SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Before we sign Johansen recall petition...
By Mike Cruise


January 31, 2011
Monday PM

Let it be understood that I am no fan of Rep. Johansen. When Kyle chose to run for the Alaska State House I felt that he was too inexperienced for the job. My apprehensions were reinforced by the fact that Kyle had signed on to run against Jim Elkins. Nobody that I am aware of disagreed with Jim Elkins more than I did, but he had earned his House Seat, cared deeply about Ketchikan and had done an honorable job and was respected in Juneau and through out the State. In my mind there was no good reason for Jim to have to fight for the nomination of his own party as he also battled for his life. I questioned the integrity of anyone who would take advantage of an individual in that cruel situation. I still do.

We now know what was commonly accepted then, Jims' position would have been vacated and it would have fallen to the Republican Party Locals to submit candidates to the Governor to fill his seat.

The difference now (not that many months later) is that the Local Party must first "recall" Kyle.

Around District 1, recalling Kyle seems to be viewed favorably. We are told (and few argue) that he has lost his effectiveness, thrown away all his influence and can't do what he was sent to Juneau to do. Fair enough and no argument as far as it goes.

Because Kyles' personal indiscretions while in Juneau were common knowledge to seemingly all of the State of Alaska it seems strange that they were so little reported or commented upon in Ketchikan. Conversely, when he squandered his position and rendered himself politically impotent, the news was spread far, wide and loudly.

So, when my many acquaintances through out the State made the statement that "Ketchikan didn't care that our Representative was making a fool of us by making a fool of himself", I didn't know what they were talking about. Now we all do.

Some of us don't care what the rest of the State thinks of Ketchikan. But, when one is elected (or appointed) to State Wide Office it has been this communities expectation that those individuals conduct themselves in an honorable and respectable fashion. They have obligations to their constituents beyond simply bringing back the "Bucks".

Some of those out of town folks contend that Ketchikan "Didn't care what their Representative did as long as he had his snout deeply inserted into the Political Pork Barrel. It certainly wasn't like that in the past!" and they remind me of the outstanding individuals that District 1 had traditionally sent to Juneau. Individuals who managed to uphold Ketchikans' reputation as well as bringing home the projects.

The point of all this is . I don't think the Local Republican Party should hide in a smoke filled room and come up with a list of three names AFTER Mr. Johansen is recalled. They need to present that list to the District before we sign a recall petition. Before we vote on a recall.

They have the prerogative of coming up with the names, but one of those named will be "Our Representative". After all the embarrassment and contempt that has been heaped upon this community, it is only reasonable that we know who they propose to replace Johansen with FIRST.

Mike Cruise
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Long time resident and former Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Member."

Received January 27, 2011 - Published January 31, 2011



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