Walker hanging out in D.C. — why?


Gov. Bill Walker has spent much of his month outside of Alaska — first in China and now two weeks in the nation’s capital, broken up by a week for Thanksgiving week in Anchorage.

Pundits are speculating he is back in DC now to make sure he can take full credit for the tax reform vote that contains a provision to open up the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas.

Not hanging around D.C. as much these days is his former running mate, Craig Fleener, who will be gone from the Walker Administration by the end of the year, according to Must Read Alaska sources.

Most recently, Fleener was the director of the governor’s DC office, but didn’t measure up, so he was returned to his position as Arctic policy adviser. He and his family live not far from the Beltway.

Fleener was the lieutenant governor on the ticket before Walker dumped him and forged a deal with the Democrats to include Byron Mallott as his running mate — after primary voters had already chosen the Walker-Fleener ticket. The deal included making sure Fleener had a job in the cabinet, which he retained for three years.