Democratic Party leaders shake up gubernatorial ticket. Walker-Mallott merge.

The Alaska Democrats took a historic vote on Monday night to support a “unified” ticket which would combine the candidacies of Independent Republican gubernatorial candidates Bill Walker and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott. Walker will run as the governor. Mallott will run as the lieutenant governor. The ballot will list them as “unaffiliated.” Walker, who is a registered Republican, will have to change his party status to undeclared. Mallott can continue to be a registered Democrat if he chooses.

If both Walker and Mallott agree—which is all but certain—it will be the first time since Alaska began to vote that there won’t be a Democrat running for governor, which is troubling for some.

But many who had been pushing the merger have been saying that there was no way that Gov. Sean Parnell could be beat in a three-way race, and that beating Parnell was more important than party allegiance.

Too, on the big issue of the current oil tax repeal debate, Walker and Mallott are in sync.

Party rules dictate that the change of the ticket be voted on by the Democratic State Central Committee, which has about 140 members. On Monday night, 92 votes were counted, some of them by proxy. The count was 89-2 in support of the new ticket.

One of the “no” votes came from Juneau Democrat Kim Metcalfe. When reached after the vote, she said that she was a “yellow dog Democrat” and that she couldn’t vote for a Republican.

More than 40,000 people voted in the August primary for Mallott and for Democratic lieutenant governor Hollis French. Many of them will likely feel like Metcalfe.

However, the word most used at the party headquarters in Anchorage on Monday–where committee members had been locked up in a room for hours—was “excited” and “historic.”

The media was allowed in the conference room to listen to the final votes. However, we weren’t allowed to listen to the discussion preceding the vote. The crowd of about 15 in the conference cheered when the roll was called.

The deal had been weeks in the making, and many, including me, predicted that it wouldn’t transpire. First, it was hard to see how the Democrats would agree not to run someone from their party on the ticket. Secondly, many had a hard time seeing Mallott–a Tlingit leader with a deep bench of experience—accepting the number two ticket on the ballot.

And then there was lieutenant governor nominee Hollis French, who is better known and arguably a better campaigner than Mallott.

But however it happened, which will be in a chapter on Alaska history someday, the whole thing came together.

French sent the following statement to the Central Committee:

I have always believed that public service is fundamentally nothing more than an opportunity to make the world a better place. In this election cycle, I had believed that the best way forward for Alaska was with a Mallott-French ticket.  In light of recent events, I must resign my position as Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor.  I have asked for nothing in exchange for my resignation. I believe the overriding imperative is to replace Sean Parnell.

Many of the tickets supporters are still in campaign-mode from the recent ballot initiative to repeal the oil tax break championed by Parnell. This ticket will keep those folks energized. Organized labor will likely come on board in a big way to support the ticket. Parnell hasn’t particularly antagonized labor, but he hasn’t worked to cultivate its support in any way either. However, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is Parnell’s running mate, is a different story. He has the rockiest relationship with labor as any politician in recently memory.

All of the excitement and enthusiasm that will follow the ticket will also likely spill over into the Senate race to the benefit of Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who is said to have had a voice in the decision to merge the two candidates. One of Begich’s key messages is that party affiliation is less important than standing up for Alaska.

The deadline to change the ticket is tomorrow by close of business. Walker and Mallott are expected to do so and are expected to hold a press conference.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


56 thoughts on “Democratic Party leaders shake up gubernatorial ticket. Walker-Mallott merge.

  1. Lynn Willis

    So poor Sean Parnell, occupying the office of one of the most powerful Governorships in the United States, is simply being carried along on the currents of events with no ability to exercise his fiduciary responsibility? I’m not sure I would be suggesting “dishonest” characterizations.

  2. Garand Fellow

    Correction. I meant $99 oil of course.

    Oil at $199 would eliminate the deficit, and it would mean the Yes on 1 people were right.

  3. Garand Fellow

    Governor Parnell has a role in the deficit spending but the blame should be spread all over the state. First, every dollar spent must be appropriated by the legislature, and the legislature is elected by the people.

    Second, every dollar appropriated plus many, many more are demanded by Alaskans. For example, even in a year when oil taxes are a big issue the oil companies pay less money to lobbyists than do municipalities and school districts. Aggregate demand for government services likely exceeds total appropriations by a multiple. Moreover we demand good news from those who seek our votes, and that translates into annual incremental spending on huge projects that will never actually be built. Clearly we demand the spending and elect people who will give it to us, so how can we blame those elected people when they do what we demanded of them when they asked for our vote?

    Third, in a couple months the state will hand out in the PFD about the same amount as the deficit. Alaskans receive both bread and circuses, and then complain about the high level of spending. Blaming Governor Parnell for all of this is silly, inaccurate, and quite possibly dishonest.

    I cannot wait until the Walker-Mallott ticket is asked how Governor Walker (speaking hypothetically of course) intends to increase spending on education and health care while eliminating the deficit, all in the face of $199 ANS. Heck, if Walker says which programs he will eliminate in order to balance the budget at the same time he increases spending in the areas he says then I may vote for him myself so long as the arithmetic works. Let’s see the Bill Walker FY2016 operating and capital budgets right now. Walker has been running for years so he should have budget numbers ready.

  4. Shattered

    I agree. That’s how you know they aren’t Democrats. I could see a few of them not voting at all because of the merger, but I highly doubt any would vote for Parnell in protest.

    But hey, no harm in trying to plant the seed. It could grow in a really dumb place.

  5. Marvin

    More Alaskans are not affiliated with parties than are members of any party, so I think getting on the ballot by petition truly represents the will of the people. I was at the press conference too and I thought Byron looks happy and excited to be part of this new team. I see this energizing the electorate in November and I expect to see a larger turn-out. With marijuana and minimum wage on the same ballot, Parnell is going to be history.

  6. Lynn Willis

    I would ask Alaskans to judge Parnell on his record on the issues facing Alaskans. My opinion is he has utterly failed to perform his most important duty which is to exercise his fiduciary responsibility. For that failure he needs to go. We hear the “7 million dollars per day” deficit spending estimate. Listen to Professor Scott Goldsmith’s (who concluded that SB21 was not costing 2 billion per year) testimony to Senate Finance on March 25, 2014 during a hearing regarding KABATA. He was testifying as a private citizen at that time. His testimony begins at 72:46 and at 73:13 is his conclusion that the state is spending our cash reserves at the rate of seven million dollars per day. Brad Keithley has also done some analysis that illustrates the poor performance of Sean Parnell regarding this issue.
    Bottom line is that Parnell had the power to control spending:
    Alaska State Constitution in Article II, Section 15: § 15. Veto: The governor may veto bills passed by the legislature. He may, by veto, strike or reduce items in appropriation bills. He shall return any vetoed bill, with a statement of his objections, to the house of origin”.

    I am certainly now willing to give Walker/Mallot a shot.

  7. Garand Fellow

    It occurs to me that if nothing matters but to beat Parnell; if issues, philosophies, qualities, affiliations, experience and even principles have no importance to the Alaska Democratic Party, and if the party is sure that their rank and file will do whatever they are told, then they should have gone with a Palin-Walker ticket. Palin and Walker are known to agree on every issue, and that contrasts sharply with the Walker-Mallott ticket.

  8. Stockholder

    Parnell sure is great at uniting Alaskans.

    Alaskans are uniting en mass , in unprecedented ways, to throw Parnell out.

    No ‘third’ term for Parnell.

  9. CRUDE is RUDE

    All you Parnell acolytes are also apologists for sloppy BigOil spilling a stuportanker in Valdez…
    In 1971 I actually held in my hands the very samples of crude in one gallon paint cans that were shipped to FERC for licensing TAPS….
    ….the crude in the sample cans was NOT the same material as what was spilled all over Prince William Sound.
    The crude in the sample cans was not a gassy runny sticky mess, it could be swept off the water with a treebranch.

    Since 1989 I have heard many fat idiots tell me they wished there was another oil spill so they could pay off their credit cards again…
    …these are the legions of foul fools who vote for CRUDE politicians.

    The entire CRUDE-industry runs at 10% thermodynamic efficiency and has been wasting 90% of our resources for a century.

    Alaska should be running as efficiently as this car…
    goog: ingocar valentin

    I’m working with Walker/Mallott-2104 because we will make the shift from CRUDE-feedstock to light-alkanes beginning at the wellheads…
    …and I know how to do it with 100% oil recovery.

    Spilling stuportankers in the ocean is the sport of Kings who are stuck on stupid.
    All you fat trolls for Parnell can bite my hook and I’ll reel you in like a fish.
    Smuggling Cheatoil [dilbit] is like smuggling DOPE.

  10. Garand Fellow

    Many are missing the big picture here. Bill Walker could not win the nomination of any party yet here he is at the top of the ticket and one of the two parties has no candidate or ticket in order to give Bill Walker the best shot. Yet there was a democratic process for the Alaska Democratic Party, and Byron Mallott won. This is Alaska voter disenfranchisement. Democracy has suffered a set-back. I cannot believe that no laws have been broken.

    I know Byron Mallott. He looked stunned and unhappy at the press conference, and I cannot explain why he did this. He won the nomination of his party for the highest office in the state, and then he resigned. He stepped aside for the sake of a 3rd party candidate who shares absolutely none of the values of his party. No Democrat is running for governor in 2014 even though people who voted on August 19 rightfully believed there would be a Democrat to vote for in November.

    I know Hollis French. He is not talking.

    This will lower voter turnout but it will not stop Governor Parnell from being re-elected.

  11. Lynn Willis

    Alaska issues include; optional state spending; mandatory state spending; affordable domestic energy; replenishing the state savings accounts, sustaining the PFD, alternate sources of state revenue, establishment of local taxing authorities, sustained employment; gas export; viability of the TAPS; local manufacturing and refining, fish and game management, backlog of corporate tax audits, tourism, public sector union contracts, comprehensive state energy plan, transportation corridors to link communities, court mandated local schools, health care, domestic violence and abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, affordable housing, environmental protection, and more…….
    All these issues facing us yet all some can do is bitch about a threat to their precious two-party system.
    I suggest we focus on the issues and the leader who has best addressed them over the last four years and who can best address them in the next four years.

  12. CRUDE is RUDE

    All you Parnell acolytes are also apologists for sloppy BigOil spilling a stuportanker in Valdez…
    In 1971 I actually held in my hands the very samples of crude in one gallon paint cans that were shipped to FERC for licensing TAPS….
    ….the crude in the sample cans was NOT the same material as what was spilled all over Prince William Sound.

    Since 1989 I have heard many fat idiots tell me they wished there was another oil spill so they could pay off their credit cards again…
    …these are the legions of foul fools who vote for CRUDE politicians.

    The entire CRUDE-industry runs at 10% thermodynamic efficiency and has been wasting 90% of our resources for a century.

    Alaska should be running as efficiently as this car…

    I’m working with Walker/Mallott-2104 because we will make the shift from CRUDE-feedstock to light-alkanes beginning at the wellheads…
    …and I know how to do it with 100% oil recovery.

    Spilling stuportankers in the ocean is the sport of Kings who are stuck on stupid.

    All you fat trolls for Parnell can bit my hook and I’ll reel you in like a fish.
    Smuggling Cheatoil [dilbit] is like smuggling DOPE.

  13. Garand Fellow

    I stand by my prediction and by my belief that now people will get to know Walker, and at least the Democrats will be shocked and dismayed. Furthermore, I would bet that Hollis French sees this the same way I do.

    I heard Bill Walker speak back when he was not a candidate and he is nutty in the same way liberals believe Walker’s strongest supporter, Sarah Palin, is nutty but Walker is more so. Pro-choice, LBGTQetc., environmentalists, and other liberal cause advocates will soon be jumping ship.

    If Mallott was on top of this ticket then the liberals would be OK. It really doesn’t matter who is Lt. Gov. (protect the state seal and ride herd on the notaries public), so Walker as second on the ticket would have allowed Democrats to wink at one another and say they had won. But Walker is an attorney and business man, and smarter than a Democrat apparently. If he won he would soon banish Mallott to the corner of a remote room.

    I must now admit to being wrong about something; the Outsiders who have been saying, mostly in the context of the US Senate race, that Alaska politics are strange are right. With Ballot Measure 1 we had Tony Knowles, Gov. Parnell, and chambers of commerce on one side, and Sarah Palin and Les Gara on the other side. Now we have Sarah Palin, Les Gara, Patty Higgins and Kay Brown on the same side against Sarah Palin’s running mate Sean Parnell. I now look for Sarah Palin and that Moore woman from Homer to initiate some sort of relationship, possibly entering a dance contest as the etc. twins. Homer people should keep their sheep in the barn until all this is over.

  14. Alaskadude

    It would take a huge leap of faith to believe Democratic voters are angry enough to vote Parnell, over boycotting the election. Reminds me of the old saying cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  15. Northern Observer

    Let’s take a look at the Walker-Mallott team. Key team members include: Shannon Moore, Lesa Gara, Sarah Palin………………..
    Need I say more?

  16. Anonymous in Turnagain

    Bill Walker is a despicable person.
    It won’t take long for the Democrats to figure this out. All they have to do is put their ear to the ground and listen. Within a few hours of their joyous announcement, Bill Walker was already privately throwing Byron Mallott under the bus suggesting that he would have little or no decision making role. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who participated in Walker’s United for Liberty (UFL) interview today. UFL is a conservative umbrella group. Walker wasn’t espousing Democratic party values there by any means according to numerous reports. What the Democrtas did was laughable. No wonder Hollis French isn’t showing hide nor hair.

  17. Shattered

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of these “sour ideological democrats” aren’t what they seem.

    I have seen several posts stating that they are now going to vote for Parnell now because they are angry that Mallott is running with Walker. That makes no sense and leads me to believe that they are Parnell supporters trying to put the “Vulcan mind flip” on the Democrats.

    If they are that dumb, they probably aren’t smart enough to successfully complete the ballot.

  18. Shattered

    Although I’m on the other side (a Walker supporter), I feel the same. My intention was to vote for whomever had the best chance of defeating Parnell come election day. Be it Walker or Mallott.

    This makes the choice much easier. There is every chance that card carrying Democrats would have voted for Mallott and Independents and disillusioned Republicans would have voted for Walker and very likely that the incumbent would have remained in office.

    With this, I have every confidence that we will be seeing the last of Sean the public official. However, it is quite likely we will be seeing Sean the lobbyist again.

    Also, accolades to Byron Mallott. Putting his ego aside and doing what was best for the state should be commended. Thank you sir.

  19. Andy

    If the nullificatiion of a primary and the disenfranchisement of 50,000 Democrats is the only way the Democratic Party of Alaska can see a path to victory, they truly are a pathetic bunch. Before today, I never even considered voting for Parnell. Today, I see him as the only honorable choice.

  20. Alaskadude

    Sure a lot of sour ideological democrats complaining about the only way to remove Sean Parnell from the governors seat. Yes, a Mallot/French ticket would have been more progressive and ideal, but sometimes it’s better to act pragmatic and get half of what you want, then none. Polls have consistently showed Walker and Mallot splitting the vote, allowing Parnell to cruise to victory. Mallot and Walker share similar outlooks on resources and fiscal issues, social issues differ, but Walker is on record stating no new laws/regulations. I know I would rather have Parnell unelected then the pleasure of voting for Mallot/French and watching them lose.

  21. Polly

    I was a Dem growing up in CA. Moving to Alaska (1975), I decided to register undeclared to test the waters, then changed to Dem in 2000. I went back to undeclared, because, we need consensus; far right and far left get us nowhere. I tend to vote Dem. There are smart, good people on both sides. I love Alaska, and the corruption is getting out of hand in this administration. I would like to see us defeating Pebble Mine, protecting the PFD, and provide for better education, and shutting down Koch Brothers (outside interests) who are funding the GOP ticket. Really? Outsiders are spending big bucks to take control of our government… Walker and Mallott have history helping Alaskans. Parnell and Sullivan do not. In my opinion after talking to Walker, he is focused on natural resources, fiscal management, and not at all interested in pushing a social agenda, like the current administration does. If citizens are strong on social issues, vote for local House and Senate candidates who can sponsor bills for the causes you believe in. The governorship isn’t a reign like a King or Emperor; social issues start in the legislature.

  22. Garand Fellow

    This will soon be revealed to be a disaster for rank and file Alaska Democrats. I predict Parnell wins with 65% of the vote.

    Accordingly, the Right to Life people and other social conservatives here are ecstatic. For the first time they cannot lose in the gubernatorial election. What most Alaskans who are not political wonks feel are the important issues have been completely disregarded by those who structured this ticket. If Hollis French ever feels free to talk and to speak his mind he will certainly talk about that. Sure, Walker wants a different gas line than what Parnell, Fauske and Chenault are headed toward but that doesn’t mean very much to those who believe any gas line from the North Slope is now fantasy. Walker says he will not deficit spend but the media have so far given him a pass by not asking exactly what programs he would eliminate. Mallott wants to increase education and health care spending, and sooner or later the media will ask how that comports with balancing the budget.

    Unions are piling on to this ticket but what has Walker or Mallott ever done for organized labor? Sealaska Corp. timber has been logged for about 35 years but not a single tree has been felled by a union faller. Any one year’s worth of the Parnell capital budget does more for union jobs than Walker and Mallott together have done during their entire working lives.

    This emperor has no clothes. I hope the media talk to the two no votes among the Democratic Party rulers. I saw Kay Brown on the television news bragging about this new ticket. Other than apparently seething about Parnell, what in the world do Walker and Brown have in common? What power would Lt. Gov. Mallott have to stand up to Walker on an issue like abortion funding? And for those who think that SB21 is larger than social issues like a woman’s right to choose, what chance would a Governor Walker have in rolling back SB21 in the Alaska Legislature in light of the vote on August 19?

  23. Gossip Hag

    I’m a Disappointed, Disillusioned Democrat that had my vote several days ago thrown out with the mop bucket slop last night and the days leading up to the decision. I am voting for Parnell-Sullivan as a Damn pissed off Voter!

  24. Stockholder

    1. He has not conducted audits under ACES, potentially costing Alaska billions of dollars.

    2. Parnell killed not one, but two citizens initiatives. One was in support of the All Alaska Gasline/LNG project that created ANGDA. The other was for cruise ships. He has no respect for the wishes of the voters.

    3. Parnell’s SB-21 now allows “new” oil (that oil brought on line since 2003) to pay no severance tax. This creates a negative NPV for Alaska. Tax free oil. This is unconstitutional, and ensures Alaskans will be impoverished.

    4, Parnell has taken actions that have increased the property taxes in Valdez and Fairbanks.

    5. Parnell has appointed out of state residents to our boards that set Alaska policy. Why should outsiders set state policy? It is OK to bring on outside expertise, but not to set state policy. Parnell’s actions here are not consistent with the law.

    6. Parnell has created the biggest budget deficits in state history. We are deficit spending at $7 million dollars per day.

    7. Parnell has sabotaged the gasline. Parnell spent most of his last six years supporting a non economic project to the Lower 48. Parnell has put the project in the hands of global corporations that have projects that compete with Alaska.

    8. Parnell has failed to bring about a alternative revenues.

    9. Parnell has failed to clean up the horrible air quality problem in Fairbanks.

    10. Parnell failed to address the concerns of Flint Hills- resulting in their closure.

    11. Parnell is on record supporting actions that will reduce our Permanent Fund Dividends.

    One could go on and on…

  25. Anonymous

    Stockholder, Please tell me in your opinion what exactly Parnell has done that has “so badly screwed up Alaska?”


  26. Stockholder

    A great day for Alaska- where rational people made a wise, bipartisan decision.

    Imagine that you own a company where your CEO has so mismanaged the company that you were in the red- deficit spending at the rate of $7 million dollars per day. The CEO offers no plan that will turn things around. So you need to fire your CEO. You interview those would would replace your CEO and find a well qualified replacement- who has been proven right over and over again. But you do not hire this person ONLY because of their party affiliation.

    Now how dumb would that be?

    Parnell has so badly screwed up our state that it is extremely urgent that he be fired and replaced with competent leadership (Walker and Mallott). Rational people of from all political perspectives can see this. We also saw the poll numbers. As polls are used to predict future outcomes, they are a critical tool. The polls showed that we needed to make this change. Otherwise, the terrible mismanagement of Parnell would have destroyed our state.

    Kudos again to all who made this happen. Hollis French, the Democrat Leadership, Byron Mallott, Craig Fleener, and Bill Walker- our next governor.

    A good day, a very good day for Alaska.

  27. Arctic Urbanophile

    The Alaska Democratic party is a joke and has suffered under terrible leadership for so long and they are clearly desperate for a Hail Mary. If Democrats/Walker are successful in November, it will be on the coat tails of the strong ground game of Begich, organized labor, and the DSCC. Without leadership or vision it’s not surprising the state party has a weak machine.

  28. Garand Fellow

    This is a mess. I am told that in Juneau the Mallott yard signs are already coming down but that Sealaska Corp. people are urging a write-in for Mallott. Possibly the Alaska Democratic Party doesn’t understand how important it is for so many people to have Byron Mallott running for governor!

    Sealaska Corp. endorsed Mallott, Begich and Kito. Does anyone think they will now endorse Walker?

    No one in Southeast knows anything about Walker. I would bet there are not 10 yard signs for Walker in Southeast today. The election is 8 weeks away.

  29. Grant

    This is NOT a done deal. Mead Treadwell can stand up for the 50,000 voters and not let their votes be disenfranchised. This would take leadership and courage. Having said this and thought about it, I guess it is a done deal. Treadwell has neither the courage or the sense of righteousness to do so.

  30. Lynn Willis

    Who knows if we have reached the point of viable gas extraction? Now we face the heavy and residual oils and that will take even more energy from gas for extraction won’t it? I am not impressed that a top Exxon executive has been assigned to this project. Wasn’t he on the payroll already?
    Too soon to count our chickens Jon since we don’t yet even have a farm on which to build the coop in which to lay the eggs. Also, I don’t know what “hundreds of millions” means to you; however if memory serves, we spent around 340 million state dollars on AGIA.

  31. AK Nonpartisan

    Thanks to the Alaska Democratic Party for once again showing that beating the Governor means more than the ideals they claim to champion. Just like during the legislative session, when all members of the Democratic minority voted against continuing the Anchorage Domestic Violence Intervention Project while claiming to be advocates for victims of abuse, here they throw their support behind Bill Walker who is openly anti-Choice and anti-LGBT, while claiming to be the party of compassion and equality.

    At least I can trust Gov. Sean Parnell and the Republican Party to keep to their word and fight for what they say they will.

  32. Lynn Willis

    Perhaps you have read my quote from John Adams, Second President of the United States; “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” (JOHN ADAMS, letter to Jonathan Jackson, Oct. 2, 1789)
    I was also impressed by the comment of retired Alaska State Senator Con Bundy regarding allegiance to a party platform after being elected. Senator Bundy observed that the first thing left behind when the train leaves the station is the platform.
    Alaska has a long history of shifting political allegiances. The latest precedent to ignore party discipline was clearly established in the Miller/Murkowski race. These 40,000 voters from the August primary can still “write in” whoever they want or demand another Democrat run against the ticket containing a democrat already. Their complaint is with the “party bosses”, not the election process.
    I believe that a primary election should not be funded by the State unless all candidates, regardless of any party affiliation (or not) are allowed to participate. If any party doesn’t like that condition then they should have some other means (funded by them) to select a slate of candidates for the general election. This direct government subsidy to the political parties needs to end. I also support the concept of the “top two primary” in which the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.
    I wouldn’t be too concerned about “losing” the gas line. I watched the AKLNG process closely in the legislature and was dismayed at the rush to judgment and especially the choice to ignore the AOGCC to both understand the process of allowing gas to be used for other than oil extraction and the current estimate of volumes available for export. I am not comfortable with any project of that magnitude where the sovereign becomes a legal partner of a business. I think a legislative/executive process is ill designed to function on the stage of international energy production. I am also very confused as to why the AGDC/ASAP project is still proceeding after the AGIA contract was voided and the restriction of 500 million cubic feet per day has been removed (that was the volume restriction for any line that might have competed with the AGIA project.
    In any event the next few months will be interesting to say the least. Thanks for the discussion.

  33. Jon K


    Here’s what you are missing – none of those projects had all of the necessary parties on the same page working together to commercialize the gas. None of those projects had completed substantial permitting, engineering, and commercial work on all of the necessary elements of the project: gas treatment plant, pipeline, and LNG facilities. None of those projects had Point Thomson poised for production. None of those projects had Exxon’s top LNG guy in charge of the project. None of those projects had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to advance the project.

    Most importantly, commercializing large volumes of gas in the 1980s or 1990s was not in anyone’s interest because it would have resulted in the loss of billions of barrels of oil. Of course Bill Walker never mentions this inconvenient fact. We are reaching the point where we can now offtake gas without losing large volumes of oil.

    Finally, even if you are right about the AOGCC, and I don’t think you are, there’s a fix: the legislature changes the law. The question before them will be: Do we want a gas line at the cost of losing oil? From a value proposition, the answer is pretty straightforward.

  34. Gerald

    I like Bill Walker a lot. I like Mallott a lot too. Just wished they would have kept Hollis on the ticket. He’s smaryter than these two combined and a better campaigner too.

  35. 49er

    Lynn, I often time agree with your comments. They are usually very well-informed and based in logic. On this particular article, you have commented twice and I find myself respectfuuly disagreeing on both fronts. First, any way you shave it, about 40,000+ voters who took the time and went to the polls and voted the open ballot had their ballots thrown in the trash by Democratic party bosses. This is an unfortunate given. They were, as should be, emmbarrassed with the lack of credibility of their candidate. So, they threw the process out the window. To me, that is a scary and unacceptable Democratic value.
    In terms of the LNG line, if Walker wins, out goes all the success made to date by Parnell. Very similar with what happened when Palin won and then we had the stupid AGIA that slowed things down, cost the state millions and did nothing to advance a project. Sad but true.
    Dems talk “process”; however, when the process results in a decision they don’t like, they throw it out. This is a very disturbing precedent. I will not be supporting any Democrat this year.

  36. db

    Have you seen the new APP? It’s called the Anti-Parnell Party. Doesn’t do much but sure gets lots of press.

  37. Lynn Willis

    Walker’s pipeline plan will face the same problems that now face the AKLNG and AGDC/ASAP projects at this time. Same concerns as faced the Alaska Port Authority project, AGIA, Denali, and Yukon Pacific (did I miss one)- that is AOGCC support, firm markets, and financing.
    Regarding the budget, perhaps you should have been asking these questions years ago before Parnell allowed the largest budgets in state history?

  38. Lynn Willis

    This is good for Alaska. Already I am reading the claims of the party loyalists that they have been “disenfranchised”. Well, most Alaskans are not affiliated with either major party. Have you ever seen any “non- registered” or “undeclared” candidates on a primary ballot?
    Four years ago Bill Walker had attempted to run against Parnell in the Primary but Parnell refused to debate. Walker wanted to talk about issues while Parnell wanted to hide. I understand why Walker chose to run as a independent.
    What if we had the primary where everybody, including independts, could run and the “top two” vote getters, regardless of party affiliation, proceeded to the General Election? What if, in August, Bill Walker and Hollis French had been allowed on the primary ballot with Parnell for Governor? Given Parnell’s negatives I wonder if he would have been one of the winners. In a convoluted way, the majority of Alaskans just had their primary to select a slate of candidates
    The two-party system is on life support. Citizens United took away their money. Gerrymandering isolated them from the voters. The use a secretive permanent standing caucus eroded the people’s access to the open forum of debate.
    The undeclared and nonpartisan voters in Alaska have prevailed. Good for us and once again we show that “we don’t give a damn how they do it in the lower 48”.

  39. Jon k

    How do these guys reconcile their priorities: Walker apparently wants to balance the budget and have the state build (without the producers?) a $50 billion or so LNG project, and he wants to expand Medicaid. Mallot wants to expand Medicaid, fully fund education, address the pension shortfall, and deal w the rural energy crises. I don’t think we can balance the budget and accomplish these objectives.

  40. Garand Fellow

    First, thanks to! Because of your reporting even the ADN is doing a better job of keeping Alaskans up to date and – perhaps – informed without as much political spin about events like this. Young lady, you have moved the needle toward the center.

    I have some real sympathy for Alaska Democrats, exactly as I did when Democrats threw aside Scott McAdams (wasn’t that his name?) to write the name Lisa Murkowski back in November of 2010. Clearly, leaders of the Alaska Democratic Party don’t like the choices made by Alaska Democrats as to who should be on the ballot!

    And they have taken a big risk. If Governor Parnell still wins, and likely even if he does not, I would expect to see wholesale changes within the Democratic Party. Bill Walker is a Republican who doesn’t like Parnell; in no way does he have anything in common with Alaska Democrats. Look at all the issues that define the two parties; abortion, gun control, global warming and other environmental extremism, a gas line, etc. etc. And Bill Walker has not been taken seriously; now he will so who knows what will come out of the closet? Can Democrats move Byron aside like this and not be called racist (Republicans could not)?

    Well, I have rambled on too long. Thanks again to, a real gamechanger and marked improvement in media. This is historic, extremely interesting, and will set back the Alaska Democratic Party one generation. But if Walker wins look for Chris Tuck to be Labor Commissioner, Fleenor (done deal I am told) at Fish and Game (look out wolves and bears!), French at Administration, the old Hickel auto dealer at Revenue, and a preacher as chief of staff. Byron would do not harm as Lt. Gov.

  41. Smitty

    Sounds like Byron Mallott, Hollis French and a handfull of Democratic party leaders betrayed the tens of thousands of Alaskans who went to the polls to vote. Our votes, in essence, were put in a trash can. I’ll be setting out the general election in hopes that the party’s leadership learned that it isn’t wise to disenfranchise the party’s membership.

  42. hockeymom2

    Can someone explain to me why I took the time to vote in the Aug. 19th primary? I went to the ballot box wanting to vote for Mallot and French – – two pro-choice candidates. The other gubernatorial tickets Parnell-Sullivan and Walker-Fleener were right to life candidates which I object to strongly. Now, as I understand it, the political Democratic bosses did some type of back room deal and Walker is at the top of the ticket and French isn’t even on the ticket. This is the most unethical and brazen political move I have ever heard of. The people have been replaced with back room party operators probably being directed by outside special interests. I can’t believe this happened.

  43. Angelee

    This is in reality a progressive move. Will, do we adhere to a purity test or move Alaska forward? Questions will be asked and answered- but the real question is are you in favor of keeping the same folks in?

  44. Debbie

    My Democratic Party just threw their values out the window. It was a decision made with hatred and cynicism. Maybe the party should have focused on why they are in this predicament. The Democratic Party in Alaska has become a joke under the leadership of the likes of Patti Higgins, Les Gara and Vic Fisher. I will be changing my party registration soon. I wish not to be associated with these clowns any longer.

  45. Will

    It’s a sad day in the history of the Alaska Democratic Party that they were so ashamed of their nominee for Governor that such action was taken. Poor Hollis French, stepping aside in the name of party unification and a desparate attempt to have a credible ticket, has allowed the selectiom of a pro-life, anti-LBGT advocate to be the Democratic ticket’s nominee for governor. I am saddened and sick. Thank you Ms. Metcalfe for having the courage of your convictions. I think in a few short days, the members of the Democratic Central Committee will wake up from their euphoric state and realize that their decision was foolhearty and pathetic. Byron Mallott has proven, even if elected, that he is nothing more than irrelevant. That’s all lite governors are anyway ; however, if he is elected it will be without this Democrat’s vote.

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