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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Why We Need Bob Sivertsen for House District 36

By Wynn Hopkins


November 07, 2016
Monday PM

I find it puzzling to read statements extolling the virtues of independence in state politics.

Sadly, quite the reverse is true. Independence is a noble concept in many forums, but for District 36 it is a hindrance rather than a help.

In Juneau, it s all about who our representative aligns himself with. In our Legislature, just as in Washington, D.C., the sad reality is that districts benefit or lack depending upon which caucus their representative joins.

Since being elected, our representative Mr. Ortiz has joined with the minority Democrat-led group. Unfortunately for Ketchikan, the way things work in Juneau, the majority caucus controls the purse and thus the amount of funding we ultimately receive.

Simply put, we get a far smaller piece of the fiscal pie than we would with a majority representative.

Make no mistake. Although a great deal of outside money has come into various districts from partisan sources hoping to influence local elections in their favor, the chance of a change in majority House control is thought by those close to that body to be slim to none.

Bob Sivertsen is ready to fly north next week to join the first meeting of the majority coalition.

Bob Sivertsen and the conservative majority believe in responsible spending and fiscal restraint. They want to encourage business, including the development of our resources.

Mr. Ortiz has spoken harshly about the oil developers that have created thousands of Alaskan jobs and have fueled our state budget--but should we bite the hand that feeds us? Remember the lesson of Boeing and the many other companies that have taken their tax revenues and jobs to other states when their tax burden became too great.

Mr. Ortiz states that he, the governor and the minority coalition have a comprehensive plan to solve our budget woes. Unfortunately, a state income tax and multiple other taxes including a state sales tax are being promoted under that plan.

The reader should not take this as a personal attack on the incumbent, whom I respect and am personally fond of. But we in a small town must beware of the tendency to make a race for an important seat a popularity contest. Platitudes may sound good, but it s the bottom line for Ketchikan that counts.

What I wish to see is the greatest overall benefit for our district, which reason tells me would be achieved through the election of Republican Bob Sivertsen to the State House.

Wynn Hopkins
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received November 06, 2016 - Published November 07, 2016


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