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Micciche unfazed by criticism

Posted: April 22, 2013 - 10:10pm  |  Updated: April 23, 2013 - 8:33am
In this photo taken Friday, April 12, 2013, Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, center, talks to Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, right, as Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, listens in as the Senate takes up the Alaska gasline development bill at the Capitol in Juneau, Alaska.  AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn
AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn
In this photo taken Friday, April 12, 2013, Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, center, talks to Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, right, as Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, listens in as the Senate takes up the Alaska gasline development bill at the Capitol in Juneau, Alaska.

Peter Micciche said he developed a thicker skin during his first session in the Alaska Legislature.

During the session, Micciche, in his first term representing District O in the Senate, came under the microscope for his employment with one of the state’s largest oil and gas companies. Critics said his job as an employee of ConocoPhillips created a conflict of interest with his duties in the Legislature, and that Micciche is pushing a corporate agenda in a citizen’s legislature and has served up the state’s finances on a plate to hungry oil companies.

Not so, he says.

“The press, in my view, irresponsibly doesn’t take the time to get to know you, doesn’t look at your record — 30-year record in the community — and they almost make it sound like you are this sort of new corporate plant that showed up one day to do the work of the corporation instead of who you really are,” said the Soldotna Republican, who is also the superintendent of ConocoPhillips’ Kenai LNG facility when not in session.

So who is the real Micciche? Former mayor of Soldotna who helps pay for radio PSAs out of pocket, gives career advice to high school students or hosts skate park competitions? Or the not-so-secret corporate infiltrator and leader of an epic oil tax giveaway?

“It hurts,” he said. “At first it hurt a lot. And then you realize these people don’t know you, these people are either going to give you a fair chance and evaluate you on what you actually accomplish while you are in Juneau, or not.”

Despite the public chiding he received during this year’s legislative session — one that included votes on an oil tax rewrite and an in-state gas pipeline — Micciche is unfazed and undeterred. The only regret he said he has is that the conversation was a distraction from the real issues of the session.

“No, I’m not even remotely frustrated,” he said. “I’m cognizant of the fact that politics are politics. I’m going to work my tail off for the people of the Kenai and the people of Alaska. For those who sit back and objectively review my performance, they’ll agree.

“For those that want to focus on the other thing, I can’t ever change their mind. You know what? They are people that probably didn’t support me in the first place and never will. You can’t win ‘em all.”

Overall, Micciche said he was pleased with the work he and his staff did this session. That work included his responsibilities as co-chair of the special committee on TAPS throughput and prime sponsorship of several measures that await a signature from the governor. Those measures include a bill requiring screening of newborns for congenital heart defects, a resolution requesting the North Pacific Fishery Management Council reduce the quantity of king salmon bycatch in trawl fisheries and a resolution urging Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.

He also co-sponsored legislation on an in-state gas pipeline, to oppose genetically-engineered salmon, NPR-A legacy oil well awareness and clean up and laws to deal with abandoned and derelict vessels, among others.

“For the first time in a long time we helped improve the work ethic of a Legislature that had sort of been fumbling,” he said.

Micciche, now back at home in Soldotna, said he is planning to pursue further legislation on ways to reduce the energy costs in rural Alaska, tackle fishing issues including king salmon recovery, education and developing a five-year plan on state spending.

Also recently returned from Juneau, Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, praised Micciche for his work and laughed when asked if Micciche was really what some in the Alaska media and public painted him to be.

“Any time there is anything that someone can turn to a negative, unfortunately I guess that’s what sells newspapers because that is what they write on,” said the House Speaker. “The way I look at it is the people who elected Peter Micciche know for the most part that he works for ConocoPhillips.”

To that end, Micciche made no secret of his employment or the fact that he did not think it was a conflict of interest, even as he was running for the seat against former senator Tom Wagoner.

“The most important thing I am telling people is that I am putting my hand on the Bible for the people of Alaska just like I made a vow for the people of Soldotna,” Micciche told the Clarion in an August 2012 interview. “Everything else is just a job. It is unfortunate if people think in that manner that community servants should be neutralized from serving because of the other things they do for a living.”

Chenault said he gets the same guff — albeit to a lesser extent than Micciche this year — because of his oil industry background and connection to the construction industry.

“But if you look at my district, a majority of the people that come from my district make their livings off the oil industry,” Chenault said. “So should I excuse myself anytime any vote comes up on oil issues? I say no, because if I do that I’m not representing my constituents.”

In late March, the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics issued an advisory opinion that cleared Micciche of conflicts of interest as they relate to his employment in the commercial fishing and residential renting industries, and “employment in an industry principally engaged in making a profit from the use of natural resources.”

“The legislator’s current ownership of company stock does not prevent the legislator from voting on legislation or taking other legislative action, even where the interests of the industry and employer are concerned,” the ruling stated.

Despite the all-clear, Chenault said the “cheap shots” will persist. He said he is unsure how to change the conversation he says has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

“He didn’t just walk in there and say, ‘Hey, anything Conoco wants I’m going to get for them,’ because there were some issues there with tax credits and things that he said, ‘Hey, they don’t need this stuff. This stuff is a giveaway,’” Chenault said.

Micciche insists that he was prepared for the barrage of comments he received, but conceded on several occasions that he sought the tenured Chenault’s advice.

“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t pay much attention to ‘em,’” Chenault said.

Micciche said he came to realize that what was being alleged against him only served to thicken his skin and didn’t meet his goals of not playing party politics or reducing the parochialism of Juneau.

Micciche also points to his work on Senate Bill 21, an oil tax rewrite meant to spur North Slope production and exploration. He said he was the architect of its 35 percent base tax rate, which he said was the highest the Legislature had ever considered.

“I certainly had no one happy with me on the industry side and several committees tried to beat that tax rate down,” he said. “We worked hard behind the scenes and said, ‘Hey, we evaluated where we need to be to be competitive and we also want to reduce the fiscal impact on the state and still be competitive,’ and in my view the 35 percent was the correct place.”

Those who wanted to preserve ACES, Micciche said, were upset with the overall lower taxes the bill will bring, and those in the pro-industry crowd are upset because they wanted taxes slashed more.

“When you are thinking about whether or not you are doing the right thing, I guess having both extremes not particularly happy with you means that you are pretty close,” he said.

 

Brian Smith can be reached at brian.smith@peninsulaclarion.com.

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4FIVE4
61
Points
4FIVE4 04/23/13 - 03:25 pm
7
1
If there wasn't a conflict of

If there wasn't a conflict of interest, then why did he "try" to recuse himself from the vote? All he had to do was walk off the floor. I find that this has NOTHING to do with thick skin, and EVERYTHING to do with getting his employer, and himself more cash.
When your paid salary, stocks, share options, and bonuses by the company you work for it IS a direct conflict. Nowhere did he mention the OVERWHELMING public outcry over this from his constituants. Lets not forget that he was elected in the primary, by the few who voted for him, and not in the general election since he ran unopposed. Also, It seems kind of odd that the Senator he ran against, killed this bill last year.
Please sign the petition to overturn this unjust redistribution of wealth, from the average hard working alaskan to the richest corporations in the world. His future looks bright at this point.! Who cares what the poor citizens of the state think!

LaFern
147
Points
LaFern 04/23/13 - 03:35 pm
6
2
Disgusting

Micciche isn't worthy of the trust a political office holds. His transition from Soldotna mayor to Senator isn't different from Palin going from Governor to national candidate, all of the so-called scruples and ideals (not being bought out by interests) just went STRAIGHT out the door. What's even more disgusting is that the people of the Peninsula came out in droves to support him, even though he was running unopposed. It was a huge celebration of pomp and circumstance for somebody who is angling for celebrity status before he does his oil business dirty work and then jumps into retirement.

The GOP is still eating each other alive and the Republicans have so many private corporate interest snakes in their midst is impossible to vote for any of them. Alaskans should unite to vote Democrat until the snakes are chased out of the state and we can finally get back to being a cooperative state in the interests of the people, not lower 48 and overseas profits.

It is disgusting that Alaska's way of life deteriorates from the inside out, with our townships and small cities going belly-up first, while people like Micciche enjoy heaps of bonuses and vacations and add a few more summer cabins for their own recreation.

Suss
3511
Points
Suss 04/23/13 - 06:45 pm
6
1
U.S. Senate

Big Oil, Big Money...Big Dreams. Bet on a run for the U.S. Senate, not Lisa's seat of course, that would be a conflict. Many years of self-promotion and stepping stone elected positions to advance to the D.C prize. Now that Big Oil has Parnell's gift from Alaska, time for Washington to help with the profits Big Oil needs.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 04/24/13 - 09:56 am
6
1
Chee-Chee's Skin Better Be Steel...

I'm so glad to read the comments on here against the oil tax giveaway and Chee-Chee's glaring confict-of-interest. I thought I was completely surrounded by oilies here.

Hopefully, there is enough of us disgusted constitutents to make sure Chee-Chee doesn't run again, or if he does, he won't win. Don't waste your money, Chee-Chee!

Sign the petition, Folks, when it comes your way. We only have 90 days and they're ticking by fast. I know it's hard to get involved when you're getting ready for the Summer, but think long enough to sign the petition. Please?

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 04/24/13 - 10:02 am
5
1
“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t pay much attention to ‘em,’”

"Chenault said".

How `bout that, Folks? I don't know any politician in this administration who pays attention to his constituents.

You heard it here, Folks. Right from the traitors mouth. Not one of them paid attention to us when they voted to sell us out.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/24/13 - 04:42 pm
4
6
Speculation and unsupported facts

To speculate that Micciche is in big oil's pocket simply because he is employed by them is preposterous. Since he received zero money directly from the oil companies (he did receive just under $1500 from employee PAC's) there is little to support the statement that he is beholding to the oil companies based on their political support.
Hollis French on the other hand, received just over $10,000 from the public employee's unions and other labor organizations. Does that make him beholding to labor?
Tom Wagoner did not single handedly "kill the bill." He was a part of a democratic/republican alliance that could not come to a consensus on the tax bill.
Before we waste time and resources of petitioning for refrendum, maybe it would serve us better to review the actual bill instead of assuming an "unbiased" media is telling us is the whole truth or just their version of it.

https://aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/Home.aspx

http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2021&session=28

shruggered
11
Points
shruggered 04/24/13 - 10:54 pm
1
4
It's about time the oil taxes

It's about time the oil taxes were made reasonable, we all should thank Peter and see how this plays out.

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 04/24/13 - 11:57 pm
5
1
I hear Micciche went to

I hear Micciche went to Houston right after the session.....to be debriefed and/or instructed perhaps?SVP "To speculate that Micciche is in big oil's pocket simply because he is employed by them is preposterous." That's a joke right"?We know nothing about his employment package or what kind of "bonuses" he may receive now or in the future,Speculating is pretty easy.
As far as Chenault goes, it still amazes me that a man who inherited a successful contracting outfit from his daddy and ran it into the ground in just a couple of years is a major financial decision maker for this state.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/25/13 - 11:50 am
4
3
@beaverlooper

"I hear Micciche went to Houston right after the session... to be debriefed and/or instructed perhaps?"
Hearsay, and innuendo's?
Maybe he went back for his return to his job as a superintendent.
I'd like to know the facts rather than the hearsay.
I find it note worthy that my previous post had four thumbs down. I didn't defend Micciche in the least. I simply implied that the public needs to be more objective and state an opinion based more on facts rather than speculation and hearsay. If there is something concrete other than his employment that indicate an ethics violation or a conflict of interest, that would be worthy of comment. On this basis, one could argue a conflict of interest for virtually every legislator simply by seeing which PAC contributed to his/her election or which lobbyist visits their office or goes to lunch with a representative.
I consider myself a "republicrat" as I see both parties have at times logical solutions to a variety of issues. However, each party decries the others solutions as illogical or unfair based only on which party introduces the legislation. Party politics gets us nowhere repeatedly. Yet we, as the beneficiaries of said legislation buy into the status quo and nothing ever changes. We no longer find a common ground to solve problems and it's politics as usual rather than government at work.
An interesting article about conflict of interest in government:
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/how-tough-are-conflict-interest-ru...
Ethics rules:
http://law.alaska.gov/doclibrary/ethics/EthicsInfo.html

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 04/25/13 - 02:19 pm
2
1
Here's a fact. Micciche

Here's a fact. Micciche doesn't run the LNG plant,that job belongs to Steve Arbolofski, Micciche is a superintendent of operations in a plant that isn't operating . Why in the world would he have to go back to headquarters to resume his job ?Isn't that a speculation on your part? Unless of course you have some facts to back the statement up. By the way I wouldn't be caught dead belonging to either party .

Suss
3511
Points
Suss 04/25/13 - 02:45 pm
5
0
"Greed is Good"

More is never enough...........
ConocoPhillips reports $540 million in first-quarter Alaska profits, http://alaskadispatch.com/article/20130425/conocophillips-reports-540-mi...

Their toolbox is full in Juneau.

4FIVE4
61
Points
4FIVE4 04/25/13 - 03:33 pm
4
0
Yeah your right Pufendork, if

Yeah your right Pufendork, if he got anything, or was getting anyththing in the future in return for his vote, it would have been right there on the APOC report.Thanks for clearing that up. Please! These people are much smarter than your feeble mind is able to wrap your head around. The $540 M they just made in one quarter (thats three months) in Alaska alone, along with the gift from the state, and we still have no promise of new exploration. Not one more drop of oil gauranteed to be put in the pipeline for that money. Thats just bad business. They said it was" a good start" and they will bring another rig up to get the oil out of Kaparuk that they already are on the hook for. We need Real Alaskans to run the state. Tell your friends at Conoco I said GET BACK TO WORK!
VOTE BILL WALKER, VOTE BILL WALKER, VOTE BILL WALKER if your tired of this raping of Alaska! Good day sir/ma'am.

4FIVE4
61
Points
4FIVE4 04/25/13 - 04:10 pm
4
0
Real Facts

If you want REAL facts on this issue watch this video. Gov.
Jellyfish was too scared to debate Sen. Bill Wielechowski on facts.
http://www.gci.com/connect/great-oil-tax-debate

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/25/13 - 06:31 pm
3
0
beaverlooper and 4five4

looper, a closer read of my comment will indeed reveal a clear speculation with unfounded and unsupported fact, hence the word "maybe". As for why he would go to Houston, there is of yet no answer and MORE THAN LIKELY (more speculation) means there is no needed explanation. Conoco is an employer and therefore a business trip to the home office by one holding a management position after an extended absence would not appear out of the ordinary.

4five4. Thank you for your more than juvenile comments. When one resorts to name calling and insulant remarks, it is normally indicative of a weaker mind, an inferior level of academic achievement and an inability to carry on a logical, cohesive, informative and civil debate. I will resist the inclination to stoop to your level and instead carry on with civil opinion and non-offensive commentary.

In the article you sight, you failed to mention the fact that to earn that $540 million, Conoco first had to pay about $900 million in severance taxes, royalties, income taxes, and property taxes to the state of Alaska not to mention what they paid in Federal taxes. For someone who more than likely pays less than 2% of their income in total taxes to the state coffers, "greed" seems to be a rather salacious and hypocritical word to be using.

While I am employed in the oil industry, I am not employed by Conoco Phillips. Further more, I supported a restructuring of the ACES tax law, but I have never stated I support this bill, which in fact I do not. Finally, I did not vote for Micciche in the primary (Wagoner received my vote) or general election. In other words, even though Micciche ran unopposed in the general election, I chose instead to vote "none of the above" and did not check a box. I realize this, in some peoples mind, indicates I have little reason to state an opinion on the Senator ... but again I would be inclined to disagree.

As for APOC reporting, in this respect you are correct. But with several Alaska legislators having recently served terms in Federal prison, I hardly think a person would likely be able to or be inclined to try fooling Federal investigators. I think it even more unlikely in light of other states investigations and prosecutions for similar infractions. I am not suggesting it to be impossible, but I am suggesting that in the current climate of Federal oversight into ethical misconduct, it is not extremely likely.

While Bill Walker may very well be a sound candidate for Governor, I, as of this writing, have no opinion to offer as I know very little of the candidate other than he is a successful lawyer, a Republican and has been active in the development an instate gas pipeline. Other than that, all I know of him is what is posted on his resume: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=qiugaddab&v=001UQ183h...

Regardless, there is still about 18 months until the next gubernatorial election and it may be to early to commit to a candidate until the entire field is revealed. However, thank you for dropping his name. It gives me a jump on researching candidates.

4FIVE4
61
Points
4FIVE4 04/25/13 - 05:17 pm
0
0
I must have hit the k instead

I must have hit the k instead of the f. My bad.

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 04/25/13 - 05:37 pm
0
0
@ SVP

You,Sir,are a more trusting soul than I.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/25/13 - 06:22 pm
4
0
Skepticism

Ohhhh looper, I trust the government about as far as I can throw the moon! However, unless there are hard facts to prove ethical misconduct, I will remain skeptical but at the same time, I feel we must allow the officials, that the majority of the population elected, to do their jobs. I will continue to be wary of government, but I will support them in the tasks with which we entrusted them. As Reagan said "Trust but verify!"

4five4. Your link to the great oil debate was fascinating. I was able to watch about 40 minutes of it and then went to review what the critics had to say about it. I have to concur that there was no real knock out blow for Halcro or Wielechowski. Both supplied relative facts and some embellishments to support their argument. However, both agreed on one point; the current tax structure needs tweaking at the very least.

Concerning Governor Parnell's lack of participation in the debate, I would have thought he would have jumped at the opportunity to clarify his view of the tax reforms he feels are needed and why he supports them so strongly. I believe it was a political misstep that should have cost him more support.

That is what my "feeble mind" takes from the debate. Oh and thank you for clarifying your typographical error in your earlier post. I appreciate your effort in supplying the link to the debate. It was informative, but inconclusive in my opinion.

jrfletcher
14
Points
jrfletcher 04/26/13 - 10:13 am
2
2
Optimistic

I have to agree with Sam's way of thinking, especially with Reagan's quote of "Trust but verify!". Obviously the tax structure needs changes...we need to stay competitive. I think the negative opinions of Mr. Micciche come from the easy associations of politics and big corporations. Stereotyping him this soon accomplishes nothing. I do believe that he has worked hard for his personal accomplishments and deserves a chance to succeed or fail, rather than being labeled as CP's backdoor man. Overall, no matter what the concessions are on getting the oil companies to reinvest their efforts in our state, no one will be fully satisfied but we need to start somewhere. In time, we will see if any compromises are successful.

looseleif
11
Points
looseleif 04/29/13 - 12:09 pm
0
0
unfazed of course

Micciche announced - numerous times - during his campaign that he would not be talking to, working with, or listening to, anyone who represented the "opposition". He made it crystal clear that that included anyone who didn't agree completely with him. So why did the Peninsula Clarion bother with this article? It is definitely re(dun)dundent. Any reader who didn't "get it" wasn't paying attention. The rest of us - obviously a minority, according to the vote - already knew it and don't bother trying to communicate with him. Anyone who voted for him agreed with him. Again, redundundent.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/29/13 - 02:02 pm
2
1
@leif

I believe, Candidate Micciche was referencing the legislative alliance when he was campaigning. His opponent Tom Wagoner was a member of that alliance made up of Democrats and Republicans.
I don't agree with Senator Micciche on a couple of issues, this tax bill being one of them, and I have written his office and received an expedited response in which he addressed my concerns. Even though we still did not agree on some issues, he did make an attempt to clarify his position.
Whether you voted for him or not, he represents all of the people of his constituency as well as the interests and people of Alaska. No statesman will ever be able to please all, but he must serve all and represent the interests of the majority.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 04/29/13 - 03:51 pm
1
1
Sucking Up to Exxon

4/29/13 This is MY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE Sucking Up to Exxon.
I have never witness such a blazen example of Brown Nosing Kiss Azz Sucking Up to the Exxon Corporation

Rep. KURT OLSON Gavel to Gavel 6:52pm Tue March 26,2013 Senate Bill 21 speaking to Exxon Rep DAN SEEKERS :

http://www.themudflats.net/?p=37099

Make the time to view this. You won't believe what was said by Our Rep Kurt Olson !

SPW

Suss
3511
Points
Suss 04/29/13 - 06:12 pm
1
0
Disagree with

"represent the interests of the majority." A true statesman represents what is the best interest for the State and the future of the State. Many times the majority maybe woefully wrong and when a leader shows his true mettle and does what is right and opposes the majority to do right he has proven to be a leader, not a sycophant for the Governor or the oil companies. Tom Wagoner had the stones and it cost him. Bert Stedman has the stones and watch the election in Sitka because of his integrity. The is no need for the "Bill Allen's" to try and do big oil's work in Juneau, they are having it done in-house and no longer needing to contract it out with the "Veco's" of this State.

looseleif
11
Points
looseleif 04/30/13 - 08:29 pm
1
0
Disagree with Sam Von P

That isn't what i heard - repeatedly. Yes, he was referring to "refusing to join the coalition" - in context of not working with anyone who disagreed with him. He included not listening to the "opposition." It was when he mentioned his future constituents in relation to that, also, -- well, not much point in listening to him any longer, since he isn't listening to any of his constituents who do not line up with him. Sure, you get an "expedited response." I get one periodically from Sen. Lisa. Seems to be a standard political tactic to include that word "expedited", these days. Doesn't change the fact that he is only trying to change your mind, not listening to you, is totally not open to change, himself. Not that he made a secret out of it - so there is no hypocrisy there. I didn't accuse him of that. I worked with Sen Oral Freeman for some years. (One of the fathers of the Permanent Fund and the PFD.) I agreed on the Fund, didn't agree on the PFD, and he did indeed change my mind and i did apologize to him. We didn't always agree but we could hold a dialog and listen to each other. Not so with Micciche - by his choice.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 04/30/13 - 09:54 pm
1
1
Four months

leif, it doesn't sound like you've given the Senator much of a chance. He's been in office four months. I have written his office a total of three times and had three personal responses. I feel he was in tune to my concerns and I paid him equal respect and read his position. It's called healthy debate.
Again, as a reminder, I did not vote for Senator Micciche, but he is what the majority of the voters wanted. So he is what I have. I will do my best to work with him so he will work for me (us).
Just as you may disagree with me, the Senator or the legislature as a whole, that doesn't mean we can not have healthy, insightful, educated, civil debate and discussion. Who knows? You may change my mind on issues.

4FIVE4
61
Points
4FIVE4 05/01/13 - 09:51 am
1
2
Haves vs. the Have-nots

Looselief, if you haven't noticed, Vonpufendorf must stand to gain from this legislation. Although he says he is, he doesn't seem very open minded on this issue. He is feverously defending Sen. Pete and Big Oil on every article that comes down the pike. The "Big Three" has enjoyed zero taxes in the past and still did not put anymore oil in the line. Its not about whats right for Alaska, its about lining pockets! While he "waits to see what happens" the state gets poorer, he and his cronies, get richer. I think REAL Alaskans see right through this, and will sign the petitions voicing their views, since their reps. wont listen to them.
I wrote the Senator as well opposing his view on this issue, and didn't even get a response, much less an expedited one. I just got an invite from his aide (4/23) to drive down to Homer, and voice my opinion at a town hall meeting. I wont be driving to Homer to waste time, fuel, and my breath over a vote he has already cast on my behalf! I WILL voice my opinion with my vote at the next ballot. Is it too late to get Tom Wagner back?

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 05/01/13 - 03:21 pm
2
0
Open Minded 454?

I find several suppositions in your previous post, some truths and a hypocricy.
I will start with the hypocricy:
* "The "Big Three" has enjoyed zero taxes in the past." I believe we, as citizens of Alaska, enjoy and have enjoyed zero taxes for fourty years. For people who pay zero in income tax to the state, we sure do complain about others not paying enough! The current rate of tax and royalty on North Slope oil is roughly 75%. How much more would be fare?
www.revenue.state.ak.us/acloserlook.pdf
Alaska has the fifth highest corporate tax rate in the U.S. at 9.4% and the second highest, behind California, of the oil producing states. http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-corporate-income-tax-rates-2000-2013
* "Although he says he is, he doesn't seem very open minded on this issue." Au contrar, I am very open minded to the facts and not simple unsupported opinions. It takes two or more to create an atmosphere of informational exchange in which minds can be swayed to a different way of thinking or a change of opinion. You have provided no such information.

On to your suppositions:
* "Its not about whats right for Alaska, its about lining pockets!" I am not saying this is false. I am however saying this is unsubstantiated and at this time, has no merit. If you could provide your source on this statement, it may lend it credibility. If it were that obvious, I believe the Justice Department would become involved.

Truths
* "Vonpufendorf must stand to gain from this legislation." I have stated on more than one ocassion in this and other blogs that I don't agree with the current tax bill. However, I do believe the tax law that is currently in place (ACES) needs some adjustment to make a more equitable atmosphere for both the state and business. Do I stand to personally gain from fare tax legislation? Yes!!! We all do! If we encourage investment whether it be direct or indirect, it will benefit all Alaskans.

As for the petition to put the tax bill (right or wrong) to a vote of the people ... I just don't see that as a very good approach! We already elected officials and entrusted them to do the bidding of the state. Since we were apparently unable to study the candidates and elect those that would do the best job, what makes anyone believe the typical voter will review the tax bill, understand it, and be able to make a non emotional vote to the benefit of the state?

Just incase it does come to that vote, here is the full text of the bill as passed by the Senate so at least it may be somewhat of an informed vote. http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill_text.asp?hsid=SB0021G&sessio...

Allen
618
Points
Allen 05/01/13 - 04:13 pm
1
0
Sam Von Pufendorf needs to

Sam Von Pufendorf needs to get his "facts" straight.

Alaskans have in fact paid income tax and other state taxes (like a school tax), and it was less than forty years ago. We also pay for our public schools through local property taxes, even though public schools are a State of Alaska responsibility in the Alaska Constitution.

The Alaska Constitution guarantees citizens the right to repeal a state law if they don't like it. Therefore, SVP's statement that a referendum on the tax bill "isn't a good approach" is just his opinion, not a "truth" as he claims.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 05/01/13 - 05:08 pm
1
0
Allen

I was referring strictly to a state income tax. Not fuel, sales or property tax. Incidently, the oil companies also pay property tax. Without the likes of the Agrium, Tesoro or Conoco Phillips, the tax base would be much smaller.
As for state personal income tax; I stand corrected. The State income tax was repealed in 1980 (33 years ago), the same year oil royalties started funding the state budget.
I am not aware of a State School Tax. I am aware of state taxes being used to fund education, but not a "school tax" persay.
You are correct in stating it is my opinion that a refrendum is not a good idea. I don't believe the voters are willing to research the bill to the point of making an educated decision concerning such a complex issue. Before you construe this as being a statement in favor of SB 21, it is not! And again, I do not support SB 21 in its entirety, but I do support changes to the current ACES law.

beaverlooper
2785
Points
beaverlooper 05/01/13 - 05:22 pm
0
0
SVP thinks it's OK for

SVP thinks it's OK for himself to make suppositions,but if someone has another point of view suppositions are not OK.I'm going to make one anyway.He has posted that he works for an oil company .......as a lobbyist perhaps? The word perhaps makes it OK for him to suppose,I'm wondering if it work's for me too. And yes I have paid Alaska state income tax as well,less than forty years ago,I wonder if the rest of his "research" is as accurate and unbiased.
I all so have to wonder if the legislators themselves read all of these bills they pass,they sure don't at the federal level,or do they just vote the party line?

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 05/01/13 - 05:44 pm
1
0
Looper

Yes, I work in the oil industry. No I am not a lobbyist ( I truly believe they are a blight on government). No I am not a manager. I am a simple worker bee. I never paid state income tax in my 33 years of residency. No, I don't believe our legislators read the bills they vote on in their entirety, but I am fairly sure that is why they have hired staff to research and make recommendations or indicate points of contention to the legislators philosophy. However, this bill, due to its enormous ramifications and length of time in debate was hopefully reviewed in its entirity by the legislators. I would hope that we the voters would do the same. Do they vote the party line? Again, more than likely the answer to that question is a resounding yes! What is worse, they have pulled the people into their politcal games. Unfortunately, we have long ago lost our statesmen and now have politicians. The politcal parties contribute heavily to campaigns and if one fails to tow the party line to often, he endangers his chances for re-election. Party politics and campaign finance is an ilk on the peoples government.
My research, as much as I would like it to be unbiased, more than likely is not. Human nature, by its very make up, rarely if ever allows us to be truely unbiased. Even Supreme Court Justices are not unbiased, hence they render "an opinion."
And if I made suppositions, I apologize. I try to deal in facts and supply references, but I am not always true to my montra.

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