Ryan Nelson: Josh Revak lied, your PFD died, and now he wants an upgrade?



Josh Revak could have been at one time considered the Alaska Republican Party’s greatest gift. Now reported to be running for Congress, Revak could have been the clear front runner.

No more. Revak’s recent record and statements will come back to haunt him.

Revak is a wounded veteran who served honorably in Iraq, who overcame alcohol adversities and managed to go on and serve in the offices of U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, who defeated a Republican incumbent in a primary for a State House seat, and later became a member of the state Senate.

However since becoming an elected to the Alaska legislature in 2018 Revak seems to be a different person. But why? Is Revak simply not the person he was portrayed to be in 2018? Or is there truly something about that Juneau water that makes people think differently?

Many have not yet forgotten his betrayal of another Alaskan hero: Rep. Laddie Shaw. When appointed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to fill the state senate seat left vacant by the late Sen. Chris Birch, Shaw was essentially denied that seat by former Senate president Cathy Giessel.

Despite Shaw being undeniably qualified to take a seat in the Senate, Giessel and some of her fellow Republicans turned on Shaw due to his support for the statutory Permanent Fund dividend.

In wake of Shaw’s rejection, Gov. Mike Dunleavy was left with a clear message that the Giessel, Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, and Sen. Gary Stevens crowd were the true senators in control of the appointment process. Eventually, Dunleavy would replace Senator Birch with the young freshman representative Revak.

Initially, I thought Revak’s appointment was a good pick. He appeared conservative, campaigned on supporting the statutory Permanent Fund dividend formula, and was a likable fellow, but it should have said something to me when Giessel allowed Revak to take the position she had originally denied to Laddie Shaw.

Then, on May 19, 2021, Revak joined 10 members of the Senate, and casted a deciding vote against the state funding the full statutory dividend. This was despite Revak’s initial written campaign pledge which he signed in 2018 that he would commit to supporting Alaskans statutory check.

Josh Revak signed a pledge, and then reneged on it.

In fact, not only did Revak vote against the statutory amount, but he even voted against the 50/50 Percent of Market Value plan suggested as a compromise by Gov. Dunleavy. Revak’s failure to adhere to his pledge, essentially joining the category of the Senate Republicans’ most anti-PFD members including Sens. Von Imhof, Stevens, and Stedman.

While Revak later explained himself on the evening drive Mike Porcaro Radio Show by saying that he regretted signing that pledge, as he now knows things that he didn’t know before, the truth is clear: He broke his contract with Alaskans in a time where Alaskans have a low level of trust in their Legislature for failing to uphold the law. Revak’s votes demonstrated he is not a man who can adhere to the promises he got elected by.

To be fair, Revak is not the only member of the Senate to demonstrate this behavior, but now that he may run for the seat of the late Congressman Don Young, Alaskans deserve to be reminded about Revak’s record before they mail in their ballots. If there is any one thing that should disqualify a person from running for office, in my mind failing to adhere to a written pledge would be a golden example.

But for those who have forgotten of his betrayal of the PFD, Alaskans have recently had a good of his character when he explicitly attacked Must Read Alaska Publisher Suzanne Downing, calling her the “biggest piece of human waste on the planet.” To me, this incident not only exemplified my worst fears that Revak is not the conservative freedom fighter I once saw him to be, but it also appears to be an indicator he is not a man with the humility, or that he even has the temperament to be serving in this office.

Before you cast your ballot in the next election, take a good look at the record of your candidate before deciding whether they deserve an upgrade. You may just not like what you see.

Ryan Nelson is a resident of Eagle River, Alaska.


  1. Sounds like Revak is drinking again! And maybe the BENJAMINS from the left provide a change in character! So sad!!

  2. Revak lacks character, proving it time and time again. He’s a professional politician – – he needs the job; consequently, he compromises his values, tells lies and anything else he needs to do to keep his job in politics. Thinking of him in congress is laughable. He lacks the maturity, intellect and is too lazy to do the job. He’s a clown. People in Junesu laugh at his indecisiveness. I hope Alaskans get to know the real Josh Revak. He lacks integrity. Maybe we should just call him Pinocchio!!!!

  3. Don’t forget the fact Giessel and Walker are in league to keep our PFD and get to work with China on the pipe line dream, we will get screwed on that deal.

  4. There is no good reason that Josh Revak should be associated in any way with the Alaska state senate. Voters in that senate district should get rid of him as soon as possible. He is a jerk and a liar. He should be run out of town and the state!

    In considering this, and his sordid and unprofessional behavior while he worked for Don Young, Revak is the worst possible person who should represent Alaska in the US House of Representatives. There are ten other candidates in the race and each one would do much better representing and respecting Alaska and Alaskans.

    God help Alaska if Revak manages to somehow get elected in any future political race.

  5. One has to have an anchor to something solid when in the political arena, and continue abiding to that anchor. The immovable anchor is Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, the foundation, who being found in him you hold up to every life storms. The glittery political world will pull anyone away if they aren’t securely anchored to the Rock.

    Revak can start right by first heartfelt apologizing for his mean post. Whether not he was under a lot of stress by Don Young leaving us all, and for a better place. He didn’t need to be rude. His ruthlessness and lost identity happens when controlled by his flesh.

    Revak is still young, and Anchorage has some fine recovery churches with livestreams. I am sure Don Young went through a turning point when he recognized if he wasn’t anchored to Jesus, that one day the political arena and its fans would change him, and he wouldn’t even recognize himself.

  6. My co-worker and I served homeless and disabled veterans, we asked Revak & Sullivan for help regarding a serious funding issue, got all the lip service agreeing with us, how correct we were and assurance that help would follow. Absolutely NOTHING materialized. Both produced diddly squat. These two politicians produced TRUE COLORS and severely disappointed, breached our trust and abandoned the matter. Both professional politicians looking after # 1 ONLY. Enough said !

  7. Revak won’t get to first base. Look what happened to Giessel and Coghill. Both thrown out on their rear ends, mostly because they turned into nasty people and stubbornly fought against their own party’s standard bearers. Revak was mentored by them. But more importantly, Revak lacks name recognition. He is known only in very small circles, and that won’t even get him in the top four. Nick Begich III will clean his clock.

  8. Thanks for this information about Josh Revak. I’ve moved him higher on my list of candidates as a result. He obviously has wisdom to appreciate that paying out dividends the state can’t afford to pay is not what a conservative would do. Those who advocate for large PFDs regardless of the effect such payments would have on the state’s budget and the future of the PFD program are not, in my opinion, true conservatives. Thanks for standing up for common sense and fiscal conservatism Josh!

    • True fiscal conservatives understand that the people are better stewards over their own money than government could ever hope to be, they do not believe in bloated wasteful government spending.

      • True conservatives don’t claim to be entitled to government handouts and throw tantrums when their welfare checks aren’t big enough

        • I’ve yet to meet any conservatives who’ve claimed to be entitled to government handouts then threw tantrums when the welfare checks weren’t big enough. I know plenty of conservatives who believe in the rule of law and think that we should follow the statutory language of the PFD or the law should be changed/removed instead of being violated.

          • Steve-O, The old statute that set forth the amount of the PFD, enacted by the legislature decades ago, does not bind the current legislature. That formula made sense in an era when the State was receiving more royalties and taxes from north slope oil than it was spending. The situation has changed and as a result the legislature abandoned the old statutory formula years ago. The amount of the dividend has nothing to do with the “rule of law” since each year the legislature can set the dividend at any amount it chooses. Individuals have no legal right to a dividend of any amount until the legislature sets the amount of the dividend in the fiscal legislation it passes each year.

          • Rick,
            The old statutory language is also the current statutory language.

            Statutory language is law by definition. Individuals thus have a legal right to the dividend spelled out in the law. Every conservative I know is fine with saying things have changed and we need to address the new situation we are in, however ignoring the law and not changing the law is not addressing the new situation…it’s ignoring the law.

          • Steve

            You apparently are not familiar with the legal doctrine of repeal by implication. When a legislature enacts a bill that contradicts a prior enactment, without expressly repealing it, the prior enactment is repealed by implication. The legislature is not legally required to use the old formula, even if it was enacted as a statute. By passing laws for the past six years that have used a different formula, the legislature has repealed the old formula by implication. It may not have been expressly repealed, but it not the current formula. Of course, the current legislature or a future legislature can, in its discretion, decide to use the old formula again. But nothing requires it to do so.

          • Rick,
            And you apparently aren’t aware that implicit repeal isn’t viewed as an appropriate legislative tool, in fact when repeal isn’t explicitly spelled out in the new law the old law remains in place.

          • “ The doctrine of implied repeal is a concept in constitutional theory which states that where an Act of Parliament or an Act of Congress (or of some other legislature) conflicts with an earlier one, the later Act takes precedence and the conflicting parts of the earlier Act become legally inoperable”. ‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_repeal

          • Rick,
            It might be worth your time to dig a little deeper than Wikipedia. Or at the very least read the entire wiki entry…which goes on to say “Under United States law, “implied repeal” is a disfavored doctrine. That is, if a court can reconcile the two statutes with any reasonable interpretation, that interpretation is preferred to one that treats the earlier statute as invalidated by the later one.”

            Here’s a little more information for you. “Implicit repeal, also referred to as repeal by implication, occurs when a legislative act conflicts with an existing law but the legislature did not explicitly repeal the existing law. While the later act supersedes the existing ones, effectively repealing it, courts generally disfavor construing legislative acts to implicitly repeal existing laws. As the California Supreme Court in Penziner v. West American Finance Co. explained, “[t]he presumption is against repeals by implication, especially where the prior act has been generally understood and acted upon.” The court continued in requiring that, to find implicit repeal, “the two acts must be irreconcilable, clearly repugnant, and so inconsistent that the two cannot have concurrent operation.” For example, in State v. Davidson, an Idaho Supreme Court case, the Court found that a later negligent homicide law repealed an earlier involuntary manslaughter statute by implication because the two acts were essentially identical except for the punishment allowed to be imposed upon conviction.” ‘https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/repeal

        • 1-the entire “marine highway” system totally waste.
          2-the state spends more per student than any other state in the union.
          3-why can the most nonessential members of society(politicians) work from home over skype huge bloat sending those parasites to Juneau.
          4-the state could save a whole lot if they did something about the public sector unions
          in my district a few years back chuck cop gave 10,000$ to the bayshore CSP (very affluent anc neighborhood) while crying about how broke the state was and needed more money there’s all kinds of bloat if you just open your eyes and take a look. a little forensic accounting would be nice but there’s no way the ghouls of juneau allow the plebs a peak into their piggybank.

    • You show complete ignorance in your understanding of the PFD as does Revak. The problem with your reasoning is the PFD was designed to remove the political football out of the process. A true Conservative would be cutting the State Budget down to match the intake not try and rob the citizens.

      • The state can’t rob you of something that you don’t own. The PFD is a government entitlement program. You have done nothing to earn your PFD. All you have to do to receive it is live in Alaska and fill out an application. The legislature decides the amount of the PFD each year. Until it sets the amount, you are entitled to nothing. Once it sets the amount, that is what you get. Your PFD is just another component of overall state spending, no different than the other components of the state budget. People who want a bigger PFD are basically saying that the state should cut other programs in order to increase the size of the PFD check. Folks in the interior think it’s fine to cut the ferry service, and folks without kids may think we should cut funding for education. But those who live in coastal communities want funding for ferries increased, and those with kids think funding of public education is important. The PFD is not more important than the host of other services and benefits that the state pays out every year. Stop acting like the PFD is some sort of sacred cow that can’t be cut or modified.

    • Rick, you need to read Steve-O’s comment and try to grasp that fundamental truth, it is one of the foundations of our country. Perhaps you would be happier in Russia or Venezuela. Another thing you don’t seem to be able to understand is that the statutory PFD formula is based on money the state already has, i.e. past earnings. I won’t even try to explain to you about the state stealing our property, i.e. mineral rights to the property we purchase with our own money. So please, go ahead and vote that loser into congress where he will be with others like him. At least that will get him out of the state legislature, and might help restore the PFD.

      • When you bought your property, the state had already reserved the mineral rights ( unless you bought the property before statehood). So the price you paid for the property reflected that you were not buying the mineral rights attached to your property. This, the state did not steal the mineral rights – they weren’t for sale when you bought your property. And since you do not own property above the north slope oil fields, which are the fields that produce the oil that is taxed to create the permanent fund, the amount of the PFD check has nothing to do with the mineral rights associated with any property that you own. The PFD is a government entitlement program, not compensation for severed mineral rights.

        • Oil was first discovered in this state around Cook Inlet, there are still many oil producing wells on the Kenai Peninsula.

    • That is the nastiest piece of sarcasm I’ve read in a long time, Rick. Stealing from the people to kiss up to the State employee’s unions is NOT a conservative principle. Cut the government not the PFD.

      • Government spending in Alaska has been cut several significantly. The PFD is a government entitlement program, and like other government programs it has been cut as well, because the state doesn’t receive as much in oil taxes and royalties as it used to make. Like many people who demand that state services be cut, you seem to only want to cut services that you don’t depend on or benefit from. Alaskans who depend on the state ferry system don’t want cuts in ferry service. Alaskans who want their children to receive a good education, don’t want cuts to education. And Alaskans who depend on PFD checks don’t want the amount of the checks to be cut. And of course no 9ne wants to pay taxes either. The PFD is not a sacred cow. If we can’t find ways to increase state revenues, either by changing the formula for taxing north slope oil, adopting state income or sales taxes, or increasing oil production, then state spending will have to be cut, including the amount of the PFD. That is reality, and Mr. Revak was mature enough and honest enough to recognize this reality and vote for a sustainable budget.

    • Rick, we’ve had a mathematical formula for PFD payments for decades. It worked. Now it somehow doesn’t work and the state is taking from the mouths of its citizens. There is a line of failed state programs from Delta to Kodiak and back to Change Point all proving individuals are better stewards than the state. You are also overlooking Josh’s broken promise, convenient.

  9. Revak is part of the one-party system, the one that speaks out of their mouth but what they are really saying comes out their rear Revak is a blatant hypocrite and needs to look in his own mirror to see where the filth is.

  10. This belief that support for a “full” pfd equates to conservatism is laughable at best. It’s easy to support big payouts to generate votes. It’s likewise easy to carry that support while in the minority. To suggest that individuals can’t change their views as they absorb the information they are inundated with in the legislature without being considered a turncoat is disturbing. I want a congressman that can absorb info and make educated decisions based on that information, not some hardline partisan that lacks critical thinking skills. Revak has represented Alaskans dutifully and will continue to do so in congress. Ignore the noise Senator, you have my vote.

    • I am a Fellow Combat Veteran and I would not allow him in the foxhole next to me. He has shown by his actions not to care for the people around him.

  11. Revak is a Johnnie Come Lately appointed politician. Should be no surprise that someone who really has no history in Alaska would fall in line with the Horrible Bert Stedmen’s of the world.

  12. Fiscal responsibility is needed in Washington DC, I recall a certain Governor also promising a full PFD. Revak is willing to work across party lines, Alaska does not need a right wing do nothing in our lone Congressional seat

  13. A politician is a jerk and a liar? You don’t say? Republican stronghold getting a taste of its own medicine is all there is to see here. How do Republicans think the rest of the country feels when they vote down a common sense infrastructure spending bill to boost our economy and modernize our image?
    Jerks and liars.

    • A very good argument when a person doesn’t receive christ teachings, putting their faith and trust in God keeping their eyes on him, they are weak, immature, ruthless, cruel, unforgiving, fearful, sarcastic, indifferent, rude, and full of selfish ambition. You know what recent politician I
      admire? It’s not Reagan. It’s Gerald Ford. He had the makings of being one of America’s best presidents. He put country before self, and pardoned Nixon. He was an rare honest, christian statesman among all the pomp and fanfare.

      • No, there’s nothing common sense about expecting private businesses to support public transportation systems.
        The government has a real job, it can’t just be cut away to satisfy uninformed voters who don’t realize the responsibility behind their emotional knee-jerk decisions.

  14. In a major race like US representative many lesser tier candidates run not to win but to lose and then pledge support to the top tier candidate. A very transparent maneuver that usually works.

    Without a doubt Revak knows his position as state senator is finished. He simply can not win reelection to the Senate or anything else that requires a vote of the public…and he knows it.

    So what’s really going on? Revak is running to lose in the primary. He will then openly support the top candidate in hopes of being appointed to some position within the campaign or within the new Representatives office.

    Nick Begich – PLEASE DO NOT reward Revak with a post in your office. It will not be well received by voters.

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