MURKOWSKI IN HER OWN WORDS
Must Read Alaska received this message from Sen. Lisa Murkowski this morning:
“I pledged early on that I would work with the President to help advance Alaska’s interests. I will continue to do that—to help build and strengthen our economy, keep the promises made to us as a state, and ensure access to healthcare.
“While I have disagreed with the Senate process so far, the President and I agree that the status quo with healthcare in our country is not acceptable and that reforms must be made.
“I continue working to find the best path for what I believe will achieve that–a committee process where we can work issues in the open and ensure Alaskans have the healthcare choices they want, the affordability they need, and the quality of care they deserve.”
Murkowski has been under pressure because of her vote on the Obamacare repeal “motion to proceed” earlier this week, when she bucked the Senate majority and the president.
DEMOCRAT INVITES MURKOWSKI TO THE PARTY
Donald Trump isn’t the only one to chime in on Twitter about Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee chairman, former governor, and former presidential candidate, has invited Murkowski to become a Democrat, saying that she would be “welcomed” as a moderate member of the party.
“What has Trump ever done for Alaska?” he asked. Evidently he hasn’t gotten the word that Trump has already done a lot for Alaska.
DEMOCRATS DON’T DO MURKOWSKI ANY FAVORS
The Alaska Democrat Party also issued a press release yesterday, praising the senator for her votes against reforming Obamacare, and accusing Republicans of being “unconcerned if people live or die.”
Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau said, “ We thank Senator Murkowski for listening to the voices of all Alaskans and voting no to move forward with the debate to repeal Obamacare. Simply put, Senator Sullivan didn’t protect Alaskans. Today he voted for 62,000 Alaskans to lose their healthcare and the elimination of 2,702 Alaska jobs. His vote today was a vote for 100 percent higher insurance rates. Senator Sullivan is seemingly unwilling to do what is best for Alaska and continues to pander to the far right of the Republican Party, unconcerned if people live or die.”
The Democratic Socialists of Anchorage went farther with the message:
WALKER LEANING LEFT ON APPOINTMENTS .
Gov. Bill Walker, who ran first as a Republican before switching to nonpartisan, has shown a proclivity for left-leaning politics during his two and a half years on office. In his announcement of new members of boards and commissions yesterday, it appears he favors Democrats — by far.
Walker appointed 14 Democrats (including AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami’s appointment to the Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board.)
Walker appointed 7 Republicans, and the rest were indeterminate.
TED LEONARD RUNS FOR MAT-SU ASSEMBLY
Ted Leonard this week announced his candidacy for Mat-Su Borough Assembly Seat 4, representing the greater Wasilla District.
Leonard served as the executive director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a multi-million dollar industrial bonding and economic development corporation, for seven years.
He served in other financial capacities for state and local governments, such as deputy commissioner for Commerce for the State of Alaska, and director of Finance and Administrative Services for the City of Wasilla. Ted has also worked in the private sector and has owned his own business, providing accounting and financial services.
The seat is currently held by Steve Colligan, whose term ends in October and who is “termed out,” meaning he can’t run again. Colligan recruited Leonard to run for his seat and to date no one else has filed for the seat, that will be decided in the Oct. 3 election.
SHELLEY HUGHES REPORT
Sen. Shelley Hughes of Palmer got some big news this week, and it wasn’t good news: She has breast cancer, and treatments will start soon. She announced her diagnosis on Facebook and news spread quickly.
The response she has received from Alaskans has been overwhelmingly positive, she said, including a voice mail from Sen. Dan Sullivan, who urged her to be strong and said he would be praying for her. She received a note from Gov. Bill and Donna Walker, and messages from hundreds of Alaskans — some saying they’d pray for her, and others saying they are sending good thoughts, many sharing that they are going through the same thing.
Hughes is in Juneau for the resolution of the capital budget today.