Tag Archives: Ralph

Ralph Samuels was one of VECO’s “Dirty Dozen”

by Stacy Drake

Continuing to look into Ralph Samuels record, the former Alaska legislator who is taking on Sean Parnell in the Alaska gubernatorial primary, I found something ugly. It turns out Ralph, who I wrote about a few days ago and suspect is a corrupt ‘good ol boy,’ is listed as one of “Veco’s Dirty Dozen.”

Back in May of 2007, a former legislator from Anchorage and government watchdog by the name of Ray Metcalfe wrote:

“Even though the FBI’s indictments of dirty politicians and those who bribe them has begun, (just the tip of the iceberg) House Majority Leader Ralph Samuels, Senate President Lyda Green, and about 20 other members of our Legislature who owe their elections to VECO are still stumping for the oilfield services company that is at the center of the ongoing FBI investigation.

Why would any legislator trust those who say the governor’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act is bad for Alaska, when they know those detractors are directly or indirectly associated with those who bribed our legislators.

They are pushing an ethics bill that does nothing, and – for those who haven’t already figured it out – our state treasury is now funded by a tax scheme that brings in about half of what it should. It’s the same tax scheme referenced in the indictments that VECO bribed our legislators to pass.

If you read the rest of that piece you’ll realize why ACES exists today and also why I call the Palin-haters on the right, “Oil RINO’s.”

Mr. Metcalfe wrote another piece to follow up in October of that year called “Veco’s Dirty Dozen.” He states:

“The following twelve Alaska legislators all have four things in common:

1. Every one of them has taken more than $10,000 from Veco.

2. When Veco owner Bill Allen asked to be relieved of his requirement to register as a lobbyist, they crafted and passed legislation ending Bill Allen’s requirement to register.

3. When presented with hundreds of pages of evidence of Veco’s bribery, each of them refused to respond.

4. When asked to admit or deny under oath whether or not had taken advantage of the illegal polling, services that Veco’s Vice President Rick Smith admitted having provided to over 100 of their favored candidates, every one of the still seated legislators below refused comment.”

1. Mike Chenault, $32,000

2. Ralph Samuels, $10,250

3. Mike Hawker, $21,350

4. Lesil McGuire, $17,550

5. Lyda Green, $18,000

6. Kevin Meyer, $23,350

7. John Cowdery, $45,200

8. Con Bunde, $18,650

9. John Coghill Jr, $10,480

10. Richard Foster, $16,750

11. Fred Dyson, $21,700

12. Gary Stevens, $14,275

He then goes on to warn Alaskans “Watch closely as they go to bat for everything Veco fought for — and remember them next election. “

There turned out not to be another election for Ralph to represent Alaska’s 29th district. He started to run for re-election but withdrew his candidacy during the primary that year. I wonder why? Ralph appeared to go to bat for those he ‘owed his election to’ aside from his lone vote against AGIA. Ralph Samuels also opposed ACES and is a sort of mini-champ for those corrupt influences in Alaska. I’m still digging through his voting record and beyond the big headline votes, I’m curious how much VECO and other ‘bed partners’ influenced Ralph’s decisions.

Speaking of misguided Alaskan’s, I ran into Valerie Henning again while conducting my research. She said “Ralph Samuels for Governor!”

These people are shameless.

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AGIA Opponent, Ralph Samuels Joins Parnell in Alaska Primary

by Stacy Drake

Primary election season is in full bloom across the country and here in California the mood is as apathetic as it always is. GOP establishment candidate and Mike Murphy employer, Meg Whitman appears to be coasting in for an easy grab at the republican spot in the November general election. At which time, Californians, who are hanging on to the edge of a cliff for dear life, get to choose between a Van Jones sympathizer and Jerry Über Alles “Moonbeam” Brown for our new (or old) governor…. God help us.

Having seen one too many “demon sheep” ads, I turn my sights to the happenings in the Alaska primaries.

Governor Sean Parnell

Sean Parnell is running as the incumbent candidate for the republican slot in the governors race. Last time I checked, he sits on a comfortable approval rating of 58%-19%. The Alaskan media is touting Ralph Samuels as Governor Parnell’s “formidable challenger” in that race.

So who is Ralph Samuels? He was a member of the Alaska State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008, serving the 29th district. He was also the only legislator to vote against AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. Governor Palin mentions him (not by name) in her book, “Going Rogue.” She wrote on page 142:

“Later, one lawmaker called Meg [Stapleton] to his office to continue the conversation. “I can tell you right now which bills will pass this session and which won’t”, he said. “It’s based upon one thing: relationships – and who is sleeping with whom”

Later on page 159…

After much debate, the legislature adopted AGIA. In the end, only one lawmaker voted against the measure. Interestingly, it was the legislator who had told Meg early on that bill passage is all about relationships and who is sleeping with whom.”

That begs the question… who were you sleeping with, Ralph? Better yet, who are you sleeping with now?

Currently Ralph Samuels is the vice president of Holland America in Alaska. There is little doubt that Samuels obtained his position with the cruise line and tourism giant as a result of his strong opposition to the Alaska Shipping Tax Initiative. That ballot initiative, which contained an increase on the head tax for cruise ships, was passed by Alaska voters in 2006. Samuels is able continue his crusade against the initiative but I’m sure nowadays he pulls in a much bigger paycheck for doing so.

In July of last year, Samuels gave a presentation at a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon. During which he stated that dropping revenue margins will cause cruise lines to pull ships out of the state. He said, “instead of pictures going out of a bear and a glacier, it’s a piña colada and a beach.” He continued with “You can see the revenue dropping and you can see why the ships are heading out.” Joe Geldhof, the bill’s author accused Samuels of “Chicken Little politics.” He said, “People run around saying, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’ and after the chamber lunch, people say, ‘The sky is falling we have to get something done’.”

Personally, I have no problem with the argument against a tax. However, I don’t like to see any group of voters have a referendum trashed due to the actions of powerful interests. I also find the VP position given to Mr. Samuels for his actions as a “public servant” to be on the higher end of the political ick factor.

Ralph reminds me of all my pre-Palin perceptions of Alaskan politicians. Married, or as he likes to call it, “in bed with” certain industries or interests. Easily bought and sold.

Ralph Samuels was an outspoken critic of Governor Palin while she was in office. His fan club now includes many names I’ve read before. Usually just before the words “filed ethics complaint,” but not always. The list of “friends” on his Facebook page reads like who’s, who of republican’s in Alaska that don’t like Sarah Palin. Or as I like to call them, “Oil RINO’s.” I’m really not sure of each individuals motive for being such outspoken haters of Governor Palin, but I know they’re haters nonetheless.

One of those “friends” that stood out to me was a profile that goes by the name “Val NAlaska.” A quick glance at the comment wall for that profile screams ‘Valerie Henning.’ Her avatar is a “Samuels for Governor” logo and the wall is filled with anti-Palin videos and gross propaganda. Plus, the back-n-forth banter on the wall with Sherry Whitstine kind of gives it away. It should be noted that Valerie Henning was a major donor to Samuels in 2008. She is also married to serial ethics complainant Zane Henning. You can tune in to the Eddie Burke radio show and perhaps catch one of her frequent calls in which she usually unloads an unhealthy rant about the governor. I have never heard or read anything from this woman that wasn’t anti-Palin/Parnell vitriol. I really think she could use some balance in her life.

After briefly looking into Ralph Samuels record and associations I actually have many more questions than I started with. I only scratched the surface and I hope to be able to provide my friends in Alaska with some useful information that they can arm themselves with before they vote on August 24th.

As they say, more to come….

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