At the end of a political season, people still focus too much on their differences - which get exaggerated during the hype of campaign season.
The debate on Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal to roll back the state's share of oil revenue by nearly $8 billion over the next five years has been political, not factual. It's time we shared what we've learned in committee testimony so people can hear the facts. There are smart ways to require more investment, and more oil production. If the state is going to offer tax reductions, we should get something in return - more jobs and more needed development. Isn't that how you'd write a contract if you were going to give away $8 billion?
I was not too happy to go to a special session - where I was led to believe a majority of legislators were ready to take action on a compromise bill - only to see the opposite. The bipartisan Senate did its job and passed the bill. It then failed by three votes in the GOP-led House. The result? Alaska's now given away state sovereignty that other coastal states, GOP or Democratic led, have decided to keep. Development will be slowed down. Jobs will be lost. And your money was wasted on a wasted special session.
When debating proposals that could cost Alaskans billions of dollars, it's important to have your facts straight. Recently a lobbying group took liberties with the facts to sway you into giving away Alaska's fair return on the oil we own. People are entitled to their opinions. But they are not entitled to make up their own facts.
Corporate influence on Alaska politics is growing. Corporate agendas are sometimes good, but sometimes conflict with the interests of Alaskans. Their job, by statute, is to maximize corporate profits. Our job is to represent our "shareholders" - you.
This month we are launching our second annual "Laptops for Foster Youth Drive." Since last year we have matched roughly 70 youth with good, late model used and new laptops.
District 23 - Democrat, Anchorage
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