SnowFlakes arrive in Alaskan Politics..... Who would have guessed...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by BTPost, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Political organizer mobilizes to troll, satirize election
    Man aims to poke fun at an Anchorage ballot initiative involving public bathrooms
    Paul Oliva is seen in an undated photo with a cat, Mishu. (Contributed photo)

    The Alaska Public Offices Commission has never seen anything like it.

    Neither has Jerry McBeath, who literally wrote the book on politics in Alaska.

    In late July, former Bernie Sanders campaigner Paul Oliva registered a pair of political organizations for the sole purpose of trolling and satirizing Anchorage’s spring municipal election.

    “There is a so-called bathroom bill on the ballot in Anchorage. We plan to sort of satirize that bathroom bill, the fact that it is in our opinion a distraction from the real issues,” Oliva said by phone.

    While plenty of people have satirized Alaska politics from the outside, and plenty of fringe or kooky candidates have run for office, no one has organized a political group or party with the expressed intent of disrupting the system from the inside.

    His statement to the Empire was quite a bit more serious than his APOC applications, which allow him to raise and spend money for his organizations, which are respectively called “Everybody Poops and We Can Prove It!” and “Alaska Tea Party Watch.”

    Oliva’s title on the Tea Party Watch application is “Captain Paul and Troller in Chief.”

    Both applications are liberally laced with emoji, the pictograms that garnish smartphone conversations.

    Oliva said APOC didn’t even know its online application system could handle emoji until he tried — and succeeded — using them on the official form.

    “It’s not something we anticipated, obviously,” said Heather Hebdon, APOC’s executive director.

    Asked whether she considers Oliva’s efforts weird, she said, “I probably wouldn’t use weird. Unique would probably be better.”

    McBeath, a University of Alaska professor emeritus who has studied Alaska politics for four decades, can’t think of anything like it. Neither can former Anchorage Daily News Managing Editor Howard Weaver, who founded an alt-press publication in the 1970s and grew up in Anchorage.

    The closest parallel may be the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, which for 30 years ran absurdist candidates that promoted ideas like building schools taller to promote higher education.

    The stated goal of Alaska Tea Party Watch, according to its form, is to “pay protesters and internet trolls to annoy important people and make others laugh at them. Basically we elevate the dialogue, man.”

    By phone, Oliva said when he grew up in the 1990s, Facebook involved a Sharpie and the bathroom wall.

    His goal is to poke fun at an Anchorage ballot initiative that would restrict who may use which public bathrooms.

    According to the text of the initiative, a person would be allowed to use only the bathroom that matches the gender on the person’s birth certificate. Opponents of the initiative say that would be harmful to transgender Alaskans.

    “When I was in middle school, the bathroom was a place where a kid could just go. No one asked to see my birth certificate. It was just a little boy and his Sharpie,” Oliva said.

    He said he’s received pushback from people who fear his new organization will raise money to disclose the personal information of initiative backers, but that’s not his goal.

    “We’re just going to make them seem silly. We’re not vicious politicians. We’re a bunch of people in our 20s and our 30s that are kind of sick of this issue coming up,” he said.

    Kim Minnery, the initiative sponsor, said she finds “it troubling that its sole purpose is to troll proponents of a ballot initiative.”

    She said initiative proponents have already been harassed while gathering signatures to put the initiative on the ballot.

    Judy Eledge, one of the initiative’s supporters, said the initiative is about privacy rights.

    “We just think we need to protect the privacy, safety and dignity of all Alaskans,” she said. “To us, this is just commonsense protection for all Alaskans.”

    She said that even if Oliva is nice about his ribbing, others might not be as polite. Similar organizations could be a cover for bullying, she said.

    “We all need to be civil,” she said.
  2. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    To much weed smoking going on!
  3. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Blanket. Party.
    Ura-Ki, Tully Mars, techsar and 2 others like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    At least he's upfront with his plan to scam money out of people so he can publish sarcasm and buffoonery. That said, I'd contribute to support him experimenting with SCUBA weight belts and no tanks or quick releases.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Maybe he would like to further Timothy Treadwell's grizzly research.
    Ura-Ki, Tully Mars, techsar and 3 others like this.
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Sad, that the only "productive" thing he can find to do is to be disruptive and contrary. Obviously the product of a permissive childhood!
    Ura-Ki, Gator 45/70 and Seawolf1090 like this.
  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe


    This guy seems to be looking to rip off anyone stupid enuf to send him some dough, I wonder how much Soros is good for?

    On a more serous note

    I see Little Lisa, representative to the welfare types and Natives, is campaigning the living dickens out of the state. Her polls results must be in the toilet.....or worse.
  8. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Soak him in honey and take him out grizzly huntin' , with a water pistol.
    Ura-Ki and Gator 45/70 like this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Gotta love the democratic process, in democracies. Who is to say that this chap wouldn't make a fine government legislator. He'd make a nice change from the usual self serving carpet bagger to be found in municipal and State Governments. It should be remembered that a former Alaskan Governor set a very low bar for political the point that she is still grist for the cartoonist / satirist mill....


    Sometimes it takes a bunch of pirates to get tired old political parties and their hack representitives to lift their game, just even a little bit.

    Smári McCarthy: Iceland, the Pirate Party and the Panama Papers
  10. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    That's the thought I had about 1/2 way through the article.
    Mountainman, Ura-Ki and chelloveck like this.
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Well....Oliva is sure to get the 'cat lady' vote! ;)
    Ura-Ki and Tully Mars like this.
  12. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Beretta Jetfire.
    john316 and Mountainman like this.
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