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Two sides to every issue

Posted: September 29, 2013 - 4:42pm  |  Updated: September 30, 2013 - 8:44am

Every story has two sides and nowhere is that more evident than in modern politics. Unfortunately the definition of “common good” has come down to one of two philosophies with no middle ground. All of us have been forced to adopt either the liberal or conservative view.

Conservative voters are generally more self-reliant and want government limited to necessary services. Liberal voters are generally more dependent on government to provide basic services, plus extra “wants.”

For the first time in recent memory the Kenai Peninsula Borough election has clear choices in both candidates and issues. How we vote will determine the direction of our borough. Do you want more government and higher taxes or a more thoughtful and realistic conservative approach?

Voters have a clear choice between the liberal incumbent Assembly Members running for re-election and their more conservative challengers.

Wayne Ogle is running for the Nikiski seat, Dale Bagley for the Soldotna seat and Travis Swanson is running to represent Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Happy Valley, Ninilchik and Nikolaevsk. These men are well qualified to replace the liberal incumbents.

Will you vote as a conservative or liberal on the ballot measures? A yes vote on Prop One will save homeowners several hundred dollars a year on their borough property tax by increasing the property tax exemption from the current ‘$20,000 to $50,000. The rest of us are being more careful with our spending and so should the borough. Liberals will vote against this, while conservatives will prefer keeping the extra money in their pocket.

Ballot Prop Two, the school bond, commits taxpayers to accept ultimate responsibility for repayment of an additional $23 million of debt, plus interest. This is in addition to the $106 million Borough Taxpayers currently owe. Borough officials imply the state legislature is going to pay 70% of the bond payments each year. Conservative voters should know the legislature is not required to pay this bond debt. Each legislature makes bond payment decisions based on available revenues for that specific year. While the legislature has funded most bond payments in the past, continued decline in oil production makes it highly unlikely this will continue for much longer.

Those of us who support a top notch education for our kids have no doubt these schools need repairs. However, school roofs can last longer with better maintenance and better budgeting. The Borough’s ongoing failure to plan and properly budget does not constitute a crisis compelling enough to authorize a $23 million loan. High government borrowing is not working well anywhere in America and our Borough is no exception.

The liberal assembly crafted ballot proposition 3A & 3B hoping we have changed our minds about term limits! For the fourth time let’s choose to keep the two term limit on the Assembly by voting No and No!

Your vote counts! Will you be a liberal or conservative voter this year? Either way I’ll see you at the polls on October 1st and greet you with a smile and friendly handshake.


Mike McBride

North Kenai


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JohnPeterZenger 09/30/13 - 09:22 am
Ah, the [filtered word] support team writes a letter.

(with a smile and friendly handshake, no less.)

Mike spends the bulk of his letter trying to demean and debase some of his neighbors, then says he's all smiles and friendly handshakes. You betcha, Mike.

Saw right through that one.

Want extremists and incompetents on the assembly?

Ogle, Bagley and Swanson?

Ogle is a one issue reactionary,

Bagley is incompetent,

and Swanson is some Sharkweek wanna-be [filtered word].

Does the community want reactionary partisan obstruction similar to the current Teapublican House of Representatives. No, we do not. We don't need it in DC, we don't need it here.

Do you want people who have no clue running the show?

You betcha, Mike. That's evidently your choice, Mike, but don't expect others to buy into your narrative. Your narrative is false.

No thanks, Mike, you can keep your extremist buddies on the sidelines with you and the rest of the minority where you should be.

Allen 09/30/13 - 11:42 am
Please Vote Tomorrow Tuesday October 1

I'm disappointed that Mike McBride is trying to divide local voters by designating candidates and ballot propositions as conservative or liberal. Our borough and city elections were designed to be nonpartisan, and they need to stay that way.

You don't have to be a conservative to support term limits and you don't have to be a liberal to vote for school bonds. Most voters on the Kenai Peninsula are political moderates anyway, so these artificial labels don't apply.

I hope that people will really look at the issues and positions of the people running for office, and the ballot propositions. The candidates put their positions in the borough election pamphlet and some of them have their contact information on their ads. If you don't know who to vote for, read the candidate's materials. Call them. Their vote affects your house, your neighborhood, your business. Who do you think will do a better job of representing you and your concerns? Who will listen to your concerns with an open mind?

Unfortunately, the Borough does not allow the sponsors of the ballot propositions, or their opposition, to put a statement in the pamphlet so there's not as much information about those. For grass roots issues such as Kenai Proposition 1 (comprehensive plan) and Borough Proposition 3 (term limits), I intend to vote Yes on Kenai Proposition 1 (repeal the new plan) and No on Borough Proposition 3 (don't repeal term limits). I believe both ballot propositions are important checks on the vast power of local government to control our lives.

Please don't vote based on the labels created by Mike McBride, Duane Bannock or other dividers. Do your own research, think for yourself, and vote the way it makes sense to you.

James Price
James Price 09/30/13 - 05:49 pm
Conservative vs Liberal does not promote a healthy debate

I agree with Allen and believe that using the "conservative card" closes the door for a meaningful debate. It comes across as "I'm right and you're wrong" and often misuses the definitions of conservative and liberal.

I've worked with Mike for years and while we don't always agree, he generally does have good and well thought out reasons for his position(s). However, it's difficult to communicate these ideas fully with a single short "Letter to the Editor".

Portraying people who don't agree with you as "liberal" is actually a logical fallacy or a red herring, particularly when used generally in a derogatory manner against people who don't agree with you.

I believe that people who are informed aren't swayed by the Conservative vs. Liberal argument. However, such labeling must be considered by many to be effective, when trying to convince the public in a short soundbite, as it is used (overused), particularly when trying to sell your position in a political communication or argument.

With that said, I do agree with Mike on the Proposition One issue (reducing local homeowners' tax burden) and I also agree that term limits should be upheld and hopefully will be respected by future Assembly members.

I also introduced an initiative for Vote by Mail, with Ranked Choice Voting, in an attempt to promote better voter turnout by providing a voter guide with a ballot included by mail, and including a provision to eliminate runoffs, which insures majority consent for each candidate. I will continue to do what I can to move that issue forward and will likely fight the Borough in court for the right to provide this solution for consideration of local voters.

If we can promote an effective way to interest and engage voters with the facts, we will then have a better quality and more effective representative government. I appreciate that Allen does recognize that effective, open and honest communication is a very serious shortcoming of our current political system.

The tactic used by Mike to communicate his ideas are a result of a system that needs improvement and reform. I don't think Mike crossed the line, as a "Letter to the Editor" is strictly his opinion... but that is just my opinion and may not be universally accepted either.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/30/13 - 04:56 pm
I agree with Allen on this

I agree with Allen on this issue.
Please vote tomorrow according to your beliefs and the choices available or write in someone else, but vote on the day of our governments shut down SAVING US $TRILLIONS$ I HOPE while they are shut off from spending and stopping Clinton Care as well could all be a major blessing.

JohnPeterZenger 09/30/13 - 07:44 pm
It's perfectly fine to identify extremist [filtered word]s,

....and it's perfectly fine to identify crazed [filtered word]s, right along with identifying the incompetent and the obstructionists.

Some of you might delude yourselves into thinking you see a liberal somewhere in our local government,
.....but that just shows you have no real idea what an actual liberal would actually be like.

There is nothing wrong with labels that fit.

It's perfectly acceptable to expose what's wrong.

There's right and there's wrong,

....and the right has been wrong for several decades now.

As for the libertarians, they've always been wrong.

Vote for reality based public policy. Leave the fringes at the sidelines where they belong.

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