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O’Brien makes it six

Nikiski resident to join hunt for mayor’s seat

Posted: July 28, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: July 28, 2011 - 8:24am
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor candidate Tim O’Brien.

Nikiski resident and lifelong Alaskan Tim O'Brien announced Wednesday he would be competing for the top spot in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in this October's election.

O'Brien, 58, joins a field of five other competitors jousting for the borough mayor's seat currently held by Dave Carey, who is not seeking re-election.

The other mayoral candidates include Dale Bagley and Fred Sturman, both of Soldotna, Debbie Brown of Kasilof, Gary Superman of Nikiski and Mike Navarre of Kenai. Ron Long, of Seward, recently dropped out of the race.

O'Brien, a retired union hand who worked on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, currently owns Alaska's Territorial Lodge, but has not run for the mayoral position before. He was appointed to serve on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Kenai/Soldotna Advisory Committee for subsistence fishing in addition to serving as vice-president of the Kenai Peninsula Resource Management Coalition board for about 3 years.

"The only reason I am doing it is because everybody is dissatisfied right now with the attention they are getting because of the special interest," he said. "They are pushing me and leading me to represent them."

However, O'Brien maintained he did not want to become a "career politician" and resisted the urges of others to get him to run for office for years before now.

"Everybody is so discouraged with the special interest - there is only 20 percent of the people voting," he said. "The reason is that they are not being heard or represented. I want to bring the other people back to the borough.

"I am not a smart enough man to run the borough, but we are. So with the help of the 80 percent and the other 20 possibly, I think we can run this borough, but we must have their involvement."

O'Brien contends borough politics needs to take "a 180."

"We need a change and I have been hounded for quite a few years to run and I didn't want to run, but there is nobody to step up to the plate," he said. "The people who are running now have been in already and we will have no change."

One of the biggest changes he is advocating for is a better relationship between the borough administration and the assembly.

He would also strive to be open-minded when addressing the borough's business, he said.

"I would like the borough and the assembly to work together again the way it used to be," he said. "They are at odds and I would like to regain that partnership."

O'Brien is also concerned with a wide variety of issues facing borough residents, he said, including fishing, timber, personal rights, equality, community and the economy.

The borough's economy, he added, "sucks."

"I would like to put jobs back," he said. "I would like the people to get involved in the community again and I think we can if we get together again. But, when you divide and conquer, you will fail."

O'Brien pointed toward boosting the state's exports of products that can be "value added," and uniting and promoting small businesses across the area.

Moreover, he said he would like to re-establish and maintain equality while serving.

"We are all Alaska residents and I want us to be treated fairly and equally," he said.

O'Brien also said he thinks his chances for winning are good, even against five other candidates.

"It depends on if I can get the 80 percent of the people to trust me because they have been so disappointed," he said. "It will take a lot of discussion and I hope they will get involved again because, after so long, it is hard to regain trust in the community."

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spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/28/11 - 03:01 pm
0
0
You have No Voice 7/28/11

Thur 7/28/11
I glad to see another life long Alaskan speaking up & participating in Democracy.

But as for the Alaskans that do NOT make the time to vote.

You have chosen NOT to VOTE therefore YOU DO NOT
HAVE A VOICE OR A OPINION.

Those that do not vote & participate in democracy have given up their Right to voice their opinion.

Yes there are all sorts of lame excuses for not voting.

But In My Book there is No Excuse for Not Voting.

SPW "Airborne"

denali8
6
Points
denali8 07/28/11 - 07:19 pm
0
0
i agree w/spwright if you

i agree w/spwright
if you cannot be bothered to vote you have no room to complain
years ago i had a boss complainging about something, i asked how did u vote, answer i didn't, when i asked why he said i'm not registered, i asked why? answer, i've never registered and he was 50+,
i told him flat out if you don't vote never complain to me again, i won't listen
unfortunatly i've missed some votes as i was working and did not know in advance that i might be away so didn't vote absentee
once i was the first to vote in the morn as i didn't know if i would be off early enough later to vote
i hope people wake up and realize the power of the ballot

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/28/11 - 08:53 pm
0
0
Freedom to vote or ...

spwright and denali8; I agree with you whole heartedly. But we must understand we live in a society where we have the freedom to vote ... or NOT to vote. So if someone were to ask me HOW or WHO I voted for I would tell them, "if I wanted anyone or everyone to know whom I voted for or how I voted on a measure or proposition, I would have left the curtain opened at the voting booth." Likewise, it is no ones business whether I voted or not. That is a personal and private decision that belongs to no one but myself.
I am an avid and INFORMED voter and personally, I would prefer the UNIFORMED voter either become informed or stay out of the voting booth all together! Uninformed voters are those who follow the masses and do not take the time to make a decision based on ALL of the issues. Many of todays voters are single issue participants ie; gun control, abortion, entitlements etc and that is as far as they inform themselves on a candidate or proposition.

"It is precisely the purpose of the public opinion generated by the press to make the public incapable of judging, to insinuate into it the attitude of someone irresponsible, uninformed." -Walter Benjamin- German philosopher and sociologist

We have 50% (if we're lucky) or less voter participation in any given election. Of that number less than 30% (if we're lucky) are truly informed. If they had been, chances are we wouldn't be in the financial trouble we are in currently.
So America EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO BE AN INFORMED VOTER! Or exercise your right to NOT vote! I hope people wake up and realize the power of the informed voter.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/29/11 - 09:20 am
0
0
Reply to Kenai-kid

Fri. 7/29/1 Yet another Beautiful Summer Day Here on the Kenai.
I'm tellin' my age here. I can remember Back in the Day a group of Americans attempted to stop other Americans from
Registering to Vote & their so called justification was that group of Americans were not intelligent enough to vote.
But that Group, like myself was Drafted into Military Service during a Time of War. You could fight & die for your country
but you could not vote in their eyes.
Yes I'm talking about the deep South & Black Americans &
the damn KKK & the Southern Good Ole Boy network.

So Kenai_Kid I respectfully disagree with your belief that only the intelligent informed Voter should Vote

& Yes YOU can whine & complain, scream & holler & voice
your Opinion cuz YOU MAKE THE TIME TO VOTE
& PARTICIPATE IN DEMOCRACY

Thanks for Listening SPW "Airborne"

cheapersmokes
767
Points
cheapersmokes 07/29/11 - 11:13 am
0
0
Right and obligation to vote!

I feel that anyone who fails to vote in an election for national office (every two years) should forever lose their right to ever caste a vote in any election. How many millions of citizens have died or been crippled fighting for the right of a countries citizens simply having the right to choose elect those who serve and lead them in a fair and free election? If your too lazy to even get an absentee ballot or go to the polling place to vote for who you want to represent you then you don't deserve to even breath the air over the country. They should also be denied from ever receiving a single payment from the government also.

drudge
3
Points
drudge 07/29/11 - 01:26 pm
0
0
@cheapersmokes

I want to vote, but the ballot only gives me the choice between "Wealthy, corrupt businessman" and "Corrupt, wealthy businessman."

What can I do?! :(

jtmjam
0
Points
jtmjam 07/29/11 - 03:34 pm
0
0
Obrien is a nut job and a

Obrien is a nut job and a north road poacher, he just might fit right in with peninsula politics.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/29/11 - 06:34 pm
0
0
P F D's & Alaska Voters 7/29/11

Fri. 7/29/11
Mr O'Brien, Well there is a Unusual but Sure Fired Way to get 100% of the Alaskan Voters to actually VOTE.

Make it mandatory to participate & vote in previous election & provide Proof that You have Voted before You or Your Family receives their Annual Permanent Fund Dividend.

Now is that a radical idea ! 100 % Voter Participation !
Say It Ain't So ! That could Never Happen in Alaska !

Oh ! now there will be a flood of responses & lame excuses
NOT to Vote

SPW in Sloooooowdotna

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/29/11 - 07:48 pm
0
0
reply to spwright

Education and information. Apples and oranges. I never mentioned or implied intelligence as a pre-requisite to voting anywhere in my post. However, I will clarify for you. Inform ... informed INFORMATION. Voting to simply say that you voted is not wise! I simply stated I would PREFER the uninformed to stay out of the polling booth.
Since you have dated your self in your post as being in your 60's or older, and you are possibly retired, you may have a retirement account or maybe even a money manager. Possibly you manage your own retirement. Would you be comfortable if your account manager managed your portfolio simply by throwing darts at a stock page? Or because they "heard" a stock or investment was a good idea? Heck no!!! You want him/her to get as much information BEFORE investing your hard earned money. Your vote is an investment in the future of this great nation and when you check a box with only the information you garnered from television or the newspaper, you become a victim of public opinion and not public record or fact. Do people know their candidates voting record? Absenteeism rate from office? Number of missed votes? Number of contradictory votes? In short do they know their political history? In short, you don't play a high stakes game of chance with your income, why would you do so with those who are spending YOUR tax dollars?
You see spw, I really don't care if a voter is as dumb as a block of wood as long as they at least attempt to get as much information as possible about a candidate or proposition without depending on CNN, FOX ,ADN etc. Go to the public record. Don't make an uniformed vote simply to say I voted! Ignorance is not bliss!
As for the permanent fund idea! Absolutely a great idea! In addition, I think that anyone who misses a major vote should be denied social security benefits or any other entitlement afforded by the federal government. Add one more thing... anyone who owns no land and/or pays no taxes is not entitled to a vote. Does that sound fare?
Cheapersmokes! You raise a fine point! However, if I am denied my right to vote (or not) then that is one of my freedoms that has been taken away. I am assuming you have NEVER missed a vote in a major election.
Freedom is not free, but every citizen has the right to vote or not to vote. Those that do not vote make those who do vote more powerful! Those that do vote should take full advantage of that extra power!

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/29/11 - 08:38 pm
0
0
Voter participation

cheapersmokes and spwright, I was wondering how that PFD for voter participation would work. Or how you determine if the person should be stripped of his/her right to vote because they didn't vote in one major election? How would you know anyone actually casts a vote? You may get them to the polls that way, but there is nothing you can do to make them vote. If the candidates aren't to the citizens liking (see "drudge"), all he/she has to do is turn in a blank ballot. Or are we going to eliminate another right (the right to privacy) to verify everyone votes.
And again spw, you hit the nail nearly on he head! The flood of responses should not be reasons to not vote, it should be excuses to not become informed about the candidates, issues and or propositions. People take more time to gather information about buying a vehicle than they do to elect an official or cast a vote on an important proposition. What excuses can you think of?

JOAT
487
Points
JOAT 07/30/11 - 07:50 am
0
0
Informed voting is vital

PFD to vote? Are you kidding? That's the worst possible idea I've ever heard in a political discussion. Everyone has a right to vote. Everyone has a right to NOT vote. The instant you tie voting to getting paid to vote, the concept of democracy is gone. You can lead a citizen to the polls, but you can't make him vote.

The real problems with politics are uninformed voters and slander. Slander has become the central fight in politics, and just look up at jtmjam's post as a prime example. No substance whatsoever. No facts. No figures. No voting records. You just jump in, call the candidate names, and run away. This is one of the key reasons why we ended up with such terrible candidates in WDC during the last couple elections.

Elections have degraded into the class of high school popularity contests. It is sickening to hear people proudly proclaim that they voted for a particular candidate based only on their skin color, how funny they were to listen to, how cool they act, etc. The flip-side is that they refuse to vote for a particular person because of their appearance, how they talk, how they dress, etc.

We *should* vote on substance and issues. Ask most of the voters from the above group about issues and they can't name an single policy issue of importance at the state or federal levels. Ask them about a specific policy and they have no idea what it is or what it means. It is this group of voters that do our country a great disservice. But that is exactly the group that certain political groups target to "get out the vote"... the un-informed masses.

It has nothing to do with education or intelligence. It has everything to do with cutting through the slanderous hype and looking at the real world issues and how the candidate is going to represent us in their civic duties if elected.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/30/11 - 07:50 am
0
0
Sat. 7/30/11

Well I have enjoyed this Lil' Chit Chat about not voting & the opportunity to Voice My Opinion & to Listen to the Voices of Others.
But the Truth be known, Nothing is going to change & only 20% of Registered Voters will make the effort to actually Vote.

& the Worst part of all of this, The Non-Voters are the ones that whine & complain the most. So ya gotta endure listening to someone that contributes nothing & will not vote.

Now on to more important issues like preparing for a Fun Filled Surgery next week. Not my idea of Fun !

Thanks for Listening SPW "Airborne"

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/30/11 - 08:04 pm
0
0
You're welcome SPW

As always, a spirited debate! Thank you for fighting for the rights we all enjoy. In this case the right to openly and freely voice our opinions.
Good luck on your surgery and a speedy recovery for you.

cheapersmokes
767
Points
cheapersmokes 01/02/12 - 08:24 am
0
0
Voting

rcI am from Minnesota and every year we lead the nation with a voters percentage of over 70%. We also elected Jesse Ventura as Governor and he spent less than $250,000 on his whole campaign while the two main party candidates poured over 7 million each into the campaign. I was on his campaign committee and he actually stopped at my home and held the first non moderated live internet chat with a candidate for state wide office. People asked him if steroids has turned his marbles into the size of peas. His wife answered that question for him! :-)

He actually did a good job in office and helped out the common citizen on every turn by lowering license plate costs and property taxes every year. He also gave us a check every year from the budget surplus funds. But the legislature rammed some very serious stupid bills through over his veto and that caused him not to seek reelection and the state has been in the hole ever since but like the Federal government they still want to give away money to those too lazy to work or illegal immigrants.

I have never advocated for using the PDF checks as a criteria for voting, this should be something that people do on their own or forever give up that right. I personally have never missed casting an informed vote since I was first eligible back in the mid 70's; Way too many of our soldiers have fought and died for our right to vote and I owe it to their memory to vote every time. I must admit most times I do have to plug my nose due to the candidates available to choose from.

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 07/31/11 - 07:18 pm
0
0
The forced vote.

@ cheapersmokes:
How does one know if some actually voted? What if someone where to go to the polls to simply reserve their right to vote. What if they get in the voting booth and decide the candidates are either both unfit to govern, maybe they simply can't make up their mind or they just don't feel they have enough information to make a good choice. How do you know they actually voted? What if they turn in a blank ballot. I personally don't vote for all of the justices because I don't know anything about all of them. If I don't mark the ballot am I actually voting? Am I "participating" in the election?

stuartw13
-10
Points
stuartw13 01/02/12 - 04:07 am
0
0
I discovered your blog web

I discovered your blog web site on google and verify just a few of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the excellent operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. In search of ahead to studying more from you in a while!…
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cheapersmokes
767
Points
cheapersmokes 01/02/12 - 08:21 am
0
0
Kenai_Kid

I just discovered your post today! If you go and at least register to vote I feel that is doing your duty to all of the millions of American's who have given their lives to ensure that you keep that right. I also feel that the Judicial portion is a waste of time and also a joke. To think a practicing lawyer would run against a sitting Judge when he will have to present cases in from of him is a dang joke! I would much rather see the members of the bar association grade the Judges and see if they meet the standards of the public or should be tossed off the bench and have their pension withheld!

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