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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Election Platform: Alaska Gubernatorial Race 2006

As promised, here is my platfrom for Alaska Governor as it stands at this time.

1- It is time to restore trust and integrity to Alaska State politics. To this end, the corrupt Murkowski administration must be replaced with one that will do what is good for the people of the state of Alaska rather than what is good for a few special interests as well as friends and family. This is what has motivated me to run against a fellow Republican, and an incumbent Governor at that.

2- ANWR must be opened to oil exploration and driling for the good of both the state of Alaska, and for the good of America. I will lobby the Senate ruthlesly to get them to pass a bill allowing this explorations and drilling. If they do not comply then I will do what is neccessary within the law to take ANWR back from the federal government and make it a state park instead. At this time I will authorize the oil companies to perform limited explorationan drilling on their own dime.

3- The gas pipeline must be run through Alaska in it's entirety. The Murkowski plan of running through Canada will not provide the jobs we need in this state. The Murkowski plan is one that favors the oil companies by reducing their expenses, but at the cost of Alaskan jobs. It is not a good trade.

4- The money originally slated to build the bridges acrss cook inlet must be used for that purpose. These are NOT bridges to nowhere, but bridges to a populated area that is bigger than most states. These bridges will open the area to further settlement and development, as well as recreation and tourism. To call these bridges bridges to nowhere is the same as calling the national highway systen roads to nowhere. Failure to use these funds for the bridges is not acceptable under any circumstances. It cannot be allowed to be pilfered for other projects.

5- Our commercial fishing industry is struggling right now in the face of international competetion and fish farming. Many commercial fishermen are struggling for work and are having a tough time making ends meet. The federal government has a vocation retraining program that was instituted for just this kind of circumstance. We must make this program more widely available to afford these struggling fishermen the chance to get other work so they can care for themselves and their families.

6- The Seward Highway is becoming more crowded and dangerous every sumer. For this reason we must expand it from 2 lanes to 4 lanes for it's entire length. The same should be done for the Sterling Highway. The exeptions will be where these highways run through towns and such an expansion would cost people their homes and businesses. It is wrong to take these from people, so the highways will remain unaltered by the state through these areas.

6- The Permanent Fund was not designed to be dipped into by state beaurocrats as an emergency fund to cover their fiscal irresponsibility. It must be protected, by a state Constitutional Amendment if need be to prevent it from being pillaged the way the Social Security fund was by the federal government.

7- Alaska is a very rich state. State income taxes are absolutlely unneccessary, and I will not support any measure that introduces them. Instead, I will aggressively veto wasteful spending bills, and cut unneccessary costs everywhere I can find them to bring our budget under control and go from a debtor state to a solvent state. Be aware that in order to accomplish this some social programs may have to be reduced or eliminated. Socialism is not something we can bankroll.

8- I can personally guarantee there will be no nepotism in my administartion, and since I have no political cronies at this time you can rest assured that cronyism will be minimal to nonexistent. It will be a refreshing change.

9- I am interested in connecting Alaska's towns and cities through a statewide highway system. Federal funds will need to be solicited for this if we are to keep any control over the state budget. Such a road system would open up remote areas to essential services that they currently lack, as well as opening them up for easier commerce and cheaper shipping, which would improve the quality of life for many Alaskans.

10- I have witnessed the destruction caused by bootleggers in the villages firsthand. We must provide state enforcement assistance to the villages, and penalties for bootlegging must be made severe enough to deter these crooks.

I will post updates if they come.

What are your thoughts and criticisms?

24 Comments:

  • "It is time to restore trust and integrity to Alaska State politics."

    Excellent. What concrete steps will you take to ensure integrity? Will you refuse special interest money? If not, will you give us a list of who you will and will not accept money from?

    On the expanded hwys and infrastructure and the elimination of state taxes: Who will pay for these improvements? Do you expect to raid the pockets of taxpayers across the US?

    Just a couple of questions that popped out at me upon reading your platform. (And a friendly suggestion to use spell and grammar check before releasing a final product!)

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 11:36 AM  

  • Alaska has no state income tax at this time, and it should stay that way. There are those in the government who want to start taxing. I am opposed to this.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:04 PM  

  • Daniel, don't start acting like a politician already! You didn't answer the questions (ie, 1. who will and won't you accept money from and 2. who will pay for the roads you want to build?)

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:38 PM  

  • Very well then.

    1. Anyone who feels like donating to my campaign is welcome to do so, but that will not buy me. I wil do the right thing by the people of Alaska, and if it upsets a special interest group that donated to mu campaign then they can keep their money next election. All donations are considered to be in support of my views and goals.

    2. Alaska is very rich due to the oil money the state geats, as well as the money it gets from outdoor related activities, commercial fishing, tourism, and so-on. Unfortunately, due to the inflated bidget even this huge fortune is not enough to cover our financial commitments. The budget must be trimmed, but I would also expect our Senators to solicit funds from the federal highway budget to assist in building these roads. That's part of the purpose of the federal highway money to begn with.

    And I wasn't avoiding the question, I just thought the answers were so obvious that they went without saying.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 6:07 AM  

  • They were sincere questions to which I wanted to know the answer before I could support your candidacy (of course, given your position on gays, I couldn't support you anyway, but still...) (well, that and the fact that I'm not from Alaska).

    But then I'm confused: I thought you wanted a smaller US gov't that didn't go around spending money all over the US? How does that square with spending what will doubtless be in the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars on Alaska's roadways? Of MY tax dollars!

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:15 AM  

  • I have sent your blog up a few of my fishing buddies that live in Alaska, about 12 people including my sister who has a home there. By the way, most a Republicans.

    The first thing they all said was about your grammer and spelling, not good.

    They also wanted me to tell you, don't quit your day job.

    By Blogger Ranando, at 6:51 AM  

  • Oka, I went through the posting, and found and corrected th eerrors that were noted. That's what I get for posting directly to blogger rather than doing a Word document first. I really should be more careful about that.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 1:08 PM  

  • Missed "gubernatorial."

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 3:20 PM  

  • Thanks

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 5:22 PM  

  • Myself, I don't have a problem with spelling errors so much in this sort of forum. I'm confident in a final product, they'd be gone.

    What does trouble me is that one question has gone unanswered. ("Troubled" in the sense that I'd hope and believe you'd be a different sort of politician and actually answer questions rather than give a "politician's answer.")

    Where do you stand on "big gov't" and personal responsibility? I know you say you're against it big gov't and for personal responsibility, but then you'd pay for Alaskan motorists' roads on everyone's tax dollars, it sounds like to me.

    Based on your presuppositions, I'd have thought you'd be more of a personal responsibility, users pay their own expenses sort of guy.

    Wouldn't you think these would be the sorts of questions you'll need to be able to answer?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:20 PM  

  • Looks like a decent platform.

    What do your bootleggers bootleg?
    Just curious.

    By Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy, at 6:55 PM  

  • Daniel,

    In general, I think your spelling and grammar are really quite good. However, this post is still riddled with typographical errors (missing, inserted, transposed or substituted letters). The only errors that I think are truly spelling mistakes are ‘neccessary’ and ‘unneccessary’, ‘beaurocrats’ and perhaps ‘competetion’. The only grammatical error I would take exception to is ‘it’s’.

    But, on a more serious note:

    Daniel: The money originally slated to build the bridges acrss cook inlet must be used for that purpose

    It cannot be allowed to be pilfered for other projects.


    Oh, you mean like relief for the victims of Katrina? You’re right, saving the people around Cook Inlet a bit of driving time is much more important than rebuilding someone’s life.

    As for the highways, I’m with Dan on this. How are you going to pay for them? Isn’t Alaska largely dependent on federal funds? If not federal funds, then exactly which social programs are you going to reduce or eliminate to pay for your schemes.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 7:17 PM  

  • JimmyB,
    The bootleggers bootleg alcohol and drugs into the villaiges, where these substances are banned due to the fact that Natives have a genetic disposition to be raging alcoholics. I have seen it action, and it's heartbreaking.

    Dan T. and CJB,

    First, the money for the bridges is already coming to Alaska, but the earmark has been removed, allowing it to be pilfered for other projects IN ALASKA. That money never had any chance of getting folded into the multi-billions the victims of Katrina are already recieving. (This is not to devalue their loss or to deny their need, just an acknowledgement of monetary fact.)
    Also, there is no way to drive around Cook Inlet at all. There are no roads of any kind that go there. Also, even if there were, it would save over 100 miles of travel each way. Ther are some existing roads in the populated areas on the other side of the inlet, and some connecting roads between them. But this area is cut off from the rest of the state except by air and boat. A bridge across the inlet is at least as reasonable to do as building the Golden Gate Bride was, the Brooklyn bridge was, and all of these other bridges tat serve the exact same function, but do so for far smaller tracts of land. Bear in mind that Alaska is still very much a frontier. It is almost nothing like the lower 48 states.

    Second, the need for federal funds to build roads has been part of the normal way of doing business, not just in Alaska, but nationwide. Building the roads that I have proposed would not just be some sinkhole that does nothing much, it would be an investment in humaity and commerce. Right now the remote areas are impovershed despite an average income of $90,000 a year because the cost of getting the essentials for life is so high that a gallon of milk costs $10, gas costs anywhere from $8-$12 a gallon, and so forth. Roads connecting the remote areas to the rest of the state would allow easier transport of goods to the people and raise their standard of living above poverty. I would think that liberals like you would be more than happy to redistribute some of your wealth to aid these people. This said, don't whine that I want federal funds to build some much-needed roads. If Alaska could afforf it on it's own I would still solicit federal funds because that is what the federal highway funds are for.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 9:56 PM  

  • Daniel,

    I’m surprised you didn’t take me to task over my straw man argument about the bridge money. Perhaps that means you are more polite than I am. Or maybe you’re so used to seeing straw man arguments that you thought nothing of it. Anyway, I’m sorry I misunderstood the destination of the funds.

    However, there is this:

    Daniel: A bridge across the inlet is at least as reasonable to do as building the Golden Gate Bride was, the Brooklyn bridge was, and all of these other bridges tat serve the exact same function, but do so for far smaller tracts of land.

    I don’t think it is reasonable to compare the Golden Gate Bridge or the Brooklyn Bridge to the Knik Arm Bridge or the Ketchican Bridge. Comparing the areas of land served is a little misleading. I think it is more appropriate to consider the population served by the bridges and the use that will be made of them.

    At the time of its opening in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge served a population of 634,500 people in San Francisco alone (almost the entire population of Alaska last year). And when the Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883, the population of Manhattan was 1,300,000 and Brooklyn was 650,000. These numbers don’t compare with the population of Anchorage (~260,000) or Ketchican (~8,000 or ~13,000 if you include the surrounding area). I wonder how many trips per day either of the Alaskan bridges will carry compared to their lower 48 counterparts. Contrast that with the cost of their construction and I think you can see why some people may think the money could be better spent.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 2:09 AM  

  • Daniel,

    Don't misunderstand. I'm not totally criticizing your thought that the feds should pay for your roads, as that IS how it happens in the rest of the US. What I'm suggesting is that everyone has their projects that they think are reasonable because "it would be an investment in humanity and commerce."

    I think the same thing about housing assistance and childcare assistance.

    I do disagree with the source here on your particular road proposal because of my stance on autos. They are SUCH a drain on the economy and standard of living that I am very much opposed to paying for it with fed money and think if drivers want to have roads and bridges, then drivers ought to pay the full cost.

    Personal responsibility.

    Anyway, my point was that we have a similar philosophy. It's not that progressives are tax and spend libertines and conservatives aren't.

    We ALL believe in investing in areas that make sense to us. The question then becomes, what makes sense and what doesn't?

    I'm pointing this out because conservatives like to think they're more fiscally responsible and I think this is a fine example that we're operating under the same principle, it's the specifics that are different.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:03 AM  

  • A large chunk of the tax on gasoline and deisel is designated as highway funds, as well as the tax on trucking companies. Each year some states draw more of these highway funds than they pay in, and others draw less than they pay in, and it varies from year to year. This is the main source for constructing and maintaining highways, bridges, access roads and the like. Alaska, just as any of the other 49 states are paying into these funds and thereby are entitled to draw from these funds.

    By Blogger Fish, at 6:43 AM  

  • Thanks fish, for the extra info. To my understanding, though, the gas tax does not cover all the funds that go towards infrastructure. AND certainly not all the other costs incurred by autos...(pollution, loss of/damage to ecosystems, loss of human productivity from all the crashes, etc)

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 7:30 AM  

  • #4, #6, #8:
    Well, what I would say is the best option is always to lobby a private business to do anything that you want done well and quickly. Federal funds are fine - as long as private companies are contracted. Even the most efficient system of government would lose money running a hardware store.
    It has been years since my town decided they could better handle building a maritime park than a private business could - a few million dollars later nothing has happened. Because it's not their money at stake, and because there's no money to be earned, there is no incentive.

    #2:
    Amen!

    By Blogger Rebekah, at 12:13 PM  

  • Dan, of course the gas and road taxes covers construction just as I'd pointed out. The automobile just as any other aspect of human society, has it's advantages and it's drawbacks. I still prefer it over horse drawn carriages of by-gone days and the resultant disease laden dung and urine covered steets.

    By Blogger Fish, at 8:02 PM  

  • "pollution, loss of/damage to ecosystems, loss of human productivity from all the crashes, etc"

    You truly have a poor grasp of what the automobile does for humanity. Before I bother to go into why the automobile is only marginally worse for the environment, and at least as safe a horse and buggy let me ask you this: do you drive an automobile?

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:58 AM  

  • I bike mostly. When I'm with my family, I'll sometimes drive a car but 99% of those trips are within 3 miles of my house.

    I'm not suggesting getting rid of cars totally. I'm suggesting that it would be in our benefit to change our policies from those that encourages personal auto use (as it does currently) to ones that encourage healthier, more sustainable modes of transport (walking, biking, mass transit).

    I could really go on and on (believe me - the research is available), but this is getting a bit adrift of your topic.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 8:49 AM  

  • Okay, just ONE more quickie.

    DL said:
    "You truly have a poor grasp of what the automobile does for humanity."

    Anyone who'd make such a statement probably has a truly poor grasp of what the auto costs society...

    For my part, I'm aware of the costs and the benefits, and I say the costs outweigh the benefits, when the benefits could be realized in many other healthier ways.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 8:52 AM  

  • Great post!

    By Blogger Nightcrawler, at 10:16 AM  

  • Nice platform. Did not know you were from Alaska

    By Blogger Rick's Corner, at 1:40 PM  

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