GOVERNOR ALSO ROLLS OUT SOBERING CRIME STATISTICS
An independent expenditure group has formed to shore up the fortunes of Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott as they turn their attention to the General Election and a bid for a second term.
“Unite Alaska,” the name of the group, has prominent Alaskans as its chairs:
- Barbara Donatelli is senior vice president at Cook Inlet Region, Inc., the Alaska Native regional corporation for Southcentral Alaska. She is a Democrat.
- Jim Sampson, former Fairbanks borough mayor and founder of the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center. He is the former head of the AFL-CIO. He is a Democrat.
According to the press release, Unite Alaska filed paperwork Wednesday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to form an independent expenditure organization named Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott.
“Unite Alaska intends to raise money and purchase advertising touting the Walker administration’s remarkable leadership during one of the most difficult times in Alaska’s history,” the press release said.
“Unlike his opponents, Governor Walker has a clear vision for Alaska,” Sampson said. “He has put us on the path to economic recovery and his continued leadership is essential to our future stability and growth.”
Most of the money raised for Unite Alaska is expected to come from an outside organization that is promoting non-party affiliated candidates. Unite America endorsed Walker after he visited the organization earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
“We are confident, based on the early outpouring of support for this effort, that we will raise significant dollars to support the Governor and Lt. Governor,” said spokesman Tim Woolston. “It’s clear that many of Alaska’s most prominent leaders, organizations and businesses are stepping up.”
Walker was a Republican before he became an undeclared and ran with the support of the Alaska Democratic Party in 2014. In 2018, he attempted to run in the Democratic Primary, but retreated when Mark Begich jumped into the race, and now is running as a petition candidate.
CRIME SOARED IN 2017
On the same day as the big reveal of his campaign support group, Gov. Walker and the Department of Law said that crime in Alaska has gone up by 6 percent year over year.
The governor and the state’s attorney general held a press conference to roll out statistics on crime, which include such highlights as Alaskans experiencing:
- 1 car theft every two hours
- 1 burglary every two hours
- 1 larceny every 29 minutes
- 1 assault every two hours
- 1 rape every 8 hours
- 1 murder every six days
In 2013, burglary hit a 7-year low, and vehicle theft hit a 17-year low in 2011.
Since he took office and the economy has tumbled, crime has soared to record levels.
The 2017 Uniform Crime Report contains a comprehensive look at crime in Alaska.
“The 2017 UCR looks back at information a year ago or more and doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know,” said Attorney General Lindemuth. She and Walker touted the Walker Administration’s efforts to reverse the trend.
She suggests crime is up because of budget cuts and the opioid epidemic. She said property crimes will take a lower priority than violent crimes and Alaskans should not expect much response.