Alaska in Brief

Q&A with 2022 Alaska governor candidate Bruce Walden

By: - July 28, 2022 1:05 am

The doors to the Office of the Governor are seen Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, on the third floor of the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

The Alaska Beacon asked Alaska’s 10 governor candidates to answer a 15-question survey about their positions on a variety of issues. Read all of their responses here. Answers have not been edited.

Bruce Walden, Republican candidate from Palmer

Yes/no questions

Do you support a constitutional convention?


Should the Alaska Constitution be amended to protect the roughly $30 billion in the Permanent Fund that currently isn’t constitutionally protected?


Should Alaska spend public money to ensure a natural gas pipeline is built?


Do you think the state prioritizes commercial and sport fishing over subsistence fishing?


Would you allow a bill limiting transgender athletes to become law with or without your signature?


Open-ended questions

How should the state of Alaska set the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend each year?

According to the traditional formula. And we must pay back every Alaskan every cent stolen from them. It doesn’t matter if it is a penny or $13,000. Theft is theft. Promises were made to the Alaskan people when the PFD was set up. The government, career bureaucrats have gone back on that bargain. This is a taxation without calling it taxation and to me it is a type of tyranny. It is said, “It is free money, so you’ve no right to complain.” We could go along with that if we had the rights to the mineral wealth of our property. However, we do not. So, either we get the full PFD including the approaching $20 Billion stolen from us, or we get the rights to our property.

What’s Alaska’s biggest need, and how would you address it?

Security. This goes for physical security (of the born and unborn), security from outside invasion (don’t fool yourself. There are foreign bad actors right here and I can prove it given time), Foot security and other issues. I will lead in getting rid of the abortion industry here in Alaska. I have already assembled my team that will go after drug and human-traffickers, and as I am a career Green Beret, I will lead the state’s defense forces, both NG and ASDF in securing our state. Moreover, I have experts who will help us in showing the best ways to greenhouse but on an industrial scale so we are no longer importing 95% of what we consume. We’ll open the Western Susitna Valley using invirogrid roads and Bailley Bridging. I’ve worked with both in my Army career and know how it is done. It doesn’t take years or decades. It takes weeks.

What policies and laws should Alaska follow with regard to abortion?

First we must accept that where there is life, there is growth. Where there is growth there is life. Where there is no growth there is no life and where there is no life there is no growth. I believe that life begins at the moment of conception. But scientifically, if that cannot be proven, there can be NO doubt that when that egg doubles in size in that first 24 hours, this is growth, meaning, this is life. We also have to accept that fact that is it not “part of the mother and nothing else.” A woman has her own DNA. That baby, regardless of the size has his, or her own DNA meaning that they are a separate entity. Next, is it human? I don’t mean to sound glib, but I have never seen a woman give birth to anything but a human baby and never seen anything but a human give birth to a human. This “It’s just a piece of unviable tissue” is as contrary to science as this business in which a man choosing to call himself a woman is automatically a woman. It is time to follow science. It is easy for me to back up my viewpoint with the Bible. But frankly, it’s just as easy to use science… Two things that are absolutely NOT mutually exclusive. If anything, true science and The Bible compliment each other and agree.

How should the state reduce the threat of gun violence and mass shootings?

We have gun laws here that allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns, but if you draw a gun in many of our cities, in self-defense, you are cited with “Flourishing” (I think they meant to write brandishing) a firearm and YOU get in trouble. The thugs aren’t afraid to use guns to kill people because Alaskan Citizens, the law-abiding ones, are hesitant to use force for fear of prosecution… for self-defense! This MUST be addressed. Secondly, we have enough gun laws on the books. We require judges that will do their job and that won’t happen until we amend the Constitution to fix how they are chosen and how they are removed.

How much should a governor’s faith or religion determine state law and policy?

I can only speak for myself as I have not studied the other candidates’ faith(s). I am a simple, Bible-believing Christian. If God’s Word says it, I believe it. However, as a life-long soldier and a man who loves our Nation and our Constitution, I will defend the other person’s right to worship as he or she sees fit or not at all. Know this, however, I do not have to agree with your religion and if it is contrary to mine, do not ask me to accept that it is “just as good.” Our founder were men and women of character and by and large followed the Judeo-Christian Ethic. The founding documents refer to The Bible frequently. Indeed, George Washington believed that you cannot have national morality without accepting that God governs over man. And if we do not believe in God, then how can one swearing to tell the truth in court while laying his hand on The Bible, be expected to tell the truth. I will not shove my “religion” (read, my personal relationship with Christ- not a religion) down anyone’s throat. But following the Ten Commandments? For instance, thou shalt not kill? Who can have a problem with such things, or “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

We are told by many that We are our brother’s keeper. This is true. If you chose to help a person in need, God Bless you for it. If I put a gun in your back and make you do it, that is called theft. I have a huge problem with government’s oppressive money grabs. The Churches and Synagogues must reclaim their responsibility to take care of the poor. More on that as we roll along.

In short, as a founding father put it, our Constitution was made for a moral people and is unfit for any other kind. If you are not a Christian, Jew, whatever, that’s your business. But our laws are made for a moral people and we’ll no longer tolerate immoral behavior that hurts other citizens.

What should the state do to improve retention of public employees, including teachers?

I believe many of our teachers teach because of the love of teaching. As a Green Beret, my primary job was teaching and that is why I loved it and went that route. However, many of our teachers are in that field because they could not find work in their chosen field of endeavor. And many of the teachers who are in the field because of the love of that field are leaving because of the constant barrage of politically correct curriculum being forced upon them. This I will not tolerate, and it changes on day one if I have to do it by executive order.

These students are our future whether we like it or not, and we absolutely are not preparing them for the world. When we have kids that go outside to college and have to take remedial Math and English, Alaska, we’ve got an enormous problem.

Also, I believe many teachers walk away because there is no discipline in the classroom and there is so much violence and distraction that finally they become frustrated and walk away. I get that. We need ton incentivize staying on for good teachers, and find ways to encourage poor teachers (I could name them but I won’t) to leave the field and make room for good ones.

Moreover, as we are ranked near the bottom and in some cases, dead last, we have a major issue that must be addressed. I know how. I hope I get a chance to go into that in this questionnaire.

What does an ideal state ferry system look like?

First off, we need to extend the roads as much as possible to allow for shorter ferry routes. Before I was a Green Beret I was a Combat Engineer, and we used a system for building runways that allowed us to build enormous runways capable of handling major aircraft. In the Gulf War, my old Battalion built the airfield at Rihad that became the busiest airport on Earth and they did it in days. We can do that with our roads. But while you are at it, we can build those systematically so that for instance, building a road northward from Juneau to the furthest possible point, then tying in with a fast ferry is feasible and done quickly. We have to look at new and innovative craft instead of doing what we usually do, that is to use technology that is over a century old. We can do better, but we are hesitant to try a new idea, and no, I am not talking about electric boats. I am talking about new designs. the answer is out there, but our government lacks the will to do such things.

In conclusion on this matter, extend roads as far as possible so the ferry routes are shorter. Thus they become much more effective and do not cost as much to run.

What, if any, changes does the state need to make to ensure voting is equitable and secure?

First off, I do not buy this business that having picture ID is racist because minorities cannot figure out how to, or cannot afford to, get picture IDs. This is an insult to our intelligence and the minorities in my family, yes, from every race, are insulted by this soft racist assertion.

First thing: No more election month. From the founding of our nation, until the 1840s all voting results were transmitted on foot or by horse. And it worked. Nowadays, with all the electronic gear, we can’t get an election right? I’m not buying.

No more unsolicited mail in. No more allowing unwitnessed voting. A friend of mine in Anchorage moved into a new house and received FIVE unsolicited ballots at his house. Alaska, you are being set up for another steal. Mike Lindell recently stated that he had prove that 29,000 bogus votes were cast in Alaska in 2020. THIS is how I believe we got this ranked choice voting. The old system worked find for over 200 years and we’ll get back to it.

So, how to count the vote? My cure: All ballots are hand marked, and signature varified. Then the secret ballot goes to a central vote counting facility under armed guard. Once there, there are 30 tables and at each table there sits a Republican and a Democrat. Behind each Republican is a Democrat and behind each Democat there is a republican. And there is an Independent at the table watching the other four. Over the table is a camera so that the Alaskan Citizens can log on and watch the count. If each ballot was looked at for a half a minute to decide who the vote goes for, EVERY single Alaskan vote would be counted in just over 4 days and zero chance of a miscount.

A former Lt. Governor told me that it would take two months to hand count the ballots. To this I responded, “I would rather have the right vote in two months than the wrong vote tonight.”

What do you intend to do about the poor returns of salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim drainages, and what are the main causes of the problems?

I have a very dear friend who is a local commercial fisherman in the area. He is Yup’ik and his people have worked those waters since long before the Russians showed up in 1741. Nowadays, Alaska hatches salmon that go out to sea, do cool Salmon things, then come back and are scarfed up by factory ships from outside of the state. To call our fishing industry Alaskan is a bit dishonest. Those crews show up in our water, take hundreds of thousands of Alaskan hatched, Alaska-bound salmon and they and their non-Alaskan crew reap the benefits. I have a huge problem with this.

This is a thing that MUST be addressed with the federal government. Those outside of Alaska do not understand that many of us do not just fish for the love of fishing. It is a large part of our yearly grocery bill. I understand folks coming here wanting to sport fish. Who wouldn’t? But to me, the priority must be a. Alaskan subsistence and Alaskan commercial crews first. After this sport fishermen. All three industries must sit down and come to an agreement and our congressional delegation must take the lead in DC and see that it is understood that Alaska is being robbed.

What, if any, changes should be made to Alaska’s school funding system?

I want us OUT of the Federal PTA. Second, we pay $19,000 per student right now, but that is because of a top-heavy bureaucracy that is not making an honest effort to educate our kids. Our schools are quickly becoming social experimentation facilities and that ends the day my hand comes off The Bible. We will fund our own schools and to insure this is so, we will go to a voucher system. It works everywhere it is tried. Let us say you are looking for a school for your kid. You decide that Mooseville High is the best school and Salmon High… not so much. So, you take the $7 or $8 thousand voucher from the state and take your kid to Mooseville High. Eventually Salmon’s administration begins to feel the pinch and they realize they either up their game, or they close the doors. It is all about competition.

These days in which all kids get a trophy and nobody wins a baseball game teaches our kids that the world is fair. Well, the world is not fair. It is a dog-eat-dog world and these youngsters have got to come to grips with the fact that expecting a trophy for poor performance is not acceptable. Moreover, teaching kids that 2 + 2 MAY equal 4 cannot be tolerated. All the new, politically correct courses are preparing your kids for failure. Guess what they are definitely NOT doing in Russia and China. They are not teaching their kids about sex in the 1st Grade. They are teaching their kids to outperform your kids. And Alaska, it is time to face into the wind and fix this. And we will.

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]