Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, November 01, 2002

Ward needs to answer questions that have arisen during campaign

I am very disappointed in Sen. Jerry Ward and his claim that he lives here on the Kenai Peninsula. In my opinion, this claim is an outright lie! Except for those times when he was campaigning for election, has anyone every seen Mr. Ward buying groceries locally? Filling his gas tank at a local station? Or eating dinner at a local restaurant? Not to my knowledge.

This matter could easily be cleared up if Jerry would make his bank account statements for the previous year available for review. This would clearly show where his money was spent, thus proving residency. I do not expect that this will happen, though, because of Mr. Ward's refusal to disclose other information.

Earlier this summer, Jerry attended a veterans meeting in Kenai. He made it sound as if he was the person who introduced legislation to U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' office requesting funding for additional medical personnel for the Kenai Veterans Clinic. I called Sen. Stevens' office in Kenai. No one there was aware of any legislation from Sen. Ward pertaining to the veterans clinic. The Anchorage V.A. made the request for additional medical personnel, not Sen. Ward.

I called Sound-Off several weeks ago and asked Jerry why he was in favor of the private prison when 75 percent of the people who live here were opposed to it. He claimed he was not in favor of the prison; yet, wasn't he one of the biggest promoters of the private prison? When did he change his mind about this?

There are a lot of unanswered questions that have arisen from this election campaign. The only person who has the answers is Jerry Ward. How can he honestly expect the citizens of the Kenai Peninsula to have faith in or trust him to be our senator when he has clearly shown an unwillingness to address the public and answer these questions and allegations that have been raised?

I believe that Jerry Ward needs to step up to the plate, address these issues in a public format before the election or pack his bags and move back to Anchorage. (Oops, I forgot he already lives there.)

James Glazier, Kenai

Ward works hard for community

One of the issues I consider when deciding who I will vote for is: "What have the candidates done in a positive manner for our community and what community pre-election event did I last see them participate in?"

You see, I base my decision on positive efforts made for our community and that is why Jerry Ward will continue to get my vote and support. Jerry Ward had worked hard for us, and he deserves our support.

Harold Becker, Soldotna

Peninsula will not tolerate mean-spirited campaigns

I have been following the Senate race and the race for governor very closely in our area.

I am amazed at the mean-spirited nature of the ads against our incumbent Republican Jerry Ward, who has worked for us for six years now.

I distinctly remember when Jerry Ward was elected in 1996. He fought against a nasty opponent who brought up ugly charges against Jerry Ward that were more than 30 years old. The opponent, Judy Salo, failed to inform us that the charges against Jerry Ward were more than 30 years old at that time, and most importantly, the charges were dismissed. She lost the election and justifiably so in my opinion.

Today we are hearing these same old charges and again they aren't mentioning the charges were dismissed. I, for one, will not tolerate this kind of behavior by Jerry Ward's opponents. There is no legitimate place for this in a civilized society.

I have never cared for politics or politicians, but I intend to vote for Jerry Ward, and I urge you all to do the same. Let's tell these folks who think we don't know the difference that there is no place on the peninsula that will tolerate lies, deceit and their type of hurtful actions.

Efrosyni Charalombous, Soldotna

Ward's seniority will help peninsula

Who will help peninsula residents the most? Tom Wagoner is a Moderate Republican who will be a rookie lawmaker. His efficiency will be equal to whatever invitations he gets in order to form a majority.

Jerry Ward is a veteran lawmaker and has already served in leadership roles. Ward is in line to chair the Finance Committee.

Who will help peninsula residents the most? Who already has? Any more silly questions?

Mary Lou Diamond, Kenai

Ward doesn't tear others down to build himself up

Like Sen. Ted Stevens says, it is horrible that the liberals will try to tear people down in an effort to build themselves up just to try to win an election. Case in point is Tom Wagoner and Ron Johnson and their character assassination of our Sen. Jerry Ward.

I have never heard Wagoner speak about any issue that is important to us on the peninsula; he just attacks Jerry Ward, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to represent us. I am certain that Joe Arness has nothing to do with these evil acts because I know his mom and dad brought him up better.

Please keep Sen. Stevens' words of wisdom in mind when voting and continue to support Jerry Ward. He is good for the peninsula, and I have never heard him tear anyone down to make himself look good. He doesn't need to. I'll be voting for Jerry Ward and I ask you to do so to.

Steve Vanek, Ninilchik

Issues are what's important to voters

Come on, Tom Wagoner. I could care less about your driveway or Jerry Ward's garage. Ward, you get my vote. Stay on the issues.

John McCombs, Ninilchik

Questions of Wagoner's residency off base

I have remained silent throughout this senatorial campaign. But I can't remain silent any longer. I wanted to take the time to clarify a few things about my parents, in particular, my father, Tom Wagoner.

My sister and I grew up here on the Kenai Peninsula. We began our education at Sears Elementary and graduated from Kenai Central High School. My parents were always involved in the various activities my sister and I participated in, and they never missed any of our games. We both went on to obtain degrees in education. I chose to return to Kenai and use my education in the local school district. I also chose to stay so that my children have the opportunity to grow up here. My sister, however, does not live here. My sister and her husband live in California. So, yes, my parents visit California about twice a year to spend time with her and her husband.

My father's opponent would like you to believe that my dad resides in California. If this is the case, I would like to know who has been caring for my children when my husband and I are at work? I'm fairly certain it's my parents.

My husband is employed on the platforms, so when I underwent treatment for breast cancer, it was my father who drove me to and from my chemotherapy treatments. When my husband was gone, I would move back home with my parents where I could receive the help I needed with my care and my children's care. If my parents do not live here, who was taking care of me?

In closing, I would just like to say that my dad has been dedicated to this community for 33 years. The work he has done should stand on its own merit.

Thank you for your time.

Dawn Wagoner, Kenai

Ward helps peninsula constituents

Thank you, Jerry Ward, for listening to me when I asked you for help with my children and their education. You voted to make sure that children like mine who have struggled in school are getting the extra help they need to succeed.

You have been in support of the people of the Kenai Peninsula on everything they have asked for and more.

You have honored your word and I would like to thank you for that.

You are a man of honesty and pride. An American of red, white and blue. You are a father of love and devotion and a true patriot.

You are an Alaska state senator of heart, dedication, loyalty and honor. Stand tall and true. Keep up with the great work you are doing and don't let anybody get you down.

Tina Kivi, Kenai

Prevailing winds blow fishers toward Murkowski

For many commercial fishermen, the governor's race between Murkowski and Ulmer has become an extension of a most popular past time -- fighting with each other. For political candidates who are very conscious of this, wooing the favor of commercial fishermen is more akin to Brer Rabbit dealing with the "tar baby" than to any form of romance. As an industry group, our willingness to be seduced by campaign promises made expressly to garner votes needs to give way to a more sophisticated awareness of the general political climate.

At first blush, fishermen may be tempted to assume that Democratic Party agendas offer more consideration to the needs of small businesses -- and that they will protect the little guy from all those big bad threatening guys. As it turns out the threat is from groups of little guys, too -- Anchorage dipnetters, unregulated guides, Canadian sport fishermen, subsistence fishermen 1,000 miles upriver, trust fund babies falling in love with sea lions, gear group frictions, allocation battles, urban sprawl on the rivers, farmed fish connoisseurs -- the list goes on. If you believe the Democratic Party is going to stand against other individual interests on behalf of commercial fishermen you have not been paying attention during the last eight years. Because commercial fishermen are not the predominant economic force in Alaska -- what they need more than anything is a sense of alignment with political winds.

The Frank and Fran media sideshow is to politics what Mike Doogan's column in the Anchorage Daily News usually is to truth -- only partial, predictable and pointless. Fran deserves credit for being articulate, aware, authentic and attractive. None of those qualities are going to bridge the great philosophical divides of this state or solve any fiscal crisis.

Frank deserves credit for being committed, connected and consistent. Like Fran he has no magical solutions, but he does have one enormous asset. He is well positioned in the prevailing political winds.

As it relates to the state economy, the importance of Murkowski's connection to the energy industry and policy makers is absolutely foolish for us to disregard. His strong support for natural resource development without political debt to extreme environmental forces is crucial to the recovery speed of our state economy. For all the fiscal issues that divide Alaskans, the expedited development of natural resource industries offers the most hope for an agreeable long-term solution to state government funding and growth of a stable jobs base. Within that philosophy there is full and ample room for the continuing role of Alaska's commercial fisheries. Without that quickened development there is either taxes or permanent fund program alterations or both.

As commercial fishermen with concern for the industry, we need to avoid swimming against the current. Which way that current is running in Alaska is pretty obvious.

Die-hard Democrats who would rather chew off a leg than succumb to a Republican voting snare could take comfort in the old adage about "holding your friends close but your enemies closer." Make no mistake -- not all bodes well for fishermen in the Democratic Party. Get past the ads.

Mike Heimbuch , Homer

Vote Price, Wolf and Ward on Peninsula

James Price is a challenger to unseat Mike Chenault in House District 34, which covers our area of Sterling.

Mike Chenault has voted correctly in the 22nd Legislature on everything to save the earnings stream of our permanent fund dividend and against anything dealing with new taxation. We cannot fault Mr. Chenault in that regard.

James Price has an aggressive track record in the prison and sales tax issues in the recent past. He and a small group of citizens took on the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the city governments of Kenai and Soldotna on both the prison and sales tax issues without much in the way of funding. James Price has "heart." The hours James Price worked meant very little time in the way of sleep for him during those campaigns. The group won the prison issue and lost the sales tax issue. Not bad for a small group of citizens fighting a government-financed campaign against them on the sales tax issue.

To us, James Price would be an aggressive House leader in Juneau, totally working in only the voters' interest. The House is screaming for a James Price-type person in Juneau. Rep. Mike Chenault is not the aggressive representative-type person we require in the House.

On another issue: Back in 1999, five key state legislators spent their own money (about one dividend each) to focus upon the proposed raid of our money by the establishment administration and the majority of state legislators in Juneau. Our key legislators against the proposed raids at that time and their representation today are: Lyda Green, Senate G; Rick Halford, retired; Jerry Sanders, defeated; Robin Taylor of Wrangell, not up for election currently; and Jerry Ward, Senate Q.

Lyda Green, Robin Taylor and Jerry Ward are all we have left in the Senate with a consistent track record of stopping permanent fund dividend raids and new taxes by generally killing them in committees by "driving stakes through their hearts" or voting them down if they make it to the Senate floor. We have several Dracula-type movies showing daily in Juneau at the establishment administration and the legislative offices.

The end result is the ongoing stake driving during the daylight hours in Juneau, by the above senators, which is our only defense to protect our permanent fund dividend revenue stream with regard to our Dracula-driven state government.

On the Kenai Peninsula in the year 2000, the voters drove a stake through the heart of then-Rep. Hal Smalley. He was part of the 1999 group with Gail Phillips, John Torgerson and Gary Davis that were collectively attempting to convince us to grow state government with our permanent fund dividend. Hal Smalley carried the presentation propaganda videos. Today he has resurfaced and is running in House District 33. The voting folks in House District 33 have a "Wolf" with the first name of "Kelly" to vote for to drive a second stake into the political heart of Hal Smalley during the daylight hours of Nov. 5.

Please vote Nov. 5.

Bill and Samon Arnold, Sterling,

Nation needs leaders who emphasize hope

Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." George W. Bush, on the other hand, seems to be playing on the nation's fear.

Seeking to distract us from a faltering economy and corporate scandals, President Bush and the Republicans have exaggerated the danger of Saddam Hussein and led the nation to the brink of war. As a result, oil prices are climbing and employers are issuing pink slips and relying on temps.

The economy will recover only when we have the confidence to invest in a new generation of renewable energy technology that would lessen our dependence on imported oil. We need to rebuild public transportation. And we need to invest in the new generation itself through education. We cannot do these things if the president and Congress spend the greatest share of our money on military increases and tax cuts to the rich.

America will be strong when we have leaders who emphasize hope, not fear -- and then put the nation to work making that hope a reality. Voters should use this point as a litmus test when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

Betty and Jack Dean, Sterling

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