Articles & Op-eds


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Begich split on support for Kagan

FAIRBANKS - With Elena Kagan's place on Supreme Court all but assured following a Senate vote likely to take place today, Alaska's two senator's have different views of President Obama's second nominee for the high court. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to the senate floor Wednesday to oppose Kagan's nomination. The senator said that she was particularly disturbed by Kagan's views on the Second Amendment. In confirmation hearings, Kagan noted the precedent set when the Supreme Court struck… Continue Reading


The Hill: Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski emerges from her father’s shadow . . .

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has long been considered the quiet GOP politician from Alaska, especially when compared to former Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Don Young and her father. But Murkowski's voice is being heard now more than ever, and she has emerged from the shadow of former governor and Sen. Frank Murkowski, who appointed her to the upper chamber in 2002. Murkowski agrees she has a different style than some of her male counterparts from the Last Frontier. "I think it's fair to say that women have … Continue Reading


The Hill: . . . insisting there is no ‘blood war’ between her and former Gov. Palin

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's endorsement of her more conservative GOP primary challenger caught her by surprise but strongly disputes the notion that there is a "blood war" between two of the most powerful families in Alaska. "It was a bit of a surprise, and only because she has been supportive of my work on behalf of the state of Alaska and has publicly said so," Murkowski said in an interview. Palin joined the Tea Party movement in endorsing little-known atto… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: The Demise of the Spill Bill

The decision this week by the Majority Leader to table oil spill legislation was deeply disappointing to everyone who wanted to see constructive policy come out of the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 100 days have passed since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank to the ocean floor. What we've learned in that time has made clear that our offshore energy regulations need reforming. Even though this has been a difficult year for the Senate, I had faith this disaster would bring us to… Continue Reading


Homer Tribune: Villages get COPS

Many Alaska villages - such as Nanwalek, across Kachemak Bay - often go for months, and even years without a public safety officer. Historically, the pay has been so low, many VPSOs qualified for food stamps. In Nanwalek's case, a strong tribal chief system means the village doesn't go without law enforcement. "We have our own system for taking care of a situation. I will get up at 2 in the morning, at 6, if necessary," said First Nanwalek Tribal Chief Wally Kvasnikoff. "We do pretty good keep… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Bill passed to extend permit moratorium for smaller vessels

A two-year moratorium on permit requirements for certain smaller vessels has been extended for an additional three years. The moratorium applies to permits for discharges for commercial and charter fishing vessels less than 79 feet long. This exempts these smaller vessels from having to apply permits otherwise required by the Clean Water Act. Recreational vessels were exempted two years ago. The bill to extend this moratorium until Dec. 17, 2013 was signed by President Barack Obama late Frid… Continue Reading


Lisa Murkowski battles for GOP hearts as Palin grows louder in Alaskan expanse

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- In the perpetual daylight of Alaskan summer, Sen. Lisa Murkowski spotted Rich Doran tying one of her campaign signs to a tree on the bank of the Chena River. "So how you be?" Doran greeted her, as she climbed a grassy slope. "I be fine," Murkowski said, admiring the sign. "Got good friends supporting me." "Between your dad and you," responded the craggy-faced Doran, who was wearing campaign buttons boosting both Murkowskis and former Republican senator Ted Stevens, "I'… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Bill to Mitigate Yukon Fishery Failure Passes in US House

A supplemental appropriations bill passed by the US House Tuesday includes $5 million to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure. The request for the funding was made by Senator Lisa Murkowski. The bill now goes to the White House for the president's signature. The disaster assistance helps fishermen and communities affected by the fishery failure for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery. In 2008, the commercial salmon harvest was 89 percent below the five-year average, a… Continue Reading


The Tundra Drums: $5 million in disaster relief aid passes Congress for Yukon River fishermen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House has passed a 2010 supplemental appropriations bill that includes $5 million requested by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure, her office reported in a written statement. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature. The $58.8 billion supplemental bill, which cleared the Senate in May, provides funding to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, replenish the Federal Emergency… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants review of 800-mile Alaska pipeline system

JUNEAU, Alaska - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has asked the operator of the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline system to conduct a safety review of the line, saying it's critical the public have the highest level of confidence in its maintenance following a power outage in May. The call by the Alaska Republican follows a recent meeting with Kevin Hostler, a former BP executive and outgoing president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. State Rep. David Guttenberg agrees with the need for confidence in the r… Continue Reading


KTUU: Alaska delegation asks feds to replace lost Coast Guard helicopter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's congressional delegation has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, requesting funding to replace a lost Coast Guard helicopter. The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter assigned to Air Station Sitka crashed earlier this month off La Push, Wash., killing three crewmen. "Alaska has more coastline than any other state in the nation. The loss of a helicopter from Air Station Sitka reduces the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to maritime … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Tribal Law Legislation Takes Big Step

A new law aimed at improving justice and safety for Alaska Natives and Native Americans is awaiting President Obama's signature. The Tribal Law and Order Act won bi-partisan support, and passed the US House on Wednesday. The President says he will sign it, and in a written statement called it "an important step" to help the federal government better address public safety challenges confronting tribal communities. It mostly relates to Reservation lands and Indian Country outside Alaska, but Sen… Continue Reading


Tundra Drums: Murkowski: Congress passes law to enhance rural policing

The Tribal Law and Order Act is on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature following House passage of the legislation today, according to a statement from Sen. Lisa Murkowksi. The bill, which passed the Senate last month, would improve law enforcement and the justice system on Indian reservations in the Lower 48. Murkowski, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, secured several provisions in the bill that would address the lack of law enforcement… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski slams Democrats for excessive spending

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee last week for not doing more to cut federal spending. Democrats on the appropriations committee, which Murkowski sits on, passed a $14 billion budget cut, less than the $20 billion cut proposed by Republicans. That $20 billion cut would have frozen discretionary spending at last year's levels, the senator said. "Next year's deficit is going to be in the range of $1.4 trillion. It took all the presidents… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Washing off boat deck still OK

KODIAK -- Fishermen and other boaters can rest easier knowing they won't need a federal permit to hose off their decks. A bill that just passed the Senate extends the moratoria on discharge permit requirements for commercial and charter fishing vessels beyond the July 31 deadline. "Say you're a sport fishing guide and you've taken your clients out, gotten a few halibut and you come in and hose off the deck. That would be a reportable discharge. They are talking about deck runoff, bilge water, … Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Alaska's U.S. senators split on financial reform vote

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's U.S. senators were split on Thursday's vote for financial reform. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was a no vote, while Sen. Mark Begich voted yes on the legislation. The 2,300-page document is expected to end the concept of banks being too big to fail, and adds new protections for millions of consumers. Murkowski says the legislation isn't what Alaskans expect from Wall Street reform. "Like the recent overhauls of the health… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski, Begich remember Maurice 'Mo' Bailey

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are remembering Maurice "Mo" Bailey, an advocate for Alaskan veterans who passed away Tuesday evening after a battle with leukemia. Bailey enlisted in the army at the age of 17, and served for 20 years. He decided to stay in Alaska and founded the Veterans Aviation Outreach. Murkowski says Bailey never gave up his fight to obtain the Veterans Administration benefits he and others earned through their service. "Just maybe Mo's … Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Valley mourns loss of veterans advocate

WASILLA - Maurice Bailey never quit on life or on Alaska veterans. From the time he forged his father's signature on the consent form to join the Army at age 17 until his death on Tuesday, Bailey was a passionate patriot and advocate for veterans of all eras. For the last two years of his life, Bailey lived every day like it could be his last following a devastating diagnosis. He had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and his survival was estimated at 12 months on the outside. In an interview with … Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Alaska’s senators oppose EPA’s proposed ban on avgas

has met with opposition from Alaska's congressional delegation. The agency has waged a war against lead ingredients in many substances over the past 30 years. Its newest target, leaded aviation gas, fuels planes that have piston engines. In an attempt to move toward unleaded aviation gas, the EPA plans on banning or increasing regulation of leaded gas used in piston engine aircraft. Planes using leaded aviation gas emit neurotoxins that interfere with brain development in children, according t… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski, Parnell to attend Coast Guard memorial

SITKA -- Gov. Sean Parnell and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski plan to attend the memorial for the Coast Guard crew whose helicopter crashed off the Washington coast last week. Today's memorial is being held in Sitka, the Southeast Alaska community where the crew was based. Coast Guard officials, including the commandant, Adm. Robert J. Papp, also are expected to attend. The crew was returning home from Astoria, Ore., when the helicopter crashed off La Push, Wash.; there was one survivor. Killed wer… Continue Reading

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