Murkowski hires new state director, adds staff

Karina Waller

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has announced the hire of Karina Waller as her new state director. She will replace Steve Wackowski at the end of next month as he transitions to the private sector. The senator also announced some other key additions and promotions in her office.

“Although I’m sad to lose Steve, I’m very pleased that Karina will be joining the team as my new State Director,” Murkowski said. “Steve has been a rock for my office and I wish him and his family the best. He will continue to serve Alaska in the Air Force Reserve as he moves to the private sector, while Karina will provide for a seamless transition. She brings a wealth of state and federal knowledge and connections and will be a valuable asset for my office and Alaskans from day one.”

Karina Michael Waller, a second-generation Alaskan, will leave her role as executive director of the Ted Stevens Foundation in Anchorage. She received her joint Juris Doctor/Master in International Affairs from the Washington College of Law at American University and began her career working as a Legislative Assistant for Sen. Stevens in Washington, D.C. in 2002.  She later went on to become his legislative director and deputy chief of staff. 

Additional Staff Hires:

Grace Kubitz joins the Washington DC office as a legislative assistant for Rural and Community Development. Born and raised in Anchorage, she holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Sustainability from the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining Murkowski’s office, Grace spent several years serving as a staff member legislators, most recently for Rep. Zack Fields, a far-left Anchorage Democrat member of the Alaska State Legislature. She worked in government, policy, and business development most recently with NANA Regional Corporation as their external affairs manager.

Jesse Oney joins Murkowski’s DC office as the assistant to chief of staff and deputy scheduler. He began his career six years ago in Murkowski’s DC Office as an Intern. He went back to Alaska to serve as a field director on Senator Dan Sullivan’s 2020 reelection campaign and returned to Capitol Hill to work as Sen. Sullivan’s Staff Assistant. In 2022, he moved back to Alaska to work as the director of grassroots on Sen. Murkowski’s reelection campaign.  He returned to DC in January, 2023, where he worked as a legislative correspondent on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs where Murkowski serves as vice chairman.

Julia Colver joins Murkowski’s DC office as a new staff assistant. From Palmer, she has a BA in International Studies and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She studied Russian language at Turan University in Kazakhstan. Previously she worked as a fundraising intern for Papillon Academy, an international NGO based in Paris seeking to increase female access to civics education. Additionally, she briefly worked for Murkowski’s office as an intern, assisting with defense and foreign affairs policy.

Staff Promotions:

Matthew Jones was promoted to legislative correspondent after previously working as a staff assistant. He previously worked on Murkowski’s 2022 reelection campaign. He attended Marquette University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Jones was born and raised in Eagle River.

Noah Nosek was promoted to legislative correspondent after joining Murkowski’s DC office as a staff assistant in July. From Anchorage, he graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. During his time at university, he worked for the Forest Service as a biological technician focusing on invasive species mitigation.


    • She is kinda cute and Polish looking. Maybe we should adopt her too, Frankie. Kelly is now part of our family. Let’s also bring this one in.

      • Hey Frankie and Nancy,
        since Lisa runs with brainless Joe, maybe you could take in a half dozen or more illegal aliens into your home? Princess would be so proud of her Democrat parents.

        • Are you joking, AD? The royal Murkowski’s wouldn’t use their various castles as sanctuary sites for the illegals. They’re too busy counting all of their retirement money from 40 years of feeding off the public. The only thing they are looking forward to are legacy monuments with their last name enshrined on them. Don beat out Frankie to the pearly gates, so he gets first crack at the Fairbanks Airport.

  1. Should had done the country and state a courtesy and close the position. The people don’t need one more government dependent.

  2. Just because of a citizen isn’t collecting public assistance doesn’t mean they ain’t a government dependent. There is more than one way bring a government dependent. All of them are wasting their time and brain power doing government work that do nothing increasing the nation’s or states economy.

    • I would have thought you liked the US Coast Guard. Ten bucks says most Alaskans love the USCG “government dependents … wasting their time and brain power”.

  3. As elected Alaskan Republican leaders, specifically US Senator, I wonder if there’s a litmus test to becoming part of Daddy’s Little Princess’ Team and, wonder how these team members score as true GOP members in their belief with the Party Platform?


    1) The mission statement of the Alaska Republican Party is to promote the principles upon which our country and State were founded; advocate fiscally-sound, common sense solutions to the unique challenges facing Alaska; defend the family; and serve as Alaska’s leading grassroots political organization. We also seek to elect and appoint to public office Alaskans with integrity committed to enacting solutions consistent with these principles.


    2) The United States of America and the State of Alaska were founded on the fundamental principles of life, liberty and freedom. Our government must preserve individual freedom by protecting constitutional rights and observing constitutional limitations. Our country, people and constitutions must be honored, respected and defended.

    3) We are strengthened by family, faith, and personal responsibility and accountability. We honor the sanctity of human life. Our national defense must be second to none. Our education system must be competitive, accessible and accountable. We support the primary right of parents to control and direct their children’s education.

    4) Free enterprise is the best system to deliver economic opportunity and prosperity. It should not be burdened by excessive regulation and taxation. Government must practice fiscal responsibility so citizens can keep more of the money they earn.

    5) We expect ethical conduct, transparency and accountability from our elected and appointed officials.


    6) We believe that a strong, diversified economy is based on the free market system, unburdened by excessive government regulation and spending.

    7) We support balanced budgets.

    8) We support business development and the entrepreneurial spirit while reducing the economic and regulatory barriers that limit business growth and responsible resource development.

    9) We support a simplified tax system that does not produce the effect of government directed redistribution of wealth.

    10) We support establishing a mechanism allowing for project certainty between private investment and the State, locking in the terms of the initial agreement.

    11) We support the Janus Decision and the right of the individual to choose whether to be in a union; businesses allowing equal access to jobs for all qualified workers; and equal access for contractors to all State and municipal contracts.

    12) We support the responsible expansion and improvement of Alaska’s transportation infrastructure to encourage development and better access to more areas of the State.

    13) We support legal immigration.


    14) We support the transfer of public lands into private ownership without restricting access to public lands.

    15) We champion a diversified economy, solid work ethic, safe workplaces, a well-trained, educated workforce and access to resources. As such, we support laws, regulations, tax structures, and budgets which encourage new investment, responsible resource development, economically feasible energy independence and a business-friendly environment.

    16) We support the federal government living up to its contractual obligations under the Alaska Statehood Act.

    17) We support and defend active management, access to , and reasonable incentives for the responsible development and utilization of Alaska’s natural resources as guaranteed in the Alaska Constitution.

    18) We champion the State of Alaska’s sovereignty and management authority over its lands, navigable waters and resources within its boundaries.


    19) We support access to a quality education based on the principles of parental choice with the objective of providing multiple education and career options for our youth.

    20) We support local control of public education including school choice, provided these do not limit parental rights and choices.

    21) We support active promotion of patriotism in our schools, the teaching of the Judeao-Christian foundation of our country with the emphasis on the Constitution of the United States. We also support the teaching of American and Alaska history, cultures and geography.

    22) We support Alaska’s stand against the principles of “Common Core” and support raising academic standards for students.

    23) We support the abolition of the Federal Department of Education. We support the State in refusing Federal Funds and policies for education.

    24) We support the repeal of the Blaine Amendment and support the Base Student Allocation following the student.

    25) We support educators’ rights to refuse membership dues, and union rules without penalties.

    26) We reject training, curriculum, and instruction supporting equality of outcome, gender, racial or ethnic bias, including critical race theory (CRT) and social-emotional learning (SEL).


    27) Man is made in the image of God; therefore, we embrace the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until natural death and will defend the sanctity of life.

    28) We affirm the family, defined as people living together related by blood, marriage or adoption, as the foundational unit of society. We embrace the definition of marriage in our State constitution as the union of one man and one woman and support reserving marriage benefits to this union alone.

    29) We support policies that minimize government intervention and control of the family. Parents have primary responsibility for their children. They have the right and duty to appropriately discipline, and require active, informed prior consent for all medical care, including access to abortion, psychological testing and counseling.

    30) Recognizing that Alaska law already protects all Alaskans, we oppose the insertion of “sexual orientation” and “transgender identity” in the list of protected classes under anti-discrimination laws for the State and its political subdivisions.

    31) We support actively reducing social dysfunctions in Alaska including fetal drug and alcohol poisoning, all forms of coercion and abuse, domestic violence, promiscuity, suicide, substance abuse, gambling addictions, pornography and sex and human trafficking.

    32) We emphatically support the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. We support health care reforms to address
    spiraling costs, quality, availability and the number of uninsured people.

    33) We believe Alaska welfare recipients should be drug tested and found free of illicit drugs as part of the application approval and then subject to random drug testing while receiving benefits.

    34) We do not support biological males competing in female sports. We support biological males using male public facilities. We support biological females using female public facilities.

    35) We oppose any health care mandate as unconstitutional and support in-person access to patients.


    36) Statutes should not refer to constitutional rights as privileges; likewise, statutory privileges should not be referred to as rights.

    37) It is the duty of Alaska Republicans to follow the United States Constitution and the Alaska Constitution.

    38) We believe the proper function of government is to protect the rights of its citizens as enumerated in the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Rights in the Alaska Constitution.

    39) We believe it is important to emphasize the following:

    a) We support the right to life, liberty and property as bestowed by our Creator. Every human being deserves protection under the law from the moment of conception until natural death.

    b) We support the rights to religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly and the free exercise thereof. We believe in the dignity and the respect of all persons and oppose efforts to restrict the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    c) We oppose local, state, and federal laws that infringe upon Second Amendment rights and responsibilities.

    d) We support the right of the people to amend the United States Constitution and the Alaska Constitution.

    e) We support the rights of all eligible United States citizens to vote in secure and transparent elections as a foundation for our constitutional republic. We support the electoral college.

    f) We support the right of due process of law before any execution or incarceration of United States citizens.

    g) We support the Tenth Amendment whereby all rights not expressly granted to the federal government are reserved to the States or to the People. We oppose all federal laws, regulations, mandates, actions, and executive orders that infringe upon the rights reserved to the People and the States.

    h) We support the preservation of private property rights, including the right of owners to access their property.

    i) We support private ownership of Alaska’s subsurface mineral rights; therefore, we support distribution of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend in accordance with statutory law.

    44) We support the state legislatures utilizing Article V power to propose amendments to the US Constitution in a convention of the states, limited to restoring federalism.

    45) We support the preservation of private property rights, including the right of owners to access their property.

    46) Statutes should not refer to Constitutional rights as privileges; likewise, statutory privileges should not be referred to as rights.


    40) We believe in a judicial system that supports a strict, literal interpretation of the United States and Alaska Constitutions and recognizes the sovereignty of our
    laws and our right as Alaskans to due process, equal protection, and freedom of speech.

    41) We support capital punishment for heinous crimes. We further support strong mandatory minimum prison sentences for all persons, including minors, convicted
    of committing crimes with deadly weapons or force.

    42) We support strong mandatory minimum penalties for all violent felony crimes, including sex offenses. We support public registration of persons convicted of child molestation, and vigorous enforcement of laws to prohibit production, sale, and distribution of child pornography.

    43) We support the principle that criminals, regardless of age, make restitution to their victims. We support sentencing convicted criminals to work as part of their obligation to provide restitution.

    44) We believe in “one person/one vote,” an election system which is hand-auditable, and a process which allows the Republican Party to choose its nominees.

    45) We believe that reform of the Alaska judicial selection process is necessary.


    46) We believe in peace through strength. We believe a strong military, secure borders, and support for freedom-seeking people elsewhere in our world are essential for America’s defense. We stand with all who serve, or have served, our country and commit to support them and their families.

    47) Recognizing Alaska’s strategic position on the front line, we support stationing United States armed forces in Alaska. We value Alaska’s strategic geopolitical location and champion its superior training opportunities.

    48) We strongly believe in the readiness of our homeland defense and recognize that every citizen has the responsibility to support and defend our liberties.

  4. How about this? I sent a letter to Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congresswoman Peltola requesting their assistance in the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

    Only Senator Sullivan responded.

    I work for a private small business multi specialty health care entity and we have been hit hard. We are not a part of a system of healthcare but we are a local adjacent source as a solution or a part of the solution to make the pittance of the dollar to work for the user/owners I.e. patients.

    I was at the bank the day we opened the account for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium- I wrote the minutes when the name was created.

    At 30 years old, I became the youngest statewide President and CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board.

    As a single mother.

    I do not care about all that. I am proud of what I accomplished and the amazing children I got to give birth to, mold, allow to see my worst qualities and choose their own paths forward.

    That is what it is.

    What I care about is false promises.

    We are not stupid people.

    Sometimes- most of the time – your constituents are those that you choose not to respect or respond to.

    Catch you both at your next campaign rally.

    Here is the deal. Leadership is leading everyone- not just the net you already caught with. And certainly not catch and release.

    • PLEASE stop referring to politicians as “leaders”. We don’t elect leaders. We elect representatives. At least in theory, our gang of rouges in DC are definitely not representative. Politicians are not our leaders

  5. Rob B, Sorry the list of 48 points ….is the existing swamp of corruption in DC ,If one would evaluate those in power today they have violated 95% of those 48 points! Why ,because it doesn’t add to their pocketbooks !

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