David L. Richards, a candidate on the Republican Party ballot in the race for House District 33, said it's been hard to find time to campaign in the middle of fishing season.
Richards, a Soldotna resident, owns and operates Richards' Kenai River Charters.
"I got busy. Got to work, that's my problem," he said when asked why he hasn't had time to attend candidate forums such as the one held last week in Soldotna.
Nevertheless, Richards said he's prepared to go to Juneau if voters elect him.
"I've been looking at how things are a long time," he said. "I'm concerned about how they are doing things in Juneau and the money their spending and wasting."
He also said he's uncomfortable with the Legislature's use of closed-door caucuses and costly special sessions.
"They are spending too much on the Legislature itself," he said, adding he would move to cut per diem and legislators' pay.
"I'd vote to move the Legislature out of Juneau," he said. "I'm not keen on flying."
Other spending he'd consider cutting includes the program that funnels 1 percent of the cost of government building projects into artwork.
"We're spending too much on roads," he said. "There are people out there holding up stop signs making up to $34 an hour. That's too much."
Richards said education, public safety and transportation must be funded, but other programs need shaving, including welfare. He acknowledged the need
to take care of those who can't take care of themselves, but said he'd tell some on welfare "if they are going to have children, they have to be ready. Get a job."
He said he is "pro-life" and believes the state should not pay for abortions.
Richards said he'd like to see the death penalty question put on the ballot. He also said he would like "the bad guys" to pay the cost of the justice system as much as possible.
He said Alaska should "stand up to the feds" over subsistence and push for the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
"(Gov.) Tony Knowles has been too easy about things," he said. "We need to be a little tougher to the point of not cooperating with the feds when they show up."
He said he would work to get the government off the backs of the people by cutting regulations, including many rules imposed by the Alaska Board of Fish.
"My basic premise is that people should have maximum freedom if they are responsible and accountable citizens," he said. "Right now, the government is way out of control."
He said he would advocate a statewide sales tax. He said he doesn't like taxes, but Alaskans have been getting "a free ride" for years.
Richards has lived in the Kenai-Soldotna area for more than 20 years. He moved here from Michigan in 1981. His wife of five years is a former Russian national. Irina Richards became a citizen of the United States last September.
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