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Voices

I haven’t talked to anyone who didn’t hear enough political ads in October. Everyone, regardless of their political persuasion, complained about the avalanche of political ads, particularly attack ads, during this election cycle.

Nationally, nearly $4 billion was spent, a record amount for a midterm election . The New York Times reports that considerably more money was spent, but those figures are largely undisclosed ...

Rick Sinnott

Following each election, the ideologues slightly more victorious than the others jump up and down and scream “mandate!” to announce their belief the voters have spoken and want their own agenda addressed.

Across the nation on Election Day, the Republicans pronounced their victory to be a mandate against Obamacare -- which, in large part, it was. However, in Alaska, voters sent a much different message, one that leaves many confused.

Alaska’s message, however, was clear.

Most American voters sent a strong message about many of Obama’s policies including Obamacare and development projects such as the Keystone pipeline. However, the mandate from Alaskans was a bit different -- we voted for change...

Mike Dingman

Congratulations on being elected as the 13th governor of Alaska. What your victory, a narrow one by Alaska standards, tells us about politics in our state is yet to be determined. What the quality of your governorship will be, and how you will be remembered after you leave office, are two things that are completely within your control. There is a blank canvas before you. Although you cannot do it alone, in a sense you will chart our own course and create your own legacy...

Kevin Clarkson
Rude Dimond fans should be ashamed

I enjoyed watching the girls 4A regional volleyball tournament held at Service. There are some very talented athletes in our town. Sadly, there are also some horrible fans in our town.

I witnessed fans from Dimond High School making very rude remarks about the refs and line judges working the tournament. You all know who you are, and since I’m sure you aren’t smart enough to be embarrassed, I am definitely embarrassed for you! You represented your school very poorly and I hope the administration can make a teaching moment of this — shame on you!

— Jenny Davis Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

This last election saw a horrifying tidal wave of billionaire dark money sweeping over Alaska, mostly in the form of TV attack ads. In this sickening environment of lies and distortions, there was one act of betrayal that struck me as especially painful. Lisa Murkowski’s.

Let's go back four years to August of 2010. In what many view as the biggest upset in Alaska political history, Lisa Murkowski was defeated in the primary by the far-right candidate, Joe Miller. She was beaten fair and square...

Sean McGuire

Sometimes the buzz created by election campaigns tends to mask what is going on in the “real world.” The most recent Alaska election cycle is a good example. While the Walker and Parnell campaigns debated through the fall about whether the state budget should be cut in the next year by 5 percent, 16 percent or something in between, in the real world state revenues have been plummeting to levels that make those numbers seem like artifacts of ancient history.

Revenues from oil finance up to 90 percent of Alaska state government spending, and those revenues largely are determined by two factors -- production levels and oil price. During the recent debate over SB 21, Alaskans heard a lot about the importance of production...

Brad Keithley

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” With those 11 words, Theodore Roosevelt describes the simple steps needed for individuals to engage in philanthropy. Defined as a “love for humankind,” philanthropy is expressed on a daily basis by individuals, organizations and businesses that participate in acts of kindness through volunteerism, donations and working with others to make our communities a better place...

Beth Rose

OPINION: In Alaska, the Nome City Council is moving forward with a plan to end tax exemptions for churches, making it the first American town to tax the church.

With the city budget projected to run a deficit, the Nome City Council spent a one-hour work session last Monday looking at ways to increase tax revenue. After much debate, the council agreed to move forward with a draft ordinance removing sales tax exemptions from nonprofits and churches.

City Finance Director Julie Liew estimates the move could bring in about $300,000 a year for the small city of about 3,800 people...

Michael Stone | Patheos

In 2012, the U.S. Department of the Interior showed how to “do it right” by establishing a management plan that balanced the needs of conservation and energy development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Now it’s time to do it right again, as the federal government sets a precedent for how oil and gas development will occur in the reserve. Not doing so would create unnecessary oil-development sprawl, inhibit wildlife movement, harm subsistence resources, and could foul some of our nation’s most important natural habitat...

Nicole Whittington-Evans

A perennial issue is back and forth in front of the Anchorage Assembly -- access to public land...

Rosa Meehan

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