Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski endorsed Mike Dunleavy in the battle for the governor’s seat during her visit to Bethel on Friday. Dunleavy, the Republican nominee, is running against Democrat Mark Begich and Libertarian Billy Toien.
Sen. Murkowski says that Dunleavy’s stance on Ballot Measure 1, a controversial salmon habitat ballot measure, was a big factor in her support. Murkowski doesn’t support the salmon initiative —and neither does Dunleavy.
“I have looked at the language of this initiative and as a former state legislator, and one who was responsible we get legislation and laws right, I’m very concerned that the ways this initiative is drafted.” Murkowski said. “It would bring about unintended consequences that will limit our opportunity and ability as individuals and communities to really move forward with even the most simple development project.”
The ballot initiative would toughen the permitting process for large industrial projects proposed in salmon habitat, among other things. This could impact major mining projects like the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay and the proposed Donlin gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Murkowski said that she supports the intent behind the ballot initiative. If the initiative doesn’t pass, she said she would urge the state Legislature to take up the issue of salmon habitat protection in the next session.
“So what I would like to do, what I want to see happen, is see this initiative rejected and our state legislature look specifically to these issues,” Murkowski said.
Alaskans will get to choose their next Governor and whether or not to pass the salmon habitat ballot initiative on Nov. 6.
- The costs from dealing with climate change are starting to become more visible in Bethel, a hub town for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. There are also costs to the region’s lifestyle.
- High school students from across Alaska were at the Capitol this month to see for themselves how state government works. As it turned out, they were there at an especially busy time.
- James Harmon, convicted of murder and sexual assault in 2005, claimed inadequate or insufficient representation by public defenders. But a judge recently wrote that Harmon failed to prove any of his claims.
- According to the city's emergency programs manager, there’s potential for large avalanches on Mount Juneau due to roughly two feet of new snow and high winds expected Friday afternoon.