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Governor is the right man for our time

  • Author: Christine Robbins
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 12
  • Published July 12

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy reveals his budget vetoes during a press conference Friday, June 28, 2019 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / ADN)

We’re going broke. Spending is unsustainable. The past administration wrongfully took what wasn’t theirs, and with the help of those in the Legislature, spent beyond what was fiscally responsible. Finally, a governor came along who wants to rectify our dire situation. He just told us we had “cancer,” which wasn’t a surprise to many of us who can see the financial forecast (such as Brad Keithley of Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets, who appears regularly on the “Michael Dukes Show"). Instead of swallowing a bitter pill, socialists are calling for placebos or worse yet, poison. Spending like we’ve always done won’t fix the problem. In fact, it’s been projected that unless we change course, we’ve got 12 years at the most. How will jobs in Alaska fare? Ed King has an analysis here. We’ve needed men like Gov. Mike Dunleavy for decades to step up, do the adult thing and say no. Cuts have to be made for the good of Alaska. Here’s a man who won’t kowtow to special interests to the detriment of the whole nor will he say, “all bets are off.” He will keep his promises.

It’s the people’s money. When we gave up our mineral rights, it was in exchange for a share in all the wealth of all of Alaska. That means I own a share in Nome, Prudhoe Bay, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez, etc. That’s why we get a dividend. It’s the law because it’s the people’s money — our share in this humongous corporation known as the great state of Alaska. It’s our paycheck. To demand that someone give up their paycheck is outright theft. No business owner would come to their partner and say, “I budgeted too much on advertising, so we’re going to take it from your share of the profits.” No way. Smart business owners budget based on what they have, not what they project earnings to be. If you speculate on the future, there’s no difference between that and gambling. Only that they’re gambling with other people’s money so the sting isn’t felt at all.

We should all be on board, but some just don’t want to face reality. It’s like telling your family that because funds are short and not much work to be had that you need to cook rice and beans until you can afford something else. And instead of complying, all the children scream and cry for steak dinners and cookies. You tell them, “We can’t afford steak right now. If we scrimp and save and look for more work, one day we’ll be able to afford steak again.” My kids get it. My 11-year-old asked me why when mobs don’t get their way they throw tantrums like little children. Seeing men in costumes chaining themselves to public buildings and others shouting without reason shocked him extremely. He had expected better of his elders, and I agree. I told him he’s wise beyond his years, and that I expected him to always behave himself even when disagreeing with authority.

How’s your legislator measuring up? Check out their scorecard at Alaska Policy Forum. Many, just like the Alaska education system, are failing. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Legislature, take note. Those meeting in Juneau are breaking the law.The governor is the one who called the special session and as such can set the agenda. This shameful behavior hasn’t been witnessed for quite sometime anywhere. I’m sure we’re making history where my kids’ kids will learn about the infamy of this Legislature’s actions. We’ve got the most powerful governor in all the U.S.

It’s always surprising when legislators don’t want to play nice, but the way they treated our new governor, the people’s governor, is beyond the pale. They won’t get very far with it, and I expect this lawsuit of the writ of mandamus with former Rep. Al Vezey will make them do their job. Kudos to the administration and specifically in hiring Donna Arduin, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. In a civil society, it’s expected that we follow the rule of law. Don’t like it? Then change it lawfully. I, for one, am glad there’s a new sheriff in town.

Christine Robbins serves as District 4 chairwoman of the Alaska Republican Party. A 31-year Alaskan, she lives in Fairbanks.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.

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