Compass: Rep. Kerttula's applies rosy math to election Democrats lost

In a recent Compass Piece ("Election made it clear: Voters turned backs on partisanship," Nov. 20), downtown Juneau's Rep. Beth Kerttula argues that candidates who oppose tweaking Alaska's oil taxes to spur production received broad bipartisan support on November 6.

Beth Kerttula created her own derivative from the 2012 election results to describe Alaskans view of oil taxes. Remember the mortgage derivatives in 2008 that created the banking crisis? They did not work either.

Kerttula writes, "For example, Senate President Gary Stevens, a Republican, earned an astounding 53 percent more support than Romney in his district." She overlooked new Senate President Charlie Huggins' election, a Republican who earned 77 percent of his district's vote. Romney earned a matching 77 percent of the district's vote. Sen. Huggins definitely was not a member of the Bi-Partisan Working Group and did not suffer from any bipartisan shift.

Two Republican Bi-Partisan Working Group Members most definitely did not benefit from broad bipartisan support. Mat-Su voters replaced Bi-Partisan Sen. Linda Menard with Mike Dunleavy who earned 94.3 percent of the general election vote running unopposed. In th primary, Kenai Borough voters replaced Bi-Partisan Sen. Tom Wagoner with Peter Micciche, who earned 94.7 percent of the general election vote running unopposed. No broad support for the Bi-Partisan Working Group was visible in either of these races.

Republican incumbents Fred Dyson collected 71.6 percent of the vote and Cathy Giessel earned 59.1 percent. Neither was associated with the Bi-Partisan Working Group. Their percentage district votes were respectively 4 percent and 5 percent less than Mitt Romney's district vote percentages. There was trivial impact of bipartisan opposition in these two re-elections.

Kerttula goes on to say that, "Democratic Senators Joe Paskvan and Joe Thomas from Fairbanks outperformed President Obama by twelve and 25 percent respectively..."

According to the DOE, Senate District "B" voted 39.99 percent for President Obama and 45.6 percent for Sen. Paskvan. Kerttula takes the rosy view that Paskvan outpolled Obama by 12 percent. But that actual five-point gain cost labor union PACs well over $100,000. In Fairbanks Senate District A, President Obama received 28.82 percent of the vote while Sen. Joe Thomas received 39.38 percent. Kerttula says that is 25 percent over Obama's numbers. Yes, but that 10.5-point margin cost labor union PACs well over $100,000 also, and didn't avoid a lopsided loss. What would another five percent have cost the labor union PACs, and still resulted in defeat?

Senator Joe Thomas' 39.38 percent is 1 percent less than President Obama's statewide 40.82 percent performance. Where are the conservative crossovers? Not in the Division of Elections data!

It doesn't matter how many times Rep. Kerttula dutifully repeats her Democrat Party talking points, characterizing responsible revisions of oil tax policy as a "giveaway." Most Alaskans can do basic math and understand the concept that the more you tax something (like oil), the less of it you will get.

Consequently, Alaskans voted for constructive Senate change. They replaced senators intent on holding our state hostage with five responsible Republican senators who will work productively with their House and Senate colleagues and our governor to get more oil -- not less -- flowing through our pipeline and keep our people working here instead of North Dakota and other new American oilfields.


Randy Ruedrich is the chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.