Jeff was joined by Kevin Baird. Baird recently worked as a reporter for the Juneau Empire. Before that he worked at the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer. He recently left the Empire and moved to Portland. They sat down for a chat before he left at the Triangle Club in Juneau. They discuss his time before he moved to Alaska, including working as a cab driver and a reporter, why he came to Alaska, the madness of the current legislative session, the changing media landscape, and some of his frustrations with working in the traditional media.
Jeff was joined by Grace Jang. Jang worked for former Governor Bill Walker for his entire 4 year term. She held several positions including communications director and deputy chief of staff. Prior to that she worked for KTVA and KTUU as a producer and reporter. They discuss her time with Governor Walker, her background in media, the infamous Speedogate incident, and her new communications and consulting business, Grace Jang Solutions.
Jeff was joined by Jeff Clements. Clements is an attorney, author, and the co-founder and CEO of American Promise. He lives in Boston. Since 2010, he has been one of the chief advocates for a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United and allow Congress and states to set reasonable limits on campaign spending. They discuss his history as an attorney, why he got involved in campaign finance reform, the problems with the Citizens United case, and the progress his group. He recently visited Juneau to talk with legislators about his group and efforts.
Jeff was joined by travel and airfare guru Scott McMurren. McMurren is an Anchorage bases marketing and travel consultant. He is a longtime contributor to the Anchorage Daily News. He is probably best known for finding amazing deals on airfares. They discuss his history in the travel industry, some awesome upcoming airfare deals out of Alaska, how the travel industry has changed, and an upcoming travel event he is hosting. McMurren is very high energy!
Jeff was joined by Laura Norton-Cruz from the Alaska Children's Trust. She is the director of the Alaska Resilience Initiative. They discuss her background as a teacher and social worker, why she got involved in ending child abuse, the different kinds of child abuse, and the work she does with the Alaska Children's Trust. They also discuss the importance of education and healthcare for childhood development.
Jeff was joined by Ralph Samuels. Samuels served in the Alaska House from 2003-2009. Prior to that, he had a long career in aviation with PenAir. He now works as vice president of government and community relations for Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. They discuss his history in Alaska, the tragic murder of his brother in 1989 and how that got him involved in the political process, his time in the legislature, his 2010 run for governor, and what it's like being in Juneau.
Jeff was joined by Commissioner Designee Jason Brune. Brune was chosen by Governor Dunleavy as Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation. They discuss his educational background, his work history in Alaska that included working on the Exxon Valdez clean up, serving as the executive director of the Resource Development Council, working for Anglo American, and CIRI. They also discuss his new job as Commissioner as well as the concerns some have raised about his previous work on the Pebble Mine.
Jeff was joined by Senator Tom Begich (D - Anchorage). He was elected to the Senate in 2016 after former Senator Jonny Ellis decided not to run for re-election. He is the son of former Alaska Congressman Nick Begich and the older brother of former Alaska Senator Mark Begich. They discuss his family's history in Alaska, including the the tragic disappearance of the plane his dad was on, why he ran for office, and some of the tough issues facing Alaska. They also talk about Alaska's political history, specifically the impeachment hearings on Governor Bill Sheffield in 1985. He also tells a great story about a book his brother Nick wrote about the HAARP facility.
Jeff was joined by newly elected Senator Scott Kawasaki (D - Fairbanks). Before being elected to the Senate last year, Kawasaki served 12 years in the House. They discuss his time in the legislature, his recent campaign, the budget and PFD, as well as the challenges for the average person to serve in the legislature. He also tells the story about an attempt to move him into a different district, that resulted in an epic fail, during the last redistricting.
Jeff was joined by Libby Bakalar. After attending Brooklyn Law School, Bakalar moved to Alaska in 2005 to take a judicial clerkship. She worked as a lawyer for the State of Alaska for 12 years. She was let go right after Governor Dunleavy took office. After, with the help of the ACLU, she filed a lawsuit against the administration for unconstitutional termination. She also started a blog, One Hot Mess, in 2014. It has become very popular and sometimes controversial. They discuss her blog, her work as a lawyer, as well as cultural and political issues.