What Ann Brown Didn’t Say


Ann Brown is WC’s former law partner and the current chair of the Alaska Republican Party. On September 13, the Anchorage Daily News once again gave her space for an opinion column, in which she woodshedded her fellow Republicans for letting a Democrat, Mary Peltola, get elected to Alaska’s sole seat in the House of…

Vic Kohring Selling Out, Photo Courtesy FBIourtes

R.I.P. Vic Kohring, 1958-2022


Vic Kohring was a crook. He was a crooked politician, captured on video accepting cash from VECO CEO Bill Allen for his vote on a tax law Allen wanted, and then soliciting still more cash. Yes, the U.S. Department of Justice wrongfully withheld evidence at Kohring’s trial. But there’s still those damning videos from Suite…

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

An Open Memo to Gail Fenumiai


Ms. Gail Fenumiai, DirectorDivision of ElectionsCourt Plaza Building240 Main Street, 4th FloorJuneau, AK 99801 Re: Matter of David Eastman Dear Director Fenumiai: Wickersham’s Conscience has long admired your reasoned and principled approach to the sometimes challenging issues of Alaska elections. For example, WC wrote applauding your decisions in Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign, decisions that…

It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature


As you might imagine, WC is immensely pleased that Alaskans selected Mary Peltola to fill the balance of the late Don Young’s term as Alaska’s sole U.S. representative. Representative-elect Peltola is all of the things Sarah Palin is not: thoughtful, articulate, in touch with Alaskans and their views, informed and compassionate. She’s also the first…

Tales from Wasilla: David Allen Nagl


In the summer of 1970, a neighbor was kind enough to loan WC his truck and camper. WC and three buddies drove to what was then Mt. McKinley National Park. Back then, the Parks Highway was mostly blueprints; to get to the Park you had to drive down the Richardson Highway to Delta Junction, then…

Geology in Real Time: A Barry Arm Update


The thing about landslides is that they move in slow motion until they don’t. WC has written earlier about the potential landslide-generated tsunami in Barry Arm. This is an update. Barry Arm is a glacial fjord in northwestern Prince William Sound, Alaska. The westerly wall of Barry Arm is badly fractured rock, hanging hundreds of…

. . . A Fool for a Client.


The full quote, of course, is “An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.” It’s a cautionary aphorism that every law student learns. It’s also true for non-lawyers. And WC offers as an example of that truth Sutton, Alaska resident Mark N. Wayson. Mr. Wayson is a former Fairbanks city police officer…

D.N.R.I.P. Bill Allen, 1937-2022


Bill Allen has died. Good riddance. The King of Corruption, Betrayer of Friends, the Prince of Disastrous Deals, he made most of his money off one of Alaska’s biggest disasters and he earns one of WC’s rare Do Not Rest in Peace obituaries. Bill Allen bought Wayne Veltri’s Veltri Co. from from Veltri in 1970.…

Healy II - A Bad Idea That Just Got Worse

Well, That Was an Expensive Boondoggle


Boondoggle: Futile or useless work. The word is of uncertain origin. cording to one account, it was invented in the 1930s by an American scoutmaster, Robert H. Link, for a type of braided lanyard. This took time and trouble to make, to no useful purpose; hence, the word passed to a futile task in general.…

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, in the House chamber on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

David Eastman Excused from the Consequences


The Alaska Constitution was written in 1955, near the height of the anti-Communist hysteria that gripped the United States. It was the peak of the McCarthy Era. While the state constitution is mercifully free of much of the political baggage that attended that dark time, there are places where the hysteria plainly crept in. Article…

Another BUCIP: Red Dog Mine


BUCIP is the acronym for Big, Ugly, Complicated and Intractable Problem. One of Alaska’s BUCIPs is northwest Alaska’s Red Dog Mine. Most readers will have never heard of Red Dog Mine, but it’s the largest zinc mine in North America, as well as a very significant source of lead, silver and cadmium. It’s located in…

WC Finds It Embarrassing


Winston regrets his purchase of a Corvette: “I’ve decided I don’t like the car I bought last year. I want to return it and get my money back.” Clyde is disappointed with his lottery ticket: “My ticket didn’t win anything; I want my money back.” Janet and Dave met with their bank loan officer. “We…

R.I.P. Jim Hayes, 1946-2022


WC first met Jim Hayes on a basketball court. Hayes was the starting center for the Lathrop Malemutes; WC was a very skinny Junior Varsity player, just a few weeks away from washing out of even the JV team, and gave away some 60-70 pounds and six inches to Hayes, who was a mass of…

Tales from Wasilla: Mat-Su School District’s Priorities


It’s hardly a secret that the Matanuska-Susitna Valley faces a number of grave problems: substance abuse, failing schools, appalling levels of sexual assault and entrenched bigotry and racism, to name just a few. Which makes the recent decision by the Mat-Su School District to focus on a non-existent problem both a further demonstration of bigotry…

Sun Rose This Morning; Dunleavy Claims Credit


Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy still hasn’t removed WC from his reelection campaign mailing list. The latest fibs arrived last Friday. As far as WC can tell, the Legislature enacted the PFD that Dunleavy is claiming credit for despite Dunleavy’s best efforts to frustrate the process. After all, Dunleavy wanted a much bigger dividend, $6,700, and…

A shifty-eyed Governor Mike Dunleavy, March 9, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

What Not to Do When Offered a Bribe


Elderly Mandarin: “Would you betray your Emperor?”Young Mandarin: “Never. My loyalty to the Emperor is pure.”Elderly Mandarin: “Doubtlessly. But would you betray your Emperor for 10 million pieces of gold?”Young Mandarin: “10 million pieces of gold? A man could live well a very long time with that much wealth.”Elderly Mandarin: “Well then, would you betray…

Tales from Wasilla: Paul Gil Skates


Wasillite Paul Gil was on a deer hunting trip to Prince William Sound in October 2017. On that trip, Gil shot and killed a Harbor Seal, using an AR15-style assault weapon. Harbor Seals haul out of the water at various places in the Sound. Shooting them is every bit as challenging as shooting a motionless…

ConocoPhilips’ Little Oopsie


7.2 million cubic feet of natural gas. Enough to heat WC’s poorly insulated Boise home for the next 62,000 years. Enough to meet the City of Boise’s entire natural gas needs for most of a year. Never mind the horrific greenhouse gas implications of that discharge: natural gas – methane – has 43 times more…

Who Is “Tito” and Why Is He Harassing WC?


WC’s mailbox has been stuffed with messages from “Tito Dunleavy” lately, all asking for money, for WC to “sign” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s birthday card, or seeking WC’s contact information for “important news.” Or sometimes all three. In the emails from “Tito,” there’s always a photo of the very small, curly-furred brown dog at the…

Sometimes Mikey Makes It Too Easy


In a testament to Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s incompetency, he has left WC on his email list even though (1) WC has not for six years now been registered to vote in Alaska, (2) WC has heartlessly mocked, dissected and ridiculed Mikey’s email messages and, (3) WC would eat broken glass on the Capitol steps…

Mike Dunleavy, Alaska's governor, Bog help us

Mike Dunleavy Missed Some Stuff


The Anchorage Daily News has yet another opinion piece from Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. WC likes the Binkley family, who own the newspaper, but cautions them they’re going to need to invest in case lots of Chapstick™ if they continue to give Alaska’s Least Competent Governor a platform. In his latest essay, Dunleavy’s quest for…

Tshibaka Demonstrates Her Non-Qualifications


Kelly Tshibaka, the Trump-endorsed candidate running against U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, Alaska) in the Alaska Republican primary, has an opinion piece on March 28, 2022 in the Washington Times, the Capital’s right-wing newspaper. It reads like something that might have been written by Anchorage’s Art Hackney, attempting to press all of the ultra-conservative buttons…

Tales From Wasilla: Not Different at All


Alaskans like to pretend they are different than their Lower 48 cousins. More independent, more rugged, free of the problems that plague the Little States. It’s an especially bad instance of self-deception. Consider this recent press release from the Alaska State Troopers, Mat-Su Unit: The Alaska State Troopers, Palmer Police Department, and Wasilla Police Department…

Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin

A Sampling of Deadbeat Republicans


It’s increasingly obvious that Donald Trump lies and cheats, and he is infamous for failing to pay his bills. Ask most of his lawyers. No President in history has had more creditors sue him, trying to get paid, than Trump. But he’s hardly the only deadbeat Republican. Here two deadbeat Trump-wannabes, one from WC’s home…

Notes on the Sophie Sergie Case


Sophie Sergie, a 20-year old Yup’ik woman from Pitkas Point, Alaska, was murdered in April 1993 while a guest at Bartlett Hall, a dormitory on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. It was an especially brutal, gruesome homicide. Her body was found in the woman’s shower on the second floor – a female only floor…