Bartee: Candidacy lets him promote Green Party issues

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2000

Although William Bartee is in the District E Senate race, he said he is not running to win.

"If you send me to Juneau, I will hold it against you," he said.

His said he is participating in the race to promote the Green Party and to put the Green name on the ballot.

Bartee has lived in Alaska for most of the last 33 years and said until 10 years ago, he was a lifelong Democrat.

"There is little difference between Democrat and Republican right now," he said.

He said he joined the Green Party because it offers a viable option to the two-party system as it currently operates, and he said his biggest qualification for the office of senator is that he is not a politician.

The retired Anchorage Telephone Utility worker said bringing his party's values to the Senate would be a boost to people all over the state.

Though he has not served in an elective office, he said he is a member of several veterans organizations. He also has worked with Easter Seals and other organizations with his wife, Judith Moss.

The issues

Bartee said he believes the most pressing issue facing the state is campaign finance reform because of the undue influence corporations have over the legislative process.

"I would like to see state-funded campaigns," he said.

He said those that take private money show they are a corporate employee.

Other issues on his plate include the living wage rather than the minimum wage, the permanent fund, single-payer health care and the tax cap.

A living wage is set by the consumer cost of living rather than a set amount.

Bartee said his party is backing the idea of single-payer health care.

"Everyone in the state should have health coverage," he said, adding users could easily afford it if they stopped giving a fortune away to health maintenance organization and insurance companies.

The Greens were the first party in state to come out in favor of saving the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, he said. The other parties jumped on the bandwagon.

"We are giving away our resources for a song," he said.

He also said the Greens do not back the property tax cap initiative that will be before voters in November. Bartee said he views the cap as corporate welfare, since it will benefit big business primarily.

"If we pay our taxes and they are applied to local needs, they will be capped on their own," Bartee said.

He also clarified that the Green Party is often confused with Greenpeace.

"We are not anti-development, we are anti-control," he said.

Bartee's party affiliation sets him apart in the race for the Senate because he said he is the lone candidate, and that may not change for some time.

"We're the only party that works on consensus," he said, adding direction for the party comes from the grassroots level.

Palmer resident Jim Sykes said he has know Bartee for a couple of years. He said he has noticed that Bartee cares deeply about values of community, economy and environment, and he realizes different interests need to work together if anyone is going to have a future. Sykes is a former gubernatorial candidate with the Green Party.

Sykes also said Bartee has been involved in the open public process, involving and teaching the community.

"He really has a full understanding that active citizens make better government," Sykes said.

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