Alaska AG Dan Sullivan: Goal of Sub-Cabinet to Improve Life in Rural Alaska


Sep 2, 2009

We’ve been wondering for quite a while just what the Rural Action Sub-Cabinet and its Advisory Panel have been up to. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan sat down for a half-hour with APRN’s David Donaldson for a radio interview focused strictly on the Rural Sub-Cabinet and its Advisory Panel

Parnell Wants Better Relationship with Rural Alaskans

Mon, August 31, 2009
Posted in Alaska News

Rural Alaskans have suffered in recent years from nature, the national economy and from what people there see as an unresponsive state government. The new Parnell Administration hopes to develop a better relationship in the bush with the Rural Action Sub-Cabinet.

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Everyone with an interest in rural Alaska should take time to listen to Sullivan talk about how the key focus of the Sub-Cabinet is improving life in rural Alaska.

We questioned why the panel is made up of many of the same old, same old – but he pointed out that these members come from agencies that don’t really talk to each other. These meetings allow members to work together in a partnership to enhance life for people in rural villages.

He talks about the possibility of creating economies of scale, specifically geographically close villages joining together to buy fuel and food to bring down prices, but states more than once that this will be pursued only in villages that want to participate.

He said the Governor, his office and cabinet members in general all want to see improvements. He even mentioned that the governor attended the first part of the Advisory Panel’s recent meeting.

He said he’s read the minutes from all the meetings of the Sub-Cabinet and the Advisory Panel (he must mean the notes) and that his office has in place a Sub-Cabinet liaison and an email account dedicated to rural issues. The address is – put Rural Sub-Cabinet on the subject line.

He has been and will be traveling and meeting with rural leaders and communities seeking input and ideas.

So here’s a thread dedicated to  providing input to the Rural Sub-Cabinet the its Advisory Panel about actions they can put in motion to improve life in the Bush.


12 Responses to “Alaska AG Dan Sullivan: Goal of Sub-Cabinet to Improve Life in Rural Alaska”

  1. Jim Says:

    Dear Attorney General Sullivan:

    I’ll send this message to, with Rural Subcabinet as subject, and see how it works.

    I listened to your recent interview on APRN, and I have some comments:

    1. Nomenclature: People have been very confused because the executive branch has two workgroups– the Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet, and the Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet’s Advisory Panel. Sometimes you referred to the subcabinet as the subcommittee, and you often referred to the advisory panel as the advisory committee. As a consequence, people could get confused about who these groups are, what they do, and what the difference is between them.

    2. You didn’t say much about rural fisheries or the fisheries disaster. Administrative order 247 makes no mention at all of fisheries or subsistence as issues. Are these divisive issues? Are these issues at all? If the subcabinet and advisory panel are not addressing these issues, is anyone else in the State addressing them? Why can’t the subcabinet and the advisory panel address bycatch (a word that was never mentioned during your interview) or the profound economic consequences resulting from the rural fisheries disaster?

    These are primary rural issues. The last few minutes of your interview were especially interesting. Your spouse’s family has had a fish camp on the Yukon for decades, so I’m sure you are aware of what is happening to fish in that river.

    3. The governor should modify Administrative Order 247 and delete travel funding restrictions on subcabinet members. I talked with one commissioner who plans to disregard these restrictions, and I think that is a great idea. That restriction is irrelevant, ridiculous, and perhaps unconstitutional.

    4. If you or others plan to travel to rural Alaska, please inform rural Alaskans of your plans. Also, please try to brief them of your discussion topics beforehand so they may provide informed and researched feedback.

    5. You mentioned there may be a report available to the public on rural migration. Is that report available?


    Jim Behlke

  2. Phil Munger Says:


    What a great letter. I’ll have to think about what I might ask. Thanks, Ann.

  3. anonymousbloggers Says:

    I’ll second Jim on the confusing nomenclature!

    Notice the photo at the top of Ann’s previous post. The sign announces the “Rural Sub Committee Advisory Group Meeting.”

    Without the word cabinet or panel in the notice it would be hard to tell who’s meeting. Much room for improvement there.

    I emailed hours ago asking for Sub-Committee liaison’s name and contact info. No reply yet but it didn’t come back as undeliverable. That’s promising.

    Jump in here and let the AG and his liaison know what would help you and your community. And while you’re at it, let us know what we can do to help.


  4. alaskapi Says:

    re:your #2-
    Governor Parnell just added a voice about fish…
    a week ago.
    It was a glaring blank spot in the original admin order…


    I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of art. III, secs. 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, issue this Order to affirm Administrative Order No. 247, concerning the Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet, and to add an additional commissioner to the subcabinet.

    On December 18, 2008, Administrative Order No. 247 was signed, establishing the Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet to advise the Office of the Governor with respect to challenges faced by rural Alaskans. This Order affirms the continuation of this important subcabinet. In support of the subcabinet’s duties, by this Order I am adding an additional commissioner to the subcabinet, the commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game.

    The remaining provisions of Administrative Order No. 247 are unchanged and continue in effect.

    This Order takes effect immediately.

    DATED at Anchorage, Alaska this 27th day of August, 2009.

  5. Gramiam Says:

    Has anyone heard anything from the U.S.Commerce Department regarding Gov. Parnell’s request for a disaster declaration in the salmon fishing on the Yukon River? Also, are there any plans in place to preposition fuel and food to meet the needs of the villages PRIOR to winter. If not, why not and what can we do to help?

  6. Jim Says:


    We’ve been trying to get answers to these questions but there have only been general responses and descriptions of state programs.

    Last I heard Commerce Department had made no commitments on disaster aid.

  7. Jim Says:

    Thanks Alaskapi.

    Amazing that Fish and Game wasn’t involved from the start.

  8. k'idiki kenaitze Says:

    Tara Jolie has not yet responded to my email request for information. I received another call from my local District Q (Kenai Peninsula) Senator Wagoner’s office. I have to say – his staff person works hard to locate information. She searched until she gave me the Atty General website (which I believe you already have posted on your blog somewhere). It was great that she had tried to familiarize herself with the Rural Subcommittee.

    Additionally – I had written Representative Les Gara (Dist 23 -Anchorage) asking him to read Ann’s blog and her inability to get information out of Juneau. He is doing some of his own research and copied me on some correspondence he sent, seeking more information . Gara is a go-getter. If you don’t currently receive his constituent e-letter that he sends out – I encourage you to do so.

    I’ll keep trying to shake the bushes from down here on the Kenai Peninsula.

  9. Jim Says:

    k’idiki kenaitze:

    Unfortunately I’m not surprised you haven’t heard back from Ms. Jollie. I waited 6 weeks to hear from her and then I asked for help from Mr. Moller too. He said he’d call her, but I still didn’t hear back. If you don’t hear back from her by next week, cut out the middlewoman and contact her supervisor, Commissioner Emil Notte ( He is also available to meet in Anchorage or to speak with you on the telephone. Don’t get jerked around.

    Gara is a go getter. I was sad when I received an email from him endorsing another person for governor– this meant Les had decided to not run. Les Gara, Berta Gardner, and Beth Kertulla are my favorite House legislators. On the republican side it is hard to stomach any of them, but representative Hawker hired Larry Persilly, and Larry is probably the reason for the weatherization stimulus funds veto override at the special session.

    Kenai Peninsula isn’t a very friendly place to rural Alaska. My mom was born there in the 1920s, and I’m sad at how far tilted to the right that place has gone. It used to be the heart of Alaska, and when my mom was a girl it was very rural.

  10. k'idiki kenaitze Says:


    Thanks for the info. I will keep after them. I have long admired Gara as well and have thought he would make a great Governor as well. My grandfather was born in Kenai in 1908. Who knows…we could be related. It seems I’m related to half of Kenai and Ninilchik! Again…thank you for the information you supplied.

  11. anonymousbloggers Says:

    This just in…

    The liaison to the Rural Sub-Cabinet is Jon Katchen, Special Assistant to the Attorney General. You can reach him at Include Rural Sub-Cabinet in the subject line to assure it’s routed to him.


  12. Say NO to Palin in Politics Says:

    why has it been so difficult to get any information? it sounds like no one in the administration knows what the heck is going on.

    is it as mixed up and disorganized as it seems? good grief, do some heads need to roll? it sounds like people are not doing their jobs, yet getting paid, for either dropping the ball or putting rural issues WAY on the back burner.

    perhaps these are ‘friends’ that Scarah put in jobs they can not handle. well, if they want to keep their jobs they had better get on the ball and on the same page. we are not going to let the rural people be ignored, left behind or manipulated to abandon their heritage and rights.

    Ann and Nick, you must encourage them to speak up and get involved in their future, you need more voices from the villages.

    keep the pressure up.

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