Alaska political roundup: Walker hires photographer and new press secretary


With consideration targeted there, listed here are a few of the issues occurring behind the scenes in Alaska.

Walker hires new press secretary and photographer

Gov. Invoice Walker, with a yr left in his time period, has employed political reporter Austin Baird as his new press secretary.

Austin Baird, proper, with photographer Brian Hild (Nathaniel Herz / ADN)

Baird, 28, coated the final two periods of the Legislature for KTUU, Anchorage’s NBC affiliate; he is additionally accomplished stints on the Related Press and Alaska Dispatch. He begins Dec. 18 at a wage of $one hundred ten,000, working with one other former KTUU reporter, Walker’s communications director Grace Jang.

Baird’s transfer means the Capitol correspondents for Alaska’s two largest TV stations will not be masking Juneau this yr. KTVA’s Liz Raines, who’s additionally coated the final two legislative periods, has returned to an Anchorage-based mostly place.

Baird, in an e mail, stated being on “the opposite aspect” will be totally different.

“However my core aim stays the identical: to offer Alaskans an trustworthy take a look at what state authorities is doing and why,” he stated.

Walker has additionally employed a brand new “director of public engagement”: David Lienemann, who was former Vice President Joe Biden’s official photographer.

Lienemann labored for Biden for eight years — in forty seven states and sixty four nations, with seven journeys to Afghanistan and Iraq, in response to his web site. He is married to Sydney Lienemann, an aide to Anchorage Democratic Sen. Tom Begich.

Lienemann begins Monday at an annual wage of $eighty five,000. Jang stated Lienemann’s job would entail “images, social media, writing, different duties as assigned.”

Walker has additionally employed a brand new assistant legislative director, Elizabeth Bolling. Bolling was previously an aide to Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan.

Walker places on full-courtroom press on fuel line

His calendars, launched in response to a public data request, present a string of conferences with excessive-rating officers in China, and from President Donald Trump’s administration, within the weeks main as much as the announcement.

On Sept. 25 in Beijing, Walker met with Wang Yang, vice premier of China’s State Council — the nation’s cupboard — in addition to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who was on a visit there.

The subsequent day, Walker met with officers from China’s Ministry of Commerce, in addition to Sinopec, China Funding Corp. and Financial institution of China — the three companies that signed the LNG cope with Alaska.

The next day, there have been extra talks with…



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