Friday, October 27, 2006

David and Goliath (Update) I had to fix the spelling

I waited to see what type of article the ADN would write on the House District 25 race and as expected, the article was how I expected it to be written.

Here is my opening statement on the brochure that is being mailed to 3,000 independent voters.

Hello fellow Alaskans,

I want to take the time to thank those of you who voted for me in the primary.

I hope to build with your votes, a coalition of Alaskans that will send me to Juneau, to work on the problems that face us all.

For those of you who do not know me, I am an independent minded candidate and there is a clear difference between myself and Mike Doogan.

You can read on Doogan’s website where he has $78,000.00 to run his campaign.

I don’t believe it takes that much money to win. During the primary I spent less than $1000.00 to get 1085 votes, Mike Doogan spent over $24, 0000.00 to get 1035 votes.

You won’t see signs with my name up in your neighborhood because I am investing in the message and this brochure.

You won’t find Outside money in my wallet or numerous endorsements, because I refuse it.

And because of my refusal, I am one of the few candidates that can say, “I will look out for your best interest” and mean it.

That is something you can bank on.

On the issues.

On the Longevity Bonus for seniors.

There is a clear difference between Mike and myself. I felt the bonus should have been reworked and kept for those seniors who depended on the money.

Mike Doogan however, had this to say in an article he wrote:

“...Getting rid of the longevity bonus is a good idea. Paying people extra money for being old, here and breathing never made any sense. But you can only do it once. Where does Murkowski get that $47 million next year?” (Source: This slapdash budget's a long way from being a fiscal plan, Anchorage Daily News, March 9, 2003)

On education and building new schools

In past school board elections, I have advocated the Edmonton Public School system and a decentralized budget system.

The reason is more money from the budget makes its way into the classroom instead of the bureaucracies.

According to the school budget figures for FY 2006-2007, schools in House District 25 see less than 50% of the monies earmarked for students making its way into the classroom.

The costs include PERS/TRS and the operational costs for the schools. Added to this, the school district spends over 19 million dollars on delivering 1-2 million dollars worth of special education services.

The district should be outsourcing services like Speech/Physical Therapy instead of paying for school district personnel to deliver the services.

These services are reimbursed by Medicaid.

The State of Alaska is also burdened with the 7 billion dollar PERS/TERS liability that must be paid. That will mean at least 500 million dollars will have to be designated to pay-off the liability each year.

I have advocated the use of the percentage of market value (POMV) of the Permanent Fund to be used to pay for education. But I only advocate its use if a decentralized budget system is place.

This will allow a pay-down on the PERS/TERS liability.

I am against bonding maintenance projects and I believe that the State of Alaska should fund 90-94% of the operational costs in education.

This means the actual costs to run the school. If a school can not operate on its own without a central administration, then the system is broke.

Under the decentralized system, flexibility, accountability and a partnership develops.

The parents, teachers and school principal make the budget for each school.

The price of oil is in decline and as such, a more efficient way of doing business must be implemented.

Once done, you will see your property taxes go down and more of the budget being used on teaching instead of administrative positions.

On Gang Violence

It is important for a candidate to have a vision for the future and past comments and stances on issues should be looked at.

Policies from the past, regulate the future.

What was Mike’s position on a gang task force when they were creating a problem in Anchorage?

“…But making public policy is always a matter of deciding what to pay for. In arguing that paying for a gang unit is more important than paying to bust red-light runners, Begich is dead wrong.”(Source: Traffic outlaws are bigger threat to the law-abiding than gangs, Anchorage Daily News, September 2, 1997)

Mike didn’t think a gang task force was needed then.

Just recently we read about the two men who were paroled and were involved in the shooting in front of the Murkowski headquarters.

In 1998, I answered on a vote-smart questionnaire that repeat offenders should not be paroled and funding for educational opportunities for at-risk-youths should be increased.

This means money for Voc-ed/Technical schools, and the Military Youth Academy.

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