22 September 2006

Oh, those crazy Alaskans

Alaska's political scene gets written-up in the Seattle Times this morning:

Alaska, a state seemingly still in puberty, always has been known for its colorful characters and political upheavals.

But even by Alaska standards, things have been pretty wild lately.

Last month, Gov. Frank Murkowski suffered a humiliating defeat in the Republican primary, losing badly to the former mayor of a town not much bigger than Omak. A U.S. senator for 22 years before becoming governor, Murkowski was dogged by ethics scandals and political missteps, including appointing his daughter to his old job in Congress and buying a private jet.

On Aug. 31, FBI agents swarmed the offices of six legislators, including Senate President Ben Stevens — son of the state's most powerful figure, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. At the Capitol in Juneau, agents lugged boxes marked "evidence" past photo-snapping tourists.

I particularly like the puberty line.

I would like to - again - respectfully disagree with the idea that Wasilla is a small-town. For the umpteenth time, isn't the Mat-Su the fastest-growing region of the state? When I think small town, I don't think of the place people talk about moving the capital.

UPDATE: But at least Alaska's governor's race isn't as wacky as Texas', as the New York Times amply demonstrates:

Mr. Friedman’s campaign raked in $60,000 at a Houston steakhouse fund-raiser Sept. 5 led by the socialite Carolyn Farb and featuring the guitarist Billy F. Gibbons of the Texas band ZZ Top and Dick DeGuerin, the lead lawyer defending Tom DeLay against criminal campaign finance charges. Mr. Friedman will win, Mr. DeGuerin predicted, “and then he’s going to make me attorney general.”

Would that I could interview Kinky Friedman...

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