History lesson for Ruedrich
Republican rajah Randy Ruedrich remembers wrongly when he is quoted in Richard Mauer's article as asserting, "Democrats owed their previous strength to the (2002) redistricting" and that Democrats gained relevance through redistricting.
The 2002 elections resulted in Republicans winning the House 27-13 and Senate 12-8; in 2004, it was Republicans 27-13 & 12-8; in 2006, Republicans won 23-17 & 11-9. Not until 2008 did Democrats gain a 10-10 split in the Senate, while in the House the Republican majority was reduced to 21-19.
In the fourth election of the five-election redistricting cycle Democrats finally won "relevance".
The worst scandal in Alaska's history began to unfold in August of 2006 and the 2008 election results delivered the verdict to the Ruedrich-led Republican Party. Corruption over oil taxes created by the oil industry dominance of the Republican Party was checked and balanced by the bipartisan working majority in the Senate; statesmen both Republican andDemocratic.
This desire by Alaskans to regain our democracy is the true source of Democratic "strength."
-- Mike Kenny
Minnery prompts response
Response to Jim Minnery (11-3-11: Tan imposed own liberal views to strike down laws). You mentioned the Alaska Constitutions' ability to remove judges through an election. Paralleling that myopia to the federal Constitution, you indicated it's wrong that the people shouldn't be concerned about the retention of judges; stating this "is not what the framers of our Constitution intended."
That couldn't be further from the truth and it remains pitiful for someone in your position to try to persuade the readers with such ignorance. Alexander Hamilton penned Federalist 78 on the Judiciary, and referred to the inherent weakness of the judiciary and its dependence on both the executive and legislative branch. "It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment." Moreover, independence -- the most sacred element of the judiciary, preserved -- to "guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors which the arts of designing men, ... sometimes disseminate among the people themselves." Judicial independence remains the only barrier to representative tyranny.
-- Seth Weaver
Change? Go with Romney
You want "change" ... then Romney is your man!!! He "changes" day to day and even hour-by-hour depending on his "audience-of-the-moment." His true character as a chameleon and shape-shifter is only half the equation ... he also has a blatant disregard for speaking the 'truth' and when confronted... is either totally dismissive of legitimate sources of the 'facts' or just completely denies ever having said whatever is being questioned!!!
In deciding who deserves our trust as President for the next four years...this simply cannot be ignored!!! We certainly don't need a 'box of chocolates' sitting in the oval office where; as Forrest Gump would say: "you never know what you'll get."
-- Millie Bennett
Remember the mess
Here is something to consider before we vote. Republican Party Chair Randy Reudrich, not a paragon of ethical behavior, has urged us before to give Republicans total control of state government. Remember when Frank Murkowski and Republican majorities ran everything? We are still cleaning up that expensive mess.
I want to urge independent Alaskan voters to vote for bipartisanship over Republican Party extremism because what Reudrich and Republicans want is not goof for our state.
-- Rocky Plotnick
Vote for transportation bond
It's a shame the Daily News advises voters to choose the narrow view on the statewide transportation bond package, and for weak reasons. Too big? It's about the same amount the state used to see annually in federal transportation funds, and we haven't built or fixed much since in the post-earmark era.
Because it includes funds for the Port of Anchorage? The $50 million in the package is a pittance of the overall port cost, and voting it down isn't going to stop or fix the project. Voting it down will however eliminate over $100 million for other repairs in the Anchorage area, that, unlike the port, just won't happen.
A no vote because of the port doesn't just punish the smaller communities in the state, it punishes Anchorage residents and businesses as well. All Alaska relies on well-maintained transportation infrastructure.
We shouldn't let troubles at one project poison the others. There are better ways to demand accountability for the port project. We should keep Alaska on track (and highways, and bridges) while doing so.
-- Ron Long
Pipeline peril overblown
Governor Parnell, his legislative and business advocates are deceiving the people of Alaska about the trans-Alaska oil pipeline being in danger of shutting down within a few years.
Judge Gleason determined that the pipeline would be economic until 2065. The oil companies, in a settlement with the State of Alaska, said the pipeline would be economic until at least 2044. The Senate Bipartisan Working Group's research found many flaws in what the Governor and his advocates have been touting.
These nonrenewable resources belong to Alaskans and is mandated by the Alaska constitution they be used for the best interest of Alaskans. Any elected official that has voted for or is advocating giving the oil companies $2 billion a year, under either false pretense or ignorance, is being negligent in their legislative and constitutional obligations and should be voted out of or removed from public office.
-- Phillip Furbush
Consider the court
One very important vote on the national level, a vote by a Supreme Court Justice, unleashed unlimited corporate campaign contributions at every level in the country. The Citizens United decision was as dreadfully wrong as the decision in the Dred Scott case. In both cases, the high court elevated business interests over flesh and blood. The Citizens United decision is unlikely to change absent a change in the court's composition. Before casting your very important vote in the presidential election, I hope you and every voter consider which of the presidential candidates is likely to nominate a justice who will reconsider the Citizens United decision.
Until we face up to the need for change in campaign financing at every level, elections in the United States will continue to be for sale.
-- John Maltas
Families for Sen Tan
I have seen first-hand the sharp mind, compassion and common sense that Judge Tan brings to his courtroom, and urge voters to vote for Judge Tan. It's not easy getting a perfect score, especially for a Judge, but Judge Tan has gotten several perfect scores from lawyers and lay advocates involved in family matters. Listen to those of us who have actually seen Judge Tan in action: A vote for Judge Tan is a vote for families, and we Alaskans are lucky to have him.
-- Lloyd Miller
Sustainability over profit
Recent letters to the editor have suggested voting for candidates that do not support giving the wealthiest corporation on the planet, ConocoPhillips a couple of billion dollars of the citizens of Alaska's cash.
But all the candidates that support giving away Alaska's cash/resources call themselves conservative and all are Republican. Sure makes you think that the real Republican agenda on any level is maximum profit and no accountability!
Putting profit ahead of sustainability is not responsible management of Alaska's or the planets, resources. That's why I will be voting for candidates that support the bipartisan coalition, and candidates that recognize global climate change as a tangible threat.
-- Stefanie Coppock
Making Alaska a territory again?
Based on what many Alaskans are saying and voting these days, maybe they want to be a territory again. Alaskans fought for statehood to get a fair share from our natural resource wealth and control over our affairs. Before statehood "outside interests," as Alaskans called them back then, made huge profits here, paid little to the Territory and pulled the political strings behind the stage. The federal government ran almost everything else.
In recently voting down Alaska coastal zone management, we've given that control 100% back to the feds -- the only coastal state in the Union to do so. Now some Alaskans want us to give $2 billion earned from our oil, back to the companies without a justifying guarantee they will increase production and jobs. I fear we're making ourselves effectively into a hapless colony once again and betraying those who struggled for statehood.
-- Laurence Goldin
Devon lays out questions
As the election approaches, ask yourself these questions:
If it were up to you, would you hand over $10-20 billion of your money to wealthy multinational companies who didn't promise anything in return?
If those companies were hiring qualified candidates, would you want them to hire locally first, so dollars stayed in Alaska?
Do you trust government bureaucrats to tinker with your permanent fund in the name of "reform?"
Would you abdicate a position of influence because of personal ideology, giving up a powerful seat at the table where critical decisions were made that affected your community?
If you believe in industry accountability, preference for Alaskan hire, leaving the permanent fund just as it is - and if you believe that the responsibility of an elected leader is to fully and completely represent the people they serve, then your choice for senate from South Anchorage to Nikiski is clear.
I'm asking for your vote on Tuesday. You're the boss. You're the voter. You decide.
-- Ron Devon, Candidate for State Senate District N
Independent, just like Alaska.
Gara calls for common ground
As your legislator I try to work with Republicans and Democrats and try to find common ground. The biggest issue we'll face next year -- oil tax reform -- unfortunately has been split on party lines in the House. I applaud a bi-partisan coalition of Senators for doing strong work on this issue last year with a bill the Governor rejected.
The Governor, oil companies, and House Republicans (except Reps. Seaton and Austerman) pushed to cut state oil revenue by $2 billion/year. Their bill gave companies the option to spend $2 billion in tax breaks Outside, in places like Libya and Iraq. No promises, and a budget deficit that would threaten construction, public safety, teaching and other employment across Alaska.
I, House Democrats, and the Bi-Partisan Senate Majority voted to let companies earn reasonable tax reductions by investing IN Alaska, to produce new oil. Requiring Alaska investment as a condition for tax relief is smarter policy.
With your support I'll keep pushing smarter energy policy, strong schools, and an Alaska with opportunity for all.
-- Rep. Les Gara
A vote for Judge Tan
As a former superior court judge here in Anchorage, I am dismayed and disheartened by the politically-motivated last-minute attack on Judge Sen Tan by the so-called "Alaska Family Action" group, which was reported in the Anchorage Daily News. As Judge Tan is without a doubt one of the finest and most honorable of our judges, unanimously recommended for retention by the Alaska Judicial Council, and rated at the top of his profession by his peers, by Alaska law enforcement officers, by jurors who have served in his court, and by all others who have observed his performance over the years, it would be a great injustice if a carefully-planned sneak attack such as this should succeed.
The attackers should be ashamed of themselves, not only for the way they have conducted this smear campaign, but also for their refusal to consider Judge Tan's excellent and impartial performance during his many years on the bench. I'm hoping Alaska voters will see through this reprehensible attempt to coerce judicial performance that would coincide with a small minority's narrow-minded political views.
I will be voting to retain Judge Tan, and I'm sure those people in our community who value impartiality and fair-mindedness will also vote for retention.
-- Brian Shortell
Kudos for candidates
Today is a good day to dole out kudos in Northeast Anchorage. Senator Wielechowski, "The Best Bill in Juneau," has been named legislator of the year by the Viet Nam Veterans of America for 2012. The award is given only once every two years to one legislator in the entire nation who has exhibited exceptional leadership, support and dedication to veterans, service members and their families. Congratulations Senator Wielechowski!
Recently, Representative Pete Petersen received an Award in recognition of his work on behalf of Alaska's children with autism. Congrats to Representative Peterson!
Kay Rollison is campaigning in House District 13 to represent Muldoon and Elmendorf. She is a longtime muldoon resident who bravely jumped in the campaign late when another candidate dropped out, but she has made tremendous strides connecting with her community. Congratulations to Kay, and make sure to check out her website at kayforhouse.com.
-- Lawrence Weiss
Higgins hears concerns
Over the last six months I have learned a lot going door to door talking to my neighbors in Abbott Loop. You welcomed me at your doors and talked about your concerns over our economy and jobs -- jobs filled by Alaskans; concerns over road conditions and having safe places to raise families.
On Elmore Road the neighborhood feeder roads are turning into parking lots during rush hour with up to 10 minute waits to merge into traffic. There is worry over the two billion dollars a year that some politicians are talking about handing over to the oil companies with no guarantees for more oil or more hires and whether Pebble mine would hurt our fisheries.
There's a shortage of nurses yet we have a two to three year wait list to get into the UA nursing program. And finally you want a long term fiscal plan where we live within our means. I hear you and will would like to work for you in Juneau.
-- Patti Higgins
It was no surprise to me when Sen. Bill Wielechowski was selected as the top legislator in the nation by the Vietnam Veterans of America. The group praised Senator Wielechowski's work on behalf of veterans as well as active service members and their families. They chose Senator Wielechowski from more than 7,300 legislators nationally -- a true honor for Alaska.
Sen. Wielechowski has devoted himself to helping those who serve our nation. He sponsored legislation to provide a tax credit to businesses that hire veterans. He fought to safeguard the existing pension system for those currently serving and to make it easier for veterans to earn academic and professional credit for work performed in the military. He advocated for increased funding for veterans health care.
Sen. Wielechowski goes the extra mile for members of the military. I urge all members of the military and veterans to give him your support on Election Day.
-- Sharla J. "Kris" Cook
Brigadier General, USAF (Ret.)
Tan is a conservative
As a practicing trial lawyer who has been before Superior Court Judge Tan on many occasions, I can attest that Jim Minnery and the Alaska Family Action have it backwards when they label this fine public servant a "liberal." To the contrary, Judge Tan is the very definition of a conservative. He adheres strictly to the rule of law and exhibits careful thought, caution, and respect for the rights of the parties who appear before him.
Alaskans are fortunate to have an independent, non-politicial judiciary. Last minute attempts to politicize our judiciary are unfortunate and do us all a disservice. If Mr. Minnery faced an agonizing family law case or a high-stakes business dispute, would he prefer to have his case decided on the whim of political ideology, or would he want a smart, fair, and careful judge who followed the rule of law? Those who believe in the rule of law, please vote to retain Judge Tan.
-- Matt Singer
Davis works with all
I'm voting for Sen. Bettye Davis this Tuesday and here's why. She is a member of a group of legislators who are doing exactly what is expected of many of us at work and what we tell our own children to do ... listen to and respect the ideas of others; research and determine a workable solution; work cooperatively with others to reach a decision.
Sen. Davis should be commended for being someone willing to work with everyone, not just those who agree with her views. In politics, using cooperation and agreement to reach decisions for the best interest of the state should be something we insist our legislators strive for, not fight against.
-- Franklin Andrews
Fear Romney on FEMA
Good thing this devastating storm did not happen on Romney's watch. His plan is to destroy FEMA, and each state is on its own. Romney and Ryan both believe that all things should be at state level; anyone who depends on government for funds is part of the 47 percent of people they don't care about. See the Youtube video in Romney's words about public funds going toward retirement, social security, medicare, medicaid, VA benefits, etc. Yet, Paul Ryan has never been off the public dime. Ryan's schooling, up thru law school, was all paid by social security benefits. Ryan went straight from law school to the Congressional office where he worked as a staffer and eventually a member of Congress. Romney, who inherited millions, has no concept of "working," as his first investment was $37 million into Bain. This election is about democracy -- can it be bought by billionaires veruse the power of our vote.
-- Carol Gray
Opposition to road work rankles
Add my name to the list of folks who believe Bob Bell is a poor choice for public office. Bell has demonstrated to this voter a tendency to ignore facts that don't support his preconceptions. For years, Bell has opposed safety improvement measures for Spenard Road. The facts are clear-municipal crash data show Spenard Road is one of the most dangerous roads in town. Actuarial data show Spenard crashes cost our community $3 million each year. The same safety measures put in place on other local roads are shown to carry more traffic volume with significantly fewer crashes. Finally, the majority of business owners on Spenard Road support the project because it's good for business. I've asked Bell to provide facts or data to support his opposition to the safety measures -- I've yet to hear any. I'm led to conclude that Bell is emotionally attached to an outdated traffic pattern, facts notwithstanding. I believe Ho llis French is the better candidate to represent our community in Juneau.
-- Matt Johnson
Josephson well prepared
I have known Andy Josephson personally for a number of years. Andy brings energy and integrity to whatever he undertakes, and I was excited to learn of his candidacy to represent State House District 15 (U-Med, Tudor, College Village, College Gate, Green Acres). Andy's plan includes rewarding performance for increased oil production and providing real incentives for new exploration. (This is in contrast to his opponent, whose plans would give funds away to companies WITHOUT requirements that they invest in Alaska oil production or in new exploration.)
Andy has also demonstrated that he is ready to wrestle with the overlapping complexities of Alaska's fiscal system, oil and gas taxation while ensuring that more new hires come from Alaska, instead of out of state. He is prepared to provide new energy for a new district!
-- Valanne Glooschenko
Wake up America
How could anyone think that the devastation in New Jersey, New York and all the other states should be taken care of by the states and the people that live in those cities. If Mr. Romney gets in as our new president believe me the federal government will be closed except for war which he will have us in with Iran and of course after we get done destroying their country we will rebuild it for them better than when we got there. When did we stop wanting to care for our own and other countries become more important and that we need to take care of their needs first. Shame on all of us if this happens.
-- Sally Garris
Petersen makes his pitch
It has been an honor to serve East Anchorage in the State House for the past four years. I have spent every day working hard for my neighbors, and I am proud to have helped secured funding for important improvements to roads, schools, and public safety in East Anchorage.
I was very disappointed when hundreds of millions of dollars in pork was added to the capital budget at the last minute. This was very irresponsible, and many of these items were just plain wasteful like the money to fly people to watch basketball games. I took a stand and voted against this budget because this spending was just not responsible.
I voted to add $2 billion to the Permanent Fund, because I believe it is better to save this money in the fund than to let the politicians use it for even more spending. I voted against the $2 billion oil wealth giveaway that would put the Permanent Fund at risk, and I will oppose any effort to raid the fund.
-- Pete Petersen
Hard workers deserve votes
Our Muldoon community (District 13) has been well served by two hard-working legislators, Representative Pete Petersen and Senator Bill Wielechowski. Redistricting moved Representative Pete Petersen's district lines. He will no longer represent Muldoon north of DeBarr. There are three candidates vying for his seat. Two candidates appeared on the KSKA "Running" show Tuesday night. Gabrielle LeDoux failed to show or offer any excuse. The two candidates who did show up gave the viewers a look at their views and philosophies under the scrutiny of reporter questions and the candidates' own questions to each other. Ms. LeDoux's no-show should be a red flag to the voters in District 13.
Kay Rollison, a 10 year resident of Muldoon and 22 year resident of Anchorage, gave us the opportunity to assess her knowledge on a variety of state and local issues. Kay Rollison's candidate website http://www.kayforhouse.com, shows her to be a well-qualified candidate.
-- Hal P. Gazaway
Tuck is man for the future
In my 28 years of writing "The United Alaska Campaigner" economics newsletter I have never seen such dark clouds on the horizon.
The fact is that the global economy is rapidly headed toward a horrific world depression directly caused by financial derivatives gambling.
The solution is to recriminalize derivatives, promote new industrial technologies and build new infrastructure based on the sale of state bonds to our Federal Reserve.
Do any of our politicians speak about these practical solutions? Yes there is one--State House Representative Chris Tuck. Vote for Chris or help him in any way you can.
Chris Tuck is holding one of the keys to the economic survival of our nation.
-- Charles E. Duncan
Devon is the reasonable choice
I'm responding to Judy Eledge's letter of 10/18 regarding Sen. Cathy Giessel.
First, Ms. Eledge refers to Shannyn Moore's article as "snarly" and her friend as the "local mudslinging blog" with a husband running against Sen. Giessel as independent but really a Democrat.
Ms.Eledge gives us no facts or policies of Sen. Giessel that makes her the best representative of my district. Instead she does her own mudslinging against any "left-leaning" writer who may believe we deserve better.
Sen. Giessel is a staunch supporter of Gov. Parnell's repeated attempts to enact a give-back of billions to the oil companies even though they promise nothing in return. She attends lavish ALEC meetings, an organization that allows big corporations to write legislation by influencing our legislators. She has signed a document that states she will not work with democrats and is a big advocate of undoing the Sen. Bipartisan Committee.
We deserve a senator who is reasonable, works across the aisle and puts our interests before those of the corporations. I'm voting for Ron Devon.
-- Susan Valenti
French goes Outside for help
I find it ironic how Hollis French and the union did not use an Alaskan company for their media consultants.
-- Lorrie Jordheim
Back French and Wielechowski
A big second to Bill Sherwonit's letter, "French and Wielechowski deserve constituents' support". (ADN, Oct 23,12).
Alaskans should thank these Senators for having the intestinal stamina to stand up to the oil corporations, and not waver under pressure from the Governor and the oil lobbyists, to give the Oil Corporations back 2 billion a year.
Sen. French's, opponent, Bob Bell mentions in his adds that he was on the Board of Game, but neglects to mention that he voted in favor of fumigating wolf pups in dens and against a buffer to protect Denali wolves from trapping. One pack had its last breeding Alpha female trapped this spring, eliminating a visible favorite tourist attraction. He also voted for bear baiting and snaring. Mr. Bell also voted for trapping of wolverine in Chugach State park. Several dogs lost legs because of thesethoughtless regulations.
We need representation in Juneau who care about all of our resources, whether it be oil, fish, wildlife, timber, or clean water.
-- Barbara Winkley
Hard right is good for historians
It looks like Indiana Senator wannabe Richard Mourdock wins the next Sister Mary Ignatius Award for Explaining It all for us. As the number of Republicans who know exactly what goes through God's mind grows, so grows the number of academicians who will have a heyday writing about them fifty years from now. The religious right is the Future Historians Full Employment Act. Not exactly what the liberal arts haters want. But they're going to get it, want it or not.
-- Diane Pleninger
Voting from beyond
My Uncle Carl was a staunch Conservative, and voted straight Republican until the day he died in Chicago. ... Since then he has voted Democrat.
-- Bob Lewis