Bill Walker has amnesia, and the Anchorage Daily News hopes you do, too

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By SUZANNE DOWNING

Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is pulling out all the stops to convince voters that his decades of haunting their ballots is worth their time once again.

Even though equally liberal Les Gara is making a case to the Democrat voter base for next year’s gubernatorial race, it is the Walker camp that is benefitting from that most valuable proxy for the Left in Alaska: The Anchorage Daily News, known during his last campaign as the Alaska Dispatch News.

In a Sunday guest column, the ADN gave the perpetual candidate and failed governor its top billing to attack Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Let’s face it: Opinion pieces from candidates are essentially placed advertisements from the campaign. It’s the same everywhere in the news business, but was a campaign technique elevated by the Anchorage Daily News years ago.

By pushing wind into the sails of a man in his seventies who was beaten twice for public office and forced to end his campaign under the scandal of his running mate’s sordid behavior, the ADN is acknowledging that Walker is the Left’s best chance of regaining the Governor’s mansion.

Oh, how the Juneau elite long for those days, when the Walker-era Governor’s Mansion was the spot for lavish parties and when the booze flowed freely, all billed to the Alaska treasury and taxpayers (yes, you do pay a tax to the state treasury — it’s your garnished Permanent Fund dividend, a tradition begun by Walker and continued by the Alaska Legislature.)

It will take a lot of ink on the printing press to blot out the memory of the Walker years, both for Democrat-leaning voters and even the “Murkowski Republicans” who won’t vote for someone like Gara, but who balk at Dunleavy. 

But the reasoning for the furious pace of attacks makes sense right now, especially to clear the decks of anyone who might present themselves as an actual challenger of substance and means.

Dunleavy is currently ranked one of the most popular governors in America, with support from former President Donald Trump, among others. His management of Covid-19, which resisted the Left’s demands for statewide mask and vaccination mandates, while protecting the elderly and vulnerable populations, has Alaska remaining one of the safest places in America for handling the health challenges brought from the virus. 

Walker knows that his attacks on “pandemic management” will not play with a public that is exhausted by whipsawing calls from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC to “follow the (ever changing) science.”

He also knows that he cannot attack Dunleavy on the issue of public safety, after he devastated the Alaska State Troopers with cuts under his administration, and at the same time championed SB 91 into law, over the objections of rank and file police and prosecutors. His support for SB 91 is why he lost the support of law enforcement unions during the last election. They went over to law-respecting Mike Dunleavy.

Walker is leaving the ADN-designated hatchet man (and vacationing family friend) Kyle Hopkins and his editor Dave Hulen to do the work of making Dunleavy look weak on public safety.

Walker also knows that the Permanent Fund dividend is a topic he has no credibility to talk to voters about. After pledging to never touch the PFD, he unilaterally vetoed the amount of the dividend in 2016, and never looked back in his pursuit to accomplish what AFL-CIO president Vince Beltrami and other special interests were demanding in Juneau: to hook up government spending to a guaranteed funding source, and leave the PFD behind.

It would be a monumental success if the Walker campaign can convince people he can save their PFDs: Who better to put out a fire than an arsonist?

Now, the ADN, which obstructs every conservative columnist by fact-checking them into extended frustration, has allowed the very man who fired Angela Rodell as Department of Revenue Commissioner to imply, inaccurately, that Gov. Dunleavy had something to do with her recent firing as the head of the Permanent Fund. Yes, Walker is the governor who didn’t have the courage to call her on the phone to fire her, but allowed her to read about her firing in the ADN. Now he says she was the savior of the Permanent Fund, but he didn’t respect her enough to inform her in 2014 that she was history?

This week’s developments leave little doubt about the coming volume and tone of the coverage from the state’s largest newspaper. The playbook is not new: It is the same one used by former owner Alice Rogoff to manufacture outrage over scandals in the National Guard against then Gov. Sean Parnell. They only have to dust it off.

Above the fold for months, the National Guard recruiting story, like the mainstream media’s attempt to link President Donald Trump to Russian interference in elections, gave the ADN the reputation as Alaska kingmaker, more than news outlet.

And, like the bogus Russia scandal, it just faded away the day after Bill Walker won in 2014.

That sorry episode in Alaska journalism, which has the lowest standards in the nation, gave birth to Must Read Alaska. During the year after the 2014 election, the editorial page of the ADN refused to print letters or op-eds from conservatives. And in the spring of 2015, Must Read Alaska started — one small voice against the liberal-dominated media. First, it launched as a newsletter, and a year later it became a website and newsletter.

It is time for conservatives to buckle up and be ready for what Hulen’s crew is cooking. The last four years of the Dunleavy administration has been a traumatic event to liberals hoping to reshape Alaska. Will conservatives forget the ADN’s crime against journalistic integrity?

It appears the ADN will do everything it can to put Walker back into office. Get ready for the sales pitch, now being funded by liberal nonprofit entities from out of state that will allow so-called journalists to run roughshod over neutrality.

Must Read Alaska will continue to call out the mainstream media bias in 2022. It looks like it will be a full-time job.

Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.

44 COMMENTS

  1. The ADN’s political meddling didn’t start with Rogoff attacking Parnell in 2014. It’s a tradition that goes back to 1978. Since Dunleavy is their latest target, he would do the state a service by calling them out. Conservative candidates have nothing to lose by publicly condemning these leftist political activists.
    Congrats to MRAK. Keep up the good work.

  2. I guess I’ll have to start reading that worthless rag again. It’s an unfortunate reality that one must know one’s enemy. With knowledge of the drivel they’ll be burp up this election cycle, I’ll be able to straighten up a few of my loony left friends. Thanks for the “Heads Up”

  3. “Above the fold for months, the National Guard recruiting story,….” Was that a recruiting story? Wasn’t there something about a death and abuse allegations?
    That will go down as the work of Alice Rogoff. Maybe her entire reason for buying ADN was about exerting political influence.
    Nonetheless, that was then and this is now. As a conservative, I feel all the Governor choices are poor. I voted for Dunleavy in 2016 but could not do it again (never say never?). Whether the rumors are true or not, I would like someone like Natasha Von Imhoff to enter the race. That would give “real conservatives” someplace to go.

    • Von Imhoff almost lost a crazy guy who didn’t even want to run. People see through her attempts to raid the state coffers for her family’s “company store”. She comes in behind Kurka, but she only takes votes from the Walkerites who want the PFD for their special interest friends.

    • I’m not sure Natasha Von Imhof has ever been confused for a conservative before, either “real” or imagined. Big government and excess government spending are the antithesis to any fiscal conservative understanding. While I understand your desire as a big government and excess government spending advocate to support Natasha Von Imhof and her big government and excess government spending ways, let’s not pretend she is in any way a conservative, either “real” or imagined.

  4. What is worse, a fake scamdemic or voting Bill Walker for Governor? He destroyed Alaska the same way the plandemic is destroying the world. Just remember, you get what vote for. I hope the election is tabulated with paper ballots or computer votes will automatically claim Walker as the winner. Whake up Alaska.

    • Walker managed to make up for the massive budget shortfall Republicans in Alaska created. And not one Republican has lifted a finger to deal with the annual budget deficit. Keep that in mind.

  5. Elect Walker and you will help sell Alaska to China. Repossession after defaulted payments for the gas line he will focus all his attention on again, if he ever stopped.

  6. A governor who allows strangulation and muzzling of children in schools is not a conservative. I don’t care what you say about Mike Dunleavy, he will not get my vote

    • There’s a difference between allowing lesser powers who have jurisdiction and actively usurping their turf to stop the masking. Governor Mike did not institute a statewide mask mandate – you’re blaming the wrong person Jon. BTW, who do you plan to vote for? What’s your better alternative? Walker? Don’t make me puke. You haters just can’t make a case for your hate – you’re too full of fury and hate to think.

  7. Hope the voters vote for anyone but Walker (the force behind the beginning of the end of the permanent fund dividend as we knew it). I have not forgotten about the Mallot Lt. Gov. fiasco.

  8. Leave both parties. Neither party wants to reduce spending. It’s all platitudes. How many of you all are disappointed in your elected officials? It’s time Alaska. It’s time to protest the burdensome spending and waste both parties continually spend on special interest and re-election buy outs. It’s time to vote your conscience….don’t settle for the lesser of two evils.

    • Alaska is one of only two states to see a net reduction in their budget over the last three years. Anyone paying attention could see the gov had to fight the legislature tooth and nail to get what he got, and what he got, was more fiscal restraint than 49 other states.

  9. Just asking from Colorado, wasn’t Walker responsible for appointing Dean Williams (“Patron Saint of felons”) to the Commissioner of Corrections? If so, my state inherited a huge problem from him.

  10. I wonder how many self proclaimed conservatives will support anyone but Governor Dunleavy and thus support those on the left.

    • If the current slate remains our only choices, I will not vote for any or write in another name.
      With rank choice voting our choices are definitely rank.
      This is what happens when the people can vote themselves a raise (The Dividend).

    • False equivalency.
      Voting to support a failed candidate out of fear of who “might” get elected is said failed candidate is defeated is, frankly, stupid.
      It has the same logic as black voters blindly supporting the same Democratic Party that destroyed their family unit and put many of them in generational poverty. Gains nothing but continued failure and electoral contempt.
      If you can’t find someone to actually support, perhaps this isn’t the election for you.

      • Talk about false equivalency, your post is full of it!
        :
        This election is like no other, thanks to rank voting. How you rank or don’t will impact who wins each round and ultimately the election. If as some here who claim to be conservative decide to not vote for Dunleavy in this rank voting, a leftist will win. If a person votes for Kurka as 1, whichever Libertarian or write-in as 2, Walker as 3, and Gara as 4 then their first two votes will be tossed in rounds 1 and 2, full stop…they are now a Walker and Gara voter.
        .
        The math on this rank voting has changes the entire makeup of how an election works and is tabulated. Voting for someone will Will get no more than 5% of the vote as your first or second choice means your third and fourth choice votes are far more important that your first two. This is by design and will be used to get people to vote for people with absolutely zero chance at winning an election.
        .
        I’m still not certain that writing in a candidate on a rank ballot will cause that ballot to be spoiled and thus discarded, if it does then that benefits those pushing for candidates with absolutely zero chance at winning an election even more.

    • In the end, probably not too many. It’s easy to talk tough in the comment section, but reality tends to be different. Honestly, Dunleavy has been a pretty conservative governor. Most of the attacks on him from the right are for not talking enough (which might appease them, but has no practical effect) or not doing things that are purely symbolic (like firing the politically powerless Zink). Dunleavy has fought as hard as anyone could to save the PFD, stop encroaching COVID restrictions and run a functioning State government. If we manage to elect someone further to the right, that person won’t be able to accomplish anything Dunleavy can’t. The legislature and bureaucracy will see to that.

  11. This is an article that should read frequently. I recommend reading it in its entirety every day. I’m glad you have excellent records for this state. Very helpful.

  12. Bill Walker has more than amnesia. It’s called pre-Alzheimers, or variable stage dementia. It’s not unlike what Joe Biden has. No matter what crap the ADN puts out on its worthless paper, Alaskans will remember these three things:
    .
    1) Walker took away Alaskan’s statutory PFD and turned it into a state-spending trust.
    .
    2) Walker tried his best to turn over Alaska’s natural gas to the Communist Chinese and give them controlling interest in a pipeline project and it’s aftermath management.
    .
    3) Walker failed to rescue an underage teen girl who was being abused by his Lt. Governor, Byron Mallott, and instead, Walker dropped out of the governor’s race.

    A thief. A traitor. A coward.
    These are the disgraceful hallmarks of the corrupt, former governor Bill Walker. Any amount of puffing and unethical journalism spit out by the ADN will not overcome what the public already knows about Bill Walker. And there’s more coming!

    • Mad:
      You forgot to mention……
      4. Walker is a political roamer, that is, Republican, Independent, Democrat…..what ever his personal needs of the moment may be….. A truly opportunistic man. Now, it’s the union bosses and hard left Democrats.
      5. Walker keeps a lapdog nearby. His name is Scott Kendall, an election cheat of staff, political organizer, ballot harvestor, bagman and Democratic fixer (although he couldn’t fix Mallott or Walker in 2018). By association, either Walker, or Kendall, is screwed.

  13. Historically, Americans do have amnesia when it comes to politics. Many keep making the same old mistake season after season. They elect a Democrat to get a bunch of free stuff and then when they screw up the economy or start a war, the Republicans have to come in and save the country. The economy may be screwed up more than what is fixable at this point since Obama dismantled the military and we had to spend a bunch to put it back together and shore up the politics of the Mideast. I’m not sure we’ll ever learn.

  14. With the spectacular failure of the Covid vaccines in preventing the spread of the Omnicron variant throughout the world, now would be a good time for Dunleavy to fire his Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Zink! This would only boost his approval ratings with the public & perhaps actually help promote a more sensible & effective Covid policy.

    • COVID vaccines are working great. Notice the folks in ICUs and tallying up death counts are unvaccinated? Or did you miss that?

      • Did you notice that the CDC recently changed its definition of “fully vaccinated”? It now has changed to the two initial clot shots, the booster & you are not considered fully vaccinated until after two weeks from your last shot. This is how they can count folks who contract Covid perhaps from the leaky vaccine as “unvaccinated”. The CDC, NIH ,WHO and others have done a fine job of tainting & corrupting the Covid databases so as to cover their asses!

    • You’re willing to blame them for not being 100% successful, rather than giving them credit for at least trying. It was a tall order you have to admit. There have been some steps forward. Mostly people that have gotten the shots and the booster can expect a sore throat now instead of a ventilator. I call that progress.

  15. Walker was also the guy who
    appointed his buddy Roland Maw to the Alaska Board of Fisheries right after he was elected. Maw’s tenure lasted only a few weeks after it was discovered that he had been convicted in Montana for receiving resident fishing and hunting licenses. And he is still facing multiple felony charges in Alaska for PFD fraud. Great job Walker!
    Walker has cost Alaska in many ways because of his reckless decisions. Don’t forget the hundreds of millions he spent on the gas line to nowhere. His two faced position on the PFD only shows he will say or do anything to get elected. Don’t ever forget his actions that took away or reduced your PFD. Nor should you forget his refusal to reveal exactly what his Lt Gov did with that juvenile girl that led to his resignation
    ADN can try to dress Walker up to make him look good. But as the saying goes “putting lipstick on a pig” doesn’t change a thing. It’s still a pig.

  16. MRAK needs to learn how to count. Mike Dunleavy has had TEN Year 2021 ADN opinion columns, Bill Walker had THREE in 2021. Hardly a left leaning newspaper.

  17. It is difficult for me to understand how so many Alaskans are still subscribing to the ADN RAG. It is well-known for its outrageously inaccurate “reporting” and falsifying information that unless you just want to read fairy tales, there’s no other reason for subscribing. Of course there is the possibility that subscribers are nit their main income, maybe Soros is. Afterall, he buys prosecutors why not newspapers. As far as Walker is concerned, I am old enough to remember how he stole our PFD against State Constitutional Law. He should be in jail not running for governor! I don’t always agree with Governor Dunleavy, but he has done a LOT of good things for the people of this state and if the far left legislators and the squishes would get out of the way he could do a lot more. I will NEVER vote for Walker or anyone who supports him. He is evil and crooked!! ‘Nuf said.

  18. Failed governor? I don’t recall Walker being recalled…. do you? Any hands?

    While Walker actually had to sit down and write an op-ed, the daily drumbeat for failed governor Dunleavy on Must Read Alaska is impossible to miss. Why doesn’t MR trust Dunleavy to string some sentences together?

  19. “Let’s face it: Opinion pieces from candidates are essentially placed advertisements from the campaign.”

    Oh please, Dunleavy, Tshubaka, and many other so called conservatives have had opinions published in the ADN.

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