Dan Fagan: Palin created the Walker monster, and they created a bloated budget Dunleavy is too feckless to tackle

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By DAN FAGAN

Apologists for feckless Gov. Mike Dunleavy often blame the Alaska legislature for the governor’s inability to stand up to Alaska’s big government types.  

They argue it’s unfair to compare Dunleavy to effective governors like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. They say the Florida governor, unlike Dunleavy, has a cooperative private sector-oriented legislature. 

That’s true. Rep. Kelly Merrick of Eagle River essentially ran a con game two years ago on voters running as a conservative for her House seat. She then joined with the Democrats. 

Republican Rep. Louise Stutes and Rep. Sara Rasmussen abandoning the GOP caucus along with Merrick’s defection all but guaranteed big government interests would face no opposition from the Legislature this past session.   

Gov. Dunleavy fans, the few that there are, said he had no other choice but to recently sign the largest budget in state history coming in at $8.63 billion. That’s a 38% increase over last year’s budget according to the Alaska Policy Forum. 

This year’s budget is a stark contrast to the one originally proposed by Dunleavy. The governor promised to use his veto pen to cut $130 million from the oversized university budget but after being threatened with a recall, he gave the money back. 

Dunleavy has at the very least been open and honest about his drastic shift from budget hawk to lackey willing to go along to get along with special interests. 

“It was made clear by a number of groups of Alaskans that they didn’t necessarily care for large reductions. It’s also been made clear to me by Alaskans that they’re not necessarily sad about taxes,” Dunleavy told the left-leaning Anchorage Daily News last summer. 

Dunleavy recently won praise for signing the state’s unprecedented and massive budget and his obvious political transformation from Senate Minority Leader and Democrat Tom Begich.  

“It was this governor who attempted to dismantle the university system, cut public education funding, and put the state’s fiscal burden on local taxpayers in his first budget,” Begich told Alaska Public Media. “We are encouraged now by a budget that rejects that vision.” 

Alaska already spends four times as much on state government per capita as Florida. With this year’s monstrosity of a budget, the disparity will only increase.   

It is true DeSantis has help from his legislature in standing up to his state’s insatiable big government advocates. 

But Dunleavy has something DeSantis does not. It takes three quarters of the Alaska Legislature to override the governor’s line-item veto. Only one other state, Arizona, has such a powerful veto pen. Florida legislators can override a governor’s line-item veto with only a two-thirds vote.  

So, Alaska, a red state, where Donald Trump beat Joe Biden by 10 percentage points in 2020, only needs to elect one out of every four legislators with the courage to stand up to special interests. One in four willing to stand up to union bosses, non-profit cabal types, lobbyists, and corporations depending on government bloat and largess. 

That’s an awfully low bar and yet the special interests continue to have a never-ending stranglehold on Alaska’s state government because Dunleavy, and his predecessors for that matter, refuse to pick up that mighty line-item veto sword to any significant degree.

In fairness to Dunleavy, he didn’t create this problem. He inherited this mess after former half-term governor and reality TV star Sarah Palin signed the massive tax bill ACES.

The job killing tax scheme transferred so much cash out of the private sector and into government, it is directly responsible for the Jabba the Hutt sized state budget we have today. 

Once ACES passed, the impact was immediate. Drilling activity dropped from 10 rigs active in Alaska in 2006, to eight rigs in 2007, and six rigs in 2010. 

This happened at a time when the price of oil was mostly far north of $100 a barrel. There was talk of having to shut down the pipeline if the decline in oil drilling became much more dramatic. This also happened at a time when other oil plays in North America were thriving. 

We’ll never know how much new investment Sarah Palin’s ACES cost the state of Alaska. We do know this: Palin’s ACES opened the door to the obesity state government suffers from even today.  

Palin is also responsible for the election of Bill Walker as governor in 2014. Walker ran as a conservative, even though he has long been a major adversary of Alaska’s largest taxpayer, the oil and gas industry. 

Walker barely beat out incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell by two percentage points after Palin, a darling of low-information and celebrity-fawning conservatives, endorsed him. 

“Walker and Palin are a part of a splinter group of people who claim to be conservative but have the same contempt for oil as Democrats,” wrote Juneau Republican activist Murray Walsh in May. 

Walker’s contribution to maintaining Alaska’s government bloat came with his ignoring of the statutory formula for the Permanent Fund. This allowed politicians the opportunity to raid the fund’s earnings reserve account to make special interests happy. Even if it meant leaving the citizenry with scraps. 

The Walker move has cost an Alaska family of four more than $50,000 in lost dividend money.

The problem with Alaska’s government weight problem is it smothers out new private sector investment.

Companies are less likely to invest new capital in the state when Alaska politicians can’t say no to special interests. 

Since only the private sector — not the government — creates wealth, corporate executives know one day Alaska politicians will look to them to pick up the tab.  

Palin, Walker, and Dunleavy make a great team in assuring government remains fat, happy, and in full control. 

Dan Fagan hosts a morning drive radio show weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m. on Newsradio 650, KENI. 

Disclaimer: Political analysis offered by the host of the Dan Fagan Radio Show is not the result of a rebuffing for unrequited love.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Guess you forgot the 3 billion given by Gov Parnell to the State Public Employee Pension System with zero concessions, the oil tax credit program where many companies declared bankruptcy, and the State Police Crime Lab. Gov Parnell was a spender also.

  2. Anybody votes for them should be taxed at a rate of say 50% to start and if they appear to be living well raise the tax to 75%. The only way people will sit up and take notice is when their paycheck is at minimum wage. One would think of being robbed by politicians would get their attention but they must be rich not to care. So tax them at a max so they are poor. The politicians just sit and laugh at us while they say how broke the state is and the need to hire and give big raises to the public unions.

    • I guess that’s why I have been alarmingly alert my entire series of failed investments and ostracizatons aka “jobs” in AL.

  3. Let’s face it: Dividend thief Walker only won before because he had skirt chaser Democrat Byron Mallott as his running mate. Walker’s ego is so big he thinks we will forgot. We cannot afford Walker again!

  4. Dan Fagan secretly wants Petola elected. That’s why all he does is spew hate about Sarah Palin on his show anymore. As if there’s nothing else to talk about. He wants his listeners to hate Sarah Palin so much that they won’t even rank her and we end up with Petola instead. And I’m not crazy about Nick Begich or Sarah Palin. But I’d much rather have either one of them than I would Petola. Voters, please ignore the propaganda and rank both Sarah and Nick. If we don’t we end up with socialist Petola.
    If Dan pagan really cared, then that’s what he would be spreading on his show, instead of creating division and hate between conservatives and or Republicans.

    • Actually what Dan has said is opposite of what you are saying. He has warned that if Nick and Sarah get nasty, they might offend voters who will only one for one candidate. Vote Nick and Sarah one or two and leave Petola off.

    • Jeremy Hawk, I cannot speak for Fagan but many of us believe that Sarah is in this for Sarah, her brand and the celebrity status she craves. She is woefully underinformed and appears to be disinterested in becoming informed.
      We have a wonderful candidate running, has the same name as his gramps, who was a great Representative for Alaska. Conservative to boot.
      Vote Nick. Thanks!

  5. Does the legislature in Juneau continually get a pass on al the damage done to our state in the last 40 years? A governor cannot accomplish one damn thing without the support of the legislature as they hold the pen that signs the checks. Walker was enabled by those that most benefit from government largesse and the legislators that continue to throw money in their direction. Palin didn’t do anything but attempt to reign in the ridiculous theft the legislature attempted with PPT in 2006. And the bloated budget passed the senate and the house, so that is a BS argument against her as well. If you don’t like the way the state is run, the legislature has to be voted out. Dunleavy brought in Donna Arduin and she had great ideas to straighten out Alaska finances but the left and the legislature colluded to stop that from happening.

    • Governor Dunleavy also chose Art Chance to be in his administration. Then the Left harangued the governor and he caved. That was the first sign of his weakness. Next was OMB Director, Donna Arduin who identified the waste. Then the Left smelled blood–just like Putin when we retreated from Afghanistan. It was all over once the recall began in 2019, less than 3 months after Governor Dunleavy was sworn in. The special interests, nonprofits and government unions must be appeased if one wants to stay in office.

      • OMB Director Arduin tried to take the property tax authority from the North Slope, Valdez, and Fairbanks. No cuts to Governor’s Office or Legislature. Would never follow her lead.

    • The legislature gets “a pass” because the people keep voting them back in. That’s not a pass, that’s the electoral process in action. And what happens when less than 20% bother to vote.

      Dunleavy could have reigned hell on the budget with vetos. He didn’t. He could have traveled the state using the bully pulpit to try to get people motivated to put pressure on the legislature. He didn’t.

      Please be very specific on HOW Palin tried to reign in the legislature. Not platitudes, specifics.

  6. “The Walker move has cost an Alaska family of four more than $50,000 in lost dividend money.”

    Using numbers from the Legislative Finance Division, when you include the money the state has made on the withheld dividends (the “interest”), the amount in withheld dividends jumps to $13,447 per Alaskan, and $53,788 for a family of four.

    “The problem with Alaska’s government weight problem is it smothers out new private sector investment.”

    Politicians brag about how much the Permanent Fund is growing ($76 billion as of market close last week; https://apfc.org/performance/), but ignore the damage done to our economy by requisitioning $50,000 from every family of four in Alaska and putting it into the hands of government.

    That represents investment that didn’t go into the productive sectors of our economy. Instead, it went to government; year over year the least productive segment of our economy (even the worst performing companies eventually go out of business and no longer compete with government for that title).

    Politically speaking, it means Alaska is being turned blue….and it is being done under the less-than-watchful eye of Republican legislators.

    “Companies are less likely to invest new capital in the state when Alaska politicians can’t say no to special interests.”

    Which Republican legislators actually had the courage to say “No” to the special interests in the current legislature? Can you count them on one hand?

    Let’s ask that question another way. Which Republican legislators offended the special interests with their votes on the budget this year and are paying the price publicly for doing so?

    Asked still another way: Which Republican legislators cast their vote in favor of this year’s budget, which prioritized, and therefore perpetuates, those special interests? There was no version of this year’s budget that did not. In order to get to such a budget, politicians would have first have had to say “No” to special interests.

    They would have had to risk being shot at politically for doing so.

    Dan has the formula right. One governor plus sixteen legislators can stop Alaska’s economy from becoming Blue. The sixteen legislators don’t even need to show up to vote. They just need to not get in the way of a truly Republican governor.

    The governor was willing to be shot at…once.

    22 of us went to Wasilla Middle School to support him. We had the 16 we needed, plus a couple extra. And then suddenly the governor wasn’t willing to be shot at anymore, and he sent us back to Juneau.

    And since that time fewer and fewer Republican legislators have been willing to be shot at. And now the special interests are learning that all they need to do in order to keep Republican legislators in check is to dangle some of that stolen $50,000 in front of them, and use withheld dividend money to extort Republican legislators into voting to keep turning Alaska Blue.

    This year the ask from the special interests was budget increases. What happens when the ask is something more substantive, like…defined benefits, and the special interests again dangle some dividend money in front of Republican lawmakers? Will they suddenly find the courage to “vote against the dividend”? Where will they find the courage when they weren’t able to find it this year?

    Tell me how this ends well for Alaskans.

    The ability and desire of special interests to accept and spend government money is limitless. The amount of new capital that can be invested in this state is finite. And the willingness of Republican legislators to feed the former always starves the latter and results in Alaska becoming more Blue to the same degree.

    The Republican Party is currently full of nice, friendly politicians who aren’t willing to be shot at, and another bunch who truly want to be the next Lisa Murkowski.

    • Don’t be mean, David, think 7 to 1,
      .
      Special interests, according to the latest iteration of Alaska’s 2022 Lobbyist Directory, outnumber legislators and the governor by 7 to 1.
      .
      Then there’s Blackrock whose CEO says: “Our behavior changes are happening, and we have to be prepared for that. And the only way we have to be prepared to tackle this we have to aggressively invest in new technologies for decarbonization.”
      .
      These immortal words should be etched into the House Building, illuminated 24/7.
      .
      Shot at? Looks more like carpet bombed.
      .
      Appreciate you being there for us, David.

    • Representative Eastman,

      Would you care to explain why you voted against reconciliation and providing all Alaskans a full PFD and then you voted for more government spending and cutting the PFD to all Alaskans? Would you care to explain why you continually and repeatedly vote against conservative values and for leftist and big government causes? Would you care to explain why you are trying to convince conservatives that their vote is meaningless?

      It’s very sad that a representative would deliberately misrepresent the facts repeatedly. Representative Eastman, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Eastman- the kelly t (a 19 year DC accolyte) move from DC to AK cost the dividend 81k. Not sure that moving costs is a good argument.
      We could go Libertarian where two candidates who are vets and one who has seen combat twice. Obviously not afraid to roll, however repubs and dems and their media supporters are very wary of debating normal folks.
      Dave, let’s face it the alaskan republican base is just as addicted to govt spending as the dems. They’re ok with excuse based leadership. So the stupid will most likely continue. Important to note, repubs have not had a conservative leader since Calvin Coolidge. Reagan, Bush, Bush and Trump all added to the debt, brought us to war, most increased taxes, all provide some form of govt hand out to corporations, and many approved decisions reduced competition or freedoms.
      Sheep will be sheep.

  7. Sean Parnell was responsible for losing that election due to the way he was running the State. He ignored some serious problems that angered many. Anyone remember the where the hell is Parnell slogan? Alaska typically changes out Governors after one term. Sean got lucky and was handed half of Sarah’s term. The last republican Governor to serve two terms was Jay Hammond.

  8. One will never know what Dunleavy might have done. At his first major bump he peed himself and quit trying.

    Return this man to office and he will eventually sign off on an income tax.

  9. It’s not worth the energy to point out the flaws of Sarah Palin. The Palinheads just don’t care.
    They have convinced themselves as an article of faith she is the savior of Alaska. Facts be damned.

    Bill Walker is loving this.

  10. Can anyone provide a full list of Sarah Palin’s reality television appearances? I remember hearing about the “Masked Singer” and some kind of hunting-themed show. Did she ever actually do mud wrestling? Or a “Real Housewives” type of gig? Asking for a friend.

    • Never saw a Palin mud wrestling or real housewives stint. She had the Sarah Palin’s Alaska show, her daughter had a show at one point too. I think that was called Life’s a Tripp or something. Oh and her daughter was on Dancing With the Stars. I don’t recall anything too bad, like mud wrestling ha. That would be interesting for sure…

      • My friend thanks you. Maybe it is just my friend’s imagination. She was hoping to see Sarah and AOC in a hair-pulling brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives. She thinks Sarah is up for it. That’s the kind of representation Alaska needs. The classy stuff.

  11. A lot of us had a problem with the tax legislation promoted and signed by Gov. Sean Parnell, so we held our noses, hoped for the best, and voted for Walker. We were then severely disappointed with Gov. Walker, as we might have known would happen. I have not been entirely happy with Gov. Dunleavy; for one thing, I am told that his Dept. of Revenue commissioner is intimately connected with an oil industry official. What could go wrong there, eh?

    Perhaps my standards for politicians are too high, and I should be content with small “s” scoundrels in responsible public offices. And no office holder can be held to the standard of perfection. But there are conflicts of interest, shameful votes in legislatures, and derelictions of duty where I cannot bring myself to ever again vote for certain politicians. In this category of “never again,” for example, rests Alaska’s madame Murkowski. Most old politicians seem to never retire when they ought, so they must be resoundingly defeated.

    • “Held our nose”, and that Hasalaska is the very point. Demand better representation. Both parties have failed us miserably. Don’t double down on dumb.
      Chris and Sean provide the best opportunity for typical Alaskans.

  12. Governor did try make major changes at the start of his administration but was maliciously stopped by the democrats who may have broken the people’s right to participate in state governing activities in the languid idyll in Juneau far from the Alaskan population. Such behavior is prohibited behavior according to Masons Rules of Parlimentary Procedure. Please ask the required US Constititutional State Secretary of State what recourse the people of Alaska have since there is no sheriff, no required Secretary of State, and no Seargeant at Arms to provide assistance to the people when stipend receivers dislike the US Constitution. There is no process due in place for the people in Alaska. I hope President Trump is restored to recognition as US President and the Secret Service sends notice that the statehood understanding requires these to protect equal footing. Governor Dunleavy was evidently not enabled to fully function as Governor without these being in place and functioning.

  13. It’s always somebody else’s fault for this or that, isn’t it, Dan? I take responsibility for my own decisions; and I can’t stand listening to any flimflam man working the court of public opinion by smearing his excrement around to try sway the public mind to his taste of fine ordure.

    Where does the chain of responsibility begin? Do we take it back to the time of the fallen angels and to Lucifer himself? And who “created” Lucifer? Do you think that Lucifer was set up? (Now that can be worked up into a plausible conspiracy theory, Dan; and who knows, maybe none of us are responsible for a damn thing in life!) If we can hold Sarah responsible for the “creation” of Walker, can we hold her parents accountable for irresponsible copulation?

    You should know by now, Dan, that you can’t waddle into the fast lane pointing dirty fingers!

    • We take it to the nice young lady wearing a pleated plaid skirt who is the current “Sergeant ar Arms” somehow associated with “Leg legal”. She is pleasant as all get out. Her direct supervisor is the unelected Director of HR. She is unfamiliar with what if anything the US Constitution has to do with her unelected job in the legislature. She doesn’t know what is going on. She doesn’t know what is supposed to be going in. She doesn’t know her job is supposed to be elected and anwerable to the public and she should be a burly guy dedicated to the US Constitution and the people’s literal rights. If Anchorage phones in and says Anchorage refuses to hold a required election she says she will speak to the HR director who has no clue what if anything a sergeant at arms is supposed to do for the people but return phone calls to report she doesn’t know what to do. There is no due process available to the people. Loss of the republic. She is a wrong choice for action required urgently within 24 hours. So where is the Sheriff enabled to defend the US Constitution in this hinterland? It was decided by well mannered lawyers that Alaska has no need for this service. Loss of republic. Etc.

      • Is it possible Alaska is not a republic after all and we aren’t getting our monies worth from all the publicly paid blubber i.e. not one penny’s worth of defense of the republic and US Constitution since everyone descided to “work” from “home”? Would someone like to engineer a new wheel?

  14. Dan, I have to listen to you and all the other right wing guys while opening a bottle of Prozac. Nobody passes y’alls test……but we know that already. Like every other election, our duty is to vote for the best of the offered evils. Indeed, that’s how Kendall sold the people of Alaska on this ranked voting scam. Everybody is in the same boat, and it leaks like a sieve.
    I like Dunleavy. Is he the Messiah? Of course not. But he’s the best option on the ballot……by far. The trick this election is navigating through this ranked scheme in a way that gets Murky and Walker a ticket to Obscurity. Congress? A choice between Palin and yet another Begich? Really? There is simply no way I’m pulling ANY lever with that name on it, and nobody in Heaven or Earth can hoodwink me to change my mind. That name goes back longer than the Murky hame, and it has never brought anything but grief.

    • Reggie Taylor ,
      Sir you must be new to Alaska. Anybody that has been her prior to the arrival of McDonalds Golden Arches knows that Nick Begich a democrat was a conservative, seems that wasn’t uncommon then. His grandson is the real deal and like gramps will serve Alaska well. Don’t paint Nick with the same brush as you do Mark.

      • To add just a bit more, the first Nick Begich was a good guy. And, although I do not share his politics, Mark Begich is welcome in my home. Sadly, the quality of being a decent human being is rarely relevant in the current political discourse.

  15. Donna Arduin was trying to take away the property taxing power of the boroughs especially targeting the North Slope Borough. Her great ideas were all smoke and mirrors.

    • Lucinda, DeSantis is effective and a great Guv, your typical Bolschevik style attack of DeSantis merely proves that point.
      Meanwhile, leftist commies are in power and their concerns are? Bathroom occupancy?

  16. I would like to disagree with Fagan’s arithmetic, but the arithmetic is correct so I cannot disagree. A family of 4 in Juneau represents $150,000 in combined FY 2023 state and municipal spending, and that is without any CBJ spending on education! How in the world can that be sustainable, or even defensible? Government is too rich and too powerful. We have low unemployment because we have multi-generational families in which no one works thanks to Medicaid, SNAP, etc. And we count government workers (at 37.5 hours per week) as producers just as if they worked in the private sector! Do you think that the plushest CEO office in Alaska is at Conoco, Hilcorp, or Exxon; or maybe you think it’s at Providence? Nope, I’ve been in all those offices: It’s at the Blood Bank palace, a nonprofit entirely subsidized by government. We have grown government so much that it supplants our tiny private sector. Someone else might say that government lifts its leg and pisses on our private sector, every day. But I also agree with the commenters here so far. Yes, Parnell was also a big spender, and yes, Arduin had great ideas. Notwithstanding all that I will still vote for Palin, as I did in 2006, and I will list Dunleavy along with other Republicans in my choices in this new and crooked voting scheme. In this upside-down world we could see Congresswoman Palin become Speaker, and I must list Dunleavy because Walker is a crook and Gara is a Bernie wannabe. We need a Governor who will actually do what Dunleavy said he would do. And Palin will be as close as anyone can be to what we endured with Don Young. Peltola would organize with the Democrats, and Alaska cannot abide that.

    • Well he didn’t do anything but sign the largest budget we have seen. He quit when he got challenged. I hope we have a true cut the government person that’s gets a chance to do what’s write. Follow the money in politics. See where the states billions goes.

  17. Dan Fagan is always promoting anything negative about Sarah. He is the biggest Sarah Hater out there Well here is the Good. She got elected with no Special Interest money,and no help from the Republican Party—owned and.controlled by RINOS. She shunned the Juneau aristocracy by having her inauguration in Fairbanks with the State Song sung in Yupik With a Democrats and Republicans set against her she quietly carried and had a baby to keep publicity down.. Since she had neither party solidly behind her and need for new tax policy on oil and gas —she put together ACES. The Legislators approved and Dan Fagan and oil industry said it was going to ruin the Oil production.. ACES wasn’t great for the oil producers but it sure brought in billions for the State. Sarah’s job was to look out for the State of Alaska, Exxon’s negotiators where suppose to get best deal for Exxon. Who was the better negotiator. Sarah never got credit for it.. Only derision and sound bites from Sarah HATERS saying she nearly destroyed the oil industry. They fail to mention The Bush Ression in 2008 that took $150 barrel in September to $65 Barrel in December. Or all the Fracking in the lower 48 that made Alaska oil almost obsolete. Or the Obama years. 8 years of regulation and lockup. Where was your reporting on this Mr. Louisiana Radio Carpet-Bagger. You have made living since 2006 hating Sarah and her family. I hope Alaskan’s change their morning radio station and quit reading the hate filled tirades here. TOO BE CONTINUED—SARGE.

  18. This same diatribe. I think fagan has an issue about beautiful women who take care of themselves. He make same harsh criticism. Remember? Maria athens? Then when berkowitz owned up to it, fagan and dunbar ran into their houses and never came out.
    I think Mrs. Alaska Sarah
    will be better R this
    time around, if she isn’t! Trump will have her hide, and that will be the end of sarah and she can finally have a quiet life with her hunny..

  19. Dan, Remember that the people of Alaska actually voted on SB 21 to keep it and to not return to ACES. The people of Alaska got it — you can’t tax the biggest industry so viciously and expect it to stay.

    And she went after Parnell with a wrecking ball…..

    From Alaska Public Media in 2014:

    “Palin also took a swipe at Parnell on Anchorage radio station KWHL when asked about Parnell’s change in direction, pointing out that Parnell came from the oil industry.

    Parnell was Palin’s lieutenant governor from 2006 to 2009.

    Palin also had supportive words for a rival to Parnell in this year’s gubernatorial race, Bill Walker, who is running as an independent. She didn’t endorse Walker, but said he has “his thumb on the pulse of… most Alaskans who care about the future of this state.”

    It wasn’t long after that Palin endorsed Walker and that freak Mallott, the darlings of the democrats.

  20. Doesn’t it seem odd that there is not a positive thing ever posted about Nick the 3? ‘He seems nice, he promises he’s a Republican…’ but not one word from anyone who ever worked with him or for him. Nothing from any customers or employees, nothing from any friends or co-workers. Nothing.

  21. To all you Sarah HATERS. She is gonna gather 51% of the vote on August 16.

    Then she will be re-elected Congrosswoman for as long as she wants the job. Party on Sarah HATERS, party on.

  22. Government is too large in Alaska. Alaska has only a few developed communities. We don’t need and can’t afford so much government.

  23. Dan forgets Trump heralded the Chinese proposal to build the Natural Gas Pipeline. He thought it was China’s way to deal with the balance in payments problem. So if Walker is Chinese Bill, I guess Chinese Donald just visited us.

  24. After reading most of the comments, I am left with these thoughts.
    First, that people vote for whoever brings home the bacon (pork) not realizing that they are paying for it.
    Second, that modern states have to have power grids, transportation systems, and communications networks.
    Third, that most of the power grids, transportation systems, and communications systems for states were built up over a century or more. Alaska must build more quickly.
    Fourth, Alaska needs to have these items in place to attract business, along with a viable college network to retain Alaskans, and good well-paying jobs and opportunities.
    But Alaskans will not have these, or other needed items because they keep going back to the beginning every state election. Get a new governor, pit him or her against a largely returning legislature that has its own priorities and that provides for its own communities ahead of any item that the state as a whole needs.
    Governor Dunleavy is only the latest of these governors that look into the future and see a state that must become independent of leaning on the lower 48, especially the Pacific ports. So Alaskans will continue to rely on the Pacific ports until they are closed by the coming giant earthquakes, spawned by the long overdue correctional movement on the Pacific and North American plates.
    Build that infrastructure now. It won’t be any cheaper down the road. Either plan for the future or it will swallow you.

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