Parnell under fire. His pick for SARB withdraws name, goes back to California.

As I predicted would happen, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Dennis Mandell withdrew his name to sit on the State Assessment Review Board, the board that values the trans-Alaska pipeline for tax purposes.

Gov. Sean Parnell has drawn fire for appointing Mandell, a Californian and a former oil industry executive. Parnell has offered no explanation as to why he had to go to California to find a qualified board member. Likewise, he’s offered no explanation as to why he fired the former board member, who fought to raise the assessed value of the pipeline, resulting in millions of tax dollars for Alaskan communities.

A state law says board and commission nominees must be registered Alaska voters. The Alaska Constitution says that such boards must be filled by U.S. citizens, which Parnell used to defend the appointment. He continued to do so even as members of his own party began questioning the legality of the appointment. His intransigence, from someone who isn’t known to be so, is puzzling.

This has not turned out to be the smoothest session of Parnell’s tenure. It looks like school choice, which Parnell supported, is dead for now. Women’s groups and socially liberal independents are beginning to organize over abortion. And Parnell’s bill to streamline DNR’s ability to permit is under intense attack. More than 100 people from all across the state gathered at legislative offices to testify against HB77 on Wednesday. For 90 minutes, fisherman and tribal leaders, environmentalists and sportsman, spoke against the bill. Many of them with an intensity and anger rarely seen.

The comments of Eric Jordon, a 64 year old fisherman from Sitka, were reflective of the testimony. “Please kill this bill now and send a Senate resolution to Gov. Parnell asking him to apologize to Alaskans for introducing this ‘Muzzling Alaskans Act,’” he said. The crowd gathered at the Sitka Legislative Office building erupted in cheers.

Parnell, a former ConocoPhillips lobbyist, who is running for reelection against Democrat Byron Mallott and independent Bill Walker, should be worried about upsetting so many Alaskans. And he should be worried about looking like he’s too close to industry right now. His major accomplishment so far—lowering taxes on the oil industry—is on primary ballot for repeal. I’ve been told that polls indicate that the vote, if held tomorrow, would be close.

On Thursday, Mallott took advantage of the situation. He sent out the following mock state board appointments form:

Board on which you would like to serve:
Employer (circle one)
ConocoPhillips Exxon Shell BP
Occupation (circle one):
Lobbyist Oil Industry Consultant Oil Executive
State of Residence (Alaska not required):

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9 thoughts on “Parnell under fire. His pick for SARB withdraws name, goes back to California.

  1. Mae

    This is the same guy who said the earth is 6,000 yrs old.

    Think about that.

    It means he is easily bought and sold.
    He totally deals with a substance (crude) that is clearly older than 6,000 years.

    Bend over Alaskans, this is Parnell’s idea of choosing respect. That other choose respect campaign is a front to try and look good.

  2. Mae

    It’s like Parnell isn’t even Alaskan. He doesn’t speak for Alaskans, unless of course your not choosing respect.

    Come to think of it, Parnell is a pipeline kid. Came up here with his family during the pipeline boom.

  3. Lynn Willis

    Hopefully we are still a nation and a state of laws that apply to all of us. At what point is this Governor going to be truly accountable for his actions ? Is this how he expects his subordinates to act?
    Once again Governor Parnell violates the law to make an illegal appointment into his administration as he did with Representative Dahlstrom. Once again the appointee is simply thrown under the bus and r the Governor is held harmless.
    I suspect if Sean Parnell was being pursued by the police for robbing a bank he would expect to be exonerated if he either returned the money before capture or, if captured, claimed that he intended to return the stolen funds.

  4. Rick H.

    Up to now, Parnell has survived on dumb luck, an electorate that was tired of the contentiousness of Murkowski and happy the drama days of palin were in the past. Luck seems to be running oit and the memories of Frank and Sarah have faded. Now, they want more than a bland, milk toast governor that was once described as “captain zero”. Just like his lead diminished in his race for Congress, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that what was oncve a secure and easy election is now in play. My bet is Parnell will lose. People want a real leader. Not someone that flips and flops, nor someone who appears to be in the pocket of the state’s largest industry. For the longest while, Alaska just liked Parnell because he wasn’t Frank or Sarah. They simply liked him because he was a good guy. A nice guy. Now, Alaslkans want more and feel they need more. Parnell is in real electoral trouble. He needs to act more astutely politically. He needs to be bold which runs counter to his personality. His staff let’s him down daily and he doesn’t have anyone that can read the political tea leaves and suggest strategic political approaches to governance. His administrationm is a mess with possibly the weakest cabinet since statehood. It is an administration without respect for the boss. Some departments are downright broken. He does nothing. There are department heads that should be fired for their incompetence or for symbolic. Purposes at a minimum. I am a Republican and have only voted once in a statewide race for a Democrat. Unless there is real change, I don’t think Alaska can afford four more years of Sean Parnell and his team’s lackluster stewardship of the state. Unless something changes soon, 2014 will be the second time I vote for a Democrat. Let’s hope the Governor wakes up and engages.

  5. Product of Colony School

    Its time we start looking for a candidate that can be Mallott. Parnell is too bland and is withering on the vine. He gets worst every session. Its not too late for Bill Wwalker to run as an R and kick Parnell’s butt. Can’t believe how dense Parnell is.

  6. donnie

    There is truth in jest. The form that Mallott put out would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Also, his continuous support of HB 77 makes the governor look ridiculous. The people turning out to testify against HB 77 are rightfully angry. Their indignation will spill over to the election. It seems that Parnell is doing everything possible to elect Mallott.

  7. Mrs W. Combs

    Horrible. This administration fails to think. Just like when he went down in flames against Young, I think he’s on a free fall. He needs better advisors.

  8. 357

    What was Parnell thinking ? He seems to be making the so-called “stupid” decision more than not. He lools like he’s owned by Big Oil. Not sure he is but he certainly always appears to be so. Unless he gets it together and fast, this Alaskan is going to start looking for an alternative candidate. I don’t like dumb.

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