Letter: Sen. Mark Begich looks after Alaskans better than Gov. Parnell

Mark Begich states that in the last four years he’s voted against Senate pay raises, returned some of his salary to the Treasury, cut his office budget nearly $1 million and directed his staff to take leave-without-pay furloughs.

Meanwhile, Gov. Parnell grew his office budget by over $2.6 million and racked up more than $3 million in travel costs. He spent near $1 million for travel in fiscal year 2012 alone!

Parnell doled out raises as his appointees turned in enormous amounts of hours of their, uh-hum, unused leave for cash.

He then switched the Governor’s Office mission from advance state priorities to advance the governor’s priorities.

Budget documents define a mission as a short statement of the purpose, or reason for existence of an organization or program.

Parnell lined his office budget and staff’s pockets, and traveled unnecessarily abroad to burnish his missing foreign relations experience, to Aspen for leadership training, and to countless conferences Outside to stymie needed federal programs in collaboration with other GOP governors.

Begich continues to faithfully advance Alaska’s interests.

— Andrée McLeod