For months, Dunleavy repeated inaccurate budget-cut climatologist claim

The Anchorage Daily News is allowing former Sen. Mike Dunleavy to get away with claiming he "misspoke" during the many months in which Dunleavy promised to get rid of "climatologists" in the state budget to save money.

This is not a case in which he "misspoke" at campaign appearances going back at least five months. The Daily News should have said that Dunleavy admits he was uninformed. Or that he didn’t know what he was talking about.

This has been a stock part of his budget spiel since at least June, as is his promise to eliminate a $4.5 million rail study from Mat-Su to Anchorage, though that study was never funded and doesn’t exist.

You can’t have a candidate repeat bits nonsense for months on end, and, when finally pressed for specifics, allow the candidate to cover errors by claiming he “misspoke.”

Dunleavy now says he wants to eliminate the climate change adviser in the governor's office, not a climatologist.

The Daily News has yet to cover Dunleavy's promise to eliminate a $4.5 million rail study that doesn't exist, which is the other budget-cutting specific he has brought up repeatedly.

In addition, he has made a false claim that the state Legislature intentionally budgeted for 2,000 positions that are unfilled, creating a $200 million slush fund he can divert to other projects.

The Daily News printed an Associated Press story on a recent televised debate that included inaccurate statements about all three issues in these two sentences: "Dunleavy said he would cut a fast-rail study and look at eliminating 'climatologists.' He also said there are about 2,000 funded but unfilled positions in state government, and he would look at whether funding for those could be moved to other needs."

Dermot Cole3 Comments