Governor changes staff: Babcock, Stevens swap places


Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy today announced changes to his senior staff: Ben Stevens will become the governor’s new chief of staff, and Tuckerman Babcock will take Stevens’ place as senior policy advisor for strategic affairs.

“It’s been a privilege to have Tuckerman Babcock serve as my chief of staff, and I’m grateful for his continued service and commitment to the State of Alaska,” Dunleavy said. “I’m confident that both Ben and Tuckerman’s leadership will continue to help us carry out this administration’s goals and agenda.”

“I’m excited to serve as senior policy advisor for strategic affairs,” Babcock said in a press statement. “This is a move I requested of the governor; which allows me to concentrate on the areas I can best serve the governor’s agenda.  This will be a smooth internal transition.  I have enjoyed working with Ben these past eight months and know he is more than qualified to serve as chief of staff to Governor Dunleavy.”

Ben Stevens has had a strong career in Alaska politics.  Stevens was appointed by Governor Tony Knowles to the Alaska State Senate in August 2001.  Stevens went on to serve as Alaska Senate Majority Leader and later Senate President.

“I’m honored that the Governor would ask me to serve as his chief of staff.” said Stevens. “I appreciate the leadership Tuckerman has shown since the transition and I look forward to continue working with him as we move the Governor’s agenda forward.”

Staff changes were announced today during a meeting of the Governor’s Cabinet and staff. A staff transition will begin immediately and take place over the next week.



  1. Ben Stevens HAS to be smarter than Babcock. Ben has served in the legislature for one thing. This move might save Dunleavy from completely destroying the Alaska Republican party.

  2. Good move! Babcock is a better fit as policy strategist. Ronald Reagan used to move around his cabinet heads too. It kept the Democrats off-center and unbalanced…….which is their usual place anyway.

  3. My guess is the main Message from Ben to Mike: “Stop digging the hole deeper for cripes sake!

      • My Dad liked to say the PC word “cripes” in mixed company.
        You get the idea.
        Ted would say it too I am sure because you certainly couldn’t say Christ as a public official..

  4. Could this be a sign that the new Mike Dunleavy will go easy on the vetos? Though you have to guess he will take one more shot at the UA.
    I seriously doubt he will veto the $1600 Dividend.
    What would Ben Stevens do?

  5. My proposed Alaska Individual Trust Account (AITA) will help resolve the problems with the current Dividend. We must take the Dividend amount out of our daily politics. Your individual AITA account would receive a share of the annual surplus earnings of the State of Alaska. And it gains interest due to appreciation of the entire Trust Fund.
    It really accomplishes the original intent of the Dividend to reward longevity of residency. Every year you reside in Alaska you receive a contribution to your account plus the annual invested earnings. In this way your account compounds in a parabolic curve. It will be like getting a Piece of the Permanent fund. If you are so down and out you need your share of the annual contribution for survival – you can withdraw it in cash.

    • I might add that our PF income now exceeds all other income including oil. This will continue to increase into the future I believe. .As ever, it will still be a battle between social services and the annual AITA contribution amount. But overall this will reward longevity of residency in Alaska. It is forward looking – not a backwards review of the original dividend law which distinguished by years in past.(overturned by the Alaska Supreme Court).

      • I am already at area 51. I have already been gifted with the universal knowledge
        What about you?

          • The o-rings were fine until the EPA got involved with their asbestos ban. They also launched Challenger after being cold soaked overnight in temps 30 F below any large solid booster had ever been launched. Design is meaningless if you fly out of spec. Cheers –

    • Better than the status quo. This order came from the Central Committee. They considered your comments and appropriately threw them in the trash. Sincerely – Management

    • It’s often the head-honcho is in the dark about whom is the problem, and then casts about looking for the scapegoat. The mirrors have all been removed from sight of Dunleavy.
      I believe this is all that’s occurring here.

  6. So how is it fair to debate with an anonymous ID?

    Monk, I have to admit that I try not to be hypocritical. Thus I have never been a State employee but have been an employee of an engineering firm contracted to the State. The main issue is what people perceive as Socialism versus Capitalism/Libertarian ism.

    Of course the compromise is somewhere in between.
    Good Evening

  7. Message to Dunleavy.
    Guv… changing staff is nice however you need is to communicate with the people is a direct and personal and meaningful way. Think Reagan or even F.D.R. fireside chat. I believe you are capable of this type of leadership. Illustrate how badly we the people have been getting ripped off, cite specific examples of fiscal abuse, U of A system, Education funding etc. Use these examples to leverage your veto decisions.

    Thank you Guv!

    • Dunleavy has a great team, all throughout his cabinet. His AG is top of the line. This is why they will win in the end. The opposing forces are a bunch of losers. The public eventually gets tired of hearing them and moves on. The Lefty press wears everybody out.

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