Loose Lips: More transition buzz. Unity radio. Walker-Mallot’s first post-election fundraiser.

loose lipsMonday was the last cabinet meeting of the Parnell administration. It was held in Anchorage. All of the commissioners were there but two. Department of Labor’s Diane Blumer and DHSS Bill Streur participated telephonically.

Congratulations to the governor and first lady who are now new grandparents. Rowan was born in Tuesday in Anchorage to Grace, and son-in-law Austin

Unity radio: Gov.-elect Bill Walker and Joe Miller will be the guests on the Eddie Burke show on KOAN 1080 AM and 95.1 FM from 4:00-6:00 pm on Wednesday.  Eddie Burke, however, will not be there. In his stead will be libertarian Michael Chambers along with Craig Fleener and trooper Terrence Shanigan. The three are inexplicably calling themselves “Fin, Feathers, and Foil.”

It’s official: Former state legislator and former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker will be Gov.-elect Bill Walker’s chief of staff.

Karen Rehfeld, longtime Office of Management and Budget, director has announced her retirement effective Nov. 21. John Boucher will fill in as acting director. He currently works at OMB. With a budget due for submission to the Legislature on Dec. 15, it might make Walker’s search for the new director even a higher priority.

I’ve previously reported on several names that pop up as being in the mix for appointments in the new administration.  Here’s a few more. Remember, these are just rumors and are not necessarily predictions:

It’s probably a good bet that Craig Fleener ends up as the commissioner for ADF&G. I’ve also heard that Fleener is also likely to be part of one of Gov. Walker’s first official acts which is to be named to be in the line of succession should something happen to the governor or lt. gov.

With DHSS’ Medicaid management system mess, among other issues, it’s likely that this department will get a new commissioner. Val Davidson’s name is being bandied about. Davidson is formerly with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She’s expected to be on the department’s task force when it’s announced.

Another name: Fairbanks’ Meg Nordale who is a principle in GHEM Construction could become the state’s first ever female Department of Transportation Commissioner. Nordale is also currently the head of the state’s Associated General Contractors.

Former legislator and Ivy League graduate Steve Rieger’s name has come up as someone that might fit nicely running the Department of Revenue.

People are saying that Joe Paksvan might be a good fit for DNR. (Let’s hope that if it’s the case, he tries to lure his former staffer, the smarty Jeff Stepp back from Illinois, where he’s been living since this summer.)

Marty Rutherford’s name keeps being mentioned as someone who will likely show up in the administration.

Long-time Begich COS David Ramseur is said to be available, and is particularly interested in running the governor’s office in D.C.

Space for the transition has been set aside in the state’s Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage; however, to date, I’m told that it hasn’t been used.

While Joe Paskvan’s name is being tossed around in the uncertain world of transition rumors, his sister Bonnie Paskvan’s professional path appears more certain. She’ll be leaving GCI, in mid-December, where she is currently an attorney and moving to Calista Native Corp. where she’ll serve as general counsel.

More legislative staff is moving around: Grace Abbott who is currently with retiring Rep. Lindsey Holmes will be moving to the majority leader’s office working for Rep. Charisse Millett.

Walker-Mallott’s first post-election fundraiser will be next Tuesday in Anchorage at the offices of the Associated General Contractors. Expect a large crowd with check-writers aplenty.

Election factoid: At 12,515,  Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan got the most votes of any legislator. He’s followed by Sen.-elect Bill Stoltze, at 11,333 and Sen. Peter Micciche at 11,248.

This pic came in last week with the tageline, “Dan Sullivans taking over D.C.”  An alternative tagline: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre.

dan sullivans

Wednesday morning addition: As a few of us Alaskans are preparing to leaving the tropics, a few of us are coming to take our place. Judy Eledge has arrive in Honolulu. And as she’s basking on the beach on Friday, studying her copy of the Constitution, I hope Rep. Scott Kawasaki and girlfriend Mindy O’Neall wave down at her as they head to the Big Island.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


10 thoughts on “Loose Lips: More transition buzz. Unity radio. Walker-Mallot’s first post-election fundraiser.

  1. alaskan

    Vetted, are you insane?!?!
    Fleener was Never fired!!!! He resigned in order to run with bill walker for lt governor seat bc according to the state statute you can not be an appointee and run for office. Travel authority irregulations?! Stop making up lies! Craig is more than qualified for this position and I sure hope he gets it.

  2. Tom Bedett

    “Nordale is also currently the head of the state’s Associated General Contractors.”

    I have a hard time believing that Vince Beltrami and the AFL-CIO will let this happen. In fact, I will bet you $100 that she will not become commissioner for that very reason.

  3. Red Flag

    In addition to Fleeners misappropriation of funds there are incidents of sexual harassment towards female ADF&G employees, issues with vindictive behavior when decisions weren’t consistent with his opinion and lack of follow through on projects. If Walker appoints Fleener in any leadership role he will create his own scandal comparable to the National Guard incident.

  4. joe blow

    Anybody heard lately from Ivan Moore or Mark Hellenthal? You’ll recall that in late October, Moore had Begich up by 8 and Hellenthal had him leading by 10.

  5. bleary eyed

    Interesting quote on the Sullivans.
    Coincidentally, Walker/Mallot reminds me of another line from that piece by Yeats: Things fall apart, the center cannot hold

  6. Vetted

    Fleener will not pass muster as he was asked to resign his deputy commissioner post at fish and game for travel authority irregularities.

    Nominations for commissioner of fish and game are vetted by the joint board of fish and game and need that approval. It is the only commissioner position to need approval by a state board in addition to the legislature.

    The reason for his requested resigntion is not a secret within fish and game or the boards.

    Any serious vetting by Walker or any investigative journalist will reveal the reasons for his firing.

    Doubtful the Walker administration wants to start by appointing a fish and game commissioner who was given the chance to voluntarily resign from the department because misappropriation of funds / fraud.

    That would be a short honeymoon.

  7. Miller supporter

    Joe Miller and Bill Walker on the same show? Two names that should never be used in the same sentence. Night and day.

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