Gov. Sean Parnell speaks with supporters at Mill Bay Coffee on Tuesday during a swing through town. Jacob Resneck photo
Governor Sean Parnell swung through Kodiak Tuesday with stops at local schools and a meet-and-greet fundraiser at Mill Bay Coffee. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports.
— (governor pkg) 6:53 "The governor arrived … I’m Jacob Resneck."
The governor arrived for an informal mixer and fundraiser working the crowd table by table to hear people’s concerns in the run up to the election. After that he made a few brief remarks.
It was a chance to be seen and listen before the November 2 election.
Two hours later he took questions from the Kodiak Daily Mirror and KMXT. He said the choice offered between him and Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz of Anchorage is stark.
Parnell didn’t say who he’d appoint as Fish and Game Commissioner to replace Denby Lloyd who is resigning in December, saying he’s still soliciting nominations.
Asked about his decision to endorse Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller over incumbent U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Parnell said he’d honor the will of the party as expressed during the primary.
Parnell has been careful not to take a side in the debate over the proposed Pebble Mine project near the headwaters of Bristol Bay. Fishing interests and environmentalists fear a copper and gold mine near Ilimana Lake would jeopardize the state’s fisheries. The governor said it’s acceptable for private people to have an opinion but premature for the governor.
Parnell also defended his veto of some local projects. That included $4 million for an ultra violet water treatment facility in Kodiak as well as a $2.8 million water and sewer upgrades for Aleutian Homes in the city of Kodiak. He said that funding had been tacked on later by the Legislature and he had been trying to hold the line.
Parnell also spoke about his opposition to abortion. He said that was the reason why he blocked the expansion of the Denali Kid Care program which had been offering abortions.
Parnell was elevated from Lieutenant Governor to the state’s highest office in 2009 following the sudden resignation of Sarah Palin. His running mate this year is Mead Treadwell, a former chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, running for lieutenant governor.
I’m Jacob Resneck ###