Begich, Dunleavy debate Alaskan issues at Chamber

Published: Oct. 24, 2018 at 8:32 PM AKDT
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Wednesday, Mark Begich was at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, where he debated Mike Dunleavy on important issues.

With Governor Bill Walker suspending his campaign, the State of Alaska will be getting a new Governor. Mike Dunleavy and Mark Begich, the two frontrunners went head to head at the Alaska Chamber forum. The candidates were asked how they will help the Fairbanks North Star Borough to reach attainment with our poor air quality while mitigating the economic impacts on the community.

Dunleavy said, "So getting clean gas here as quickly as possible, making it cheaper for folks and making sure we have a discussion with the EPA, so that we don't always react to the federal government, every time they try and threaten us with something. Let's find out what those threats will actually be, and see if we can work with the federal government on it."

Begich said, "Well first thing you need to do is you gotta get an extension on the time that the EPA because those are real. Mike I will tell you those are real fines. I worked in the senate to move that date further and further away, this has to be moved first out, as far as you can. Because to resolve this issue you, you have to have a different kind of energy source here, maybe natural gas or alternative or renewable sources. "

The moderator asked Begich about his support for proposition one and how it might negatively impact oil and resource development industries.

Begich said,"If it delays projects, and is used as a tool to delay projects, I will do everything I can, if it passes, to amend it to make sure it doesn't do that."

Dunleavy was asked whether he would veto a budget where the PFD isn't funded according to the current statutory formula.

He said, "I would have to consider at that moment whether we need to veto the budget, to make sure that the people of Alaska can have trust in their government. I'd have to give that serious consideration."

During the forum, there was a rapid fire portion where the candidates held up "yes" or "no" cards based on whether they support certain taxes. Dunleavy opposed all of the taxes. Begich said he would support an income tax and a sales tax.

Dunleavy and Begich will face off again in another gubernatorial debate scheduled for Thursday evening on October 25 in Anchorage.