The Hackers’ Dirty Little Secret


Key Bank recently notified all of its current and recent mortgage loan customers that the customers’ personal data had been stolen. The stolen information included names, mortgage property addresses, mortgage account numbers and information, home insurance policy numbers and information, phone numbers, and the first eight digits of Social Security numbers. That’s pretty serious. Any…

Sorting Out Trump’s Crimes, Part 1


Yes, WC understands it would take a multi-volume encyclopedia-length effort to sort out Donald Trump’s many crimes, so WC proposes to focus on just the most recent ones, those involving the presence of presidential records and classified documents at Mar-a-lago, Trump’s tasteless offense to architecture in Palm Beach, Florida. Heck, even for the post-presidency criminal…

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…

Ryan Zinke: Ethical Superfund Site


This post was written pre-surgery. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, the very worst environmentally contaminated sites are designated for cleanup by a scoring system called the Hazard Ranking System. If they are bad enough, they get on the National Priorities List – a euphemism if WC…

William Barr on Capitol Hill on April 10. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Bayonet the Wounded and Pick the Pockets of the Dead


WC was told one time, and regrettably the source is forgotten, that “Lawyers arrive after the battle is over and bayonet the wounded. Then the accountants arrive and pick the pockets of the dead.” Welp, the bayoneting and pickpocketing is still going on over the Mueller Report and the reaction of the Trump Administration to…

. . . 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…

Game Changer: The Rosemont Copper Mine


WC recognizes that long blog posts about mining law aren’t exactly light reading, and that, rightly or wrongly, most readers aren’t all that interested in the arcana. But Center for Biological Diversity v. Davis might be one of the most important mining law decisions in the last half century, and merits at least a brief…

Tales from Wasilla: Angela Lincoln


In 2017, Wasilla resident Angela Lincoln was chosen as Alaska Department of Corrections Employee of the Year. In August 2021, she was sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary after pleading guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy to provide contraband to prisoners at Alaska’s Goose Creek Correctional Facility. She admitted to the charges…

Guest Blog Post: Abortion, Morality and the Law


An essay by David James, of Fairbanks, Alaska, that is dead on. Morality is not simple. It’s easy to hold absolute positions in the abstract, but when human realities intrude, what seems straightforward becomes complex. For instance, the Ten Commandments state, “Thou shalt not kill.” No exceptions. Yet the Bible is littered with exceptions, because…

Is Mike Lindell Off His Meds?


Idaho is a thoroughly Republican state. Both U.S. Senators, both U.S. Representatives, a supermajority in both houses of the state legislature, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and nearly every elected ministerial office. Those elected officials seemingly vie with each other to see who can be the most conservative. But they aren’t conservative enough for Mike Lindell,…

In Like Flynn


“In like Flynn” is a phrase associated with the late actor Errol Flynn. He had a well-deserved reputation for womanizing, consumption of alcohol, and brawling. In November 1942, two underage girls, Betty Hansen and Peggy Satterlee, accused him of statutory rape. The trial took place in January and February 1943, and Flynn was acquitted of the charges.…

Cheating on Ethics Exams? Seriously?


WC hopes this doesn’t come as a shock to readers, but not all publicly traded businesses are honest about their products, their conduct or their profitability. In an effort to keep them somewhat honest, companies with publicly traded shares are required to have audits performed by an outside auditor. Admittedly, the audits aren’t as detailed…

Notes on Dobbs v. Jackson


Bruce MacKinnon is the political cartoonist for the Canadian newspaper The Halifax Chronicle. MacKinnon created this cartoon following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, where Christine Blasey Ford described an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh in 1982. Ms. Ford described Kavanaugh’s sexual assault, in which Kavanaugh had one of…

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…

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…

Public Roads and Private Land


Birders prize backroads, the little-used dirt tracks that wind through environmentally healthy habitat. There are birds close to the road, the absence of traffic makes it easy to stop and glass any birds, and the birds are less likely to be spooked by other cars. But in Idaho, too many of those back roads aren’t…

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…

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…

Russia’s Other Undeclared War


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis and the Russian army has demonstrated the very worst practices of an occupying force.1 The undeclared war and the attendant Russian atrocities and war crimes have made Vladimir Putin has made his nation pariahs. But the thing to remember is that Russia has long been…

Pandering, Racism or Both?


Both of Idaho’s U.S. Senators, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, voted against confirmation of District of Columbia Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. So did Alaska’s U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. The question WC has is why? Why did they vote against confirmation of a highly qualified, former public…

This One’s Important: Judge Carter’s Decision


If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself. Eastman v. Thompson et al., Case No. 8:22-cv-00099-DOC-DFM,…

Notes on the Fortenberry Conviction


Ingratiation and access, in any event, are not corruption. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Chief Justice John Roberts, concurring U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) was convicted last week on three felony counts for lying to federal investigators about illegal campaign contributions from a foreign billionaire. Fortenberry, who represents Nebraska District 1, eastern Nebraska, excluding…

Department of Stopped Clocks: Trump Was Right!


Trump, of course, has claimed for years now that there was election fraud in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. Now there seems to be overwhelming evidence that election fraud did occur. Admittedly, it didn’t affect the outcome, but it was fraud all the same. A Colorado grand jury has indicted Mesa County, Colorado county clerk,…