Alaska in Brief

Q&A with 2022 Alaska governor candidate Christopher Kurka

By: - July 28, 2022 1:08 am

Alaska Republican governor candidate Christopher Kurka is seen in a February photo provided by his campaign. (Contributed photo)

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.

Christopher Kurka, Republican candidate from Wasilla

Yes/no questions

Do you support a constitutional convention?

Yes

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

No

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

No

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

Yes

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

Yes

Open-ended questions

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

Like it always has before it was stolen: with the traditional formula currently in statute. As Governor I will veto all budget bills until the legislature sends me a bill with the full statutory Permanent Fund Dividend! I am the only candidate who has been willing to make this commitment.

Regarding the yes/no question #2 above: the question is disingenuous. The $30 billion in the Earning Reserves Account of the Permanent Fund is largely made up of stolen PFD’s. Those pushing for moving the ERA into the corpus of the fund want to do so for the purpose of increased government spending. I have consistently fought to pay back stolen PFD’s and will continue to do so.

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

Freedom! Alaska is swimming in wealth and potential economic opportunity yet the government stands in the way or responsible development. We need to get the government out of the way so that the private sector can effectively pursue resource development and economic growth in Alaska.

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

The Alaska Constitution in Art. 1 Sec. 1 opens with the words “This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural Right to Life…” On day one of a Kurka administration I will end the abortion payments to Planned Parenthood. I will continue to push the legislature to pass the Life at Conception/Pre-born Child Equality Act, guaranteeing equal protection under the law for children in the womb.

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

More guns! We need to eliminate criminal safety zones and stop providing soft targets for mass killers in the form of “gun free zones”. Teachers have a constitutionally protected right to be armed; as Governor I will ensure that right is protected.

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

It’s not a question of “how much” religion or faith. It’s a question of “what” faith or religion is guiding the governor’s policy. It is often said that you can’t legislate morality, but the truth is that all legislation and policy is somebody’s morality. Politicians should be upfront and honest about their convictions and governing philosophy. I am a born-again, Evangelical Christian and my governing philosophy is grounded in some of the first words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

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

This is a tone deaf and offensive question to the tens of thousands of Alaskans who lost their businesses and livelihoods due to the government’s response to COVID-19. Meanwhile, public employees retained their jobs, continuing to collect paychecks and benefits while the private sector was under threat of fines and jailtime for continuing to work their crafts.

By the time I am done cutting government, public employees will be thankful to still have a job. The answer to the original question involves freedom to choose where to invest one’s retirement and rewarding excellent state employees over subpar ones.

What does an ideal state ferry system look like?

An ideal ferry system would be privately owned, not state owned. It would consist of shorter ferries connected by road systems, rather than the long sections it currently has.

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

Ban Dominion machines and return to hand counted ballots. Require photo ID for voting. Clean the voter rolls and eliminate the nearly hundred thousand non-existent voters who are currently on our rolls.

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?

Look at enhancements for the tributaries of the Yukon Kukokwim river systems. Deregulate hatcheries and look at where salmon runs have been managed the best. Consider banning trawlers. Push US Coastguard and US Navy to aggressively target foreign poaching operations of Alaskan salmon.

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

Move to maximum local control and responsibility. Replace state funding formulas and systems with a simple allocation per student. Give maximum control to parents on how and where to direct the education monies for their child.

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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]

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