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Keep ACES, and look behind the scenes at political chess game

Posted: April 12, 2013 - 12:05am

Carl Brady’s My Turn column is what one would expect from an appointee of Sean Parnell, who has gone after ACES like a man on a mission, exactly as if he hadn’t stopped being a ConocoPhillips lobbyist. Brady doesn’t mention the thousands of added jobs and prosperity that the state has since ACES, that the governor himself was bragging about at the start of this year, nor the competitive incentives we already have.

ACES was not an accident created by fools, and my hat is still off to Sarah Palin for signing it. As far as it’s progressivity goes — it is a fact that if one can bargain to get a better cut at high prices, then a sliding scale is reasonable common sense. The ConocoPhillips hawks don’t seem to get this elementary concept.

When we stand to lose billions it is wise not to be credulous, but considerably scrutinize the source. Sean Parnell came to power as a sort of stealth governor, unelected as such, yet with the advantages of incumbency for his re-election.

What do we make of the fact that he once left public office to go work for ConocoPhillips? One can make a reasoned observation that public service has not been a steadfast, lifelong calling for Parnell, and that perhaps he regarded working for an oil company as a move up. The special relationship he developed working for them cannot be expected to be reversed; we know this without having to ask a behavioral psychologist.

After ACES got signed, you can bet the CEOs of Big Oil were licking their chops at the prospect of getting Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate, mainly to get her out of office and have their trusty former lobbyist neatly installed as Governor, to undo the damage it caused to their profit margins.

Anybody that thinks this is crazy doesn’t know how much power Big Oil money has in American politics. Isn’t it an instructive observation, that a full-term mayor of a small Alaskan city probably wouldn’t cut it in the dirty national big leagues? Were we too caught up with the sensational celebrity of it all to see the real, quiet chess move that was talking place right under our noses? One never knows what goes on in the back rooms of the powerful; but one can make a good guess they are not playing Tiddliwinks.

Tony Tengs

Juneau

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