Walker stands out for Alaskans at Ketchikan Debate

In front of a packed audience this afternoon in Ketchikan, Independent candidate for governor, Bill Walker stood out as the only candidate to consistently represent Alaskans’ interests.

Walker stated his support for replacing aging ferries with new Ketchikan-built ferries. He noted that the funding for the recently announced ferries to be built in Ketchikan came from the Senate Bipartisan Coalition. Parnell later criticized that bipartisan coalition as “big spenders.”

Walker also applauded Ketchikan’s lawsuit against the state on education funding, calling it a “bold move.”

On timber, while the governor decried Federal impediments to timber sales, Walker recognized that the Federal government needs to understand Alaska. He noted that the governor must meet with the President when he comes to town and to never sideline state interests on account of partisanship.

Walker voiced his support for local input in the management of coastal zones in Alaska. He showed himself as the only gubernatorial candidate to support expanded Medicaid in Alaska.

Parnell resorted to several unfounded attacks on Walker. Sound bites such as “Bill doesn’t have a plan,” calling Bill a “liar,” and Parnell’s general fear of bipartisanship were viewed as desperate, fear-based attacks.

Walker closed his remarks by setting his prepared speech aside to have a “heart to heart” with the citizens of Ketchikan. He conveyed his true love for Alaska, and his concern that we will “lose what we have.” Walker showed himself as an Alaskan ready and eager to bring the state together to attack the deficit, build the economy, protect the environment, and provide healthcare, jobs, and education for Alaskans.

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Walker Calls on Governor to Release Records

Alaskans deserve to know what happens behind closed government doors

Independent, non-partisan candidate for governor Bill Walker responded to Sean Parnell’s denial of a Public Records Act request for information on his handling of the ongoing scandal in the Alaska National Guard.

“It doesn’t seem right to use these victims as a shield to protect release of these documents. Certainly the documents should be redacted to protect the victims’ privacy – or perhaps withheld entirely when privacy cannot be otherwise protected.  But to use these women to justify a blanket denial of a public records request is a poorly calculated, face-saving move by this administration.”

“The Public Records Act is the average Alaskan’s way of keeping the government honest,” Walker said.  “The law requires a response within ten days, with a ten day extension available if needed.  It took the Parnell Administration 86 days just to say no, and then for entirely indefensible reasons.”

Walker pledged to stand with National Guard whistleblowers and victims until justice is served.

“An administration that holds itself accountable to Alaskans is an administration that Alaskans can trust.  I’m not sure we have that now.  Alaskans deserve to know what their government is doing behind closed doors.”

 

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Walker/Mallott Team Broadens Support

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and running mate Byron Mallott today unveiled a growing group supporting their non-partisan campaign: Alaska Republicans. More than a dozen statewide Republican leaders have endorsed their candidacy as “Alaska Republicans for Walker” and pledged their assistance to the unity ticket.

“These leaders are demonstrating their solidarity with our message of statesmanship over partisanship,” Walker said. “Byron and I are extremely happy these Republican stalwarts have joined with us to pull together for the greater good of all Alaskans.”

“I’m a lifelong Republican,” former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford said. “I was Republican National Committeeman for Alaska for four years, and I served in the legislature for 24 years, always as a Republican. My conservative values are as solid as anyone’s. I’m backing Walker/Mallott because they’ll always consider what’s best for Alaska first.”

Former Alaska State Senate President Clem Tillion joined Alaska Republicans For Walker because of the team’s independence. “Bill and Byron are free to act in the best interests of Alaskans,” Tillion said. “Plain and simple, they are beholden to no one but the Alaska people. That will be a refreshing change in the governor’s office.”

“I’ve known both Bill Walker and Byron Mallott personally for years,” former Alaska Attorney General Charlie Cole said, “and I’ve worked with each professionally. I like them, I respect their judgment, and I’m happy to support them.”

“Byron and I are humbled and energized by this expression of support,” Walker said. “More Republicans are joining us every day, and we welcome every single one of them. These leaders epitomize the mission of this campaign: Alaskans working together.”

A list of Alaska Republicans For Walker as of today includes:

  • Former First Lady Bella Hammond
  • Former First Lady Ermalee Hickel
  • Former Alaska State Senate President Clem Tillion
  • Former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford
  • Former Alaska State Senator Arilss Sturgulewski
  • Former Alaska State Senator Linda Menard
  • Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whittaker
  • Former Anchorage Assemblyman Dan Kendall
  • Former Alaska Attorney General Charlie Cole
  • Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Harold Heinze
  • Former Providence Health & Services Chief Executive Officer Al Parrish
  • Former Wally Hickel Ketchikan Campaign Manager Ann Graham Radford
  • Former Alaska Republican Party Chair Debbie Brown
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Walker Pleased Plaintiff Drops Litigation

The Walker campaign made the following statements in response to news that Steve Strait, the plaintiff in the challenge to the Walker/Mallott ticket, will not appeal Friday’s superior court decision to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Spokesperson Lindsay Hobson responded: “As Judge Suddock observed, this case involved a Republican party official suing a Republican administration over a Republican candidate running as an independent. This stunt by our opponent’s supporters was unsupported by law, attempted to distrct and confuse voters, and was stunningly unsuccessful. We were fully prepared to tackle it again before the Supreme Court, and were confident we would have prevailed just as strongly there.”

Independent candidate for governor, Bill Walker responded: “As intervenors in the case, we are entitled to seek attorney’s fees from Mr. Strait, but we’re not going to do that. We’re pleased this exercise is finished and are eager to devote our full attention to the important issues of the campaign. This lawsuit is an example of partisan politics at its worst. Byron and I look forward to a non-partisan administration where party platforms will no longer impede productivity in Alaska. There are so many critical issues facing the state such as the fiscal and energy crises. We will only solve these problems when we work together.”

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Walker Welcomes Court Decision

Alaska gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker welcomed a court ruling today confirming the validity of the Walker/Byron Mallott unity ticket. Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock’s decision upholds the actions of the lieutenant governor, who issued emergency regulations approving the merger of the two campaigns.

“Elections should be decided at the ballot boxes, not the courtrooms,” Walker said. “We were careful to properly combine our campaigns, and have always been confident we moved correctly,” Walker said. “We’re pleased the court agreed with us.”

The combined Walker/Mallott campaign is the fifth instance of a non-party Alaska gubernatorial candidate choosing a running mate, and the fourth time such an action was allowed on the authority of emergency regulations promulgated by Alaska’s lieutenant governor and the Alaska Division of Elections (Division).

“Clearly, the Division acted lawfully in placing the unity ticket on the ballot,” Walker/Mallott attorney Scott Kendall said. “Our position from the outset has been that this lawsuit is without merit. This is nothing more than a desperation tactic, made in response to Alaskan voters who are electrified by the Walker/Mallott ticket. Although we expected this outcome, we are grateful to Judge Suddock for rendering a wise, prompt and correct decision.”

Ruling from the bench immediately after oral arguments, Judge Suddock cited several factors in rendering his quick decision, including:

  • the emergency regulation is valid;
  • plaintiff’s attempt to treat party and no-party candidates differently is, in his words, “irrational”;
  • the Division repeated a long-standing practice, acting on more than 30 years of precedent;
  • multiple Attorneys’ General opinions over the years uphold the Division’s authority to act in such instances; and
  • the past fifteen Alaska State Legislatures have chosen not to change or amend the lieutenant governor’s and the Division’s authority to issue emergency regulations.

Judge Suddock praised the work of the Division as “admirable” and said it acted with “integrity.” He was highly complimentary to the two Alaska Assistant Attorneys General for the quality of their presentations.

“Plain and simple, this lawsuit was filed to try to distract voters in an attempt to stem the strong upward momentum of our campaign,” Walker said. “Sean Parnell has failed to lead Alaska and has spent our state into an unsustainable $7 million per day deficit. He knows his record of big spending and failed leadership will cost him on November 4th.”

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General Election Debate Schedule

General Election Debate Schedule as of September 24th:

Upcoming-Debates-v2

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Walker Maintains Lead in Tight Governor’s Race

Bill Walker continues to lead Sean Parnell in a tight governor’s race, leading 42/41 in the latest public poll.  More Alaskans continue to disapprove than approve of Parnell, while Walker has strong net-positive support from voters.  Independents overwhelmingly favor Walker, who also has substantial support from Republican voters.

“I’ve always said this race is about putting Alaska first, and I’m proud to have support from independent, Republican, and Democratic voters,” said Bill Walker.  “My goal is to be governor of Alaska, not the governor of a political party. In a Walker-Mallott administration, more voices and perspectives will lead to more ideas and better solutions for Alaskans.”

 A summary of PPP’s poll results on the governor’s race follows.  PPP is the largest public polling firm that works in Alaska.  PPP is not paid by either campaign.
“PPP’s newest Alaska poll finds toss up races for both the US Senate and Governor. Dan Sullivan leads Mark Begich 43/41 for the Senate, with minor candidates combining for 5%. Bill Walker leads incumbent Sean Parnell 42/41 for Governor, with minor candidates combining for 5% in that race as well….”

 “In the race for Governor the fusion ticket of independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott has made it a race. Incumbent Sean Parnell is slightly unpopular, with 42% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 46% who disapprove. Meanwhile Walker is well liked among voters who are familiar with him- 40% have a favorable opinion to 23% with an unfavorable one. Walker leads 44/33 with independents, and he is getting 22% of the Republican vote to Parnell’s 14% of the Democratic vote. Supporters of the minor candidates in the race say they would choose Walker over Parnell 68/19 if they had to choose between the two, and when you reallocate their support Walker’s advantage grows to 45/41.”

Full poll results available here.

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Why I Stood Up for Alaskans in Point Thomson Litigation

Bill Walker issued the following statement today regarding his involvement in Point Thomson.

“In a recent fund raising email that made its way to a cover story in the Alaska Dispatch News, Gov. Parnell claimed my challenge of his Point Thomson settlement was intended to stop development. ‘Bill and his law firm are still fighting the state in court to stop the Pt. Thomson project, where over 700 people were working this summer. Alaskans cannot afford the job loss and lost economic momentum a Walker-Mallott ticket will bring.’

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Point Thomson is the largest nonproducing oil and gas field in North America. The delivered value of its oil and gas is about $160 billion at today’s prices.

Much of the core area was leased in 1965 with acreage added periodically over the decades. It was unitized in 1970s, which means the leases have not expired in spite of a lack of production. In 2005, the State was at its wits end trying to get Exxon to commit to a major gas sale or a 70,000 barrel per day (bbl/d) gas cycling project (gas cycling is stripping the liquid hydrocarbons from production and reinjecting the gas). On behalf of the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, I submitted a detailed filing demanding the State terminate the unit for failure to develop. Shortly thereafter the State pulled the leases in their entirety.

Proceedings were put on hold a year pending negotiation of Gov. Murkowski’s gasline contract. When that failed, the State held a hearing at which I was the lead attorney advocating termination of the unit. One of Gov. Murkowski’s last acts in office was to terminate the leaseholds for lack of development.

Court appeals ensued. In 2009, during a remand to Gov. Palin’s administration, Exxon committed to drill two wells and to build a small gas cycling project of about 10,000 bbl/d, and to build a 70,000 bbl/d liquids pipeline to connect with Badami in the event a full sized project was constructed. In return, Commissioner Irwin allowed them to keep two leases (ADL 47559 and 47571). Exxon is currently completing that small project, and I commend Gov. Palin and Commissioner Irwin for getting it built.

The litigation over the rest of the leases continued until Gov. Parnell settled the case in the spring of 2012. Unfortunately, one of the largest oil and gas deals in State history was finalized and all court cases dismissed in secret, without public notice or comment or review by the legislature, and ostensibly without the right of third parties to challenge its terms. The settlement was not only a bad deal for Alaska, it was blatantly illegal.

Under its terms, Exxon could maintain the entirety of Point Thomson if it completed the small gas cycling project promised Gov. Palin’s administration to keep two leases. The agreement then provided for a series of development scenarios that result in non-core leases being lost if not met. I could write a book on the loopholes, but most of the acreage will be kept through the 2030’s if Exxon does nothing further. That is the likely outcome barring further State pressure.

But Gov. Parnell used the settlement contract to eliminate the State’s right to apply that pressure. Under 11 AAC 83.303, the State can only approve development decisions if they are in the public’s interest. The State’s assessment must include consideration of environmental and economic impact, geological characteristics of the reservoir, and prior and proposed development activity. Yet Gov. Parnell expressly agreed to waive that oversight to let Exxon develop the field however it wants. He even agreed the Department of Natural Resources would not weigh in on any future development disputes, and to resolve them by arbitration rather than the legally mandated administrative and court processes. This is notwithstanding a 2001 Supreme Court decision that the State and Exxon could not contract around the State’s regulations.

In short, this was the worst, dirtiest backroom deal in State history. So I challenged the legality of the settlement as a resident of Alaska at my own expense. My goal is not to stop current development, but to ensure the State retains the authority to force more development in the future.”

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Walker and Mallott listen and learn in Dillingham

On Monday, Bill Walker and Byron Mallott, independent candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, travelled to Dillingham to meet with the Bristol Bay Native Association. The Association is a Tribal Consortium of 31 Tribes that manages Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs programs such as education, social, economic development and related services to the Native people of the Bristol Bay Region.

The full day of events included meetings with Bristol Bay Housing Authority, Economic Development Corporation, Curyung Tribe, City of Dillingham and the UAF Community College among others. Walker and Mallott also met with the only Tribal Health Organization that provides direct health care to local people in 34 communities.

Byron Mallott noted, “There are many issues facing rural Alaska – healthcare, education, subsistence, infrastructure needs and joblessness. Bill and I have vowed to work earnestly to develop solutions that both the state and Tribes can agree to, solutions that are sustainable.”

The highlight of the day, according to Bill Walker, was visiting over lunch with the Elders of Dillingham at the City owned/operated Senior Center. “The knowledge of these Elders, their stories and laughter and their concerns for the community and state they love, are impactful. It is important to me to sit, listen, and learn and try to make things better in relationship building and working cooperatively as we move forward.”

The candidates also welcomed Lynn Van Victor as the Bristol Bay coordinator in Dillingham.

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Bill Walker Warns of Dirty Polling

Bill Walker, upon being informed of polling that improperly identifies the candidates for governor and their respective party affiliation issued the following statement:

“Within the past week, members of my own family were polled on two separate occasions and were presented with this question, ‘If the election for governor were held today, would you vote for Republican Sean Parnell, Democrat Byron Mallott or Independent candidate, Bill Walker?’

This polling occurred nearly two weeks after Byron Mallott joined me as a candidate for lieutenant governor in my independent run for governor.

On Wednesday night, September 17, I was informed by a public official that he ended a poll after arguing with the pollster who asked this question. “If the election for governor were held today, would you vote for Republican Sean Parnell or Democrat Bill Walker?” It was a Republican poll being conducted from Eugene, Oregon. The public official informed him that this was an improper poll with inaccurate information. The pollster replied that he was just asking the questions he was paid to ask.

As I continue to advance ahead of Sean Parnell in the polls, I understand the opposition’s urgency to try to produce a poll that shows me behind their candidate. But to identify me as a Democratic candidate for governor is an outright lie!

Don’t be fooled by dirty pool and dirty polls! I am running as an independent to bring about true Alaskan leadership where people trump party politics every time.”

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Lawsuit challenging the Walker-Mallott ticket without foundation

On September 17, attorney and Republican Party activist Ken Jacobus went to court on behalf of the Republican Party’s district chair, Steve Strait, in an attempt to remove Parnell’s only significant opposition from the ballot. Mr. Jacobus’ theory is that Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell could not adopt emergency regulations to permit Bill Walker to substitute Byron Mallott as his running mate. Jacobus has demanded that the court bar Mr. Walker and Mr. Mallott from appearing “as a combined non-party ticket”. In our judgment, this lawsuit has no merit.

The scenario complained about in this current lawsuit has actually occurred on five separate occasions. In four of those instances (1982, 2002, 2006, and now in 2014) emergency regulations were adopted to provide the means to allow a gubernatorial candidate to select a new running mate. While elements of this merged ticket are certainly worthy of the “history-in-the-making” banner, the mechanics of the merger are nothing new or out of the ordinary in this state. In 2006, the attorney general reviewed the constitutional and other legal precedent and concluded:

“[W]e think that no-party gubernatorial candidates are free to choose any running mate they wish, regardless of political affiliation or lack thereof, whether it be at the initial petition stage or later when the original running mate may withdraw and need to be replaced.”

Mr. Jacobus’ complaint reads like the partisan press release that it is, attempting to portray the merger of the two campaigns as a cynical backroom deal orchestrated by union bosses. As eyewitnesses and participants in the discussions leading up to the merger, let us be perfectly clear — no offers of appointment, employment, or passing or vetoing legislation, or commitments of public funding were made. And despite all of the speculation, both Bill and Byron stood resolute in their personal convictions on certain issues but agreed that they were in alignment on the vast array of issues critical to them as Alaskans.

Yes, Bill and Byron talked privately about a possible merger of their campaigns. Each campaign had been following several polls over the course of the spring and summer showing that (a) Governor Parnell’s performance in office was largely discredited, and that (b) more Alaskans than not wanted a new governor which they would not get in a 3-way race. Bill and Byron recognized that they shared similar views on most of the pressing issues facing Alaska and that the state could not easily sustain four more years of extremism and mismanagement that characterizes the current administration. Their common vision is what led them to make common cause.

Bill and Byron were well aware of the AFL-CIO’s preference for a combined ticket. But well before that, there were voices throughout Alaska, in the business and medical community, among tribal leadership, from pro-life supporters and women’s organizations, conservatives and liberals, local government leaders, fishermen, hunters, farmers, families and students, who urged consolidation for the same reasons that brought Bill and Byron together.

We should not be surprised by this lawsuit. The latest polls show that Alaskans strongly prefer the Walker-Mallott ticket over the Parnell-Sullivan ticket. We are bemused by the irony that Republican Party operatives now believe they must rise to the defense of the Democratic Party.

We express our support for the integrity and competence of the attorneys representing our government in this case and our confidence that the court will uphold the actions of Lt. Governor Treadwell to permit Bill Walker and Byron Mallott to appear together on the November ballot. We deplore the efforts of Mr. Jacobus and Mr. Strait to deprive the voters of Alaska of a choice between the failed policies and actions of the Parnell administration and the opportunity for a new beginning that the Walker-Mallott team offers our state.

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Walker-Mallott for Alaska joins lawsuit to defend right to remain on the ballot

Today the Walker-Mallott campaign intervened as a defendant in Strait v. Treadwell, a lawsuit filed by a District Chair of the Republican Party.

The campaign retained Anchorage attorney, Scott Kendall of Holmes, Weddle, and Barcott who represented the Murkowski campaign in 2010 and has extensive experience litigating election law issues in Alaska.

Mr. Kendall stated: “The replacement of candidates after the primary election has occurred many times in Alaska. The process that was followed by the Walker-Mallott ticket was the exact process used in each of the preceding instances.

Considering this long-standing practice, we believe that the suit is without merit.

The Lieutenant Governor and Division of Elections acted appropriately, and we are confident that their actions will be upheld in court. In our case, the Campaign intervened to make sure that it could appeal if necessary and to represent its interests in staying on the November ballot. We are optimistic that a positive and prompt resolution is forthcoming so that the candidates can get back to debating the issues that matter to Alaskans.”

Spokesperson Lindsay Hobson stated: “Given the expedited timeline of this lawsuit, the campaign, in conjunction with Mr. Kendall, does not anticipate that its participation will require much in terms of time or financial resources. In the meantime, the candidates remain focused on their campaign and victory in November.”

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Walker Responds to Election Lawsuit

Today the Walker Mallott for Alaska campaign was notified of a lawsuit filed by members of the Republican Party in an attempt to remove Parnell’s principal opposition from the November ballot.

Campaign spokesperson, Lindsay Hobson stated: “What is perplexing about this lawsuit is that its self-proclaimed purpose is to ‘protect the integrity of the Constitutionally-protected election process in the State of Alaska against governmental or private manipulation for private benefit.’ In so arguing, members of the Republican Party aim to prevent voters from selecting the only alternative to Parnell in the general election. It’s no coincidence that two polls came out this week showing the Walker Mallott ticket out in front and today we see a lawsuit filed hoping to eliminate that candidacy. ”

Bill Walker commented: “This is precisely why I stepped away from party politics more than a year ago. This complaint filed by the former general counsel for the Republican Party on behalf of a Republican Party chairman is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues facing the state. Our campaign complied with existing legal precedent and received extensive legal advice before proceeding. I am comfortable with the process, and I am confident this case will resolve in our favor.”

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Parnell Required Less Proof from Oil Companies than Victims of Sexual Assault

BP announced this week that it will eliminate 275 jobs in Alaska despite the new tax structure championed by Governor Sean Parnell.  According to Alaska media, Governor Parnell stated that he was “surprised” at the number of jobs being eliminated.  Bill Walker is releasing the following statement:

“The only surprising part about BP’s announcement is that our governor is surprised.  BP’s divestment was announced earlier this year – months ahead of the vote.  Similarly, we heard testimony this summer before the RCA that throughput would continue to decline for the foreseeable future.  Yet, Governor Parnell continued to support the new oil tax structure without requiring any guarantees, proof or evidence from industry that it would invest further in Alaska.

What is both surprising and appalling to me is that our Governor has publicly stated his lack of action on the sexual assaults occurring in the National Guard due to a lack of evidence, despite very public and detailed accounts made directly to Governor Parnell years before investigation was launched.  Governor Parnell has effectively set the precedent of relying on industry’s word, but not victims of sexual assault.

As Governor, I will respect the will of the people regarding SB21. But Alaska needs stronger leadership to ensure that industry invests in our state and grows jobs. Where accountability has been guaranteed from this administration, complacency quickly becomes complicity in the face of inaction.”

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Former PFD Corp. Chair Byron Mallott: Annual PFD Amount Should be Announced by a Citizen of Alaska

Byron Mallott, Independent candidate for lieutenant governor and former chair of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Corporation, made the following statement today regarding the upcoming announcement of the Permanent Fund Dividend amount:

“Congratulations, Alaska on what everyone anticipates to be a near-record dividend. I applaud the work of those on the Permanent Fund Dividend Corporation Board whose expertise and careful work helped yield this result.

I worked as a Trustee, Chair and Executive Director in 13 years of service to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. I know the dedication required to maximize the returns now and to plan for future years.

We must protect and preserve the Permanent Fund for this generation and for generations of Alaskans to come. Responsible state spending is required so that dipping into the fund is never a consideration. This threat has been raised all too many times. As it stands, the state is drawing on its savings at a rate of $7 million a day. We must have a strong fiscal house to protect the fund from invasion to cover deficit spending.

This fund was created with an intent to remain separate from the political sphere. I was disappointed to see a practice start up only a few administrations ago which politicized the announcement of the PFD check amount. I will advocate for this practice to end as it impermissibly blurs the line between this state-owned organization and the state’s politicians.

Governor Parnell has announced that he intends to proclaim the amount of the dividend on September 17th. The amount is set by law, based on a five year rolling average of returns. Because of that approach, the amount of his year’s dividend could be historic. It is therefore understandable that Parnell would strive to be associated with the Fund’s performance but this is misguided. The dividend belongs to Alaska’s citizens and to politicize the announcement is a perversion of a constitutional trust.

I worked hard in my leadership capacities to keep the Permanent Fund free of political interference. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is a semi-public institution not subject to state personnel rules but subject to legislative oversight. Trustees are appointed by the governor for fixed terms and trustees appoint the executive director and approve key management appointments. Governors have made service of trustees subject to gubernatorial removal at will – a practice I believe should end.

The Permanent Fund Dividend is a direct monetary recognition of Alaska citizens’ ownership of our State’s resources as enshrined in the Alaska Constitution. The annual dividend is the result of the work of many Alaskans employed by the Permanent Fund, trustees and institutional managers around the world. I believe the annual dividend amount should be presented in a sealed envelope by an Alaskan citizen selected at random from among dividend recipients and announced by the Chair of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. I will work to make this the practice Alaska follows.

This approach will remind us all that Alaska’s resources are owned by every Alaskan – not by elected officials – and that each of us has a duty to responsibly develop those resources, protect the Permanent Fund and continue to create a strong fiscal legacy for present and future generations.”

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Walker Urges Action on Ketchikan Shipyard Contract

Independent candidate for Governor Bill Walker today called on Governor Parnell to make a final decision to build the new Alaska Class Ferries in Ketchikan.

Walker said, “Ever since the Parnell administration made a decision in 2012- with zero public input- to change the concept for new ferries from one that would serve all of Southeast Alaska for years to come to one serving Lynn Canal only, there has been delay after delay in doing one simple thing: pledging that the state administration will do everything possible to assure that Alaskan ferries are built in Alaska with Alaskan workers.”

“What has been needed since the unilateral concept change in December 2012 is action, not delay after delay.  The time is past to know whether or not there is a genuine desire to use the highly skilled shipyard workers at Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan. DOT’s revised project schedule calls for a shipyard contract to be awarded in the Spring of 2014.  That was nearly 6 months ago. There is no excuse for this delay and no explanation has been offered. I sincerely hope that the livelihoods of these workers and their families have not hung in the balance to make way for big announcements during this election season.”

Walker also said, “While I appreciate the Governor’s insistence that the construction for these new vessels must comply with what has been appropriated to date, I am concerned that this restriction is based upon an outdated budget estimate.  Furthermore, there has been no explanation as to why the Governor and Alaska DOT have chosen to single out and apply these restrictions to these Alaska Marine Highway projects but not to other transportation projects being advocated by DOT.  Alaska deserves an answer.”

Southeast Alaskan communities have long been connected by an extensive ferry system. Large ferries are relied upon to safely navigate and haul people, vehicles and goods between communities. In 2012, the Parnell administration decided- with no input from the public nor his own Marine Transportation Advisory Board- against replacement of these 1960’s era vessels in favor of adding two shuttle ferries to the AMHS fleet that are only suitable to service Lynn Canal rather than all of Southeast Alaska and other communities served by the AMHS system.  

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Walker/Mallott Alaska Unity Team Receives Enthusiastic Juneau Welcome

Bill Walker and Byron Mallott, the Alaska Unity team for governor and lieutenant, arrived in Juneau Thursday September 11th to an enthusiastic greeting from their supporters.

Before commencing their busy schedule, they attended the annual Juneau 9/11 memorial event.  They paid their respects to the victims of 9/11, including the first responder heroes who gave their lives trying to save others.

The gentlemen were invited guests at the monthly meeting of the Juneau Chapter of the Retired Public Employees’ Association where they discussed their vision for Alaska and fielded questions from the large group in attendance.  Other events included speaking with organized labor and dialoguing with students at the University of Alaska Southeast.  At every gathering, people voiced their enthusiasm for the message of unity and leadership that puts the interests of Alaskans above partisan politics.

The two day visit to Alaska’s Capital City also included interviews with Juneau news organizations and fundraisers hosted by the Juneau Central Labor Council PAC and the Tlingit and Haida Central Council.  The events were open to the public and well attended.  Bill Walker, a practicing attorney, also took time to attend the regular Juneau Bar Association luncheon where he visited with friends and colleagues.

According to Walker, the highlight of the trip was a relaxing dinner at the Mallott home with salmon prepared to perfection by Byron’s wife, Toni.  He noted, “I have made dozens of trips to Juneau throughout my career.  None compared to the wonderful welcome and reception I received this week.  What a difference it makes when I show up with former Juneau mayor and my friend, Byron Mallott.”

Mallott added, “Juneau is energized over this new ticket!  We ran out of Walker/Mallott signs and took orders for more. It’s all confirmation that Bill and I have made the right decision to join together for the greater good of all Alaskans.”

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Bill Walker responds to National Guard report

Following the release of the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations Report of Assessment of the Alaska National Guard, Bill Walker stated:

Alaska owes a debt of gratitude to the guardsmen who risked their careers and faced retribution to confront the abuse of power, violence against women, and intimidation within the Guard. Without their courage and tenacity, the victims would remain voiceless in their attempts to report the abuse. And without accountability, this dangerous culture would persist within the National Guard indefinitely.

My thoughts are especially with the victims of this prolonged tragedy. Today, you have been heard. Protective, curative, healing measures for the victims must now be taken. Those victimized while seeking justice must have justice, assistance and closure. Those responsible must face appropriate consequences. I continue to believe that action should have been immediate and thorough. A four year delay is egregious.

Certainly the totality of the Guard, its mission, its place in our respect and hearts and the huge majority working each day to meet their responsibilities with honor must be fully acknowledged and thanked.

This is the ALASKA National Guard and we must move quickly to bring justice and closure, provide leadership to make necessary change, restore confidence and clearly show support for OUR Guard.

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Walker Campaign Responds to Parnell Comments Regarding Merged Ticket

Following yesterday’s announcement that Byron Mallott will join Bill Walker on his no-party ticket, Governor Parnell handed down a series of attacks on Bill’s values and party affiliation. Bill Walker responded:

“This campaign season has been riddled with divisive politics pitting neighbors, friends, and family members against one another. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent filling our airwaves, mailboxes, front yards, and back bumpers with messages that all too often attack and wound for the sake of these partisan battles.

Alaskans have had enough of this bickering. We need to heal relationships that have been damaged this election cycle. It is time to set aside these differences, find our common ground, and build upon it to grow a strong, united Alaska.”

Walker spokesperson Lindsay Hobson noted: “Not only are these attacks unfounded, but they serve as a distraction from the real issues facing Alaska. Partisan attacks have no place in the Walker/Mallott campaign or in their future administration. These non-partisan candidates remain focused on resolving the critical issues facing Alaskans. “

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Why Byron Mallott and I have joined forces on one ticket

On Nov. 8, 1955, Bob Bartlett addressed the Alaska Constitutional Convention in a speech titled, “Meeting the Challenge.” In asking the delegates to set aside their partisan concerns, he recognized the divergent interests and backgrounds that had assembled for the great task. Bartlett aptly stated: “Here, in this element of compromise, is the very essence of the democratic process.”

Gov. Wally Hickel later reflected, “During the early days of Alaska, it wasn’t them and us. It was all of us.”

As Alaskans, we are strong when statesmanship trumps partisanship. We have proven this in times that are personal to me — Alaska Statehood, the 1964 earthquake, the devastating floods. When we pull together, we do not dilute our ideals, we don’t set aside our values – we come together for the greater good, and together, we are strong.

Bartlett also quoted Benjamin Franklin’s comments on the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, “When you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It … astonishes me to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does … Thus I consent to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best. The opinions I have of its errors I sacrifice to the public good.”

So Byron Mallott, Hollis French, Craig Fleener and I rise and to meet the challenge. The challenge before us is the economy, declining oil throughput, unprecedented deficit spending, exorbitant energy prices and the health, safety and well-being of our people.

At stake is our children’s future.

We are in a crisis.

When I decided to run for governor as an independent in August 2013, I recognized that my ideals and vision for this state could not be pigeon-holed into one party or another. I am an Alaskan first, and that is how I’ve oriented this campaign, my life, and my career.

In recent months, it has become apparent that a three-way race would not result in the change that Alaska desperately needs. Following the primary election, we heard from Alaskans from every reach of the state and from every political background asking for my campaign to join with Byron Mallott’s campaign “for the good of the state.”

Byron and I have had many long talks. Through those conversations and our numerous encounters on the campaign trail I have learned that despite our differences we are united in our commitment to serve Alaska first. This is not about political gain, cementing future runs for higher office, notoriety, or pride. As one Alaska voter wrote in a recent email, “This is NOT about political might, not about Democrats or Republicans, nor personal egos. This IS about what is best for the people of the state of Alaska.”

In recognizing that, a debt of gratitude to our running mates, Craig Fleener and Hollis French, is owed. These are two dedicated, highly qualified Alaskans selflessly advancing a unity ticket for the greater good of all Alaskans.

Byron Mallott and I are rising above partisan politics to form the independent team of Walker-Mallott for governor and lieutenant governor. This is not an easy choice, but a necessary choice. We realize that we do not hold an identical set of beliefs. But what is critical is that at this point in Alaska’s history, and looking forward to our future, we must have an administration that is not beholden to any special interest other than Alaska’s interests. Our administration will be a guide so that all Alaskans will see the progress that occurs when we focus on what unites rather than what divides us.

This campaign is about bringing us together around shared values and building the kind of Alaska that all Alaskans will be proud to call home. For true Alaskans, our heritage is much more than simply Republican or Democrat or independent – our history is one of uniting to overcome even the greatest of odds, and our greatest achievements come when we put Alaska first.

On this occasion, I will give the last word to my friend and mentor, Wally Hickel. I was with him when he spoke these words before the Alaska State Legislature: “And let us be sure that those who come after us will say of us, that we did everything that could be done. We finished the race. We kept Alaska strong. We kept the faith and put Alaska First. God bless you, and God bless Alaska.”

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Walker & Mallott announce joint candidacy

We announced the joint independent ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage today. We arrived at this decision to unify and form a joint independent ticket after meetings with our running mates, Senator Hollis French and Craig Fleener, our families, and other key advisers. This is an unprecedented move to advance an administration to move Alaska forward in a positive direction – one that makes every decision based on what is best for Alaska, not what is best for any political party, individual or interest group.

Without the selfless actions of two highly qualified and dedicated Alaskans, Senator French and Craig Fleener, this step could not have been taken.

Leading up to the August primary, several polls showed that Walker was the only candidate within striking distance of the incumbent governor. Following the primary, a poll conducted by Hays Research showed that Walker was several percentage points ahead of Parnell in a two way race. However, in a 3-way race, Parnell would likely be reseated for a third term which we both strongly believe would be detrimental to Alaska.

Since the primary, both of our campaigns have been flooded with emails and calls urging us to join forces. An online petition signed by many Alaskans also called for a joint campaign.

Our campaigns recognized that absent a collaborative effort between the four candidates, deficit spending would continue while priorities such as education, affordable energy, and building our state and economy would again be overlooked for the next four years.

This is an historic moment in Alaska and a momentous decision for our campaigns. We understand that the decision to form a combined team is unusual. But this is not about any one person. This is not about any one party. This is about putting aside partisanship and putting Alaska first.

We are confident that our decision to forge ahead as a team is in the best interest of the state we love deeply. We both believe that Alaska is on the wrong course. We both believe that there is a great deal at stake if we cannot change current leadership. We both believe that our combined ticket is a strong and balanced partnership that is the best choice for moving Alaska forward.

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Bill Walker, Byron Mallott make ticket for governor official

Their arms raised and hands clasped in a victory embrace, Bill Walker and his new running mate, Byron Mallott, declared at a rally and press conference Tuesday that their race for Alaska’s chief executive would be non-partisan and inclusive. Read more >>>

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Walker & Mallot Camps Explore Unified Ticket

Over the past 72 hours, good faith negotiations have been taking place to determine if a joint Walker Mallott ticket is feasible and agreeable. Bill Walker invited Byron Mallott, Hollis French and Craig Fleener, along with key advisors to meetings to evaluate the possibility of an unprecedented fusion of Republican and Democrat candidates in an unaffiliated ticket to advance a united, Alaska First team to represent all Alaskans.

While no final agreements have been reached, Walker’s core values of aggressively securing a growing and robust economy, reducing spending, balancing the state’s budget, standing strong for state sovereignty, developing a strong relationship between the state and Alaska Natives, and reducing the cost of energy for Alaskans will remain firm.

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Walker/Fleener release Alaska Native Issues paper

In Bethel today, independent candidate for lieutenant governor, Craig Fleener, released the Walker/Fleener Alaska Native Issues Position Paper to the Regional Committee. The paper highlights priorities to be addressed under a Walker/Fleener administration. Health care, subsistence, public safety, and education in Rural Alaska are a few of the topics addressed.

The Regional Committee is an alliance of tribes, village corporations, nonprofit organizations, and the regional corporation for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. This alliance seeks to gain a more powerful voice politically and economically to improve the socio-economic environment of the region and its peoples.

The Walker/Fleener paper was presented to initiate a dialogue with Alaskans to learn about their concerns and work toward solutions for Rural Alaska.

The campaign also released its rural travel schedule for the balance of the campaign. Walker and Fleener will travel to at least nine other rural communities before the November 4th election. Many of these are return trips as the team has traveled extensively throughout Rural Alaska the past ten months.

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Opponents’ smears don’t define Bill Walker

By Donna Walker
Polling shows that Bill Walker is the only candidate who can beat the incumbent governor in November. As a result, a target has been slapped on his back.

Democratic fundraising efforts claiming Bill is wealthy with money to burn and just another cookie-cutter Republican fooling Alaskans by running as an independent paint a false portrait. Read more >>>

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Breaking News!! Walker leading Parnell in 2-Way Race

In a statewide post-primary poll conducted August 20 – 22 by Hays Research Group, Bill Walker leads Sean Parnell by several percentage points in a hypothetical 2-way race for governor.

Of the 474 voters polled, 38.8% would vote for Walker, 4.4% are leaning Walker. Parnell would garner 36.9% of the vote with another 2.7% leaning Parnell. The combined totals indicate Walker leading with 43.2% of the vote trailed by Parnell with 39.7%. The poll has a 4.50% margin of error.

Walker commissioned the poll to determine if the results of earlier polls indicating he is neck and neck in a two-way race with Parnell showed any movement after the August 19th primary election.

Walker stated, “These results are confirmation of my belief that Alaskans are ready for balanced leadership. As a non-partisan governor, I am confident there will be a majority of good Alaskan legislators willing to reach across the aisle to get our state off high-center and headed down a path towards financial security and prosperity.”

As an independent candidate, Walker advanced to the November 4th general election by petition. Despite not being on the primary ballot, over 100 Walker supporters flooded Election Central after the primary polls closed on August 19th.

Walker says this is just a sampling of the statewide network of volunteers and supporters backing his run for governor. “These poll results reflect the 16 hour days I and others have invested in every corner of the state. We’ve been in nearly every parade and had a booth at most fairs where I have shaken thousands of hands and answered every single question posed to me. Ours is a grassroots campaign and the energy and commitment of our largely volunteer team is unparalleled.”

Click here for poll results.

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Walker family accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Independent candidate for governor, Bill Walker, was honored to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from his son, Adam, this past weekend. Bill then challenged his running mate, Craig Fleener, as well as Governor Parnell and Byron Mallot to participate. Bill contributed to the ALS Association in memory of his lifelong friend, Gige Hillar. He encourages others to do the same at www.alsa.org.

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Where’s the Governor?

By Bill Walker
Despite its controversy, at least Governor Frank Murkowski had the fortitude in 2006 to take the negotiated Stranded Gas Development Act (SGDA) agreement to Alaskans before it was signed. He personally went community to community across Alaska to hold town hall meetings. Alaskans were encouraged to have their say, even those who adamantly opposed his signature legislation. Facing those who disagree with you? That’s leadership.

Ultimately, the SGDA agreement was not approved. Now eight years later, we have Governor Parnell’s process to entice the same companies into yet another gas line study through incentives provided in SB21 as well as the gas line bill, SB138.

One highly debated piece of the negotiated SGDA agreement was to lower taxes on existing oil with no commitments for a gas line. We now see this same demand from Exxon essentially reincarnated as Senate Bill 21, introduced and signed by Governor Parnell.

The marked contrast between the SGDA and SB21 is the total absence of Governor Parnell from the discussion or debate of his signature legislation. I have attended several SB 21 debates in both Fairbanks and Anchorage and nowhere on the podium or in the audience is the Governor to be found. That’s not leadership.

Ironically, Governor Parnell touted all of the benefits Alaska was receiving under ACES during his 2010 run for governor. Soon after he was reelected, he began to dismantle the very legislation he had long supported. But where is he now?

Why has Alaska’s governor decided not to engage Alaskans by answering their tough questions? Some speculate that it is part of the coordinated overall strategy. The theory is that the powers-that-be do not want Alaskans to too closely align Parnell, the attorney who represented Exxon during the oil spill and later lobbied for Conoco Phillips, with Parnell, the governor who championed a major oil tax reduction for the industry. Yet, there seemed to be no concern that the President of BP Alaska recently hosted a fundraiser at her home for the Governor.

Notably absent from the podium as well are any representatives from Exxon, BP and Conoco Phillips, the companies that purchased the $15 million media campaign to defeat the Prop 1 referendum.

Not only has Parnell not approached a microphone in the SB 21 debate, he has skipped all but two of the dozen or more gubernatorial forums that have been held in communities across Alaska.

This past week, he did not attend the UAA College Republicans and Democrats gubernatorial forum. He missed out. I enjoyed an hour long dialogue with those in attendance concerned about university funding, programs and many issues impacting their future.

Later in the week, I traveled to Nome for the Alaska Municipal League’s legislative priorities conference and gubernatorial forum. This statewide audience of mayors and local officials addressed their concerns regarding energy costs, stable revenue sharing, unfunded mandates, and arctic policies. These folks are the boots on the ground in our cities and villages. Democratic candidate, Byron Mallott, and I were on stage fielding dozens of questions for two hours and listening to their issues. With over 30 years’ experience working with local governments, I know the negative message the Governor’s absence sends to these communities.

At this critical juncture in Alaska’s history, our governor must show up for the fun and the forums. Parades, picnics, fundraisers and bill signings are a cakewalk. The interviews and debates can be challenging. But if he can’t face his fellow Alaskans, how can he be a force in the boardrooms around the globe representing our interests?

We need to hear more from our quiet governor. Silence is not leadership.

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Former Democratic Officials Announce Their Support For Walker

Lt. Governor Stephen McAlpine, Senator Mike Szymanski, and Representative Gene Kubina have formed a group calling themselves “Democrats for Walker”. McAlpine served as the Democratic Lt. Governor of Alaska from 1982 to 1990. Szymanski served as a Democrat in both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Senate between 1983 and 1990. Kubina served as a Democrat in the House from 1989 to 1998. We are joining in this effort and expect many other Democrats to join with us because we believe that Bill Walker is the only gubernatorial candidate with the knowledge, experience, and personal fortitude to take Alaska in a new direction. “The current administration borders on crony capitalism ,” McAlpine said, “with millions of dollars being spent on consultants, advisors, and studies, some that duplicate work that has been done before.” Szymanski notes that it is the responsibility of the government to balance each year’s budget, “that is not being done,” he said. “Instead, we are borrowing against our reserves to the tune of 7 million dollars per day. That is not only unsustainable, it is totally irresponsible.” Kubina said, “the Governor is burning through our Constitutional Budget Reserve, that was created under our watch, and giving it back to his friends via tax cuts and fat money contracts, while failing to meet the needs of our University and schools throughout the state. Kubina is a retired educator and served as minority leader and on legislative committees with education oversight throughout his tenure.” McAlpine went on to say “the governor has the unique ability to control unbridled spending with the judicious exercise of his veto. This governor acts like he has a broken wrist.”

It is our belief that Bill Walker, a Republican running as an Independent, is best able to work across party lines to ensure that the principal needs of Alaskans are met. He knows that reducing the cost of energy in our state must be a priority of the next administration and that the current administration has exerted no effort beyond the commission of multiple costly studies. Bill has a remarkable record of achievement and an unlimited capacity for work. He is a firm believer that our natural resources are to be developed for the common good of Alaska and its citizens and will stand firmly in the camp of the people of our state. Bill is not a career politician and has no interest in developing a political career. He is a father and a grandfather, a lifelong Alaskan who believes in the rugged individualism that built our great state and who firmly believes that there are enough Alaskans who share that same spirit of hard work and accomplishment. We are convinced that Bill Walker is the best choice to lead our great state and ask that our fellow Democrats join with Republicans, Non-partisans, and Independents to elect him as our next governor.

For further information contact Stephen McAlpine at (907) 277-5542 or stephenmcalpine@gmail.com

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Another Gubernatorial Forum without the Governor

Today, Thursday, August 14, independent candidate Bill Walker participated in his 13th gubernatorial forum for the 2014 election. It was hosted by the Alaska Municipal League (AML) in Nome at its annual legislative meeting to discuss and prioritize statewide issues affecting local communities.

Over 100 mayors and officials from communities across the state, as well as a large crowd of Nome residents were in attendance. Democratic candidate, Byron Mallott, also participated. Governor Sean Parnell was not in attendance. Parnell also did not participate in Monday’s gubernatorial debate hosted by UAA College Democrats and Republicans. Parnell has participated only in the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce debate and an AARP sponsored forum for 8th graders, both held in April.

During Thursday’s AML forum, Walker and Mallott fielded numerous questions from those in attendance over the course of a two-hour dialogue. Walker commented, “Why the Governor would decline an invitation to gather with local leaders from around the state and listen to their concerns is a mystery. These folks are boots on the ground in their communities and are the pulse of what is happening in our state.”

Walker noted that keys areas of current concern include energy costs, stable revenue sharing, unfunded mandates, property tax exemptions forced on local communities, Arctic policies and a lack of support and leadership in the current Administration. Walker, a municipal attorney and former mayor of Valdez, has been a frequent speaker and participant at AML events over the decades.

On Wednesday, Walker was in Gambell. He spoke at the Arctic Resource Development & Infrastructure Conference on Alaska Oil & Gas Development.

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Bill Walker and Craig Fleener Placed on Ballot for the November General Election

Bill Walker, independent candidate for governor and Craig Fleener, candidate for lieutenant governor, announced today that they have received confirmation the campaign will proceed to the general election. The Alaska Division of Elections notified each of the candidates yesterday afternoon that the requisite number of signatures has been certified to place the Walker/Fleener team on the November ballot.

Walker stated: “Today is a great day for the Walker/Fleener campaign. We thank every Alaskan voter and volunteer who helped make this petition campaign a great success. Craig and I submitted roughly 12,000 signatures to the Division of Elections – double what was required to get on the ballot. We are the first team to make it to the general election. We are extremely proud of this statewide effort.”

As independent candidates, Walker and Fleener each had to gather 3,017 signatures in order to appear on the ballot. For the independent, nonpartisan candidates, their “primary election” was the gathering of the required signatures. Having concluded that process, both candidates now look forward to the November election.

Walker concluded: “Gathering signatures from voters across the state was rewarding and helped us jump start our momentum by connecting with Alaskans in a variety of communities and forums this past year. The energy of this campaign continues to build as our base of supporters and volunteers rapidly expands. Our focus now is on the next 85 days as we surge ahead to the general election.”

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Walker Reports on Grassroots Campaign Contributions

Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker filed his APOC campaign finance report on Monday showing contributions exceeding $259,000 and widespread, statewide support.  More than 600 contributions came primarily from Alaskans in 39 communities.  Almost 70% of the donations were $100 or less.  Since the start of the campaign, Walker has received over 1500 contributions totaling more than $460,000.

According to Walker, “With a great statewide network of volunteers, we have been able to run a lean, but very effective, machine.  While we have had more momentum than money, we have spent our funds wisely, having purchased some prime media into November.”  As an independent candidate, Walker will not be on the August primary ballot but will face the Republican and Democratic primary election winners in the November general election.

The report also reflects Walker’s total personal financial commitment to Alaskans who he said are his only “special interest group.”  Since his campaign began, Walker has contributed over $190,000 which he considers to be an investment in the future of Alaska.  $170,000 of that was contributed during this reporting period.  Walker paid personally for much of his extensive state-wide travel expenses.  With the scarcity of available media purchases, Walker also contributed personal funds to pre-pay and secure media buys into the fall.

Walker noted that his lieutenant governor running mate, Craig Fleener, has been on two extended out-of-state duty assignments with the Alaska National Guard during this reporting period.  Accordingly, Fleener’s attention has been diverted from campaigning and fundraising to serving his state and country.

Walker concluded, “I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish on a grassroots level that is being reflected in recent polling as my numbers climb.  We have the volunteer energy, enthusiasm and momentum that money cannot buy.  We are well-positioned for victory in November.”

 

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Walker says he’s taking Hickel’s advice, running as independent

In his second bid to become Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker is running neither as a Republican nor a Democrat. Following advice he said he received from the late Gov. Wally Hickel — advice he ignored at the time — Walker is running as an independent Read more >>>

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Walker says Parnell leading state into another doomed pre-election gas line study

Bill Walker issued the following statement:

“Today Governor Parnell announced yet another gas line study and incorrectly claims that it is further than we’ve ever been on a gas line. Parnell fails to recognize that the Yukon Pacific Corporation, after spending approximately $100M of private sector funding, obtained all senior federal and state regulatory permits and authority for an LNG project. These included pipeline right-of-ways to tidewater, environmental impact statements, an LNG export license, and Asian market engagement. With this latest pre-election announcement, Governor Parnell’s press release acknowledges that efforts to secure permits, an export license and market engagement have not yet commenced.

The Yukon Pacific Corporation’s efforts, spearheaded by Governor Egan and Governor Hickel, did not result in a gas line / LNG project solely because the North Slope leaseholders refused to sell gas into the project because it would compete with their other projects worldwide. Governor Parnell has now placed the control of Alaska’s future in the hands of the very companies who have blocked this project for decades.

This pre-election announcement is nothing more than electioneering at its worst and risks the future of this state. It places control in the boardrooms of Houston, London and Calgary where decisions will be made that are best for these companies and their shareholders. As we have seen time and time again, this has not resulted in a large volume gas line/LNG project that delivers low cost energy first, to Alaskans, and then to the lucrative Asian markets.

Alaskans are rightfully concerned that we are entering into another doomed study while the market opportunities continue to pass us by.”

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Walker & Parnell Neck to Neck in 2-Way Gubernatorial Poll

The 2nd Quarter Alaska Survey poll completed by Ivan Moore Research was conducted statewide June 19-23, 2014 and included a sample size of 584 (316 landline, 268 cellphone) with a margin of error of 4.05%. Here are the poll results on the governor’s race followed by a link to the Ivan Moore Research summary:

(1) If the 2014 General election for Governor was held today, and the candidates were ____ for whom would you vote for Governor?

Bill Walker, Independent 28.5%
Sean Parnell, Republican 42.3%
Byron Mallott, Democrat 16.1%
Not sure 13.2%

(2) How about if the candidates were _____ for whom would you vote for Governor?

Bill Walker, Independent 45.1%
Sean Parnell, Republican 46.3%
Not sure 8.6%

(3) How about if the candidates were _____ for whom would you vote for Governor?

Byron Mallott, Democrat 34.0%
Sean Parnell, Republican 54.9%
Not sure 11.1%

Click here to view the Ivan Moore poll summary.

Bill Walker issued the following statement:

“These poll results are confirmation that our grass roots efforts are succeeding. We have sixteen campaign co-chairs from all regions of Alaska – – from Bella Hammond in Lake Clark to Clem Tillion in Halibut Cove to Shirley Marquardt in Unalaska to Roger Hickel in Anchorage. Campaign coordinators around the state have organized a Walker for Governor July 4th presence in parades and booths in eight communities. In every nook and cranny of the state, Alaskans are requesting bumper stickers, campaign signs and T-shirts.

I am pleased that with four months to go, the polls show me within one point of the incumbent in a head to head matchup. In a three way matchup, they show that the majority of Alaskans would vote for a candidate other than Sean Parnell. These results also explain Parnell’s recent personal attacks on me through social media and in his campaign emails and presentations.

I will maintain my focus on meeting with and listening to Alaskans. I will keep my shoulder to the wheel to find solutions to the $7 million a day spending deficit (according to economist Scott Goldsmith) that has erupted under Governor Parnell. This deficit will continue to expand for the next ten years and beyond, according to the Parnell administration’s own forecasts. These poll results show that Alaskans are realizing that six years under this administration are enough.”

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Bill Walker Statement on Craig Fleener Op-ed

The Bill Walker for Governor campaign issued the following statement regarding Craig Fleener’s Compass piece published in the Anchorage Daily News (“Parnell’s no-show was par for the course in state, tribal relations”).

It is important to note that two events are at issue:

1) The NCAI conference where Governor Parnell was listed on the program (pg. 6) to give a welcoming address and did not take the stage when introduced. Attendees were told by NCAI organizers that he was delayed in traffic.

2) At the NCAI/AFN candidate forum later in the day, gubernatorial candidates, Bill Walker and Byron Mallott, as well as attendees knew in advance that Governor Parnell would not be attending. As a Native Alaskan candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Craig Fleener also participated in this forum.

Craig Fleener’s opinion piece addresses the first event, and more importantly, the underlying issues and concerns regarding the Governor’s dealings with Alaska’s First People issues.

While there appears to be a miscommunication between the Governor’s Office and the NCAI or within NCAI, it’s disappointing that Governor Parnell personally attacks Craig Fleener’s integrity, stepping over the true message raised by his article. Despite the press release from the Governor’s office, from the perspective of attendees, he was a no-show as the welcoming speaker at the NCAI conference.

Bill Walker added: “By the time I arrived at the candidate forum, there was a lot of discussion among conference participants that Parnell did not show at the conference earlier in the day as stated in the program. Perhaps there is an issue there for conference leadership and the Parnell administration to work out. Regardless of his unavailability, it is disappointing – especially given the Governor’s advance notice of the event – that he neglected to address the crowd by video message or prepared statement as he has done for other important and dignified audiences in the past.

The fact that Parnell used his office to issue a politically motivated press release to take personal digs at another candidate, Craig Fleener, whom I personally know to be a man of the highest integrity, is now the greater issue which violates AS 39.52.120.”

Walker stated: “I urge the governor to focus our limited state resources on state issues, rather than to inject his office into political matters.

The Walker campaign has not received information indicating that Craig Fleener’s article relied on inaccurate information regarding Parnell’s failure to attend the NCAI opening ceremony. However, Parnell’s absence from the candidate forum hosted by AFN was known in advance to all candidates and is not the absence mentioned in Fleener’s article.”

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Free Falling @ $7 Million Per Day!

Alaska faces a multi-billion dollar deficit yet we are burning through our savings account at the rate of $7 million per day! Resources are being wasted while funding for education, infrastructure and critical services is threatened.

A high bid of $1.5 million was accepted to paint and improve the exterior of the governor’s mansion. Litigation has ensued over that deal gone bad. Help me occupy the governor’s residence and let’s stop this careless spending.

Bethel Legislative OfficesThe state is incurring a no-bid $80 million lease obligation for Taj Mahal-like spare Anchorage legislative offices. Two glass elevators and bathroom stalls with maple doors are featured. I visited the legislative offices in Bethel recently. A significantly more modest office suffices there. As governor, I will outright reject lavish spending of our diminishing resources.

Four years ago, I ran for governor with a plan to get Alaska’s gas to Alaskans first and then to the world via LNG exports to the Asian markets. Governor Parnell was fixed on the highway route to Canada. That failed study has cost us $330 million and counting.

Last year, Parnell supported the small bullet gas line study for $400 million. This year, he has finally recognized the benefits of the large volume LNG project. But he insists that TransCanada and the three leaseholders with competing projects all over the world must control the decision making. His new 18 month study is $90 million. If you are ready to dismiss study hall and start building a gas line, I am your candidate and I need your support.

My parents fought for Statehood so we could control our destiny. When Governor Hickel asked me to run for governor in 2009, he knew I would lead with the authority and confidence of an “owner state” governor. His greatest fears are being realized as we become an “owned state.”

As governor, I will be that independent leader who will rise above politics and special interests and put Alaskans first in every decision I make.

Alaska First! It’s time.

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Walker’s Statement Regarding the Signing of SB138 into Law

Bill Walker expressed disappointment today regarding Gov. Parnell’s Senate Bill 138. Walker has several decades of experience and a legal career largely devoted to these types of negotiations. He has been outspoken in his concern about unfair deals for Alaska. His skepticism, though initially met with resistance, has routinely been realized after the fact. Based on his experience Walker understands that the hallmarks of a fair deal for Alaska include:

  • An open process leading up to and following the negotiations. This includes public testimony and documents made available for public review
  • No tax concessions. The Alaska constitution prohibits using state taxes as a bargaining chip in negotiating. This provision protects Alaskans. This right must not be relinquished.
  • Timing. Look at the proximity of a gas line deal to the next election (SB 21 vote and the governor’s re- election bid) and ask, “Is this a plan for our future or for someone else’s?”
  • The purpose of the contract must be to actually construct a gas line. We have already paid $1 billion in studies during the Parnell administration. A good deal for Alaska builds upon those studies and constructs a gas line.

A fair deal for Alaska should answer “YES” to all of the following questions

Recent gas line contracts Did it employ an open process? Did it maintain the State’s right to tax? Was it signed in a non-election year? Was it a contract to construct a gasline?
The Stranded Gas Act YES. Public hearings held across the state. NO. Sought a constitutional amendment. NO. Signed in 2006, the final year of the Murkowski administration NO. Contract to negotiate.
SB 138 NO. Deal was announced to the public only after it had been fully negotiated. NO. The State receives its royalty share in gas in place of taxes. NO. Governor Parnell is currently running for reelection. NO. This is a contract for an 18-month study.

Walker stated, “Governor Parnell has once again led Alaskans astray on a path of closed doors, giveaways and hidden agendas to enter into a new study. After 5 years of signing $300 million plus in checks to TransCanada and Exxon under AGIA with nothing to show for it, Gov. Parnell starts over with yet another gas line study. He gives TransCanada Alaska’s seat at the table and again puts the control of Alaska’s future in the hands of companies with competing LNG projects worldwide. Until we have a governor who understands Alaska’s role in the world market us to occupy the head seat at the negotiating table, we will continue to sign checks, concede constitutionally required tax revenue, and be pushed aside in favor of competing LNG projects elsewhere. SB 138 begins yet another pre-election 18 month study and is an example of Alaska being taken advantage of and shortchanged.”

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Former First Lady Bella Hammond & Former AG Charlie Cole Support Walker

Bill Walker made the following statement:

“I am honored and humbled to receive the support of former First Lady Bella Hammond and former Attorney General, Charlie Cole.

At Mrs. Hammond’s invitation, my wife Donna and I spent the day with her recently at her home on Lake Clark. We were greeted with a homemade pot of lentil soup and spent several hours reminiscing about the late Governor Jay Hammond and the wonderful life they shared together. Mrs. Hammond is very concerned about the direction in which the state is headed and feels we need a leader who truly understands and represents Alaskans and is not afraid to stand up to special interests. Probably the highlight of the campaign for me to date was planting a Walker for Governor yard sign on Mrs. Hammond’s 160 acres and proudly signing her on as an honorary campaign co-chair.

I have known and worked professionally with former Attorney General Charlie Cole for many years. At my May 1st campaign event in Fairbanks, Mr. Cole asked to speak. He concluded by saying, ‘In all these years I have worked with Bill, I have found him to be a person of integrity. I think that’s probably the most important characteristic of our political leaders. I am pleased he is running for governor. I support him for the reasons he has told you about today and for the man I know.’

These are truly great Alaskans who understand where we have been, what our potential is, and fear where we are headed. It is a privilege to have their support.”

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Bill Walker’s Statement on Texas Resident, Richard Rabinow’s Confirmation to Alaska Gas Line Board

Bill Walker issued the following statement in response to the Richard Rabinow’s confirmation to the Alaska Gas Line Board:

“Bad history was made today for Alaska with the confirmation of Houston, Texas resident, Richard Rabinow’s confirmation by the Alaska Legislature to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. Board. Rabinow is a former oil industry executive having served 34 years with ExxonMobil.

Alaskans continue to be baffled and alarmed by Governor Parnell’s dogged insistence on placing out of state oil industry representatives in key Alaska board positions. Here, the law that made his September appointment of Rabinow illegal was changed nearly overnight to legalize the governor’s actions.

As governor, I will never appoint an out of state board member over Alaskans to serve on our boards. Highly qualified non-Alaskans can continue to be hired as consultants but they should not negotiate and make critical decisions on behalf of Alaskans.”

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Walker Calls Parnell’s Houston Oil Executive Gas Line Appointment an Affront to Alaskans

Bill Walker issued the following statement in response to the Alaska Legislature’s passage today of a bill to permit non-residents to serve on the AGDC Board:

“As an Alaskan who has worked for several decades to build the all-Alaska gas line to tidewater for LNG export to the Asian market, I am baffled by Governor Parnell’s tenacity in making sure an out-of-state resident and former Exxon executive is placed on the state’s gas line board. When state law prohibited Parnell from appointing a Houston resident to a state board, Parnell dug his heels in, changed the law and made it retroactive to last September in order to make his illegal appointment legal.

Exxon, for whom Parnell represented as an attorney, has refused to sell gas to the Asian market for decades and has been a roadblock to Alaska’s gas line development. I have complained for years that there is nobody on Alaska’s side of the table in gas line negotiations. The fact that our governor, who also worked as a lobbyist for Conoco Phillips, would change the law in order to have an Exxon man negotiate for Alaska is further confirmation that Parnell is not wearing the people’s uniform. This is an affront to the Alaskans he was elected to represent.”

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Bill Walker to participate at Arctic Man as a celebrity skier

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker has accepted an invitation to participate as a celebrity skier at Arctic Man on April 11th.

Arctic Man is an extreme race held annually near Summit Lake. Last year, the weeklong event attracted more than 13,000 spectators from around the world. Walker, as all participants, will begin at an elevation of 5,800 feet and ski down 1,700 feet to the bottom of a narrow canyon where he will meet up with his partner on a snowmachine. He will then be towed behind the snowmachine for 2.5 miles to the finish line.

Walker is a lifelong skier. He learned to ski at a young age at Ft. Greely and was a pioneer backcountry and heliskier on Thompson Pass outside of Valdez – currently home to extreme skiing and snowboarding events.

Walker stated: “I’m honored by the invitation to participate in the 29th annual Arctic Man, and I look forward to the adventure. I so admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Howard Theis who puts this incredible event on each year.”

The Walker campaign hopes for a safe event for all and wishes the best of luck to the participants.

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Walker and Mallot Participate in Gubernatorial Forums

Gubernatorial candidates, Bill Walker (I) and Byron Mallott (D) will participate in a gubernatorial forum on Wednesday, April 2nd sponsored by the Alaska Native Village CEO Association (ANVCA) Conference. The conference theme is Mining and Resource Development. The forum will be held at the Dena’ina Convention Center at 12:15pm.

ANVCA is a non-profit organization made up of village corporations to advocate on behalf of Alaska natives and village corporations. Approximately 250 – 300 leaders will attend the conference.

Walker and Mallott also participated in the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) gubernatorial debate on March 7th. Both also accepted invitations to address the AFL-CIO in Juneau on February 5th and 6th and the Alaska State Employees’ Association executive board in Anchorage on March 15th.

All gubernatorial candidates have been invited to participate in several forums later this month. Walker has confirmed his participation in the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce debate on April 28th, the Alaska Professional Firefighters’ Conference forum in Ketchikan on April 29th and the AARP forum in Anchorage on April 30th.

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Walker Joins Valdez “Choose Respect” March & Commemorates Earthquake & Oil Spill Anniversaries

Bill Walker is in Valdez today to participate in the 50 year anniversary of the 1964 Earthquake.

He also joined Valdez residents to march with Governor Sean Parnell and his wife, Sandy, in the “Choose Respect” rally this morning.

Walker commented, “Although there are many issues that divide Governor Parnell and me, we both agree that ending domestic violence and sexual abuse must be one of Alaska’s highest priorities. Statewide education and awareness is the first step in eradication of this epidemic.”

Walker grew up in Valdez and his family lost all of their material possessions in the 1964 earthquake. He always credits his dad for making him work construction on that Good Friday holiday which kept him from being on the dock with his friends, some of whom lost their lives.

In media interviews aired this week, Walker recalls how communities around the state came to the aid of the communities suffering the greatest loss. “This is the Alaska where I grew up, where we relied upon one another and pulled together to accomplish whatever had to be done,” Walker recalled.

This week also marked the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Flying into Valdez that day, Walker says he will never forget the sight of the oil blackened Prince William Sound waters known for their pristine beauty. As city attorney for Valdez, he spent many months working with industry, government and the communities of Prince William Sound to deal with the aftermath.

The Prince William Sound Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSCAC) was formed soon after to give the impacted communities a voice in industry activities in the Sound, the Gulf of Alaska and Cook Inlet. Walker served as the PWSCAC president for many years. Walker observed, “Apathy creates the biggest risk of another devastating event. I have seen firsthand how the citizen stakeholders can make a significant difference in the prevention of another spill. We must remain ever vigilant to prevent another catastrophe.”

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Parnell’s Latest Gas Line Study Joins a Long List of Poorly Vetted Decisions

Governor Parnell’s latest pre-election gas line study steamrolling through the legislature is yet another poorly vetted, exorbitantly expensive folly. It does not end AGIA and does not involve the market players critical to project development. It gives TransCanada, Alaska’s seat at the table. Alaska remains in the stands watching those with competing projects around the globe with their own LNG projects call the shots on Alaska’s future.

In the face of massive deficits impacting our schools and families, Governor Parnell continues to throw money at anything that moves without proper vetting. The small volume gas line study last year for $400 million, the big gas line study this year for $90 million, and the spare offices for legislators for $30-40 million are a few examples. Meanwhile, he snaps the state wallet shut for education forcing massive teacher layoffs and overcrowded classrooms.

Other recent “poorly vetted” actions by Governor Parnell include his Governor Christie-like funding threats to Ketchikan in light of their education funding litigation and his appointment of a California oilman to the state board that reviews oil and gas property tax valuations. In fact when Governor Parnell erupted during his press conference and stated he might consider firing the entire board because he believes they set the pipeline value too high, the lion in him finally roared. Too bad he was roaring against Alaskans and what is in Alaska’s best interest.”

For more on Bill Walker’s assessment of the Parnell gas line plan, please refer to Bill’s opinion piece in the Alaska Dispatch.

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Our local governments deserve more respect

By Bill Walker for the Juneau Empire: I am often asked how I differ from Gov. Sean Parnell. One significant difference is how we view local governments. Over the past six years, a pattern has developed with Parnell disrespecting our local governments. Here are a few examples. Read more >>>

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Controversial Parnell appointee withdraws from consideration

JUNEAU — Just before facing what was expected to be a tough confirmation hearing, a California executive with oil-industry ties has withdrawn his name from consideration for an important appointment.

Gov. Sean Parnell had named Dennis Mandell of Salinas, Calif. to the State Assessment Review Board, which decides whether local property tax assessments such as that of the trans-Alaska pipeline, are accurate. The appointment came despite the fact that such appointees are supposed to be Alaskans. Read more >>>

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Parnell under fire. His pick for SARB withdraws name, goes back to California.

As I predicted would happen, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Dennis Mandell withdrew his name to sit on the State Assessment Review Board, the board that values the trans-Alaska pipeline for tax purposes.

Gov. Sean Parnell has drawn fire for appointing Mandell, a Californian and a former oil industry executive. Parnell has offered no explanation as to why he had to go to California to find a qualified board member. Likewise, he’s offered no explanation as to why he fired the former board member, who fought to raise the assessed value of the pipeline, resulting in millions of tax dollars for Alaskan communities. Read more >>>

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Our View: Governor should get message on local hire and honest boards

Editorial Anchorage Daily News: Dennis Mandell, appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to the State Assessment Review Board, withdrew from consideration with an email late Wednesday afternoon.

He should never have been appointed in the first place. Read more >>>

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Parnell Appointment is Attempt to Manipulate Downward TAPS Valuation

Like most Alaskans, I am appalled by Governor Parnell’s attempts to manipulate the downward valuation of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline (TAPS).

I have been personally involved in representing local governments before the SARB Board for each of the past ten years. The removal of former Municipality of Anchorage assessor, Marty McGee, as chairman and replacing him with Dennis Mandell, an oil industry consultant from Salinas, California, in direct violation of state statute. This is yet another clear indication of who Governor Parnell represents.

The same week as the appointment of the California board member, the Parnell administration released the 2014 value of TAPS at $5.5 billion. This slashed the value by over 50% of the value established by the SARB board for 2013. It represents roughly 50% of the 2006 value of $9.9 billion established by the Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision. The pipeline owners had argued the 2006 value was less than $1 billion.

Mr. Mandell of California has done the right thing by withdrawing his name. Governor Parnell, chosen by Alaskans to represent us, has not. As a former oil industry lobbyist, Parnell chose to represent his former employer’s best interests rather than that of Alaskans.

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Parnell’s fight over SARB nominee flabbergasting

Given that even the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is against Gov. Sean Parnell on Dennis Mandell’s appointment to the State Assessment Review Board, I’m betting that Mandell withdrawals his name himself. Or maybe not. Maybe Parnell will continue to fight through his press secretary and he’ll continue to lose. Why Parnell let himself as deep into this as he has is a mystery. Or, as Sen. Hollis French said today at a press conference, “I’m flabbergasted” From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, which calls on Parnell to withdraw the appointment. Read more >>>

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A troubled nomination: Governor’s selection for State Assessment Review Board should be withdrawn

News-Miner opinion:Gov. Sean Parnell’s appointment of California resident Dennis Mandell to the board that hears appeals about the value of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is on questionable legal ground.

Legislators should recognize this and call on the governor to withdraw the nomination. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing Thursday on the governor’s nominations of Mr. Mandell, of Salinas, Calif., and Bernard Washington, of Anchorage, to the State Assessment Review Board. Read more >>>

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Biggest question on state tax board is why governor can’t find an Alaskan

FAIRBANKS — In 1973, when the Legislature created the State Assessment Review Board, it considered including language that said members do not have to be residents of Alaska.

But in the final version of the bill, lawmakers crossed off the phrase that a member “is not required to be a resident of the state.”

Had they included that language in the law, there would be little debate over whether a Californian can serve on the board. The board meets once a year to hear appeals of oil and gas property assessment decisions made by the state Department of Revenue. Read more >>>

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Exxon chief: ‘World may not care whether Alaska gas ever gets developed’

JUNEAU — Exxon Mobil’s chairman is praising Alaska for abandoning its attempt to get an independent gas pipeline built and instead support a plan in which the major oil company would own a share. At the same time, Alaska officials have expressed a willingness to lower taxes or provide other incentives to make such a project more profitable for Exxon and other oil companies. Read more >>>

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Shame on us if refined products can be imported to Alaska cheaper than they can be refined here

Flint Hills’ decision to end refining at its North Pole refinery is another blow to the Interior. This winter the Fairbanks Princess Hotel announced its winter closure due in part to exorbitant energy costs. Fairbanks residents are reeling from these closures as they struggle with crippling energy costs for the seventh consecutive year. Read more >>>

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Unanswered questions loom as Alaska natural gas project bill marches on

JUNEAU — Gov. Parnell’s natural gas pipeline bill is marching though the legislative process, but those who will be asked to vote on it still appear to have little understanding of the bill’s possible benefits to the state or the risks it entails. Read more >>>

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Stedman: New oil tax puts Alaska far below North Dakota

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Legislature wants to put oil taxes in the “been there, done that” category, as legislators cling to the false hope that the SB 21 tax cut is the final word on the subject.

But regardless of whether the referendum to repeal the 2013 tax law is approved or turned down by voters in August, the legislative hands-off policy leaves critical issues unresolved. Read more >>>

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Bill Walker Campaign Selects Paulette Schuerch as Rural Alaska Coordinator

Born and raised in Northwest Alaska, Paulette Schuerch joins the Bill Walker for Governor campaign as the Rural Alaska Coordinator. Paulette will work closely with supporters on the ground in every community across Alaska. She is originally from the village of Noorvik, but has spent most of her life in Kotzebue where she raised her family and had many opportunities to work closely with all communities in her region.

Paulette brings a unique depth and range of experience to Team Walker. She has worked extensively in local government and private industry in Rural Alaska. She has served on the NANA Regional Corporation Board of Directors, volunteered with fundraising efforts benefitting Kotzebue schools, worked as the Tribal Services Administrator for Maniilaq Association, and is a former CEO of the Copper River Native Association (CRNA).

In 2009, Indian Health Services awarded Paulette, on behalf of the CRNA, the top recipient of the Joint Venture Construction Program Grant in Alaska. As a result of Paulette’s dedication to that effort, the CRNA now has a local state of the art health facility relieving its beneficiaries of the 400 mile trip that was previously required for even basic healthcare.

Paulette is no stranger to statewide campaigns. She has worked on campaigns for Governors Tony Knowles and Sarah Palin. Most notably she worked on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s campaign as the Rural Alaska Coordinator.

Paulette commented on joining the Bill Walker campaign: “I am supporting Bill Walker because he is the only candidate with a vision for ALL of Alaska. He understands the needs across the state. He has real ideas and plans to address those needs.”

Bill Walker stated, “Paulette has a proven record of success. Her education and experience in Rural Alaska are a tremendous asset to our campaign. We are honored to have her join Team Walker.”

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Bill Walker Selects Nancy Peterson as Campaign Manager

Independent candidate for governor, Bill Walker, announced today that Nancy Peterson has joined his team as his Campaign Manager. Peterson is a 30-year Alaska resident with extensive experience in local government. A former Public Works Director for the City of Unalaska and Assistant City Manager for the City of Valdez, Peterson brings knowledge of local government, tourism, and economic/infrastructure development issues, as well as experience in coordinating and overseeing diverse projects and programs to the campaign team.

“I am excited to be a part of the Walker for Governor team and to have an opportunity to support Bill’s vision for a strong, healthy future for our state,” said Peterson.

After graduating from Eastern Washington University in 1979, Peterson worked for the City of Spokane, Washington Parks and Recreation Department and then moved to Alaska in 1984 to work as the Training and Program Director for the Alaska Special Olympics program. In 1988, Peterson moved to Valdez, serving there as the Parks and Recreation Director, Port Director and then Assistant City Manager for the City of Valdez. Peterson and her husband, long-time Cordova resident, Jeff Hawley, moved to Unalaska in 2007 where they worked for the City of Unalaska until their retirement in January 2014.

Peterson served on the 2001 Special Olympic World Winter Games Board of Directors, and remains an active volunteer for the Alaska Special Olympics program. Other volunteer involvement has included the Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor Convention and Visitors Bureau, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Alaska, Valdez Gold Rush Days and numerous other non-profit organizations.

Bill Walker stated, “Alaska is comprised of more than 350 communities. Insight into the issues facing local governments across the state is a must for my campaign and my administration. Nancy Peterson brings 30 years of boots on the ground experience to the issues affecting local government in Alaska. It is a privilege to have her at the helm of Team Walker.”

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Walker Reports Contributions Over $200k from Alaskans in 40+ Communities

Anchorage – Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker will file his APOC campaign finance report on Tuesday showing contributions exceeding $200,000 and widespread, statewide support. Nearly 900 contributions came primarily from Alaskans in over 40 communities. Almost one-third of the donations were $100 or less. Homemakers, retirees, fishermen, construction workers, medical professionals, realtors, students, pilots, pastors, public safety officers, mayors, bankers, teachers, salespeople and business owners were among the contributors. Donations came from Republicans, Democrats and non-partisan, unaffiliated voters.

“While it is humbling to have such an overwhelming show of support statewide, I am especially touched by the hundreds of small dollar contributions from Alaskans. One $20 contribution came from a young single mom struggling to provide basics for her family. Another couple volunteers but cannot contribute until they get through the cold winter and draw a paycheck from their small business. The constant message I have heard from around the state is that Alaskans are being crushed by high energy prices and are tired of the political rhetoric from career politicians and the partisan divide that prevent real solutions from being implemented,” Walker stated.

“It is encouraging to see that a candidate who comes from outside the traditional political establishment in Alaska can raise enough money to compete at the highest level in a statewide election,” said Walker’s Kenai Co-Chair, Blaine Gilman.

The report also reflects Walker’s personal financial commitment to the campaign of $29,000 which he considers to be an investment in the future of Alaska. Walker paid personally for many of his state-wide travel and promotional expenses. He noted that not being the incumbent governor who has chosen to combine official and campaign travel and promotion with the lion’s share being paid by the State, Walker must cover all of these expenses on his own. Citing Governor Parnell’s APOC filing showing nominal campaign expenses as proof of this, Walker pointed out that Parnell reported less than $2500 in travel expenses despite the fact that he held many fundraisers around the state.

Walker concluded, “I entered this race because of my concern about the economic future for the next generations of Alaskans. Giving away our resource revenues has catapulted us into a fiscal crisis with deficit spending on the horizon for years to come. A leadership void is to blame for this calamity. The outpouring of financial and volunteer support for my campaign convinces me that Alaskans are ready for a fighter. Someone who will show up, stand up and aggressively lead this state into a new era of development and robust economic growth. If I did not believe I am the person who will do that, I would not be in the race.”

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Walker, Fleener pitch candidacy

WASILLA — So what would possess a person to run for governor, as an Independent no less?

To the first question, “I don’t like knowing what I know and not doing something about it,” Bill Walker said.

To the second, he points out that as an Independent, he doesn’t have a party line to toe. He doesn’t have a platform to follow or favors to repay.

“I wouldn’t want to be governor under any other terms,” he said. Read more >>>

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Governor Parnell continues to mislead Alaskans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anchorage, Alaska

Bill Walker, Independent candidate for governor issued the following statement today:

Governor Parnell continues to mislead Alaskans in his attempt to explain away his failed promise of increasing the throughput of TAPS to 1 million barrels per day. Last legislative session, Parnell and his Commissioners promoted the passage of SB21 claiming a massive reduction in oil taxes would spark increased production nearly doubling it to 1 million barrels per day within 10 years. Increased production results in increased state tax revenue.

Recent economic forecasts show exactly the opposite. Even with the new tax structure, it is projected that oil throughput will decrease nearly 50% in ten years to 280,000 per day. Parnell now claims that Shell Oil’s stalled offshore oil production efforts have negated the fulfillment of his promise as he was counting those production numbers in his 1 million barrel per day prediction. However, what he is not telling Alaskans is that there are no state tax revenues from offshore oil flowing through TAPS. The offshore leases do not provide revenue to state coffers since all of the tax revenue goes directly to the federal government. Therefore, even if Shell put more oil through the pipeline, it would not add any tax revenue to state coffers to curb the gaping deficit.

This is yet another example of how Alaskans are being misled by Parnell’s desperate attempts to explain why SB 21 is not working and why we are in the untenable position of deficit spending with no relief in sight.

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Fired assessor claims Parnell aims to stack board for oil industry

FAIRBANKS — Last spring, the Parnell administration sided with oil companies in seeking to disqualify a longtime member of the State Assessment Review Board (SARB) from taking part in a key case setting the tax value of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Read more >>>

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Walker Responds to Parnell’s Attack on Local Government

Yesterday Governor Parnell commented to a local reporter for the Ketchikan Daily News that the lawsuit recently filed by Ketchikan on the issue of educational funding “[r]eally made it easy for legislators to say no to Ketchikan’s projects.” He elaborated “it is an inevitable consequence that if Ketchikan is the driving force behind a lawsuit that could result in more financial exposure to the state, legislators and I view requests from Ketchikan through that lens.”

Bill Walker, Independent Candidate for governor reacted to the governor’s statement:

“As an advocate for municipal government for over 30 years, I was shocked today to learn that Governor Parnell has threatened capital funding to Ketchikan as a result of Ketchikan standing up for its right to file suit against the State over the issue of education funding. Parnell has chosen the wrong time, the wrong issue, and the wrong people to show himself as a bulldog. We need a governor who knows when to go to battle and who he should be fighting for. The governor’s comments yesterday are a blatant, public attack on local government.”

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A New Year, A New Opportunity For True Alaska Leadership

As 2014 begins, we are excited about the statewide support and momentum our campaign has generated. I want to thank my statewide co-chairs who are committed to seeing that 2014 is the year we finally have Alaska First leadership in Juneau:

Roger Hickel – Anchorage
Verne Rupright – Wasilla
Clement Richards Kotzebue
Snapper Carson – Ketchikan
Blaine Gilman – Kenai Peninsula
Phil Benner – Haines
Michael Dukes – Fairbanks
Jim Kasch – Cordova
Shirley Marquardt – Unalaska
Tom Gilson – Valdez
Paul Gronholdt – Sand Point

Selecting Craig Fleener as my lieutenant governor running mate has proved to be a very wise decision. Craig is a fellow lifelong Alaskan who grew up in Fort Yukon, graduated from UAF, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a Major in the Alaska National Guard and most recently was Deputy Commissioner of Alaska Fish & Game. Coupled with my decades of work in oil and gas representing the interests of Alaskans and my work with local governments, Craig and I bring a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience to most areas impacting Alaskans.

We are proud to be running as non-partisan independent candidates in a state where roughly 53% of the registered voters are unaffiliated with any political party. As partisan politics divide and stagnate our nation, voters are fleeing the two party system as documented in this recent article: “Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents”.

Thank you to all of you across this incredible state who have stepped up to join the Walker/Fleener team. You are helping lead Alaska into a very different future than we are facing with a 3rd term of Governor Parnell. Incredulously, Parnell has catapulted us into deficit spending and conducted endless, exorbitantly priced studies that have failed to deliver low cost energy to Alaskans and monetize our vast natural gas resources. The Walker/Fleener team will chart a very different course.

Stay tuned over the course of the campaign in 2014 as the Walker/Fleener team shares its vision and sets forth the specific priorities and objectives of our administration and how each will be accomplished. We look forward to a busy 2014 as we take our message to each and every Alaskan with your help. Here are ways you can help us now:

  1. Volunteer to host a yard or large sign, help fundraise, make calls, be a neighborhood captain by going door to door on your street or throughout your neighborhood, or help in other ways.
  2. LIKE our Facebook pages and invite your friends to do likewise. And please SHARE our posts: Facebook.com/billwalkerforgovernor, Facebook.com/craigfleenerforlt.governor
  3. Donate to Bill here and to Craig here. Every dollar counts and we ask you to please consider investing $20.14 or more in your future today.

Always, Alaska First!
Bill

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Walker Responds to Parnell Gas Line Announcement

Bill Walker issued this statement following Governor Parnell’s January 10th gas line announcement:

Kudos to Gov. Parnell (who co-sponsored AGIA) for finally realizing we must exit the AGIA contract and assume an ownership role in the gas line. But ending AGIA and ceding control to multi-national corporations to make decisions about our economic future and energy security while they compete with one another to develop their own projects around the world is wrong.

This is why AGIA was created in the first place–to advance a gas line without the conflicting interests and ironclad control of the producers. Rather than advance a gas line, Parnell, in a pre-election maneuver, has reversed us back into the controversial Stranded Gas Act model with producer control and 20% minority state ownership.

I join others in declaring that the headlines far exceed the substance of the latest in 30 years’ of multi-volumes of gas line announcements.

Here is an article I wrote last year to inform Alaskans as to how they will know whether a project is real or just more political posturing to lower oil taxes.

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Second Alaska Native joins race for state’s top seats

A second Alaska Native will be on the ballot next year when Alaskans pick their governor and lieutenant governor.

Craig Fleener, a Gwich’in Athabaskan from the Interior will join gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker on the independent ticket as the candidate for lieutenant governor. Read more >>>

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Alaska Politicians, Organizations Unite for Philippines, Western Alaska Fundraiser

A long list of Alaskan politicians and organizations have united to host a benefit Tuesday, Nov. 20th, for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines and storms in western Alaska.

The event, “An Evening of Hope,” started with Bill Walker and Craig Fleener, independent candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, and has since grown to have more than 15 co-hosts, including Democrats and Republicans vying for the same office, like lieutenant governor candidates Sen. Hollis French, Sen. Lesil McGuire and Bob Williams.

Read more >>>

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Bill Walker Announces Running Mate

Fleener2Fairbanks, AK, October 14, 2013 — Independent candidate for governor, Bill Walker, announced today his running mate and candidate for Lt. Governor, Craig L. Fleener of Fort Yukon, Alaska. Fleener is a lifelong Alaskan, military veteran and former Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. He is Gwich’in Athabascan and is a descendent of the Doyon Limited region. Each candidate will gather 3,017 signatures and appear on the November 2014, ballot.

EXPERIENCE: as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Fish & Game, Mr. Fleener provided policy and administrative guidance on wildlife and subsistence management, and worked closely with the divisions of Wildlife Conservation, Subsistence, and Habitat on policy, regulatory, management and funding issues. He also served on the Alaska Board of Game, and also as the Director for the Division of Subsistence.

FleenersPrior to joining the Department of Fish & Game, Mr. Fleener served in several capacities for the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments (“CATG”) in Fort Yukon, including service as Executive Director of that organization. While at CATG, Mr. Fleener served for a number of years as the only U.S. representative on the Gwich’in Council International, a permanent observer organization of the Arctic Council, an international body made up of eight arctic nations which identified problems and created solutions for pollution, international shipping, natural resource development, human dimensions issues and indigenous peoples’ concerns for the arctic region on a global level.

MILITARY: In 1986, Mr. Fleener joined the military and served in the United States Marine Corps. He is currently a Major in the US Air Force Alaska Air National Guard, where he has served since 1991, and is a senior intelligence officer and recently served a tour of duty in Afghanistan as part of ongoing US operations in the region. He volunteers as a board member for HAVE Alaska (Helping American Veterans Experience Alaska) providing psychological and physical rehabilitation for wounded veterans.

EDUCATION: Mr. Fleener received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks in 1999, and in 2013 graduated with Honors from American Public University with a Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies. He completed substantial work on a Masters of Science in Resources & Environment from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada in 2001, but was unable to complete the degree because of military activations.

“I am in this race to help bring all Alaskan voices together,” Craig Fleener stated. “I am working to unite Alaskans and my ultimate goal is to bring us together to solve the problems that we face in order to build a stronger Alaska.”

Bill Walker stated, “Craig Fleener brings to this Alaska ticket a depth and wealth of experience in fish and game management, military and veterans’ affairs, circum-Arctic policy experience and his proud Alaska Native heritage.”

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Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in independent bid for governor

Independent governor candidate Bill Walker has picked a recently resigned Fish and Game deputy commissioner to be his running mate.

Walker announced Monday at Doyon Ltd. headquarters in Fairbanks that Craig Fleener, an Athabascan and Doyon Ltd. shareholder, will be on the independent ticket as an lieutenant governor candidate. Read more >>>

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Fleener Seeks Lieutenant Governor’s Post

FAIRBANKS — Craig Fleener, who resigned as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game last week, on Monday said he is seeking to run for lieutenant governor in the 2014 election with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.

Fleener, originally from Fort Yukon, announced his election bid Monday afternoon in Fairbanks at the headquarters of Doyon Ltd., the regional for-profit Native corporation for Interior Alaska. Read more >>>

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Congress Should Follow Fairbanks’ Playbook

Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker issued this statement today:

“Breaking news from Fairbanks today that the F-16 Squadron will remain at Eielson Air Force Base is a case study in how to achieve results. This two year battle was won because of the non-partisan efforts of local, state and Congressional leaders, the involvement of the citizens and the support from other communities that selflessly recognized that a healthy Fairbanks is good for all Alaskans. This exceptional, determined leadership is laudable. Our national leaders should take note.”

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Letter from Merrick Peirce, Board Member, CFO AGPA

I have had the displeasure to read disparaging comments regarding Bill’s long involvement and hard work on behalf of AGPA to get the voter mandated All Alaska Gasline built. This letter is intended to set the record straight. I have had the pleasure of working with Bill for many years as a board member and CFO of AGPA. Bill, and our entire board, are united in our belief that Alaska voters had it right in the mandate they gave us to build, or cause to be built, a large diameter gasline from the North Slope to Valdez with the objective of providing Alaskans with clean, affordable natural gas, and the export markets with affordable LNG.

In working to see this gasline built, Bill has spent many thousands of hours working on many aspects of the project, from making public presentations, to signing up partners, to being directly responsible for, three times, succeeding in engaging with the markets to the point that we felt a gasline could be built if the North Slope producers would only commit natural gas to the project.

Over many years, Bill has worked entirely without any compensation for his hard work. Bill has also generously waived past obligations AGPA held.

Unlike others (Federal Pipeline Coordinator, AGDC, Alaska Pipeline Project) who are extraordinarily well compensated with public dollars to work on gasline projects that are not economic and not sanctioned by Alaska’s voters, Bill is working without compensation because he so genuinely believes in the merits of the voter mandated All Alaska Gasline. So claims made by anonymous critics that suggest he is working on this project for any sort of compensation from AGPA are entirely without merit.

Merrick Peirce
Board Member, CFO AGPA

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Bill Walker Critical of Parnell’s Refusal to Meet with Japanese Consortium

In response to an article by Tim Bradner in the Alaska Journal of Commerce today titled ‘Former Gov Steps in to Meet with REI’, independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stated:

“It is shocking and inexcusable that while Alaska has worked for decades on a large volume gas line anchored in long term contracts with the Asian markets, Governor Parnell has repeatedly declined to meet with the dignitaries and high level representatives of the Japanese consortium, Resources Energy Inc., during their trips to Alaska. I have had the pleasure of meeting with the president of this consortium, twice in Tokyo and once in Hawaii to discuss Alaska’s world class LNG opportunity. Thank you, Governor Murkowski, for being the statesman who afforded REI the respect and professional and international courtesies they deserved. Governor Parnell continues to prove to Alaskans that his leadership and statesmanship are sorely deficient.”

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Walker Responds to Hollis French Announcement

Bill Walker issued the following statement today:

“Hollis French has announced he will explore the viability of a run for governor. I remain focused on the November 2014 general election concentrating solely on the solutions that are in the best interests of Alaskans without the constraints of party platforms.”

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In bid for governor, Walker switches from Republican to independent

ANCHORAGE – A long-time Republican will run as an independent in the gubernatorial race. Former Valdez Mayor Bill Walker made that announcement Thursday afternoon.
He says the needs of the people should supercede the interests of either political party. Walker entered the race as a Republican back in April. He said he’s since realized Alaskans are fed up with partisan politics, and that’s why he’s decided not to affiliate with either party.
Read more >>>

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Alaska Notebook: Walker’s run

Anchorage Daily News: If he gets nothing else out of his independent run for governor, Bill Walker should get his chance to lock horns with Sean Parnell on a debate stage — and more than once.

Parnell frustrated Walker in during 2010 Republican primary campaign with a strategy that boiled down to “don’t engage the opposition.” Walker needed to debate. Parnell didn’t.

Absence from debate in the general election won’t work. Assuming a three-way race in the general, Alaskans will expect to see all three candidates present at major debates.
Read more >>>

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Walker will run as independent in 2014

Anchorage businessman Bill Walker, who declared his candidacy in the 2014 gubernatorial race in mid-April, said Aug. 1 that he has decided to campaign as an independent, rather than compete in the Alaska Republican primary.

“In 2013, if you don’t believe that it is okay to give massive oil tax cuts without any guarantees of increased production, and if you don’t believe that it is acceptable for the North Slope leaseholders to warehouse Alaska’s natural gas while they continue to develop competing projects around the globe, then somehow you are no longer considered a good Republican,” Walker said. “So while I remain a traditional Alaskan Republican, I will always be an Alaskan first. And that is my vow, as governor, I will always put Alaska first.  Read more >>>>

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Bill Walker Applauds Historic Referendum Effort

As Saturday’s referendum signature deadline approaches, every indication is that far more signatures have been received than required to get the SB21 repeal measure on the August 2014 ballot. Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bill Walker, had this to say:

“Never before in Alaska’s history have so many Alaskans exercised their constitutional right through the referendum process and demanded the right to let their voices be heard. And as resource owners, Alaskans should be heard on this massive oil tax overhaul with no assurances to Alaska that passed the senate by a single vote.

This is not a partisan issue, it is an Alaskan issue. I applaud the great Alaskans, Vic Fischer, Bella Hammond and Jim Whitaker, for taking the lead as sponsors of this effort. The bi-partisan leadership of Republican senators, Bert Steadman and Gary Stevens, and Democratic senators Bill Wielechowski and Hollis French and many other legislative and community leaders showed Alaskans that the impact of this overhaul without a guaranteed return to Alaska reverberated across party lines. The fact that Alaskans came out in droves from every corner of the state and blew the roof off of the signature requirements is a strong indicator that come next August, Alaskans will vote to repeal SB21″

Bill Walker’s opinion piece, “Let Alaskans Vote on Oil Tax Cut” was published in newspapers around the state last week.  Click here for The Anchorage Daily News link to the article.

Media Contact:

Tessa Linderman, Campaign Coordinator

(907) 332-2455

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Bill Walker Statement on Missed LNG Project Benchmark

Last week, Governor Parnell acknowledged that the North Slope leaseholders, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP, have not met the latest benchmark for progress on the LNG (liquified natural gas) gasline project. The companies said they will spend up to $100 million in field work this year, not the hundreds of million required to timely advance the project. Exxon’s spokesperson said the State must provide “the right fiscal environment to support an LNG project.” The multi-billion dollar tax cut the leaseholders received with passage of Senate Bill 21 in April has proved insufficient to secure the governor’s benchmarks for this critical project that would provide affordable energy to Alaskans, thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in annual state revenue.  Read more >>>

 

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Bill Walker, Alaskan to the Core

Delta News Web:  When my husband, Bill Walker, recently announced his intentions to seek the 2014 Republican gubernatorial nomination, I had the honor of giving this introduction for him.

To understand Bill Walker, it helps to have known his parents, Ed and Frances Walker.  With the same degree of courage, optimism, grit, work ethic and fearlessness that is so characteristic of Bill, Ed and Frances arrived separately in the Last Frontier in the 1940s.  Frances came with the Corps of Engineers to coordinate the transportation services in the AlCan Highway construction.  They met at Mt. McKinley and married following Ed’s service as an Alaska Scout in the Aleutians in WW ll.  Read more >>>

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Expect an oil broil in 2014 Republican race for Alaska governor

Alaska Dispatch, Alex DeMarban:  A fired-up Bill Walker came out swinging on Friday within minutes of Gov. Sean Parnell’s announcement that he’ll seek reelection, blasting him for doing little to help the state of Alaska while doing plenty to help Big Oil.

Walker, a Republican and oil and gas attorney, said oil companies shouldn’t be blamed for their political successes in the 49th state. That includes their recent victory, courtesy of Parnell’s legislation, giving them a tax break worth an estimated $750 million a year.  Read more >>>

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Walker announces 2014 run for Alaska governor

Peninsula Clarion: ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Anchorage lawyer who finished second behind Gov. Sean Parnell in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial race announced Thursday he will again seek the office.

Bill Walker touted a populist theme as he announced his run for 2014 at his Anchorage home, surrounded by his wife and children. He said he would aggressively lead the fight to develop Alaska’s resources. Read more >>>

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Bill Walker Launches Second Republican Campaign To Become Governor Of Alaska, Still Pushing The All Alaska Gasline

Alaska Pride: Independent-minded Alaskan Bill Walker, a strong proponent of the All-Alaska Gasline that would parallel the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to Valdez, has launched his second campaign to become Governor. He will be running in the 2014 Republican primary. Walker finished a strong second behind Sean Parnell and ahead of Ralph Samuels in the 2010 Republican primary. Read more >>>

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Bill Walker declares intent for 2nd run at Alaska governor’s office

Alaska Dispatch, Scott Woodham:
On Thursday morning, oil and gas attorney and former Valdez mayor Bill Walker became the first major candidate to declare his intent to run for governor in the 2014 Alaska Republican primary. Read more >>>

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Walker announces 2014 run for Alaska governor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Newsminer.com – An Anchorage lawyer who finished second behind Gov. Sean Parnell in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial race announced Thursday he will again seek the office.

Bill Walker touted a populist theme as he announced his run for 2014 at his Anchorage home, surrounded by his wife and children. He said he would aggressively lead the fight to develop Alaska’s resources. Read more >>>

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Bill Walker Announces Run for Governor

Bill-Walker-sm1Anchorage, April 25, 2013: Bill Walker announced that he will run for governor in the 2014 Republican primary. Walker said he is entering the race because Alaska needs a strong, aggressive leader with a proven track record of putting Alaska’s interests first. “The only side of the boardroom table I have ever sat on is the Alaska side, and the only interests I have ever advanced are those of Alaskans,” Walker stated.

Walker is the son of Alaskan pioneers, Ed and Frances Walker, who came to Alaska in the 1940’s where Ed served in the Alaskan Scouts in the Aleutian Islands during WWII and Frances worked on the building of the AlCan Highway. Bill was born in Fairbanks and grew up in Delta Junction and Valdez where he worked alongside his dad and brother in their construction business starting at the age of eight, helping later to relocate and rebuild the town of Valdez after the devastating 1964 earthquake that took the lives of many of their friends and neighbors.

To finance his college education, Bill worked summers on the oil pipeline construction as a laborer, teamster and carpenter. After earning his business degree, Walker owned his own construction company, travel agency, hotel, restaurant/bar and gift shop while serving as a transportation commissioner and city councilmember. At the age of 28, he was selected as the Mayor of Valdez. He and his wife, Donna, graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 1983 and relocated to Anchorage where they practiced law for several years with the Hughes Thorness law firm before they started their own practice, Walker Richards LLC, which focuses primarily on Alaska’s oil and gas law and municipal law. The Walkers have four children, all West Anchorage High School graduates, who continued their education and have returned or will return to Alaska to establish their careers and raise their families.

Bill Walker serves also as the general counsel for the Alaska Gasline Port Authority. He is on the steering committee of the North America Gas Summit and participated in the 2011 Institute of the North Norway Policy Tour, the 2011 World LNG Summit in Rome and the 2012 World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

According to Walker, “Working hard and investing my time, energy and resources into providing for my family and building up Alaska are what make my feet hit the ground running every single day. As governor of the state I love and am fiercely committed to, I am convinced that we can turn Alaska around, grab the reins and assume our rightful position as a global energy leader providing providing first for Alaskans, and then the world.

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