Editor’s note: The following opinion pieces were requested by the Clarion to offer our readers the viewpoints of those running for office in the Aug. 28 primary election.
Each candidate also received a questionnaire, the answers to which may be found here.
Today’s focus is on candidates running State House District 30, representing the area from Homer to Kasilof, as well as Funny River.
Incumbent Paul Seaton and challenger Jon Faulkner will appear on the Republican ballot. Elizabeth Diament is running on the Democratic ballot.
Each response is printed as it was received.
I know that Alaska is as much a lifestyle as it is a state and I want to preserve that lifestyle for all of us.
I decided to run for office because when I look at the Alaska legislature, I do not see leaders who are fighting to preserve this lifestyle. The leaders who represent us are out of touch with the day-to-day struggles of what it means to be an Alaskan. They have lost their links to those of us who are still struggling and think that leadership means playing political games or caving to special interests.
My leadership will focus on serving my constituents as a citizen legislator. With your input, I will focus on leading by doing what is best for our fellow citizens, not the corporate or big government interests that often take precedence in our state government. I will not become a victim of “Juneau think.”
I will oppose any reduction in the share of profit the oil companies share with the people of Alaska. The oil industry benefits from our resources, yet this industry and some Juneau leaders say it cannot continue without lowering the price they give Alaskans for this resource. The reality is that at the current price structure, it would take the oil industry less than 36 months to make back a $5 billion investment.
As a citizen legislator, I will work to insure that we get our fair share. I will be one more sure vote in the State House against this shell game the industry is trying to portray on the people of Alaska.
I will not gamble the livelihood of our fishing industry by betting on an unproven environmental record of another. The fishing industry of Bristol Bay is an economic engine that provides 14,000 direct jobs yearly and has a tremendous impact not only on Bristol Bay, but the entire state. To risk that industry in favor of unproven technology for a minimal economic gain is not in anyone’s interest. The mere 3 percent royalty that the state will reap from a development like Pebble Mine is insane, even without the risk of destroying an industry.
Each of us has an interest in affordable care and I will work to make sure we get it. Our governor does us no favors by turning down health coverage for those in our state who are least able to afford it. While this certainly appears to be within his right to do this, I will work to expand health care options for Alaskans. This past legislative session, after three years of talk, the Alaska State Legislature passed a bill requiring insurance company to pay for Autism treatment. We need more legislation like this, and I will work with like-minded legislators to:
* Expand our state’s Medicaid program;
* Oppose Gov. Parnell’s quest to keep Alaskans from getting the health care options contained in the Affordable Care Act;
* Provide access to family planning services to all Alaskans desiring such services.
Above all else, I will bring a common sense voice to Juneau where such voices are lacking. Our lifestyle is at stake and I look forward to fighting to preserve it.