Gov. Bill Walker has appointed a longtime lobbyist to replace Benjamin Brown as a commissioner of the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.
In an emailed statement, Walker said he has named Vance Fate Putman to the commission, which regulates the state’s limited-entry fisheries. Putman and Brown are both Juneau residents.
Brown, a longtime columnist for the Empire, announced in November that he was leaving the commission. His departure followed a series of stories in the Anchorage Daily News explaining that commissioners have been earning more than $130,000 per year even as their workload has declined drastically.
Gov. Bill Walker attempted in 2016 to merge the commission’s duties into the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but that effort appears to have stalled.
According to the statement, Putman has worked as a commercial fishing deckhand, a commercial fish buyer and as a setnetter in the Kasilof Personal Use Fishery.
Putman has a JD from California Western School of Law and an environmental studies degree from Western Washington University.
According to filings with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Putman is a registered lobbyist for the state public employees union, ASEA Local 52, the National Popular Vote campaign, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, Ted Popely, a group focusing on unemployment insurance, and a company selling fraud detection services.
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