Where governor hopeful Bill Walker stood on social issues in 2010

Bill Walker, with the blessings of the Democratic Party, will be running as governor as that party’s “unaffiliated” candidate. One of the things that has made Democrats nervous is that he’s pro-life and is against gay marriage. However, he has repeatedly said, this time around at least, that the would not push that agenda. At Tuesday’s press conference, he said that social issues were not his focus, and that the laws that are currently on the books are going to continue to be the law.  (It might be worthy of note that Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has also said that social issues weren’t his focus. although with less clarity. Nonetheless, his beliefs about social issues have been unacceptable to Democrats.)

There’s no reason to believe that Walker isn’t telling the truth, but it’s important to know where Walker stands on these issue.  Four years ago, when Walker ran for governor in 2010, he expressed his views clearly. He completed at least two surveys on social issues: A survey from Alaska Family Action  and from Alaska Right to Life.

walker response family council

From Alaska Family Action survey

Alaska Right to Life is looking for the complete survey that he filled out then. But the director, Christopher Kurka, remembers the interview that the group had with Walker. From that interview and from what he does have of the survey, Kurka said that they would have endorsed him then if the organization’s policy was to endorse two candidates. As it was, Gov. Sean Parnell got the endorsement.

“Bill Walker told us everything we wanted to hear,” Kurka said, including telling them that he was committed to passing pro-life legislation.

Walker filled out another survey for Alaska Family Action in 2010.  (Read the full survey here: AK-VoterGuide-Gov-LtGov-081210).

Here’s a summary of what Walker said then on that survey:

  • Walker said that he was against increasing Medicaid funding because the program paid for abortions.
  • He supported legislation that would define “medically necessary” abortions, which would limit the number of abortions Medicaid pays for.
  • He supported a constitutional amendment that would strip the right of an abortion to be a fundamental right, as has been interpreted by the courts.
  • He supported a constitutional amendment that would strip same-sex partners from receiving state benefits.
  • He said that he would vote against adding “gender identity” and/or “sexual orientation” to Alaska’s civil rights statue.
  • He supported a constitutional amendment that would change the way the governor chooses judges.
  • He was unsure about school choice. (Recently, he has said that he doesn’t support vouchers.)

For years, these issues have continually been debated in Juneau, and the Alaska Democratic Party, and most of its legislators, have fought vigilantly against all of these laws and initiatives.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 



25 thoughts on “Where governor hopeful Bill Walker stood on social issues in 2010

  1. Care Clift for Alaska

    Every Alaskan who voted in the ADL Primary was disenfranchised. So, I just want to let you know that the Libertarian candidate for governor threw the Right-to-Life questionnaire and the Alaska Family Action papers in the recycle bin. I filled out everyone elses’ questionnaires. That’s right, the Libertarian candidate, Care Clift, is the only socially tolerant governor candidate left. And, I am fiscally responsible, pledge to end the deficit, and possibly the most frugal person you will ever find! So you still have a choice! Thank you for voting for me.

  2. Lynn Willis

    The primary is reserved for the recognized political parties which gives their members momentum while allowing the people to pay for their selection process with no independents or candidates from unrecognized parties allowed to participate. I have read you are the candidate for the Alaska Constitution Party. According to the Division of Elections your party is not recognized by the State and therefore cannot participate in the state funded primary. I would think you would want to participate instead of defending the system that keeps you out. Sorry, though I consider myself to be an informed voter I have seen Maria mentioned by you; however, I have no idea who Pam is.

  3. J.R.Myers for Alaska Governor 2014

    There are no benefits to the voters from top two. See results in CA & WA states. Information is archived at Ballot Access News. Top two is an insidious way to stifle political competition. It originated in Louisiana as a means to keep the Dems in power there. Independents can gather signatures just like Maria, Pam and I had to do to get on the ballot this year. The candidate who receives a plurality vote should win. Another option is to allow fusion nominating and voting from the beginning.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Do you understand that “top two” is designed to allow more choice by the people? It is opposed by the traditional parties exactly because of that expansion of choice. The resistance was aptly demonstrated by the Alaska legislature refusing even to discuss the concept.
    Do you see a “level playing field” by only allowing organized parties to field candidates? So how would an independent candidate fit into your scenario? How could he or she possibly participate?

  5. J.R.Myers for Alaska Governor 2014

    Top two is NOT he solution to our woes. An educated and involved citizenry and a level playing field for candidates is the answer. Let’s eliminate publicly financed political party primaries. Let the political parties pay for their own conventions where their members choose their candidates. Otherwise, offices should go to the plurality vote winner. Isn’t it typical how the powers that be change the rules in mid-play as it suits them? Top two is fear driven, and undemocratic. It is is a circling of the wagons, because the R’s & D’s know the people are about done with them.

  6. Trinity

    Walker flips, flops, smiles and lies. He has no moral core. He doesn’t respect gay marriage or his own for that matter. You posted his position paper on social issues from four years ago. This is different than what he told the Democrats. He also told the Ds that he wouldn’t bring hiis personal views into governing. Now, he’s told Richard Mauer he would. He and Byron say, “trust us”. Sure, like that’ll happen. Who is this guy Bill Walker? Yuk.

  7. Arctic Urbanophile

    I just find it so demoralizing that any candidate would even respond to a survey from the Alaska Family Action other than to write “Hell No” over the entire paper. What rational human being could ever be against stem cell research? Now they have both their “candidates” and no one running presents an opposing view. Walker has already started back tracking on promises he made during the press conference. Abortion rights are guaranteed in the Alaska constitution and groups like the ACA seek to dismantle it, yet these are the same people who abhor the idea of a “living constitution” when it comes to equal rights for women and gays. They teach the primacy of salvation by belief. For them, personal morality is “an optional extra.” Add lack of respect for the rights of others to have their on view and a large helping of self righteousness and we’ll be living in an Arctic theocracy. We are facing a budgetary crisis in this state and apparently the most pressing issue is what people do in the bedroom. Once these children are out of the room the pro-life crowd abandons them and actively fights against policy that would allow children to live decent life–funding for public schools, access to nutritional foods, low student loans, ect. There is a difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life–none of these groups look at the full life spectrum–womb to grave–when crafting a “pro-life” agenda, which to me only confirms that the ACA’s are solely geared towards the control and subjection of women. I miss thoughtful leaders like Arliss Sturgulewski who where pro-development, pro-balanced budgets, pro-funding effective government programs and checked the personal religious beliefs at the door. I want a Republican I can be proud to vote for not an anti-oil-sounds-like-a-democrat like Walker or a foam at the mouth social conservative–also Walker. At least Parnell is not one of those. Sturgulewski 1990! Sturgulewski 2014!

  8. Lynn Willis

    For all of you feeling like you just fell down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, a perhaps a significant step toward solution to your problem is available. In fact it was available to the Alaska Legislature in January 2013 with the introduction of HB 13 (NONPARTISAN BLANKET PRIMARY ELECTION). This is the “Top Two Primary” concept which allows everybody to run in the state funded primary then allows the two candidates with the most votes (without regard to political party) to proceed to the general election.
    Alas, the bill was held to death with no hearing in House State Affairs Committee chaired by Representative Lynn. You would have to ask Representative Lynn why he exercised his totally assumed defacto veto power over legislation; veto power exactly as effective as the veto power afforded the Governor in the State Constitution – except Lynn’s veto is not supported by law or legislative procedural rule. The other difference is that the Constitution requires a justification for a veto. No such requirement when a committee chair kills a bill. There is a procedure for a committee to “roll the chair” and demand a hearing; however, the use of that procedure is so rare as to be practically non-existence.
    Apparently Representative Lynn was, again for reasons unknown, motivated to support the status quo which is what we have now, so you should be happy. If you are so keen on “party purity” they I would suggest you expand the “top two” law to allow you’re party to not participate in any state funded primary and to have a convention, where by whatever means you choose and at party expense, you choose a slate of candidates for the General Election. So what is the solution if you don’t like what happened?

  9. Jon K


    Good post. I was also struck by Dermot’s op-ed. This guy is one of the most cynical journalists around and yet, based on nothing tangible, he is willing to bet that Walker will give Mallot super-powers as Lite Gov. It doesn’t add up.

    On the election issue it is legal. The Alaska Supreme Court dealt with a very similar situation when Coghill abandoned the GOP ticket to form a new ticket with Hickle. Unless the statutes regulating these issues unambiguously state that this is prohibited, the Court said it would not police how political parties run their business.

  10. Garand Fellow

    One aspect of this is how poorly served Alaskans are by most of the media (amandacoyne.com being the exception, and there may be others). Look at the DailyDispatch today. D. Cole is telling us that no matter what a nut Walker may be this will be the first administration where the Lt. Gov. is given equal responsibility and veto power. (Having met Walker a couple times and listened to him speak, and knowing Byron Mallott as I do, I cannot recall any ticket in which getting along is less likely.) Win, lose or draw the honeymoon won’t make it to election night, and D. Cole may know this but he is playing hide the peanut with DailyDispatch readers. Another DailyDispatch story would have us believe that even as Walker backtracks on what he just said he would do with anti-abortion legislation Democrats should not worry.

    If the DailyDispatch wasn’t carrying this new Walker-Mallott ticket on its back it would chase down French and Wilycowski, it would ask Gara what he thinks about it today, and it would ask Kim Metcalfe why she voted against the Democrats doing this. And not to single out the DD (ADN), Metcalfe lives in Juneau, she was at the Central Labor Council’s Juneau Labor Day Picnic as was the Juneau Empire, yet the Empire cannot find her to ask why she voted the way she did. And how about asking Tony Knowles, Fran Ulmer, Max Gruenberg and other well known Democrats how they see this development?

    The second aspect that I guess occurs only to me, and I guess I therefore must be wrong, is that this just cannot be legal. If it is legal then the law, or even the Constitution, must be changed. Alaskans voted on August 19, relying on information provided by the Alaska Division of Elections of there being a Democratic ticket in November no matter how they chose to vote in August. It has always worked that way and voters had a right to expect continuity. Based upon information provided to Alaskans by the Alaska Division of Elections people decided on whether to request a Republican or a Democratic ballot but voters were misinformed if not tricked.

    August 19 voters had a right to believe that in November there would be Republican candidates for governor and lt. governor and Democratic candidates for governor and lt. governor. Bill Walker wasn’t running for any of those 4 slots. Two fellows who were and won have been tossed out completely, and a fellow who was running at the top of one ticket won that slot but now appears in another slot on a new ticket that is neither Republican or Democrat. Now there is no Democratic ticket. The action taken on Labor Day, at least as reported by the media, by a small number of Alaska Democratic Party people that never appeared on any ballot I saw have taken action that has substantially changed what voters believed when they voted on August 19. The Alaska Division of Elections didn’t tell voters that new candidates not shown on your ballot may, subsequent to your vote, replace the people you are being shown for your vote on August 19. This is a razzle-dazzle that would make even Chicago voters run to the courts.

    Would there be no Democratic ticket if Mallott and French had been killed in a plane crash on August 20? No, there would still have to be a Democratic ticket. It seems that the Alaska Democratic Party has done what God could not do. I had no way to know this could be done when I voted on August 19. Democracy has been damaged. If Alaska Republicans pulled this the United States Attorney General would be here today. Instead we have the DailyDispatch and the Empire telling us everything is OK, and well known Democrats are not talking (or even being asked).

  11. J.R.Myers for Alaska Governor 2014

    SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

    In a statement to the press Alaska Constitution Party (ACP) founder and 2014 gubernatorial candidate J.R. Myers commented on the Walker- Mallott merger. “The people of Alaska have just had a huge bait and switch pulled on them. Ambitious egos have corrupted the Alaska political system in a desperate attempt to get elected. We have just witnessed a cynical manipulation of our electoral system which in essence has disenfranchised thousands of Alaskans.”

    For the first time in Alaska’s history, the Constitution Party will have candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor on the November 4 ballot. In the same year the Democrats won’t have candidates in the race. In an unprecedented move, Alaska Democratic candidates, chosen in a publicly financed primary election just a couple weeks ago, have resigned.

    “Switching the candidates after a primary and a signature gathering campaign, does not honor the party members who voted in the primary and does not honor grassroots Alaskans who signed the Walker/Fleener petitions, said Maria Rensel, ACP candidate for Lt. Governor. “They are really taking their supporters for granted.”

    The Democrat’s central committee voted 89-2 to endorse what they’re calling the ‘fusion’ or ‘unity’ ticket. In a recent interview Walker, who personally opposes abortion, pledged that under his watch he would not allow new restrictions even if it meant vetoing anti-abortion legislation. In order to be endorsed by the Democrats, Walker dropped his Republican registration to become Undeclared.

    The sanctity of human life is the primary motivating force behind the creation of the Alaska Constitution Party. This paramount issue is addressed by the Constitution party in Alaska as well as in every other state and is a guiding principle in the Declaration of Independence.

    “Our unalienable Right to Life was given to us by our Creator, God who made us. It is unacceptable that any of us should sweep this under the rug for political allegiance or political gain. We must not allow governments to deprive any one of us of his natural right to life or we all relinquish this right” Rensel said. “All other rights are meaningless without the right to life.”

  12. CPG49

    I don’t know who Bill Walker is. I don’t think he lknows who he is. Byron Mallott was pro-industry before a couple Democratic legislators told him he should change. These guys are the say anything you want to hear ticket.

  13. Lynn Willis

    Thanks again for this site. I enjoy the discourse on this forum; however, the important forum is the hearing or meeting of your elected officials. Alaska is rapidly approaching the time when we can no longer afford a government that will allow anyone to sit in the pilot’s seat or serve on the flight crew because we can afford to fly on auto-pilot.

    This is easy….give Bill Walker the questionnaire and have him update it. An update from Sean Parnell should also be done. Perhaps Bill Walker wants to represent all Alaskans now not just those in the Republican primary of 2010 –lets’ find out.
    Four years has passed and attitudes have changed. Same sex spouses now qualify for benefits which, as a fiscal conservative, interested me only regarding the increased cost. Ponder this; according to Time Magazine this week 2.2% of the US Military forces now identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Do we not still have the greatest military force in the world or do you perceive a 2.2% degradation in possible capability that could be instantly reversed?
    Shouldn’t I be very concerned about Walker’s “N” response to question 7 in 2010 asking if we should have a “Constitutional Amendment” to require a vote of the people before “gambling can be expanded”?

  14. Dan Fagan

    I am so torn. On the one hand promoting and preserving the death culture is so important to me. On the other hand I hate the evil oil industry. If I vote for Walker I abandon the death culture but support Walker’s resurrecting Sarah Palin’s war on the evil oil industry. What to do? What to do?

  15. Vicki

    The Democratic poitical bosses must have been smoking crystal meth when they made this deal. Or maybe it was a deal with the devil. How stupid.
    What did they get? Nada.
    They made a deal with a morally absent Republican willing to trade, say or do anything for a chance to control the Governorship. This sucks. Walker-Mallott sucks.

  16. Bill S

    If your devotion to a certain ideology leads you to embrace a collection of social policies you find abhorrent, perhaps you should step back and reconsider what it is that you’re devoted to.

  17. sandy D

    “Bill Walker told us everything we wanted to hear”. Yep, that sounds like the flim flam man I remember

  18. Jim Bob

    It is completely unfair for you to pull out 1500 day-old skewed questionnaires and then throw them in a candidate’s face. Bill Walker was just a kid in his late 50’s when he filled out those forms and should not be held accountable by anyone.

    It’s now 2014. As a mature man in his 60’s, when Bill Walker tells me his views on all these meaningless social issues don’t matter any more, I believe him and trust him and so. should. you.

  19. sethinfbks

    And that’s why I’m glad he didn’t run in a Republican Primary. He can support those issues (all of which I disagree with) but still govern from the middle. If he says he won’t push them as my Gov, I’ll take that over the attacks of Parnell and Sullivan on women’s bodies, privacy in the bedroom and workers rights to stand up for themselves.

    I watched the Bi-Partisan Working Group in the Senate do exactly that for 6 years. It’s not easy, but it’s political sausage at its best.

  20. Mike

    This has opened my eyes. I don’t have to worry about who to vote for in November anymore because we’ll get the same type of person in the Governor’s office no matter how the vote falls. The Dems are so screwed. Haha!

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