Ads mock cruise tax opponent

Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- A new advertising campaign mocks Rep. Gail Phillips for killing a proposed $50 head tax on cruise ship passengers entering Alaskan waters.

Phillips, R-Homer, buried Senate Bill 308 in her House Special Committee on Economic Development and Tourism last week, calling it a horrendous attack on a single industry.

''Rep. Gail Phillips -- An Alaskan Working For Liberia,'' the full-page ad in Wednesday's Juneau Empire reads, in a reference to one of the flags of convenience cruise ship companies use.

Phillips laughed when asked about the ad, which echoes a radio ad that has been running on local stations in Juneau.

''I considered the source, and I laughed,'' said Phillips, attributing the attack to environmental activists. The ads were paid for by a group called Responsible Cruising in Alaska.

The tax emerged last week and quickly passed the Senate after Senate President Drue Pearce accused the cruise ship industry of trying to kill her bill to bring the ships under the state's oil spill response laws.

The ad praises the tax's supporters, Pearce, R-Anchorage; Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof; and Sen. Rick Halford, R-Chugiak, as ''Alaskans Working for Alaskans.''

''Must be somebody in favor of something we did,'' Torgerson said.

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