Gruenstein has resigned. Her resignation comes after nearly two months of controversy surrounding the April 3 Municipal Election.

Obama Lands in Alaska; Says Time is Now to Act on Climate

Air Force 1 landed in Anchorage yesterday, with President Obama and Gov. Walker on board. Obama's motorcade sped downtown, where the president struck a somber note in a speech about climate change.

Alaska Native Tribal Governments Keep Doors Open For Now

Alaska Native tribal governments are keeping their doors open, but worry about how long the federal government shutdown will go on. Download Audio

Juneau superintendent questions funding plan

Sen. Shelley Hughes, a Wasilla Republican, held a series of committee hearings on virtual education and school funding beginning last year. It culminated in the release of broad education reform bill. Listen now

Governor Vetoes Denali Kid Care Expansion

Annie Feidt and Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage Governor Sean Parnell announced today he’s vetoing an expansion for Denali Kid Care. The program provides health...

Judge Allows Set-Net Ban Initiative To Move Forward

The measure would shut down the commercial set netters who operate on Cook Inlet, the only region in the state that would be practically affected by the ban.

Lawmakers agree on capital budget funding for oil and gas tax credits, Kivalina school

State lawmakers are scheduled to vote Thursday on a capital budget that will include $20 million in oil and gas tax credits. It would also add $8 million to assist municipalities and $7 million to complete a school in Kivalina. Listen now

Murkowski Encouraged by Outcome of Nuuk Conference

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage Yesterday’s Arctic Council meeting in Greenland was a historic one, not only because it signed off on its...

UA President Opposed To Bill Allowing Concealed Handguns On Campus

University of Alaska President Pat Gamble told a Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday a re-worked bill that would permit concealed handguns on campus, is still unacceptable. Download Audio

Y-K’s Facebook Phenom Helps Kick Off Arctic Council Chairmanship

A Tooksook Bay teenager who became a singing sensation on Facebook performed for ambassadors and Arctic VIPs at the State Department in Washington D.C. last night. Byron Nicholai was introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry at a reception to mark the beginning of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Rate for Subsidized Stafford Loans Doubles

Congress fails to prevent increase in rate for essential student loan. Download Audio

Senate bill to change PFD formula advances

Senate Bill 103 would split the annual draw from permanent fund earnings evenly between dividends and state government.

Claman Jumps Into West Anchorage House Race

Another Anchorage politician has filed to run for office in 2014. Former Anchorage Assemblyman, Matt Claman, confirms that he will be running for the District 19 seat in the Alaska House of Representatives in 2014. That's the seat that Lindsey Holmes now holds. Download Audio