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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
HomePolitics and PolicyGovernor Bill Walker’s Hunger Games

Governor Bill Walker’s Hunger Games

DEMOCRATS PLAYING GAMES WITH ALASKANS’ LIVES: Gov. Bill Walker was given his orders by the Alaska Democrats last week and, like a good Democrat himself, he followed them to the letter. It resulted in their anticipated chaos.

Well played, Gov. Walker, well played.

Here’s how the end of session went down: They were in conference committee, and it was down to the wire, with exhaustion setting in. The House bipartisan majority offered the Democratic minority $34 million for any program they wanted, if they would only pass a budget, which had been completed on Day 60 of the 90-day session.

Hawkins

Rep. Andy Josephson, D-District 17, and other Ds dug in their heels and said no. They wanted the session to end. They also turned their backs on a 10-day extension.

Why? Agreeing to solve the budget would have spoiled their battle plans. These were plans that involved so much more than the budget and they’d been working on them for weeks; they did not even offer their budget amendments until the 11th hour on Day 121.

Democrats knew the governor had already prepared his call for a special session and, like last year, they could up the ante and get more spending, which would demand taxes from the public.

At 12:01 a.m., the governor sent out his prepared special session call. The plan had worked.

Key Democratic strategists such as Sam Kito of Juneau knew the special session would contain the governor’s deliverables alone. Republicans would have no trading stock and would be severely limited.

The governor and Democrats also knew they could hold Republican lawmakers in Juneau for another 30 days with an extraordinary list of demands, and prevent them from returning home to tell Alaskans what is really going on.

By keeping lawmakers in Juneau, the governor and the Democrats are attempting to continue to fracture the House, weaken the majority, and flip the majority in the November elections.

The end game is not to balance the budget, but for Democrats to take over the House: Blame Republicans for the dysfunction and win in November.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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