This is a craigmedred.news exclusive. Craigmedred.news has obtained what appears to be an unedited copy of the transcript of Gov. Bill Walker’s pre-recorded statement on the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. His statement is to be aired for Alaskans on Friday. You can wait until then to watch it, or you can read it here first:
Walker: “Oh sorry. I was admiring the view. It’s way better from up here than from Air Force One. You don’t have to get down on your knees to see out the window.
“Just look at those yachts way, way down there in the harbor. I think that 140-footer is John Staluppi’s “The World is not Enough.” That sucker will do 75 mph. I’m gonna get the state to buy it. If Frank Murkowski could buy a state jet when he was governor, I can buy a state yacht.
“Yeah, the jet might have cost old Frank his job, but I’m way slicker than he is. And a yacht makes a lot more sense.
“Have you ever heard of a yacht being grounded by weather? Of course not! With a 140-foot super yacht I can take off from our foggy, rainy, crappy, roadless state capital any time I want. And can you imagine the impression I’ll make in the old home town when I came roaring through Valdez Narrows at 70 mph on my way home to visit in the world’s fastest yacht?
“Is that camera on?
Unidentified voice: “Aw, yes governor.”
Walker: “OK. I apologize to everyone watching. I sometimes get carried away with being governor. As I’ve said many times, it’s so much fun. But enough about me.
“My fellow Alaskans, I’m really here to make an important announcement to all of you back there in the cold frozen north. So here it is:
“I just stole $1,200 out of your pocket, and you thought it was only going to be $1,100. Little did you know the deposit in the Dividend Fund was bigger than you thought.
“A guy can’t take this job too seriously. It would cause heart burn. I’ve got the state more than $3.5 billion in debt. Think about that. That’s 1,000 times $3.5 million.
“So we’ve got a problem, and I’m going to empty the Dividend Fund to fix it. I like to think of the Dividend Fund as my personal piggy bank. I just wish there were more money in there because we don’t have enough.
“But don’t worry. I’ve got some solutions. After I take your dividend, I’m going to going to tax your income and your house and your car and maybe even your underwear. And I’m putting a $5 pay-to-enter fee on every public toilet in the state. If the market will support $8 a dump in New York City, we ought to be worth at least $5.
“‘What do you get out of all this?’ you ask. Well, for one thing, you’re going to get better service because we’re in the middle of state employee contract negotiations, and I’ve told Commissioner of Revenue Randy Hoffbeck to see to it that all state employees get good raises so they work harder.
“And with your money, we’re going to build a natural gas pipeline that will be fantastic. It will be huge. We’re going to build an amazing, unbelievable, super-classy pipeline as that guy with the crazy hair who is running for President might say.
“Don’t let those losers in the Alaska Legislature or with Exxon-Mobil tell you otherwise. They’re losers.
“Exxon’s here in Singapore for the World LNG & Gas Series, by the way. Their 49 floors below me on the 5th Floor. So much for Exxon.
“Did you know that when I headed the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, Exxon invited me to a meeting to talk gas in Houston and then held it in the basement? The basement! Well look at how the table has turned. I got the old gang back together, and we’re giving Exxon the finger.
“The Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the half-million dollar man, and I are going to build our own gas pipeline from the North Slope to Nikiski, and open our own LNG business. We don’t need any help from no stinkin’ oil producers.
“We’re gonna get our own deal.
“When I leave here, it’s off to Korea to close the sale on a whole bunch of gas. That’s South Korea, by the way, not North Korea. But if Kim Jong-un has any cash hidden away he’d like to spend, I’d be happy to cut a deal with him, too.
“I might even entertain the idea of taking a nuclear weapon in partial trade.
“Think of that. Alaska, the first nuclear-armed state. That right there might put an end to federal over-reach. I’d love to see the look on my old pal Barack’s face when I send him a note saying, ‘Open ANWR to oil drilling, or we’ll nuke you!’
“Of course I’m joking again. I wouldn’t do that. I only throw my muscle around in Alaska where being elected governor made me king.
“Sure those pesky Republicans tried to sue me over my unileratal action on Medicaid. Look at what happened to them. And now young whipper-snapper Democrat Bill Wielechowski and a couple old fart Republicans are suing me over the PFD.
“Well I’ve got a message for Bill: ‘I whipped the majority and I’ll whip you, too.’
“He’ll have to wait until I get back, though. Because after Korea, I’m off to Qatar. You should all get to stay in the Royal Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha at least once. It’s magnificent.
“And the Qataris have promised to show me around Qatargas 4, one of the largest and most efficient LNG plants in the world, and give me some tips on how to build one of my own. Qatar is a lot like Alaska, you know.
“It was ‘once a poor nation whose economy depended on fishing and pearl diving.’ I read it in the New York Times. And now Qatar is the biggest LNG exporter in the world despite the fact its biggest gas pipeline is only 6 inches, oops, I meant six miles, long.
“Mine’s bigger. We’re going to build an 800-mile-long pipeline, and we’re going to do it for a fraction of the $65 billion Exxon, BP and ConocoPhillips were telling everyone it would cost.
“This is why after Qatar I’m off to Moscow to talk to Vladimir Putin and the gang at Gazprom. The Russians know how to build things on the cheap. And Gazprom tried to warns us four years ago that the oil companies were ripping us off.
“Their (Alaska) gas pipelines cannot possibly be three times more expensive than Nord Stream in terms of specific costs, and two times more expensive than Gazprom’s gas pipelines with higher metal intensity in the Extreme North environment,” Alexander Frolov reported. You can read it right here on the Gazprom website.
“Given what Frolov says, I estimate we can build the Alaska gas pipeline for under $30 billion. Yes, I know, this is way more than the $120 million the state threw away trying to build an agricultural industry in Alaska, but this plan will work. I guarantee it!
“The plan for agriculture failed because we didn’t have the money to back up our moxie. But now we do. We’ve got more than $53 billion in the Permanent Fund. That’s more than enough to get the pipeline built.
“And that, to be honest, is why I had to grab some of your PFD money to fix the state budget. We’re not going to get that pipeline built unless we get the budget under control, and I’m tired of waiting for the pipeline and being personally abused by Big Oil for trying to make it happen.
Screw Rex Tillerson with his blubbering about how “Alaska is it’s own worst enemy.” We’re going to show Exxon and the rest of them who their worst enemy is when we start selling cheaper, cleaner, wild Alaska gas. This won’t be some gas pumped out of the ground beneath a ranch in Texas or a farm in California.
“This will be wild Alaska gas pumped fresh to market from the Arctic.
“Now, as for all you single moms out there taking a big hit to the pocketbook because garnisheed PFDS are the only way you can squeeze any money out of the bum who married you only to leave you with five hungry kids, all I can say is that I’m sorry. You’ll just have to eat more macaroni and cheese, and on that note, I gotta go.
“They have an awesome, killer buffet here at the Marina Bay Sands. I don’t want to miss lunch.
So, it’s me, your governor. Bill Walker, signing off from Singapore.
“How was that guys?”
Unidentifed voice: “That was great governor. That was great.”
Categories: Commentary, Uncategorized
A 140 footer can really do 75mph?
I agree with Lee. You seem to have a grudge against Walker. At least he is trying to do something, right or wrong, about the state budget mess we inherited from Parnell et al.
Damn! This was good!
“Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long.”
-Hunter S Thompson
Thanks for keeping it real Craig.
I stopped reading your columns years ago after an accumulation of pent up anger caused me to crumple the newspaper and toss it in the air in frustration . I stomped up and down the living room flailing my arms and cursing the editor that had the effontery to publish your arrogant ramblings. My long suffering wife walked up to me, stuck her finger in my chest and said “look in the mirror bub, remember you are what you read! ” I am now somewhat long in the tooth and more willing to acknowledge my youthful posturings and I must admit that your awkward attempt at humor is perhaps the most effective way to deal with the King of Alaska. I am no Dave Barry but then again, neither is he.
welcome back, Robin. i apologize for any arrogance, especially youthful arrogance. it is the bane of journalists, especially young journalists.
It was my ham-handed and awkward attempt at humor. Mea Culpa,excellent article!
Well, I “get it”! This is a great piece Craig; you are doing what you do, “doing journalism”. You have certainly exposed the absurdity of Walker’s way of doing business, albeit, with humor and imagination. Time to put my $$ where my mouth is; a “donation” is in order for this great morning read.
thanks. the whole business of journalism needs more humor. it’s possible there’s a reason John Stewart of The Daily Show became something of the go to news source for a lot of young people. too much of journalism is a bunch of people (and i’m sometimes in that group) taking ourselves way too seriously.
Classic. Thanks Craig, good reporting.
Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Hmmm. Maybe I don’t have a good sense of humor, but I don’t really get your point. Was this funded by Republican Majority contract for $20,000?
sadly not. i could use some money. everybody wants to see journalism done, but nobody wants to pay to see journalism done. that said, i do think the majority and i share the view Alaska elected a governor not a monarch. i’ve had a problem with imperial executives since Nixon. but mainly, in the style of my old friend Dave Barry, i just thought the situation was so messed up we could all use a good laugh. and the governor sitting in a classy hotel in Singapore spending our money while announcing he’s taking away our money is just too much to pass up.
I see. I don’t think there’s anything unethical about reducing a government benefit. Would you argue that cutting Medicaid or Medicare benefits was “unethical”? I also don’t think it’s unethical to upset settle expectations of the public regarding government benefits. But we’ll have to agree to disagree. (BTW: Most fiscal conservatives praise the power of the line-item veto power to keep government costs down, and don’t think a governor’s use of that power as analogous to a monarch’s decree of law).
p.s. how did this become a Republican issue? Bill Weilechowski, a very liberal D, is the one suing the governor.
Word on the street is that the Republican Majority hired you to do opposition research against Walker and his plans for LNG. And then you post this. In my mind, it’s logical to ask you if they’re connected.
P.S. — I don’t like the Dems or the Repubs. The Dems refuse to budge on decreasing the budget (health or education) or using the PFD or enacting new taxes because of so-called corporate welfare (oil tax credits). The Repubs refuse to budge on using the PFD or enacting new taxes until the budget is right-sized. Both are derelict in their jobs of pulling out a calculator and realizing that even if they got 100% of what they wanted, we’ll need to use PFD and new taxes.
I don’t get it. It’s like a Suzanne Downing hatchet piece but even more awkward.
Lee: it’s humor. just laugh along. we’re in the comedy of the absurd here. even if you believe Walker did the right thing, it’s wrong. if not legally (and there’s a good case to be made that it’s illegal), most certainly ethically in the context of the deal the politicians made with Alaskans lo those many years ago. as you well know, i’m for using some of the earnings of the Permanent Fund to fill our gaping budget hole, but at the very least that should require the approval of the majority of the representatives of the people if not the people themselves. we’re a democratic state with democratic laws. this is not a monarchy.