by Stacy Drake
What is wrong with the Alaskan media?
Here you’ve got a guy running to be the Governor of the state, Ralph Samuels who lists on every biography available online, that he was doing two different things in 1980. He was a student at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks but he is also listed as an “Airline Executive“at Penair (Peninsula Airlines) during that year… at the youthful age of 19 no less. Please note that Penair’s headquarters are located in Anchorage, not Fairbanks.
Ralph’s Alaska Legislature biography page reads:
Business and Professional Positions:
Airline Executive, Penair: 1980 – present
Alaska Air Carriers Association.
Former Chair/Member, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
Former Board Member, State Chamber of Commerce
It also says:
Attended various schools in Anchorage, King Salmon, & Fairbanks
Metlaktla High School: Graduated 1979
University of Alaska, Fairbanks: 1980 – 1985
Wow, that’s impressive! It must have taken some effort to shuffle back-n-forth between classes and executive duties, especially for a nineteen year old guy. There’s only about 350 miles or so between the two so it shouldn’t have been a problem, right?
There are some obvious issues regarding the information in this man’s biography, yet nothing but crickets coming from the ADN and other such ‘government watchdogs.’ They sure had no problem helping “opposition” research crews dig through trash cans and becoming “friends” with bogus ethics charge filing operatives. However, merely finding this biographical discrepancy in regards to a current gubernatorial candidate, not named Sarah Palin, appears to have been too much. Funny how that works.
I don’t know how long Ralph Samuels actually was an Airline Executive at Penair, but he did maintain that position throughout his legislative career. Until 2008 when he withdrew from his re-election campaign and signed on with Holland America.
Something noteworthy is that during Ralph’s tenure in the Alaska Legislature, funds were appropriated to his private employer, Penair through a state program called the Alaska industrial development and export authority or AIDEA. In 2007 the state of Alaska forked over $4,320,000 to Penair to build a new 33,300-square-foot hangar at Ted Stevens International Airport. That year, Penair had a total of $10,951,143 in outstanding AIDEA loans combined.
All money allocated through AIDEA loans and expenditures are voted on within the Alaskan Legislature. Votes that Ralph Samuels could have taken part in as a sitting member of the House and as Majority Leader.
Perhaps the Alaskan press would like to ask him about that?