I don't have $140,000 personal money to dump into a Senate campaign, so I have had to sit back and listen to one of my opponents viciously attack me and I'm going to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
You all know me, my kids and my grandkids. We've lived on the Kenai Peninsula for the last 35 years.
Over the past two years, while I served as your Senator, I have helped make state government leaner and more efficient. The general fund budget was reduced by $163 million and 443 state jobs have been cut. At the same time, we increased school spending by $82 million and put more troopers on the road and funded a new Superior Court judge for the Kenai court system.
I believe the people of District Q wanted to see that happen when they elected me two years ago public safety and education are high priorities.
I have worked hard to keep and create jobs on the peninsula:
Senate Bill 185 extended the life of several Cook Inlet platforms, saving jobs right here at home. Without SB 185, a minimum of four platforms would currently be shut in and the jobs associated with these platforms would have been lost.
n SB 50/HB 57 allowed the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to enter into an agreement with Agrium to save 230 jobs at their Nikiski facility.
n SB 247/HB 417 amended the project description for the alaska Natural Gas Development Authority to study the construction of a natural gas pipeline to Cook Inlet.
SB 190 added 550 acres to the Kenai River Special Management Area and changed the makeup of the advisory board to exclude agency personnel from voting as board members making it truly a "citizens' board."
SB 93 amended statutes to prevent people from squatting on private property and then later laying claim to it protection for all private property owners.
SB 136 changed a statute that has been in existence for 35 years by increasing the property tax exemption for residential properties to $20,000. You will have the chance to vote on this at the borough election in October.
SB 382 allowed the Soldotna bridge to go forward this year it was the last bill acted on this legislative session.
Finally, on the permanent fund dividend, let me please remind you that it is constitutionally protected and can only be accessed by a vote of the people. Claims of "a raid" are just not correct, and I voted against the percent of market value (POMV) scheme two times.
This election should be about issues that affect the residents of the peninsula issues like jobs and education. It should be about projects for our communities, like the Sterling Senior Housing project, Island Lake Road, Ninilchik Fairgrounds improvements and the Soldotna bridge to name just a few.
Finally, please remember what my friend, Sen. Ted Stevens, says: Beware of people who build themselves up by ripping other people down.
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