The race for governor is heating up

It looks like Gov. Sean Parnell’s reelection campaign is slowly waking up. Below is the fundraising email I got today, with direct pleas for money edited out. (My new rule, which I’m making up as I go.) Parnell has been having lots of fundraisers, but this is the first email I’ve seen from his campaign.

The subject of the email was, “Two Peas in the same pod.” The peas are Independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott, and the pod is ObamaCare. Parnell says that the support of ObamaCare sacrifices “the financial well-being and future of young Alaskans.”

As far as attacks go, it was relatively tame compared to what the Alaska Democrats sent out today. In advance of Parnell releasing his budget, the Dem’s press release was titled, “Parnell Presides Over Fiscal Disaster.”

Copied below, it attacks him for everything from running the state into deficit spending, taking a raise, and refusing to accept federal dollars for Medicaid expansion, among other things. (If it were my job to do so, I’d advise them to start separating the wheat from the chaff. Cutting office space for state workers might be a little hard for those in the private sector to get worked up about, particularly considering the generous state salaries and benefits package.)

Here’s Parnell’s release:

Only Sean Parnell has a consistent, proven record of making decisions for Alaskans first. Just this month, for example, a new law championed by the governor kept payroll taxes from automatically increasing on Alaskan employees and employers. As a result, Sean helped put $89 million back into the pockets of hard-working Alaskans, rather than into state government’s treasury.

Sean’s record speaks for itself: his commitment to creating economic opportunity for all Alaskans, strengthening our families and communities, improving educational and training opportunities, and wisely managing Alaska’s finances – all have made Alaska a better place to call home.

Sean’s opposition in the election have gone on the attack and begun making oversized promises. If nothing else, Bill Walker and Byron Mallott have already defined themselves as two peas in the same pod.

Both Walker and Mallott support Obamacare. Both have been silent as thousands of Alaskans received insurance cancellation notices, and are forced to pay higher health insurance premiums and higher deductibles. Walker and Mallott appear willing to sacrifice the financial well-being and future of young Alaskans who will have to pay the massive federal debt from Obamacare’s failed promises. Alaskans expect and deserve better leadership.

Help keep the governor in office who fought for Alaska Performance Scholarships for our young people; who leads the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault in our state; and who, at every turn, works to clear paths of opportunity for Alaskans.

Thank you,

Jerry Gallagher

Campaign Manager

Parnell 2014

Here’s the Democrats’ press release:

Tomorrow, Governor Parnell will release his budget for Fiscal Year 2015.  Parnell is likely to emphasize spending cuts rather than the massive deficit caused by his Oil Giveaway.  A careful review of his claims will be warranted.  When Governor Parnell presented his last budget (FY 2014), he claimed it would cut spending and produce $500 million in “surplus revenue.”  In fact, that budget has a $1 billion dollar deficit, which Parnell attempted to mask with a $374.1 million transfer from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

Governor Parnell has presided over the most significant deterioration of state finances in Alaska history, turning a $5 billion surplus into a $1 billion deficit. Last week, the Department of Revenue revealed that the state will take in $2 billion less revenue in FY 2014 than previously anticipated, while oil production will decline.  At this rate, Parnell is poised to draw down all of Alaska’s savings—set aside during the ACES era–within approximately five years.  While administering this transition to deficits, Parnell has taken a $26,000 pay raise for himself and has approved of another pay raise this year.

“With his reckless fiscal policies, Parnell puts the Permanent Fund and the entire Alaska economy at risk,” said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.  “The only way to clean up Parnell’s fiscal mess is by repealing his Oil Giveaway and electing Byron Mallott.”

Highlights of Gov. Parnell’s Fiscal Disaster:

  • Parnell rejected $2 billion for federally-funded expansion of Medicaid for 41,000 Alaskans, giving up billions of dollars in investment and 4,000 jobs.

  • The Republican legislature is spending $33 million on posh new offices for legislators in Anchorage, increasing monthly lease costs by 500%.

  • While Republicans expand their own offices, Parnell is squeezing state employees from offices into small cubicles.

  • The Republican legislature spent $74,000 on an enclosed smokers lounge in Juneau that is reserved for use by legislators only.

  • Governor Parnell supports a $6,000 raise for himself, even though he already received a $26,000 pay raise in 2011.

  • Since Governor Parnell last raised his own salary, 600 public school teachers and support staff have been laid off while Base Student Allocation education funding has been cut 7% (inflation-adjusted).

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8 thoughts on “The race for governor is heating up

  1. Scott49ak

    The choice for me is simple :Byron Mallott. He’s sincere, honest and compassionate. He understands business and government. He’s not opposed to medicaid expansion and he’s mmore than a one horse show. Join me in supporting Mallott.

  2. JJ

    It’s sad, isn’t it ? Think about it. Sean Parnell, Byron Mallott and Bill Walker. None are inspiring choices. Then, look at the Lite Governor candidates : Mayor Dan Sullivan, Senators Lesil McGuire and Hollis French, some guy who’s a school teacher in the Valley I never heard of and another guy whose last name is Fleener. Two are drunks, French is a fricking left wing liberal and I don’t have a clue about Fleener or the guy from the Valley. In fact, individually and collectively these candidates are less inspiring than their gubernatorial hopefuls. It’s sad.
    I’ll probably vote for Parnell and whoever the drunk is running for Lite Governor with him. At least he’ll know where the bathrooms are.

  3. Evan D.

    Willis makes a few good points although I also find myself disagreeing with him on some of his points. His 1980s story about losing considerable value in his condo is what our economy will be like if SB 21 is repealled. A repeal wiLl be devestating on our economy. We need to reverse the oil production decline currve. Re Parnell, he isn’t the best or worst governor the state has had. A vote to repeal SB 21 is a vote to destry the state’s economy. With Walker and Mallott both supporting repeal, I cannot in good conscience support either of them. Because of this, Governor Parnell has my vote.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Remember in the 1980’s when the price of oil collapsed and we faced a similar crisis? Eventually an increase of oil prices added value to our then significantly greater production volumes and we recovered. That was over twenty years ago before we began the inevitable decline of production of our then plentiful and easy to produce non-renewable oil resources. This was before fracking technology knocked us out ot the the cat bird’s seat.
    How many of you were here in the 1980″s when the state economy last collapsed? My personal experience was that I purchased a condo in Anchorage in 1983 for $83,000. When I moved to Bethel in 1989 and rented my Condo it had a fair market value as a rental property of $21,000 – a $60,000 dollar value loss in six years. People left Anchorage and the housing market collapsed. If you don’t think that can happen again, ask yourself if your income is not directly or indirectly linked to state spending and think about what you are facing.
    The critical factor then was that we had the oil volumes that could be produced to dodge the bullet – we don’t have that now. We are in serious trouble.
    I am convinced the Governor can no longer be Sean Parnell because, if for no other reason, we simply cannot afford him. While having a legislature that spends like drunken sailors doesn’t help, the Governor is not powerless to control them. The Governor of the State of Alaska is granted line item veto power over budget items in the State Constitution; therefore, this crisis is mostly the Governor’s fault. Governor Parnell has shown no fiscal constraint. Even his announcment mentions his spending on scholarships, etc. as his significant accomplishments.
    My decision now is to choose between Walker or Mallot and that decision will have a lot to do with their reaction to the Governor’s proposed budget and what they propose to do in the future.

  5. Hip

    Not my style to join in and promote the love feat. Still, the Arnie dude is spot on – – this blog rocks, rolls and is it. Love hanging and keeping up with the political world. This read helps. I’m a registered independent. Always vote for the best dude or dudette. Get sick of the psycho political attacks. Not sure who will get my vote to be the G-Man. So keep rockin and writin so I know.

  6. Arnie

    Just wanted to compliment you on becoming Alaska’s definitive voice on politics. Love your writing, your stories and perspective. Keep up the good work. From talking to my colleagues, I think you have developed a solid following.

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