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SB 21 battle is over who gets $8 billion

$8 billion. That’s what this oil tax fight is over. When SB 21 was being considered in the Senate Resources Committee I asked the Department of Revenue to report what the state actually took in under ACES while it was in effect (2007-13) and compare that to what the state would have taken in had SB 21 been in effect instead. They produced an apples-to-apples comparison, using the same flowrates, price of oil, and expenditures. Revenue reported its findings in a letter. The difference to us, the Alaskans who are the owners of the resource, over those seven years would have been $8 billion. That is money the oil industry wants for its shareholders. That is why they are spending $15 million to defeat the repeal effort...

Alaska Dispatch News

Last week, I began my column by asking: “Ever fallen for a satirical story on the web? You know, it can be really hard to differentiate between made-up crazy and actual crazy.”

I got an answer. Turns out Craig Medred can’t tell the difference between reality and hyperbole...

Shannyn Moore

After a nice weekend at the lake with friends, I pulled up the new Alaska Dispatch News site and stumbled across a piece by Shannyn Moore titled “Governor’s appointments are a joke, but he’s not kidding.” I read the article, initially not knowing much about the topic, and ended up being very surprised that the piece was even printed. The piece was basically a character assassination of two people I know well, both of whom are very active in the community and care deeply about Alaska. I understand people, especially columnists, have strong opinions on issues facing our state. People should be allowed, and encouraged, to express their opinions on tough issues so there can be a healthy debate within the community....

Jeff Landfield

Alaskans have a choice on August 19. We can retain a competitive tax structure, compete in the market for oil investment and have a vibrant long-term economic future, or we can continue to over-tax the petroleum industry, suck on the oil lollipop until it’s gone and let the future be damned.

I’m taking the long view and voting no on Ballot Measure 1...

Jim Jansen

On Aug. 19 Alaska voters will have the opportunity to repeal SB21 by voting yes on Ballot Measure One. Like other high-stakes issues involving big money, the media blitz is full of sound bites, declarations of support and abbreviated claims of fact – most of which lie between selected truths and the whole truth.

Fortunately, when SB21 is stripped of all its spin it is really pretty simple stuff – but is definitely not good for our future.

Support for SB21 relies on three common fallacies and denies two inevitable truths. I suggest all five be pondered by voters...

Joe Mehrkens

On the 49th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, let's give thanks for security

In 1965, almost half of America’s seniors had no health insurance. For the men and women who survived two world wars and the Great Depression, retirement often meant insecurity and hopelessness. Our nation’s seniors reached their most medically vulnerable years with few, and sometimes no, health care options.

That’s why, after decades of failed attempts to right this wrong, the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid wasn’t just health care reform, it was a turning point in our nation’s history...

Susan Johnson
Parnell selections show bias for SB 21

Gov. Parnell’s appointments to the Oil Tax Competitiveness Review Board tell us quite a lot about SB 21, the oil tax bill. The board’s mission is to impartially evaluate results of the oil tax law and determine whether or not the people of Alaska are getting fair value for their resource. It is a chance for SB 21 to either stand up under legitimate scrutiny, or be found to be a raw deal for the people of Alaska.

But apparently SB 21 can’t withstand impartial scrutiny. Parnell’s appointments are all aligned with and dependent on the oil industry. Even the financial analyst position goes to a former Veco VP. Those appointments tell us quite a lot about Gov. Parnell also...

Alaska Dispatch News

Alaska is going to vote on one of the most important issues we have ever faced as a state in just 20 days.

I’ve written in this space that it is a much more complicated issue than should be decided by the average voter -- and I still believe that is absolutely true -- regardless, we are still tasked with this decision.

As I said, the issue is complex, so complex that Ballot Measure 1 takes up significant space in its own 48-page election pamphlet. (It’s the only ballot measure on the August ballot since all the initiatives were moved to the November general election.)...

Mike Dingman

KENAI RIVER -- Dipnetter Doug O'Harra smiled ear to ear, despite a face splattered in mud and blood. That’s when the idea hit:

Ban the Color Run from Alaska. Ban it.

Come summer, real Alaskans are about blood and mud, or mud and blood -- not about prissy colored cornstarch.

The Alaska Boys and Girls Club should be embarrassed about hooking up with a multicolored scam. (Fundraiser or not, with income big or pitifully small as appears to be the case.)...

Craig Medred

The governor has the ability to veto any bill he does not think is in the best interest of the state. The people also have the veto through a difficult petition and election process as seen in Ballot Measure 1. ​Although we would default to the prior tax system, ACES, a citizen ‘veto’ of SB 21 does not create a new tax or prevent acceptable oil tax reform...

Rep. Paul Seaton

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