As I go about my campaign for state Senate, many people have asked me "Why do you want to be elected?" "Why put up with all of the negative stuff?" This is my chance to let everyone know what motivates me.
First, I not only served our country in combat in Vietnam, I also served a number of years in both the state Senate and state House. Always as a Republican. During that time I was a strong defender of the permanent fund dividend program. I did nothing to diminish the checks that went to Alaskans. The permanent fund has been described as "the people's money." And I agree. For many, it is an important part of the family income.
Two years ago, Tom Wagoner ran for state Senate on the Republican Moderate ticket in November. He was able to defeat me by a handful of votes after the Democrat in the race dropped out and threw his support to Wagoner. I was the Republican candidate.
After getting elected, Mr. Wagoner, in his very first session voted to reduce by half the amount of royalty oil money that flowed into the permanent fund. (HB 11) The result of that law meant that less cash would be available in the future to pay dividends. It was at that time, I decided to run again. And here I am.
When elected, I intend to make sure that the dividend program is protected for the future, and if possible, to repeal the law that he voted for. That will be the first bill I file. Some may ask, "Why did Wagoner vote to reduce our dividend?" "Why did he vote to divert $42 million to pay for more government?" I'll leave that for him to answer, but make no mistake, the effect was to reduce the dividends for years to come.
Still another reason I decided to run was my belief that government can be slimmed down, and should be, before asking Alaskans to pay for more government. In just the last year, Tom Wagoner voted to increase the state budget by $216 million and he added 356 more bureaucrats to the state payroll.
On top of that, he voted to raise the money legislators receive by 15 percent for every day they are in Juneau. To help pay for it all, he not only reduced the permanent fund dividend to every peninsula family, but he voted for a tire tax on every tire purchased for the family automobile and quadrupled fees paid to the state by peninsula small businesses. I think those are totally wrong things to be doing and I would have opposed those bills had I been in the state Senate.
So, you ask why am I running for state Senate? Those are the reasons. In the last two years, our state, in my view, has gotten seriously off track and my opponent is helping to steer the train in the wrong direction. I believe that protecting the permanent fund program, keeping taxes low by slimming government is the right direction and that I can provide a steadier hand at the controls than my opponent. And I'd like your support to do that.
You can call me anytime at 262-1692 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Web site at www.senatorward.com.
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