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Alaska Gov. Dunleavy appoints ad consultant and talk show host Porcaro to commercial fisheries agency

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has chosen Mike Porcaro, an advertising consultant and talk show host, to serve as one of the commissioners overseeing the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC). The CFEC is a government agency responsible for issuing annual commercial fishing permits and publishing fisheries reports and statistics. Porcaro, a longtime ally of Governor Dunleavy, will work remotely from his home in Anchorage and continue hosting his radio program. Although Porcaro does not have experience as a commercial fisherman, he has expressed a commitment to serving in his new role and believes he should be evaluated based on his performance. His appointment will require confirmation by the Legislature.


Alaska Gov. Dunleavy Appoints Ad Consultant and Talk Show Host Porcaro to Commercial Fisheries Agency


Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has recently made an appointment that has raised eyebrows in the state. He has chosen to appoint Mike Porcaro, a GOP advertising consultant and talk show host, to a highly paid state government position overseeing commercial fishing permits. This appointment has sparked both curiosity and criticism, as Porcaro’s background and qualifications for the role are being called into question. In this article, we will delve into the background of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC), the reasons behind Porcaro’s appointment, and the reaction it has received.


In order to understand the significance of this appointment, it is important to have some background knowledge about the CFEC. The CFEC is an agency based in Juneau, Alaska, with around 20 employees. Its main responsibilities include issuing annual commercial fishing permits, granting or denying permit transfers in cases of illness or death, and publishing fisheries reports and statistics. The commission plays a crucial role in regulating Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, which is a vital part of the state’s economy.

Appointment of Mike Porcaro

Mike Porcaro’s appointment to the CFEC by Gov. Dunleavy has raised questions due to his lack of experience in the commercial fishing industry. Porcaro is a longtime ally of the governor, and his communications firm has worked on Dunleavy’s campaigns in the past. Additionally, Porcaro hosts a daily talk radio show and runs his own advertising agency. Despite his lack of direct experience, Porcaro has accepted the appointment and stated his commitment to performing his duties to the best of his ability.

Porcaro’s Background and Role

At 75 years old, Porcaro has never been a commercial fisherman. However, he brings a wealth of knowledge in other areas such as business, nonprofit work, and public policy. It is expected that his background in these fields will bring fresh insights and perspectives to the CFEC. Porcaro will work remotely from his home in Anchorage, continuing to host his radio show and run his advertising agency outside of his hours at the CFEC.

Salary and Compensation

Porcaro’s new position at the CFEC comes with a salary of $136,000 a year if he works full-time. However, it has been clarified that he may work less than that and will only be compensated for the hours he reports having worked. This raises questions about the expectations for Porcaro’s workload and whether his part-time status will hinder the progress of the CFEC’s work.

Reaction and Criticism

Porcaro’s appointment has not been without its fair share of criticism. Some have questioned the decision to appoint someone without experience in the fishing industry to a role overseeing commercial fishing permits. Kodiak Republican Rep. Louise Stutes, a member of the House Fisheries Committee, expressed her concerns over the appointment, emphasizing the need for knowledge in the fishing industry to effectively regulate it.

CFEC’s Purpose and Evolution

The CFEC was established in the 1970s following a constitutional amendment that aimed to limit access to Alaska’s commercial fisheries. The commission’s original focus was to determine which fisheries to limit and allocate commercial fishing permits based on individuals’ past history in the industry. However, over the years, the commission’s workload has evolved, and its purpose has expanded. CFEC commissioners now review appeals on emergency fishing permit transfers, consider new limitations on open-access fisheries, and collaborate with agency staff to modernize their databases and information technology systems.

Proposed Changes and Audits

In the past decade, the CFEC has faced critical audits and proposed changes to its structure and operations. These audits highlighted concerns over the commissioners’ salaries and workload, prompting suggestions to reduce their positions to part-time or transfer their duties to the Department of Fish and Game. However, efforts to implement these changes have been met with resistance from commissioners and commercial fishing interests.


The appointment of Mike Porcaro to the CFEC by Gov. Dunleavy has generated both interest and criticism. The lack of direct experience in the commercial fishing industry raises questions about Porcaro’s qualifications for the role. However, supporters argue that his background in business and public policy will bring valuable insights to the commission. As the CFEC continues to evolve and face proposed changes, it remains to be seen how Porcaro’s appointment will impact the future of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry.

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