[SPECIAL REPORT] Meeting Dunleavy for Governor in Ketchikan - P.O.W. Report

Sunday, October 28, 2018

[SPECIAL REPORT] Meeting Dunleavy for Governor in Ketchikan

I had the opportunity to go over to Ketchikan on Friday, October 26th to go and see Mike Dunleavy speak. He is running for Governor and after Walker suddenly dropped out he is now in a two way race against Begich. The following are question I asked on Facebook before the event and between the answers at the rally and what I researched online, I believe all your questions have been answered satisfactorily! If not, then ask away and I'll find them!

Thank you to everyone who posted questions on Facebook!

[The full rally may be found here for your viewing pleasure]

Katie Rooks: What is he going to cut from the State budget?

Great question! Dunleavey’s position is that the state budget is way too high. The budget is actually up 13% from last year and there are STILL 2,000 positions in the state government that aren’t filled. His official position is balancing the budget by cutting unnecessary spending. He mentioned in his online statements that he will take a close look at the 2,000 positions in government and see if they are necessary.

“I have a proven track record for advocating reduced state spending. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I advocated for reduced departmental budgets that focused on delivering core functions and eliminating the nonessential. I sponsored bills to reduce the cost of health care. I submitted a fiscal plan that would balance the state’s budget without imposing new taxes or tampering with the PFD. I voted against a state operating budget bill that spent too much, cut too little, and reduced the amount due Alaskans in their PFD.” [Source]

Bonnie Christine: Consideration towards Small Business Development & Rural Development

An important question! He mentioned multiple times that rural communities and SE is important to him (of course he would say that while in SE), However, a little known fact is that in 1984 when he first came to Alaska he actually worked in Whale Pass on Prince of Wales for about four and a half months in a machine shop and has been a teacher for most of his career in rural school up north.

As Governor, I will work with our partners in the oil and gas industry and support policies that encourage more investment. I will work aggressively to reinvigorate our timber industry. I will promote our Alaskan seafood and tourism industries. And I will be an advocate for expanding a mining industry that has barely scratched the surface in terms of realizing its full potential. 
I’m convinced that industry and small business can once again thrive in our state. All too often, it’s government bureaucracy standing in the way. With new leadership and common sense policies, Alaska’s best days are ahead. [Source]

Bobbie Sipe: How is he going help keep Viking open?

This ties in well with Bonnie's question. Mike is a big proponent of the logging industry, fishing and mining. He opposes [Proposition 1] while Begich supports it. During the rally he hinted that President Trump is working on reducing logging regulations and opening it back up and as Governor he will work with the president to open up ALL economic opportunities in Alaska.

He mentioned Iceland as a great country to compare to Alaska. Both locations have low population, the difference is that Iceland literally has no resources other than geo-thermal and yet is still successful and a European economic powerhouse. Now compare to Venezuela which has all the resources just like Alaska and yet it is collapsing. The difference?

Leadership. He claims that Alaskan politicians haven’t been leading to increase economic opportunities.

And with his experience previously in the legislature he claims he can work effectively to accomplish things. He blames Walker for not getting anything done because Walker didn't work effectively with the legislature.

Minnie Woods: How does he plan to support the fishing industry and it’s preservation?

This is an important question! And this may split you or have you support him; Begich is FOR Proposition 1 and Dunleavy is AGAINST it. Dunleavy is very anti-regulations and believes the more involved government becomes, the worse it is for the average person. My take away is he is against Prop 1 because it will increase government regulation.

Arilee Bird and Shannon Silverthorn: How does he plan to support our schools? What is his stance on boarding schools? All our kids deserve an opportunity to receive an education in their home communities.

Great questions. He didn’t actually state his position on this specifically, however one of the other speakers did. He is FOR school choice. The speaker stated, “this doesn’t mean [Mike] thinks public schools are worse or that private schools are better…simply that parents should have a choice.”

Mike Dunleavy has also spent his career in education as both a teacher and then an administrator. He worked many years in rural school districts and it's clear he has more insight into education than the vast majority of politicians.

Tasha Rick Hedding Does he plan on helping to keep our Airport open this winter?

This is CRITICALLY important to Prince of Wales. I wasn’t able to ask him this question.

If you have never met a politician or someone running for politics let me set the scene: there are +30 people all lined up to ask questions, most of the time there aren’t even questions just people who rant about things that they are upset at for five minutes and stop others from asking things [this happened at the Dan Sullivan meeting.]

As a journalist, I only have an opportunity to ask one or two questions, before my hand is shaken and I go on my way.

HOWEVER, I’m in the process of having the Klawock Airport situation answered and have been in contact with state DOT for several weeks now. I’m hoping to have an actual answer on this very soon!

Sandy Powers: PLEASE ask him what he plans to do for AK Medicaid! Last I heard he said that was one area of the state budget he was going to “cut” and I think it’s just about the last area of the state budget that he should cut. Many of the states most vulnerable population depend on Medicaid for critical services.

My apologies for not being able to ask that question and it wasn’t brought up while I was there, however I was able to find an answer during one of the past debates:

Medicaid expansion: Further Medicaid expansion in Alaska had Dunleavy opposing it, but Begich and Walker supporting it. [source]

While short, this probably answers your question better than a longer paragraph.

Patti Whatcott: get our perm fund back

Yes. He was the only Senator to vote against cutting the PFD and his official position as Governor would be to protect the PFD in the constitution (Governor Walker used a loop hole to get to it) and to give everyone their 100% due.

Kim Nelson: What his plan is to help clean up our small communities of drugs and crime ?

Thanks for the question, this was brought up briefly at the rally and the basic answer is that if the economy improved, crime and drug use would decline; here is his answer from his website:

SB91 has made our crime problem worse, and I support a full repeal of the troubled policy. I voted against allowing SB 91 to become law.

We need to end the ‘catch and release’ of criminals. We need to deliver swift and severe consequences for criminal behavior. We need improved response times for rural communities. We need appropriate processing of forensic evidence like sexual assault kits. We need to track reported crimes and be accountable to prosecute those crimes, holding offenders accountable.

By supporting pro-growth and having sound economic policies, I will make sure that Alaska can continue to invest in public safety, and support coordination between local, tribal, state and federal governmental entities to eliminate dangerous threats and improve Alaskan’s experience with the criminal justice system. [Source]

Read More: [LETTER TO THE EDITOR] Vote No on Ballot Measure No. 1

Read More: Trooper Report Week of October 21, 2018 

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