Dan Fagan: As each day passes, state leaders move further away from reality



It’s easy to drift away from believing what’s real, with all the lies, half-truths, and propaganda swirling around us. 

Without even realizing it, it’s common to fall for the constant deception, a little at a time. Before we know it, we’ve accepted so many things as true that are not. 

On Saturday, Ron Gillham, Republican state representative from Kenai, posted something on Facebook revealing how far from truth we’ve drifted, thanks to the fake news media, and liberal bloggers redefining reality.

Reading Gillham’s post felt like having cold water splashed on your face when first waking.

Media elites, Democrats, and Republicans-in-name-only insist Alaska is in the middle of a fiscal crisis and about to fall off a financial cliff.

They claim the only way out is to either raid the Earnings Reserve Account of the Permanent Fund, obliterate Big Oil’s bottom line with new investment-killing taxes, or go to war with the state’s private sector economy and workers, with new taxes on personal income. 

They also swear government has been cut to the bone after legislators slashed 40 percent from the state budget in recent years.  

But according to the think tank the Alaska Policy Forum, that 40 percent figure is nothing more than a myth.

“While legislators float the idea of creating personal taxes, research from the Alaska Policy Forum finds there have been no substantial cuts to Alaska State spending totals in nearly a decade,” APF reports. 

APF found state “expenses have simply been redistributed and paid from different state funds.” APF describes state leader’s actions as “fancy accounting instead of meaningful decreases.”  

But facts mean little in the world of liberal bloggers and media types serving the Juneau Swamp. Keep repeating the lie and soon enough people will assume it’s true.  

What’s actually true and rarely reported is Alaska spends more per capita on state government than any other state. Alaska also has the second highest per enrollee Medicaid spending in the nation. And only four other states spend more per pupil on education than Alaska and yet the state has some of the lowest testing scores in the nation.  

Alaska has an out-of-control spending problem and not enough state leaders have the courage to stand up to the power brokers that be and do something about it. 

Gillham gets it and with his Saturday Facebook post offered up a dose of reality and brought us back to a starting point. His ideas show how far we’ve allowed the media, Democrats, and Republicans-in-name-only to cause us to drift away from truth and reality.  

“The (House) majority keeps asking what it is you want?” posted Gillham. “Well, here is my list.” 

Gillham first called for “A full statutory dividend and the back pay of what was taken out of past dividends, all paid out of the earnings reserve account, where it remains a pass-through dividend and does not become an appropriation. “ 

Gillham’s call for following the statutory formula is clearly a reflection of what most Alaskans want. The promise to do so is what got Gov. Michael Dunleavy elected governor in the first place. 

How quickly so many were willing to abandon their starting point and cave to special interests and big-government elites. 

Gillham also called for any proposed changes to the dividend, or any new taxes must first be approved by voters. 

He wants a 15 percent cut across the board from all departments. 

Gillham wrote there should be no state funds for abortions and leaders should pass a constitutional spending cap. 

For dessert, Gillham threw in the idea of moving the legislative session to the road system and out of Juneau. 

The capital city’s eco system gives a decided home field advantage to lobbyists, labor union bosses, nonprofit cabal types, and the connected. 

What’s startling and eye-opening about Gillham’s post is it illustrates how far freedom-loving conservatives have drifted from their original starting point. 

It’s typical for conservatives to cave once organizations like The Anchorage Daily News, KTUU, and Alaska Public Media redefine reality. 

But most Alaskans support Gillham’s proposals. One day, they might just get their way. 

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive talk show in Alaska on Newsradio 650 KENI. 


  1. Year one of the session in South Central, year two in Fairbanks. Or split the difference and use the Denali hotels for the sessions. AND contract hotels/catering to eliminate per diem!

  2. Well said Representative Gillham. You have made the Peninsula proud. And you made us proud. And hopefully you made a bunch of Dems and RINO’s embarrassed and ashamed of themselves, as if any of them would admit it.

  3. Get rid of the U of A white elephant. Save three billion a year just with that. Any graduates just go south for jobs, unless they can get a cushy state job. Of course someone has to die for any of those jobs to open up.

  4. Rep Gillham has the will of the people who have worked to make this State the best in the Nation. He is right on with his list of wants and I and many Alaskans support him.

    Unfortunately there are only a few that believe as he does and all to often they will cut a deal with the greedy leadership. That’s why Stutes runs as a Republican, but legislates as a Democrat. She knows her power and vote will mean more if the weak Democrats can gain and reward her for her betrayal. Her district must have a shortage of loyal and honorable people to run as a candidate. But the State GOP and Districts share in her failure because they do nothing to get rid of her. Three Republican elected representatives bolted their sworn party to give the Democrats power to deny the legislature, Governor and the Republican Party that paid for and voted them into office.

    We will see on Monday how the deceptive leadership has lied and manipulated the system to get their way. If the house minority rolls over and gives them what they want we will know it is all talk and no action. The truth is out there for anyone that is willing to look and listen. Two minority members have told the truth and say they are willing to stand up and be counted.

    I am getting very tired of being told the only non-legislative elected citizens must obey the laws the the legislature passes and Governor signs unless changed by the people or the legislature. Ignoring the law is no where in the Constitution and it strains credibility that any Court would acknowledge they have the power to disobey the constitution, laws they pass and the will of the people. Their self-serving opinion of the Constitutional 120 day session. The denial of per diem if they don’t pass a legal budget during the regular session and the retro-active action to pay themselves when they didn’t earn it is dishonest and worthy only of liars and law breakers. An unbalanced budget with out an effective date is not a budget! The blame is all on the poor leadership in the legislature, not the Governor, or the minority in the house, or the greedy people of ALaska.

    Hope is eternal!

  5. Dan, in an otherwise great column you had to take another dig at our Governor… What is wrong with you? Why do you hate Mike Dunleavy so much? Remember Reagan’s dictum. As for Rep Gillham – go for it. The only thing you are missing is that a 15% cut from every department will not result in a single lay-off – they’ve seen this game and know how to play it. They simply cut services while paying themselves to sit and wait for the public to scream at congress, who then asks the department why they can’t do services. Department whines, “we don’t have enough money”. Congress asks “how much do you need”, then cuts a check… Everybody happy but the ones footing the bill – the citizens who don’t work for the system. Fifteen percent would be a good number if they would lay-off 15% of the employees. Won’t happen that way.

  6. From a student of Alaska Politics:
    Alaskans had a good opportunity to respond to Gov. Dunleavy’s tweets and Facebook messages urging them to make their voices heard to support a constitutional PFD, but the response was much less than needed. In fact, I will be quite surprised of the Governor runs for re-election, since he has been assailed on all sides, in spite of the great job he did during the COVID year. His support from the legislature has been mild at best, while the forces of recall, including the former AG under Gov. Bill Walker, have kept him bottled up. Not one blog, with the exception of Read Alaska has given him anything but trouble. And, in fact, he did not attend the fundraising, as reported by one blogger, but was speaking at a Korean War Vets event. In short, he has been nothing but a target since he was elected. No governor can accomplish anything with out support. I bet Ron DeSantis had the support of his legislature. Unfortunately, in Alaska, only the RINOs and the Democrats get support from the real power brokers.

  7. The Democrat controlled government has absolutely lost their freaking mind. Nothing is politically correct anymore, every minority group needs a safe place to go to get their stuff together after being exposed to perceived hypocrisy, everybody wants a bigger piece of the pie when everyone knows the pie has a finite number of pieces, people who have been stealing from us for years for example the PFD and our little troll friend from Dillingham have their hand in the cookie jar. It appears that this is the year when America begins to fall apart and all the lives lost defending it will go to waste. No longer allowed is the scenes of rich white American men AKA our founding fathers on murals or documents. I guess we need to include the image of a slave lying on the ground with a chain around him with George Washington’s foot on his neck. Only then will they truly be represented. Rather than thinking America for making them slaves and for what they are today, instead of still being in Africa squatting around a scalding pot wondering what kind of bug they’re going to have for supper. People need to see big picture rather than asking what can America do for me. JFK is probably rolling over in his grave.

  8. Imagine what Dunleavy could do if he had a legislature like Florida’s, or South Dakota’s, or even Arizona’s.

    It bears remembering, several legislators willingly destroyed their political careers to thwart the Governor’s attempts to enact the will of the the people. A new crop came in, and appears ready to do the same. The powers that are fighting this, have such influence that they can force these peoples to self immolate, apparently, and then just send in replacements when needed..all to keep you serfs and them sucking the wealth out of the state.

  9. Yeah we people down here in Florida kind of got it going on. If you get a chance look up Ron DeSantis. He’s had an amazing career in life. War hero been in deep undercover and top secret. Just a true blue kind of guy that puts it all out on the table and makes the best decisions for the people of the State of Florida and doesn’t care so much about politics. Dunleavy could take a course in the how to be like Ron DeSantis.

  10. Move Juneau to the road system. So we can be in their faces, asking them hard questions. Why are you not listening to us, the people.

  11. Have not heard much from Ron since he got elected. He rung the bell on those posts. (Not personally on the facebooks).
    But Dan, when you type “state leaders”, I guffaw!
    Good one!!
    I’ve said and posted here many times;
    Alaska has a spending problem, not an income problem.
    15% is a start. Of course, some departments and agencies have way more fat, but considering Natasha, et al; not understanding “cut”, one must start somewhere.

  12. Rich Thorne— You are right on! Lay off 15% of the state staff. Cut services last.

    Then, cut the top salaries at the state.

    And combine school superintendent jobs in the bush- one superintendent for every two districts. Cut administrators in the road system school districts.

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