That time when Gov. Walker affixed State Seal on white paper against Pebble mine - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, June 7, 2020
HomePoliticsThat time when Gov. Walker affixed State Seal on white paper against Pebble mine

That time when Gov. Walker affixed State Seal on white paper against Pebble mine

CHIEF OF STAFF SCOTT KENDALL USED SEAL ON NGO TALKING POINTS

CNN and Alaska blogger Dermot Cole are breathlessly pounding their chests because the Pebble Partnership gave the Dunleavy Administration suggested talking points about the history of the project — talking points that were then used to help inform the White House about progress made in the permitting process, and the steps yet to be taken.

“Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office was given detailed talking points, ghostwritten letters and advice on lobbying strategies by Pebble Limited Partnership executives, emails show. Dunleavy and his office then used that material, sometimes adopting the company’s language word for word, in an effort that culminated in President Donald Trump promising favorable action on the mine, according to emails…” wrote CNN.

The headline said the collaboration was “secret.”

Except it wasn’t — the public records made by environmental groups and delivered to CNN reporters gave reporters all they felt they needed to know, because it was not secret to begin with. It was not redacted or withheld, but delivered upon request.

Why? Because Gov. Dunleavy has not been secret about his intent to stand up to the EPA about its unfair process under policy set by the Obama White House and the governorship of Bill Walker, who slow-rolled every state decision on Pebble.

If you read the mainstream media or D. Cole, a “resist” activist who writes regularly for the Fairbanks News Miner and other mainstream publications, you’d get the impression that using white-paper talking points is somehow a bad thing.

And yet, it’s quite common. Talking points are given to governors all the time from subject experts. It’s called information sharing. Gov. Walker used talking points provided to his office by Criminal Justice reform advocates when he signed SB 91 into law, for instance.

And that brings us back to Gov. Walker. What is uncommon is for a Governor’s Office to put a State Seal on a white paper written by environmental groups.

This is exactly what happened under the Walker Administration, yet the mainstream media — CNN, Dermot Cole, etc. — was dead silent.

The document that the former governor put the State Seal on? It was titled “Alaskans Celebrate: EPA Right to Keep Bristol Bay Protections in Place,” and was a clear message to the public that the State of Alaska had taken a position against the Pebble Mine and against allowing the company to apply for a permit.

It was not written by the Governor’s Office, but was provided to the Governor’s Office. And it was jointly issued with the State Seal affixed:

This use of the State Seal on an anti-Pebble Mine talking-point paper occurred under the guidance of former Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, who is now the lead attorney for Recall Dunleavy Committee, the group trying to get Gov. Mike Dunleavy recalled. Kendall will appear in court tomorrow in Anchorage to try to advance his group’s recall petition to a special election.

Kendall, who once again represents anti-Pebble organizations, had previously done extensive legal work for groups fighting the Pebble Project and had never recused himself in any decision making when he became chief of staff to the governor.

The talking points he approved is linked below:

In the Walker-Obama era, this was standard operating procedure. It was acceptable for environmental groups to collude behind the scenes with the EPA to disenfranchise the Pebble Partnership from being allowed to participate in the fair permitting process under the Clean Water Act. The EPA simply told Pebble that it could not even apply for a permit. It, alone among any projects in America, would not be allowed to approach the imperial throne.

[Read: EPA gets it right with return to rule of law]

Now, the Dunleavy Administration is simply requesting is that the EPA does what it says it would do under the Trump Administration, which is to remove the pre-emptive vetoes that circumvent the public process. Let the project advance or be denied on its merits.

What the public isn’t being told by CNN is that the news organization received this story, practically turnkey, from the National Resources Defense Council and that it has no intention of being fair in its reporting on Pebble, on the Trump Administration, or on America. CNN has revealed itself once again to be wedded to the Left and beholden to its talking points.

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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

  • Right on!!!

  • Thank you so much for fighting for us!
    Alaska designated this land for exploration and shall grant permits if resources are found. That’s exactly what happened. If the permits are not granted, Pebble Partnership should sue for the 100s of millions they have spent as well as shareholder losses be reimbursed. I’m so thankful for the Governor and our President!
    Mine Pebble
    Create 2000 high paid jobs
    Gains tax revenue
    Safest mine in the world!!!

  • As usual, your journalism skills are spot on Suzanne. I absolutely love reading your determination to get the facts out there! Thanks…

  • Nicely done piece, Suzanne. But this is not news about Dermot Cole, who is 50% of the little Fairbanks Dwarfs who lie and write for a living. The other 50% is currently living in New York trying to stave off the effects of living a lifetime of lying and spewing misdirected hatred. This kind of lifestyle eventually takes 100% of it’s practitioners. As for Mr. Kendall, Bill Walker’s third rate lawyer and defender of KiddieGate in the Lt. Governor’s Office, he isn’t really much of a threat. Just another idiot who Bill Walker employed. Interesting to note that Mr. Kendall’s bro-in-law, State Rep Grier Hopkins, is trying to organize a majority in the House using LGBTQ as leverage. Idiocy seems to spill over the bloodlines. Contraception can be a useful tool and one can only hope it’s used generously in these cases.

    • What? MRAK didn’t know that the Cole twins (Dwarfs) had previously given 6 “last lectures?” It may take a trip to Birch Hill to shut up these little fellas. ps. Go watch the documentary video about haunted cemeteries. Last lecture depends on who’s mortality is being questioned.

      • I never did care for the writings of either Dermot or Terrence Cole. They never presented both sides of an issue. It was only presented from a Leftist viewpoint, and, it was always presented in a snide manner as though they carried the higher ground on all of the political issues. Whether they presented in a History class or in a newspaper, they could always be counted on to reveal their partisan arrogance and uppity delivery. In most cases they were also wrong. Except for their hardcore base, mostly extreme Democrats, they fizzled out long ago. Old and decrepit now, the Cole twins carry little residual weight in the area of influencing a new generation of young Liberals. Low mortality carryover.

        • The Cole’s extreme Left influence on Alaskans may soon be history. Last lectures are in the can.

          • Two runners out. Pop fly to Left field. Should be another easy out……

  • Secret means, not revealed, initially as a public talking point. So it was “secret.” Integrity demands you reveal the source of your talking points if they come from somewhere other than you and your staff arriving through policy discussions. Not the case here – disingenuous at best. It really is the pot calling the kettle black.

    “In the Walker-Obama era, this was standard operating procedure. It was acceptable for environmental groups to collude behind the scenes with the EPA to disenfranchise the Pebble Partnership from being allowed to participate in the fair permitting process under the Clean Water Act.” This may be true. What is more true, is that more industries write the laws than the people do. Industry has one goal, especially with mining – exploit the resource, reward the corrupt, and abandon the detritus (miners and their communities) when maximum resource extraction has been achieved.

    If you really doubt that, you only need look at the coal industry. Nothing like sucking up to Big Corp (spell it another way!), abandoning your workers and leaving the State to pick up the tab. And to look at what an industry can do to destroy the economy, just look at the long-term effects of Deepwater Horizon which are still being felt for that region and more.

    Sadly, the State can’t pick up the tab because it sucked up to Big Corp. and gave them tax breaks that don’t pay for the long term costs to health, earnings and the environment. People do die. And shouldn’t!

    Bristol Bay is already a great economy with it’s fisheries and relevant tourisms – allowing this abomination to transcend tribal and societal aggregates is just wrong and to support the Pebble Mine is just a environmental, ethnic, societal and generational travesty.

    I’m praying for you!

    • We all know that liberals are projecting their own corruption onto others.

  • What exactly is a “resist” activist?
    It sounds a lot like the GOP to me…they resist all regulations regardless of the origin and they are very “active” in their pursuit to stand up for corporate interests.

    • Steve, “resist” is what you Democrats do when you lose elections. Please be more honest here at MRAK.

  • Truth is so hard to come by in the media these days. I wish there was more public debate, moderated by an unbiased third party. My biggest fear is that the Shame Game has become the most utilized tool in the box and that zealots now completely control the messaging on important matters of national interest. The masses are being treated as puppets, all part of an elaborate game, and as a result respect for the truth no longer matters. This is total bullshit.

    • Thank you for bringing to light the true facts. So important these days

  • Resist activism is a form of elitism, Steve. At it’s core is a belief that if the voters choose a candidate whose platform is repugnant to the belief system of said activist, the results of said election are suspect and void.
    It has been said that in Alaska we have a two-party system, the Evil Party and the Stupid Party, Republicans are the Stupid Party.
    I hope that helps you.

    • Surprise — a media/Democrat double standard.
      Walkers anti Pebble mine crusade follows suit to Walker career on fighting the North Slope Oil producers.
      Walker’s legacy is a dark chapter is Alaska history.
      Thank you Must Read Alaska for retelling the the story of Walker’s uber-left agenda. The biggest crisis in Alaska/America is the in ability of the general population to remember anything further back then six months.
      As a sidebar, I have never met a fellow Alaskan who professed the position of “rape and pillage” the lands or a desire to pollute our waters, or dirty our air.
      If the unbiased engineering and science through the established permit process gives a project approval, then it is the constitutional responsibility of Alaska politicians to allow the development of those resources.

  • Suzanne, thank you for your continuous articles of facts. Some people won’t believe or agree what you write and that’s to be expected. In this case, I think you are spot on. The Obama Era EPA was more corrupt and filled with ENGO backed/written policies. Recall Gina McCarthy the Former EPA Chief that signed the Veto on Pebble? Now she’s the top dog at NRDC. Makes one think of how far and for how long the influence by ENGOs had on the EPA. Again, thank you Suzanne. Keep up the great work.

  • I really am lost at what your point is here. The document simply says the state supports a decision by Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration regarding Bristol Bay. This has nothing to do with Obama, other than they were upholding a decision reached by the Obama administration. Walker supporting this is no different than the state supporting Trump’s position on the Tongass roadless ban
    I do not see how this correlates to using the governorship to lobby on behalf of private companies between private companies. I guess everyone has their own standards.
    Personally I am tired of hearing about Pebble. The two largest mining companies in the world took a look and left. All this shows is how much of a joke the EPA decisions are. If Bob Gillam were still alive the Trump stance would still be the same as that stated by Pruitt and supported by Walker.

  • It is not a question of being right or left wing. It is rather a situation where you have resources that can be safely explored for the good of Alaskans, shareholders and the country. Marketing and information manipulation should not overcome scientific information.

  • They trucked then shipped tons of metric tons of coal ash from Tennessee to China to extract the iron from the ash. I say ship this ore to Canada and let the Canadians deal with it. Why are some many willing to lose thousands of jobs for a few jobs and profit for some foreign company. None of you make any sense.

    • May you never step foot on Canadian soil. Since you hate your own country, why don’t you just relocate to Antarctica? I heard that McMurdo Station is looking for kitchen help. Someone who can turn on the oven without ruining the cake.

    • Biden’s son got billlions from China.

      Democrats are bought and paid for by China as is NRDC.

  • Here, here. I love conservative Canadians. Welcome in Alaska ……anytime.

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