I am a Republican who plans to vote for Tony Knowles for U.S. Senator for several reasons.
First, I think Alaskans should have chosen the replacement for the retired U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski.
Second, according to U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Congress is about as partisan as it has ever been in the past 20 years and, with a Republican administration, this does not allow for real bipartisan debate on national and international issues.
One man (Tony Knowles) can make a difference and, if you don't believe that, I submit the name U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords for your consideration.
Third, I believe our nation needs honest, responsible debate on: a) adequate funding for Homeland Security and effective ways to deal with terrorism; b) not relaxing our environmental protection laws (especially clean air and clean water), which have served us well since 1969; c) attempting to keep proposed judiciary appointments apolitical; d) potential losses of our civil rights via the Patriot Act; e) adequate funding for and changes to the federally mandated Leave No Child Behind Act; f) ways to improve our economy and reverse the loss of U.S. jobs and U.S. tax revenues; g) maintaining a distinct separation of church and state; and h) improving our nation's intelligence system in hopes we can avoid another "Iraq" just to name a few issues important to all citizens.
I believe our democratic form of government needs checks and balances to serve the people best, and these checks and balances are not in place when both houses of Congress are ruled by one party and the executive branch is of the same party.
We have much the same situation today in Alaska. Except when legislative rules require much more than a majority vote (e.g., 2/3) on a given issue, there is little debate of substance because the minority party essentially has no say in the matter.
I believe Tony Knowles to be an honorable man, having served our nation in Vietnam, having done manual labor in the North Slope oilfields, having been a successful businessman in Alaska, and having served eight tough years as governor of Alaska who, as a Democrat, was the only check-and-balance for our Republican-dominated Legislature.
I have met this man face to face and was impressed by his knowledge of state and national issues, by his friendly down-to-earth demeanor, by his obvious caring and respect for Alaska, by his obvious practical mind, and by his outgoing responsiveness to my and other voter's questions.
I believe Tony Knowles will make a difference in the U.S. Senate by moving our Congress one giant step closer to real bipartisan debate, as a responsible and responsive Democrat who will serve in the best interests of all of Alaska's and our nation's citizens.
I have been a registered Republican since 1955 and have voted my conscience for both Republicans and Democrats on all local, state and federal ballots during my residences in Idaho, Oregon, California, Maryland and Alaska since then.
And I am convinced that Tony Knowles is the superior candidate for U.S. Senator for Alaska in the November election!
Richard Hahn, Soldotna
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