As the story goes, when the wagon train master saw the enemy on the horizon, they circled the wagons, loaded their weapons, and fired inwards while the enemy stood outside and watched their self-destruction.

Keep Dunleavy pic
Gov. Mike Dunleavy

On Dec. 3, 2018, Mike Dunleavy was sworn in as Alaska’s 12th governor. He inherited a state on the brink of economic collapse, caused by the gross mismanagement of his predecessor, Bill Walker.

The state was in economic decline, budgets reserves were nearly depleted, and Governor Walker and the Legislature had broken a trust with the people when they deliberately violated state law by capping the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) at $1,000 in 2016, using the remaining amount to fund the state operating budget. Dunleavy promised to reverse Walker’s actions.

It all seemed so possible. In 2018 Alaskans elected Republican majorities to both the Alaska House and Senate. Gov. Dunleavy pledged to return the PFD to its statutory formula process, reduce the size and cost of government, develop our natural resources and expand business opportunities. Sounded pretty good to me.

So for the past two years, the Alaska House of Representatives has been at war with Gov. Dunleavy.

What happened these past 24 months to cause the harsh criticism being targeted at Gov. Dunleavy from his conservative base? Friends tell me he is not doing his job, that he has lost his backbone, he no longer stands tall for conservative values, and has capitulated to the left in his response to the coronavirus.

Let’s examine these charges for a second. Who is actually at fault if any of these allegations are correct? We can start with those Republicans legislators elected to the House and Senate in 2018. That’s right, the ones casting stones at Mike.

On Jan. 15, 2019, the 31st legislature was comprised of 23 Republicans, 13 Democrats, and 4 undeclared/independents in the House and 13 Republicans and 7 Democrats in the Senate. Piece of cake. Republicans form majorities in both chambers and work with Gov. Dunleavy to solve Alaska’s problems.  

But wait, that would be too easy, it would be what the voters intended, it would be the right thing to do. Come on, this is politics. Instead, a handful of House Republicans connived with the 13 minority Democrats and 4 undeclared to form a “coalition” majority. In other words six House Republicans torpedoed forming a Republican majority. So for the past two years, the Alaska House of Representatives has been at war with Gov. Dunleavy.

It’s hard for any governor to deliver positive results when fighting against a dysfunctional legislature.

It hasn’t been much better in the Senate. The Republican majority split apart. Senators Mike Shower and Lora Reinbold were shunned. Senate President Cathy Giessel openly resisted Gov. Dunleavy and thwarted every attempt he made to bring about a conservative government in Alaska. She and House Speaker Bryce Edgeman worked in concert to obstruct Dunleavy’s attempts to reduce state spending and government interference in our lives. It’s hard for any governor to deliver positive results when fighting against a dysfunctional legislature.

Former Gov. Bill Walker

Inheriting a $1.6 billion deficit from Gov. Walker, Dunleavy submitted a very conservative 2019 Operating Budget, as he had promised during his campaign. It drastically reduced the university budget; slashed the Alaska Marine Highway System; withdrew state funding for Alaska Public Broadcasting; repealed the Ocean Ranger Program; repealed the Senior Benefits Program; ended funding for the Local Emergency Planning Committees; resisted establishing a state income tax; offered full payments of the PFD; and reduced the Medicaid expansion program instituted by Walker. You would have thought the world was coming to an end. The gnashing of teeth, whining, and outright melt-down by liberals and many in the Legislature was disgusting.

He did what he said he would do, and for that he had to be punished. The Legislature gave him hell. The institutions whose ox had been gored went on the attack.

We must provide Dunleavy the support he needs to deliver the future he offered us two years ago.

Add to this a recall effort that has dogged Dunleavy. That’s right, just seven months after becoming governor, a radical group of malcontents, to include liberal Republicans, started a recall effort against the governor. I guess if you can’t win an election, just do everything you can to disrupt and cause turmoil towards the person duly elected by the people in an effort to undermine any potential beneficial accomplishments for the state. Such a disgrace.

Now even staunch conservatives like Senator Reinbold are jumping on the “trash Dunleavy” bandwagon. This I do not understand. “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:25) was historically validated by the Civil War. This is not the time for Republicans and conservatives to be tearing down Gov. Dunleavy.

Alright, that Emergency Alert System COVID blast was probably a bad call, but I’m willing to give him a pass on that one, so long as it isn’t repeated.

Bottom line: Gov. Dunleavy was elected to reduce the size and cost of government, to revitalize a stagnant economy and to manage the PFD as established in law. He has been attacked, criticized, sabotaged, and vilified not just by his adversaries, but also by those who should be his allies. Maybe he has backed off some from the Mike Dunleavy we elected, but when your own team shoots inward, with you as the target, it can be understandable.

Dunleavy has two more years before he is up for re-election. Plenty of time to get back to the agenda he promised. We have new members in both the House and Senate who can form honest, conservative majorities. The COVID vaccine is just around the corner, so we will be able to put this pandemic behind us and get back to the business of building our state economy. We can build a better future for Alaska.

This is the time for conservatives to come together and stop the in-fighting. It’s time to circle the wagons and shoot outwards. We can lower the cost and size of state government. We can rebuild our economy. We must provide Dunleavy the support he needs to deliver the future he offered us two years ago. In return, we should expect to see the return of the Mike Dunleavy we elected in November 2018. It will not be easy, but it will be a lot easier if his natural allies would stop being enemies.

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Gov. Dunleavy and the shootout at the O.K. Corral

Craig Campbell
Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly between 1986 and 1995 and later as Alaska’s Tenth Lieutenant Governor. He was the previous Chief Executive Officer and President for Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He retired from the Alaska National Guard as Lieutenant General (AKNG) and holds the concurrent retired Federal rank of Major General (USAF).


  • Mike States says:

    If Dunleavy wants the base back, he needs to reform our election laws and get rid of the tainted, corrupt Dominion voting system. Simple as that. Meyer has nothing else to do, get him on it.

    • Lori says:

      Mike, laws are made by the legislature, not by the Governor. Perhaps it’s a good time to contact them and lay out what you expect of them for the coming year.

      • Mike States says:

        Hi Lori, I don’t think the Legislature had anything to do with us buying the Dominion Voting System and the recent upgrade to it (done in August). Kevin Meyer has only ONE job…he overseas elections. The Dominion upgrade was done on his watch. He needs to come clean and admit that it is crooked as a rattlesnake.

  • Mongo Like Candy says:

    When you act like a RINO you get called a RINO. You’ll know them by their fruits, and AWOL Mike’s fruit are of the RINO sort.

    Mathew 716 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.:

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Sure, I’ll give him another chance IF he goes back to the cutting and vetoing and quits trying to be popular. He will never, at this point, be popular with anyone, so he should leave that behind. He can however earn points in the right direction with conservatives. Had he just stuck to his guns and put the onus on the Dems and RINOs for economic dysfunction, he would be better off. Also, he should quit listening to the COVID queen and open Alaska.
    Finally, get some lessons from Kristi Noem (I mean, who wouldn’t want to?).

  • Rep. Sharon Jackson says:

    Elections is the job of Lt Governor not the Governor. Just a reminder. Very article!

  • Dave says:

    Pablum koom by yah
    Dunleavy needs a crutch to stand up at all
    Cut your government
    Provide proof your willing and able to do anything you promised
    That you can do without blaming someone else

  • Joshua Bennett says:

    So Dunleavy gets a pass in the article for his Covid response? How about his power grab with his stupid health mandates that literally do nothing but keep people scared.
    Pretty sad when the only real man out of all the governors in the US is a woman, the governor of South Dakota. Dunleavy, cut the nonsense, be a man, stand up for our Rights, which is actually the only job you have, and drop ALL health mandates. Be a hero not a zero. You could stand out among the crowd or just be buried in if. Playing both sides is a waste of time. “You were neither hot nor cold, so I spit you from my mouth.”

  • Deez Nutz says:

    Dumblevi is a cowardly tyrant and we got beef.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Really? On par with Jay Inslee? Gavin Newsom? Nanct Pelosi? The Witch from Michigan? The granny murderer from New Yaawk? C’mon Man!

  • Michael Alexander says:

    So we have a good Tyrant compared to the ones Mr. Wilson listed. Wow I feel better already. Face it folks he made a token effort his first year and folded like a cheap card table in his second year. The author himself, was lawless during the 2010 election when as Lt. Gov. he allowed voters to wear bracelets with Lisa’s name on it and any write in that started with an “M” was a vote for her. State statute clearly states the entire name has to be spelled correctly. He did such a good job that he didn’t run for re-election even though he could have.

  • Albert Teache says:

    All of your whining aside, this comes down to two things… 1) Walker violating state law and getting away with it and 2) when Gov. Dunleavy proposed cuts to balance the budget, all of the libtards cried foul. You can’t have it both ways. If you spend like a drunken sailor, you have to live like one. You cannot spend like money is no object and then expect to get a full PFD. Don’t get me wrong, I want what the state constitution says I’m entitled to and I think that Walker should be in prison orange for his flagrant disregard of the law. That being said, WE CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS! The state needs to stop hemorrhaging cash and buckle down so we can get our full PFD. If you hug trees and disagree, move to California or New York and join their mindless think-tank of blind sheep.

    Mike don’t even get me started on the whole Mur-cow-ski thing. That was criminal too! The rules have to be applied to and followed by all to mean anything.

  • Shane says:

    Dunleavy has violated our civil liberties and if you look at what took place in Michigan against Whitmer 7-0 Michigan state Supreme court ruled against all her mandates and lock downs it will fallow suite here and in every state when filed in the state Supreme court!

  • Shane says:

    Stand up against the corruption !,, Dunleavy is more like Ike Clanton not Wyatt Earp by a long shot !!!