Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, October 21, 2002

Ad shows dirty politics not limited to Outside politicians

Ron Johnson, shame on you! Better clean up your own back yard before you point fingers at someone else.

If you want to play politics, go to New York and join Clinton. Leave this state and go join the rest of the pile of dirty politicians. They should all be ashamed to call themselves Americans. It makes me wonder what our children and grandchildren have to look forward to with all the dirty political games. It is hard enough in this day and age without having grown men dragging other grown men into name-calling and lies.

Go away, hang your head and apologize to everyone. And shame on the Clarion for running the ad. And smiles to Jerry Ward for being grown up enough to not get into the dirty political ring. I voted for him and he has my vote again.

E.A. Berg

Nikiski

Ward supporters guilty of hypocrisy when it comes to elected officials

It seems to me that the same people that called Hillary Clinton a "carpetbagger" think it's perfectly acceptable for Jerry Ward to do the same thing. It also seems these same people are calling Sen. Tom Daschle an obstructionist, but the same types of actions by Jerry Ward are applauded.

These same hypocrites said that "character counts" when it comes to Bill Clinton, but not in the history of Jerry Ward. A double standard by ideological Republicans? It seems that way.

I am an independent with conservative leanings, but cannot ignore that Jerry Ward is the wrong person for the peninsula. That's why I'm voting Tom Wagoner for state Senate.

It's a peninsula seat that needs a peninsula resident occupying it.

Don Gough

North Kenai

Budget cuts alone won't solve state's financial problems

The nice thing about the Internet is that I can keep track of what is happening in Alaska while I am traveling. Of course, the bad thing is that I see the candidates for governor are still all trying to deny reality. Whomever is elected will have to pull a Cowper -- all bets are off.

All are espousing campaign fairy tales. Anyone who tells you we can cut our way to fiscal health -- a balanced budget -- is spinning the biggest fairy tale. Claiming resource development will solve the problem is the next largest fairy tale -- any development other than oil has cost the state money.

Claiming a cap will solve the problem, with taxes as back up in the future, is unreal. The non-oil economy of Alaska cannot support the state government and state-funded programs plentiful oil money built. What will they really have to do?

First and foremost is to develop and implement an orderly plan for the honest downsizing of state government and state-funded programs. Why? Just to cover the shortfall would require an income tax of $6,700 each for the 150,000 actual taxpayers. Or, it would require the state keep all the dividends. Orderly downsizing will take three to five years.

Since you cannot cut a billion dollars without totally destroying the economy and ending most state services, we'll need more revenue. An income tax is the fairest, since it will get all the nonresident workers and seasonal nonresident business owners. A sales tax is regressive, but if it must be then it could be imposed during tourist season only. To keep these taxes reasonable, the earnings of the permanent fund will need to be used. Yes, we'll have to cap the dividends.

Since they are all spinning fairy tales, how will I make my choice? I will vote for the lesser of evils. Considering Murkowski's age, I am concerned about the possibility he would not be able to complete his term. Leman is too far to the right to be a heartbeat away from being governor.

William J. Phillips

Kenai

Proposition C will fund education improvements across Alaska

I was pleased to read the Clarion's recent headline story about the first major educational bond proposition in Alaska in nearly 20 years. This is a win-win proposition, and I sincerely hope that Alaskans will vote yes for Proposition C on Nov. 5.

University of Alaska Anchorage Provost Dr. James Chapman, speaking to the Kenai Peninsula College Council on Oct. 10 said, "Proposition C is about community -- Alaska communities."

It is an opportunity to vote yes on the equality of educational opportunities in Alaska. It gives urban voters an incentive through urban projects to approve bonds that also benefit poorer schools in the Bush. On the Kenai Peninsula, Proposition C is especially important for the Kenai Peninsula College and the Kachemak Bay Campus of the University of Alaska, because it will provide funding for very badly needed expansion and renovation projects.

Passage of Proposition C will allow the state to sell general obligation bonds to address a wide variety of statewide deferred maintenance projects for educational facilities. Proposition C also contains bond reimbursement provisions of up to 70 percent that would apply to municipal governments and-or school districts that approve their own bond measures between 1999 and 2005, depending on state criteria.

Many people are asking, "How will the state pay for these bonds?"

For the past 10 years, the Legislature has provided about $45 million per year to pay for capital improvements associated with education. This money was never more than enough to pay for one or two schools or to upgrade just a few. The payback on the general obligation bonds for Proposition C will be $18 million per year, and the state will be able to finance the 52 projects that the proposition covers. That still leaves $27 million for other capital improvements, yet the state will be spending no more money than it has for the past 10 years.

Now is the time to buy these bonds since the interest rate is hovering around 3 percent. In fact, there has never been a better time. If we don't take advantage of this now, we may never get a better chance.

A yes vote on Proposition C is a yes vote for education in Alaska.

Linda L. Snow

Kenai



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