1 nay, 3 ayes
Our views on ballot measures
BALLOT MEASURE 1, GAMING COMMISSION: NO
Backers of expanded gambling in Alaska have tried for years to work their will in the Legislature and failed. Now the gambit is to create a state Gaming Commision, which would presumably do a better job of regulating pull-tabs, bingo, rat races, ice classics, goose classics and presumably pound the bully pulpit for shutting down after-hours joints.
Oh, and incidentally, the commission would have the authority to approve expanded gambling in Alaska. Without legislative approval. What a surprise.
This game is rigged, folks. Vote no.
BALLOT MEASURE 2, LIMIT PREDATOR CONTROL: YES
Alaskans have twice voted to halt aerial predator control; lawmakers have twice restored it, and Gov. Murkowski took it out of the hands of wildlife professionals and allowed private pilots and gunners to take wolves with permits.
This initiative restores predator control to "last-resort" status, where it belongs, and leaves the killing in the hands of the state's wildlife biologists, where it belongs.
Shooting wolves and bears from airplanes should be the exception, not standard management. Vote yes.
BALLOT MEASURE 3, CLEAN ELECTIONS: YES
Do we need any more reason than the last two years of investigated, indicted and convicted politicians to pull the reins in on campaign funding?
This initiative would set up a voluntary system of publicly-financed elections. Marginal candidates would be discouraged by the need to collect 300 small contributions to validate their candidacies before tapping public funds; serious candidates would be encouraged.
We have nothing to lose here, and cleaner elections to gain. Vote yes.
BALLOT MEASURE 4, CLEAN WATER: YES
Measure 4 sends a strong anti-pollution message about any new, large-scale metal mining in Alaska -- read Pebble. Measure 4 would prevent any new, large-scale mining from polluting streams or disposing of mining waste in any way that would harm humans or spawning salmon.
That's a message Alaskans should be willing to send.
The exemption for present mining operations is poorly drafted, but lawmakers can clear that up later. Vote yes.