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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Re-elect Dan Ortiz

By Mike Harpold


November 05, 2016
Saturday AM

State politics is not the same as local, it is partisan. And like it or not, the legislature is also exempt from the Open Meetings Act, so most important decisions are made behind closed doors. Glen Thompson, Sitnews 11-2-16

Think of the preposterousness of this, folks. The State of Alaska has one of the most rigorous Open Meetings Acts in the nation, a model for localities everywhere, yet does not bind its own legislature to conduct public business in front of the voters.

The majority caucus drafts legislation behind closed doors and then merely rubberstamps it in show, televised sessions. Who else is in the room when only Republican legislators are deciding on the state budget, how we tax the oil companies, etc.? We don t know.

I like it that Representative Dan Ortiz is not in that backroom. As an independent, he is not bound by the rules of caucus secrecy that prevent the voters from knowing what goes on behind those closed caucus doors or what their representative really stands for.

I wish the entire legislature was like Dan and had to stand on the State House floor before the TV cameras and make their case not only to their fellow legislators, but to their constituents and the public.

The legislature now needing to raise money, not just spread it around, that day may be coming sooner than later.

Mike Harpold
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received November 04, 2016 - Published November 05, 2016

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