Why the $1,600 PFD is inevitable this year - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Why the $1,600 PFD is inevitable this year

Reading the tea leaves, it looks like $1,600 is what will be deposited into Alaskans’ bank accounts in October. It’s the will of the majority of the Legislature, many of whom are Republicans and most of the Democrats.

When it comes to this year’s Permanent Fund dividend, Gov. Michael Dunleavy has but two roads to take this week as he signs the Operating Budget:

  1. He can sign off on the Legislature’s $1,600 PFD, but cannot add more to it.
  2. He can veto the $1,600, and call the Legislature back into another special session to reconsider the $3,000 dividend, which is the statutorily defined amount.

As discussed here on Sunday, the governor is in a no-win situation with the public on this matter.

His critics — Democrats, State workers, and the CIRI board of directors — would happily cash their $3,000 dividend checks as they skip on down to the local polling station to vote to recall Dunleavy. Those critics are not going to support the governor no matter what the dividend is; they were never on the Dunleavy train to begin with.

Dunleavy supporters who are concerned about the “Willy-Nilly Dividend” calculation by the Legislature may lose confidence in him. After all, Dunleavy is the guy who ran on returning to the statutory formula and he hasn’t been able to deliver. He quit the Senate to run for governor to do that.

But the leaves are turning crisp around Alaska, and many low- and moderate-income Alaskans need to order fuel for the winter, stock up provisions, and pay some overdue bills. A veto of the current $1,600 would mean working and poor Alaskans might not get a dividend at all this year. Ultimately, these are the people who Dunleavy has been fighting for; not the wealthy who don’t need the dividend, but for those who face hardship without it. Alaskans need to get beyond the uncertainty that now prevails on this fiscal matter that hits them in the pocketbook.

With the current political makeup of the two bodies, bringing the Legislature back into another special session will not yield a different result than the last special session: The Democrat-led House and the Republican-led Senate would once again use a PFD appropriation bill to add more spending into other parts of the budget, forcing Dunleavy to veto spending all over again.

That’s why, for the sake of families who are living from paycheck to paycheck, Dunleavy will probably choose accepting what the majority of the Legislature has deemed acceptable: $1,600.

It’s flawed, to be sure, since the half-dividend flies in the face of the statute that governs the calculation. Yes, the Legislature will have, for the third year, violated statute. They determined a “Father Knows Best” version of a dividend payment; it is clearly not what most of Alaskans want.

This goes back to the era of Gov. Bill Walker, when he vetoed half of the Permanent Fund dividend, and the two subsequent years, when the Legislature violated statute and paid Alaskans a politically negotiated amount. Then came Senate Bill 26.

SB 26, which passed in 2018, set forth rules for a predictable draw from the Earnings Reserve Account of the Permanent Fund for the purpose of funding government.

The bill was silent on how Permanent Fund dividends would be paid under this bill, which means that each year the Legislature will have to make it up as they go along. There has been no legislation this year to restructure how the dividend is paid, and so this year’s dividend amount violates another statute that has not been revised by the Legislature.

No one is more sensitive to these contradictory statutes than Dunleavy.

But while Dunleavy abides by the theory that the dividend is a transfer to the people of Alaska and not an appropriation, the courts have ruled the dividend is, in fact, an appropriation item. The Legislature is the appropriator.

Dunleavy is dealing with a Legislature that is not going to give Alaskans their statutory due. It’s a Legislature that, so far, has not been willing to allow the people to vote on a constitutional amendment to depoliticize the dividend calculation.

This constitutional matter is another core Dunleavy conviction he has had no luck in getting the Legislature to act on.

As powerful as an Alaska governorship is, Dunleavy cannot force legislators to appropriate more. Calling them back into special session for that purpose would only give them the opportunity, once again, to batter him in the press, and they would quickly blame him for Alaskans not getting any dividend at all.

With a recall petition circulating, Dunleavy also cannot politically afford to be tagged as the one governor who ran to save the PFD, but who vetoed it instead.

It’s worth remembering what this governor promised when running for office: He didn’t promise he’d get everyone the $3,000 that is owed this year, plus the $3,700 still owed from the previous three years.

What Dunleavy promised is that he would champion the full payment and the restoration of the payments still owed to Alaskans.

He proposed a budget, he proposed solutions to the calculation going forward, he wrestled with with the appropriating body, and as winter approaches, he’s probably going to have to play the hand they’ve dealt him. He can always continue fighting on for full restoration of the remainder.

Winter is coming. Something in Alaskans’ back pockets is better than nothing at this point.

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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

  • Nice reading of the tea leaves. The Governor could cure cancer tomorrow and a band of radicals would protest that it wasn’t fast enough. He’s screwed either way.
    .
    I am glad he put some of those vetos back in the budget. I didn’t agree with all of them. But the PFD is a law issue and it just drives me nuts that those that are drafting and making laws in this state are then picking and choosing which ones they will uphold. When you say it out loud it sounds comical! I’m a citizen just like the legislators and I sure don’t have that option! You can’t make this stuff up! But, one thing we can do, in districts where these wishy-washy legislators are up for re-election, work hard on voting them out of office. And, continue to support the Governor where we can. He got snaked by a lot of his own party members. And once again, thanks for nothing Knopp.

    • The only option we have is Alaskans need to remove every legislator that voted down our PFD for this ridiculous amount, and they excepted their pay for the special session II. Alaska we need to stick together and put people in that are for the people and not themselves.

    • You are right on! We the people need to do our jobs and vote Cathy Gissel and her ilk out! We have to put votes where they will do the most good and help Dunleavy do the job next year he intended to do this year!

    • Yes! We the people must work very, very hard to remove these treasonous representatives and demand the Alaskan Republican Party to thoroughly vet candidates that claim to hold our values

    • I strongly oppose giving in to the House and to the government for fighting the governor if he gives in he will be a one time governor that’s for sure I had hoped he would have brought in a special session and said we need to put it on the ballots and then I will sighn it as long as there is another $1400 at Xmas time I could see that but if he can’t make a deal now it’s to late to make deal after the fact

  • This is useful analysis of situation as it exists, even if it doesn’t square with the way some Alaskans believe things ought to be.

    Take the half loaf, so to speak, and fight on for full appropriation and even more importantly a resolution amending our constitution in a way that protects PFD forever.

  • Our rogue and thieving legislature has also become the anti-Alaskan legislature under Cathy Giessel and Bryce Edgmond’s “leadership”.
    -They freely and publicly admitted that they didn’t have the votes to do anything but they were cemented into their cubby in Juneau. Another rule breaking action.
    -Fortunately Cathy Giessel will most likely be recalled, the legislature will most likely be moved to Anchorage (significantly reducing per diem payments), and we will be able to lobby them as well as watch them more closely and comment on their activities.

  • Well nothing new here. Politicians make promises always during campaigns and then when it comes to living up to those promises well that’s another thing. Look at all the Trump promises to the poor and disenfranchised and people living paycheck to paycheck what did he do for them absolutely nothing. If you want something done by a politician you’ve got to threaten them with losing their job and make good on it

    • Steven, this is exactly what is being done with the Recall effort and I suspect it is working its magic here. Change in Assistants to Gov. and the giving back some unpopular vetoes are just a start IMO.
      Just no way to know what is in the air for the vetoing of the $1600 PFD, but I agree with this analysis of why he should consider not vetoing it. The only issue with leaving things as they are is that it will be next to impossible to fix things in an election year (next session). We’ll see however.

    • BS!! Our economy is doing better now and fewer people are unemployed than for many previous years. Plus China is being seriously impacted by the Trump tariffs ( and HK) to OUR advantage And we got the strongest military in the world!!

      • Excellent point but people with Trump delusion syndrome will not except all the positive things going good right now our economy is setting records daily so it’s not worth your time to try to explain to someone who has know way to think without being told how to.

    • You are completely wrong on Trump’s economy. Please do some research; we have the lowest minority unemployment in the history of our country.

  • Walker could set the amount but Dunleavy can’t?

  • The tussle over the Governor’s vetos has demonstrated that while the Governor has strong powers under the Constitution, they are not unlimited. (Arguments by some that he is a despot are simply dishonest.). Allowing Alaska’s version of “the Resistance” to continue to organize and bash the Governor is unproductive.

    Ms. Downing’s analysis of the fate of the dividend is accurate.

    The Governor, with the diffusion if the recall effort, will have three additional years to implement fiscal discipline and align expenditures to revenues. This will likely include continuing efforts to follow the law on calculation of the dividend. Turning the ship of state will take some time but it can be accomplished in four years. That is a worthy goal.

  • Any amount not paid from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve is by definition not a Permanent Fund Dividend. I support the statutory dividend, I do not support a mockery of a payment paid by various accounts and simply called a dividend for political expediency.

    Even if the entire State Budget was paid for out of the PF Earnings Reserve Account, there would still be more than enough to pay a statutory Permanent Fund Dividend.

    • You keep saying this Four-flusher but I expect to get a single check from the State as a Permanent Fund Dividend and also expect a single 1099-MISC form from “State of Alaska” for my IRS needs.
      The accounting of those funds will be addressed in “Funding for PFD dividends comes from:” but there is little question that this will be considered a “Permanent Fund Dividend.” The 2018 1099-MISC form (at the bottom) stated in this section an amount of $287.36 called “Special Legislative Appropriations” that may indeed be what category is used for CBR funds, but we will see what shakes out, assuming Dunleavy doesn’t veto the Dividend.

      • Bill,

        Do you need me to explain it using apples and oranges to you again, did you already forget that too? If it doesn’t come from the Permanent Fund Earnings then it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend, it does not matter if you or the Juneau Empire or anybody else considers it something that it demostrably is not. It will simply be a check from the State of Alaska from various accounts, not a Permanent Fund Dividend.

        • Except the check will say Permanent Fund Dividend, Four-flusher. Further, the IRS will consider it a PFD.
          Doesn’t matter what you think it is.

          • You can justify it however you please, the fact remains that if it doesn’t come from the Permanent Fund Earnings then it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend.

          • You can lead a horse to water…….
            I’m trying to bail you out here Four-flusher. Heheh!

          • Drink up Bill.

            You can justify it however you deem fit, but just because Bill Yankee said so does not negate the very simple fact that if it doesn’t come from the Permanent Fund Earnings then it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend. If the dividend were paid in apples out of a large bucket of apples but instead you were paid with oranges out of a couple smaller buckets of oranges would you be able to tell the difference? Both are fruit and both are round, but they are different. Pretty easy concept, if it comes from a different source then it by definition is not the same.

          • And you have looked up the definition of PFD??
            Here is wikipedia’s: “The Permanent Fund Dividend [PFD] is a dividend paid to Alaska residents that have lived within the state for a full calendar year (January 1 – December 31), and intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely. Mar 26 2019”
            Note here nothing about apples or oranges (for that matter) and also nothing about what source. Heheh!

          • Further Four-flusher, we are being paid in dollars whether it’s from a bucket of apples or oranges. Heheh!
            Can you tell the difference in a dollar from GF or one from the CBR??

          • Wikipedia definition of pfd, seriously that’s your source? Look up what dividend is, here’s a hint, you don’t get a dividend from Pepsi for owning stock on Coke. Read the state statues, read the history of the Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund Dividend. It really isn’t difficult to figure out, you just have a serious problem with facts and accepting when you are wrong.

            I can tell the difference between a dividend from the Permanent Fund and a payment from other funds, it’s easy you just need to know how to read and do math.

            Wiki off, man I love your jokes Bill, you really are a funny guy.

          • Say there Four-flusher, when you can get a single person with any authority within PF to say that these apples and oranges have convinced us that this PFD is not a PFD after all but something much more sinister, I’ll get out a couple of buckets and some apples and oranges.
            HeeHee OH my sides are hurting.

          • That right there tells the tale Bill, you need somebody to tell you what to think, some of us can figure out that a check paid from the funds of the Permanent Fund Earnings from the Permanent Fund Corporation is a Permanent Fund Dividend a check from the funds of the CBR is not a dividend from the Permanent Fund.

        • Four-flusher, you seem to be way off your game here lately. I’m thinking the stress is getting to you or perhaps your diet is in need of adjustment. Try eating those apples and oranges rather than attempting to use them to show something that just won’t cooperate.
          Try using dollars out of different buckets instead and it might come to you. Heheh!

          • No stress on my part Bill, just trying to help you understand the painfully obvious which is apparently beyond you. The Permanent Fund Corporation issues a dividend, the same way other corporations do from time to time, this dividend is appropriately called the Permanent Fund Dividend. If other monies from other, different, government accounts are used to pay you and every other Alaskan a check then the portion that is not paid from the Permanent Fund Earnings by the Permanent Fund Corporation is not a Permanent Fund Dividend.

          • Oh, no Four-flusher-what happened to the apples and oranges example you served up earlier??
            We are still rolling on the floor over that one-got any more like that?
            By the way, my check from last year called it a PFD and so do everyone else involved with it. You are still holding out for some reason-must be those apples and oranges you collect from different buckets. Heheh!

          • You’re absolutely correct, Bill. I’ve failed to describe to you something that small children can understand without a problem, I simply do not have the ability to dumb it down any further for you, I really wish I could but when a guy does not understand the apples and oranges comparison there really is no hope.

            Where did the funds come from to pay that check last year Bill?

          • Four-flusher, I gave a detailed accounting (as reported on attachment to 1099-MISC for 2018) but for some reason it didn’t post. There were essentially three categories listed for amounts of ($670.50, 638.57 and 287.36)-I suggest you look at your own 1099-MISC to get your own feel for where those funds came from.
            Now that “apples and oranges” example is such a knee-slapper that I’m hoping you show it again. Heheh!

          • Bill,

            Those funds came from the Permanent Fund Earnings, as they have for each and every Permanent Fund Dividend paid from the Permanent Fund Corporation since the dividend has been in existence. You can read all about it here https://pfd.alaska.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=KRSQ6VCpO_Q%3d&tabid=495&portalid=6 Pay attention to AS 43.23.025. Amount of dividend on page 11. As proposed, this year will be the first year that a check will be sent out that isn’t being paid entirely from the Permanent Fund Earnings, that means in it’s entirety it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend, but a mixture of Permanent Fund Dividend and a payment from other government accounts.

            I’m impressed that you can laugh about how you do not understand the apples and oranges comparison, it takes a special kind of person to knowingly laugh at them self for being ignorant.

          • Four-flusher, your link is to the statutes and this Legislature has ignored that statutory formula so it doesn’t apply here. That said, you could be correct for 2018 as the deficit from POMV paid out of CBR was for govt. services, rather than PFD. Here is a better description of how it worked for 2018: https://www.anchoragepress.com/news/the-state-of-the-permanent-fund/article_705957de-ac05-11e8-8ccf-1ff7f2eb8a1c.html
            This year the deficit from POMV that the CBR fills in for is for the PFD and I’m unsure how it will be accounted for on that 1099-MISC.
            Now the reason I laugh about the apples and oranges is because our PFD will be paid in dollars whether the amount accounted for is from GF or CBR. Your apples and oranges example assumes that we may be getting part of our PFD in Russian Rubles or Mexican Pesos. Heheh!

          • We’ve already established that some in this legislature have decided to disregard the statutes, but the Permanent Fund Division is still bound by them…since it’s the law, so that is why they have it posted on their site.

            Thanks for admitting you were wrong once again Bill, that’s twice in two days, it really isn’t hard to do.

            Apples and oranges are both fruit, we’ve already covered that. The Permanent Fund Dividend and the payment from other government accounts will all be paid in dollars, not rubles or pesos. The simplistic apples and oranges comparison never had anything to do with what currency the check was being paid in since obviously it was being paid in US dollars (as it always has been) but what funds, or buckets the currency was being paid out of. The apples being Permanent Fund Earnings, the oranges being CBR funds. If it isn’t being paid from the Permanent Fund Earnings then it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend.

          • Do you acknowledge that the Constitutional Budget Reserve and Permanent Fund are two completely separate and individual accounts? It seems like maybe you think they are the same thing

          • Four-flusher, they are definitely different buckets but they both contain dollars (rather than apples in one and oranges in the other).
            I don’t know how the accounting will be handled but I suspect that when the dust clears and it is known just how much is needed from CBR that amount will be transferred from ERA to CBR. An approximate amount from CBR is known but the session may not be done and there could be additional amounts involved (say in another special session).
            One thing, so far, from this is that the ERA has more money in it with this CBR draw and can give a larger POMV in subsequent years. The payback from ERA, I’ve described above, would balance that again.
            Again, this is just my opinion of one way for the accounting of funds (CBR and GF) to take place. And whatever accounting procedure takes place, the checks will be called PFDs IMO.

          • Just to be clear here, that bit about transferring from ERA to CBR would be a only accomplished by a vote of Legislature. I suspect that it would be a suggested bill by Legislative Finance just to re-balance those funds.
            Of course it may well be handled differently Four-flusher, but no matter what method the PFD will be called that in its entirety IMO.

          • Bill,

            You can call it whatever you want and do whatever mental gymnastics you need to justify it in your own mind. The Permanent Fund Dividend is paid by the Permanent Fund Earnings and not from the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

          • Four-flusher, it’s you that is choosing to call it something, not me. For all we know that balancing has already been done-the only thing is that the amount to be transferred from ERA to CBR is not yet known (but eventually will be).
            However it’s sliced the money will be accounted for (or perhaps already done) and it will be replaced by earnings from PF IMO.
            Of course things are still shaking out as Dunleavy could still veto the $1600 and that would force the Legislature to start over in their PFD process. And I’m sure that they are overly concerned about your wanting to call their PFD something other than a PFD. Heheh!

          • What are you talking about Bill? You think there is a secret process where they take money from the Permanent Fund Earnings and deposit it into the Constitutional Budget Reserve so they can then pay a check out of the CBR and call it a dividend check? Why wouldn’t they just skip the crazy antics that you seem to think are going on and pay a dividend out of the PF Earnings? You really come up with some strange ideas man, but thanks again for the laughs!

          • Four-flusher, it doesn’t look like it’s something that’s done before it’s paid out but rather an accounting thing to balance out those funds. That is just an example of how the funds can be balanced as funds taken from CBR are to be returned (as Legislature sees fit).
            I doubt this is something that can be done by Legislative Council between sessions, however that may, in fact, be possible.
            I’m just giving this as an example of how the PFD ends up being paid from PF earnings, even though the funds are initially taken from CBR. There may be an easier accounting method but this would do the job.

          • Bill

            The easier accounting method is called paying the Permanent Fund Dividend from the Permanent Fund Earnings, not this nonsensical twisted scenario that you have made up in your mind involving secret accounting methods and shifting monies from one account to another to pay the very thing that the first account is designed to pay. You’ve lost sight of whatever point you’ve been trying to make (assuming you were trying to make a point) and completely wrapped yourself around the axle. It’s been fun Bill, I hope you learned something but I seriously doubt it.

          • Four-flusher, the decision to pay a portion of the $1600 PFD from the CBR has already been made, unless Dunleavy vetoes it. It was not possible to do it your way so it was not “easier” as you allude to. Further, nothing secret about paying back those funds, as that is required whenever spending from CBR-just at their (legislature) leisure.
            As far as the original point I’ve tried to make is that no matter which accounting method is used, the PFD will still be called a PFD (even if CBR funds are used).

          • Bill,

            There is about $18.4 BILLION in the Permanent Fund Earnings right now, of course it is possible to make a payment out of it, they’ve been doing it for almost 40 years, to say otherwise is intellectually dishonest or downright ignorant.

            You can call a payment from the CBR anything you want, call it a ham sandwich for all I care, one thing that it is not is a Permanent Fund Dividend.

          • You keep saying that Four-flusher, but the legislature has done it and they are calling it a PFD.
            That could all change if Gov. vetoes that PFD program but then the Legislature has to come up with something else that satisfies enough of them to get at those CBR funds, or just go with the $900 PFD that the POMV allows.
            So far this Legislature has not been in favor of going beyond that POMV amount for both PFD and Govt. services and if enough govt. is vetoed successfully it’s possible that the remaining amount would be funded from GF (I wouldn’t hold my breath here). We’ll just have to wait and see so no need to get your panties in a bunch over something that’s not yet a done deal.
            So far I don’t see the ERA getting involved without some serious horse trading on future PFDs. Frankly, this governor has his hands full with the Recall effort and he is in the process of staving off that effort-probably much more serious than how much he can get added to $1600 PFD. Just my opinion.

          • Yes, yes, that’s all well and good. If it doesn’t come from the Permanent Fund Earnings it is not a Permanent Fund Dividend, based on the fact that it didn’t come from the Permanent Fund Earnings.

  • Remember everyone on the list at election time, they will do the Walker this next go around!!! Time Alaskans send a clear message to the pork filled liberals who disguise behind lies that put this state in the crapper in the first place !!!

  • Maybe setting the amount isn’t supposed to be about getting people to vote for you.

    • Andy, the statute setting the PFD distribution was crafted some decades ago, this isn’t about getting reelected or even getting big whopper donations from public employee unions, it is a formula set in law. Now, if the law is onerous, then the legislature needs to repeal it! Wonder why that hasn’t been attempted?

      • It was not possible in an election year (2018) and this year it’s been a zoo trying to get anything done. My guess is it will be next to impossible next year, too.

  • Reasonable assessment of the current political (= power) lay of the land. We’ll see how it all finally settles out in the coming days. I’m sure the Governor & his staff are looking at all their options & how to best maintain ongoing support of the majority of Alaskans along with keeping campaign commitments that got him elected.

    I’ve been working with the Recall Gary Knopp effort in Kenai. I’ll keep doing that as I can. Financial backing of the effort is limited but the motivation is high among the people/businesses helping out as they can. They can use your help!

    I also volunteered to help with the Local District 30 Republican Committee & got elected (by the committee) to serve as a Precinct leader. I’m hoping I can contribute to the process of selecting which candidates will be endorsed. I assumed Gary Knopp would hold certain values when I saw his name as an unopposed candidate on the ballot. I believe I was wrong. So I hope to help, at least in a small way, in helping the party decide which candidates to endorse.

    I think we can’t assume conservative candidates for public office in Alaska will prevail. There is alot of power out there working diligently to have the opposite come true. Help where you can, vote for sure, become knowledgeable of local candidates & hold elected officials (and local party committees) accountable if they don’t reflect your values.

  • the legislators are stealing from us. they deserve to be fired, and even jailed for their turncoatism to the people of this state.

    • Pat ,
      I agree with u

  • Answer me this. The prior Gov, Walker, unilaterally cut the dividend and there hasn’t been any ballot measures to vote on making this permanent so why can’t, Dunleavy reinstate the full PFD amount as per the formula since there is no balanced budget to begin with. Pull it from programs the liberals hold dear, and tell them that if they want the money for this pet programs then they better step into line and follow The Governor’s lead on this.

  • Andy, the statute setting the PFD distribution was crafted some decades ago, this isn’t about getting reelected or even getting big whopper donations from public employee unions, it is a formula set in law. Now, if the law is onerous, then the legislature needs to repeal it! Wonder why that hasn’t been attempted?

  • “Father knows best”? Otherwise known as Republicanism. It never ceases to amaze me how democratic the oil bought “conservatives” of Alaska manage to perpetually be.

  • State is turning purple with more blue than red. Dunleavy thought he was going to have a majority in both the Senate and the House. The turn coat Republicans that allowed the Dems to control the House need to be replaced ASAP.
    Dunleavy has now pretty much put himself into a no win situation. He will be criticized for caving on the Vetos, for the Vetos that still stand, and by those who thought he promised a larger PFD. And his roll backs of some cuts will do very little to discourage his opponents from going forward with the recall.
    I am now beginning to question those policy advisors who helped him into this untenable / no win position.

    • Well AF, you can bet that Meyer won’t be keeping any of his advisors when he takes over. Heheh!

      • Bye bye Donna!

  • Well, Alaskan will never learn. The Republicans are bought and paid for by big oil. The legislators take the dividend all the time, but Alaskan never remember who it is taking their dividend and vote them right back into office. Why are complaining? You must have wanted this to happen. You voted for it. Idiots.

  • That should be, Alaskans, not Alaskan. And that should be why are YOU complaining? Damned typos.

  • As a new resident to this beautiful state it is disheartening to watch the current state government act as they have. A governor facing a recall for trying to do exactly what he said he would do and elected to do? Incredible.
    I come from the state of Washington where for most of my life watch a state government Circumvent voter approved Initiatives, tax and spend at will. A state where they will give addiction free needles and let possess an approved amount of illegal drugs but is now illegal to smoke a Marlboro in your own car.
    Alaskans, you have a beautiful thing. Don’t let them take it away from you. Over time they will if you let them. Vote!

    • Alaska is FUBAR. I give it 3-4 years tops.

    • Greg Forkner & Alaska Grown: We had to move to Oregon for a couple years & We’re familiar with Washington State politics too. We wouldn’t want to return to live either place. We enjoy freedom. We’re hopeful about AK as long as people realize what we have in Alaska. It may not be the easiest place to live but thats ok. Maybe that will work to our benefit. But your right though, its a slow, insidious process, like the frog in boiling water. If you don’t see it happening before you know it your cooked!

  • Dims are lame. At. Least the governor got us $700 more than Bryce wanted to give us.

  • I wish he didn’t give up but it’s hard to fight against a group of PFD thieves. If he does veto it should be a sybolic dollar leavings $1599 (to back up his next step to protect the fund reversing out each year until a balance is struck and we have 50% of current statutory law.) fighting for a full Statutory. Then audit the ERA and add back funds based on unspent dividends. Since you cannot forward fund it should be sent to the people as an increase authorized by the Governor post Session. He could legally take the audited ERA and pay past years…I’m sure their will be a court challenge..but if Walker vetoed the Dunleavy could restore from audited real funds. https://law.justia.com/codes/alaska/2011/title37/chapter37-07/sec-37-07-080/

  • Here’s the thing. We are a government of laws. Dunleavy represents a separate branch of Government whose job it is to enforce the Law. It is his opinion that counts. The problem with the Wielechowski decision is that it eliminates the rule of the law as it pertains to the Dividends. This is why he must stand up for the Statutes, which are law, and see that the transfer of the funds according to the law are made. Until the law changes, the law stands. The license the AK Supreme Court handed to the Legislature makes them happy, no doubt. ” Thank you very much Supreme Court, is there anything we can do for you ? ”

    Dunleavy doesn’t quite realize his power as governor. He can order the transfer as per law. If that transfer is challenged, and it most likely will be, then it must be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Then we will get a decision from justices are who are not benefited by their decision.

    • Boy Andrew, you sound like you don’t trust our Alaskan Courts to rule properly. They were not able to rule without bias for the original PFDs and it took the US Supreme Court to show them, in the Zobel decision, but what is their “bias” here?

  • The issue is simply about elitists like Imhoff, driving the recall, who sincerely despise the idea of average Alaskans getting a shareholder check for oil they own. You can add to it, egotists like Giessel, who’ve taken personal vendettas into legislative action. Between those two, and the people behind them, the governor can not find any reasonable opposition to break bread with.

    You have essentially two groups of voters; those who would like the elites to continue to rule, and those who would prefer to govern themselves. If the latter group doesn’t demand representation that reflects its view, the former will continue to cede power to the elites on their behalf. I would submit, Dunleavy’s election was a step towards voters demanding some accountability from those elected and sovereignty for themselves. How well the public supports him will be based on how earnest their purported desire for self governance. If they do not, then it was just idle talk and false bravado and they never really wanted self rule.

    • You are just making stuff up, Walter. The Recall folks do not include either Von Inhoff or Giessel.
      Granted those two both do not support a statutory PFD but they are two leaders among many. This issue is complicated and cannot be pinned down as you would like IMO. Dunleavy’s election is past news and his support will be evident as this Recall goes forward and “self rule” will not enter into it (also IMO).

  • Statutory PFD or nothing! This article is nothing but an excuse for caving to the radical PFD destroying special interest serving Legislators. Dunleavy should veto, announce the Statutory PFD and then explain why you won’t get it because of the Legislature, and the Supreme Court. He should call out by name people like Weasel Giessel and tell the public if they want their PFD restored to go to the ballot box in 2020. The 2020 election needs to be a referendum on the PFD and the Legislators who want to steal it to give it to the Special Interest groups they really work for.

  • I agree everyone of these legislators that voted against the full PFD should be voted out of office we the people have the power to effectively fire them and we should. they knew the law and chose not to follow it

  • As a Republican, I will be signing the re-call on Dunleavy……

  • Its crap ive been here 40 years government gets its money we get the shaft.you know they calculate that money for a reason the first one was what almost a thousand in 1982 and dropped to 300 following year we accepted it becouse it was what it was supposed to be .and now that its up there so high they want to take it thats bull. Give us our money you owe us.please.

  • Not much of a Republican then are we. Dunleavy as done nothing to be recalled for. He is trying to do what we the people put him in office to do. You must de closet Democrat.

  • Two idiots makes this comment section unreadable because of its format. Perhaps SD enjoys reading a single column of single words one after the other…

  • What’s it gonna take for Alaskans specifically and Americans in general to vote these idiots out? How do lawmakers get away with not following the law???

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