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By MIKE DUNLEAVY
The reason I am running for governor is simple: I love Alaska.
I know Alaska’s potential is enormous. Our resources, coupled with our geographical location and worldwide demand, has Alaska poised to reach new heights as a major supplier of oil and gas, as well as timber, fish, rare earth and other minerals. Such enormous wealth has the potential to provide Alaskans with boundless opportunities, and enough revenue to pay for government far into the future. But that will only happen with new leadership and vision.
Alaska today is faced with many difficult challenges that plague and damage our communities and neighborhoods. Most of these challenges are the result of misguided government policies, policies often put in place to benefit special interest groups at the expense of the general public.
Having spent these past few months sitting in coffee shops, living rooms, classrooms and restaurants listening to Alaskans, a common theme has emerged: Why should Alaskans trust me? What makes me different? Recently, Alaskans have experienced a drastic break in their trust of elected officials. Politicians have promised Alaskans anything and everything — just to get elected — only to break every single promise they've ever made; this has left my neighbors, community and even my own family floundering and wondering whether this is the new normal. It doesn’t have to be this way.
When I hear the question, “Why should I vote for you for governor?” I tell the truth and that will never change. It won’t change based on pressure from special interest groups, or whomever I may be speaking to at the time. I tell folks who I am, what I believe, and that my core principles will never change. I say what I mean, and I will follow through on what I say.
My record speaks for itself. As a state senator, I voted my conscience and on behalf of my constituents against a budget that took half your Alaska Permanent Fund dividend to fund government. As a result, I was stripped of committee positions and most of my staff had to be fired. Regardless, I will always strive to do what is right for Alaska.
I will make the decisions necessary to put Alaska on the right track. I will address the growing credibility gap between the government and Alaskans. I will be transparent, involve Alaskans in my decisions, pursue policies for the public good, and be accountable.
As governor, I will:
• Make public safety priority number one.
• Restore confidence in the political process by engaging Alaskans in decisions regarding the Permanent Fund, the PFD, taxes, spending, and capping the size of government.
• Balance the budget, so that expenditures will match revenues.
• Submit a constitutional amendment to update the spending limit to constrain the growth of government.
• Not impose new taxes without a vote of the people.
• Not change the PFD without a vote of the people.
• Review all spending and veto spending we can no longer afford.
• Work to increase our fish and game stocks.
• Work to improve the performance of K-12 education.
• Actively recruit new industries to relocate to Alaska.
• And put the interests of the public ahead of special interests.
Trust is imperative. I understand that asking for your vote is no small request. Alaskans are justifiably distrustful of those who have served in public office, but I do believe that past actions are an indicator of future actions. And I encourage Alaskans to look at my track record. I fought against reckless spending and stood up to pressure from special interest groups. I’ve proposed a spending limit and measures that would require a vote of the people on major policies that would affect your pocketbook. I’ve walked the walk.
That is who I am, an Alaskan, father of three, and husband. I will lead Alaska back to prosperity. I will respect the sanctity of the significance of your vote. I am Mike Dunleavy, and I am running for governor to stand tall for the state I love.
Mike Dunleavy is currently a Republican gubernatorial candidate and former state senator for Wasilla, Palmer, Talkeetna, Valdez, Glennallen and Delta Junction.