A nonpartisan group, formed in 1999 to fight an oil merger in the state, is expressing support for the Alaska Senate’s bipartisan coalition.
Leaders of Backbone held a news conference in Anchorage on Thursday, in which they lauded the coalition’s stand against Gov. Sean Parnell’s oil tax-cut plan. Some Republicans, including Parnell, have expressed a desire to break up the current coalition.
The group does not plan to register as an independent expenditure group or to endorse candidates but rather intends to draw attention to the importance of this year’s Senate races
Vince Beltrami, of Backbone, likened the coalition’s efforts in the oil tax fight to keeping the fox out of the henhouse.
Six of the Senate’s 10 Republicans have joined with the chamber’s 10 Democrats to form the coalition.
- For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus.
- The U.S. Senate is working on the health care bill, and Alaska health commissioner Valerie Davidson is in Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's senators, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. One-quarter of Alaska's population currently is covered by Medicaid.
- Police posted this security video of the suspect on its Facebook page and described him as white, 25 to 30 years old, 6-foot-3 and skinny with scruffy facial hair.
- Uber and Lyft are negotiating with the City and Borough of Juneau over the collection of the city's sales tax. The companies insist it's the drivers' responsibility to collect and remit the 5 percent tax on fares.