Parnell’s campaign accuses Fleener of telling ‘outright lies’

Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign lashed out at independent lieutenant governor candidate Craig Fleener over an opinion piece that Fleener wrote in the Anchorage Daily News. The op-ed, which questioned Parnell’s absence during a recent conference ,“is based on completely fabricated information, which can only be described as a campaign of outright lies,” campaign manager Jerry Gallagher said.

Fleener, who is running with independent candidate Bill Walker, said that Parnell’s excuse for not attending the National Congress of American Indians to give opening remarks was that he was “caught in traffic.” Fleener said the organizers were left “scrambling to fill his spot,” to give the remarks. He said that such behavior by Parnell was symptomatic of Parnell’s relationship with the Alaska Native community.

Indeed, Parnell’s relationship has been strained, mostly due to tribal rights and sovereignty issues.  But criticizing his absence at the event was probably not the way to get at that issue.

Parnell was out of state during the conference for First Lady Sandy Parnell’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. He regretted the NCAI invitation about a month before the conference, he said.

Parnell was also invited to an Alaska Federation of Natives candidate’s forum during the conference.  He told the AFN Board of Directors in early May that he wasn’t going to be able to make it, he said.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Walker/Fleener campaign has fabricated information,” Gallagher said. “Sadly, outright lies, misinformation and trying to trick voters have become standard operating procedure by the Walker/Fleener campaign.”

Parnell himself was more tempered in his remarks.

“Why Craig went to such great lengths to make up a tall tale is troubling,” Parnell said. “To deliberately spread falsehoods to disparage someone in this way is certainly beneath him. He is better than that, and Alaskans deserve a correction.”

Conact Amanda Coyne at


38 thoughts on “Parnell’s campaign accuses Fleener of telling ‘outright lies’

  1. Anonymous

    So Parnell is your guy, huh?
    Seriously, I’m anti native and I’m voting for Parnell.

  2. WN

    Absurd. Fleener made a rookie mistake, no big deal; however, his handling of it demonstrates a serious lack of judgement and leads one to question his integrity. As a Walker supporter, I am very disappointed and disillusioned with his choice of a running mate.

  3. alaskan

    The Governor has had many opportunities to work on resolving these ongoing issues for the past 8 years yet he has not. Two as Lt Gov and 6 as Gov.

    The NCAI gathering in Anchorage was a significant event and for the Governor to not even ask a representative to speak on his behalf or submit a video address is bizarre. It clearly demonstrated how out of touch the entire administration is on so many issues from Alaska Native issues, rural life issues, fish and game issues, Arctic issues and most of all how to reinvigorate Alaska’s stalling resource development and economic engine issues.

    It is even more Bizarre that most conference attendees including top NCAI officials were unaware of the Governors choice not to attend. More importantly the Governor nor his top communications people recognized the significance of this event. There should have at least been a formal written regret sent to attendees via NCAI leadership rather than some informal email from a scheduler. This is proof that Alaska Native issues are not a priority or even understood by his staff or his cabinet.

    Just because the Governor is a republican does not make him the right leader for Alaska and it certainly does not make him a candidate that is concerned with your liberty, privacy or for smaller less intrusive government either.

    It is very inspiring to see two men, Bill and Craig, stand up to cronyism, bloated and corrupt government practices, and partisan insider party politics. And they are doing this by running on fresh solution oriented ideas not just on the areas of concern. These concerns must be highlighted so everyone can see the contrast of where we are and where we could be.

    Its time to let go of our infatuation with political party loyalty for the sake of loyalty and start thinking like Alaskans and more importantly like Americans again. Free thinking, self determined, liberty minded, the best ideas wins attitude are a good start.

    Alaska is unique in that she is still young, has a large, vibrant, indigenous population that holds the key to many solutions and she is still rich in natural resources. We can do better than we are doing right now in dealing with low education performance, high crime rates, a growing homeless population, crashing fish and game resources, declining resource development, an encroaching federal govt., weakness on Arctic leadership and a total disrespect toward to those not aligned the same way politically.

    I look forward to a Governor that will speak for themselves, unscripted and proactively find ways to be involved on many fronts and surround him/herself with the best solution oriented problem solvers regardless of personal political party affiliation or ideology.

  4. Anonymous

    So, are you justifying someone making up the traffic story? It sounds like you are.

    More importantly, why are you crucifying Parnell for going to an important family event but you’re excusing Fleener for outright lying for political gain? So, you give grace to a liar at worst, incompetent fool at best, but you don’t give grace to a man who put his family first? It sounds like you’re motivated by anger and bias against Parnell, like most of these hateful posts crying racism. It’s the only thing you have.

  5. Anonymous

    Oh yeah, pull the race card because you have no other sound, logical argument. That always works. I have lived in 2 countries overseas and I have never heard anyone pull the race card anywhere but here. When you don’t have a logical leg to stand on, cry racism. Ridiculous and ignorant.

  6. AlaskaCodPiece

    Alleged mistruths aside — The NCAI event went on for nearly a week and Parnell could have found a way to have some kind of a presence there. He could’ve had it both ways.

    Instead, it was not important enough for him to even leave a prepared statement. He chose to do nothing, which was a slap in the face to First Alaskans and all of the Native peoples who traveled here. Friends who were there told me they were embarrassed for their state when Governor Parnell was called over the PA system and was a no show. No one had a clue what happened to him — thus the “stuck in traffic” meme.

    Note that Emperor Parnell has yet to say anything about this dishonorable snub – always speaking to Alaskans via carefully worded press retorts.

  7. Anonymous

    Dang, Parnell has got some attack dogs on his side.

    Either that or someone is throwing a bitchy fit with some ugly on the side, because Fleener is native. Which is par for the course for those who can’t stand anything native. And you know anybody anti native is going to jump on the Parnell band wagon, because of “appearances”.

  8. Anonymous

    I agree with this statement! I know Craig Fleener. He is a good friend of mine and he is as honest as it gets. He wouldn’t say anything that wasn’t true. It sounds to me like the Governor is a well-versed politician trying to create drama and spin stories to ease the public eye on his own attendance problems! It’s unfortunate that Bill an Craig have to put up with such childish competition!

  9. Bircher

    Hey Paulette –
    Two questions: 1. Where is Mr. Integrity’s apology? 2. So, now I want to know is he a liar or just stupid?

  10. Lincoln Republican

    Mr. Craig Fleener made a mistake, he had inaccurate information. Skewering the guy for this is inappropriate unless he was intentionally fabricating the truth. The guy just needs to buck up, admit a mistake and give an aplogy. Until then, he’s hardly better than a thief. Not doing so keeps him crippled and subjects everything he says to criticism. What’s wrong with this guy? Is it his ego?

  11. Rebecca

    It is a very common practice for people sponsoring events to put out an agenda that lists speakers and then clarifies if they are “invited’ or “confirmed”. As a person who has organized numerous events where the Governor has spoken – I can tell you this. There is an email trail. First the ask, then the response about looking at his schedule, then an email confirming that he will participate, and then at least 5-10 other emails asking things like who will meet the governor, where will he be sitting, what is the cell phone number of the contact person at the event…… if the organizers don’t have any of that – its pretty clear.

  12. Anonymous

    No one said that the native population was insignificant. Where is this coming from?

    I ask all those throwing stones at the Governor: Would you attend the conference INSTEAD of your parents’ 60th anniversary? I doubt it. So, why crucify him for doing what anyone else would do? I am so sick of the ridiculous, hyper-sensitive and outright slanderous comments accusing the Governor, or anyone for that matter, of being insensitive to natives or racist, because they don’t agree with certain agendas or have a higher priority — in this case, his own family. It’s the same flimsy, ridiculous accusation that liberals — falsely — throw at conservatives — calling them racists because they hate Obama’s policies. Right. Guess who the Tea Party conservatives want more than anyone to be the next President? Dr. Ben Carson. The last time I checked, his skin is black. The hyper-sensitivity is causing more of a divide than any misperceived prejudice against natives or blacks or anyone else. But, it’s perfectly alright to hate conservatives and Christians, right? That prejudice is acceptable for the left.

  13. Anonymous

    Another one. Really? Accurate observation? So, Fleener saw the Governor in traffic? Laughable.

  14. Anonymous


    Clearly, do you have your fingers in your ears? He wasn’t a ‘no-show.’ He went to his in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary. Which part of that do you not understand? Or is it just too easy for you to pretend you didn’t read that and just keep accusing the Governor? And you say Fleener has integrity? Based on your ridiculous arguments alone, your judgment is questionable. But, Fleener has already shown us his lack of integrity. There is no doubt.

    This is exhausting reading the same comments over and over when the Governor did nothing wrong and sent his regrets in advance. You can tell the character — or lack thereof — of those, like you, Paulette, and Fleener, who are jumping all over the Governor on his family obligations as an opportunity to attack his policies, his devotion to the state and oh yeah — his name! That’s pretty sick.

  15. Anonymous

    Oh for goodness sake, Paulette!! HE WAS INCORRECT! Are you insinuating that the Governor lied about his in-laws’ wedding anniversary? Or that Fleener saw the Governor stuck in traffic with his own eyes and was right next to him in traffic as he called to send his regrets “because he was stuck in traffic?” It would take him actually living and breathing either of those two scenarios for Fleener to be “correct.” There is no other way. He’s either a liar or a gossip. And Walker made a pejorative jab at the Governor when he joked about him and Mallot being the only ones who showed up. Both are guilty of being opportunists and slanderers. It says a lot about how low they will stoop to get votes.

    Which part of the “the Governor was attending his in-laws’ 60th anniversary celebration and he regretted a month ago” did YOU and FLEENER NOT understand? How much further do we need to break it down for you? He either made up a ridiculous lie that the Governor was stuck in traffic or he repeated a lie without verifying it. If he lied, he should have admitted it and apologized to the Governor and the First Lady immediately and publicly. If he repeated someone else’s lie and he didn’t verify it, it was likely because he didn’t want to know the truth and he relished just running with it. That makes him an opportunist. Or, he is too lazy to check his facts, which makes him incompetent for the Lt. Gov. job or any public service job. In any case, he should have apologized as publicly — and as quickly — as he opened his big mouth and slandered the Governor and his wife. He hasn’t. I think that speaks volumes about his character and integrity. So, please stop the pansy-ing around for this guy. It’s laughable.

    If the Governor had done what Walker and Fleener did, there would be no end to the demands for a public apology. But, the Governor wouldn’t do that and neither would his wife. I know personally how much integrity and character they have. They love people and it shows all over them. This is so black and white, that it is ridiculous that there is this much debate. Apologize Walker and Fleener. It’s the right thing to do. But, I hope what they did shows Alaskans who NOT to vote for.

    The bottom line is: Fleener and Walker haven’t apologized. Enough said.

  16. Bircher

    Paulette – I appreciate your interest in personal integrity. I suspect you yourself, based on your comments, recognizes and values the importance of personal integrity. I’m still hoping that you’re right and I’m wrong; after all, we need some new faces on the political scene that bring integrity and civility to the process. You say, that your confident that he’ll do what’s right if he errored. It’s pretty black and white. So, if he doesn’t publicly apologize, based on your knowledge of him, would it be fair then to just assume that he’s stupid? Again, I submit the facts are clear. His statements were either misinformation he was given which is quite possible or a bold faced lie. Assuming he has integrity, like you say, I think he’ll apologize soon. Otherwise, I will only be left thinking that he’s about as smart as a board. By the way, this level of integrity, did he have it when he was at Fish and Game when he worked there? I hope so because I want to hear the defense of what I hear is coming out of there!

  17. Country Bumpkin

    To the servant of the foreigner. There is no need to slander challengers in your masters name. This Rube has already slandered the Great Land far beyond your meager efforts. Rivers seed the ocean no more. Willows need fear no browse. Prisons are filled with the dregs of his slaughters. Streets are filled with his homeless. His troops seek endlessly to deplete the lands of any sustanance as none other before him. All in the name of respect. Surely you serve the Petronus the Powerful. What reward awaits such a noble servant as this? Matthew 25:30.

  18. Mary Elsa Petrovitz

    Look at Mr. Fleener’s background. He is not a career politician. Finally, when someone has enough guts to speak up and address Real issues, we are going to jump on them? He wrote this op-ed from the heart, something politicians don’t do anymore. he spoke of what he saw while being present at the conference. were you there?!

  19. Mary Elsa Petrovitz

    People who didn’t talk to the organizers, attended the event themselves probably should not be the ones to judge
    NCAI was going on for a few days. Could the governor appear some other day later on? Send his Lt Governor to represent the state and address the public? YES, HE COULD! if he wanted…..
    Could he send a pre-recorded message to the audience as it was done in the past? Yes, he could!!!!
    why didn’t he?
    Why was he still on the agenda at 8am if he canceled?
    To clarify
    He canceled a candidate forum AFN hosted as part of the larger NCAI conference. The two are completely distinct entities. His 8am speaking was something completely different

    Why everybody is so hung up on the details?
    Look deeper people!!!! why is he not addressing the actual issue of the op-ed?
    What a great tactic to draw public attention to something else!!!!

    Finally, someone is speaking up!!!!

  20. Paulette

    I was at the conference when the President of NCAI was calling out for the Governor. I have the hard copy of the agenda and it does not say draft and the Governor’s name is on it as does the one in the link you shared

  21. Paulette

    Hi Bircher, if he finds that he was incorrect he will apologize. That’s the kind of man he is.

  22. Bircher

    Hey Paulette – excuses, excuses. Nixon didn’t mean for the Watergate burglars to get caught either. If your boy is half what you say, he’ll apologize to the Governor publicly. We all make mistakes and what matters is how we own up to them. So far, I don’t see Fleener owning up to anything. I’ll reserve judgement for a few days; however, a man as honest and full of integrity, as you claim, would have already rectified the misdeed.

  23. Paulette

    Craig Fleener is one of the most honest men I’ve met, especially on the campaign trail! He speaks from his heart and understands the issues, and when he isn’t up to speed on any one particular issue he admits that he doesn’t and seeks to learn more! This issue of Parnell as a “no-show” is now overshadowing the intent of the compass piece! The whole intent was to show that the Governor is not willing nor is he showing the respect that Tribes in Alaska and now the lower 48 that is due to them. Tribes in Alaska are one of the largest economic engine in this state! Why won’t Parnell even budge at the request to meet half way. Governor Parnell has proceeded to sue the federal government when it comes to Alaska Native Issues such as Subsistence. This state has to be open and honest as well and meet the needs of All Alaskans, not just those with beep pockets such as the oil industry!

  24. Charles

    It is odd how many automatically assume Mr. Fleener is lying and campaigning on a false issue. The facts would seem to be far from supporting the Governor on this – I was at part of the event and it did look very bad to nationally significant Native leaders that our Governor supposedly confirmed then was “caught in traffic” The truth is the state regularly runs from Native issues, and in particular this administration has moved away from any solution. I feel disappointment at so many people trying to make Fleener seem like the bad guy here, and not the administration. Last I checked Fleener made an accurate observations, and apologists for the current administration are trying to paint it like 1) Fleener was lying or 2) Natives are insignificant compared to a wedding anniversary. If either were true, why did the Gov not send the Lite Gov or his rural affairs guy? This is par for the course if you have been watching. I for one applaud Mr. Fleener for first attending the event, and then for pointing out the actions of our elected officials. If you don’t like the color of his skin or his politics – fine, don’t vote for him. But let’s not line up to accuse him of lying when all he did was make an accurate observation. In fact I think I just moved a step closer to supporting the Walker/Fleener campaign.

  25. Teqin K'iega

    Attached is a link to the NCAI agenda. Notice page 6, schedule for Monday:
    9:00 Local Official Welcome
    Sean Parnell, Governor, Alaska
    Mark Begich, US Senator, Alaska
    Dan Sullivan, Mayor, Anchorage
    Document is labeled: Mid_Year_Agenda_Draft_-_4-10.docx. I’m not a detective, but it would seem that the agenda was established April 10th. Parnell had sufficient time to let the conference planners and attendees that he would not make the event

  26. Conrad

    I am not a Parnell supporter. Up to now, I have been a supporter of Bill Walker; however, with Craig Fleener as his running mate, I must adnit that it causes me some pause and concern. Mr. Fleener’s behavior suggests that he may be too irresponsible to be a heart beat away from the executive’s chair.

  27. Jason

    The facts are clear. Parnell was the commencement speaker on the agenda and he failed to show. Parnell also never speaks for himself on anything these days. Is he a mute? Parnell is absent at most significant Alaska Native gatherings and in 2013 and 2014 (in the same fashion he practiced in 2010) he runs from Bill Walker. Parnell is a chicken running scared and embarrased to be taken to task on any issue that actually matters. If you read the Fleener article the smallest most insignificant part was about why Parnell was not there (the event was a week long by the way). The article underscored the Parnell failures and timid approach to resolving long standing issues between Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska. Grow some cahones Parnell and speak for yourself. Stop hiding behing ithers and press releases and stop telling lies about why you were not at the NCAI/AFN finction at lease by video or phone for the week. Someone on your staff needs to be fired if they scheduled you to be the commencement speaker yet failed to inform you or the NCAI organizers.

  28. Crystal J.

    I’m disappointed in Mr. Fleener’s “uninformed” and “inaccurate” statements. This sophomoric and unsubstantiated attack at Governor Parnell is either a misinformed mistake or a lie. Now we’ll see if Mr. Fleener is the creep I think he is or man enough to admit his mistake and issue an apology.

  29. Lynn Willis

    Welcome to the world of Alaskan politics Mr. Fleener. You might want to reflect on what Ronald Regan said about trusting information you hear from others: “Trust but verify”.
    Governor Parnell apparently does have a problem with issues important to the Alaska Native community. If Sean Parnell wants to curb further influence of the courts and Feds he needs to address his concerns and build consensus at the state level.
    Sean Parnell admits he knew this conference was going to be held so why did he completely ignore the venue? He might have at least provided a statement to be read at the conference.

  30. Charlie G.

    I know Craig Fleener. He is a man of integrity. He may have his facts wrong but he wouldn’t lie about this. Let’s not be so quick to persecute until we hear the whole story. Knowing Craig, he’ll apologize if he feels that he was wrong or had bad information.

  31. MARIE

    I ask my children not to fib.
    Mr. Fleener, I would ask candidates for public office to do the same. This ois the first I have heard of Craig Flenner and it is not on a good note. Furthermore, he should apologize to the Governor and hiis lovely wife Sandy.

  32. 357

    There is no candidate’s forum, especially one months before the election, that is worth missing your spouse’s paent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Grow up Craig. Quit fabricating stories and run on the real issues.
    And uyes, you do owe the Governor an apology.

  33. Jon R.

    I am a registered independent voter that usually votes Republican. Having said this, I think that the two best lite governor candidates, based on integrity, appear to be the Democratic candidates like Hollis French and Bob Williams. The Republican candidates leave a lot to be desired. Thank goodness McGuire dropped out; however, with only the mayor and Fleener left, ther aint much to write home about. Why can’t the Republicand and Independents attract good candidates for lite governor? The Dems are too liberal but aren’t embarrassments.

  34. Sandy M.

    I’m disapppointed in Craig Fleener. I heard him speak early on this campaign cycle and thought he was an interesting candidate that deserved my attention. I gave it to him. Now, II realize that he’s little more than the worst of the politicans that seem the way to campaign is with lies.

  35. AK Outdoorsman

    Fleener’s op-ed article in the Anchorage Daily News is representative of his lack of integrity. I didn’t like him when he was at the Department of Fish and Game, and I don’t like him now. In fact, I despise politicians that feel comfortable lying. Either Fleener was outright lying or was woefully uninformed. In either case, he owes the Governor and First Lady an apology. Also, I think that Bill Walker, his running mate, needs to distance himself from Fleener or encourage him to apologize.

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