Sterling readers back Williams

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2005

From the Clarion’s article, “Deficit talk dominates debate” (Oct. 19), we were not surprised when candidate John Torgerson claimed: “I’m more conservative than my opponent!”

What worries us is what he doesn’t say.

Realizing candidate John Williams was the mayor of Kenai for 18 years and that he left the city running without major deficits, we thought we would check the facts. We went to the site of the Alaska Voters Organization to check the voting record of Mr. Torgerson from his Senate term during the 22nd Legislature. “Conservative” is not the word we would use to describe his voting record. You can see for yourself at htm.

Mr. Torgerson voted for the closed primary, which cost Alaskans an extra $269,000 every election term, for a system we certainly didn’t want. He voted to raise the alcohol tax and raised driver’s license taxes by 50 percent. He gave a $1.1 million grant to the oil industry to promote ANWR, authorizing a 5050 royalty split, when statehood terms were 90 percent to Alaska.

He voted to buy a portion of a mall for UAA at $14 million, just a few months after some “smart” investors paid $7 million for the entire property. He voted for a $5 billion operating budget and a $1.5 billion capital budget.

John Torgerson wants to “find money” to fund tourism marketing with tax dollars, but doesn’t say where. In his career, he’s gone right along with the Republican Legislature. He was given a very high paying government job working for the Murkowski administration, while Alaska seniors’ had their Longevity Fund cut and all kinds of taxes and user fees were raised.

This is while oil companies make more profit on oil than the state receives in royalty. Legislative tax breaks allowed the severance tax in Kuparuk to be reduced from 15 percent to less than 3 percent, because he and his associates support the claim that it’s expensive to produce oil in Alaska.

These actions don’t represent conservative leadership qualities that we trust. Please join us and vote for real conservative leadership. We’re voting for John Williams.

Bill and Samon Arnold


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