The Daily News candidate questionnaire has covered the issues, so I'm taking this opportunity to discuss fundamental differences between my opponent and me.
I am running for the Assembly to represent the interests of local taxpayers. This contrasts with my opponent who wants to preserve the municipal tax cap's "unused tax capacity." This means he intends to increase taxes more than the annual tax cap calculation would otherwise allow. It violates citizens' intent when they voted to impose the limit. The cap is designed to limit the amount taxes can increase from one year to the next -- and it's designed to protect the taxpayer from huge increases, which frustrates the big spenders. I understand the tax cap -- and I respect the voters' intent and will enforce it.
Fifty-percent of my opponent's campaign has been paid for by labor political organizations and their members -- not including money labor unions directly are spending to air ads against me. West Anchorage voters need to seriously consider whose interests my opponent would represent when the Assembly votes on new labor contracts.
I believe a candidate's values are reflected in how they conduct their campaign. My opponent and his supporters have run negative ads that are factually wrong, misleading and distort my positions.
My opponent's ad, for instance, claims that in 1999 Frank Murkowski and I worked to spend the Permanent Fund and tried to hide that from voters. In 1999, I had never met Frank Murkowski. I was running a small business. Tony Knowles was governor. He and the Legislature (including Democrats) placed an advisory vote on the ballot about options to address the state's fiscal stability -- hardly a way for them to hide the issue from voters.
My opponent implies I am unpatriotic because I have no military service. While I respect those who have and do serve, it's important to remember that in the United States, only 1 percent of women serve in the military. My opponent implies that I -- and the 99 percent of American women who were not in the military -- never "served" in any meaningful way. I reject that sexist, offensive view of women's role in American society.
My opponent claims I don't support education because I haven't had children in the Anchorage school system. Did it ever occur to him not everyone can have children? His insensitivity to a heart-wrenching, personal circumstance is cruel and displays a lack of compassion. At what point do personal circumstances become fodder for campaign tactics.
My opponent says I "refused" to support women's rights. I assume this is because I chose not to return a questionnaire to a special interest group that asked about this and two social issues. Why? Its leadership includes numerous individuals who have given money to and actively campaigned for my opponent. For the record, I'll put my support of, and experience with, women's rights against his any day.
My opponent says I wrongfully predicted budget shortfalls while I was the municipality's budget director. It appears he either does not understand the budget process or is misstating facts.
To balance the budget in recent years, the city had to cut millions of dollars in services to cover the increased salary and benefit costs due to the labor contracts negotiated by then-Mayor Begich.
At the end of these budget years, some funds went unspent because departments were encouraged to manage spending, which most taxpayers think is smart. The budgets would not have balanced without making the cuts upfront; money left at year-end was far less than the amount that was cut; there was no "wrongful prediction" of shortfalls.
If a candidate cannot tell the truth in a campaign, imagine what he will do once elected. I've displayed integrity and honesty in my nearly 40 years of service to my state and community. That is how I will continue to serve West Anchorage.
Cheryl Frasca is running for Assembly Seat 3-E, representing West Anchorage.
We asked each of the major Assembly candidates in the four contested races to address four or five issues in Point-Counterpoint features with their opponents.
• New Labor Law: Do you support or oppose it, and why.
• New Title 21, The City's Land use law.
• Sullivan Administration: Where do you agree with the mayor? Disagree?
• Why Voters should Choose you over your opponent.
• Topic of the Candidate's Choice.
Each candidate was free to spend as much or as little of his or her 675-word max on each topic.
ToDAy we look at the two West Anchorage races.
By CHERYL FRASCA