You don't spend decades in the U.S. Senate and four years as Alaska governor and not form strong opinions.Frank Murkowski was a U.S. senator representing Alaska for more than 20 years, and the state's governor from 2002 to 2006. He lost the Republican primary to Sarah Palin in August 2006. After his term ended, he left public life.But Murkowski says he's still connected to Alaska's policymakers and business leaders. He wants to continue contributing ideas. He thinks he can help.Murkowski and his wife, Nancy Murkowski, visited Alaska Dispatch News Oct. 1, 2015, to chat with reporters and others. Murkowski told the group he met with Gov. Bill Walker that morning to discuss, among other things, the state budget crisis, what to do with the Permanent Fund, and Shell's decision to stop exploring for oil in the Chukchi Sea.The conversation has been edited for brevity.