Missing from Dunleavy Dysfunction: The $200 million to be saved from vacant jobs

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes would gut the University of Alaska, shrink public broadcasting, reduce a range of services for for poor people, cut funding for the arts, slash school construction money and do a big favor for the cruise ship industry.

Missing from Dunleavy Dysfunction, however, is any mention of what he made the centerpiece of his campaign to reduce state spending—eliminate 2,000 vacant but unfilled state jobs and save the state $200 million.

It is missing for a simple reason. It was something he made up and repeated across the state because he had to say something about cutting the budget. He was lying.

Claiming that $200 million could be saved was a central element in the Dunleavy fiscal fantasy that he sold to Alaskans, while the press coverage of the 2018 campaign failed to explain this to the public.

And then after the election, Dunleavy and his staff began promising budget cuts that he never mentioned during his campaign.

“He wants to do exactly what he said he would do in the campaign,” Tuckerman Babcock told Anchorage Unitarians in December. “There are a lot of people in Alaska who aren’t going to like what he promised to do.”

Babcock is right that there are a lot of people who don’t like what Dunleavy has done, but it is lie to claim the governor promised these cuts.

What he promised was this: “We have over 2,000 funded but unfilled positions in state government,” he said on KTUU-TV. “I would look at those positions to see what positions and what funding we could move to other parts of government to reduce the size of government.”

He made the same claim over and over again. This is just a reminder that he got away with it.

Dermot Cole3 Comments