Consultant Mike Dubke, at a reception for Sen. Dan Sullivan in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention in 2016. (Photo: Lawrence Ostrovsky)Former White House communications director Mike Dubke is now helping promote the Alaska gasline project.Listen nowMike Dubke, through his company Black Rock Group, has a $15,000-a-month contract to advise the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation on its communication strategy.Dubke worked at the Trump White House for three months in 2017. He previously worked on the election campaigns of both Alaska U.S. Senators.Rosetta Alcantra, AGDC’s vice president of communications, said Dubke’s firm gives the gasline agency more of a presence in Washington, D.C.“Their resume speaks very well as far as their experience,” Alcantra said. “Not only on the national level and kind of knowing that messaging and who to talk to – that’s definitely a piece that kind of resonates – but they also have that Alaska connection.”The contract says Dubke will work on strategies to “amplify the benefits” of the liquefied natural gas project to the Trump administration, Congress and federal regulators.Dubke has worked for American Crossroads, a super PAC affiliated with Karl Rove, and led a group called Americans for Job Security that spent millions running negative ads about Democratic Senate candidates.Dubke’s firm has hired another well-connected political adviser as a subcontractor for the AGDC job: Kevin Sweeney, of Anchorage. Sweeney’s company, called Six-7 Strategies, will also be paid $15,000 a month. Sweeney is a long-time aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski and is married to Tara Sweeney, Trump’s pick to serve as assistant Interior secretary for Indian Affairs.Alcantra said Sweeney will focus more on in-state messaging while Dubke will work primarily in the federal arena.
SAN SALVADOR — Former leftist rebel commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén has won last Sunday’s presidential election in El Salvadorby a razor-thin margin, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said.He inherits leadership of a country beset with widespread poverty and violence from powerful street gangs.He beat rightist Norman Quijano by less than half a percentage point, said the tribunal, which now must give the latter three days to appeal the tally.Sánchez Cerén of the ruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front won 50.11 percent of the votes, compared to 49.98 percent for Quijano of the right-wing ARENA party, the tribunal said as it reported the final count from the runoff election. The first round was Feb. 2.“The people, united, will never be defeated,” FMLN supporters chanted at the hotel where the tally was held as they awaited the final result.The tight margin of the final result is a big surprise as the leftist had been favored to win by as many as 10 percentage points.A victory rally has been called for Saturday night in the capital San Salvador.Sanchez Cerén, 69, is vice president in the current government of President Mauricio Funes. In power since 2009, it is the country’s first leftist government and ended two decades of right-wing rule.But this marks the first time Salvadorans have voted an actual former rebel commander from their 1979-1992 civil war to be president.Sanchez Cerén is a former teacher and ex-education minister, who was one of five top guerrilla commanders during the civil war.The current FMLN is the political party that emerged from the guerrilly army of the same name in the war, in which the government was backed by the United States.The FMLN and ARENA were the main protagonists of that conflict.The final tally was identical to the preliminary result first announced Sunday.Quijano has asked the elections be nullified on grounds of fraud. The tribunal still has to rule on this.Quijano, 67, the mayor of the capital city San Salvador, was a law-and-order candidate and staunch anti-communist who campaigned against the country’s high crime rate and the notorious “mara” street gangs behind much of El Salvador’s drug dealing and extortion.Quijano, however, suffered from his links to ex-President Francisco Flores, a former campaign adviser, under scrutiny over $10 million donated by Taiwan that went missing during his 1999-2004 government.After the civil war, El Salvador found itself facing violence from the street gangs, which control whole neighborhoods and run drug distribution and extortion rackets.Forty percent of El Salvador’s six million people live in poverty, and the country relies heavily on remittances sent by Salvadorans living abroad — around $4 billion a year, or 16 percent of the country’s GDP. Facebook Comments Related posts:Both candidates claim win in Salvadoran presidential runoff Conservative in Salvadoran vote demands fresh polls as political divisions intensify Ex-rebel commander favored in El Salvador runoff Former guerrilla sworn in as El Salvador president