Walker responds to Parnell’s concession

Gov. elect Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. elect Byron Mallott released a joint statement, following a touching¬†statement by Gov. Sean Parnell conceding the race. Neither Walker nor Mallott spent any time praising Parnell for his six years in office, but the tone of the response isn’t a divisive one. Other politicos and those working for them should take note:¬†

“I met with Governor Parnell this morning. The tone of the meeting was very cordial and focused on ensuring that Alaskans’ interests are protected and served first in the weeks and months that lie ahead. We also recognized the dedicated effort of our respective campaigns and expressed tremendous gratitude for our families and volunteers. This evening, Governor Parnell graciously conceded the race in order to facilitate a smooth and efficient transition process.”

Lt. Governor-elect, Byron Mallott added: “I am grateful to Governor Parnell and Mayor Sullivan for allowing the transition process to proceed. Bill and I have a lot of work ahead of us. The graceful gesture of the Parnell Sullivan team signals to all Alaskans that it is time to rise together and work as one toward a vibrant and productive future for our state.”

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34 thoughts on “Walker responds to Parnell’s concession

  1. joe blow

    You can thank St. Hammond for the State picking up the tab for all of the Bush education costs. A suit was filed on behalf of village kids, first plaintiff was named Molly Hootch. Hammond caved and settled, the state agreed to build high schools in every town with more than 10 kids.

  2. Brad

    I can’t believe people are complaining about the Walker/Mallott press release. Saying that they didn’t respond in kind with what Parnell’s release said. Only line in Parnell’s release that could POSSIBLY be taken as any sort of compliment is: “We respect the will of the voters, and offer Bill Walker, Byron Mallott and their families our sincere congratulations.” Really?! That’s what we think is so amazing of Parnell?! The Walker/Mallott press release reiterated multiple times how grateful they were of Gov. Parnell’s graciousness in his concession, in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Giving Parnell credit for finally putting Alaska first. I agree with one comment on here that said there is no Parnell supporter, who would comment on here, and be content with any press release from Walker/Mallott accepting Parnell’s concession. It’s just silly to even argue over this or say this is an indicator of a bad administration. Please grow up people and realize that we’re all playing on the same team. We ALL want what’s best for Alaska and trying to stir up divisiveness is never going to help our joint cause. The idea that republican legislators won’t work with Walker just seems petty. If people will not support an idea that is best for Alaska, just because it doesn’t align with their political party seems very near sighted. I thought people ran for state office, for the betterment of our state, not the betterment of their political party. I’m going to hope and pray that all our elected officials can once and for all put Alaska first.

  3. Scissorhands

    The Walker administration, I am sorry to say, is going to fall on its face and take the economy down with them. The gross ineptitude that they are demonstrating about government and the transition is daunting.

  4. zookeeper

    This governor-elect clown doesn’t have a clue. Vacationing in Hawaii? Are you kidding me? He takes office in two weeks and has to submit a budget in four weeks. He doesn’t have a staff, commissioners, a vision, a plan or anything and he’s vacationing. Well, that gives me a lot of comfort in the direction this administration is taking.
    Another laughable moment is that the Walker administration ois thinking about putting Begich’s COS David Ramsuer in the Gov’s DC office to work with Alaska’s all REPUBLICAN delegation. I’d this crazy, dumb or what? Ramsuer has the personality of a dead toad and would be a horrible choice even before considering the political dynamics. Its going to be along four years. Maybe we’ll get luvky, have an impeachment and Byron can take over.

  5. Lynn Willis

    Ah,
    Don’t be too concerned. The Constitution of the State of Alaska did not create a “lap dog” Governor. He or she is perhaps the most powerful Governor in the United States. The Governor can both harm and hurt individual legislators by use of the line item veto alone.
    Remember, the legislature is typically in Juneau for 90 days while the Governor and administration is there every day of the year.
    If the Legislature decides to obfuscate, dissemble and otherwise avoid helping the state enter this new and challenging era, the Governor will have the ability to use the “bully pulpit” of the office to remind Alaskans that he needs all Alaskans helping, not hindering efforts to solve our problems and create opportunities.

  6. Crude is Rude - Gas is gold

    quick click on my nick 4 the link……..

    The McCutchen gas-processor is very similar to a Tesla Turbine..

    The device is simple, inexpensive and scalable.
    ========

    It’s a lot more cost effective to build a few FLNG’s and operate them in Alaska than build a whopper LNG-plant on the ground in Nikiski…

    Vigor Industrial would be happy to help Alaskans participate in the construction of the FLNG’s, letting as much work be done in Alaska as we can manage.

    ……..dunno what a FLNG is ??
    goog: FLNG FPSO FSRU

    We can build them on barges much quicker & cheaper than the mega-billion quotes we have already choked on.
    ……..and they can be owned 100% by Alaskans.
    They are within financial reach of most boroughs & regional corporations.

    Transparency is the key to universal knowledge.

  7. Jon K

    Forecast – the Goldsmith report was good enough for Les Gara — he relied on it for a highly misleading oped that he wrote.

    Also, Myers’s oped did not discredit Goldsmith’s report and he never contested that when oil prices drop below $100, SB 21 brings in more money. Nor did Myers dispute that SB 21 is the second most aggressive production tax regime in the state’s history – at least at $110 oil. A second ISER report, issued by Berman, came to the same conclusion. There is no escaping the fact that we are getting more money today under SB 21 than we would if ACES was the law.

    Customers aren’t going to buy gas if they don’t know whether the project is economic. And a project proponent is not going to sell gas unless it knows how much it costs to bring gas to market. Do you really dispute this?

    Anyway, can you answer any of the other questions?

  8. DB

    It is unfortunate but I believe that Walker/Mallott will exacerbate the divide between the Bush and urban citizens. While the economy is tanking, the urbanites will wonder why they are having to subsidize the Bush. Education especially, will be addressed. Why do we, as the State pay for all education costs in the Bush? If a state income tax, sales tax, and/or property tax is implemented, then the Bush will have to pay up or shut up. Face it, there is virtually no economy is these areas. Many areas are welfare communities. The Bush must start pulling its fair share. Walker may increase this divide by doing little to require the Bush to pay up. Thus, he will resemble Obama in dividing the races and adding to class warfare.

  9. AH HA

    Proportional representation for the governor? Sorry, I think that’s over my head…. Are you suggesting that we elect a ‘panel of governors’?

    Management by committee is always a sure path to failure.

  10. AH HA

    Yes we have a system where a separation of powers has been built in. Unfortunately it does not work as well as had been envisioned by the founders when one party has an unbreakable majority in both houses of the legislative branch and the executive is of a different party.

    Then, what we generally get is a period of time where even the most mundane of the peoples business is not taken care of in a orderly fashion. Given that we are rapidly approaching a significant benchmark in the states history, a time when an inability to make and enforce hard decisions could well bankrupt our state we may well have made a poor choice in executives. Walker has no support from the left because they are non existent in the legislature and has no support from the Right because he abandoned them to get elected. He try to lead by the threat of veto but I think he will quickly find that the make up of the legislature is such that they will have the votes needed to override him.

  11. Disgusted Alaskan

    Walker had his shenanigans with the dems, Begich and Beltrami with a lapdog local media in his pocket. Are you really accusing the Governor and Sen President of shenanigans and corruption? Walker doesn’t need a friendly legislature to continue in his dirty deeds. He will continue being a shady politican all by himself. And he will soon prove himself incompetent and unworthy of the high position he sold his soul to grab.

    Pride comes before the fall.

  12. Shattered

    The governor doesn’t necessarily need the support of the legislature. It is helpful, but he has the power of veto and can negotiate with that.

    Parnell didn’t use his veto powers as a bargaining chip due to the fact that he had the legislature in his pocket. That is a very dangerous situation. There is supposed to be a separation of powers and for good reason. Too much power in one place increases the likelihood of corruption.

    Last session, I heard the Senate President make a statement at press availability that sent me through the roof. He said that the Governor had given them their marching orders and they were going to follow them. I couldn’t believe that this man, a former military officer at that, didn’t understand that they executive branch does not give orders to the legislative branch of government. And if the executive does give them orders, they are not to follow them. If he doesn’t understand this or chooses to disregard it, he has no business being senate president and possibly has no business being a public official.

    So, I think it is healthy that the executive and legislative branches aren’t of the same party. It reduces the likelihood of shenanigans and doesn’t give any person or group too much power.

  13. Crude is Rude - Gas is gold

    “”How do we strip the CO2 off the gas and what do we do with it?””

    Jon, in 1977 there was very little CO2 in Nslope gas at CGF-Prudhoe..
    ..where did all this CO2 come from??
    A: it came from mismanagement of the gas resource.

    ..the infinite-wisdom of BigOil dictated to AOGCC that gas must be recycled to recover the oil.
    You mention Plasma Gasifier to an Oilie and they automatically brand you as a communist/terrorist.

    This is all backwards thinking..
    The entire global oil industry has been operating backwards for the past 150 years.
    BigOil has been wasting the gas to produce the oil to feed their obsolete refineries that should have been scrapped 50 years ago.

    “”How do we strip the CO2 off the gas and what do we do with it?””…
    BP/Exxon/Conoco/etc all should take some of the responsibility here.
    This debacle is as stupid as Fukushima.
    Gas Processing is not a Big Mystery that is always out of reach for average Alaskan’s to understand…
    …CH2M-Hill bailed because Alaskans are getting tired of being bent over an oil barrel by an army of lawyers armed with jars of smelly Petroleum Jelly.
    Do you know what a Hilsch-Ranque Vortex Tube is ??

    If you want to keep making $300/hr start answering your own questions without using them as a smokescreen.

    THINK HYDROGEN

  14. AH HA

    What gives me pause is the problem the Walker administration faces with the legislature. Walker has little or no support from the party he abandoned when he decided to run as an independent and while both he and Mallott enjoy the full support of the Democrats, there are so few seats in the legislature that are held by Democrats that they will be hard pressed to move anything forward and will be of no help to Walker.

    It appears that despite his grand plans, he may be relegated to being a lap dog doing the bidding of a legislature that he does not agree with.

  15. Forecast

    JK,

    Goldsmith discredited himself, and ISER with his $100,000 “report”. Goldsmith has been wrong so many times that no credible people take him seriously. Did you read the work of Dr. Myers that evaluated how badly Goldsmith erred?

    A project begins with what the customers want- not with what the oligopoly demands.

    The six years of the failed Parnell administration- and thinking like yours- is over.

  16. AH HA

    What gives me pause is the problem the Walker administration faces with the legislature. Walker has little or no support from the party he abandoned when he decided to run as an independent and while both he and Mallott enjoy the full support of the Democrats, there are so few seats in the legislature that are held by Democrats that they will be hard pressed to move anything forward and will be of no help to Walker.

    It appears that despite his grand plans, he may be relegated to being a lap dog doing the bidding of a legislature that he does not agree with.

  17. Crude is Rude - Gas is gold

    Yes, We do have a lot of work to do……..

    Thanks Mr.Forecast for 9 important points, and I’m sure you could add a few dozen more.

    I hope to see all Alaskans use their creative-wits to efficiently solve all these problems quickly.

    I have a suggestion to combine 2,3,4,5,&6 ……..
    We declare a statewide energy emergency..
    ..[we should have done this after the ’64-quake]
    Then we mobilize the AK-Unions & National Guard to help guard our nation’s frontier by first, helping to construct an 8″ flexpipe gasline fiberoptic parallel to the rail-ROW in railbelt in tandem with developing AKRR-LNG intermodal distribution…

    Then we build construct an 8″ flexpipe gasline fiberoptic all along Alaska’s coastline from Kaktovik to Kotzebue to Kodiak to Ketchikan…
    This is very important to National Security because it solidifies our ability to provide Coast Guard protection.
    Plus, the immediate economic returns from having an energized coastline & railbelt infrastructure will diversify Alaska’s economy enough to offset the impending $3billion annual shortfalls.

    ArcticFibre already is in process of constructing a fat-fiberoptic mainline thru the arctic along Alaska’s coastline, why not kill two lawyers with one stone here ??

    We have lots of low hanging fruit and windfalls sitting on the ground, let’s not waste our time bickering in political gridlock.

  18. Jon K

    Forecast –

    What is “Alaska’s timeline” to get a gasline built? The current timeline takes into account the permitting process, which takes years. There is simply no way around the fact that we need to go through NEPA, we need 404 permits, we need air permits, we need to take into account subsistence, etc., etc.. The current timeline for AK LNG also takes into account the monumental amount of engineering and design work that still needs to occur. How do we strip the CO2 off the gas and what do we do with it? What is the optimal way to integrate oil and gas production so we get the most of both resources? How do we safely design a pipeline over mountain ranges, rivers, streams? Where is the best place for offtake? Siting and permitting one of the world’s largest LNG plants and docks isn’t something that can be done in a couple of months. Additionally, this project must have a credible cost estimate or it will not get any financing and it will not get any customers – who in their right mind wants to sell gas if there isn’t a realistic sense of how much it costs to get the gas to market?

    If there is a way to accelerate this process while taking into account the public’s need to be heard, that gets us credible cost estimates, and that ensures appropriate mitigation measures, please do tell.

    Also, how do we design this project in a way consistent with what the markets are asking for? What does this mean? Are you saying that Exxon, BP, and Conoco don’t know how to put projects together in a way meets the market’s needs?

    Finally, here’s what we get from oil: royalty of between 12.5 and 16.667% (depending on the lease)(that means of every barrel produced, the state gets between 1/8 and 1/6 of the barrel or of the value of the barrel). We also get a production tax of about 22 to 25% on profits on most of the oil produced on the Slope. We then get a 9 % corporate income tax and hundreds of millions in property tax. Depending on the price of oil, SB 21 is either the first or second most aggressive tax regime in the state’s history. And according to Scott Goldsmith, the state has a better NPV under SB 21 than under ACES.

    We also know that SB 21 brings in far more revenue when oil is below $100 than ACES. We should be singing Parnell’s praises for getting us out of ACES — Parnell put in place a tax regime that got the producers to commit to billions in additional investment and that has attracted the capital markets and companies to the North Slope while getting the state more money in tax revenue. Pretty remarkable.

    Hammond said the state, feds, and producers should get a 1/3 of the pie each. Under SB 21 we get far more than a 1/3. So Forecast, what is a fair share?

  19. Lynn Willis

    Forecast,
    Thank you…… You just gave the legislature and executive branches a concise list of legislative priorities and it didn’t cost the state a few days in a luxury resort for secret meetings.
    You broach the subject that we now also have to focus on the way the legislature does business with itself and the executive branch. I want to see a review of, and clear justification for, the continued granting of ,the legislative exemption from state open meeting laws, the refusal to clear committee hearing backlogs between the first and second sessions of any legislature, and the policy of allowing individual legislators to close the forum of debate by refusing to hold hearings on legislation.
    I want to see the creation of a “bright line” between the legislative and executive branches to remove even the appearance of a quid pro quo of influence for future services. For example I am not comfortable with the practice of allowing legislative staff to be able to work full time on the campaign of the incumbent Governor regardless of who that may be.

  20. Forecast

    The statements from both sides are fine. Now the really hard work begins. Among the issues:

    1. Alaska’s fiscal crisis. The deficit for FY2015 is nearing $3 billion dollars.

    2. Alaska only has one source of revenue, tied to a commodity price of which Alaska has no control.

    3. Many parts of Alaska are now in recession, with no affordable, clean energy.

    4. The National Guard is a mess. The leadership is in turmoil.

    5. We have no plan to get a gas line built on Alaska’s time line, or in a way that is consistent with what the markets are asking.

    6. What major, new infrastructure should we build, with limited savings?

    7. Why do we have a oil tax structure that gives away the resource?

    8. At current oil prices and throughput about $16.6 billion dollars of oil is being taken from Alaska per year. Why do we accept so little for our finite resource? What are we going to do about it?

    9. We have the most expensive state government of the 50 sates, on a per capita basis. Do we really need to spend one BILLION dollars per year on welfare?

    Alaska does, have many, many challenges ahead. Bill Walker has never said he would deny the problems that we face for political expediency.

    We do have a lot of work to do.

  21. Lynn Willis

    Bill Walker addressed the issue at hand, which was to acknowledge Governor Parnell’s concession. I doubt if Governor Elect Walker could have said anything which might have pleased the disappointed supporters of Governor Sean Parnell. I suspect a gesture of thanks in that statement by Bill Walker would have been criticized as being hypocritical, gloating over the results, or condescending.
    The time has already passed for concern about statements relating to the election. Now we face a daunting future. Our cash reserves are being depleted yet those reserves are all that stand between us and the use of Permanent Fund Earnings to pay for state operations (at the probable cost of the PFD payment to citizens), a return of the state income tax, or a statewide vote to spend the corpus of the Permanent Fund. We will, for the foreseeable future, struggle to have a state government that creates both revenue for state services yet creates a environment for economic growth that provides employment for Alaskans. As Tim Bradner stated , these next four years will not be a fun time to be Governor.

  22. Crude is Rude - Gas is gold

    CLICK on my nickname for a link to nourish your intellect and enjoy your weekend with…….

    OH, My goodness…
    such passionate polarizations I see here in these comments…

    I supported Walker/Mallott without personal malice toward Parnell…
    IMHO; Sean was a bit too young & inexperienced to be swimming in the deep end of the pool.

    goog: regulatory capture

    As I have observed; one of the main concerns of the majority of Alaskans who supported Walker/Mallott is we are all quite worried about the “blind leading the blind” while we are taking the wrong forks in the long road ahead.
    it is very obvious that most of Alaska’s government has been caught in the trap of REGULATORY CAPTURE.
    …VECO scandal was just the tip of the iceberg.

    By far the most valuable resource in Alaska is;
    not crude oil,
    not gas,
    not gold,
    not even fish…
    Alaska’s most valuable resource is: commUNITY
    ********yes, we are our most valuable resource.

    [please spare me the snarky remarks, you’re harshing my mellow]

  23. joe blow

    ‘….and boys and girls, Byron Mallott was never heard from again. He served out his 4 years in a lonely office with a phone that never rang….”

  24. Parnell supporter

    I have worked in the Parnell Administration and can tell you that an awful lot of the exempt employees were working very hard – both in trying to represent him well through their state duties and then volunteering for the campaign on nights and weekends. Some of his office staff took extensive leave to work the campaign. Those who work closely with him are pretty fiercely loyal because he is such a good and gracious leader with vision.

    I don’t think there was much grassroots campaign apparatus in place before the other ticket merged, and Parnell supporters from the administration and his office and legislative staffers tried best they could to take up the slack once new campaign leadership took over.

  25. J.R.Myers, ACP Chairman

    First of all NO ONE won a majority of the vote in this race. There were four (4+4=8) candidates altogether. Perhaps the winner takes all system needs to be replaced by proportional representation? In any even, the people have spoken. It is up to the people to hold their elected officials accountable in between elections too. And while we’re at it, how about some comprehensive election reforms in Alaska. Haven’t we all had enough of the publicly funded political party primary circus? May God Bless Alaska.

  26. Garand Fellow

    I was a Parnell supporter, and I cannot explain why so few people working in the Parnell administration were. But now is not the time to look backwards. Alaska has arrived at a precarious time, and we cannot worry about the parsing of words. What Walker and Mallott said is plenty good enough. The sooner state and municipal budgets, including those in the unorganized borough, are brought to a sustainable level (self-sustainable in the instance of municipal budgets) and the state decides what services it can continue to afford the better. I expect that will not happen until all state cash reserves are spent and the state has sent invoices to all employers for their respective portions of the PERS and TRS unfunded liabilities (but I hope Walker surprises me). Possibly the courts will have weighed in by then. In any event, we all need to help Walker and hope he succeeds. If he does not succeed then you will look back upon today and wish you had sold any Alaska real estate you may own.

  27. Disgusted Alaskan

    Walker, you have no class. If you were smart, you would have responded to the Governor’s gracious concession in kind. You showed all of us you just don’t have it in you. Remember, respect is earned. You lost a lot of respect from many Alaskans when you sold your beliefs and made deals with the dems and you lost even more of our respect with your flimsy, half-hearted, say-nothing (as usual) response and utter lack of respect for your governor.

    This is not a mandate from the voters. You led by a slim margin. Alaskans will soon have buyer’s remorse and you will only be in office for 4 years. Future public service? Forget about it.

  28. Disgusted Alaskan

    I am sure it was Gov. Parnell, not Walker, who was focused on ensuring Alaska’s best interests were protected. This wasn’t a “we,” thing. It was all Gov. Parnell. Walker just wants to be king – at all costs. He never spoke of Alaska’s best interests. He spoke in vague and ambiguous terms and he was only focused on winning, not serving our state.

    Walker showed in his response that he has no class, despite his age and the expected level of social decorum and etiquette for someone of his age. Gov. Parnell put so much thought and attention and love into his concession letter and Walker responds in a few lines. Adding insult to injury. Walker doesn’t have the class, decency or the sensibility to thank his governor, OUR governor, for his selfless and humble public service and for all of Gov. Parnell’s accomplishments over the last 5 1/2 years, accomplishments that will make Walker’s job easier, if he doesn’t un-do all that Gov. Parnell did.

    This is a tragic day for Alaska. The right man, the honorable man, the man who loves our state, loves serving people, is conceding to a man who only loves himself, has no integrity, played dirty politics and was driven by his consuming disdain for the governor. More tragic is that the voters — who were swindled by Walker with his game of political musical chairs and betrayal — pushed Walker over the top after he threw them under the bus with his post-primary secret and shady shenanigans. They didn’t have the critical thinking skills to vote for an honorable stateman with a solid history and a detailed plan for success, rather than a shallow salesman with no plan and a fabricated history, dotted with failures.

    This is so tragic on so many levels. The only sure and good thing is that Walker will fail and he will be a one-term governor. A house divided will not stand. And the deals Walker made will come back to bite him. But, Alaskans will suffer for the next 4 years.

    Let’s hope & pray that the mess Walker makes will be fixable in 4 years.

  29. Kaylee

    Walker is a moron.

    And who cares what Mallott has to say.

    Both are sellouts to their parties. This is bound to be a disaster (for all of us).

  30. Samantha Olzenski

    Wow…. This response is beyond weak. Sad for Alaskans that they choose such an inexperienced individual who doesn’t even have the intelligence, sense or class to put together a thoughtful response to a Governor who has given years of his life to serve our great state. Not a single compliment. And AS USUAL… The guy cannot even tell us what he plans to do to make Alaska a better place for the people who live here. This guy made a bunch of vague promises that he won’t be able to keep. He couldn’t elaborate on any of his plans or goals for the next four years??? Really??? I’m ashamed that so many of my fellow Alaskans fell for this crap and the media’s unfair biased in support of Walker. This is a sad day for Alaska. And the next 4 years will make for many many more years of sadness, anger and regret by the majority of Alaksans who supported such an incompetent, mumbling individual to the highest office in Alaska. Absolutely disgusted.

  31. Disappointed and Worriied

    The Walker/Mallott response to Parnell’s concession was amatuer at best. There was no humility in victory or graciousness in response to Parnell’s statement of defeat. Really thought Walker had more class than this. Also, who cares what Mallott thinks.

  32. Carl in Alaska

    I didn’t feel from the tone that this was a gracious reply and saw no need for the lite governor’s comments. Mallott’s statement that “Bill and I have a lot of work ahead of us” tells me we’ve got a l-o-n-g four years ahead. Buckle up Alaska, its going to be a rough ride.

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