This letter is in response to an op-ed piece containing a number of false allegations by Carol Carman.
First of all, let’s look at the facts. Two weeks ago Mrs. Carman posted a threatening message on my campaign Facebook site. On behalf of an opponent she posted the following:
“I’ll tell you one more time. DROP OUT OF THE RACE. YOU WILL NOT WIN AND I WILL DISCREDIT YOU EVERY CHANCE I GET. I just sent an opinion piece to every newspaper and magazine in this state. I signed it ‘Fed Up Voter!’ and it reads:…….. He visits churches in our district and feeds lies to the flock.”
The Random House World English Dictionary defines discredit: “to injure the credit or reputation of; defame: an effort to discredit honest politicians.”
I am a lifelong Alaskan and a small business owner. I have been involved in public service because I believe we need to take action and base our decisions on what is best for future generations of Alaskans. I have served my community for many years, beginning in 1989, when I was elected as a road service supervisor, then as chairman of all Valley road-service areas, as a planning commissioner, an assembly member, as deputy mayor, and as school board president.
Over the course of my life I have changed my political views, and I am far from the only individual to ever have done so. I was an independent for about 20 years, and as such I have financially supported candidates from either party, including Republicans Mike Dunleavy, Mead Treadwell, Don Young, Gabrielle LeDoux, Steve Colligan, Bill Walker, Colleen Hamblen, Ron Arvin, and Ole Larson. Note that contributions under $250 don’t show up on the federal election website, but all contributions to state candidates do.
Mrs. Carman falsely alleges that I only contributed to Democrats, to the maximum.
I have contributed to Mark Begich, a few years ago. Mark is a political acquaintance who has helped me serve the Valley when he was mayor of Anchorage, and I appreciated his help in regulating methamphetamine ingredients in the municipality to help deal with the Valley’s meth problem. I sponsored legislation to ban those ingredients in Mat-Su.
My wife, like Mrs. Carman says, has contributed to various Democrats. My wife and I share some different political views, as is her constitutional right as an American. But last I checked, it was not my wife running for election, so what her political views have to do with anything is a mystery to me.
In short, Mrs. Carman selectively takes bits of public information and misrepresents them with her smear campaign. I especially take exception with someone smearing my wife. I have been serving the Mat-Su Borough in elected office since 2001 on the Assembly and the school board -- I expect to be beat up in a campaign. But trashing my family is a new low.
This election I am supporting and have contributed to Mead Treadwell. I think the country needs a change in direction, and I will work hard to get us there. This is also why I joined the Republican Party two years ago, because I agree with their vision and direction for our future. I am pro-development. Our state has been strangled with excessive state and national regulations, and I believe that needs to be changed.
I have been asked by many people to run in this election because they want effective representation, someone who will listen to their concerns, someone willing to work hard to help resolve the high cost of energy along the Richardson Highway and create economic opportunities.
Residents feel abandoned by the lack of leadership -- all of the gas pipeline projects bypassing them for Nikiski. Farmers who rely on McKinley Meats, the only USDA-certified slaughter facility, were shocked that they weren’t even consulted when the incumbent slipped in a provision to close the facility, which would shut down their businesses if it had passed.
I will work hard to represent all of them, and also continue to work to relieve the burden that the state currently places on our small businesses. We cannot afford the overreach of bureaucracy in this state. We must prioritize resources to deliver essential services.
My voting record on the Assembly is conservative, cutting taxes and regulations, including authoring a complete revision of the subdivision code to allow small landowners to be able to pass on land to their kids. I was the only assembly member to vote against the alcohol tax (defeated by voters by 80 percent) last fall.
As an elected official, I have been creating jobs and developing resources -- there are $262 million in projects underway in the Valley. Over 200 operators were working on the rail spur to Point McKenzie last summer.
There are many roads under construction this summer in the Valley, part of a $64 million road bond package I co-authored. Trunk Road was recently completed, a project that I have helped steer since 1997 when I put together a coalition to select a new route.
I have been a staunch advocate of education choice within the school district, providing land, funding, and regulatory relief for charter schools, homeschools, and also supporting traditional schools. I am pro-life, pro gun rights, and I will defend your right to practice religion free from government intrusion.
In addition, as vice-chair of the Mat-Su Fish and Wildlife Commission I have successfully worked toward restoring salmon to Mat-Su streams and defending and promoting Alaskans’ right to put fish and game on their table.
My record speaks for itself. Since 1989 Alaska voters have chosen me to successfully work for them in various elected positions. This is in to addition to running a small surveying business and homeschooling our children.
I get it that Mrs. Carman has a bone to pick about party leadership, but that doesn’t excuse making up falsehoods. Winston Churchill said, “In a war the first victim is the truth,” and the truth has certainly already become a victim here.
I'm doing my best to work hard for my constituents. To remind Mrs. Carman, Ronald Reagan started out as a Democrat -- he would have failed to pass Mrs. Carman's ridiculous purity test. I'll continue to work hard, as I've always done, and maybe I will change her mind with my strong business agenda and history of getting things done.
Visit my website for more info.
Have a good summer and good luck fishing!
Jim Colver is running for the Republican nomination to run for the Alaska House of Representatives to represent District 9, which includes Valdez, Delta, Glennallen, Hatcher Pass, North Palmer, the Glenn Highway, and Whittier. He is a lifelong Alaskan and a small-business owner.
The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.