District 30: Diament: Common sense interests need to be promoted

My name is Liz Diament and I am running for State House.

The upcoming legislative session will make a difference in the future of the lives of those of us lucky enough to call the Lower Kenai Peninsula home. Issues like whether the Pebble Mine Initiative will proceed, how residents of our region will gain access to health care and what role government will play in insuring our future economic viability will unfold in Juneau in the coming months. I am running for the Alaska State legislature because I know that I can make a difference in deciding these issues in the best interest of my friends and neighbors on the Southern Kenai.

I am not a traditional candidate. I am not backed by powerful interests and I don’t fall back on bureaucratic details to arrive at a position. My candidacy is based on what prompted me to run for office to begin with — the fact of the matter is that the common sense interests of our residents are not being promoted in Juneau.

Common sense tells me that a proposed development that could destroy the economic viability of 14,000 jobs in the Bristol Bay fishery is not worth the risk. While my opponent stands behind bureaucratic details and waits for actual harm to the Bristol Bay ecosystem, I am not afraid to stand up and say ‘no’ to the Pebble Mine. As your elected representative, I will use the power you give me to keep this development from ever coming to Alaska.

Whether we like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land. I will work to make sure that those of us with or without health coverage benefit from this development rather than be harmed by it. I will oppose Governor Parnell’s decision to allow Federal Government outsiders to decide what is best for us. I will make sure that the benefits that are coming from this law are available to Alaskans and will fight any efforts to make Alaskans pay disproportionate fees for these services. I will also work to make sure that our existing state health care programs cover the maximum number of our residents and that women have access to all services available under these federal and state funded programs.

The economy of the Lower Kenai Peninsula is at a tipping point. We need to expand the economic opportunities in the region by developing long-term jobs that go beyond extracting resources from our environment. I believe that we can do this by leveraging government regulation and promoting investment in our region. We can develop jobs in the alternative energy sector as well as bring jobs back to the region by promoting business incubators. I will introduce legislation in my first term to promote both and I will push for state investment in the future of our region.

As I have campaigned for office, I have been struck by the optimism that the people of our district have for the future. I am looking forward to being your voice in Juneau and I will work to make sure that the crucial issues we face in the coming legislative session are decided in the best interest of our residents.


Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

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Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

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Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

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Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

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