In a bizarre twist, Dunleavy contradicts himself, claims credit for budget reversals after 6 weeks

If you want to understand what Gov. Mike Dunleavy is saying, you need to be familiar with "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell.

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible,” Orwell said.

On Tuesday, Dunleavy claimed that his decision to reverse a few vetoes for education and senior benefits and spread out his attack on higher education were made possible only because his vetoes June 28 kicked off a statewide discussion.

"You don't get to this point unless you veto," Dunleavy said Tuesday. “You don’t get the conversations that we’ve had . . . unless you veto.”

That is false. You don’t get to this point unless you are a governor and you reverse a couple of your vetoes while a recall campaign builds and you take whatever steps you can to try to head it off.

It should not be lost on anyone that Dunleavy overstepped his bounds Tuesday with his so-called three-year "compact" to dismantle higher education in Alaska. The Legislature appropriates funds, not the governor. The signing ceremony stunt was an abuse of power.

The Legislature and supporters of the university should reject the Dunleavy strong-arm tactics.

Instead of apologizing for his erratic behavior, which has created real chaos, he claims he deserves credit for starting a "conversation." The main conversation he has started is all about the recall, a conversation he is desperate to stop.

Clearly, Dunleavy forced the University of Alaska to agree to his $70 million cut over the next three years. What was the alternative from the rule-by-veto Dunleavy regime? A $130 million cut in one year.

The Legislature has a vital role in deciding the future of the institution. Lawmakers should restore funding for the university and ignore the compact.

This year the Legislature supported higher education and the governor must not be allowed to unilaterally redefine the debate simply through the power of the veto.

He blamed the Legislature for taking too long to deal with the budget and falsely claimed that he had just gotten the budget a week-and-a-half ago. He claimed that he really just wanted “feedback from folks on what programs they really value.”

Dunleavy claimed that he learned after the vetoes that Alaskans value senior citizens and education.

Portraying himself as a budget hero is bizarre when Dunleavy created all of this mess. He needs a new temporary budget director, among other things. He is claiming if he hadn’t made his vetoes, there wouldn’t have been statewide pushback that made him do a 180.

I'm guessing that the recall is getting to him. And Ben Stevens as chief of staff is a lot smarter than Tuckerman Babcock.

This argument about the great value of the vetoes in finding out what Alaskans value is ridiculous.

The university plan is a more drawn out attack on higher education than that championed by Dunleavy six weeks ago. A $70 million cut over three years is not what we need in Alaska.

The series of retreats by Gov. Mike Dunleavy this week contradicts everything he has said about the budget with Arduin since February.

Dermot Cole9 Comments