ANCHORAGE -- Voters across the state turned thumbs down on all but one of six ballot initiatives and gave a big thumbs up to their incumbent representative in Washington.
Political powerhouse U.S. Rep. Don Young was returned to Congress for a 15th term in Tuesday's general election, winning by a wide margin over a slate of political novices.
With more than 60 percent of precincts reporting, Young had more than 70 percent of the vote. Democratic rival Clifford Greene had 17 percent.
Greene was followed by Alaska Green Party candidate Anna Young with 8 percent, Alaskan Independence Party candidate Jim Dore with 3 percent and Libertarian Party candidate Len Karpinski with 2 percent.
Greene, who ran on a platform that included national health care, affordable housing and a revision of the War Powers Act, said he was disappointed and probably won't run again.
''I knew it would be a longshot but I thought I could gather momentum as the campaign went on,'' he said. ''I think this is the end of the road for me in politics.''
Winning by a wide margin is not unusual for Young. In 1998, he won with 63 percent of the vote against Democratic rival state Sen. Jim Duncan. Two years before that, Young got nearly 60 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger state Sen. Georgianna Lincoln.
''Frankly, I'm not surprised, but I'm very pleased and I'm very happy,'' Young said after learning of his victory.
Tax cap proposition
Alaskans overwhelmingly voted down a measure that would have capped property taxes statewide at 1 percent of a property's assessed value.
The proposal went down to defeat with about 70 percent of voters rejecting it.
The California-style tax-cap initiative was one of the hottest issues on the ballot, and helped draw voters to the polls.
''I'm very pleased with the results, very pleased,'' said Ernie Hall, chairman of Alaskans United Agains the Cap.
The vote against the tax cap cut across party lines and income levels.
According to a Voter News Service exit poll of 750 Alaska voters, Democrats voted overwhelmingly against Ballot Measure 4. About two-thirds of Republicans and two-thirds of independents also voted against the cap.
About two-thirds of those with annual incomes of $15,000 to $50,000 voted against the initiative. About three-quarters of those making $50,000 to $100,000 voted against it.
The results of the survey are subject to sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points for all voters, higher for subgroups.
The tax cap idea started with strong popular support. About 40,000 people signed petitions to put the measure on the ballot -- almost twice the number needed.
But the measure would have cut about $150 million from local budgets across the state. And that raised fears of deep cuts in government services.
Alaska voters affirmed their distaste for hunting wolves with airplanes, then sent a strong message to hunting and trapping advocates that they don't want to be cut out of the initiative process on wildlife issues.
With nearly 50 percent of the state's precincts reporting, voters were saying yes to Ballot Measure 6, which would restore a ban on all land-and-shooting hunting of wolves and other predators.
''The people told the state Legislature in 1996 that they overwhelmingly oppose hunting wolves with the use of an airplane on the same day,'' said Paul Joslin, executive director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance. ''Now they've told them again.''
Voters also were rejecting Ballot Measure 1, which would ban citizen initiatives dealing with wildlife.
Voters in 1996 banned all use of aircraft to spot predators, then land and allow hunters to shoot them.
Part of that ban was partially rolled back by legislators this year in a bill sponsored by Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks. The change would have allowed land-and-shoot hunting in areas the Board of Game has designated for predator control efforts.
That was too much for supporters of the ban.
They saw the change as an example of a heavy-handed and arrogant Legislature that ignored the wishes of voters.
Alaskans for Wildlife, the group that put the referendum on the ballot, collected thousands of signatures to allow voters to restore the restriction.
Members also were among the groups opposing Ballot Measure 1.
''People are not about to give up their right to vote,'' Joslin said. ''It's an important part of our constitution.''
Supporters of the measure say they wanted to ban ''ballot box biology'' imposed by voters influenced by emotional advertising campaigns.
But opponents say the Game Board process has been rigged by the political power of hunting interests.
Board appointees without solid pro-hunting credentials have been routinely rejected by the Republican-controlled Legislature in recent years.
They also say the ballot measure is unnecessary because voters do not automatically back the animal-rights campaigns.
Voters said no Tuesday to legalizing marijuana and hemp products under a ballot initiative that would have made Alaska's marijuana laws the most liberal in the country.
With more than half the precincts reporting, 61 percent of all voters rejected Ballot Measure 5.
Lynda Adams of Ketchikan, who helped spearhead ''Vote No on 5,'' a group that worked to defeat the initiative, said Alaskans' common sense prevailed over Outside interests and their money.
''I think it is a victory for all Alaskans,'' Adams said. ''I think we have some really smart people in our state.''
Permanent fund corporation changes proposition
The governor's ability to make wholesale changes in the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.'s board of directors was maintained by voters Tuesday.
Voters also rejected an attempt to give legislators review power over Alaskans appointed by the governor to boards that manage ''significant state assets.''
With more than half of the state's precincts reporting, voters by a large margin were rejecting Ballot Measure 3.
Bob King, press spokesman for Gov. Tony Knowles, said the vote was not a surprise.
''I think there are adequate checks and balances that exist in the constitution,'' King said.
''Absent a compelling reason, and I don't think there was, the public saw no reason to change those checks and balances,'' King said.
Alaska voters Tuesday night were rejecting an attempt to limit the power of state courts to alter proposed constitutional amendments.
With more than 50 percent of the state's precincts reporting, voters were saying no to Ballot Measure 2, which would have barred judges or justices from changing the language on amendments proposed by legislators.
The measure also would have continued to limit amendments to one subject. However, it would have specified that amendments could have affected more than one part of the constitution.
State Sen. Dave Donley, R-Anchorage, said he was looking for clarity in the process of amending the constitution when he pushed for passage of measure.
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