On Nov. 6, Alaska will hold an election for governor, and I believe that Alaska will be best served by gubernatorial candidate Sen. Mike Dunleavy.
Dunleavy served in the state senate for many years, and I have long admired him. He has served time in the Senate representing District E in Wasilla. Dunleavy is currently one of three men who have their their hats into the ring to be the Republican nominee for governor. He is the strongest candidate for governor based on his positions on the permanent fund, the University of Alaska and his personal character.
Dunleavy supports giving Alaskans their full PFD’s. Dunleavy fought the 2017 restructuring of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation that resulted in reduced Permanent Fund Dividends being distributed to Alaska citizens. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Dunleavy launched an online petition on his website, SaveYourPFD.com, in an effort to return the full PFD to the people of Alaska. During his time in the Senate, Dunleavy was also chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee. Dunleavy did everything in his power to fight the reduction of the PFD. He used his position to stall Senate Bill 26, which was introduced at the request of Governor Walker. The bill was designed to take the investment earnings of the permanent fund and use it to operate the government. I asked Dunleavy if his administration would restore revenue to the permanent fund for the purpose of restoring the full permanent fund dividend and he answered that under his administration Alaskan citizens would receive their full PFD. The reason you should care about this issue is because the PFD is a part of your income. Don’t you want a governor that will protect your income?
Dunleavy is strong supporter of the University of Alaska. He ought to be, for he is an alumnus. He received his master’s degree in education from UAF. I asked Dunleavy what steps his administration would take to address our university’s current fiscal predicament. Dunleavy considers a two-year budget from the legislature a valid option for funding the statewide university. This means that it is within the realm of possibility that a budget submitted to the State Legislature by the Dunleavy Administration may suggest that the University be funded in advance for two years instead of one.
Dunleavy believes that this will bring some consistency to the university as well as provide a sense of security to those troubled over the university’s finances. University is a land grant school. This means that federal laws passed in 1915 and 1929 set aside lands in Alaska that belong to the federal government, not the state, for the purpose of allowing this university to exist. Dunleavy added that he would also cooperate with the University of Alaska, the State Legislature, and the federal government to creatively find approaches where the university can be granted lands that can be used as revenue sources. The reason you should care about this is because the amount of land granted to UA will have a direct effect on the economic well-being of the school. If UA is granted additional lands the administration could use the lands for educational purposes or lease the lands. Maybe hold onto the land for conservation purposes, the sky’s the limit but it only will happen if we get the lands and Dunleavy is willing to help us.
When choosing leaders it is important to take their personal character into consideration. I want to share the personal qualities I see in Dunleavy that make me want to give him my vote. Dunleavy is the child of working-class people who rose above his station. I see a man that was born in Pennsylvania but came to Alaska and made this wonderful state his home. I see a man who displays the values that mean the world to me: specifically, faithfulness and responsibility.
Faithfulness is a necessity for a public servant because only a faithful person can be counted on to bear the full burdens of government without breaking or running. Have you ever thought about how hard it is to manage an entire state? We cannot afford to put someone in the governor’s office that will jump ship when times get hard. Mike has been married to his wife Rose for nearly 30 years, before most of the students at this university were born. This may sound old-fashioned, but I think a strong indicator of whether a man will faithfully serve his state is whether or not he faithfully serves his family. He raised his three daughters with integrity. He was present in their lives, loved them and provided for them. A man that will stay faithful to his wife and kids will stay faithful to his constituents. Whether he becomes governor or not, Dunleavy is a man worthy of respect and honor.
It is the right and responsibility of every citizen to participate in the government. For every adult citizen, it is your right to vote for the men and women that govern you. I ask that you vote with your conscience; vote for what you think is right. Vote for Dunleavy. He will do right by us.