When elected, I will sign an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of Alaska, but I will never sign anything equivalent to the pledge the majority caucus members have been signing. Their oath reads: We, the undersigned, as members of the House majority caucus recognize the requirement to follow all procedural votes and to vote Yes on all final budget bills and CBR (Constitutional Budget Reserve) votes when these issues are presented on the floor of the House.
It makes no sense to transfer loyalty to other legislators, work behind closed doors and then chide citizens for not being involved. The Legislature has relaxed laws that regulate lobbyists' behavior, rolled back campaign finance reform and voted to overturn laws enacted by citizen initiatives. All of this stifles and discourages critical public participation and scrutiny.
Meanwhile, our state has spent nearly $300,000 printing new ballots because a ballot measure did not contain "true and impartial" language properly reflecting the "Trust the People" initiative. Consequently, we have an Official Election Pamphlet that does not match our ballot.
The city of Delta was given a $1,200,000 loan to pay a private prison contractor. If they become a borough, that debt will be forgiven. At the same time, Denali Kid Care was slashed, and without warning, the governor ended the longevity bonus, leaving many seniors struggling to make ends meet. Gov. Murkowski has now appointed one U.S. senator and 10 percent of our state's legislative seats. Alaska's attorney general is confused about his own potential conflict of interest; as a result, the governor hired a special investigator.
We are being led down the wrong road. This herd mentality is running the citizens of Alaska, lemming-like toward the edge of a cliff. We need to bring more light into the process. All citizens should have a chance to share their ideas, and to share their concerns and questions with their elected leaders. While we may not always agree, I will strive to make government more accessible and responsive to you, and to listen to you respectfully. I pledge to work hard for you, bringing my experience, leadership, integrity and a strong independent voice for the concerns of our district and state.
The Legislature needs to come together, moving beyond partisan politics, to develop a long-range fiscal plan. We've been riding the oil price roller coaster. That has been a failure. We need to put together a plan that will bring the stability that attracts and stimulates business.
We need to build a gas pipeline to tidewater in Alaska, preferably Cook Inlet. We can't afford not to! The resource belongs to Alaskans, and Alaskans should have the jobs.
Education is another economic issue for our present and for our future. Stable, adequate funding in advance of the local budget process would help our children receive the best education possible.
I'm committed to "no changes to the permanent fund earnings without a vote of the people."
I would appreciate your vote.
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