Alaska must maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with our valued oil partners -- where business prospers, and Alaskans, as stakeholders, know and approve of exactly what we are getting for our money. If we give oil companies the $2 billion dollar tax break they seek from our state coffers, we need assurances of more exploration, more production or more Alaskan jobs. Right now, we have no guarantees of anything in return for our investment. Alaska is an "owner state," and those resources belong to all of us. Our Constitution mandates we develop those resources for the maximum benefit of the people. We must honor the Constitution with a win-win business model that reflects this professional relationship.
We should pursue rigorous resource development that supports state services and creates jobs, but never at the expense of what we love about our wild Alaska - sustainable resources like fishing, hunting and tourism. There are many exciting opportunities to bring Alaska's mineral wealth to market.
However, as a chemistry major, former commercial fisherman, and hunting outfitter in the Bristol Bay area, I have tremendous concerns about the proposed Pebble Mine project. Pebble would be one of the world's largest open pit mines. Its location at the seismic headwaters of our largest wild salmon fishery -- the source of more than 14,000 current jobs - and the nature of the toxins generated by such a mine, makes it much too risky for Alaska. I also believe strongly in local control, and respect the majority of Bristol Bay residents, fishermen, and businesses that have voted no on this mine.
As an Alaskan, I'm tired of the partisan gridlock and special interests in Juneau that have wasted our time, our energy, and our money. As a moderate, not affiliated with either party, I will always stand up for Alaskans first. I will protect our personal freedoms and liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, and I will work with both political parties to move Alaska forward.
For too many years, South Anchorage has had representation only in the tiny minority coalition who won't work with the majority of senators, because of ideological differences. Our district deserves a seat at the table where important decisions are made, we deserve leadership positions in committees, and we deserve someone who will always put Alaska's interests ahead of personal ideologies. We don't need a party activist who's proud she competed in the race after handicapping herself. We need someone who takes the job of representing the whole district seriously, and starts that race at full capacity.
Fortunately, residents of South Anchorage and the Upper Kenai Peninsula have a very clear choice. As your senator, I will work to make sure Alaskans are respected in negotiations with resource developers. I support public education and do not believe public dollars should be used to prop up private schools that can't make it on their own. I support your right to privacy, to bear arms, and minimal government involvement in your life. I believe a woman's reproductive decisions should be between her, her doctor, her family and her faith - not government bureaucracy.
As a retired business owner I will promote a pro-business environment, low taxes and less red tape for entrepreneurs, and preference for jobs that go to Alaskans, instead of watching dollars leave the state. And as a successful small business owner, I know the value of a dollar, the need to work together and the importance of standing up for independent Alaskan values.
I invite you to www.DevonForAlaska.com, and would be honored to have your vote on Nov. 6
Ron Devon is an independent candidate for Senate District N in South Anchorage and the upper Kenai Peninsula.
By RON DEVON