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House Democrats Mourn Veteran Journalist Bob Tkacz

Long-Time Alaska Reporter Leaves Void At State Capitol

Democratic Alaska Representatives paused today to remember long-time journalist Bob Tkacz, who was found dead in Juneau yesterday. “Bob was always hard-working, persistent, and insistent,” House Democratic leader Chris Tuck said. “He never let anyone off the hook easily–Bob routinely demanded straight information and kept after it day and night.  He was an excellent political reporter.”

Keenly interested in global fisheries issues, Tkacz was publisher and editor of “Laws For The SEA,” a weekly review of the legislature's activities relating to the seafood industry, environmental issues that impacted it, and news of local, state, national, and international government regulations affecting the business. His newsletter covered other issues as well, and unfailingly included particularly pithy, humorous, or bewildering quotes from newsmakers.

"Bob always cared about getting to the truth and was an absolute – and absolutely fair–bulldog about it,” Rep. Les Gara said. “His loss is sad for those who cared about open, accountable government."

Rep. Geran Tarr added, “From years as a staffer to my freshman term as a legislator, I admired Bob’s attention to detail and commitment to making sure the public knew what was happening.  He will be sorely missed in the Capitol halls.”

“Bob Tkacz wouldn't let anyone duck the hard questions, and Alaska is a better place for it,” former House Democratic Press Secretary Mark Gnadt said. “Many times I would warn legislators with 'Bob won't let you get away with that answer.' Bob Tkacz was the one reporter you wanted to show up at the other guys' press conferences.”

Tkacz also wrote for “Bradners’ Legislative Digest,” freelanced for a number of print and online publications, earlier worked as a reporter for KTOO-FM, and was a passionate jazz fan, sharing new music and his expertise with listeners of KRNN-FM public radio. His deepest dedication was to covering the Alaska State Legislature; he recently completed his 33rd straight session.

“Alaska is a poorer place today,” Tuck said. “Capitol press conferences will be considerably less lively without Bob.”

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