Parnell was in Ketchikan Thursday and gave interviews to the public radio station, KRBD, and the Ketchikan Daily News. In a barely veiled threat, he told both that the Ketchikan borough's lawsuit could have "unintended consequences" with both him and the Legislature when it came time to dealing with Ketchikan's capital projects. [...] "I do want to address this issue of how the lawsuit is viewed by legislators and by me because it does shade or color the reaction to Ketchikan requests," the Ketchikan Daily News reported. "When Ketchikan asks for money, but yet the state may be on the hook in the lawsuit for more money, there's kind of a reluctance, or reticence, to step forward for other projects," he told KRBD.
Gov. Sean Parnell said Friday that he wasn't threatening the Ketchikan Gateway Borough when he said its lawsuit against the state over school funding could "shade or color" reaction to the community's requests for state money to fund infrastructure projects. Parnell told The Associated Press that the comments he made to Ketchikan reporters about how he and lawmakers could view the borough's capital appropriations requests weren't intended to be retaliatory. The Republican governor said he simply gave an honest answer to the Ketchikan Daily News on Thursday when he said it could be hard for legislators to separate the lawsuit from boroughs' budget requests. He made similar comments to KRBD radio. Parnell said that when he was drafting his budget request for next fiscal year, the prospect of a lawsuit was pending and he did not hold it against Ketchikan, "and wouldn't. That's just not who I am."