Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Voting Smart: Know The Candidate's Stance on issues of the Past

Vote-Smart, an organization that provides an invaluable resource for the voters has listed my profile and Mike Doogan's profile.

Mine can be found here: http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=CAK52661

One note, my membership with the Knights of Columbus has expired, but I still get e-mails from the organization. And I still support their efforts on many social issues. And some I disagree with.

I believe that a candidate's past can give a voter an idea on how the will operate in the future. And what I mean by this is, does the candidate use their "brain" when it comes to issues and problems and seekng logical and sound solutions.

I have stated my positions in the past and those positions can be found here.


1998 Alaska State Legislative National Political Awareness Test

Many will be surprised by my answers. Some may be disappointed and some may not.

For clarification on some of the issues, I will explain here since the questionnaire does not give a full rationale on the reasons behind the answers.

On ANWR I said I did not support opening it then. The reason? ANWR back then and today is a political tool and the laws that surround it need to be changed.

ANILCA is the target. As is the royalties.

Back in 1998, oil prices were too low and the political climate was not favorable to opening it.

Back then, I spoke of West Sak and the need to develop West Sak. I also spoke of reducing the taxes so that there would be an incentive to develop West Sak.

If we would have done or started back in 1998 what Alberta has done, we would have seen a net increase in production in oil, not a continued decrease.

So instead, today, Alberta has seen an increase in production and as a result you see headlines like this:


Alberta Posts Largest Surplus Ever A record 8.7 billion dollars

As for ANWR, do I support opening it? Yes under certain conditions. And given the current climate of higher gas prices and national polling showing that the public is changing their minds from not drilling to drilling, our congressional delegation in Washington D.C, is in a very favorable position on re-negotiating contracts, laws and percentages of royalties.

As I said before, the money coming from the federal government has had strings attached and as such the money for the bridges has been held hostage by Outside legislators.

What many of the U.S. congressional delegation from other states forget is that in effect, the federal government has reneged on its promise to Alaskans. And as Senator Stevens, Rep Young grow in age and the reality of their political careers coming to an end nears, so is the reality that money from the federal government will be decreasing.

Unfortunately, we did not start in 1998 what Alberta is doing now.

On one question on property taxes. I answered to being favorable to a slight increase in property taxes. This may surprise some.

Those who have paid attention to what I have been saying will know that I do not believe in revenue sharing to pay for local police, fire departments or essential services.

One core element for the answer was the Gang and crimes that plagued Anchorage.

As I stated before, the Gang problem in 1997-1998 was escalating and contrary to what Mike Doogan believed as well as the so-called expert at UAA's Justice department, a gang unit was needed and the problem never went away.

How do you pay for it? With local taxes. This was a city problem. And still is today. The prosecution of the cases is the State of Alaska's problem. Two different entities.

You will also see my answers to at-risk youths which are youths involved in the drug trade and gangs. Both answers are intertwined with each other. Because the funding of education is a responsibility of the State of Alaska.

Another question dealt with the Constitutional Amendment on marriage. I was against it. I stated that the interpretation could be misconstrued by the courts and history has shown that the courts will misconstrue the language in amendments as the courts have done with the Privacy Clause in Alaska's Constitution.

The amendment was a direct reason for the Alaska Supreme Court ruling the way it did on same sex benefits. History has proven my view on this to be correct.

The legal decision issued by the Alaska Supreme Court was what I believe to be in error. The Plaintiffs in the case did not have standing or they were calculating in their arguments. Since one couple had gotten married in Canada.

So the ruling was based on erroneous facts.

It is my strong belief that the state must show a compelling interest to deny a fundemental right to an individual. Having said that, it is unfortunate that courts at times may discount that. And as such you have amendments being made to counter poor decisions.

These are some of the reasons for the answers and I still hold by my answers today.

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