Legislature bounces Mike Porcaro off of Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission

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Mike Porcaro, who has a popular afternoon radio show and has run an advertising firm for decades, was bounced from the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission by the Legislature. Porcaro was a nominee of Gov. Mike Dunleavy and has served on the commission for nine months.

In a joint session of the House and Senate, nominees to various boards and commissions came up for confirmation. Most of the governor’s appointees made it through. A few of the more politically charged ones did not. For example, Bob Griffin was not retained on the Alaska Board of Education, written about here in an earlier story.

At first, Porcaro made it through the nomination vote narrowly, 31-29, generally down party line, with Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes voting with the Democrats and Sen. Lyman Hoffman and Rep. Neal Foster voting with the Republicans. But then, Rep. Louise Stutes asked for a reconsideration, and Porcaro’s nomination failed on a vote of 30-30. On that second vote, Rep. David Eastman became a yes vote, while Foster voted no, and Sen. Lyman Hoffman at first didn’t vote at all, and then voted “no,” casting the deciding vote. Again, Stutes and Stevens voted with the Democrats.

Porcaro was criticized by some for not having prior commercial fishing experience. But Rep. Sarah Vance of Homer defended his service and said he had done an exemplary job and brought balance to the commission.

The commission issues permits and vessel licenses in both limited and unlimited fisheries, and provides due process hearings and appeals for disputes related to limitations on fishery participation.

Porcaro says it is not a requirement that a board member must have fished commercially, but that he gave it his all for the nine months he served on the board before Tuesday’s confirmation vote that went against him.

The Legislature also voted down the nomination of Mark Sayampanathan to the Alaska Workers Compensation Board. Again, several Republicans voted against the Republican governor’s nomination.

The joint session did confirm Barbara Tyndall to the Alaska Board of Education and Early Development, Donald Handeland was confirmed for another term on the Personnel Board, Robert Sheldon for another term on the Commission on Judicial Conduct, Marit Carlson-Van Dort for another term on the Board of Fisheries. Several other new and reappointments were confirmed, including Curtis Chamberlain to the Board of Fisheries, Emily Jackson-Hall to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, Kayla Green to the Board of Marital and Family Therapy, Wendy Palin to the Barbers and Hairdressers Board, Kevin McKinley to the Barbers and Hairdressers Board, April Erickson to the Board of Nursing, Richard Larson to the Board of Parole, Carla Hebert to the Board of Pharmacy. Terrance Haas was confirmed as the Alaska Public Defender.

Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Torrence Saxe was confirmed as the successor to the lieutenant governor, should either Gov. Dunleavy or Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom leave office early. Emma Pokon was confirmed as the Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, Cathy Munoz was confirmed as commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Just goes to show you. Drive time radio host gave the Democrats the tools to control most any election via the RCV farce.

    How’d they reward him? Political shiv in the back.

    Honorable mention to the usual suspects voting with Democrats. With Republicans like ours, who needs Democrats?

  2. CFEC and AKFG have no explanation for why the Yukon watershed has been denied Salmon permits for commercial and subsistence for almost 10 years. They are believed to be paid off by international fisheries that have mapped the salmon migration.
    People are being prosecuted for subsistence nets year after year.

  3. And the public is left to wonder what whisper campaign was begun in the state capitol between the first and second vote. Apparently, it spread to those whose names are in red above, and didn’t need to spread any further since they had just enough votes to scuttle his nomination.

    We have a public process to ferret out truth from rumor. On top of that, I invite constituents to reach out to me every time we have these kinds of votes. Some do. Given that this appointment is for a full-time position with a salary of up to $136,000/yr (only $4,000 less than the lieutenant governor’s salary), there is often concern that these positions are handed out as political favors. When Bill Walker appointed Hollis French to a position with an even higher salary shortly after French withdrew from running against him, it had all the appearances of being a political pay-off.

    But whether the appointment is to a salaried position like this one, or a volunteer position like the one Bob Griffin was appointed to, I detest it when slander is used to take down a political opponent, or decisions are made behind closed doors and the public is left to wonder what happened and why. Mike deserved better. Every Alaskan deserved better.

    • There is no way Mike Porcaro qualified for a job that paid $136,000.00 a year for work he was not at all prepared or able to perform. This was nothing more than a political payback orchestrated by Governor Dunleavy who has rewarded all three local, supportive radio hosts (and Dave Steiren’s kid) with state jobs and high annual salaries.

    • From the article above “Porcaro made it through the nomination vote narrowly, 31-29…But then, Rep. Louise Stutes asked for a reconsideration, and Porcaro’s nomination failed on a vote of 30-30. On that second vote, Rep. David Eastman became a yes vote.”

      Representative Eastman, you voted no and then changed your vote and you are chastising others for changing their votes and not explaining it but you didn’t say why you changed yours.

  4. “Wendy Palin” another NB III supporter wiggling her way into politics. Going to be interesting to see where the Palin family ends up during these times. They bad-mouthed their sister/daughter-in-law in order to get NB III elected. Now that Sarah is out of the picture, are all of the Palins going to make a run for different positions? Maybe their buddy NB III will help them once he gets into office? Ahhh, the politician family life is good.

    • Oh Sarah ran her mouth about a lot of people…unfortunately it backfired on her and she resigned…shrug…hey Sarah hows Russia doing? Why I can see her as nervous as when she resigned…grin..

  5. Great he is out, look what he did to us on Rank Choice Voting, he has to strong of ties to the lower 48, Washington fishermen already run things, I think he is for sale to the highest bidder

  6. Good job, legislators!
    Mike Porcaro had no business on the Board of Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. He has neither the academic preparation nor the professional experience that would make him suitable for the work this commission requires of its members. How much did Alaska waste on him over nine months when he contributed very little or nothing at all?
    Porcaro’s selection was based on nothing more than Dunleavy’s decision to reward all three radio talk show hosts for supporting him with his various campaigns, elections, and other endeavors. It’s good that that inept ol’ Mike was “shown the door”!

  7. When will Steven’s and Stutes come clean and admit that they are democrats. When will the spineless Republican party kick them out?

    • Stevens admitted to this in Homer when he told the crowd that he wasn’t conservative. He was getting set to vote for Medicaid expansion in AK when Obama was POTUS and the federal government would bribe all the states into signing up. The feds would pay 100%, then the states would gradually pay 100%. He wanted it so bad! He held a townhall to ostensibly get feedback from the people, but he’d decided long before holding a townhall.

  8. We have here a prime example of why the chamber of commerce, rinos need to be primaried. This includes the false conservatives infested in our state legislature.

  9. Good riddance Mike Porcaro, who is a know nothing talking head, a purely political appointee, and who knows next to nothing about commercial fishing.

  10. Although we all love the Mike Porcaro and Crash show, his area of expertise is radio, not commercial fisheries and his nomination to that board could be a ploy to curtail Bristol Bay fishing permit holders to not sue pebble Ltd. for not cleaning up the sample core sites on Red Salmon spawning grounds or future litigation in foreign owned pebble vs the U.S. EPA.

    • Response to 3rd Generation Alaskan: Not all of us love the Mike Porcaro and Crash radio show. To my occasional listening ears, the program is jammed-packed with middle school humor, senseless “filler”, and political commentary made in exchange for special favors. Alaskans deserve better local radio programming AND Mike had no business on this particular commission.

  11. I’m not a fan of Porcaro’s radio show ever since he refused to allow any dissent over the Covid shots, but that has nothing to do with his qualifications to serve on the fisheries commission of which I know nothing. I am, however, tired of the notion that a legislator who votes against a governor of his same party is somehow a “traitor”. Legislators are supposed to vote in accordance with the best interests and wishes of their districts, not in lockstep with party leadership. If that were the case we should just save ourselves the expense and drama surrounding the legislature altogether and just elect a dictator.

    • Far too many people love to toss around the word traitor like they actually understand what it means.

      Having principled opposition to something does not necessarily mean anything remotely traitorous. People used to be allowed difference of opinion.

  12. It’s sad to see how a once highly respected radio host who has, in all honesty, done a lot for Alaska,

    Throw so much of it away over RCV.

    • Agree, and I don’t believe Porcaro is still favorable toward RCV. A lot of people were fooled and now know better. I wonder also about the Covid shot. I haven’t heard him tout that, at least not lately. Dr. Bruce Kiessling does though and he is on the Porcaro show once a week.

  13. Glad to see him kicked off the board
    We can and should do better managing and protecting our states resources

    Btw I’m still and forever upset over his covid jab allegiance . Between that issue and rcv boondoggle he promoted I say good riddance

    • Jim, Managing and Protecting our States Resources? That would be the Department of Fish and Game, not the Limited Entry Commission. The notion of granting a franchise of a Public Resource is merely political and has nothing to do with management of the public’s resource. Furthermore the Commish positions have historically been political appointments granted by the guv to payoff favors. The whole program of limited entry is nothing more than a deck load of political favoritism and has been since it’s inception.
      Change my mind, BTW, I stupidly voted for the thing once upon a time, so I’ve been following the issue for almost 50 years.

  14. What happened to his radio show? Is he on at another time? Jesse Kelly has been in his spot. Will he get paid again to be a mouthpiece for RCV or the jab?

  15. Good riddance to Porcaro who had absolutely no credentials or work experience for the position. The CFEC itself should probably be scaled back to the people who actually do the day to day paperwork. No need for a high paid, no-show, politically appointed Board.

  16. The principal conclusion of a previous Legislative audit of CFEC is as follows:

    “The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission’s organizational structure is no longer operationally efficient or effective. Deficiencies are based on three key issues: commissioner’s adjudicative workloads no longer support full-time positions; commissioner’s ineffective management of day-to-day operations; and a legacy licensing system which contributes to inefficient work flow.”

    Bottom line: Gov Dunleavy appointed a crony to a part-time job that carries a $136,000 salary.

    • Given the legislative audit’s finding you show above, this is precisely the type of job and salary with which Mike Dunleavy would reward his radio mouthpiece Mike Porcaro. Dunleavy did the same for his #1 cheerleader, Dave Stieren, and who has no real job with the state. At least Rick Rydell (actually Rick Green) at ADFG has a legitimate position for which he makes contributions and earns his salary.

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