Events Calendar
September 2014
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MatSu Democrats

Believe in…

-Equality and Opportunity for
all Alaskans
-Quality Public Education
-Personal rights and Freedoms
-A living wage
-Sustainable Economic growth
through wise and diverse

"Healthy Families,
Healthy Jobs,
Healthy Valley"
Gubernatorial Race
Over a year ago there was talk of a possible Walker / Wielechowski race to help unify Alaska politics, but that didn't materialize, and since then we have enjoyed a superb Democratic candidate in Byron Mallott. Unfortunately, at the same time polling indicated we could not win, Bill Walker and Byron realized that on the big issues of most importance to Alaskans, they had similar beliefs.  So the four principals agreed to the tentative Unified Ticket, and over the Labor Day weekend, there was a lot of communication among Democrats at all levels throughout the state, culminating with overwhelming supportive votes from the State Executive Board and the Central Committee. This was not a "back room" deal, and neither candidate is giving up their principles. Walker has stated that his conservative social beliefs will stay on the shelf.  He expects the courts to legalize gay marriage as they interpret our State Constitution, and he will veto any legislation that comes to his desk that attempts to place any further restrictions on abortion.  There may be a few compromises, but nothing major, and along with improving our chances in November, this unified campaign, with it's avoidance of "party politics as usual" is already drawing strong support from independent voters who have been completely turned off by all of the polarization within our state.  It's new, it's different, it might be risky, but it will certainly be interesting.  We ask that you support the Walker / Mallott campaign in any way you can.  The alternative is, well,... you know...

Saturday, Sept 6, 10AM-Noon, Monthly MatSu Dems Planning Meeting and WORK PARTY!

Join us at the Meeting House (415 Bailey St., Palmer) to help plan all of our upcoming activities (Egan Dinners, volunteer efforts, parties, etc.)  All are welcome!  After the meeting we will be heading over to the Fair Grounds to disassemble our wonderful new booth and get it ready for storage in eager anticipation of next year's Fair!  If you're looking at an active way to get involved, this one's for you!

Wednesday, Sept 10, 5:30PM - Thank You Bob Williams! at Turkey Red in Palmer
Celebration Time

It takes a lot of guts and stamina to step up and be a candidate, especially a candidate for statewide office.  Bob Williams and his family have done that.

Help us Celebrate the homecoming of MatSu Democrats’ adopted Favorite Son Candidate for Lieutenant Governor on Wednesday, September 10th, from 5:30 to 7:30 in Turkey Red’s Banquet Room, 550 S. Alaska Street in Palmer.

For the past year Bob & Connie Williams have spent every available day meeting people in every corner of our State, hearing their dreams and fears, gaining a deeper respect for the diversity of our land and our people.

Bob won the hearts of most folks he met.  He now has a place in the constellation of our future leaders.  Connie has been there with him all the way, sharing the exhilaration, the exhaustion, the occasional unwarranted taunts, the sleepless nights and the joys and sorrows of a campaign well waged.

Help us encourage Bob and Connie to build on the name recognition established this year.  We have Borough elections in 2015 and another state election in 2016.  In the meantime, lets make certain the new Governor’s team includes a Williams or two.

Come by and embrace Bob and Connie.  Bring along an item for the silent auction, which will help Bob retire his campaign debt.

Thursday, Sept 18, 5-7PM - Drinking Liberally

You don't have to drink, but the conversation will be of a Liberal nature. Join us at the Grape Tap in Wasilla for a social time where you don't have to be afraid to admit your progressive identity. Go in the front door and turn right to the small bar area.
Friday, Sept 19, 5:30-8PM, Egan Dinner at Turkey Red in Palmer

Our monthly get together starts with half an hour of social time, then an optional dinner ($25) followed by speakers/discussion.  Come enjoy a good meal and great conversation with valley Dems!
Campaign Links:

Mark Begich, U.S. Senate   http://www.markbegich.com

Walker / Mallott unity ticket http://www.walkerforalaska.com

Forrest Dunbar, U.S. House   http://www.forrestforalaska.com

Pat Chesbro, AK Senate Seat F   http://www.patchesbro.com

Pam Rahn, House Dist 8

Mabel Wimmer, House Dist 9    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Neal Lacy, AK House Dist. 10       http://democracy.com/neallacy/bio.aspx

Pete LaFrance, AK House Dist. 11  http://democracy.com/plafrance

Gretchen Wehmhoff, House Dist 12  http://www.gretchenforhouse.com

(Candidates, please let me know if any corrections need to be made - I'll run his list with each email we send out until elections. Also keep me posted on any events and we'll get the word out.)


Dan Heynen, Vice Chair
MatSu Democrats

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MatSu Dems Officers

Jamey Duhamel - Chair
Dan Heynen - Vice Chair
Valerie Mittlestead - Secretary
Carolyn Covington - Treasurer

District 7
Sarah Welton - Chair
Dewey Taylor - Vice Chair

District 8
Allen Rahn - Chair
Patricia Fisher - Vice Chair

District 9
Jamey Duhamel - Chair
Dan Heynen - Vice Chair

District 10
Mikse Willoya-Marx - Chair
Neal Lacy - Vice Chair
Chaz Rivas - Young Dem

District 11
Sally Hitchcock - Chair
Jim Wardman - Vice Chair

District 12
Pat Chesbro - Chair
Jim Chesbro - Vice Chair


2013 MatSu Voting District map that will be in effect for the next 10 years.





— The Alaska Supreme Court affirmed this week that the Alaska Redistricting Board must start from scratch and redraw the state's 40 legislative districts in a way that conforms to the state constitution.

In an order issued Wednesday, the court said that the board's failure in 2012 to create districts that met constitutional requirements means its entire plan is flawed, even districts that weren't challenged. The Supreme Court allowed the 2012 election to be conducted under the flawed plan, but only because there wasn't time to fix it.

The board hasn't met since mid-March and its only staff is an administrative assistant. Its chairman said earlier this week that the board would not resume work until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides a challenge by an Alabama county to the U.S. Voting Rights Act, expected in late June.

Jason Gazewood, the Fairbanks attorney who sued the Redistricting Board on behalf of two voters for violating the Alaska Constitution, said he was concerned the board wouldn't get its work done in time for the 2014 election.

Last month, the board asked the Supreme Court to clarify its ruling that tossed the board's map. The board asked the court whether it needed to draw all new districts, even districts that met constitutional guidelines. And, it asked, if it had to redraw all 40 House districts, would it be proper to use some of the 2012 boundaries if they happened to still work in a new plan?

It its order Wednesday, the court said "yes" on both counts but indicated the board needed to provide a new constitutional justification if it used the original boundaries.

"The first step in the redistricting process is to construct districts that comply with the requirements of the Alaska Constitution," the court wrote in its order. A district that is the same or similar to the 2012 district "will not in and of itself preclude the new district from being approved."

The court declined to respond to points raised by Gazewood in his own filing -- whether another round of public hearings would be needed for the new plan and whether the board was allowing sufficient time to enable a voter to challenge the next plan in court. The justices said Gazewood should bring those concerns to Superior Court in Fairbanks, where his challenge was brought in the first place.

Gazewood said Friday he hadn't decided how he would proceed.

The state constitution requires new House districts to be redrawn every 10 years to account for population shifts identified in the U.S. Census and to ensure, as much as possible, that each district has the same population. The constitution requires districts to be contiguous and compact and to contain a "relatively integrated socio-economic area." Two adjacent House districts make up a Senate district.

The U.S. Voting Rights Act imposes other standards to preserve the power of Native votes in some rural areas. The Alaska Supreme Court says the federal law must be applied after the boundaries are set under state law and adjusted if necessary -- not the other way around, as the Redistricting Board did.

Gazewood said it doesn't make sense for the board to await a decision in the Voting Rights Act case before drafting a new plan. Regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C., he said, the board will have to first draw up 40 districts that conform to the Alaska Constitution.

"If there's a state constitutional issue and nobody has a chance to look at it and assess it appropriately, we're going to be in the same position where we were before, which is the potential of having an interim plan in 2014, when this should've been done a long time ago," Gazewood said.

Board chairman John Torgerson did not respond to a message left on his work phone or to an email sent to his work address.

Reach Richard Mauer at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 257-4345.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/04/26/2880868/court-sends-redistricting-board.html#storylink=cpy



Last Updated (Sunday, 28 April 2013 10:10)


The Courts are allowing the "Amended" redistricting maps to be used for the 2012 Elections.  Here's the URL to the map of the MatSu voting districts:


You can also go to our Web Links area, choose "Government" and click on this link to get there.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 June 2012 19:30)