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Assembly term limits should be kept in place

Posted: September 26, 2013 - 8:57am

Defining term limits? Our founding fathers of this great nation came together to put pen to paper to form a nation that would withstand centuries of controversy … human rights, civil war, the great depression. However when they gathered they did with the intent to go back to their farms and businesses so together we all would have a better place to live, raise our families and collectively be Americans!

Now today here in the Kenai Peninsula borough on Oct. 1st, we again for the fourth time must come together and send our vote to the politicians of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly. As some elected officials don’t think we the people understand what “No” means!

As Americans first and Alaskans second our elected political officials should hear from the good residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough that We the People “do not” want to repeal Term Limits and two terms is long enough for borough assembly and when these individuals who pushed this through the assembly come back for election into any office send them back to their farms. If the makers of the constitution of this great nation that has withstood so much over the centuries were around today, I can’t help but to think what they would call these individuals who want to stay in office despite the will of the people.

Thank you for getting out and voting, it is not only our right, but it also honors all those who have made the sacrifice in the military to defend America’s right and privilege that sometimes we lose track of. Please Vote!

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JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/26/13 - 11:34 am
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If the 'makers of the constitution' were around today,

...they'd clearly not be amused by the likes of Kelly Wolf.

What a mashup of rhetorical appeals, you've got your founding fathers, your human rights, civil war (?), the great depression, better places to live, raising up our families, we the people, Americans, Alaskans, the good residents, We the People, (again),(and capitalized this time Dang it), the makers of the constitution, this great nation, that withstood so much over the centuries, (all two of them), will of the people, (can't leave out the will of the people) get out the vote, honor the sacrifice of the military, defense of America's 'right' and 'privilege' (whatever that means, but somehow we lose track of it just the same).

Support term limits or not, but argue on the merits of term limits, not some scatter gun approach of purely rhetorical appeals via some comic Palinesque-like word salad.

Ever notice that term limits are most often and most loudly supported by those who don't enjoy much support from the majority? They see it as bettering their chances to get elected.

Their interest is revealed to be self-serving, ...despite, or in spite of, all the purely rhetorical appeals to some twisted sense of hyper-patriotism.

Voting is my preferred method of determining term limits.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/26/13 - 12:34 pm
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Yes our founding Fathers

Yes our founding Fathers would be amazed at how many deceivers, proclaimers of False hopes and Change are come here these last days of our nations sovereign freedoms. History shows the rise and fall of many empires after a period of around 200 years, which America has pasted. History also shows that around every 500 years the world power shifts from East to West and back, it's been over that 500 years as well.
History also shows that many false prophets will come with vain words of deception to mislead the uninformed into absolute monarch slavery again in spite of all their warnings of the days approaching given before hand. All Warning Signs to watch for to escape the suffer of it's destructive dreams both physical and spiritual.
I guess that's why Psalm 2; talks about how God sits and laughs and the futile plans of men as they plan and scheme against his anointed.
I can see both sitting and slapping their knees and asking the question of, Can You Believe This, they sure are slow learners are they not?
I am totally shocked at your dislike for Kelly Wolf here Peter and would never have guessed the response to this article that you have once again displayed for total contempt for any and all other opinions.
Shocked I say, shocked.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/26/13 - 12:41 pm
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Yes our founding Fathers

Ops! Little demons stuck my save button.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/26/13 - 12:43 pm
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Ops!

Ops! Little demons stuck my save button.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/26/13 - 12:38 pm
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Ops!

ops!

Allen
585
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Allen 09/26/13 - 02:15 pm
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Term Limits Make Sense

Kelly Wolf makes a good point that life time political office did not used to be the norm as it seems to be now. We often hear the slogan that we should just vote a politician out if we want real term limits, but it's not that simple.

On the Central Peninsula, term limits make sense because there is no accountability. Unlike Congress or state legislatures, there is no one keeping track of how our local government representatives are doing on the job. Local media coverage is not very in depth and most of it focuses on controversial issues. It's extremely hard for the average person to compile information on voting records, or to follow all the legislation being voted on. We don't have access to what is going on behind the public meetings.

At least with term limits, it affects every politician equally, good or bad. With term limits, we're only stuck with bad Borough legislators for two terms or 6 years, and then they have to go, what a relief. If you want to get rid of incumbents without term limits, even bad ones, it's incredibly hard.

The incumbent has the advantage from the start. Their name is more known. The districts in the Central Peninsula are the size of many states in the U.S. Elections here seem to be based on who you know or your family name, rather than your merits. Running for office is expensive and time-consuming and competes with your job and family. And these are just some of the challenges. So, very few people run against incumbents. Many many many local races over the last few years had no challengers, or recycled challengers like this year's Soldotna races, with Dale Bagley and David Carey running for offices they held before.

Some are against term limits because they get rid of experienced legislators, but in local government around here, I haven't seen that making a difference. Most of the Borough and city council members I have seen in the last few years just vote for whatever the Borough mayor or the city managers want without much debate, they rarely sponsor their own legislation or ask questions, some don't seem to even read their packets. Anyone can do that.

Term limits are beneficial because they give more people a chance to run for office, with more open races (no incumbent). More choices for the voters.

I believe local voters understand why Borough assembly term limits make sense, and I expect that they will once again vote to keep them.

Allen
585
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Allen 09/26/13 - 04:38 pm
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Thanks

Thumbs up to Dan Schwartz, Greg Skinner and Kaylee Osowski for their local government coverage since they started at the Clarion. The Clarion has a history of censorship on local government issues to protect the politicians in power, so it is encouraging that a new generation of staff is better informing the public on local political issues.

On the other hand, thumbs down to the Clarion editorial staff for not letting the public comment on their editorials, like the one on Borough ballot ballot propositions (including Proposition 3 on term limits) last Sunday 9/22. That one has already been removed from the Clarion's web site! This is another example of Clarion censorship at work.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/26/13 - 05:15 pm
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One term and your out would

One term and your out would be nice, if only we had more citizens stepping forward to serve others. Also no life time benefits either for serving and especially no exemptions from ClintonCare for anyone. That's the trouble people don't run to serve others, they run to promote their agenda for self enrichment from all the side line deals. Not all are of this manner, but many. Maybe I need to run for something, or not as I am all ready very busy serving others out of love for eternal rewards.

JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/26/13 - 06:44 pm
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It's nonsense to claim there's no accountability,

The Borough Assembly doesn't operate in a vacuum.

You can watch in person, and/or listen on the radio to Borough Assembly actions.

And if you want voting records they're freely available, not limited in any way. Same with recorded minutes and all other documentation such as budget reports.

If you can't figure out what's what, that's not because there's no accountability, it's because you've not expended the effort to keep yourself informed.

In other words, you've shirked your civic responsibility and you want to create some law to supposedly take up your slack.

Elections are the penultimate in accountability.

witchwitch
51
Points
witchwitch 09/26/13 - 10:29 pm
1
1
Term limits are very beneficial

Our representative institutions should have citizen representatives, not career politicians and there's no benefit to the citizenry for local representatives to serve 7+ year as a representative for the community.

There are many past examples of the "go along - get along" process of serving many years on the Assembly and then being appointed by a new Mayor to serve three years as a Oil & Gas promoter/department head or Economic Development, etc.

They serve their three years and receive full time retirement benefits based on their highest three years of income PLUS their 7+ years of part time service - counted as fulltime) on the Assembly.

There are reasons that the PERS system is breaking our budget and this fact is one of the many reasons.

Term limits closes that door a little tighter, while promoting new CITIZENS to SERVE, which has the potential to be very good for representative government.

I will vote NO & NO for the fourth time, on the Term Limits Propositions brought forward by Hal Smalley and Bill Smith. I want to be served, not ruled.

JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/27/13 - 03:39 am
1
1
Wrong again. PERS isn't an excuse to institute term limits.

Say what you want about term limits but don't try to correlate your misunderstanding of Public Employee Retirement Funding to your pet ideological projects.

Term limits or the lack thereof is not a factor in any of your faulty misperception of what caused problems with PERS.

The 'problem' with PERS and TRS is simply not tied to term limits, here or anywhere.

It is an interesting and little known story though, it's not spoken of much, as too many of the players are still active in the gaming of Alaska's citizens.

In 2005, the Legislature voted to close its defined benefit plans for public employees and teachers to new enrollment and to replace the defined benefit plans with defined contribution plans, effective July 1, 2006.

These changes cost the state more than what was promised to be saved. (sound familiar?)

The state has spent much time, money and energy trying to correct that massive error.

Can anyone guess which local legislator was a champion of that failure?

Hint, he's still in office.

Also the state sued Time Warner for securities fraud, and in 2006, a couple of days after Sarah Palin was sworn in as governor, Palin's 'acting attorney general' suddenly 'settled' with Time Warner for pennies on the dollar, further compounding the losses to the funds.

http://www.law.state.ak.us/pdf/press/120706-AOL-release%20.pdf

PERS and TRS was also mismanaged by a firm called Mercer.

Alaska sued Mercer in 2007 for actuarial malpractice, breach of contract and breach of professional duty, charging Mercer with 1.8 billion dollars in losses.

The case was Alaska Retirement Management Board v. Mercer (US), Inc. et al., case number 1JU-07-974CI in the Alaska Superior Court in Juneau.

In 2010, Sarah Palin's third attempt at an Attorney General, Dan Sullivan announced that the Alaska Retirement Management Board (ARM Board) had settled it's lawsuit against its former actuary, Mercer.

Palin's first Attorney General resigned over the Public Safety Commissioner scandal, Palin's second appointed Attorney General was Wayne Anthony Ross, who was dismissed, not confirmed, by the legislature, which left Palin with appointing Sullivan while the legislature was out of session.

Sullivan announced settling with Mercer for pennies on the dollar, which didn't recoup the losses to the pension funds.

Sullivan called it a great deal for Alaskans.

Despite the work of supporters of the lawsuit including people in the law department and Hollis French in the legislature, Sullivan took pennies on the dollar in his personal negotiating of the dismissal of the suit with Mercer.

Addendum: Mercer changed their spots, gave themselves a new name and now have a large hand in controlling management of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Wonder why our Fund is so meager compared to other similar funds set up around the world? Why our fund has experienced huge losses at the 'direction' of it's 'managers'?

Wonder who gave them the contract? Some are still in office.

Wonder why the state turned right around and went into business with the same people that we sued and settled with as criminals, and then gave them access to even greater amounts of money to manage or mismanage as the case may be?

It only takes a little digging to get to the bottom of that farcical disaster and allow one to name some names, but I'll tell you one thing.

It wasn't term limits in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

But that kind of unhinged misperception is what happens when you have arm-chair libertarian ideologues play acting at politics. They don't actually have much of an idea of what it is they thought they were talking about.

They sure shouldn't be left to the task of formulating public policy. Look what happened when those other armchair politicians, the Palin administration, got put in a position of formulating public policy. Palin might be gone, but Parnell and company are still doing incredible damage.

Vote no on term limits. PERS and TRS isn't the only thing it's supporters have perception problems with.

If you're interested, you can read more here: http://juneauempire.com/stories/021909/sta_395746425.shtml

You can become informed, or you can believe in misperceptions. It's your choice.

Suss
3053
Points
Suss 09/27/13 - 07:12 am
1
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Allen is correct

Yes, the retirement fund balances have lost money but the number of retirees, spouses, partners and children that enter the PERS system from municipal, city, and boro governments add an increasing drain on the already under funded State's self-paid medical benefit plan called AlaskaCare. Now that there is to be no lifetime medical costs limits with the enactment of ObamaCare, the value, cost to the State for the individual medical coverage is absolutely increasing and is the greatest reason Alaska rates as one of the worst under funded pension plans in the nation. Free health care, no premiums and very minimal co-pay and deductibles can only be valued as priceless. 5 years of meetings, once or twice a month and your vested.
“On a per-capita basis, it’s equally worrisome. There are five states where the unfunded pension liability would represent a per-capita cost of more than $20,000, with Alaska leading the way at more than $32,000 per person”
. http://watchdog.org/104560/state-pension-liabilities-top-4-trillion/

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/27/13 - 07:38 am
0
1
Suss you can't explain

Suss you can't explain reality of insurance costs rising every where with hardly no coverage for the massive price paid for insurance to the omniscient one. All you'll get back is wrong again to our ever real monthly costs which are all rising and will more than double under ClintonCare. I detect a case of inability to comprehend reality of life events for some of us humanbeings to the point of wondering if we are conversing with a machine that just does not relate to reality and continues to call all of us uninformed.
As you said Suss some pay huge amounts of money and there is no escape from doing so due to the involvement of the programs we belong to, no options other than #1 unless you pick #1, or maybe #1, either way this ClintonCare will give us all option #2 and that's exactly what it is #2 and will not help any, but hurt the many more.
Back to term limits, vote yes and hope other servant minded folks will step forward.

JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/27/13 - 10:09 am
1
0
Yes, you can believe in unsprung fantasies, or misperceptions

...or you can look at objective evidence and then choose a reality based understanding.

Watchdog is a Koch funded propaganda mill, pumping out distorted lies from it's corporate masters.

If you actually read what they say about Alaska, they report Alaska recently 'changed' to a 401 style plan,

....trouble is, that's old news.

What they don't say, is that Alaska has been trying to recover the damage done from changing to a defined contribution plan.

In any case, neither Watchdog, nor the local Koch representative will say anything about WallStreet defrauding Alaska. That's the real reason there is underfunding.

Believe the Koch Brothers, founders of the Tea Party, or choose reality.

Then again, there's pure paranoid fantasy based conjecture if that's your thing.

Between the two, it's not any wonder the misapprehension and distortions are so prevalent.

You two make a great pair.

Suss
3053
Points
Suss 09/27/13 - 11:09 am
1
1
Still going broke

Fewer enrollees to PERS would make a difference. I suggest no vesting in full retiree medical until 20 years fulltime service and no benefits for part time political service. A couple of meetings per month should not qualify as counting toward benefits.
Alaska is very under funded for the medical care afforded retirees and it is only getting worse.
JPZ can read it here but the Alaska Dispatch is probably a front for big business.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130805/will-unfunded-pension-lia...

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/27/13 - 12:18 pm
0
0
I just knew I was 'Wrong

I just knew I was 'Wrong Again' I need to call my union benefit provider and tell them JPZ said I don't pay what I think I do in spite of that much coming out of my monthly check and they had better send me a rebate check. Yeah! That's the ticket, that should bring me lower rates and into your reality for me and others.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/27/13 - 12:18 pm
0
0
I just knew I was 'Wrong

I just knew I was 'Wrong Again' I need to call my union benefit provider and tell them JPZ said I don't pay what I think I do in spite of that much coming out of my monthly check and they had better send me a rebate check. Yeah! That's the ticket, that should bring me lower rates and into your reality for me and others.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/27/13 - 12:23 pm
0
1
That's it I've had it I

That's it I've had it I changing my moniker to WRONG AGAIN.
I'm still voting WRONG AGAIN probably with a YES vote on term limits though.

JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/27/13 - 07:35 pm
1
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Nothing in the Dispatch article,

..lends any support to what you say causes the underfunding problem.

The Dispatch article doesn't address what caused the underfunding.

You wouldn't be disadvantaged to actually read what you link to.

Instead of searching for something you hope might reinforce your misperceptions, you might better spend the time trying to see beyond your assumptions to what is objectively unassailable.

I showed you how the underfunding got started, without repairing that initial damage, the funds will continue to be underfunded. That initial underfunding has compounded through the years since the Palin Administration took the settlements instead of making the crooks pay what they defrauded us all for.

The ARM board hasn't seen fit to push their position in the Legislature, and too many Legislators had drank the koolaid of ALEC when they tried to switch the pensions to defined contributions instead of maintaining defined benefits.

So, yeah, pensions got mismanaged, raided, stolen from, and held hostage to faulty presumptions.

Not news to anyone who pays the least bit of attention.

Your claims, on the other hand, have no evidence to support what you say caused the underfunding. Not even your Koch Brothers funded propaganda sheet speaks to what caused the underfunding, beyond their own campaign to attempt to pit private citizen against public workers.

Wall Street already wiped out the pensions of private workers. You're carrying their water while they try to destroy public workers pensions. That's a role you chose for yourself?

Or are you so naive that you're being played without having any clue? Because you are being played. The question is, are you so happy about it, you want to help them play the rest of the country.

You can either confront your lack of a reality based perception, correct for the misperceptions, or you can continue to attempt to convince others that up is really down.

Your choice.

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/27/13 - 07:25 pm
1
0
You said you paid eleven hundred dollars for nothing.

Now you claim you have a union benefits provider?

Which is it, or in your world, I guess you get to have it both ways.

I should have known.

Suss
3053
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Suss 09/28/13 - 07:07 am
3
1
The Underfunding began with Knowles

Tony Knowles cut the forward funding levels from the employees and the State. He was lied to and that was the reason for the suit. Moving on, Wall Street did their best to ripoff a good chunk but the greatest costs are the ever increasing health benefits paid out by the State. The amount needed to pay for these costs are unsustainable. To simply blame the stock market is infantile thinking. Funding levels have increased, yet the costs are causing greater losses each year. Without some massive infusion of money the benefits plan is going broke.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
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Watchman on the Wall 09/28/13 - 09:24 am
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1
I've already told you more

I've already told you more than I know once again apparently, so I'll just repeat the part of you convincing me to vote YES on term limits here SVP.

JohnPeterZenger
731
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JohnPeterZenger 09/28/13 - 10:39 am
1
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Proving only what I've suspected all along,

...that you have no clue how government works.

No governor can cut funding, the legislature controls spending.

So no, you're wrong once again, Tony Knowles didn't cause the underfunding.

As for your suggestion to 'move on'?

What you mean is you'd like to revert back to your misperceptions.

No thanks, you've proven you don't know what you're talking about.

Stay out of public policy, you don't know how government functions, there's not a chance anyone would want you to manage something you don't understand.

Play-act somewhere else, the uninformed have no place in public policy.

Suss
3053
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Suss 09/28/13 - 11:11 am
1
1
HmmmZenger

The Knowles administration did promote, advance and push the PERS payment cuts and Tony Knowles did sign off on the cuts to the funding of Pers. Go lie to someone else. All insults aside you are poor story teller. My big question is why do you climb a tree to tell a lie, rather than stand on the ground like a man and tell the truth?

JohnPeterZenger
731
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/28/13 - 01:42 pm
1
1
Again, you don't know what you think you're talking about.

You've only proven you don't have a clue as to which components make up what constitutes the funding apparatus for PERS and how those different components interact.

Constantly refusing to acknowledge objective evidence to the contrary only shows you're not likely to ever see past your false assumptions.

The 'unfunded liability' is the difference between the assets and the liabilities over 25 years. Actuaries determine how much is required in contributions to balance assets and liabilities over that 25 year period.

Between the actuaries committing criminal malfeasance in artificially downgrading those contributions dating back far before the Knowles Administration, and despite investment returns falling well below the projections the actuaries and fund managers promised, creating a negative return on investment for the entire fund, the 'unfunded liabilities' had two causes, Wall Street fund managers criminal fraud and criminal negligence by the actuarial firms.

Municipal employer rate change doesn't determine liability as the state picks up the balance up to the actuarial calculations.

In other words, when Knowles argues for changing the employer rate, that has no impact on the balance of the liabilities because a shift in employer rates doesn't change the overall contributions from government. The Knowles recommendations weren't at all responsible for, nor did they or could they, 'cause' unfunded liabilities.

You simply have no clue what you're talking about.

In no case have you linked term limits of Assembly members to the cause of unfunded liabilities in PERS TRS.

All you're doing is highlighting how much you don't know about public policy. All of which underlines and emphasizes why you shouldn't have anything to do with the formulation of public policy, you don't know what it is you think you're talking about.

But you go girl, dig a deeper hole for yourself, I don't mind showing how deeply that hole is growing.

If you really want to argue your misconceptions, I suggest you speak to the Alaska House Majority, they recently published a report claiming the state is over-paying on the unfunded liabilities to the tune of 300 million dollars a year.

http://bgkeithley.com/2013/09/06/pers-trs-and-state-fiscal-policy/

I can hardly wait for the next false assumption you're likely to jump to.

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