Shakesville exclusive! Mike Gravel spends $5 on valet parking

When you think of the term “Transportation Costs” for Presidential candidates eager to spread their views, you generally think of costs for private jets among other things. Needless to say, for many of the candidates in the all-important 2008 race for the Presidency, transportation costs are sky high and often a cause for concern.

Of course, apparently not for Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel. A recent analysis of Gravel’s expense reports shows an interesting fact – in June, Gravel sent a check for $5 (US) to Leland Parking Services in Anchorage.

Apparently, the “rugged” Democrat from Alaska doesn’t like parking his own car.

“Yeah, we’re a valet parking service,” said Leland Hansen of Wasilla, Alaska. “We handle the valet parking at the Alaska Center for Performing Arts.”

Gravel and his campaign could not be reached for comment, but a three-month review of the Senator’s records show that he has often splurged – possibly using campaign funds – on such luxuries as valet parking and dehydrated meat.

“It was a few months ago, I believe Norah Jones was playing a concert when the Senator used our service,” said Hansen. “He got out of his car — a Jeep, I believe –and we handed him a stub.

“We then took his car away from the normal public parking area, and drove it … I’d say a quarter-mile down the street to a parking structure that the Performing Arts Center owns. We pulled it in face-first and parked it between a Buick and a Cadillac. I can’t tell you this for sure, but I believe the Cadillac is owned by an assistant District Attorney. I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

Asked if Gravel could have parked his own car, Hansen answered in the affirmative.

“Oh yeah, there were plenty of spots available for him,” said Hansen. “It was February, though, so it was pretty cold, so a lot of people used valet that night, I remember. But he is a Presidential candidate, he should know better, right?”

Gravel’s valet parking payment is just one example of the interesting nuggets that await those willing to dig through the thousands of entries in campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Other interesting info gleaned from Gravel’s reports include $23 for moose jerky – ironic considering his stance on Universal health care in the U.S. – and more than $75 for a pair of mukluks, which are a type of Native American moccasin favored by many Alaskans.

“When he came in here, he was wearing shoes, so I don’t know what he needed more for,” said Nick Hines, a salesperson at Mimi’s Mukluk Emporium in Eagle River, Alaska. “Maybe they were a gift, I’m really not sure.”




Filed under 07_wolfrum

9 responses to “Shakesville exclusive! Mike Gravel spends $5 on valet parking

  1. Asked if Gravel could have parked his own car, Hansen answered in the affirmative.


    OMG, I can’t stop laughing like an insane woman.

  2. Jay in Oregon

    This. Post. Rules.

    Not the least of which is because it reads like it’s written by someone who actually lives (or has lived) in Alaska. I grew up in Nome.

    William, is that true?

  3. Jay in Oregon

    Gah, never mind; I just read, like, every other thing you’d written about living in Alaska.

  4. William K. Wolfrum


    Feel free to call me Bill 😉

    And yeah, I spent most of my 20s living in AK. I lived in Anchorage but fished for a few years out of Dutch Harbor and traveled around the state quite a bit. I went to school at UAA, and was an Intern at the Skagway News (where the first name in news is “Skag’), among other things.

    I knew a few people from Nome back in the day. But you grew up there? Wow. Respect to you. Couldn’t have been easy.


  5. William K. Wolfrum

    Gah, never mind; I just read, like, every other thing you’d written about living in Alaska.

    lol, no sweat. I like talking about AK actually. A great place, great people, truly unique. I also lived in NYC for about two years, but I rarely talk about that because mostly I just worked in an office and the overall experience wasn’t really that big of a deal to me. Alaska was, though.


  6. If he can’t literally park his own car, how can we expect him to metaphorically park the Iraq war?

  7. Jay in Oregon

    It was interesting. I love my hometown, and I think the people who live these are good, honest, decent people. I just don’t agree with their politics much of the time. I definitely became more liberal after moving off to go to college; the whole “gay people are gross” thing got settled for me quite decisively in my freshman year.

    I have to say that I love the fact that I can go here and see my hometown newspaper. The times where I don’t see someone I know are far outweighed by the times that I do.

    The big, big shock for me was finding out about this:

    You know how you see those stories where they quote someone as saying “I couldn’t believe it could happen here”? Yeah, that would have been me. My parents knew Father Poole; Hell, everyone knew Father Poole, Nome is a town of about 2,000 people.

  8. Jay in Oregon

    Speaking of the Nome Nugget, I just looked at the PDF version of the current issue. My mother is in one of the pictures!

    My parents spend summers on some property they own just outside of Nome, if by “just outside” you mean 70 miles…

  9. Jay,

    I actually had an offer to edit the newspaper in Kotzebue many moons ago. not taking that job was pretty much a no-brainer. I just don’t think I could have handled living in a place where the most exciting thing would be a trip to Nome.


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