Raiders of the Permanent Fund

You’ll find no one in public life more ethical and conscientious than all the men and women who have served as public members of the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.  It’s a six member board, with four public members and two representing the Governor.

Now, for the first time in its 40 year history, the APFC is in danger of being controlled by a faction dedicated to raiding it.  Gov. Bill Walker needs just one more vote, and he’ll be able to get his hands on the Alaska people’s $50 billion nest egg.  The only thing that can stop him is the Alaska Legislature, by refusing to confirm his next appointment of a public member.

Walker made his first run at all this money just recently, when his lawyer tried to get the Permanent Fund to agree to lend the State of Alaska something close to $1 billion.  It would be purchasing oil tax credits from the companies which are due them, relieving the State from this legal obligation.   The APFC would buy them at a discount, and when the State eventually pays them off in full, the APFC will make a tidy profit.

Three of the public members saw through this scheme, and shot it down.  But if Walker gets his next appointment confirmed, say good bye to a billion dollars that belongs to the people of Alaska.

But Walker wants more than a measly billion dollars.  He wants Permanent Fund money to build a gas line south from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski, on the Kenai Peninsula.  This is the district of Republican Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, and if this line is built Chenault and all his friends will get rich.

Vince Beltrami, the head of the Alaska AFL-CIO, is all in on this scam.  His members will make a lot of  money building a gas line, and that will make him rich too.

This gas line, if it were ever built, would be the greatest boondoggle of the 21st century.  Tens of billion of dollars, money that belongs to the people of Alaska, would be wasted on a project that makes no economic sense.  If it made sense, the oil companies, who actually own the gas, would invest in it themselves.

Critical to this scheme is the defeat of Republican State Senator Cathy Geissel, in District “N”, south Anchorage.  Beltrami is running against her as an Independent, and he’s fully funded, and has the support of the liberal Anchorage media.   The future of the Permanent Fund may depend on the outcome of this race.

Since this is my old district, I’m going to get involved, and we’ll beat Beltrami and protect the Permanent Fund.  Gov. Jay Hammond created the Permanent Fund, and in Alaska politics, I was a Hammond man, and still am.

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