Editor's Note

Matt Hickman

If I stop and think about it, the election of Mike Dunleavy as governor has been a real blessing for the Anchorage Press.

How nice is it to have a villain so mean-spirited, so hard-headed, such a moron to bash day after day, week after week? He’s like Donald Trump without the bombastic charm.

Can you imagine how comparably boring things would be if Mark Begich or Bill Walker were governor now?

But if I get past my predilection for narcissism, navel-gazing and self-absorption, and realize that whatever benefit having the Dunleavy administration in power does for my paper, the actions of that administration are hurting Alaskans and are going to hurt more and more Alaskans until thousands of them can no longer take it and will have to leave their home, far outweighs any short-sighted benefit.

The claim that the governor’s actions will hurt Alaska irrevocably is not even opinion — it’s a point of fact, and the Dunleavy administration is apparently so single-mindedly hellbent on following their Koch Brothers-guided ideology, they don’t even really try to dispute the harm their actions will bring.

At Monday’s ‘Make It Monday’ forum, hosted by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, economist Mouhcine Guettabi said that if Dunleavy’s $430 million in additional vetoes, on top of an already austere budget approved by the Legislature, went into effect, the Alaska economy would certainly fall right back into recession after eight consecutive months of fragile job growth.

Nobody argues with Guettabi’s math, because you can’t argue that two minus two equals zero. And yet, Dunleavy won’t relent.

It’s cruelly ironic that the name of the Koch Brothers PAC is ‘Americans For Prosperity’, and yet Dunleavy is willing to purposely run the state into recession even as its economy is finally starting to recover after three brutal years of recession. How is that ‘prosperity?’

If he thinks he’s being business-friendly, then name one business interest in the state that supports these drastic vetoes. It’s certainly not the Alaska Chamber of Commerce or the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, which begged Republican legislators to break ranks with the governor and override his vetoes, by writing to them:

“With more than $600 million cut from the unrestricted general fund, these reductions are too deep, happen too quickly, and risk the future of our city and state. The fragile economic plateau that Anchorage has recently experienced will be exchanged for more years of recession because of the projected immediate loss of thousands of jobs in our city and state.”

That’s pretty desperate language for an organization whose main mission is to show calm and measured approach intended to make local businesses feel anything but panicked and scared to invest in the Alaska economy.

Dunleavy’s vetoes have garnered national and international media attention — virtually all of them, including the conservative pro-business magazine Forbes — warning about the long-lasting disaster these cuts will certainly lead to.

No matter what happens, people who love Alaska, or even those who care about responsible government and basic human decency have to keep fighting.

I vow the Anchorage Press will stand alongside those trying to save our state every step of the way.

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