The fight is on in the northernmost American state as its newly-elected GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy faces an effort pushed by leftist special interests to recall him after he delivered on his promises to reduce the size and scope of government and reignite the state’s economy.
Dunleavy, an ally of President Donald Trump, faces an effort in his state to recall him because he has cut the state budget significantly and got the economy booming again—a very similar fight to the national impeachment battle that Trump faces.
Dunleavy, just like Trump, is fighting through it. He has launched a website to rally voters to his side amid the recall push and appeared on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this weekend to make his case for why he believes the leftist special interests are targeting both him and Trump.
“The bottom line is this, just like the president—he wasn’t supposed to win. He was not within the establishment. He was not part of the swamp. What people fail to realize, President Trump and what we’re trying to do up here is to work on behalf of the average American and average Alaskan—not the special interests,” Dunleavy said. “It’s those special interests who are trying to redo the election here in Alaska and trying to impeach the president now nationally.”
“So, we made the fatal error I guess of doing things for our people—the average American, the average Alaskan—and not kowtowing to the establishment and the special interests,” he continued. “So, I guess this is what you get when you fight on behalf of the average American and average Alaskan. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I think if you asked President Trump he wouldn’t change a thing. So, the fight’s on. They want to try and do a recall or redo the election, but we’re up to the task because we think we’re doing the right thing for Alaska just like the president does for the nation.”
Dunleavy won the governorship in 2018, a hotly-contested race against former Democrat U.S. Senator Mark Begich which saw Dunleavy come out on top on a promise to shrink the state’s budget deficits amid fiscal woes while growing the economy.
“We won the election back in November by 51 percent to 44 percent over former U.S. Senator Mark Begich and it was pretty clear the folks in Alaska sent me down to Juneau to do things differently,” Dunleavy said. “We’ve been having a budget issue for some time and we’ve been having about a $1.6 billion deficit. We were looking at about $85 a barrel for oil about this time last year, this day actually, and then it just dropped like a rock down to $53—so we had to make some difficult decisions and we reduced the budget by about $650 million.”
“We were able to close that deficit by about 40 percent. So, there are people on the left who didn’t like this. They don’t want a smaller government,” he explained. “They wanted us to tax and spend our reserves to maintain the size of government and of course we think that’s a bad idea—we think it’s a much better idea to make government more efficient and manage it better and reduce the footprint and that way people can keep more of their hard-earned money. But the folks who are tied into as you would say the swamp—the folks who are tied into government spending—didn’t like this at all. They decided they want to redo the election, and as a matter of fact, they started talking about this about two and a half months after the election, back in early February.”
Dunleavy said that much like how national Democrats panned Trump’s promises of economic success nationally in the 2016 election as impossible or unrealistic, the left and special interests in Alaska panned his vision as one that would doom the state. But they were wrong. CNBC in mid-2018 actually said Alaska was the worst state in America for business–Dunleavy has quickly turned that around.
“I didn’t run for this job to be governor—I wanted to be governor so I could fix these problems. We’ve been shedding in Alaska for the past several years, thousands and thousands of private-sector jobs,” Dunleavy said. “The population of Alaska actually shrunk the past several years previous to this. So we made a concerted effort that we were going to get our spending under control, as I mentioned, and manage government better—but at the same, open up Alaska for business. We are an ideal location on the globe. A lot of folks don’t realize this but we are the closest state to Asia by thousands of miles. We are the northernmost state, westernmost state, and easternmost state if you can figure that one out.”
“Long story short, we’ve promoted Alaska—its resources and location on the globe—and the first quarter we got into office and it’s continued since, our unemployment has dropped. It’s the lowest now in nine years,” he continued. “Our GDP is up, the first quarter, 3.6 percent, and we’re expecting some good news here shortly on the GDP here as well. Personal income is up. And we were told that if we made these reductions that the world would end, that people would die, that the world would collapse and that we would be driven back into a recession—but as it stands right now, those reductions that we made have been absorbed into a growing economy.”
“So we saved the people of Alaska $650 million, closed this gap 40 percent, and at the same time all the economic indicators right now are heading in the right direction,” Dunleavy said. “We believe we did the right thing given that our revenue picture was pretty dismal, and this allows us to close this gap and get closer to having a sustainable budget for the state of Alaska.”
He has a close relationship with President Trump, who has focused a large part of his presidency on Asia—particularly on China—and the president stops in Alaska whenever he goes to the Pacific Rim to refuel. That allows Dunleavy the ability to communicate easily with the president in person, and as a result of what Dunleavy has done in the state and what Trump has done nationally, there is a booming energy industry in Alaska now.
“We’re very fortunate because when the president goes to Asia, he stops in Anchorage, Alaska, to refuel,” Dunleavy said. “When he does, he contacts our office and we get an opportunity to go on Air Force One and sit down and meet with him and talk to him about business in the state of Alaska. As you mentioned, he wants to get all of America back to work, and it’s been nothing short of an economic miracle what he’s been able to do. With Alaska, he’s been helping us out in trying to get our economy back on its feet and as you know, under the tax bill that was passed, ANWR was opened up.”
“This is probably one of the last great areas in North America on the North Slope that has tremendous oil potential—potentially billions of barrels of oil, could produce upwards of 600,000 barrels of oil per day additional to put into the pipeline,” he explained. “So we’ve been talking with investors in the lower 48, we have a bit of a renaissance on our North Slope, we have a number of new companies coming up there and we have a number of our older companies that have been up there for a while such as Conoco and Exxon and others and we are finding new oil because of new technology—new conventional oil, large pools of it, potentially billions of barrels of oil. As a matter of fact, we have about $5.5 billion of new investment going into the North Slope, so things are looking up thanks to some of the decisions the administration has made and our philosophy on putting Alaska back to work and using resources to create new wealth not just for our state but for this country.”
Also mirroring Trump, Dunleavy has zoned in on onerous regulations on a state-level—something the president has done nationally as well. Trump actually told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview earlier this year that deregulation is perhaps his biggest success.
“We’ve identified over 100 regulations that we are slating to remove that get in the way of business but also get in the way of the lives of average Alaskans, but these regulations—we’re going over them to make sure they still provide the safety for our people and our state but the long and short of it is when a government grows often times the bureaucracy takes on a life of its own and develops its own regulations that don’t necessarily benefit the state or the people itself or the businesses that we’re trying to attract to the state of Alaska,” Dunleavy said. “We got over a hundred regulations we’re looking at, and we have been trying to—we’ve been working very hard at making sure our permitting processes and study processes for industry and new industry coming to the state of Alaska are not onerous so once again we can put people to work, we can bring investment into the state and put people to work. That’s a key component of what we’ve always wanted to do here in Alaska.”
“We have a tremendous state in terms of resources, a huge state the size of a subcontinent,” he stated. “With all these resources coming in from around the globe, we’re trying to make sure we can capitalize on this and put people to work. Those regulations, we’re reviewing them to make sure they’re in the best interests of Alaska and not in the best interests of the bureaucracy.”
LISTEN TO ALASKA GOV. MIKE DUNLEAVY ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY: