Earlier this week, former State Senate President Rick Halford and Keithley Consulting President Brad Keithley appeared on Alaska Public Media’s “Talk of Alaska” to discuss why the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) should not be changed or “replumbed” as has been proposed this session by the Walker Administration.
Their joint appearance carries with it a significant amount of irony.
Following Walker’s 2014 election as Governor, Halford was selected to serve as Co-Chair of the Walker-Mallott Transition Team based on his deep understanding of and connections throughout the state, and Keithley was selected as the opening speaker at the first meeting of the full transition team following the election. Keithley’s role was to outline the economic situation that Alaska faced and potential ways for dealing with it.
The irony is that each bases his opposition to the Administration’s “replumbing” proposal on the very reasons they were chosen to be part of the transition effort.
Halford believes that a PFD cut will have a deep, adverse and unjustified effect on the people of the state, and Keithley believes not only that it is unnecessary in the face of ongoing developments in oil markets, but also has the worst adverse impact on the overall Alaska economy of any of the fiscal options currently under consideration.
The website for this edition of Talk of Alaska is here. A podcast of the discussion is available by clicking on the small speaker icon half way down the page.