Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2002

Choice for lieutenant governor could determine governor's race

Usually primary elections are ho hum, but the Republican primary for lieutenant governor may very well decide who wins the governorship in November.

Depending upon the running mate chosen, Sen. Frank Murkowski will be a likely shoo-in or have the fight of his political life and could easily lose.

Earlier this year I predicted Fran Ulmer would be the next governor should Murkowski not enter the race. In a closed Republican primary, considering the makeup of the Republican Party in Alaska, a Republican candidate would likely be chosen who was so far to the right as to not be acceptable to the majority of Alaskans. Lesser of two evils -- Fran wins!

Depending upon the "lite-gov" race, it could still happen. If the Republican choice is too far to the right, Fran Ulmer will have her best shot at being the next governor. Democratic strategy could be to run against the far right lieutenant governor.

Who do you want a heartbeat away from being governor considering Sen. Murkowski's age?

People complain about negative campaigns, but they often vote that way. Anyone remember the first President Bush's campaign, including the Willie Horton ads?

I don't really like Fran Ulmer, but if certain people end up as the Republican lieutenant governor candidate, Fran will be the lesser of evils.

I don't want them a heartbeat away from being governor considering all the power Alaskan governors are given by the Alaskan Constitution.

William J. Phillips, Soldotna

Permanent fund money should be invested in Alaska projects

Money has a direct bearing on our quality of life. Just ownership of money does nothing. It's how we use it that counts.

The permanent fund is being invested 99 percent outside of Alaska and has lost about $4 billion in value in about four years -- from about $28 billion to presently about $24 billion. Not only was this amount lost, but nothing of value is left from that amount.

If that fund was invested inside the state of Alaska, or at least more than 1 percent, even if the investment went poorly, the fact that the money circulated within the state would have impacted positively on the quality of life of the Alaskan citizen. No sense having a Cadillac in your yard if you can't use it.

We should invest in projects, such as a crossing from Kenai to Anchorage. The money spent to do this would go into wages and maintenance, which would help it to be built. In turn, it would help the economy directly. The cost of the project could be returned to the permanent fund, plus interest, by a toll.

It would also give us a second road system in and out of the peninsula. This would open up opportunities for 300,000 potential customers from Anchorage.

There is a safety issue here also. Should we be blocked from leaving the peninsula by either an earthquake or heavy traffic, this road system is a way to even out the traffic flow and to bring more residents and businesses to the peninsula.

Whatever way is decided, the legislators are those empowered to stop this erosion of our money (the permanent fund) and should act decisively so that waste of our permanent fund stops.

If these leaders can't or won't do something to correct this problem, we as voters should replace them with someone who will. Four billion dollars is a lot of money; we need a lot of effort to change this. Nothing less will do. Not just talk. Our families' quality of life and their future depends on correcting this.

Ed Martin Sr., Soldotna

Clarion disappoints subscribers with lack of Little League coverage

Once again I think our local paper has let down its area subscribers. The Little League senior boys all-star team received very little coverage on its outstanding bid for the state championship.

Our boys played their hearts out, and the only write-up in the paper was headlined "Kenai Little League falls in title game." What about the three other games they played? No coverage there.

I would like to thank our local radio station, KSRM, for its excellent coverage of the games in Petersburg. Listening to Coach Dan Gensel was the next best thing to actually being there. Kudos to Cherie Brewer for arranging this coverage.

Angela Lorenzo, Kenai

Gubernatorial candidates should be asked about Board of Game picks

Gov. Tony Knowles is to be commended for appointing five well-seasoned and reasonable individuals to the seven-member Board of Game. This unusual number of appointments is the result of the partisan politics debacle last legislative session when the majority secretly decided not to vote on confirmation of five other individuals (including myself) appointed over the previous year.

The new appointments bring diverse regional and biological experience to the board; essential qualifications for deciding what is good conservation for Alaska's game resources and fair allocation between all users. While many Board of Game decisions deal with allocation, which is inherently political, the basis for these decisions should never be lowered to the petty partisan standards that the Legislature seems to now favor.

The new appointments give the board the credibility and quorum it needs to conduct important business at its fall meeting. Whether these individuals will continue depends on the next governor. Whoever that is, it will be hard to come up with any nonpartisan reason for making immediate changes. The Board of Game desperately needs stability and it would be better to wait until terms expire (two are up in March) before making new appointments.

Since the Legislature decided to make board appointments a gubernatorial election issue, it would be good to hear what the candidates have to say about these appointments. What do you think, candidates?

George Matz, Anchorage

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