The Latest: Alaska Legislature rejects midwife board pick
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on legislative confirmation of Gov. Bill Walker’s nominees to his Cabinet and boards and commissions (all times local):
The Alaska Legislature has rejected Gov. Bill Walker’s nomination of a former Planned Parenthood field organizer to serve on a board that regulates midwifery in Alaska.
Kenni Linden was the only one of Walker’s nominees to boards and commissions that failed to win confirmation on Tuesday. The Legislature also confirmed Walker’s Cabinet nominees.
The anti-abortion group Alaska Right to Life sent out emails opposing Linden’s appointment, referring to her as a “former Planned Parenthood political operative.”
Linden, who’s from Palmer, has said that her own midwife encouraged her to apply for the public seat on the Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives.
She says she’s passionate about access to midwifery care in Alaska, based on her family’s experience.
She has said she felt caught in the middle of a political debate.
The Alaska Legislature has confirmed Gov. Bill Walker’s Cabinet picks.
Walker had nominated Sheldon Fisher as revenue commissioner; Mike Navarre as commerce commissioner and Leslie Ridle as commissioner of the Department of Administration. All three were confirmed during a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday.
There was some debate over Fisher’s nomination.
Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski said policies supported by Fisher were too friendly toward the oil and gas industry. But Sen. Anna MacKinnon said Fisher is a man of integrity who speaks the truth.
Lawmakers also confirmed health commissioner Valerie Davidson as the lieutenant governor successor. She would become lieutenant governor if that post became vacant. State law calls for a governor to make such an appointment.