SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By David G. Hanger


September 02, 2008

No, I'm not changing my mind about anything; I am done with Alaska politics and writing about the subject. This is just closing out a little bit of old business.

Three years ago I endorsed John Harrington for Borough Assembly. I actually thought a school teacher might bring a more enlightened perspective to the table, but all Harrington brought was obsession, neuroses, and an insecurity based on never having made a single buck of profit in his life that led him to sell out his whole town in pursuit of his obsessive dream that he would be involved in solving the problems out at Ward Cove. Instead of listening to honest local residents, who had no reason for their actions but concern for this community, he decided that the bought and paid for mouthpiece, an attorney in Illinois paid $25,000 to say nice things about him, of Jerry Jenkins was a reliable source of any kind of information whatsoever. Instead of reporting to his community John Harrington reports to the Chamber of Commerce, they who think they control 70% or more of this town. (Most of them don't know how to control either the northern or the southern end of their personage.) I allege, John Harrington was among those who unhesitatingly endorsed Jerry Jenkins' efforts to have the Borough Assembly and the Borough government aid Jenkins in an effort to commit bank fraud by attempting to obtain loan proceeds on the basis of lies and falsifications. John Harrington lacks integrity, judgment, and any obvious ability as a leader of this community. Find anyone else.

Likewise, please find someone besides either Williams or Kiffer to be the next mayor of this Borough. Christian Joe has his head and both feet in the next world, and does not have a clue what is going on in this one. Not merely is he the worst mayor this Borough and this community have ever seen (and it's a grim bunch to begin with), he is the most witless dullard I have seen in public life. "Jerry Jenkins is a nice young man who is going to bring 40 to 60 jobs to this community." Put that on Joe's tombstone as his epitaph, and in the meantime send him home to pray. That is what he prefers doing anyway. The taxpaying citizens of the Gateway Borough are going to be paying for the lawsuits and the missing millions out at Ward Cove for years to come. The ruined relationships are unrecoverable.

But how is Kiffer better? He's a nice guy; goes out of his way to emphasize his "nice guy-ness," a familiar routine with many a self-promoter. But Kiffer crawled into bed with Jerry Jenkins just like the rest of them; listened to and heeded the word of crooks and liars, while ignoring the honest and legitimate concerns of local citizens (whose knowledge of the subject at hand always far exceeded that of any of these boneheads). None of them even had an accurate history of what Jerry Jenkins has been up to these past dozen years or so.

Rewarding such incompetence and dishonesty by electing or re-electing someone mayor is putrid. This whole Borough Assembly should be recalled. If Jenkins actually got a loan on the basis of our elected officials' collective dishonesty, they should all be prosecuted. Electing any of these people to any position in the future is obscene. Dick Coose gets elected to the City Council after the gross incompetence and negligence of his actions in the $20+ million disaster known as the Gateway Forest Products affair and his support for the wooden bowl scam? Morons, Inc., or is it organized crime?

It is a grim fact that at every level of government in this state organized criminal enterprise is what it looks like. Consider, what now is the percentage of the state legislature that has already been sentenced and incarcerated? How many more? We know there are more. There are some bizarre apologists recently for some of this crap. "Aw shucks, Ted didn't take that much; it ain't no big deal. He's still a good old boy. I'd have barbecue with him any day."

Vic Kohring and these other dirtbags did not want that much either. That they were willing to take a pittance to sell down the river the state and all of the citizens of this state just makes them that much smaller.

At this time there are four types of state legislators: 1) Those already prosecuted and convicted, and those who have been charged; 2) Those who have not yet been caught; 3) Those who knew what was going on, but did nothing about it; and 4) Those who really did not have a clue what was going on. Who do you trust? Which of these groups would you trust with anything? Try none of the above.

From top to bottom the entire state legislature needs to be purged. Maybe there are some honest folks in the bunch, but how are we to separate the wheat from the chaff? When food is tainted, we recall it all. The same needs to be done with our state legislature. Collectively, and in almost all instances individually, they are a worthless bunch. It is virtually impossible to determine at this juncture who, if any, of these individuals can be trusted, and given circumstances it is inherently wise policy not to trust any of them.

Kyle Johannsen, for example, says he joined the Republican Party because Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. If old Abe popped out of the great beyond today, he would puke at what the modern Republican Party represents. The three 'R's of the modern Republican Party are racism, religious intolerance, and ripping off the public purse to line the pockets of themselves and their buddies. Kyle immediately crawled into bed with the special interests; it makes young men feel important; and a few local bones tossed is not enough to justify re-electing him either.

The stench does not conclude with the vagaries of elected officials. There are department heads of major departments who are using their positions to line the pockets of themselves and their extended families. The local courthouse is a cliquish joke, where you are more likely to be judged on the basis of your obesity, than on anything to do with so-called justice. The local DA will probably prosecute you for stealing a candy bar or snorting a line of cocaine, but elected officials can conspire with private citizens to commit bank fraud, and our local DA is out to lunch on some far distant planet.

Nor does the state bureaucracy present a rosy picture at this time relative the subject of arrogant entitlement and corruption. For about ten years now many, perhaps the majority, of the employees of the Alaska Marine Highway have been involved in making false deduction claims for meals & lodging that were in fact paid by the state, each year leaving the tax coffers short at least a few hundred grand which the rest of us had to make up. The Feds put the kibosh down on that nonsense recently, too.

Have any of you heard of any state police involvement in these political scandals? All of these cases seem to be coming from the Feds. Why is that? Might it be that our state police have no capacity for solving or investigating political or white collar crimes, so it's just open season out there; our state police the moral equivalent of the goons who stand like statues behind the head coach at halftime and at the end of the game, decorative, but non-essential and non-functional? Or are they just puppets for their political masters? I would like to think that political corruption is something the state police would be concerned about and know how to deal with, but I do not get that is the case.

Sarah Palin came into office insisting she was going to reform things, but reform seems to be that it is OK for Borough governments to conspire to commit bank fraud with private citizens at their whim (and I gather anything else that might fall under the umbrella of "allowing lots of latitude in decision making"). Reform seems to be that the senate majority leader and the minority leader are now both Republicans. Governor Palin seems much more part of the problem, than part of the solution.

My essential problem with Alaska politics right now is I don't know whether to choke or to chuckle. A lot of it is really stupid, but mostly it is just disgusting. Until such time as the electorate figures out it is time for something new, worrying about any of it is a waste of time.

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, AK


Received August 30, 2008 - Published September 02, 2008


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