As I volunteer on the Mike Dunleavy for Governor campaign, I have been asked whether or not Dunleavy supports keeping the capital in Juneau. Dunleavy has told me, as well as he has said in public and written many times that he believes the capital should stay right here. In Juneau earlier last month he expressed appreciation to Juneau citizens for their work in strengthening the capital city with Gavel-to-Gavel, downtown parking, airport improvements and an expanded Capitol campus to better accommodate legislative functions and the visiting public.
My understanding is that when Gov. Bill Walker, then a candidate, was speaking in a 2014 gubernatorial debate held here in Juneau, he said every commissioner would live in Juneau were he to be elected. When the audience applauded he elaborated to say he likes to be able to look everyone who works for him directly in the eye, and the applause grew louder. No one has held him to that promise, but he made many other claims and pledges that also remain unmet and forgotten.
Dunleavy has said that the capital city would be improved by Juneau Access construction. He cites lowered costs of goods delivered here, and improved markets for what Juneau produces. Dunleavy says that in travelling around the state, the only place he hears questions about the Capital move is in Juneau, but he does often hear that a road would help Juneau to be a be a more accessible location as the state’s capital city.
The 2018 gubernatorial election year is well under way. The crowded field, packed in no small part because of the incumbent’s wholesale unpopularity, will become smaller on the Republican side come Aug. 21. We may then see some strategic ticket manipulation on the other side, perhaps over Labor Day weekend, akin to what occurred in 2014 to further consolidate the field. But the record-high unemployment, record-high crime incidence, low student achievement and other measures responsible for Walker’s low approval ratings will still be with us on Nov. 6, and would last another four years should he be re-elected. I would bet he will also stick with his insistence on an income tax, and diminishing and debasing the Permanent Fund Dividend as well.
Please don’t forget to get out and vote this year!