Mark Fish -- Libertarian
1. Why are you running for office?
Alaskans deserve an alternative choice, one that can change the status quo and move us toward a freer, safer and more prosperous society. I believe my life in Alaska and voice I add to the debate offers Alaskans that choice.
2. Alaska has the highest rate of welfare recipients among all 50 states. What steps would you take to reduce that figure?
We need to reclaim our rights and wisely develop our own resources to create the conditions that lead us to independence. Job creation is not the answer, wealth creation is. We must allow people to find their own path to prosperity. Alaskans will come to realize that mail box money is a poor substitute for opportunity. The steps I as Senator would take are ones that ensure you have control of your own life, what you do with it depends on you.
3. Alaskans often criticize federal overreach; at the same time, the federal government is as important as oil to the economy, supporting about one-third of the state's jobs and pumping billions of dollars annually into Alaska. Would you advocate more or less federal spending in Alaska? What programs would you reduce or increase to achieve your goal?
Let's call federal overreach what it really is: tyranny. The federal government does not have any money it did not take from someone else. My solution is to transfer all federal lands in Alaska, with the exception of Military lands, to the State and allow the state to utilize its own resources. The people of Alaska are more interested in their own prosperity needs than those in Washington. We can create more wealth than the federal government spends here.
4. What are three bills you will introduce or three efforts you will undertake -- or some combination -- to improve the state's economy?
Transfer federal lands to the state, to create a larger economic base
Get an Alaska exemption to the Jones Act, to help reduce shipping cost to and from Alaska
Reduce the regulatory burden by reigning in rouge federal agencies such as the IRS, EPA, DEA etc.
5. What are three bills you will introduce or three efforts you will undertake -- or some combination -- to address social issues in Alaska such as the high rates of suicide, sexual abuse and domestic violence?
Government is force, it cannot heal broken hearts or broken people. Social issues are best solved by society. What I would do is eliminate road blocks that prevent society from efficiently addressing these problems. Eliminating the IRS would allow societies to organize to solve problems as they see fit. We have laws on the books right now that obviously should be strictly enforced. Social issues should not be addressed on a federal level.
6. What authority should Alaska Native tribes and villages have over civil and criminal justice matters, and what rights should they have to regulate hunting and fishing on native land?
Property owners have a right to manage access to their land. Fish and wildlife are a commonly held resource and depends on cooperation of all Alaskans. The state is the authority that should manage the common resources in consultation with property owners as well as the public. Race based law enforcement is a terrible Idea. A better solution is to look at judicial standards and revise them to assure non attorneys can be appointed to the bench.
7. What is your assessment of President Obama's foreign policy? What do you think is the United States' role in the world?
It's A mess. The role of the U.S. is to lead by example. We need to stick to protecting our borders and interest. We do not need to serve as a world policeman or create a world of dependent countries. To do so only destroys our own economy which helps no one. We must realize borders and countries change and allow the natural course of events take place.
8. Would you take steps to change or repeal the Affordable Care Act? What would the changes be? If you favor repeal, what would you replace it with?
Yes, free market reforms such as purchasing across state lines and tort reform.
9. Should the United States have "boots on the ground" in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq? If not, what are the circumstances under which we should consider such action? And what other action should the U.S. take against Sunni militants in the Middle East?
No. We should only attack those who directly attack us.We should not in any case be the aggressor but in every case the defender of our country.
10. What role do human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases play in climate change?
I don't know. All our evidence is subject to computer modeling that may or may not be based on false assumptions. I do think it is a stretch to project climate forecast out 300 years into the future when no one can tell me when is it going to snow.
11. What legislation currently in Congress comes closest to the policy you would advocate for dealing with climate change?
None. No evidence to suggest any would make a difference yet many would be of great cost to Americans.
12. Coastal erosion is a serious issue in a number of rural Alaska villages, with discussions about relocating some communities. Do you believe this is appropriate or realistic? Explain.
Government created the problem and now we see the unintended consequences. Many of these village are centered around public schools that were put in areas that were at one time seasonal camps used by semi-nomadic people. To fix it requires a case by case study which needs to include a cost benefit analysis. Property owners are responsible for their own assets.
13. How important a priority is reducing the federal deficit? Explain.
Very. The greatest threat to our nation security is our deficit. Its growth could put us in a position where we could not defend ourselves.
14. If you had to give the current Congress a letter grade, A through F, what grade would you give and why?
I grade them a D, it would be a F but I see the inability of congress to do much as a plus. When they do get something done however, Americans as a whole suffer.
15. Should the U.S. tax code be simplified? Is it fair?
Yes. Repeal the 16th Amendment, eliminate the IRS and implement the Fair Tax. Property taxes, including income tax have proven to be arbitrary and subject to corruption.
16. Name a specific federal environmental regulation you'd like to see rolled back, and why.
The Endangered Species Act needs to be looked at. Currently it has prevented or slowed the recovery of Endangered Species. For example the wood Bison here in Alaska. It also has been used to add regulatory burden needlessly such as the polar bear listing where the Bears were listed despite an increasing population based only on computer modeling and projection out to 300 years.
17. Name a federal environmental regulation that you think provides important protections for Alaskans.
International treaties that conserve fish stocks are worthy. The state can adequately regulate domestic environmental concerns.
Occupation: Retired Military
Current employer: None
-1984 - 2003 Alaska Army National Guard 1/207th Aviation Regiment
-1984 -1987 Utility Helicopter Repairman
-1988 -1993 Tactical Transport Helicopter (Black hawk) Crew Chief
-1993-2003 Aircraft technical Inspector
-1987- 2003 Army Aviation Support Facility AKARNG
-1987- 1991 Aircraft Mechanic (WG 5-10)
-1991 -2003 Aircraft Mechanic (WG11)
Previous public offices held:
-ASCHR commissioner 2007-2012
-CACFA commissioner 2007-present
Previous unsuccessful runs for office:
-Anchorage Assembly 2004
-State House 2008
Postsecondary education: N/A
Military service: Alaska Army National Guard March March 1, 1984 - August 25, 2003
Spouse's name: Mary
Alaska Dispatch News asked each candidate in the major races in Alaska this year to answer a series of written issue questions. Responses were limited to 500 characters.