Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sometimes They Sing

Tuesday was the Alaska primary elections. I'm amazed -- it may be for the first time in my life, but everything turned out the way I wanted it to! I can't remember a time when hardly anything did that, talk about all of it!

The best thing was with the Republican primary: our current governor, Frank Murkowski, LOST! Unless you live in Alaska, you can't imagine how great that is. The man was a US Senator for 22 years and is a Republican governor in a red state where there is exactly one (count them, 1) liberal district in the entire state! He was trounced! He can't run in November unless he decides to pull a Lieberman, so he can't win. Tuesday morning a friend told me she hadn't decided yet how to vote, since she was registered undeclared she could vote for any party she wanted, and was thinking of going Republican to vote against him so he couldn't run, or maybe to vote for him so he would be the competition for the Democrat we want to win (Tony Knowles), since Murkowski's popularity is so low right now, or to go Dem and vote for Tony. Murkowski is soooo bad! He appointed his daughter to fill his US Senate seat when he was elected Governor. He wanted to buy a jet with Homeland Security funds, the Legislature (GOP majority) said no, so he bought it on a line of credit, on a technicality allowed in the state constitution! Then, he used it in questionable ways, like to pick him up from vacation trips. He canceled the Longevity Bonus, a Social Security supplement the state had provided for it's seniors because the cost of living is so high in Alaska that many people, even people who were born here, even Alaska Natives, have had to move outside when they retire. When he cut off the funds for this, he said it would cause no hardship because elders who needed it could qualify for food stamps and rent assistance! As though people of that generation would apply for such a thing after having supported themselves for their entire lives! As though there was no difference between receiving money that everyone over 65 received and having to prove that you are poor! (Am I growing indignant? Can you tell by the exclamation marks?) He cut off revenue sharing to communities, causing untold hardship to small bush villages which suddenly could not afford to pay any full time staff or insure themselves. He was negotiating a deal for a gas pipeline with BP-Exxon that would have frozen taxes on them at a level below the standard oil producing state/country level for 40 years! He has appointed a man who wants to close down the state ferry system (we have many communities in Southeastern Alaska that are not on the road system, some islands, some with any possible road way in avalanche country) as the head of it, his appointee has messed with the schedules so badly that it is losing money and people dependent on it can't get where they need to be without taking extra time for travel, and he is pushing to build a road out of Juneau that will end, not at a town that is connected to the roads, but at a ferry terminal in the middle of nowhere! If that doesn't make sense to you, consider that the road will connect a number of private mine and logging sites to Juneau and make it much more profitable for them to operate. So, good bye Frank Murkowski. You will not be missed by anyone but the crony capitalists you really worked for.

The Democratic candidate will be Tony Knowles, who was governor for two terms (we have term limits, and after two you have to take one off) and did a good job of it. Enough so that he was re-elected in this red state. The Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor is a man I've eaten breakfast with, Ethan Berkowitz, who is one of the good guys. (This is a small state as far as population goes; many of us know folks who might be considered important and out of our league in other places.)

And we defeated the big money cruise lines and passed Proposition 2, which, among other things of benefit to the state, will enforce stronger controls on the sewage they can dump in Alaskan waters. Despite the fact that they pumped over a million dollars into their campaign to defeat it, and we only spent $7,000!

We passed Proposition 1, which limits campaign contributions.

So, don't know what will happen in November, but today is a good day and I will bask in it.

5 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Here's crossing my fingers that your election results are a harbinger of things to come...

saz said...

Maya - This is all great news and since I listen to Air America radio I am familiar with the sad tale of Murkowski tho not ALL the mess he created in Alaska. Did I hear that the are going to start drilling in ANWR next week?

Sure hope Alaska is leading the way for the rest of the country this November.

saz said...

Sorry - Did I address you as Maya without the Granny? DUH.

donna said...

Yay! Let's hope the rest of the country follows your fine example in November! There are a lot more crony Republicans to toss... like Sen. Lieberman! ;^)

jay lassiter said...

congrats and savor it!!!!
it must feel damn good.