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Walker #1

frowning bill walker

Bill Walker/Republican Governors Association photo

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker was leading the Morning Consult ranking of U.S. governors on Thursday, but not in a good way.

 

Still, he earned the first bullet point at the start of a story headlined “America’s Least and Most Popular Governors:”

  • “Bill Walker (I-Alaska) is the least popular governor running for re-election this year, with net approval of -26%.”

In fact, the first-term governor from Valdez nailed down both the first and second bullet points in a story written by Cameron Easley. The second said:

  • “Walker posted the largest net slide in approval of any governor in the fourth quarter, falling 19 points compared to the previous quarter.”

Morning Consult is a brand tracking and marketing research company based out of offices in New York and Washington, D.C. It attracted some attention during the last presidential race when its final poll before voting day show Donald Trump within three points of Hillary Clinton. 

Most pollsters had Clinton winning in a landslide which, of course, never materialized.

It’s latest polls shows Walkers winning the approval of only 29 percent of Alaskans with 15 percent undecided. More than half disapprove of his performance. The poll has a large margin of error – 6 percent.

Polling in Alaska is notoriously difficult. But even factoring in the margin of error, it would appear that about half of Alaskans disapprove of Walker.

That puts Walker in a lonely position.

“Most of the governors running for re-election this year ended 2017 in a strong position, according to Morning Consult’s Governor Approval Rankings,” Easley wrote. The most popular governor in the rankings was Charlie Baker, a Massachusetts Republican, who enjoyed a positive response of 69 percent.

The Massachusetts economy is booming. The Alaska economy is struggling. 

Both the Democrat and Republican parties in the 49th state continue to search for the ideal candidate to talk on the 66-year-old Walker. A one-time Republican, he turned independent and joined with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott, 74, to win the last election.

Mallott withdrew as the candidate for governor and agreed to run for lieutenant governor as part of a “Unity Ticket.” The two aging Alaskans have already announced they plan to run for re-election as independents.

Walker’s disapproval rating is down there with the latest for Trump, but Walker’s approval is only 65 percent that of the President. 

 

 

 

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27 replies »

  1. Too bad the balanced budget has turned into a partisan battle. This wastes a lot of time and does not allow us to address the real problems. This reminds me when Obama became President and the Republicans were determined that they would stop any Legislation Obama proposed, and they did. Now we have a Republican President and the Democrats are just as determined to stop any Legislation proposed by the Republicans. Either way the people suffer. Same in Alaska.
    The purse strings are always controlled by the Legislature—–period. We are rapidly running out of solutions while the Legislature fiddles. Can’t really point fingers when the Legislature is only worried about re-election rather than righting the ship of state. We need to replace most of the Legislature. The good news is that most of them are up for re-election this year. It’s time for the Alaskans to do their job this November and replace most of the Legislature with actual citizens instead of the same tired old life-long partisan politicians. It’s really the only way out.

    One last point. Since when is it ok to sell our timber, minerals and fish to China but not our natural gas?

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  2. Time for Walker to go. He refuses to take a serious look at cutting expenses of the states over bloated Personnel infrastructure, yet he took a big cut out of the citizens PFD checks without giving much consideration to our losers in the legislature…….

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  3. Why not make gambling legal in our state?It seems to provide good earning since those big earnings from making marijuana legal is not working too well. No I don’t want to live in a Vegas, but maybe a few other forms other than Bingo and Rippies!

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  4. I recently read a book that I figure Bill Walker would ban if he had the power to do so. “Death by China”. Makes you not want to have anything to do with China. Ever. All legislators, business leaders and Alaskan citizens should read this book. If even half of the stuff in it comes to fruition in the decades to come … we’re screwed. Or perhaps the US is already screwed beyond repair by China.

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  5. I really think Bill Walker is doing a good job given the hand he has been dealt… He negotiated a waiver on healthcare making a premiums a good 20% lower than last year. He is protecting Bristol Bay and he is willing to be balanced and flexible… He has my vote…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Republicans have made sure Walker is a one-term Gov.
      No chance of a tax (income or sales) passing either Legislative house, in an election year, so we are left with the taking of PFDs as the only revenue source to combat our budget deficit. Rural Alaskans hit hardest by these PFD reductions and they were Walker’s backers last time.
      I doubt that even a starting date on a gas-line could get him the votes he needs IMO.

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    • Joe,
      Ask yourself…How many people can afford to pay for their own health coverage in Alaska?
      In Walker’s short stint at the helm…Food Stamp recipients in Alaska have rose to over 100,000 from just 70,000 a couple years ago..as has Medicaid applicants and recipients. This is my meter stick of FAILURE for Walker and his pipeline to “No Underwear”. Maybe he should have picked a less communist country for our gas line partner? Sarah Palin had a much better plan to go through Canada, but the GOP and merchant marine lobbyists will only allow our petro products to leave on large barges…and sometimes they crash and pollute our fragile ecosystem like happened in Valdez in when Walker was their city attorney years ago.
      Mike Dunleavy is the best choice that Alaskans have right now going into November…although I do not believe he will be able to cut the budget and will therefore need to tax our earnings.

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      • Steve, Sarah’s gas line through Canada would have no chance of getting gas sales in this climate of natural gas surpluses in lower 48. The fracking that has taken place in lower 48 has resulted in huge gas finds and gas price drops there that has (in very short time) made our US gas situation one of wanting to import gas (prior to this fracking) to now exporting gas and wanting to export even more.
        So………………..had her pipeline been started, it is my opinion that it would have been left unfinished as there would have been no way the big three Oil cos. would have attempted to give away their gas in order to compete with the surplus gas available in the markets it was to go to.
        Just economics killed the TransCanada gas line, not Walker.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bill, so if the only way to sell gas today is through a communist dictator regime…then maybe it is a good case to foster the switch to renewable energy sources in Alaska?
        Wind Turbines only take out a few birds here and there.
        Turbines do not pollute our fisheries, cause world wars or ensalve their people…

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      • I can’t say that’s the only way to sell gas today, Steve but frankly it would be impossible to sell our gas today because of the economics (we would have to give it away practically). Granted if someone jumps in to finance the line and LNG plant it would make things easier.
        Here is Walker’s boy giving his latest spiel on the project as he envisions it: https://www.ktoo.org/2018/02/01/hurry-wait-state-gasline-corporations-federal-permitting-schedule/
        He is looking at 2025 as some sort of economic window of opportunity to be able to sell our gas into. I have no idea if it’s workable.

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  6. Approvals should be low. Not only did he cut $1000 in discretionary income from every Alaskan, but he also neglected to do the job he was elected to do. The state still has the same business model as it did when oil was $140. Walker has not spent time restructuring the state like a real leader would. Instead, he has been MIA trying to give Alaska away to China. Worst govenor ever, because he never wanted to be a real governor.

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  7. I am sure everyone will differ with me but I believe that reducing the Dividend is the only thing that Walker did right. In fact, the entire Legislature voted to reduce the Dividend the following year proving it was the only sensible thing to do. The ISER fake news that the loss of the Dividend is more harmful than imposing new broad based taxes is a complete fraud (like Russian collusion). There is only one route to fiscal stability and that is to END the Dividend. Alaskans will be dragged kicking and screaming to this logical conclusion – perhaps finally in another ruling from the Alaska Supreme Court. I have a plan to transition away from the Dividend program without further harming our already hurting economy. In short it involves a final $3000 Dividend followed by a very low State income tax that will exempt the 50% of Alaska residents at lower income levels.I can provide more details but it seems that most people are in denial and would rather plug their ears, cover their eyes and go ‘blah blah blah blah blah” to avoid hearing or seeing the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I respect that you thought out a plan, but I ask why cut out the PFD and not put it out to a state vote if we should get at the main part of P.F. itself. It seems that an “alaskans first” approach to investing P.F. capital would help our failing state economy.
      The fund is not even investing in our state.
      That is the main problem, not the dividend.
      If we had a few new office buildings, wharehouses and investment in infrastructure then we could foster business in the north.
      Maybe an audit is necessary?
      As long as socialism is packaged under progressive planning projects without “broken ground” then our state austerity measures will continue into the next administration.

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      • I appreciate your comments.
        First “putting it out for a vote” is pointless as it would only be advisory unless you are trying to amend the constitutuion. If so, you would also need a 2/3 vote from the Legislature.
        The argument that the PF should invest more in Alaska has been made before. However, the primary function of the PF is to make earnings and grow and not to act as source of funds for projects that cannot find financing through normal lending and legislative appropriations.
        We can end austerity budgeting by ending the Dividend, slightly increasing revenue through my proposed income and head taxes, and thereby only needing a conservative 3% of PF value annually from the PF Earnings. This will allow the State to have a balanced budget, a good credit rating, and a growing PF that will provide increased future earnings. Thank you.

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  8. The Walker/Mallott team has been a complete disaster in many arenas. The one I’m most familiar with is allocation of fish and game.

    Every inriver fish gather statewide should jump up and contribute to replacing the current team with whomever will say allowing Alaskans to gather there own annual supply of fish is part of their platform. Of course then we’re still at the mercy of any newly elected governor to follow through on their promise, but we do know the current team is a looser for us.

    But then inriver fish gatherers are notorious for doing nothing politically to save their own interest.

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    • Rod: it is interesting that you now feel a need to get someone on the “ team “ that will help out the in river fisheries users and allocate fish to them. Some might recall how you went after a former Chairman on the Fish Board before his appointment by Parnell. He was well known to recognize the value of the fish to in river folks both from an economic and cultural point of view. Yet you went to Juneau for the purpose of opposing his appointment. It’s hard to be sympathetic with your position. Do you now regret that decision? Whose side are you really on?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Any governor who garnished over 600 million from his people’s annual dividend is not going to be popular.
    Dunleavy will grab a ton of votes just by claiming he will reinstate full dividend payments to the people.
    As for spending cuts in the face of our huge state budget deficit…well, no government officials of the north can seem to do that.

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    • No government official could cut spending enough that could correct the budget deficit and further no serious budget cutting could be done without throwing us into a more serious recession than we already are IMO. The loss of that $600 million to our economy is being felt right now, along with the loss of other jobs lost to the economics of that hit of PFDs. Throw in the job losses experienced in our oil patch from the oil price plummet and you have some serious issues.
      ISER looked at the losses to the economy from PFD taking, income taxes, and sales taxes as a way of being able to look at which might be the lessor of evils. Of the three, the economically most felt loss of income turned out to be the PFD taking. OK, Walker wanted some of each of PFD and one of the other two but Legislature wouldn’t go for either tax so we are stuck with the worst of the three alternatives.
      He (Walker) had the ability to garnish that PFD money but he was not able to tax its citizens without the approval of Legislature-tough noogies!
      Republicans owed Walker nothing and they gave him nothing that he’s asked for. That’s politics but he knew it going in IMO.

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