PART II: GIESSEL, COGHILL, VON IMHOF
Alaska voters, especially conservative Republicans are angry, frustrated, and feeling betrayed. On Tuesday, many will look for revenge at the polls. Incumbents beware.
Two years ago, conservatives voted in one of their own when they chose Mike Dunleavy as their governor. Dunleavy promised to return to issuing a full yearly permanent fund dividend check. He also said he’d restore the money former Gov. Bill Walker took from Alaskans by ignoring the statutory formula that determined each year the size of the check.
Dunleavy’s plan was to stop the raiding of the fund to feed the insatiable overgrown beast that is Alaska state government.
Most of Dunleavy’s promises never materialized. He certainly could have employed better strategy and been bolder in trying to fulfill his promises. He also could have used his line-item veto pen more.
At one point he secured $130 million in cuts to the bloated university system. The cuts motivated university leaders to find new efficiencies like possibly consolidating campuses. Something that should have been done years ago. It was a major win.
But at the last minute, Dunleavy, possibly spooked by the recall targeting him, reversed most of the $130 million in cuts to the university. For his conservative supporters, it was like having your wind knocked out.
But Dunleavy is not a dictator with unlimited powers. Most of the blame for the governor failing to deliver on many of his promises belong to a hostile House and Senate. Especially since both bodies were made up of majority Republicans.
Conservatives thought the stars were finally aligned with Republicans controlling the House and Senate and governor’s mansion. But the Republicans in name only in the House showed us who they really were and organized with the Democrats. It gave the big government, labor union boss, non-profit cabal, deep-state, and lobbyists pleasing party control of the House. It was a major victory for the Juneau swamp.
Then the Senate fell. President Cathy Giessel, long considered a reliable and consistent conservative morphed into something nobody recognized. Giessel became the governor’s chief antagonist and leader of the resistance.
Continue reading “Dan Fagan: How Cathy Giessel Betrayed Alaskans – ‘Dunleavy’s chief antagonist’”