Bill Walker, with the blessings of the Democratic Party, will be running as governor as that party’s “unaffiliated” candidate. One of the things that has made Democrats nervous is that he’s pro-life and is against gay marriage. However, he has repeatedly said, this time around at least, that the would not push that agenda. At Tuesday’s press conference, he said that social issues were not his focus, and that the laws that are currently on the books are going to continue to be the law. (It might be worthy of note that Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has also said that social issues weren’t his focus. although with less clarity. Nonetheless, his beliefs about social issues have been unacceptable to Democrats.)
There’s no reason to believe that Walker isn’t telling the truth, but it’s important to know where Walker stands on these issue. Four years ago, when Walker ran for governor in 2010, he expressed his views clearly. He completed at least two surveys on social issues: A survey from Alaska Family Action and from Alaska Right to Life.
Alaska Right to Life is looking for the complete survey that he filled out then. But the director, Christopher Kurka, remembers the interview that the group had with Walker. From that interview and from what he does have of the survey, Kurka said that they would have endorsed him then if the organization’s policy was to endorse two candidates. As it was, Gov. Sean Parnell got the endorsement.
“Bill Walker told us everything we wanted to hear,” Kurka said, including telling them that he was committed to passing pro-life legislation.
Walker filled out another survey for Alaska Family Action in 2010. (Read the full survey here: AK-VoterGuide-Gov-LtGov-081210).
Here’s a summary of what Walker said then on that survey:
- Walker said that he was against increasing Medicaid funding because the program paid for abortions.
- He supported legislation that would define “medically necessary” abortions, which would limit the number of abortions Medicaid pays for.
- He supported a constitutional amendment that would strip the right of an abortion to be a fundamental right, as has been interpreted by the courts.
- He supported a constitutional amendment that would strip same-sex partners from receiving state benefits.
- He said that he would vote against adding “gender identity” and/or “sexual orientation” to Alaska’s civil rights statue.
- He supported a constitutional amendment that would change the way the governor chooses judges.
- He was unsure about school choice. (Recently, he has said that he doesn’t support vouchers.)
For years, these issues have continually been debated in Juneau, and the Alaska Democratic Party, and most of its legislators, have fought vigilantly against all of these laws and initiatives.
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