Senate Q candidates share goals

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2002

Joe ArnessSenate District Q Republican

I belong to this state -- I grew up here on the Kenai Peninsula.

My parents, like their parents and grandparents before them, struggled to raise their family and make a living in "Seward's Folly."

I was born in Seward because there were no medical facilities in the central peninsula. There wasn't much of anything here then. I remember when we got electricity, when television came to the area and when the road from Anchorage got paved.

I loved those days.

But I wouldn't go back to them, even if could.

I like the lifestyle and the amenities that I now have and I want my children to have all that and more. I want the same for your family.

I want them to have better choices for making a living and more employment opportunities than I had. I want them to be able to afford to own a home, a boat and a car, whatever they want.

I want them to be able to drive in their community on paved roads. I want them to have their children here in the central peninsula -- in our own medical facility. I want their children to be able to have a good education and to go to schools that are safe.

I want them to be happy, prosperous and secure.

The things that I want for my children are probably the same things you want for your children. They were the same things that my parents wanted for my brother and I. Each generation wants the next generation to have better. That is our nature -- it is the American way.

What we need to figure out is how to provide for more and better for the future without bankrupting the present. That debate will require people with a good sense of past, present and future.

That debate will require individuals who will concern themselves not with what is best for "them," but rather what is best for the people of the peninsula and the state of Alaska. That debate will need someone that has the ability to carefully review all materials before jumping to conclusions on a decision.

I am the best person to engage in that debate.

As a lifelong resident of the peninsula, I know where we were, where we are today and so am best able to work with you to determine where we can be in the future.

I don't have a personal agenda -- the agenda that you give me is the only one I will support. I'm not trying to make a name for myself for headlines or a higher office -- I'm going to serve you as your senator.

I am a cautious man. I will very carefully research any topic before reaching a decision and my research will include getting your opinion on that topic.

I look forward to working on the issues facing the peninsula and Alaska on your behalf, and I ask your support on Aug. 27.

Patrick HawkinsSenate District Q Democrat

During my campaign, a lot of people have asked me, "Why are you running for the Senate? You are a Democrat and have zero chance of winning! You are too liberal for the Kenai." All of these have been asked.

Why did I decide to run? Well, simple -- to offer you a choice and a change from what we have had in Juneau in the past years.

I have been a resident of Alaska since 1966 and a resident of the Kenai since 1987. I am a Vietnam veteran serving in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1971. I have worked in the retail grocery business since 1971, and I am currently employed at Soldotna Safeway. I also was the former talk show host of KSRM Sound Off.

I will offer you a change from what we have had in the past. Do you recall the special sessions we have had? Just this year our legislators had to go into extended session to complete their business. Total cost for this was over $300,000. This is because they could not get their work done in 120 days.

And what did we get for this? Closing of our Ninilchik maintenance road station, (which will effect us because they will dispatch from Soldotna and Homer) cutting down on our maintenance this winter. No plan for our school funding. And still no solution to the subsistence problem.

We have had nothing but partisan politics in Juneau! I will work with all the parties, department heads and the new governor for the good of our state.

We need to face reality in our budget -- we can look for ways to streamline our government, paperwork, regulations, creation of positions, we can work hand in hand with our fellow employees for a way to save money.

Did you know for every person that moves into Alaska, it costs the state over $6,000? That's right,folks. How would you like to run a business and get zero return on it?

The state provides services but nobody pays anything. We have no borough police, no city or borough courts, no city or borough jails, the state of Alaska picks up the whole tab -- so when you see what the state pays for, it is a lot of things that go unnoticed.

Reality is some sort of revenue enhancer -- the days of living off the oil industry are over. So, what do we do?

I prefer an income tax. If we went back to the last year of state income tax 1980, it would raise $750 million and 23 percent would be paid out by out-of-state workers and the U.S. government.

Other sources we need to take a look at are seasonal sales tax, fuel tax, cruise tax and state lottery.

This is the hard truth, folks. You can listen to the political spin from other candidates, but if they tell you "no taxes," the only answer then is to raid the permanent fund.

It's time for a change.

Raymond VinZantSenate District Q Republican

I am pro-family and pro-life. In my book, the family will always be first. No one can do a better job of raising children than a good family unit supported by the community. Love of country and the education of our children is the responsibility of good government.

Commercial and sport fishing: I envision loans to start up state-of-the-art plants to process the fish by canning or long shelf life packaging that would retain the quality of the salmon and meet the requirements of the world market. Relying on the Japanese market and the prices that they establish is not a good business practice.

We need independence from Japan and the only way is through the world market including the rest of United States. There is still a potential market for quality fish from Alaska and to follow through with the brand name market that is in the works. The solution is low-interest loans.

This would be beneficial to the state as well as the fishing fleet. Being a silent partner, the fishing fleet could retire the permits and liquidate the equipment. This would reduce the fleet a little each year until the fleet stabilized and they are back to making a living. To do the job right there is a need for the legislators and the fishing industry to sit down and talk and work out a plan. This would not be an easy task but could be done if the right people are elected.

No more promises, just hard work: No one can predict where we will be 10 years from now, but with proper vision, the fish will be here and the need for quality fish from Alaska will grow. The fishing industry was here long before the oil industry and will be here long after if it's managed properly. All the voters should go to the polls and get out the votes to replace the ineffective legislators. This year we can show them we will not take no for an answer.

We the people are first: As your the state senator from the peninsula 1) I will work hard to get all sides into a win, win situation; 2) I will work to get the commercial fishermen and sports fishermen together and have our own summit and work on a plan that will be good for both sides. I believe that there is a middle ground that can be reached; and 3) I will help provide a solution for who, what, when and how much fish is harvested each year.

Once elected, I will work together in partnership with the commercial fishing and sport fishing to move the Board of Fish into alignment with the needs of the people and the best interests of the natural resources. Three partners -- commercial fishermen, sport fishermen and the state legislations. This would be a hard team to beat.

Jerry WardSenate District Q Republican

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America, we need to remember our beliefs in liberty, democracy and free markets. As a Vietnam veteran and member of the VFW and American Legion, this attack has given me and many others cause to remember -- and appreciate -- the courage of those who have fought and given their lives to make this country the great republic it is today.

Every day we enjoy the freedoms of America, and we all remember the blood, sweat and tears that those who have served have endured. It is important to remember our veterans who have contributed so much for our freedom.

I want to thank those who served in the military for standing up to terrorists who have threatened our way of life. In addition, I would like to say a special thank you to their families for supporting them.

I have worked hard to help Alaskans who have served to protect our country. As a Vietnam vet, I know how important the chance to own a home is. It's a basic right that certainly every vet has earned. This is why I sponsored the Veteran Housing Bill.

Over the last five years, it has been my honor and privilege to be your state senator. As your Republican state senator, I have worked hard to make government more accountable to you, but there is much left to do. The next few years are going to be difficult with state income down and government spending up. I want to continue to be your state senator when these hard decisions are being made regarding our future.

I have consistently opposed income taxes and led the fight to cut wasteful state spending while protecting our permanent fund. I am one of the senators who voted against the Legislature's attempt to use the permanent fund dividends for government spending. I am opposed to taking your dividend away from you and spending it on state government. I believe you know best how to spend your money.

Education is a priority that needs to encourage measurable academic standards while advocating more parental control and involvement. I worked along with other members of the Legislature to improve education for our youth. I voted to increase education funding at all levels and passed legislation to help expand options for learning including issues surrounding the new high school competency exam.

With over 100 million acres of land, we need to build roads to develop our resources and create jobs and give business opportunities to Alaskans ensuring a bright future for generations to come.

I believe the future holds continued peace and prosperity for our nation, and that we will overcome all adversity. I am asking for your support this Aug. 27.

Please request a Republican ballot and please call me anytime at 776-7020 if you have any questions.

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