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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Vice President Sullivan?

SULLIVAN IS BUSY WORKING FOR ALASKA

US Sen. Dan Sullivan talks with veteran during an Honor Flight tour of DC in April.

US Sen. Dan Sullivan talks with veteran during an Honor Flight tour of DC in April.

While People Magazine is speculating on U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan as a possible vice presidential candidate, Alaska’s senator has been focused on working for Alaskans, and probably wants to keep it that way. This past week, Alaska fishermen and Kodiak missile launch capabilities were his focus.

For fishermen, two bills worth plenty to coastal communities are moving through committees.

Hawkins

One is sponsored by Sens. Sullivan and Maria Cantwell, giving fishing boat owners extra time to comply with Coast Guard regulations, whenever those regulations are finalized.

The bill gives fishermen as much as three years’ lead time if they own boats that are older than 25 years, longer than 50 feet, and operate outside the three-mile limit.

A second effort is aimed at getting more American seafood into school lunches, and to get rid of Chinese-manufactured mystery fish sticks, which have given seafood a bad name among school children for generations.

Sullivan was also the lead in getting the Missile Defense Agency to award a contract to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation for two flight tests of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Systems from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska on Kodiak Island. 

The contract, valued as much as $80.4 million, includes site preparation for two missile launchers, range communication, and instrument capabilities, as well as a life support area. 

WHAT SULLIVAN SAID AND DIDN’T SAY

“As I’ve been saying both in D.C. and back home, Alaska is the cornerstone of our nation’s missile defense. [The] announcement by the Missile Defense Agency further reinforces that statement by adding missile defense testing to our already robust strategic capabilities at Fort Greely and Clear Air Force Station. 

“This year and last year, I was able to include language in the Defense Authorization to specifically highlight the unique importance of the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska found on Kodiak Island. I am pleased that the Missile Defense Agency was listening, and I am confident that they will appreciate all that Kodiak has to offer for THAAD testing, including a community that strongly supports the military.”

He said nothing at all about the vice presidency. Nothing at all.

Nonetheless, Trump rumor missiles are everywhere in the news these days, and the Republican presumed presidential nominee will meet with all Republican senators on Thursday in D.C.

A half-dozen of them have had their names bantered about for the vice president’s slot, but Sullivan is one of the few who is often discussed as actual presidential material in years ahead.

And everyone knows you cannot become president after being vice president.

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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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