OPINION: We need leaders who deliver for Alaska, not create division

Politics nationwide has become so divisive over the last few elections that it has become unbearable to most Americans. By far, the majority of Americans — and, I believe, the majority of Alaskans — are moderates and want the people we send to represent us in the Congress to work together for the betterment of this country. The team we send from Alaska to Washington, D.C., matters. When I look back at those that we have sent to Washington, D.C., to represent us, such as the late Sen. Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young, they always put Alaska above partisan politics. They ensured that Alaskans were at the table regardless of who was in charge.

Sadly, the divisive politics of the far right and the progressive far left is destroying Washington D.C., and that divisiveness has come to Alaska. The news media of today feeds off it to keep their ratings up to make more money at the detriment of this country. I’m shocked to see the support for Kelly Tshibaka, mainly by the far right and those Republicans who are mad at Sen. Lisa Murkowski for voting against some of ex-president Donald Trump’s issues, and to impeach him. If I remember correctly, a vast majority of moderate women, both Republicans and Democrats, felt the same way.

I don’t always agree with Sen. Murkowski either. But what I can’t understand is why would Alaskans send a person such as Kelly Tshibaka to represent us as our U.S. senator when it’s clear, by her own admission, she would not work across the aisle but would do everything she could to continue the divisiveness that has been tearing this country apart.

Alaska needs a senator who is in the room fighting for Alaska, not a foot soldier falling in line to fight for their party. We know that Sen. Murkowski is and always has been a moderate Republican who can work across the aisle for the betterment of all. She has a proven record of delivering for Alaska. She has worked hard to bring things to this state that would and will continue to build our future in a good way.

With the return of earmarks and her senior position on the appropriations committee, Sen. Murkowski is in a key position for Alaska. She alone secured more than $490 million for Alaska projects in the recently unveiled appropriation bills — the fourth-most of any state. This isn’t “pork barrel” spending, it is the community centers, maintenance and critical infrastructure projects our new state needs to grow. What do we know about Tshibaka other than a lot of talk by a person with no real history in Alaska politics, with no substance or no plan? It’s one thing to be upset with Sen. Murkowski over a vote against our ex-president. But to put a person in her place that will truly divide this country further will not help anyone.

We as people will not always agree, but if we have the common sense to work together and work out our disagreements we will all be better for it. Sen. Murkowski has a proven record; she has delivered the resources that saved our economy and is continuing to deliver the development we need to ensure our future, despite the current administration. Kelly Tshibaka promises to deliver for her party, but I strongly believe Lisa Murkowski will continue to deliver for Alaska and all Alaskans.

Carl Marrs is CEO of Old Harbor Native Corp. He previously worked at CIRI from 1973-2004, serving as president and CEO from 1994-2004.

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Carl Marrs

Carl Marrs is CEO of Old Harbor Native Corp and the chairman for Alaskans for Common Sense. He previously worked at CIRI from 1973 to 2004, serving as president and CEO from 1994 to 2004.