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Begich takes issue with Dunleavy policy forums

Alaska state Sen. Tom Begich poses in his Capitol office on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on the Alaska governor’s upcoming policy tour (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

The minority leader of the Alaska Senate says Gov. Mike Dunleavy should cancel upcoming fiscal policy forums hosted by the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

Democratic Sen. Tom Begich, in a statement, says Dunleavy should promote “open and transparent public forums.”

Begich takes issue with terms and conditions outlined by the group on an events page referring to the event as private and laying out terms by which attendees must abide.

Ryan McKee, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Alaska, says the group is renting the space and has the right to remove anyone who is disruptive and make sure the venues aren’t over capacity.

But he says the event is open to all and that he wants the event to be a discussion. He says he welcomes opposing viewpoints and questions.

3 p.m.

A spokesman for Gov. Mike Dunleavy says Dunleavy’s upcoming fiscal policy tour will include meetings and events in partnership with different organizations.

Matt Shuckerow says those groups include the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Policy Forum, Americans for Prosperity-Alaska and Alaska Support Industry Alliance.

Dunleavy’s office on Monday released an initial schedule for his statewide tour to promote his fiscal policy plans.

The schedule included five events noticed as public but did not mention they were being hosted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

That group online said that besides Dunleavy and other state officials, the events would include one of its regional directors and an Alaska Policy Forum official.

Shuckerow says Dunleavy’s office partnered with those two groups to help host, organize and coordinate the public forums.

1:30 p.m.

Most of the events on the fiscal policy tour announced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office are being hosted by a conservative political organization.

Dunleavy’s office announced five public events around Alaska next week, plus a planned appearance on a statewide radio program and a chamber of commerce event.

The five events listed as public are being hosted by Americans for Prosperity, which online describes the events as private and lays out terms by which attendees must abide.

Ryan McKee, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Alaska, says the group is renting the space and has the right to remove anyone who is disruptive and make sure the venues aren’t over capacity.

But he says the event is open to all.

Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

AP-WF-03-20-19 0654GMT

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