AND FORMER WALKER EXECUTIVES REPUDIATE SCOTT KENDALL’S ALLEGATIONS
The union that represents public safety employees across the state of Alaska swarmed the Capitol to push back against the Democrat-led smear campaign against Public Safety Commissioner-designee Amanda Price. They’ll be back next week to make sure their voices in favor of Price are heard.
In a letter to both House and Senate leadership, the Public Employees Safety Association, representing about 800 members of law enforcement statewide, gave a full-throated endorsement of Price, contradicting the disparaging testimony of former Gov. Walker Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, which consumed a House State Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday.
“PSEA supports Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Amanda Price. Commissioner Price has shown she is committed to improving the Department of Public Safety and the Alaskans they serve. Commissioner Price has been fully engaged with the rank and file members of the department. Immediately upon taking her position as commissioner she created a working group to explore non-monetary ways to improve the working environment, morale and efficiency of the department. She then implemented the recommendations by the working group and this has resulted in creased morale by the department members and this PSSEA believes is a big step in addressing the retention issues DPS faces,” the association wrote.
On Thursday, Democrat members of the House State Affairs Committee allowed Kendall, now a private-practice attorney, to use hearsay in a hearing on Price’s nomination. They permitted Kendall to disparage Price’s character and integrity and did not challenge him on the sources of his hearsay.
That hearing was watched in stunned disbelief in offices across the Capitol, where no one could remember a former chief of staff or supervisor making such a personal and unprofessional attack on a former subordinate, making comments about how she was probably “at Nordstroms,” if she was not in the office, or asking had someone “checked the milk carton in the fridge” to see if she was reported missing.
Many of the deeply personal hearsay comments about Price have since been sourced to former Gov. Walker Communication Director Grace Jang, who now runs a crisis communications consultancy.
Some in the Capitol have attributed Kendall’s malice against Price to a case of sour grapes, since Commissioner designee Price, after leaving the Walker Administration under pressure, threw her support to the candidacy of Michael Dunleavy, who ultimately won office, while Walker had to withdraw from office in disgrace after his first term.
KENDALL-BYRON MALLOTT LINK
Other political observers say Kendall is worried that with Price’s reputation as an advocate for and protector of abused women, she’ll open an investigation into the secretive matters surrounding the sudden resignation of former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott in October, 2018.
That resignation occurred with Kendall’s fingerprints in the. middle of the scandal that broke out during the waning days of the Walker Administration. Kendall helped force Mallott out of office under circumstances still not fully explained to the public.
MORE LETTERS OF SUPPORT POUR IN
Also today, former Walker Chief of Staff Jim Whittaker and Deputy Chief of Staff Marcia Davis sent a three-page letter to all members of the House and Senate, repudiating in great detail Kendall’s statements in House State Affairs Committee.
“The recent attacks on Ms. Price have been an extreme surprise to the undersigned. During our tenure, Ms. Price was not disciplined or counseled for absenteeism, or plagiarism as none of these acts occurred. These alleged infractions simply did not occur in our time frame. The undersigned are incredulous that the professional character of a person we know to be an outstanding employee is now under attack,” Whitaker and Davis wrote. They went on to detail her strong objection to SB 91, a crime leniency bill, and how that put her at odds with the Walker Administration.
“The undersigned can sympathize with the frustration Ms. Price would have felt at this turn of events [Walker’s support for SB 91], and could anticipate that her exit would not be too long after this realization. We believe Ms. Price’s departure had more to do with these differing view of priorities and not with allegations of non-attendance, for which we are told, remarkably she was never informed or counseled.”
“We fear if this body does not confirm her, there will be many innocent Alaskans who will pay a very high, personal price for the loss of positive changes that Ms. Price could have provided as a DPS Commissioner,” the two former supervisors of Price wrote.
Price, as with all other commissioners, must be confirmed by a joint vote of the House and the Senate, something that usually occurs in the waning days of the Legislature. Sunday will mark Day 90, which by statute should be the final day of the session, but the Alaska Constitution allows sessions to run 120 days. In the meantime, all commissioners are considered designees.