Doogan, as He Retires, Reflects
Spenard representative and former newspaperman isn’t seeking another term
ANCHORAGE - Representative Mike Doogan, a Democrat from Spenard, is one of the legislators not seeking re-election this year.
Doogan is calling it a career – a career that has taken him to the Capitol as an aide and back again much later as a lawmaker, with decades of newspaper writing in-between.
That same year, he oversaw the paper's coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
But it was the politically charged column he wrote for more than 20 years that had some legislators worried when he arrived at the Capitol in 2007 as one of them.
"You know, I think one of the things that my colleagues were surprised about when I went into the House was that I didn't have, you know, fangs and two heads – you know, that I could sort of be reasonable on things and not be somebody who was trying to knock heads all the time."
Two years ago, Doogan's own head became a problem when a sudden difficulty with speech led to discovery of a brain tumor and surgery.
"You just can't get your brain cut without it having some effects, you know. And so I basically lost [some] vision… I’ve got problems with typing."
He’s now working with a dictation program on his laptop that turns his spoken words into written words on-screen.
With that, he hopes to complete the fourth book in a mystery series he began several years ago.
And he says it's possible he might write the occasional newspaper opinion piece.
"I still feel some obligation to try to keep this whole operation we've got from going over a cliff. So, besides, I like to run my mouth as well as anybody does."
Although his image softened during his stint at the Capitol, he says some of his targets probably will never forget.
"I figure when I die, I’ll be laying there in my coffin, and a bunch of people will come over and stick a pin in me just to make sure I'm dead."
Doogan, who is 64, says he's gone through 27 doctors and still doesn't have an opinion on how long he's got to live, although the tumor was benign.
He’s due for a check-up in a month.
To watch the entire interview with Representative Mike Doogan, click here.
(Note: Doogan is the uncle of CBS 11’s Sean Doogan.)