Reader: Standing alone tough to do

Posted: Monday, October 08, 2007

As a former state legislator for this area, I worked diligently at serving the good people of the Kenai-Soldotna area answering constituent's complaints, resolving government matters and asking tough questions. But after one term in office and experiencing the actions of some now being brought into the public light, I decided not to run again because my family needed me at home and the strong belief that I ran and won my position in office on the promise I made not to touch the permanent fund.

But it was a piece of legislation introduced under the Murkowski administration called the percent of market value plan or (POMV) that broke my will and faith in our legislative system, knowing that giving Alaska's Legislature, or as some say "CBC," roughly 1.8 billion dollars more per year to divide up for government expenses while asking the Legislature to decide what little percentage "they" felt should be dispersed to the people in the form of dividend checks was nothing short of a raid on the permanent fund.

Recognizing this and the boldness of the Murkowski administration, it was easy for me to stand alone and stuff my finger in the worst administration this state has ever had and say "No," while my cohorts pointed and sneered as I alone faced the fury of trying to derail a train that would have taken away the people's only power over their elected officials.

I believe that it is the permanent fund that keeps many Alaskans alert to some of the ill-conceived activities of our Legislature.

So after reading an article recently that outlines the federal government's interpretation of the duties of an Alaska legislator that states, "Each member of the Alaska State Legislature has an inherent duty to the public of the State of Alaska to conduct their dealings free of conflicts of interest," prosecutors said in a memorandum filed recently. "The existence of this duty is intrinsic to a public official's obligation to conduct his or her affairs free of improper influences."

State law requires legislators to not only avoid conflicts of interest, but even the appearance of a conflict. I have only one thing to say when this corruption trial is over: next?

Kelly Wolf


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