By Dave Donaldson
Attorney General designee Dan Sullivan today was warmly received by the House Judiciary Committee in the first step along the way to his confirmation to the job. Sullivan was appointed by former-governor Sarah Palin last June and has been serving in the office since then.
A large part of the meeting focused on his aggressive role in Governor Parnell’s fight against the federal government’s involvement in Alaska affairs. Sullivan said the federal government is over-reaching — and using Alaska as an example.
This state seems to be in the bullseye, no matter what, with regard to that overreach. It’s the default state that the feds love to come at.
He told the committee that he is approaching the fight from several points. First, he’s trying to intervene in as many lawsuits as possible — to get the state involved in the issues and in any settlement talks. He is also working with multiple sources within the Obama administration to make sure Alaska’s arguments are available when decisions are made. But his biggest effort is in working with other states to warn them of the consequences of federal actions. He sent a letter this week to all other Attorneys General — and he will speak to a conference next week. He said he has one message.
Look. Here’s our problems on this. You might think this is an Alaska problem. But trust me, this is coming to a theater near you in a very short time, and you’re going to need to react. So we need to react together. And I don’t think it’s a Democrat or Republican issue. I just think it’s an issue that a lot of the states are feeling.
The letter refers to the use of the Endangered Species Act to protect habitat that is effected by global climate change. And more, the perceived lack of cooperation by federal agencies in using the state’s data, experience and expertise on local issues.
The committee voted unanimously to forward Sullivan’s name to the full legislature for confirmation shortly before the end of the session.