With the Republican primary for Governor underway, freedom loving Alaskans need to think through the qualifications of the candidates and their backgrounds to determine the best choice. One of the glaring problems Republican voters are grappling with is job qualifications for this office. By all accounts Mike Dunleavy doesn’t have any private sector experience contrasted to Mead Treadwell’s numerous private sector roles spanning 40 years helping to build our economy bring private sector jobs to Alaska and the Arctic. The latest being with PT Capital, an Alaskan Company.
Mike Dunleavy’s experience in the State Senate is without accomplishment, and is marred with obstructionist positions. His inability to even bring fellow conservatives to his side during the budget debacle led to his expulsion from three significant committee positions including Chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee as well as a key committeeman position in the the Senate Finance Committee: The committee which is tasked with drafting a budget for the legislature’s approval.
During the winter of 2016-17 the State operating budget was debated, and Dunleavy had a key role. He ultimately opted to stifle the budgetary process from occurring even after many cuts to schools, healthcare, and state university system had been made. He proudly boasts this as a selling point for his present campaign. This unfortunate situation set in motion a chain reaction of several conflating problems.
First, Alaska received one of two financial downgrades by Moody’s and one by Fitch in the immediate aftermath. These ratings become critical when the state has to borrow money for various capital improvement projects all throughout the state. Next was Mike’s unceremonious departure from his positions of influence in the State Senate, which shortly thereafter became the real cause of him quitting his post as a State Senator altogether. However, these unforced errors became far worse due to his lack of prudence in this budgetary matter. The state government endured a shutdown due in large measure from his obstruction and political grandstanding prior to announcing his run for Governor early this year.
The end result was Governor Walker opted to perform an end around the legislature to pilfer the Permanent Fund Dividend. Dunleavy’s involvement simply can’t be ignored as he directly contributed to that situation occurring. With his committee position, Dunleavy had the ability to work with, influence, and lead Senate Republicans. The state could have avoided the shutdown, ratings collapse, and PFD takeaway. For his part in that situation, Dunleavy’s role can not be ignored.
Mead Treadwell has always supported growing the Permanent Fund and the paying of the Permanent Fund Dividend. As a business leader of 40 years he helped bring innovations to market like Google’s Street view. As the former Lieutenant Governor, he is clearly the private sector champion. In government he pushed tax cuts as well as privatization, crime fighting initiatives.
Mead’s expertise has also been relied on by three separate U.S. Presidential administrations in varying capacities. Mead served as Chairman for the U.S. Arctic Research Commission under George W. Bush as well as the Chair for Alaska State Lands Advisory Group. As a civic leader, he led Alaska’s efforts to get missile defense for the nation, and have our own defenses here. Treadwell is pro-life from the beginning, and financially sponsored the 2010 parental notification initiative. Dunleavy simply doesn’t have any background, nor experience like this.
When it comes to SB91 Crime bill, Dunleavy voted for it on the floor of the state senate. Later on he voted against the bill during a relatively unimportant house reconciliation vote with the senate. After the bill was signed into law, he failed to support as a state senator any effort by Republicans to repeal the bill that he was partly responsible for passing to begin with. This is a typical tactic some legislators do to hide their support of a controversial bill, and now a crime wave has beset the state due in part to Mike Dunleavy.
The last issue that needs to be also examined is the manner in which Mike Dunleavy has opted to fund his campaign. His brother Frances Dunleavy from Texas has by one account already donated 305,000 dollars to a Super Pac dedicated to supporting his brother Mike. Frances and sports fishing lobbyist Bob Penny combined have collectively donated 555,000 in their bid to purchase the governor’s office. Therefore, they are an active component of this election.
Frances Dunleavy was employed at J.P. Morgan Chase. In 2014, Frances was implicated publicly as a significant person of interest for being apart of a massive scheme to defraud the citizens of California and Midwestern states by manipulating electrical utility prices. The end result was JP Morgan had to pay a 410 million dollar fine to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which subsequently led to his brother’s departure and the revocation of his securities licenses.
Now Frances’ donations are racking up, yet the decision is ultimately yours. Does Alaska need to have the baggage of Dunleavy as Governor? My hope is that you all may consider that there is a better alternative waiting in the wings.
Please consider Mead Treadwell for Alaska’s next Governor. He is a better suited, and experienced candidate who understands the issues confronting the state. This is why I support Treadwell for Governor and so should you.
John Nelson is a Merchant Marine Academy graduate and former Alaska Marine Highway pilot. He is NOT the “John Nelson” running against Rep. Don Young in the 2018 primary.