I was having dinner in New York City a few years ago with some media muckety-mucks. They asked me why I wouldn't move to The City for work. "I'd be bored," was my answer.
This was another interesting week in Alaska politics and proved sticking around Alaska has been worth the price of admission.
The legislative ethics adviser, Reggie Drummond, who just took his job a few months ago, mysteriously resigned. Perhaps someone took a look at his twitter feed, which included such poetic yarns as "Liberal = industrial sized stupid, put that one in your dictionary" and a retweet saying, "Fired union workers looking for sympathy will find it in the dictionary somewhere between shit and syphilis."
He sounds really nice. And ethical.
A day after a statewide poll showed Gov. Parnell losing by eight points a lawsuit was filed to take the Walker/Mallott ticket off the ballot. If you can't debate -- litigate! The GOP (Grand Oil Party) swore they had nothing to do with this lawsuit. Ignore the fact it was filed by a GOP chair, apparently financed by the treasurer for the GOP and filed by the former attorney for the GOP. Still think this isn't about politics? Someone apparently hired a communications firm, MSI Communications, to arrange a press conference and send out copies of the lawsuit. Perhaps you remember MSI Communications as the firm that, according to its website, has done newsletters for BP and created the website for Keep Alaska Competitive, Vote No on 1 -- one of the industry groups that fought to keep the oil wealth giveaway in place. You remember, the referendum that we were told was going to kill jobs, before BP announced a few days ago that 275 employees would be laid off. The one that was going to hurt oil production but which led Exxon to testify under oath last week it expects continued declines. Well, that's awkward. But I digress.
So the gist of the lawsuit is that there was no legal basis to allow a "unity ticket." We must have a partisan ticket. You would think the GOP would be doing cartwheels over having two Republicans running for governor but apparently one of them is not quite oily enough.
In any event, there are some arcane statutes and regulations on the books that deal with this situation. The attorney general looked it over and approved the unity ticket. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, whose job it is to deal with these things, approved the unity ticket. We are a nation of laws, by golly, and they must be followed.
So now come the fancy GOP lawyers and communications firms to tell us we can't have unity. We gotta have partisanship. According to the ADN article, the GOP argued that an emergency regulation allowing the unity ticket should not have been allowed "because there was no threat to the public welfare."
Well, I'm no constitutional scholar but I will be happy to testify in this lawsuit that four more years of Sean Parnell as our governor pose a serious threat to the public welfare of our great state.
For starters, there's Medicaid expansion. Parnell has failed to expand what even the Chamber of Commerce agrees is needed and provide health care to 43,000 Alaskans without health insurance, create 4,000 Alaskan jobs and $2 billion in economic activity with little cost to the state and with taxes we have already paid. There are literally thousands of people's welfare directly threatened by four more years of Gov. Parnell.
Then there are the National Guard rape victims who pleaded for help from Parnell who were ignored for years. Apparently having the names of specific rape victims didn't feel like an emergency to him enough to act. Our rape statistics are higher now than they were when Parnell came into office. That feels like an emergency to far too many of our citizens. Here's an idea. Let's throw a parade when we are No. 50 in the country for sexual assault instead of holding steady in the top three for decades.
The 275 BP employees who were laid off after we heard millions in ads telling us the oil giveaway was needed to keep people working. Big Oil could have used the $20 million spent on its ad campaign to keep on the 275 workers for $72,727 for another year. That's math.
The Pebble mine that Parnell has pushed jeopardizes a way of life for thousands of Alaskans. His deaf ear to the pleas of Alaskans forced us to ask for federal protections.
In 1990, when Wally Hickel decided on an independent run for governor, the Alaska Independence Party broke up with its candidates, John Lindauer and Jerry Ward, and replaced the top slot with Wally. At that point, Jack Coghill, who was running for lite gov with Republican gubernatorial candidate Arliss Sturgulewski, catapulted over to run with Hickel. Arliss found a new dance partner in Jim Campbell.
Then Gov. Steve Cowper called it ''the shoot-out at the GOP corral.''
The rest is history. Our history. Politics are wild here, and goodness knows I was right. Never boring.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.
The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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