Red letter day: Political appointees asked to resign - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Red letter day: Political appointees asked to resign

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Political appointments are, by nature, temporary job holders.

Those hundreds of people appointed by Gov. Bill Walker when he took over in 2014 have now received their letters requesting their resignation. Most of them will go.

The letter requesting their resignation was signed by both the outgoing Chief of Staff Scott Kendall and the incoming Chief of Staff Tuckerman Babcock, and it went out to as many as 300 people who serve at the pleasure of the governor.

Those recipients would include everyone from commissioners to deputy commissioners and legislative liaisons for each department. They’d also include most division directors and other special assistants, as well as those working in state-owned enterprises, such as Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Gasline Development Agency, and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

The executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has already resigned earlier this month.

It’s unknown whether the attorneys in the Department of Law are considered in the “exempt” category. They generally enjoy no protections of a union, and therefore would be considered partially exempt, employed at the pleasure of the governor.

The governor-elect has indicated that people who want to continue working for his administration need to apply, like everyone else, through his transition team.

A certain number of people were not asked to resign, Must Read Alaska has learned. But that’s a limited and closely guarded list.

In the final days of an administration, the janitorial crew comes through the offices of those exempt employees who are leaving and go through it thorough to clean it and make sure the next administration walks into a space that they can operate out of.

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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

  • Have the janitor check Byron Mallott’s office to make sure there’s no kiddies hidden in the closet.

  • Just to get this straight; Attorneys and Assistant Attorneys are “partially exempt,” they’re about as close to pure political appointees, or “at will” employees as the State has. If they are properly partially exempt they can be dismissed for any reason, no reason, but not an illegal reason. I discussed this in the “To Do” list piece I wrote a few weeks ago; many of them are just briefcase toters and researchers, so it is a good question whether they should actually be considered partially exempt, so dismissing them can get a new Republican governor nasty headlines about how a court found s/he shouldn’t have fired that selfless public servant.

    Exempt or partially exempt is based on a statutory definition and the determination of the Legislature or the Director of Personnel; it has nothing to do with whether or not they are union. Both partially exempt and exempt employees could be union under PERA. All of the marine highway employees and the State’s teachers are exempt but are unionized. None of the State’s partially exempt employees are union, but nothing prevents them from being unionized other than they’ve never been organized.

  • How about the PFD appointed folks and buddies of Walker all but one are his appointments…drain THE SWAMP…

  • Live by the sword, die by the sword. These folks knew, or should have known, that they serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

  • Cut the head off the snake as they say. But cut it all the way down to below the knees. Nice! It needs to be done. Now granted, there are only so many Alaskans to go around, I get that. Some need to be recycled back into the gene pool; however, there is new blood out there with new ideas. Get them on board and change things up a bit. Get rid of those old holdovers from several administrations ago that think their poo doesn’t stink. It’s getting awfully smelly in the State of Alaska…..

  • Garnet, most of them came to Alaska just for a state job. These are people who base their entire Alaska experience on getting government work so they can tell the real Alaskans how to live. Today, we have two types of Alaskans. Those with a state or government job, and those without one. When Dunleavy finally drains the swamp, the swamp dwellers will head south looking for a warmer swamp. Most of them will leave with what they came looking for: a government pension. SWAMP SUCKERS. Give them the boot, Mike.

    • Couldn’t agree more Johnnie. There are a few born and raised bloodsuckers still hanging on though too…..trying to shapeshift into the new administration already. I sure hope the transition team sniffs them out.

  • “Immediately after the inauguration Roosevelt appeared on the White House balcony, dressed in the purple robes of a Roman Emperor and leading a blind, toothless lion on a gold chain, hog-called his constituents to come and get their appointments.” – From “Roosevelt After Inauguration” by William S. Burroughs

  • A test of just how professional
    Walker’s appointees are is how well they do their jobs all the way up to the day they leave their positions. I sense an abandoning ship mentality taking place among many right now. And the least professional of all of those to be replaced comes from Walker himself. He is hustling to give last minute perks and contracts to his cronies and hardly interested in providing leadership in the few days remaining.

    • What do you expect from a failed governor who intentionally cover-ed-up the child sexual abuse of his trusted Native, soul brother and second in command, Byron Mallott? Bill Walker is a coward. And a quitter. Worst governor in Alaska history.

  • People who think Assistant Attorney Generals or mortgage originators at AHFC or investment managers at APFC are political hacks have a distorted and jaded view of government. The budget needle isn’t going to move short of cutting entitlements (namely Medicaid, K-12 education grants to school districts, or PFD’s). Cutting funding for any one of those will move the needle but all are all sacred cows and would have a bunch of the ‘drain the swamp’ crowd seeing red.

  • Walker has said that “the letter” is causing anxiety and undue stress in employees. And the current AG says it is distracting from the work they need to do. You have got to be joking! Please shut your cake hole. Anxiety and stress and distractions came A LONG TIME AGO. Think about all that has happened in this administration in the past 4 years. Just the ending of it with the Mallott debacle – and all of the election frauds alone are more than a standard, administration change letter to exempt employees. Please stop talking to us as if we are stupid.

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