You can read straight news stories about the debate between Gov. Sean Parnell and “unity” candidate Bill Walker here, and here, This account, from a reader, who obviously favors Gov. Sean Parnell, is also interesting:
Fun debate in Juneau today. Parnell has an improved style, and he certainly won the day. Walker sometimes seemed confused…. The audience, about 250 people, were much more with Parnell. No bombs were dropped. Nothing shocking was revealed….Parnell quoted Walker from some Sept. 5 radio show in which Walker is to have said he would cut 16% – $224 million from personal services costs – the first year in office. Parnell asked where Walker would make the cuts to achieve that level of reduction.
Walker answered, “I will ask the departments to work smarter.” That doesn’t answer the question for me.
Both candidates are voting for the minimum wage increase and against the marijuana legalization, and they gave reasons that revealed no differences between the candidates. Both candidates favored keeping the capital in Juneau but Walker went a little further and said he would require all commissioners to live in Juneau, and the audience liked that. Parnell favors building the road to Skagway but Walker said he would have to look at the road along with all other budget requests, and it was a strongly pro-road audience. Walker seemed to expect the crowd to be very much with him when he criticized the new legislative offices in Anchorage, and he took two runs at that but the crowd didn’t respond. Walker was unfamiliar with the term Alaska Class Ferry so he flubbed a question about supporting those new boats to be built in Ketchikan.
Regarding the Walker-Mallott ticket, at different times during the debate Walker said: “Byron will be a senior advisor to me.” “There will be an office in the governor’s office for the lt. gov.” “We will have an incredible relationship.” “He will be guarding the seal etc.” “I will be making the decisions as the governor.”
Parnell asked Walker, “Would the 16% cut apply to Medicaid and education.” Walker said, “Yes, that has to be on the table. We have to put it on the table to see where to make adjustments.”
Each candidate was asked who he is voting for in the US Senate race. Parnell said Dan Sullivan. Walker would not say.
Walker arrived in a specially decorated van driven by local attorney Joe Geldhof…