BUT USES STATE RESOURCES TO CAMPAIGN FOR HIM
Gov. Bill Walker flew to Fairbanks and spoke to a group of laborers at Fairbanks Local 375 Pipefitters, where he waxed extensively about the upcoming election and why he supports Mark Begich.
He did so all on the State of Alaska’s dime.
Walker told the group at the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center that he is “very concerned about the damage that Mike Dunleavy would do to Alaska and that’s why I did what I did, to make sure it was a two-way competitive race,” according to a report in the Fairbanks News-Miner.
Walker said Begich is the best choice for Alaska.
“On issues associated with Alaska first, Alaska labor issues, the gas pipeline and resource development, I think we’re more aligned; certainly on health care we’re more aligned,” Walker said. “Also on the fiscal plan, I think you just can’t be reckless and you shouldn’t be able to buy your election with my grandchildren’s future, and that’s what we’re seeing right now with Dunleavy,” the News-Miner reported.
But then he said he doesn’t officially endorse Begich.
“But I do believe he would be better for Alaska than Mike Dunleavy,” he said, according to the News-Miner.
Walker continued discussing how his campaign is working hard to let voters know he is not running.
Campaigning as the sitting governor, using state resources, is something he’s done all year, and more so in the summer and fall. But he’s split the expenses with his campaign, and that gave him a tremendous advantage. Now, however, he’s out of the race, and he’s using his offices and state resources to make an undeclared contribution by the Governor’s Office to the Begich campaign. Clearly illegal.
“We’ve done a lot. We’ve been sending out emails, we’ve sent out all sorts of messaging to let people know that we have withdrawn from the campaign. We’ve told them why, we’ve told them the issues that we are aligned with, with what’s important to us and find the candidate that matches that, those kind of priorities and hope that they will support them. We’ve gone a long ways in that regard,” he is reported as saying.
Then, after finishing his campaign stop for Begich, Walker flew to Anchorage. He had already sent out a news release to reporters in advance, telling them he was going to vote. They showed up.
He held a press conference after voting, and told them he had voted for Begich. The reporters didn’t just catch him by happenstance — they were advised he’d have a press conference. The point of it? To promote a candidate.
All on the state dime.
Walker quit his campaign on Oct. 19 and said he supported Begich to ensure that Dunleavy wouldn’t win.
But in Fairbanks on Friday, he said that he doesn’t officially endorse him. And in Anchorage, he said he voted for him.
“I don’t align with (Begich) on everything, obviously, that’s why I have not given him an endorsement. But I certainly think that he is better for Alaska than Dunleavy is,” he told the Anchorage Daily News.
Whether he has or hasn’t endorsed Begich is a matter of confusion at this juncture. The media is reporting it both ways, and doesn’t seem prepared to challenge him on why he’s promoting Begich in his official capacity — since he no longer has a campaign capacity with which to split expenses.