Murkowski endorses Dunleavy for governor, says his opposition to salmon habitat initiative was big factor

Mike Dunleavy and Lisa Murkowski.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has endorsed Republican Mike Dunleavy for governor, she told a public radio reporter in Bethel on Friday.

Murkowski said a big factor in her decision was Dunleavy’s opposition to the salmon habitat initiative, which Democrat Mark Begich does support (independent Gov. Bill Walker opposed it before suspending his campaign). The comments were reported by Krysti Shallenberger of Alaska’s Energy Desk in a report that was first published to KYUK on Friday.

“I have looked at the language of this initiative and as a former state legislator, and one who was responsible we get legislation and laws right, I’m very concerned that the ways this initiative is drafted.” Murkowski told Shallenberger. “It would bring about unintended consequences that will limit our opportunity and ability as individuals and communities to really move forward with even the most simple development project.”

The salmon habitat initiative would toughen Alaska’s permitting process for projects that could affect salmon habitat. The Alaska Supreme Court struck down some of the initiative’s toughest language, but it’s still drawn considerable pushback from the oil and mining industries ($11.9 million has been contributed an independent expenditure group opposing the initiative).

Murkowski’s endorsement now puts the all-Republican Alaska congressional delegation behind Dunleavy. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and U.S. Rep. Don Young both endorsed Dunleavy last week, but Murkowski’s endorsement is the most important of the three.

As a moderate, Murkowski has leaned from one side of the aisle to the other in the past few years. She’s cast progressive votes like votes against the wholesale repeal of the Affordable Care Act and against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh (well, technically present), but also more conservative votes like for last year’s Republican tax cut (which included provisions for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).

While her support of Dunleavy isn’t likely to bring over any of her progressive supporters to the former state senator, it could be an important vote of confidence for on-the-fence moderates or pro-business Republicans (the kind who backed Mead Treadwell or tried to pursue Walker for the GOP ticket).

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1 Comment on "Murkowski endorses Dunleavy for governor, says his opposition to salmon habitat initiative was big factor"

  1. Murkowski supported Dan Sullivan over Begich, now Dunleavy over Begich. She knows that in both cases, Begich was the Alaskan, and the more intelligent, more knowledgeable candidate. She has a history of “Party Before Country” and generally does whatever Mitch McConnell decrees. She voted against repeal of Obamacare simply because the increase in health care costs to Alaskans would have been close to $1,000/month, and she knew that she’d never survive her next election. Same with the Kavanaugh vote…….Alaska Natives flat out told her that they’d never vote for her again if she voted yes on that man, and she needs them to win elections. Hopefully before her next election, the Democrats and Moderates who keep her in power will finally realize that she has been faking being a moderate, and faking being pro-women’s rights all along. First and foremost is her ability to keep power by being re-elected, next comes her obligations to Mitch McConnell, and lastly, if she can vote pro-woman without offending Mitch, she gets to do it. But remember kiddies, she and Collins were both considered a yes vote on Kavanaugh, knowing that he’d try to reverse Roe v Wade, until all Hell broke loose with the assault allegations. That’s when the Natives took a stand, and she voted No, but as usual, it didn’t actually count, and Kavanaugh was confirmed, and Mitch McConnell mysteriously was again able to push his ultra-conservative agenda forward somehow, even with two supposed moderates, Collins and Murkowski. Collins has totally been outed as a fake now, while unfortunately Murkowski still manages to pull the wool over moderate eyes!

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