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EDITOR, Daily News:
Mike Dunleavy has stated repeatedly that he is interested in promoting adequate health care for Alaskans and that he is interested in conversations with all the stakeholders. However, he has never visited the PeaceHealth hospital in Ketchikan. Our hospital serves as a regional facility for southern Southeast. Mark Begich has visited our hospital and talked with the stakeholders there and demonstrated a real interest in continuing the progress made over the past four years.
Mike Dunleavy was reported in your newspaper as appearing to compare Alaska with Venezuela. I won’t waste time trying to understand the reference to a country run by a dictator, but if Mr. Dunleavy wants to talk about good governance, let’s take a quick look at what policies he has supported in the past saddled us with: we remain in a bit of recession; we have gone through approximately $15 billion in savings; still have a significant state budget deficit; and lack state resources to maintain or improve infrastructure.
Because of policies Mr. Dunleavy supported, our share in the production of our oil plummeted. In 2009 our oil sold for $68.34 per barrel and we realized $3.1 billion. In 2010 our oil sold for $74.90 per barrel and we realized $2.9 billion. In 2015 our oil averaged $72.58 per barrel and our share was $0.4 billion.
Policies supported by Mr. Dunleavy first went into effect in 2014. There were 14,765 oil and gas jobs in Alaska. Among other things, those policies were supposed to create new jobs. Well, three years later, there were only 9,752 jobs and the share of those jobs going to non-Alaskans increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 37 percent in 2016
While all this was going on, Mr. Dunleavy was supporting some of the highest budgets in state history; in fiscal 2014, for example, $6 billion, compared to $4.3 billion in fiscal 2018. My Republican friends contend that this election is all about our permanent fund and taxes. They are correct. Based on our recent history, I am voting for Mark Begich and Dan Ortiz.