Wednesday, during my run as guest host of KBYR AM700‘s The Michael Dukes Show, Alaska State Senator Mike Dunleavy joined us to preview the fiscal plan he proposes to introduce this coming session in his capacity as incoming Chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee and a continuing member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Despite a bit of self-induced technical difficulty on my end (we crashed into the top-of-the-hour hard break, a talk radio no-no), the Senator stayed with us to finish providing a full preview of the plan and give us the opportunity to ask a few questions. With a bit of editing — to limit inflicting on listeners a full repeat of the technical difficulties — here is the podcast of the discussion in two parts. The first is the opening in the 7am hour; the second is the continuation and wrap up in the 8am hour.
Who Isn’t On The List? — Alaska Republican Party Vice-Chairman Rick Whitbeck said yesterday on the Michael Dukes Show that he has a list of 46 Republicans who “are either interested in running or people are trying to draft them into running” for Governor in 2018.
That is a pretty good indication of just how vulnerable Republicans think Gov. Bill Walker is at this point.
Whitbeck went on to say the Alaska Republican Party’s challenge is to keep the number of entrants in the Republican primary from ballooning to the point the Party’s message gets lost. That is pretty clearly code for saying the Party doesn’t want more than 3-4 people in the primary because that would give more moderate or labor-supported candidates like Sen. Click Bishop or a candidate with a track record of opposing resource development like richy-rich Bob Gillam a realistic chance of winning.
Of far greater interest to us, however, were Whitbeck’s comments on the PFD. After Rick argued that cutting the PFD is an economic mistake, I asked him to reconcile that view at the Party level with the boots on the ground action by the Republican-led Senate last session in passing SB 128, a bill which would have permanently cut the PFD immediately in half, and more as time went on.
To his credit, rather than dodging the issue Rick addressed it head on, wrapping up by saying “I hope there is a different approach this [coming] year.”
The following is the full podcast of our discussion with Rick; for those interested in the discussion on the PFD, you can fast forward to the part of the discussion beginning around 8:55.
For a quick tool for converting various measures of energy (for example, "mtpa" [metric tons per annum] of LNG to MMcf/d [millions of cubic feet of natural gas per day]), see Energy Conversion Factors.