Gov. Bill Walker

Gov. Walker reflects on rocky tenure, his legacy

To some, Walker was a cool-headed leader who was dealt a bad hand and did what he thought was best for Alaska. For others, he was the guy who stole their dividend check.

 

Acid contaminated water runs from the entrance of the Tulsequah Chief Mine in Canada. (Courtesy photo)

Governor ‘frustrated’ by long-polluting Canadian mine

Runoff from the mine has been flowing for more than 60 years.

 

In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska Mark Begich, right, speaks as Gov. Bill Walker listens during a chamber of commerce gubernatorial candidate forum on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska, On Friday, Oct. 19, Walker announced he was dropping his bid for re-election, though his name remains on the ballot. He threw his support behind Begich, who will face Republican Mike Dunleavy in November. (AP Photo | Becky Bohrer File)
In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska Mark Begich, right, speaks as Gov. Bill Walker listens during a chamber of commerce gubernatorial candidate forum on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska, On Friday, Oct. 19, Walker announced he was dropping his bid for re-election, though his name remains on the ballot. He threw his support behind Begich, who will face Republican Mike Dunleavy in November. (AP Photo | Becky Bohrer File)
Former state Senate Mike Dunleavy, left, Gov. Bill Walker, center, and former U.S. Senator Mark Begich debate during a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Centennial Hall on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Former state Senate Mike Dunleavy, left, Gov. Bill Walker, center, and former U.S. Senator Mark Begich debate during a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Centennial Hall on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, left, and Gov. Bill Walker pass Mike Dunleavy’s name plate during a Special Native Issues Forum for governor candidates at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Libertarian candidate Billy Toien, out of picture to the left, requested the name plate. Dunleavy did not attend the forum. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Governor candidates critical as Dunleavy misses forum

Tuesday’s gubernatorial forum was almost more about who wasn’t there than it was about who was there.

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, left, and Gov. Bill Walker pass Mike Dunleavy’s name plate during a Special Native Issues Forum for governor candidates at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Libertarian candidate Billy Toien, out of picture to the left, requested the name plate. Dunleavy did not attend the forum. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov accepts climate change plan

The non-binding plan calls for carbon tax, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Opinion: Medicaid Expansion is a fiscal trap for Alaskans

Since Gov. Bill Walker unilaterally expanded Obamacare in Alaska, enrollment has skyrocketed and is providing needed health care coverage to vulnerable Alaskans and bringing additional… Continue reading

Opinion: Three cheers for governor, the adult in the room

The people who are upset over the change in the Permanent Fund Dividend payout need to review the enabling legislation and history of the purpose… Continue reading

Opinion: Vote Walker out

Anyone who would take $460 million from the Juneau economy will never receive my vote. That is exactly what Gov. Bill Walker did. This money… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker answers a range of questions during an interview with the Empire in his Capitol office on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Walker fails in government transparency

Among Gov. Bill Walker’s many failures, a fundamental one is his failure to govern openly and transparently.

Gov. Bill Walker answers a range of questions during an interview with the Empire in his Capitol office on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Mark Begich is the governor Alaska needs

I have known Mark Begich since he was 19 years old. Then, he was chair of the Anchorage Youth Commission, and I was mayor. His… Continue reading

Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, right, directs a question at former state Senate Mike Dunleavy, left, as Gov. Bill Walker listens during a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon debate at Centennial Hall on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Opinion: The Democrat strategy to divide and be conquered

“The new rule in American politics is divide and conquer,” longtime political analyst Bill Schneider wrote at the dawn of the 2106 presidential campaign. “At… Continue reading

Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, right, directs a question at former state Senate Mike Dunleavy, left, as Gov. Bill Walker listens during a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon debate at Centennial Hall on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Bill Walker, February 2018 (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Actions and words split the candidates for governor

With the current political climate, I expected the divisive rhetoric of this election season. I did not expect the battle lines to be drawn so… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker, February 2018 (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Former Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich greets and speaks to Juneau residents interested in his campaign for governor at the IBEW Local 1547 Union office on Thursday, June 29, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Begich is my choice for governor

We need a governor who is foursquare in support of a woman’s right to choose.

Former Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich greets and speaks to Juneau residents interested in his campaign for governor at the IBEW Local 1547 Union office on Thursday, June 29, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this July 14, 2016 photo, Gov. Bill Walker speaks during a press conference. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Nothing, not even the PFD, can last forever

Gov. Bill Walker did the right thing for Alaska when he decided to reduce the Permanent Fund Dividend in 2016.

In this July 14, 2016 photo, Gov. Bill Walker speaks during a press conference. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this Sept. 29, 2014 photo, candidate for governor Bill Walker speaks as Gov. Sean Parnell listens during their debate in front of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce at Suite 907. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Why I’m voting for Bill Walker

Walker has proven over and over again that when the going gets tough — Alaska-tough — Bill gets going.

In this Sept. 29, 2014 photo, candidate for governor Bill Walker speaks as Gov. Sean Parnell listens during their debate in front of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce at Suite 907. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Juneau Empire File

Feds sign death certificate for Juneau Road construction

Nineteen months after Gov. Bill Walker killed the Juneau Access Project, the federal government has signed the death certificate.

Juneau Empire File
In a photo provided by the office of the governor, Gov. Bill Walker signs Senate Bill 63, a statewide public smoking ban, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Lucky Wishbone restaurant in Anchorage. Standing at right is Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the legislative sponsor of the bill. On Walker’s lap is Stella Micciche, one of Micciche’s daughters. Also visible, from right to left behind Walker are Dr. Jay Butler, Alaska’s chief medical officer; Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage; Rep. Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage; Micciche; Rep. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage; and the smile of Emily Nenon of the American Cancer Society. (Courtesy photo)

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signs bill banning indoor smoking

Effective Oct. 1, ban mirrors similar regulations approved by Bethel, Juneau, Anchorage.

In a photo provided by the office of the governor, Gov. Bill Walker signs Senate Bill 63, a statewide public smoking ban, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Lucky Wishbone restaurant in Anchorage. Standing at right is Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the legislative sponsor of the bill. On Walker’s lap is Stella Micciche, one of Micciche’s daughters. Also visible, from right to left behind Walker are Dr. Jay Butler, Alaska’s chief medical officer; Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage; Rep. Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage; Micciche; Rep. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage; and the smile of Emily Nenon of the American Cancer Society. (Courtesy photo)
The Alaska State Capitol is seen Saturday, May 12, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Dunleavy supports Juneau as capital

As I volunteer on the Mike Dunleavy for Governor campaign, I have been asked whether or not Dunleavy supports keeping the capital in Juneau. Dunleavy… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol is seen Saturday, May 12, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)