More on Alaska’s lieutenant governor forum

Last night I wrote about Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s comments about union membership and slavery at the lieutenant governor’s forum on Monday sponsored by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Below are a few more tidbits from the forum, which featured Democrats Alaska state Sen. Hollis French and Wasilla teacher Bob Williams on one side, and Republicans Sullivan and state Sen. Lesil McGuire on the other.

    • Despite public opinion polls that show broad public support, all four candidates said they were against legalizing marijuana.
    • French, Williams and McGuire oppose right-to-work legislation. Sullivan adamantly supports it.
    • The two Dems, as expected, are for repealing the oil tax legislation passed in 2013. Both Republicans were against repeal.
    • On prioritizing the three big projects: both McGuire and Sullivan put the large natural gasline first, the Knik Arm Bridge second and the Susitna dam last. French put the Susitna dam first, a bullet line second, and the Knik Arm Bridge last.

Best lines of the event:

  • From Bob Williams about the Anchorage Legislative Offices building:  “Never before have we seen such a disconnect between our values and our actions… When we’re talking about a legislative palace…spending $1 million for furniture, $100,000 to design a furniture theme. My dad was a logger: We can do a furniture theme for 10 bucks. But when it comes to education, we say we don’t have the money…”
  • From Mayor Dan about where he sees the state in five years:  “Lesil McGuire is back in the state Senate where she sponsors the Sullivan Teacher Initiative…President Rand Paul opens ANWR, armed with a Republican House and a Republican Senate….The Knik Arm Bridge is being built.” And the natural gas pipeline is under construction.
  • From Sen. Hollis French on where he sees the state in five years unless there’s a change in leadership: “In five years, there will be three or four half-built projects when we run out of savings.”
  • From Sen. Lesil McGuire on right-to-work legislation and the tension between Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and the unions: “What we’ve seen at the local level — what’s happened — it’s been somewhat of a disaster here in Anchorage. When you go so far and start pushing almost a war, if you will, against the working men and women in this state.”

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13 thoughts on “More on Alaska’s lieutenant governor forum

  1. Michael Chambers

    The gorilla in the room no one seems to be talking about is why did Andrew Halcro deny Craig Fleenor, independent candidate for Lt. Governor the opportunity to participate? I called Andrew and he stated he denied him because of time constraints. I think this is an inappropriate response. Craig Fleenor is the most legitimate candidate in the entire race and this is a deliberate action on the Chambers part to manipulate the process. Shame on them.

  2. Southside Voter

    I went to the Chamber event with an open mind. I noticed right away that Bob Williams had the attention of the crowd–even if they had not initially been inclined to support him. His background in teaching and engineering showed right away in his comfort in speaking to the crowd and his excellent preparation with slides and materials. His commitment to standing up for what’s best for all Alaskans really impressed me, as well as his frustration with the current lack of support for public education. He’s got my vote.

  3. 49th paradise

    I wonder what Parnell thinks of the two choices the Republicans have to select his running mate ?

  4. Ellen

    As we get cloer to the primary election, the Lite Governor’s race is undoubtedly going to be the most fun to watch. The accusations, the finger pointing, the potential candidate melt down(s) and more will make for some great stories and posting for the media. I would encourage you to continue to focus on this race as I am confident that it will make the other races appear to be acts of total sanity. Lesil is a potential train wreck. The mayor can be overly outspoken. Williams is passionately absurd. And, Hollis….
    Like I said, this race will be full of fireworks, fun and (Williams’) props. Please keep covering it as only you can do !

  5. Ben Gail

    Amanda, you missed the best highlight when McGuire tried to blame the 2012 muni election ballot mishap (she mistakenly said 2010!) on the mayor. Sullivan schooled her on the fact that elections are handled by the Municipal Clerk, who works for the assembly. The mayor has no role in local elections. McGuire hasn’t voted in four of the last five local elections and she wants to be in charge of state elections? Ha!!

  6. Lynn Willis

    When does a major project become a mirage and when do these folks accept the reality that we are in fiscal trouble? Now, regardless of tax regimes, we are facing declining production of our non-renewable resources with probable global stabilization of oil prices at lower prices. How exactly will these folks pay for the Susitna Dam and the Knik Bridge and any gas pipeline investing state funds, and any other mega project?
    Dan Fauske at the Mayor’s Energy Conference last week hit the nail on the head when he described Alaskans as Magpies who love shiny objects. Since the oil revenue started flowing into Alaska a key to re-election in Alaska is to keep waving those glimmering mirages before the magpies.

  7. Claire

    I thought the Mayor had the best comeback of the day when Lesil called his labor relations “disastrous” and he responded that what was disastrous was the Begich overly rich five year contracts in the middle of the worst recession in 70 years. Sending the city into a financial spiral. The unions are supporting Lesil big time, which explains her position on right to work.

  8. Milton Friedman

    I’m very puzzled and concerned about Lesil’s opposition to Right to Work legislation. The Republican Party platform is in support of Right to Work. I would be curious how stance on card check and the National Labor Relations Board. Also, does she support the Republican Party and their attempts to pass the Secret Ballot Protection Act, enforcing the Hobbs Act and passing the Raise Act. Is she even really a Republican when she comes out so strongly against long standing Republican positions? Very odd.

  9. ACG

    By all accounts, this forum appears to be a bit more spirited than the senate forum. Some of these candidates appear to have real positions that they are passionate about. That’s great. Frankly I am more impressed with the Republican candidates than I am their Democratiic counterparts. Who is this Bob Williams fella and where did he come from? Is he a looney or a legitimate candidate? He certainly has to get out there more if he wants to be credible. I’m a non- declared registered voter and appreciate as it provides me more perspective, insight and information than the rest of the media community combined. Thanks for your solid coverage. Your blog seems balanced and fair far more than some of the other publications that seem extremely biased. I also enjoy reading your sunday column in the Anchorage Daily News. It is the bet read of the week.

  10. Village guy

    Why are these fools still talking about the Susitna Dam. We’ve spent millions studying it. It will never be built. Mark my words. Like flushing $$$ down the sewer.

  11. Valley Voter

    The primary poses a very difficult decision if you like candiidates of the liberal persuassion. Three of the four candidates are definitely liiberals. For me, it’s an easy decision. I’m a conservative that believes in free market principles, family values and our constitutional safeguards. That’s why I’m voting for Mayor Sullivan. He’s done a good job in Anchorage. Sure, he’s stepped on a few toes of organized labor and that’s okay because he protected the city’s financial future. Happy to support Mayor Sullivan.

  12. Dick R.

    What else would you expect from the “teacher” Bob Williams? Of course, education funding is important. Quality education means more than just increased funding; yet, that is all you ever hear from the NEA, its members and the non-thinking parents that buy into this limited, and unworthy, perspective. Why is it the college professors with advanced degrees can’t teach in our high schools? I don’t hear the NEA or Bob Williams ever advocating for those kinds of changes. College teaching degrees leave a lot to be desired. Frankly, I don’t think that CLASSROOM BULLETIN BOARD CREATION 101 is all that necessary to insure the qualiity of our public schools. Mr. Williams appears to be running for offiice to increase school funding. He’ll need another idea or reform to go along wiith that before I would even consider giving him my vote. Right now, I’ll be voting for French or McGuire. Probably French.

  13. Chelle

    Actually surprised that all 4 candidates cames out against legalization of marijuana. Should say “pleasantly” surprised. Most politicians read the polls and adjust their comments accordingly. In this case, that didn’t happen. I don’t agree with legaliization. It makes it all too easy to obtain and without controls. I would prefer to see decriminalization and some control to keep it out of the hands of kids. This is a diffiicult issue and would be better served by elected officials on both sides compromising to develop a rational legal framework.

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