Monday was the last cabinet meeting of the Parnell administration. It was held in Anchorage. All of the commissioners were there but two. Department of Labor’s Diane Blumer and DHSS Bill Streur participated telephonically.
Congratulations to the governor and first lady who are now new grandparents. Rowan was born in Tuesday in Anchorage to Grace, and son-in-law Austin
Unity radio: Gov.-elect Bill Walker and Joe Miller will be the guests on the Eddie Burke show on KOAN 1080 AM and 95.1 FM from 4:00-6:00 pm on Wednesday. Eddie Burke, however, will not be there. In his stead will be libertarian Michael Chambers along with Craig Fleener and trooper Terrence Shanigan. The three are inexplicably calling themselves “Fin, Feathers, and Foil.”
It’s official: Former state legislator and former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker will be Gov.-elect Bill Walker’s chief of staff.
Karen Rehfeld, longtime Office of Management and Budget, director has announced her retirement effective Nov. 21. John Boucher will fill in as acting director. He currently works at OMB. With a budget due for submission to the Legislature on Dec. 15, it might make Walker’s search for the new director even a higher priority.
I’ve previously reported on several names that pop up as being in the mix for appointments in the new administration. Here’s a few more. Remember, these are just rumors and are not necessarily predictions:
It’s probably a good bet that Craig Fleener ends up as the commissioner for ADF&G. I’ve also heard that Fleener is also likely to be part of one of Gov. Walker’s first official acts which is to be named to be in the line of succession should something happen to the governor or lt. gov.
With DHSS’ Medicaid management system mess, among other issues, it’s likely that this department will get a new commissioner. Val Davidson’s name is being bandied about. Davidson is formerly with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She’s expected to be on the department’s task force when it’s announced.
Another name: Fairbanks’ Meg Nordale who is a principle in GHEM Construction could become the state’s first ever female Department of Transportation Commissioner. Nordale is also currently the head of the state’s Associated General Contractors.
Former legislator and Ivy League graduate Steve Rieger’s name has come up as someone that might fit nicely running the Department of Revenue.
People are saying that Joe Paksvan might be a good fit for DNR. (Let’s hope that if it’s the case, he tries to lure his former staffer, the smarty Jeff Stepp back from Illinois, where he’s been living since this summer.)
Marty Rutherford’s name keeps being mentioned as someone who will likely show up in the administration.
Long-time Begich COS David Ramseur is said to be available, and is particularly interested in running the governor’s office in D.C.
Space for the transition has been set aside in the state’s Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage; however, to date, I’m told that it hasn’t been used.
While Joe Paskvan’s name is being tossed around in the uncertain world of transition rumors, his sister Bonnie Paskvan’s professional path appears more certain. She’ll be leaving GCI, in mid-December, where she is currently an attorney and moving to Calista Native Corp. where she’ll serve as general counsel.
More legislative staff is moving around: Grace Abbott who is currently with retiring Rep. Lindsey Holmes will be moving to the majority leader’s office working for Rep. Charisse Millett.
Walker-Mallott’s first post-election fundraiser will be next Tuesday in Anchorage at the offices of the Associated General Contractors. Expect a large crowd with check-writers aplenty.
Election factoid: At 12,515, Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan got the most votes of any legislator. He’s followed by Sen.-elect Bill Stoltze, at 11,333 and Sen. Peter Micciche at 11,248.
This pic came in last week with the tageline, “Dan Sullivans taking over D.C.” An alternative tagline: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre.
Wednesday morning addition: As a few of us Alaskans are preparing to leaving the tropics, a few of us are coming to take our place. Judy Eledge has arrive in Honolulu. And as she’s basking on the beach on Friday, studying her copy of the Constitution, I hope Rep. Scott Kawasaki and girlfriend Mindy O’Neall wave down at her as they head to the Big Island.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org