June 10, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

 Alaska GOP launches awkward attack on another policy aimed at bolstering the Alaskan economy

The Alaska Republican Party places partisan politics over the well being of the Alaskan economy 

ANCHORAGE:  Earlier today the Alaska Republican Party released a statement that undermined the importance of the popular bipartisan Alaska Hire program. The statement calls the reinstatement of Alaska Hire “symbolic,” and then goes on to throw around blame about the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in November 2014 was 6.5%, only a .2% difference than today’s 6.7%. Unemployment could jump as high as 9% if Republican Senators are unable to compromise on a budget.

The labor program has a long history of bipartisan support from past governors including the Palin, Murkowski and Knowles administrations. The Parnell administration disassembled the program in 2013.

The move to reinstate local-hire looks towards the future. As the economy rebounds, it’s important to have the safeguard of Alaska Hire in place to ensure that Alaskans find jobs and that the money earned helps our economy.

Along with suggesting that hiring Alaskans is a bad thing, the Alaska Republican Party continues to push back on Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion would bolster the Alaskan economy by billions, and create some 4,000 new jobs.

“The Alaska GOP continues to place politics over Alaska,” said Mike Wenstrup chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “It’s clear that belittling the importance of Alaska Hire and the continual opposition to Medicaid expansion stem from a political standpoint, not an Alaskan one. If the Alaska GOP truly cared about job creation in Alaska, then they would be behind these two programs 100%.”