Political commentator Casey Reynolds already has hi-lited one part of my discussion with Rick in this week’s edition of Reynolds’ regular “Friday in the Sun” column in his The Midnight Sun blog.
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.