Mat-Su Borough Assembly member Randall Kowalke is pictured in the assembly portrait. Gov. Bill Walker named him to the vacant state Senate seat vacated by Mike Dunleavy, but Senate Republicans want someone suggested by local Republicans. (Photo courtesy of Matanuska-Susitna Borough)The Republican members of the state Senate said Tuesday they want Gov. Bill Walker to ask Senate District E Republicans for more suggestions on who should replace Mike Dunleavy if he won’t pick one of the existing three nominees.Listen nowSenate President Pete Kelly and Majority Leader Peter Micciche said in a letter to Walker that it would unfair to either confirm or reject Walker’s appointment of Randall Kowalke to replace Dunleavy.Walker responded in a letter by saying he has no intention of delaying the process by requesting more names while Kowalke’s appointment is still pending. Walker, a former Republican turned independent, said members of the Republican-led Senate majority urged Kowalke’s appointment. The governor also said that if the Senate Republicans reject Kowalke, he would forward another name.Walker appointed Kowalke on Friday, instead of one of the district party nominees. They are Rep. George Rauscher, teacher Todd Smoldon and organic food worker Tom Braund.Traditionally, governors have filled vacancies with one of three nominees nominated by district parties. But Walker also didn’t pick one of House District 40 Democrats’ original nominees after Dean Westlake resigned.If the Senate Republicans don’t act on Kowalke, the position will remain vacant.State law gives the governor 30 days to appoint someone to fill a vacancy. The person must be from the same political party as the previous office holder, and the sitting members of the chamber from the same party must approve them.State law doesn’t limit the amount of time Senate Republicans have to confirm Walker’s appointee.
FFWPU USA: Rev. Michael Balcomb’s Sunday Sermon in Los Angeles…. One of the biggest challenges for me, and perhaps for many of you, is to keep God’s perspective and not be overwhelmed by the small scope of what we see as human beings. Sometimes there seems to be just too much trouble in the world, too many problems in America, even struggles in our own community or our own families, and it seems this is really too much, we’re kidding ourselves if we think that we are going to make an impact.But that’s not true. In fact, throughout history God always has been looking for a small group of people to start with. In the speech that True Father gave to the United States Congress, he walked the congressmen and senators through that path of God’s history, starting all the way back with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob—the fathers of faith. One thing he pointed out was that if you were able to rely only on the Bible, you would think that these men and their families were the only people on Earth. They strode alone across the plains of Canaan or Syria. There’s very little account of them interacting with anyone else at all. So you may think, “Well, in those days it was easy. God had His champions; there was almost nobody else around; God talked to them every day; and, of course, they were able to keep the vision of God’s plan alive,” but in reality, of course, it was very different.They also were just a handful of people in a society with many different religions, many different cultures, many different languages, and they faced exactly the same challenges we do today to keep faith alive, to keep believing that the small things that “I” do can make a big difference on the great scale. And the truth of the matter is that often they didn’t know the plan of God in its complete end; they knew only the little part that God had asked them. Read More