Alaskans, our state government is scheduled to shut down as of July 1st, which would put most state business on hold while pausing paychecks for our friends and neighbors employed by the State of Alaska.
This might sound fun to a few anti-gov wingnuts, but in actuality Alaskans need things like birth certificates, a functioning Fish & Game department, and driver's licenses.
Working families also need paychecks.
Government shutdowns are expensive, disrupt families, and hurt the economy. This is why politicians always blame them on the other guy.
As with most things in politics, if you're not following closely than you'll likely believe whatever your own culture warrior tells you. But the correct take on this legislative session is that the leader of our state has no coherent plan for leading, spends his time on vacation or tweeting about nothing sauce, and has wasted much of the session pushing irrational and dumb ideas that went exactly nowhere because they were irrational and dumb.
When it looked like they couldn't finish the legislative session on time, was Dunleavy on the phone whipping votes and solving problems? Nope. Bear hunting. As the clock ticked toward shutdown, was he urgently doing everything he could to avoid it? Nope. Tweeting like a pissed off high school kid about Joe Biden.
Dunleavy's handlers (the big guy doesn't do much on his own) have a perpetual supply of hot air (and dark money) for whipping people into a frenzy about the PFD, so you'd think the team would be working hard, sleeves rolled up, all year to build political coalitions to solve our PFD crisis. You would think they would be doing math. Nope. Instead they wasted time (=money) on poorly planned legislative failures, like shutting down DMV offices and splitting the state's health agency into multiple new agencies in the middle of a pandemic:
Dunleavy and friends have been so laughably scattershot and ineffective this session I've begun to theorize it's a conspiracy of nothingness to run out the clock. Mission accomplished there!
In any event, the facts are that the governor mounted an email campaign to pressure legislators to vote in a way that will shut down the state government on July 1st. This is absolutely his baby. You can read the details for yourself in the newspaper and hear about it on the radio. If you think for a second that this is in service to a coherent plan to get you a big PFD, I'd also like to get in touch with you about this fabulous bridge I have for sale in Ketchikan...
Government shutdowns should not be leveraged as ideological weapons. A minority of legislators holding a state hostage via its operating budget is a terrible way to whine about your failure to build effective political coalitions.
Have we mentioned that Alaska is preparing to shutdown government after receiving over $1 billion in federal aid money which was intended to keep governments operational and allow public services to continue? https://t.co/w808natRTP#akleg #akgov— ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 (@ASEALocal52) June 18, 2021
That we are in ride-or-die chaos at the end of June, despite receiving an extra $1 billion stimulus from the feds this year, suggests to me that the governor has not been governing, in fact doesn't understand what governance is. Instead, Dunleavy blames the crisis on everyone but himself and his loyal minority who voted this shutdown into existence.
After all, this dumpster fire won't hurt Mike, a rising star in Trump's GOP. Who cares about shutting down when somehow you always fail up?
Editor's note: This story has been edited to be a better story.
Credit to Twitter user @davenoon1970 for this fresh dumpster meme and to On Fire in AK contributor David Leslie for making it even fresher. It takes a village.