This blog will give you one more look at the results of the Alaska elections Tuesday night as the votes are being counted.
I’ll start putting information on the site as it develops, but I don’t expect anything meaningful to cross my screen until well after the polls close at 8:00 pm.
While there are only a few statewide elements to watch, one question will hang around unanswered for several days: Will the Senate be run by a bi-partisan coalition for the next two years?
Governor Parnell and the low-tax part of the Republican Party have set a goal of voting out those Senators who might opposed the petroleum tax cuts the administration has tried to get past the legislature for two years now. They picked up the support of oil companies and their commercial allies and directed a lot of money into some of the individual races.
A grassroots effort to praise the bi-partisan Senate members led by unions and the old-guard Backbone supporters directed vocal support in several of those races.
The interest will be in the totals Democrats and Bi’s that last through the night. The old D-R distinction won’t really matter this time in the Senate.
Unless the incumbent Senators of both parties are totally trounced election day – and that would be a surprise – there is every expectation that an attempt to reorganize will occur by the end of the week. While there are important district races on personal and local-interest levels, the overriding question of the election season won’t be answered until the organization is complete.
A few other interesting topics are worth a look. The state wants to issue bonds for a long list ($453-million) of transportation and ports projects. The only item on that list getting statewide attention is the money to continue work on the Port of Anchorage.
The other statewide question is whether to hold another Constitutional Convention. That’s automatically put on the ballot every ten years. There’s been a lot of talk about the subject, but no organized support or opposition has stood up on the subject.
And finally, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sen Tan is up for a retention vote this year. He’s drawn opposition from anti-abortion elements who lost some arguments in his court. It will be decided by voters from Anchorage and SouthCentral Alaska who live in that judicial district.
We’ll be back Tuesday night, keeping you up to date as the votes are tallied.
- A bill to break up the FAA and privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers cleared the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House Thursday night.
- "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
- Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.
- The Legislative Council is seeking advice from a finance expert on what to do about the controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.