“Anchorage businessman and political activist Scott Hawkins has joined the race for Alaska governor. … According to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Hawkins filed a letter of intent that allows him to begin fundraising for the fall 2018 statewide primary. Hawkins intends to run as a Republican and will participate in that party’s primary. … He said he intends to kick off his campaign with a trip to Ketchikan next week.”
Hawkins: “The reason I’m running is people are really unhappy with the direction the state’s going right now. … I think there’s some reasons for that, and I think they’re fixable. I think I have the background and capability to fix these problems.”
“In letters and columns submitted to state newspapers, Hawkins has opposed a state income tax, has supported the idea of a voter-approved spending cap, and has supported the idea of spending a portion of the Alaska Permanent Fund’s earnings on government services. Earlier this year, Hawkins appeared in TV ads opposing House Bill 115, an income tax proposal passed by the Alaska House of Representatives.” (Juneau Empire)
JUNEAU IN OCTOBER. Gov. Bill Walker (I) “on Friday announced his latest tax proposal aimed at shrinking Alaska’s $2.5 billion deficit — a 1.5 percent tax on wages that stops at $2,200, or roughly $150,000 in income. The plan, which would raise an estimated $300 million, was unveiled Friday as Walker called the Alaska Legislature into a special session Oct. 23 — formalizing a decision he’d already broadcast last month.” (Alaska Dispatch News)
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"Two more House Republicans have joined the discharge petition to force votes on immigration, potentially leaving centrists just two signatures short of success. Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) signed the discharge petition Thursday before the House left town for the Memorial Day recess. If all Democrats endorse the petition, just two more GOP signatures would be needed to reach the magic number of 218."
"A missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014 was fired from a launcher belonging to Russia's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade, investigators said Thursday. The announcement is the first time the investigative team has identified a specific division of the Russian military as possibly being involved in the strike. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the incident."
"House Republicans are preparing to conduct the first interviews in over four months in their investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe. A joint investigation run by the Judiciary and Oversight Committees has set three witness interviews for June, including testimony from Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division."
"The White House confirmed Wednesday it is planning for a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders, known as the 'Gang of 8,' to receive a highly-classified intelligence briefing on the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling, reversing plans to exclude Democrats altogether. ABC News first reported the plans to hold a separate briefing for Democrats, citing multiple administration and congressional sources. While details of the bipartisan meeting are still being worked out, a Republican-only briefing will go on as scheduled Thursday."