The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates in statewide elections their views on a variety of issues. We're posting their responses between now and Election Day. See each candidate's full list of answers by clicking on their mug shot in the right column.
Question: What is your position on the 8(a) federal contracting policy that many Alaska Native corporations have used to grow?
• Continue it as is
• Expand it
• Shrink it
• Eliminate it
Why? What specifically would you do to carry out your position if elected?
We should encourage Native Corporations to hire natives if at all possible and encourage these corporations to invest in Alaska.
On ballot by petition as no-party candidate, registered as (founding member) Veterans Party of Alaska
Continue it as is. As long as the money from the program stays in Alaska, I'm for it.
The Alaska Native corporations provide security to the taxpayers that the contract will be completed on time, on budget; if not the corporation will take from it's earnings and make the taxpayers whole. The fact that they have assets at risk is an important part of the equation. Should some of the rules be tweaked? Maybe they should be and I am impressed to witness the wisdom of the corporations calling for some reform.
I want to continue the 8(a) program largely as it is, though some reforms are necessary to ensure transparency and accountability, including increased documentation of shareholder benefits. It is an important program that has served to benefit Alaska Native corporations and their shareholders. These reforms will strengthen the program and protect it from erroneous attacks.
We should reform it. Section 8(a) under the Small Business Act (SBA) is intended to foster business ownership for "individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged." The program is also designed to "promote the competitive viability" of these firms by "providing contract, technical, and management assistance." But awarding "no bid" contracts is simply wrong, whether the recipient is Native or Non-Native. Instead, 8(a) contracts should be about promoting quality work, competitiveness, and shareholder employment.
I would oppose and fight any legislation that strips Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiians of the contracting preferences afforded to them. We must reform the program to ensure it works the way it was intended. Completely removing these contracting preferences would set back the progress we have made to address the poverty experienced by our nation's first peoples.
I think it should be continued with an eye towards eventual transition when the Native Corporations are able.
It is my opinion that the 8(a) program should continue as is today. The program provides economic opportunity for Alaska Natives and is a major economic driver for the state as a whole.