The Daily News asked candidates for statewide office in the Aug. 16 Alaska primary and special U.S. House elections to answer a series of issue and biographical questions to help voters understand their positions. Some questions were suggested by readers. Read all the responses here.
Chris Bye • Party: Libertarian • Occupation: Fishing guide • Age: 48 • Residence: Fairbanks • ItsTimeAlaska.com
Relevant experience or prior offices held
U.S. ARMY 20 years.
Why are you running for office?
I dedicated my early life to defending this nation as a soldier. My desire to serve my community continues today. For years I have, like many others, held my nose and voted for the Lesser of Two Evils. Sadly, this is responsible for our current political atmosphere, where activism has replaced good governance for ALL. The media, Republican and Democrat Professional Politicians, and their special interests have given us $30.5 trillion of debt, 20 plus yrs of war, the USA Freedom Act (formerly known as the Patriot Act), and countless increases in bureaucratic regulations creating turmoil for Alaskans. I cannot sit on the sideline any longer and look at my young adults and soccer players without fighting for them. They deserve better. I firmly believe typical Alaskans can make better decisions than professional or groomed politicians. So June 2021, I decided to get off the sideline and run for US Congress because I was disappointed in the voting record of Republican Don Young.
Name two big problems or challenges currently facing Alaska and how you plan to address them if elected.
Fisheries Management: Salmon is a statewide issue. Remove WA and OR from the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council seats and replace them with “Up River” Community Representation such as from Eagle, Ruby, Bethel, Aniak or Fort Yukon. We need to fix the by-catch issue before the damage becomes irreversible. Future commercial fishermen, future Alaskans are depending on us to get this right. Restrict bottom trawling and eventually phase it out.
Land Management: Alaska became a state in 1959, it is now 2022 and we are still awaiting the transfer of nearly 36m acres from the Federal Government to us, Alaska. That land equals future opportunities for graduating University, Trade School and Union professionals from teachers to biologists to engineers to environmentalists to mining technicians to nurses. Natural resource development powers this state. Along with completing this land transfer, we must gain control of its development to prevent the chaos that exudes from DC.
Do you believe Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election? If you believe there was fraud, where and how do you think it took place?
The only losers in this election have been us, Americans in general. The party elites with cooperation from the media work hard to prevent typical Alaskans from gaining control of governance. The same rings true at the State level.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump violently attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020. Do you believe President Trump should be held responsible for the events of Jan. 6?
The guy hasn’t been the president in over 19 months. Surely the press including ADN, can find room to report on some other character. Right now, there are hundreds of Alaskans doing good work for each other, like David in Delta Junction working with rural veterans to solve their issues. Or Mike, also in Delta, who runs a van to help transport folks around. Or Ms. Carol, who encourages folks to change diets for healthier lifestyles. There is Ms. Ann at the Food bank busting her tail to serve Fairbanks. Shorty in Fairbanks advocating and problem-solving for the homeless. Or Jason tirelessly supporting missionaries along the Yukon River. There are whole groups of folks helping Ukraine without the need of the Federal government.
Do you think Congress should pass legislation to limit or protect abortion access?
Leave this up to the states. Nobody cares more for Alaska than Alaskans. We have a number of bright folks living here and we can figure this out without a central planner dictating to us what we can and cannot do.
What specific actions, if any, should the U.S. government take to curb gun violence?
Let’s be truthful with one another; there is no new regulation or law that will end this violence. Assault and murder are already illegal and yet those laws do not prevent the violence from occurring. To end this parents must become involved in their children. Dads and Moms check to see if your kids are playing GTA, Fortnight or COD, if you do not know what these are, you should find out today. Review what entertainment they are watching. Be involved. Neighbors must become involved in their communities. If this is to end we need to have an honest discussion about bullying and harassment. Don’t walk by it. Do not accept it.
How do you think new resource development projects in Alaska should be balanced with the interests of environmental protection and climate change mitigation?
Natural Resources sustain this state; without them, we could not afford the University or the Education system, nor nurses, and businesses could not operate. It is a balance. Resource companies must be held accountable for damages. Public funding should be kept out of these projects and if state or federal funding is used ALL ALASKANS should have unrestricted access to the project areas. To get after climate change you must make personal choices that reflect your concerns. I recommend starting with your apparel- if it is made from nylon or plastic stop buying it. Include your cool brown rain boots, your rain jackets, puff jackets, most cheap fleeces etc. Seems petty but consumerism greatly relies on petrol-chemicals and through your dollar you can effect change. Consider reducing urban areas. They are clearly identified climate changers, which we can control. Urban Heat Sink, where concrete retains heat and emits it long after the sun has set, changes the local weather.
How will you promote putting aside partisan politics to address complex issues in Congress?
I’ll ask Alaskans what they think. Everyone is welcomed to the table, EVERYONE, even those who did not vote for me. As an effective Combat Leader, using a team approach produced the best effects period while in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Do you believe the federal government is well positioned to continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other future pandemics that may emerge?
No. Too much industry/special interests are mixed into policy making. Regardless of the media, most Alaskans I have spoken to are not concerned about COVID and are more concerned about GOVT overreach. I share that concern. Tying federal money with mandates not approved by Congress is unacceptable. It is a slippery slope that both Republicans and Democrats use to enact activism over good governance. There is no check or balance on these activities by the people.
Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in sports according to the gender with which they identify?
Let the local citizenry address this. I trust Alaskans to make these decisions regarding the protection of women sports opportunities under of Title IX far more than activist politicians.
The federal infrastructure bill, which was voted for by all members of Alaska’s congressional delegation, stands to bring millions in federal funding to projects in Alaska. How would you ensure Alaska maximizes the benefits of this bill?
Auditors. Watchdogs. Honest media. We need to watch very closely the political elites, politically connected, and their patrons to see where this money is going.
Understand this is going to enslave countless future generations to pay for stupid things like single vehicle accidents resulting in traffic circles such as the one on CHSR or an unnecessary overpass in front of Fort Wainwright. I predict very few Alaskans will see any of that projected millions of dollars outside their annual federal tax burden.
What should the federal government be doing to curb inflation and strengthen the U.S. economy?
Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman figured this out decades ago. STOP PRINTING MONEY! REDUCE GOVT SPENDING! The more Dollars printed or “digitized” the less value the Dollar retains. The more debt the Federal government carries, the weaker the dollar is because other nations see that we lack self-discipline and eventually the dollar will collapse or be so devalued it will become worthless.
Asking Congress to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment is akin to them taking a pay cut. Such an amendment would require them to prioritize spending within an attainable budget. This would mean special interests would have to compete with actually necessary spending. The result: reelection using special interest donations becomes tougher. It most likely will require a States Convention. It should be attempted in Congress annually nonetheless to get on record which politicians actually care about the burden they are placing on future Americans.
What should be done, if anything, to change federal immigration policies?
Currently, it is more advantageous for Repubs and Dems to work together in refusing to solve this tragedy for their own financial benefit. Many Alaskans and Americans would not be here if America had not opened her arms to Europe through Ellis Island. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...”
1) Spend some money hiring additional new immigration judges to process cases in a timely manner.
2) Make a wide-open inviting front door with a secure fence on either side. Fences make good neighbors.
3) Determine security risks from each nation. While immigrants are welcomed to become Americans, we do not need to import security concerns.
4) Determine which ones committed felonies and send them home immediately.
5) Using the front door, welcome the remaining immigrants so they can be accounted for and not taken advantage of by nefarious Americans and others.
6) Charities, NOT the Federal government, provide assistance to these new immigrants.
What is the country’s biggest national security threat?
Professional Politicians, “well-intended” bureaucrats, RNC, DNC, and the media.
Where do you want Alaska and the U.S. to be five years from now in regard to emissions reductions and adaptation to the effects of climate change?
For Alaska, a diverse energy policy that is self-sufficient that includes solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, and fossil fuels. Using long-distance high voltage lines, we could build a power station in Deadhorse and line the power to Galena, distributing power along the Yukon River, reducing the need for generators and fuel.
If consumers want lower emissions, they ought to demand it from manufacturers. We must meet the raw ingredient requirements to produce such emissions. Cobalt is widely used in the manufacturing process of high-tech products and in the production of lithium batteries which is extremely un-environmentally friendly. Further, enormous amounts of Cobalt are mined in the Congo with child labor. Our way of life should not require 12-year Congolese children to become miners. Fortunately, we have UAF, and Alaska does have Cobalt deposits. I am confident that UAF-skilled professionals can develop this valuable resource in a sustainable and safe manner.
What other important issue would you like to discuss?
Voting. Only a fraction of Alaskans voted in the special primary, 28%. 72% did not participate. Most common reason: It does not matter which two parties win, taxes/debt will rise and there will be new regulations. I would contend while this is true, you can expect the hardcore party lovers to vote in numbers, further pulling away from the desires of typically Alaskans. Using the most significant number of votes from the special primary, 43,601, as an example for future governance, 7% would determine the State’s future political direction. Please vote. It matters. I do not care how you voted in the past only how you vote in the future. That vote represents actual opportunities for each and ALL Alaskans.