RGA goes after Walker for supposed ObamaCare support

In a normal race, the Republican Governor’s Association would have been making its presence known to Alaskans a long time ago, instead of one week before the race. However, the governor’s race in Alaska has been anything but normal. Trying to explaining the formation of the Unity ticket to someone in D.C., makes you understand the way Ron Paulites feel when they try to explain the Federal Reserve conspiracy. It sounds too odd to be taken seriously. However, someone—likely former AK GOP Chair Randy Ruedrich, who’s the treasurer for an RGA-funded Independent Expenditure group that began Monday running ads here– convinced someone, somewhere to take it serously. However, instead of focusing on Bill Walker and his vague gasline plans, promises to cut to the budget, the millions have been spent by him by the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, this commercial focuses on Walker’s alleged support for ObamaCare, as if we weren’t ObamaCare saturated already.

First, to be clear, Walker has said that he opposes ObamaCare and that he would have voted against it had he had the chance. However Walker has also said that one of the first things he’d do if elected governor would be to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, which Gov. Sean Parnell has refused to do. There was a pretty good argument to be made early on that the success of ObamaCare was tied to Medicaid expansion, and if enough states declined the funds, then the Act would eventually fail. In fact, Sarah Palin, who endorsed Walker recently, made that case herself and urged governor’s not to support expansion. However, at this point, it’s clear that not enough states rejected those federal dollars to have an impact. And the states that have rejected expansion are losing out to state’s that have taken the money.  It’s also clear ObamaCare is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Will the ad have an impact? Who knows. This state continually surprises.


22 thoughts on “RGA goes after Walker for supposed ObamaCare support

  1. Nick

    He has not taken six different positions. Your lies sound like you might be working for Parnell’s campaign. He has always steadfastly said that he will get the LNG pipeline project complete. Yes, he has said that the terms of the deal Parnell made with the oil companies; that have been sworn to secrecy by Parnell and all legislators, needs to be evaluated before we proceed. Parnell is probably giving the oil companies a cush deal and we, as Alaskans, can not afford for him to blunder a deal of this magnitude. If Parnell thinks the people of Alaska would approve of the terms he agreed to, he would share them for everyone to applaud his job well done. That makes me very nervous. When Walker gets to see the terms and if he believes they’re fair for Alaska, he’ll proceed with the project because nobody believes this state needs an LNG pipeline more than him. Alaskans are smart and they know that Walker is 100% going to finally get this vital project done with Alaska’s interests first.

  2. Jon K

    Nick – a leader doesn’t take six different positions in the span of a month on an issue where he is an expert. First Walker says that study hall is over and he will build the project now. Then he says he will go through the permitting process to get the requisite permits, which will take years. Then he says AK LNG is fatally flawed and suggests that he will trash it. But in an interview with Tim bradner and again at yesterday’s BP debate, Walker said he will stay the course. But he has also said that he will change the legislation to get Alaska control. At AFN he said he could not evaluate the merits of AK LNG bc so much is kept confidential. Walker is all over the map.

    Walker, for such an expert, sure sounds like he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  3. Lynn Willis

    I haven’t figured out commodity prices and that is not germane because I wouldn’t have ever put us in a position where a fall in commodity prices could do this much damage; however, the current Governor did just that. Remember the Governor of Alaska has line item veto power over appropriations.
    In fiscal matters you had better anticipate the worst scenario and have some idea of what you will do if that happens. If the worst scenario does not occur, you will be pleasantly surprised; however, if the worst does occur you have a contingency. Our legislature and Governor didn’t do that. A prudent and responsible Governor and Legislators would not have based our fiscal future on hope for higher oil prices and a promise of a gas line. Governor Parnell, abetted by a majority of Legislators, was foolish to lead us and our children into this fiscal crisis.
    I am not sure Dermot Cole has the power you suggest. I listened to the that AKLNG hearing you mention and was not encouraged either. Rural energy is a crisis but don’t forget my Enstar bill had increased on an annualized basis by 58% at the end of the third quarter and I just got a notice that another 5% increase on Enstar’s base rate for delivery has been requested. I know Jon, I am supposed to “look forward” and “have faith and trust” in current leadership. No thanks…….

  4. Giles

    Can someone tell me where Walker stands on the issues? He says that he’ll cut the budget by 16%. From where? Because if you listen to his campaign proposals he’s going to increase education funding, embracing Medicaid expansion is expensive, he’s told the unions he wants to pay them more, he’s promised projects everywhere, and more. Also, I’m really curious where he stands on subsistence. His running mate says they support a rural Native preference; yet, when he’s in the Kenai, Walker says not. On the pipeline, he makes it up from minute to minute. To me, Walker is scarey.

  5. Sipsap

    Steve’s comments posted under this story represent either idiiocy or are representative of the Walker’s campaign’s ability to stretch the truth. I was thinking about supporting Walker for awhile. But, that was before I started listening to him. Bill Walker left his most basiic values at the door to make a deal with the devil. His values and principles didn’t mean much to him as he easily tossed them aside. I’m afraid that if Walker was elected, our economy would end up in a ditch somewhere with his values.

  6. Nick

    Walker has ten times Parnell’s knowledge when it comes to the LNG pipeline. Why do you think Parnell has refused Walker’s challenge to a debate all about the gas line?! It’s because Parnell doesn’t understand it at all. All he can do is run through his staff-written talking points and then he has nothing. He is not an adequate negotiator or overall project manager for the LNG pipeline and this is the biggest issue in our state. Parnell has been great at starting projects (wasting hundreds of millions), but he doesn’t know how to finish.

    Walker is the leader we can trust to get the LNG pipeline project finally finished. He’s been advocating for the large volume gas line for more than a decade and he won’t let anything get in our way in completing this important project. I know I can trust Walker to get the job done and put Alaska first. A vote for Walker/Mallott, is a vote for Alaska.

  7. Jon K

    Wow Lynn, If you have the commodities markets figured out, perhaps you should be a trader? The money for AK LNG can be financed. The reward / revenue will very likely far exceed the costs.

    Anyway, I am intrigued by your claim that Walker will not be able to function because of the vindicative environment. I think one of the reasons why Parnell is suffered is because our press corps would much rather focus on bringing the governor down and reporting negative stories instead of looking around and capturing all of the good news. Today there was a great story in Energywire where they interviewed former Obama Dep’t Secretary of the Interior David Hayes who praised, yes praised, all that Alaska is doing to address the rural energy crisis. We don’t hear about this, however, because our press rarely runs stories on all of the work that AEA does on this end. Or read a Demor Cole article on AK LNG. Several weeks ago he covered a legislative hearing that covered a lot of the positive developments associated with the project and where the state announced that it assembled a very accomplished team to represent the state’s interest in the project. Dermot, however, decides to ignore all of the positive news and instead talks about how some information needs to be kept confidential. Why? Demot had a golden opportunity to educate the Alaska public on very positive developments. Instead, he decided to advance his agenda of creating a vindicative and toxic environment. Why is that Lynn?

  8. Steve

    This could not be further from the truth. Bill Walker has stayed true to his conservative values and has been purposefully misquoted non-stop by Parnell and his campaign. Parnell and his campaign are running a very dirty, negative and unethical campaign. When this is all over Parnell and his campaign will have to look in the mirror and live with the atrocious choices they made. It makes me sick that they continually, knowingly lie about different issues of Walker’s candidacy. We need a leader that will take the high road and still get the job done. That’s why I voted for Walker/Mallott.

  9. Lynn Willis

    Believe it or not, I am skeptical of Walker being able to effectively function in the vindictive and toxic political atmosphere that awaits him; however, what am I supposed to do? To me, Sean Parnell is a known commodity that after five years I simply will not support. Governor Parnell has taken us to the brink of fiscal disaster and I cannot understand why he assumed he and like thinkers in the Legislature could bet the farm on higher commodity prices if he and they could just somehow induce oil production under a new tax regime. He and they got half of it, but with increased production being offset by higher production costs and falling prices for oil it sure looks like he and they gambled and have lost.
    Regarding the operating budget, forget the “big three” (pensions, schooling and health care) as consumers of operating funds being the only problem because all that capital spending over the last five years has now turned into operating expenses. Now go forward into the AKLNG project and read the data from the Department of Revenue concerning General Fund Unrestricted Revenue (GFUR) forecast vs. AKLNG obligations and ask yourself how we can possibly afford to pay for this regardless of who is Governor? Let me give you an example: In Fiscal Years 2020, 2021 and 2022, the obligation percent of GFUR with Alaska holding a 20% equity position with TransCanada and no buyback of Trans Canada’s interest are 27% ($1.3 Billion) in 2020, 30% ($1.3 Billion) in 2021, and 24% ($1.1 Billion). This is based on projected unrestricted revenues of (in billions of dollars of 4.8 to 5.2 in FY 20, 4.5 to 5.0 in FY 21, and 4.7 to 5.3 in FY 22. And this is for the least expensive scenario which results in the lowest profits for Alaska from the LNG project. Again, in just a few years from now, where is this money coming from to pay for the AKLNG project given pensions, schools, health care and all the additional operating costs we just created and yet allow us to keep giving ourselves a PFD check? Can we spell INCOME TAX and NO PFD CHECK?

    Now, we are faced with the Medicade expenditure which is perhaps the first real test of our future priorities. What will our priorities be?

  10. joe blow

    Does Ivan Moore even own a telephone? I’m beginning to think he just invents these numbers from the ether.

  11. bleary eyed

    John Q. – as a Sullivan and Parnell supporter, I’m psyched by this poll! I couldn’t tell you the last time Ivan was even close to calling a race correctly.

  12. Anonymous

    Seriously Lynn, you think those are Parnell’s only supporters?

    There are a lot of folks that care about one issue: monetizing the north slope’s gas. Without this project, the state’s future looks a bit bleak. We therefore are against Walker because we can look at the facts and acknowledge that we are making tremendous progress under Parnell – which even Walker concedes at times – and we don’t want to mess it up.

    Many of us are skeptical of Walker, and fear for the state’s future, because when you listen to Walker talk about AK LNG, he is incoherent. Literally.

    Walker’s failure to understand the biggest obstacle to getting this project built is the most exasperating thing to listen to. Our enemy is not Exxon or the fact that proprietary information is kept confidential. The enemy, or rather the biggest impediment to this project, is cost. Alaska will have a gas line and LNG project if we can be cost competitive – otherwise the Asian markets will not pick our gas over all the competition. The best project will win. So the most important question we need to address as a state is how do we improve the project’s costs so we can deliver LNG at a competitive price?

    Walker unfortunately doesn’t seem to understand this. Instead, he’d rather relitigate old battles from the 1990s and the Stranded Gas days and then go on to draw the wrong conclusions.

    Bottom line, if you want an economic future for this state, everything Walker has said on the campaign trail suggests that he lacks the knowledge and judgment to move the state forward. Thus those of us supporting Parnell are doing so because we fear that Walker will jeopardize all of the progress that the state is making on AK LNG.

    We are not contractors sucking millions off the public like Walker and his buddies have for years.

  13. R. Malone

    The RPA must have money to burn. The banner ad across the bottom of the Alaska Dispatch should get the award for the least effective ad of the campaign cycle. I read it four times, which is about 3 or 4 more times than the average voter will, and still don’t have a clue as to the import of the message and what action, if any, they want me to take. Total waste of money and shows the politically sophomoric side of someone.

  14. Shatsky

    Walker as usual contradicts, flips, lies and then flops on issue after issue. He tells one group one thing, and the other something completely differenct. He makes Begich look almost honest.
    Bill Walker is probably the most dishonest politician is the state’s history when it comes to being consistent and telling the truth. It’s becoming increasingly clear now how he defrauded millions from local governments.

  15. Anonymous

    “And the states that have rejected expansion are losing out to state’s that have taken the money. ”

    Not the most artful sentence …

    Never mind that; what are we losing by not taking MA expansion? All that sweet, sweet free money? A program that, once started, can never end? Remember ASD taking Obama’s Stimulus handout? Comeau promised that it was a one-time deal … and then, when the money ran out, went bawling to the tax payers to save all those wonderful employees who never should have been hired to begin with.

    Same deal with MA expansion. We already know that the feds’ share will be cut, just a matter of how much. Right now, the feds say they will cut to 90% in a few years. Easy to speculate it will be cut even more when budgets get tight and the State will have to pick up that tab.

  16. Lynn Willis

    If Rick Perry of Texas had expanded Medicade Governor Parnell would have also. Governor Parnell has a national political agenda and that trumps the benefit of Alaskans. Sean Parnell, and his ilk in the legislature, all have government funded health insurance yet look down their collective noses at the “takers”. If you are poor and get sick you still get to go the E.R. and Medicade pays for that including the share paid by the state, so where are the savings? If you aren’t eligible for the expanded medicade coverage and go bankrupt because of illness you then become an even more expensive ward of the state.
    Now how to pay for this? Just read we paid another million dollars for yet two more Knik Arm Bridge studies and continue to pay hundreds of millions for the latest iteration of the “bullet line” gas pipe line as well as well as millions for the new AKLNG line which follows the same route. Also, despite the improving situation in Cook Inlet for gas supply we are poised to pay millions for that bizarre trucking scheme to move natural gas to Fairbanks at the rate of 50 deliveries per day over from the North Slope over the 414 mile Elliot Highway (featured on Ice Road Truckers).
    Governor Parnell’s spending priorities make absolutely no sense unless you are a consultant, political confidant, or contractor – the constituents of Sean Parnell. ,

  17. John Q. Public

    New Ivan Moore poll has Begich up and Young’s big lead evaporating.

    Maybe the Parnell results- not released yet because they were for different client- explain desperate last minute attack ads.


  18. Katmai fan

    Minnesota expanded Medicaid and has the largest increase of all states with PreferredOne’s rate increase of 63%.

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