Mat-Su event was polite, supportive toward Dunleavy plan - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019
HomePoliticsMat-Su event was polite, supportive toward Dunleavy plan

Mat-Su event was polite, supportive toward Dunleavy plan

THE ONLY OUTBURST FROM THE AUDIENCE WAS CLAPPING

The latest community budget discussion took place in the governor’s hometown.

Gov. Michael Dunleavy, having traveled from Juneau to Nome, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, came to the Mat-Su Valley today and met with about 150 residents, most of whom were friendly to his plan to bring spending down and restore the Permanent Fund dividend to its traditional formula.

At the Mat-Su Resort, Dunleavy and some of his cabinet members laid out Alaska’s fiscal problem (a $1.6 billion deficit) and went through some of the possible solutions: Dipping into savings would drain the Earnings Reserve Account in just a few years. Taxing people would not cover the deficit unless the tax was $11,000 or more per working couple — and that would drive working people out of the state. And taking the Permanent Fund dividend out of the hands of Alaskans isn’t fair to the low-income families and rural Alaska.

The solution, he said, is to bring spending down to what it was before it ballooned after 2006. A growth rate of 15 percent of government spending is what got Alaska in this fix, and cutting spending will help stabilize things, so long as his three constitutional amendments pass to control government growth in the future.

Security was tight at the Mat-Su Resort, with five uniformed Troopers and two of the governor’s security detail keeping a watchful eye, after some protesters in Fairbanks had begun to charge the stage the day before. The venue also provided private security for the event. Protestors — and there was just a handful of them — were kept at the entrance to the property and not allowed within shouting distance of the building itself. A few supporters were also seen at the entrance to provide a message supportive of the governor.

During the evening, a few of the questions submitted by attendees were from opponents to the governor’s plan, or from those with a bone to pick about Americans for Prosperity’s hosting the event. But unlike the events that took place in other communities, there was no angry outbursts in this conservative stronghold.

In fact, as in Fairbanks, the governor and his cabinet received a standing ovation at the end of the evening.

In every community, Dunleavy has been given red pens by citizens, and his visit to Mat-Su was no different in that regard; the very last question of the evening was “Governor do you have a red pen?” The crowd cheered. Dunleavy acquired a few more red pens.

The road show is not over — many more of these discussions are planned and rumor has it the governor will be all over Southeast Alaska next week, and has presentations planned for Anchorage and Wasilla.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • What “plan”? At this point I think telling people that the PFD is going to be fully funded no longer counts as a reasonable gimmick. How? How will you make this all happen Governor Dunleavy?

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    When will he get off his talking points and actually put together the plan for and the politics of the education cuts? How is he going to navigate the Constitutional and real problems of delivering education at his price? I’d love to know. Same for Medicaid. Where are the Commissioners?

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    Is the Senate ever going to take up the Bill wherein they confiscate local fisheries and oil taxes? Or are we just going to keep playing make believe as the fiscal year winds down?

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    Aiming the bus at the brink of the cliff isn’t a plan for getting to the bottom of the chasm.

    • Talk about “talking points”! Your #resistDunleavy crowd has no intention of listening and even considering a real compromise, much less the same tired talking points and attacks!
      Obviously you have not read his budget and his 10 year plan. If you did, did so with a closed mind!

      • You speak of real compromise, Mike. Well the House has just stated they will start with last year’s budget, rather than Dunleavy’s, and we’ll get to see if the Gov. makes some attempt at compromise.
        Education budget has already been passed, last year, so his line item veto doesn’t work for that. It should be an interesting thing to see what “real compromises” come about IMO.

      • 10 year plan? Based on his campaign and how much things have changed in the past six months I’m not interested in his 5 minute plan.

    • The bottom line is you cannot spend money you do not have. As for education spending? Just look to the states doing a far better job with less money. 20K per student per year is ridiculous. I do not know much about Medicaid but I suspect much is the same as the education spending. I do suspect many people on it shouldn’t be and that rankles with me. Any able bodied person not a senior but on Medicaid should have ‘skin in the game’ and have to give back something. Entitlement is an addiction and enslavement and, as we are seeing now, makes people so dependent and helpless they cannot even glimpse a thing outside of the confining box.
      Here’s a little twist on the famous JFK quote
      “Ask not what your state can do for you, but what you can do for your state.”
      If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.
      And a quote by Henry Ford
      If you think you can, or cannot, you are correct.

      • If you can’t spend money you don’t have where is the PFD coming from?

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        Also, I’m a proponent of limited government and voted for Governor Dunleavy. There’s more to governing than setting a budget target and then doing nothing at all to realize and actually implement that “budget”. He’s not a king and he’s restricted by law and the Constitution. Does he have any thoughts on that or will he try an Andrew Jackson? I don’t think that will be effective. How is a State government embroiled in endless and pointless lawsuits going to help anyone?

    • Shhh! He doesn’t need a plan. All he has to do is cut everything until they scream and then scale back until they scream a little less leaving the things the care the most about untouched. You know, like their cronies and overpaid appointed consultants.

  • It’s refreshing that we have responsible ‘adults’ within the current administration that realize:
    …. 1) Dipping into savings would drain the Earnings Reserve Account in just a few years.
    …. 2) Taxing people would not cover the deficit unless the tax was $11,000 or more per working couple — and that would drive working people out of the state.
    …. 3) And taking the Permanent Fund dividend out of the hands of Alaskans isn’t fair to the low-income families and rural Alaska.
    And, it’s also refreshing to hear that these responsible ‘adults’ are consciously working to right-size the size of government to a more healthy and sustainable entity, providing only essential public services. In my opinion, this is the crew that can achieve great accomplishments and I’m happy to know that my vote for the Dunleavy ticket wasn’t wasted.

    • We have disaster capitalists at the helm. Or as George HW Bush would call it specifically practioners of “Voodoo Economics”. I didn’t agree with that man on much but I did on that. If the past 30 years have taught us nothing else it’s that the “sucking sound” that Ross Perot was talking about 12 years later was real and the Laffer, Arduin, and Moore sit near the center of it. “Our” corporate sponsors love NAFTA and TTIP. But I’ve seen what it does to America firsthand.

  • Good write up. Lots of good questions even though many not supportive and questioned him. That worked in his favor though.
    Good time!

  • Governor Dunleavy is on the right track. I still wish the meetings had been at bigger venues!

  • But, but I thought only liberools had time to go to meetings! Fat Chance told me so! I’m confused….

    • It is important that the communists, excuse me, Democrats put their “hearings” in business hours. Most of the Dunleavy hearings are outside business hours when people who aren’t moochers and looters can attend.

  • Demands for any Governor to impose specific solutions in all areas of the budget can seem rational, but that desire springs from an underlying central government bias, and is an unhealthy abdication by local government and surrender of personal liberty. I would much rather each local school board and school district community of parents and teachers tackle this one question: “Why does Alaska spend so much compared to most other venues, and yet achieve mediocre results, broadly?” The State and/or Federal education departments cannot answer that challenge, even with steadily increasing financial support. 2/3 of the growth of the education administration is in direct response to a growing body of Federal and State regulation. If we answer the big questions locally, and work to diminish the influence of central planners, I am convinced we end up building a stronger sense of community and ownership, leading to better outcomes at a reasonable cost.

  • Whew! Balancing the budget and giving each Alaskan a $650 dividend is FAR cheaper than taxing each working couple $11,000! Sounds like a deal to me. Thanks Governor Dunleavy.

    • Except the budget isnt balanced, and within 5 years of doing this kills the PFD permanently. This only kicks the can down the road.

  • You mean the Village Idiots didn’t show up to chant, scream and throw their tantrums? Hard to believe.

    • So people off the road system are idiots? And there were “good people on both sides” in Charlottesville too right? Or did we miss the joke part, and all we got was the punch line?

      • For an example of the Village Idiot I present to you exhibit 1 aka Mark Thorson. LOL!

        • Was there something funny here Mongo? Don’t quit your day job for stand-up!

          • Communism is a mental illness, and I present to you Comrade Yankee as exhibit #2

  • Lets stop all this nonsense since 2006 in this State we have had runaway spending practices, from our Legislators in Juneau and our past Gov of the State, because of all this now they want are PFD the poor children you are all using are children as a hostage maneuver to strip are PFD but no one is talking about poor managing of the State Budget that put us hear. we have teachers that should not be getting such high salaries and those Administration Administrators are all over paid, bottom line are Gov Dunleavy is protecting the people of Alaska by supporting our PFD he is standing up for all of those years of run away spending Practices from the past leader-ship. this is for the people a full PFD for Alaskans.

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