Bill Walker announcement looms large in PFD Special Session - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, November 29, 2021
HomePoliticsBill Walker announcement looms large in PFD Special Session

Bill Walker announcement looms large in PFD Special Session

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Chatter in Juneau is that the Aug. 16 legislative special session, the third this year, will become a coordinated effort between Bill Walker and the Democrats and Walker-aligned Republicans to ensure the Permanent Fund dividend is zero and the Power Cost Equalization is not resolved.

That would put Walker, now 70 years old, in a position to sweep in as the fixer — someone who promises to resolve the standoff.

This talk is in the background, while expectations grow in political circles that Walker, egged on by his former chief of staff Scott Kendall will announce for governor this weekend.

Many Republicans recall that Walker, who ran on saving the Permanent Fund dividend, was actually the one who cut the PFD, both unilaterally and through political bargaining. He put half of the dividend in the Earnings Reserve Account, saying the State needed it for government programs. It sat there, unspent. Ever since then, the dividend has been a political football.

Walker’s surrogates are lining up. Kendall has been suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy since he took office, and quickly organized the recall effort, starting in February of 2019, when Dunleavy submitted his first budget, which was Dunleavy’ first attempt to trim the sails of the budget. Kendall has sued the governor multiple times, most recently on behalf of Alaska Federation of Natives over the Power Cost Equalization fund, which the Legislature did not replenish this year.

Over at the Ship Creek Group, a restructuring has taken place. John Henry-Heckendorn, who ran Walker’s last campaign, is back at the helm, and he has rearranged the Democrat political campaign consultancy to be a plug-and-play team for a Walker campaign.

Heckendorn left the state after Walker’s stinging re-election loss in 2018 (Walker withdrew in the final few days of October), and went to work for AirBnB in San Francisco. But after the pandemic hit the hospitality market, he eased back into Alaska to return to political work.

Sources say he and Kendall have been in conversations with former boss Gov. Bill Walker and Donna Walker, who is a key player in Walker World.

Read: Walker effect: One third of state on Medicaid

Ship Creek Group landed on the scene in 2015 to turn Alaska blue. At the end of 2018, SCG had had a terrible run — backing some disastrous candidates who won, but then prematurely ejected from public life: Rep. Zach Fansler and Rep. Dean Westlake, both of whom were picked by Ship Creek Group as ways to control the rural Alaska vote. There was also Rep. Justin Parish of Juneau, who also left the scene quickly on the “me-too” wave with Westlake and Fanlser.

After Heckendorn left the state, the business continued with Managing Partner Allie Banwell and Operations Manager Jenny-Marie Stryker. Those two — and all the founders but Heckendorn himself — are gone now.

In the campaign consultancy world, consultants must “eat what they kill.” And so for 2022, Ship Creek Group is reorganized with four “managing partners.”

Kim Jones: Jones was Finance Director for Alyse Galvin for Congress in 2020 and worked as a fundraising consultant for municipal races in 2021. (Alyse was spotted recently hobnobbing with leftwing strategist Jim Lottsfeldt, who gave Heckendorn his political start in the state. The plot thickens.)

Alexandria “Alex” Murphy: She was a deputy treasurer for Ballot Measure 2’s Alaskans for Better Elections, a Scott Kendall production.

Ira Slomski-Pritz: He came to Ship Creek Group after five years working in municipal and state government in Alaska. He was a special assistant to the Gov. Bill Walker’s Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, who has led the recall campaign against Dunleavy. Pritz was the LGBTQ coordinator for the former failed mayor Ethan Berkowitz  of Anchorage.

Allie Banwell is gone as managing partner. Also gone are former founder Josh Corbett, and Rafi Bildner and Paula Delaiarro, who came in early held the firm together after Heckendorn headed for San Francisco.

Walker will be a tough sell. His crowning achievement was nationalizing the Alaska Gasline, and then nearly giving it away to the most oppressive regime in the world, the Chinese.

How will a guy like Walker do in a ranked-choice ballot environment, (also another deliverable by Kendall, who brought it to the ballot with millions of dollars of Outside money to convince voters to approve it) will be tested by pollsters in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, while Walker has maintained a low profile, he has been lining up support of some of the heavy hitters with deep pockets.

Dunleavy’s approval rating among voters has rebounded to well over 50 percent, in part because he took a more DeSantis (Florida governor) approach to managing the pandemic, balancing personal freedom with public safety and health.

Is this the weekend Walker will announce? Must Read Alaska readers, what are your thoughts?

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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.

Latest comments

  • What the hell is wrong with these people?!?!?!

    • Crooks all, just pick the least bad.

  • Walker, kendall, and supporters, and the scg will rot in hell. How walker can even show his face anywhere, let alone Alaska, is beyond me – he is an embarrassment to Alaska and the rest of America.

    • Alaskans have a short memory. Sometimes hours long.

    • To Bill Walker:
      .
      What does it feel like to shake hands with a guy who diddled young girls?

      • Diddled young girls…? He hit on a 41 year old lady….

        • He hit on her well before she was 41, and then her under age daughter. “look it up”

  • A nice little list of commies.

  • Well, NOW, IT is YOUR choice to keep Gov Dunleavy!!.. For ALL YOU CONSERVATIVES who have been complaining Dunleavy, not doing his duties, WELL…You have a choice NOW to keep him, doing the same great work he has been trying to do or vote for the same stooge who RIPPED our PFD from from the original statues.

    • He was also on the Road to sell Alaska to China, for those who have forgotten.

      • EXACTLY KC!!!!!

      • Who was on the road to selling Alaska to China? Walker or Dunleavy?

    • I agree 100 % !!! Walker is a crook.

  • All bad pennies!!!..and a case study in counter-productivity

  • We need a full forensic audit of Nov 2020. There is absolutely no way ballot Measure 2 ranked choice voting passed. We need fair elections. One vote per legal registered voter. The voter registration database must be cleaned up too. The state is derelict in their legal responsibilities of maintaining it.

    • Truth Seeker – You are absolutely right! Any state that used Dominion Voting Systems, allowed mail in ballots, had activist judges change election rules at the last minute & allowed ballot harvesting should be subject to a full forensic audit. The Maricopa forensic audit has cast serious doubts on election integrity wherever one or more of these situations occurred. Ranked Choice voting almost surely was defeated in Alaska!

      • And do not forget, the letter our Lt. Governor mailed out concerning the 11/3/2020, votes and our personal information was hacked!

  • Bunch of thieves, but then again they are politicians, so what else is new. I’m sure their offshore accounts are going to show a nice bump this year.

  • What are my thoughts?
    .
    Uhhh yeahhhh, no thanks.

  • when I voted in Palmer I was made to use a sharpie pen.Just saying

  • My opinion. Walker is a gadfly, a spoiler, a RINO. Hooked into the uber liberal Mukowskites including rank choice cheating, “four bites at the apple” Kendall. These folks don’t care about Alaskans. It’s all a game of subversion, lies and power. Another Walker term is like contemplating warmed over puke.

  • Bill Walker couldn’t save his way out of a wet paper bag. Look at his Lt. Gov. choice and Walker’s silence on this deceased predator’s behavior. He also completely re-engineered the Permanent Fund and PFD.

    Dunleavy may soon also find himself in the dustbin or Alaska history if he doesn’t start acting like a conservative.

  • Remember when Walker wanted to allow China to own a 50 % stake in the gas line project here in Alaska?
    That should tell you all that you need to know about this dude.
    If he was elected, then folks like Bakalar & Kendall would be re-appointed to help the Dems write their vaccine passports & mandatory jabs for all Alaskans.
    Alaska needs to hold the line & not allow any of these socialists back into power no matter what the carrot is they hold out in front on a stick.

  • Oh heck no! Walker is going to shove a mask on my face and needle up my arm!

  • The corpus of the permanent fund grew from $43B when Walker came into office into $60B today. Reducing dividends has allowed the PF to generate grater returns. A well run company issues dividends after the bills are paid, a Constitutional dividend requirement is another term for Universal Basic Income.

    • $81 billion today.

    • The permanent fund is the people’s money, not the government’s!

    • 1. A “grater” is for shredding cheese;
      2. Alaska is not a business, and there is a recognized formula for dividend disbursement which the legislature and supreme court have chosen to ignore;
      3. the legislature is sitting on a pile of money in hopes of spreading it out to special interests who fund many legislators’ campaigns;
      4. the PFD has made nobody rich (not even close to being a “universal basic income” how silly of you), but when many, many Alaskans were hurting due to loss of revenue from COVID shut-downs and ridiculous protocols which cost them their jobs, the legislature basically said: “Let them eat cake.”, and continued to sit on it.
      You were wrong on so many levels, but it is clear that you are a fan of old China Bill, and my guess is that you like Sleeza Murkowski and Sleepy Joe Biden as well. They are all cut from the same mold.

    • I find this to be a ridiculous notion mandating a payout through the constitution is needed because we as alaskans sold out mineral rights to the state to manage as a common trust property the state has a fiduciary responsibility to pay out the statutory mandated profit from this common trust property investment as usual it the other way around it is the state acting in a manner of Realpolitik and stealing this profit so it can have a universal basic income for its pet projects and entitlement programs at the sacrifice of the citizen in which it belongs to

    • I know weed is legal here in Alaska, perhaps you should quit using it. Our PFD’s are being skimmed to pay for state employee union pensions and social programs. Walker was in the middle of this load of BS because he was forced to ante up for the pension fund. Last time I checked, Walker was pro-union, pro-socialist. He’s a communist er- democrat running as a republican.

  • Can you imagine if Walker had been Gov during the Pandemic? The whole state would have looked like Anchorage…

  • Make no mistake about it, the disgraced former governor Walker is running all of these recalls and propositions from the backdoor of the Brena Law Office. His lapdog, Scott Kendall does what he is told to do by Walker. Go ahead. Let Walker announce for governor. We know how to make him the two-time disgraced former governor. The secrets about Bill Walker and his relationship with his pedophile Lt. Governor will come to light, with all of the trappings of disclosure that should have been given in 2018. Run, Bill. Run.

    • The story of Mallott already came to light, you must have missed it but can Google it. Long story short, he didn’t do much and resigned immediately. It doesn’t even remotely compare to Dunleavy’s handling of the Clarkson situation. What platform does Dunleavy have to run on? He has no solution for solving our budget deficit and has embarrassed himself in court time and time again as he proves he doesn’t understand our laws.

      • Jeff is wrong, once again.

  • Mike has our votes again! Just cannot imagine anyone voting for Walker for ANYTHING! And in the events in Juneau any Legislator that supports or votes in any of his ideas should be voted out.

  • Fixing the budget deficit is the biggest issue facing the state. Dunleavy has fallen completely flat on how we do that. Ever since the recall started, he completely changed his tune and proved he really only cares about staying in office, not making any hard decisions. COVID was the best thing that happened to him because it gave him something to talk about other than the deficit. I remember listening to him speak at an Alaska Chamber of Commerce event, prior to COVID. He spoke for 30 minutes and never even mentioned the deficit. He’s not a leader and has zero business or private sector experience. He was a teacher, a superintendent of a very small remote school district, then a politician. My vote is for Walker. He comes from private industry, has realistic plans to fix the deficit, and is willing to make hard decisions that are politically unpopular.

  • I remember our PFD being taken, I remember the China deal. I still have a bad taste. Nope, not happening.

  • Can’t say I’m surprised. Since Dunleavy is such a weak failure it opens the door for Walker to come in.

    At least this way Walker can be forced to fess up to what happened with Byron Malotte

    • The story of what happened to Byron broke a long time ago… look it up… long story short, he didn’t do much and resigned immediately. That story doesn’t hold a candle to Dunleavy’s handling of the Clarkson situation.

      • BS, Jeff. Walker’s wife covered for Walker, while Kendall was trying to fix Mallott’s situation. The real story will come out if Walker runs. Jim Whitaker (former COS) has it all on tape. Walker will look as dirty as Mallott. And the general public hates pedophiles.

      • Jeff must not be very familiar with either the Mallott situation nor the Clarkson situation to make such an ignorant statement. Mallott did not resign immediately, not even close. The other was a text conversation…look it up.

        • Judie, he invited a 41 year old to his hotel room and told her he has feelings for her asked if she felt the same way and she rejected him. He then resigned two days later. Calling him a pedophile means you have zero knowledge of the situation.

          Steve-O, how is resigning two days later not resigning immediately…?

          • Jeff,
            You honestly think, or want others to think, that the Lt. Governor resigned during the closing days of a heated election because he was rejected by a 41 year old in a hotel room? Look it up, nobody is gullible enough to believe that.

          • You keep saying “look it up” but it seems the only person who hasn’t looked up anything is…. You. She worked for AFN and he invited her back to his hotel room and it was inappropriate so he resigned. I’m basing my info off of her story, I don’t know what you’re basing your info from but if you have a source, please show me where it is. And now you’re deflecting on my point that he did resign immediately…?

          • Jeff,
            I keep saying “look it up”, because that’s what you said in your initial post. So, “look it up”. Don’t just read what one paper wrote about it after money exchanged hands, “look it up”. Don’t just pretend that there isn’t a long history of sexual impropriety…”look it up”. It’s not hard to find.
            .
            You’ve read one story on the and, after money was exchanged and you are hitching your reputation on that and that alone.
            .
            “Look it up” Jeff.

          • Oh, just to be clear, resigning immediately implies that it happens directly after the problem…not decades later in the middle of a re-election campaign.
            .
            There was a heartbeat monitor you might want to look up also, it was used as some type of proof of something but actually disproved the point that was attempted. “Look it up”

  • Great choices we have for Governor -dumb & dumber!

  • Can’t he just retire? He was voted out because of his B..S. Doesn’t he have enough grafted money from our state? Consultant from hell.

  • We are instructed that one cannot love both God and mammon. On the matter of Walker’s “deal” with the devil of China, here is a recent statement from a survivor of the Satanic massacre in Tiananmen Square:

    “Today’s China, like yesterday’s China, is still the world’s biggest prison. China is a dictatorship and colonial power that is more dangerous and vicious than Nazi Germany. It has been thriving thanks to appeasement from the Western governments and courtship from multinationals.

    “China is not what a nation should be. It is a black hole. Not a market either for goods or services. It is another planet. Do not go there. Do not invest in it.”

  • Time for Sarah Palin to run! ‘Cause she’s not a quitter!

    • Walker is all the liberals have. Think about how hard up the Uber Left is, after losing “Picture This” as the heir apparent to Walker.
      Frank R. the issue with the PFD is the assumption that the elected officials will spend money better than the people. Jay Hammond did not agree with that position.
      Just one example, Walker adopted Obama Care.
      Walker saying at the time we will provide the health care until the money runs out.
      SOA HHS is the fasting growing part of the SOA budget. Free SOA Health Benefits that exceed the boundaries of most who pay for their health benefits. Further the SOA provides Health Benefits to those who already have Health Benefits, Alaska Natives. Wait what Frank R. So no money for PFD’s?
      So Please Demorats offer Alaskan votes up the Valdez reject so we can soundly put to rest the Walker Nightmare forever.

  • Walker is willing to destroy this state for rejecting him. And a hell of a lot of the GOP is willing to help him do it

  • Hey Valdez! Your village idiot is loose again!

  • Bill, who?

  • Dunleavy is polling high 50s. That’s akin to high 70s 20 years ago due to the highly partisan/tribal environment we are in now. Walker is about 25 points or more behind that. High 30s low 40s. That, likewise is even more insurmountable. What’s more, it’s HIS people pushing the recall. Then you have the word he passed to the leg to have them act in a way to help him, by
    Stonewalling the current govs attempts to get the PFD back. And you have Walker’s association with China. So it looks like he’s trying to undermine the gov, work two angles at the same time (recall and running), and his selling out Alaska to China, in the age of Covid.. none of those are good looks for a guy who was thumped and bowed out in shame 3 years ago. This guy popping up is a GIFT to Dunleavy, and to the Reinboldians, you don’t even have enough to spoil, and hand this thing to Walker or someone else. This is Dunleavy’s to lose.

    Now, having said that, I hope in his second term the gloves come off and he brings the sort of change we need, and burns down the swamp, the way Trump should have. Many parallels. The elites know this is their last chance, but it’s a two edge sword. If we don’t recover the Alaska legislative body, the US legislative body, in 22? And keep the executive here and get it back on the national stage in 24? We are finished as well. This is the battle of our lifetimes.

  • And in other news…..

    Al Capone has risen from the grave and will run for Governor on a platform of “saving” you from the evils of having the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend cash you are entitled to by law. Vegas odds makers give Capone a 50% edge over such contenders as those who we hear so much. His campaign slogan is already on the lips of countless Alaska legislators:

    “Laws? Laws? We don’t need no stinkin’ laws!”

  • Let’s not forget that by his silence Walker condoned the inappropriate actions of his Lt Gov Mallott.

  • Some just don’t have a clue about situational awareness.
    Give him another drubbing if that’s what he wants?

  • Do you promise to obey the law? Speak up!

  • Check the state sex offender registry for possible running mates/administration picks for ‘Mumbles the Clown’.

  • If Walker runs maybe he’ll declare as the Democrat he is and not hide behind the “Independent” label.
    There’s nothing independent about this fool and liar…he’s a big government authoritarian from top to bottom.

  • Prop 2. You voted it in Alaska. With Bill pulling the strings. Now you’re about to get what you voted for.

    The man who destroyed Alaska’s economy.

  • No imagination.It was to be gas PIPELINE to answer the economic woes when the quitter was Governor, remember? Create revenue by another fund from our natural gas the great Alaskan Canada pipeline. All we have had since is stale air and the same actors keep their greedy hams on our money. I’m tired of the pie crust process it is easily broken because they are all so greedy.

  • …….Jeff, you don’t read much do you. The 41-year old mistress had a 16-year old daughter. THAT was Byron’s target. Bill Walker’s soulmate deserved pedophile-of-the-year award. But the ADN was too busy writing stories about the Dunleavy Recall.

    • I hope Bill Walker runs. He’ll take a shellacking. Walker is corrupt, hated by the general public, and has a tendency to hang with child-molester politicians. It would be an interesting campaign though.

    • Well that’s not what she said. She came out with her account of the story and didn’t say anything about her daughter… Do you have a source for your theory or do you just like circulating rumors? I think I’ll believe the victims side of the story, before I’d believe whatever theory you have.

      • She was paid Jeff, “look it up”. She even admitted she was paid in the story you are choosing to believe. Are you paid to push this false narrative Jeff?

  • The most telling thing was how quickly the native community, up to then very active and vocal supporters of Mallott, went very silent very fast.

  • PCE should not be politicized. It is a program that is extremely important to rural living. The fuel costs to keep homes warm during winter months is very very costly; and the population in the village cannot absorb the total cost of fuel. It is a program that Gov. Dunleavy can reinstate. It’s a fixable problem. The State of Ak. subsidizes other programs in Alaska that are not related to rural villages.

    Thank you for all of former Gov. Walker’s missteps in the PFD. He needs to own up to his doings.

  • People, meaning Alaskans, are down right STUPID if they follow let alone vote for Walker. He stole the PFD, and attempted to give us to China, essentially. Walker needs to stay the hell out of Alaska. He is NOT for Alaska, he is AGAINST it.

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