Alaska editorial: Last chance to register to vote is today

This editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

...The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Sunday, Oct. 7.

Only about a quarter of Alaska’s registered voters took the trouble to vote in August.

We won’t wring our hands over that fact. If only 25 percent show up, 25 percent get to make the decisions.

But that kind of turnout isn’t good for representative democracy.

The presidential race is the main event, and in Alaska the outcome of that race is a foregone conclusion. But even foregone conclusions don’t count until the votes are counted.

Further, on Nov. 6 (and before, with early and absentee voting) Alaskans will decide on dozens of legislative races. The outcome of those will go a long way toward deciding Alaska’s course on two big, unresolved issues — oil taxes and the Pebble mine project.

This election matters. Our votes matter.

Cynics, including some who call themselves realists, always can come up with reasons why the vote doesn’t matter. The fix is in. Money rules. Elections are for show, lobbying is for dough. There’s often an element of truth in that view.

But that doesn’t stack up against the reality that our votes do matter, that the people still do have the power to create change, that there is a difference between candidates and that we can only write the end to this republic if we fail to show up.

Sometimes it’s unsatisfying work. We don’t like the choices. But citizens do it every time around anyway, because to govern is to choose. Adults know that life comes with imperfect choices. But they still make a difference, and we need to choose.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell made a good point a few days ago ... when he wrote that “Voting is vigilance.”

Absence is abdication.

We want a say in how things run? We need to vote.

But we can’t do that on 11-6 unless we register by 10-7.


Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:53

Stand with Alaskans and stand with Planned Parenthood

I appreciate Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s recent decision to support repealing the Trump administration’s global gag rule. The global gag rule bans federal money for overseas family planning programs if the programs also provide abortion, or provide information about abortion. The global gag rule puts thousands of lives at risk, and Murkowski has rightly recognized that. I praise Murkowski, and want her to know that Alaskans stand with her in supporting access to family planning services. This means that we support Planned Parenthood, and we hope she will stand with us in the coming weeks by refusing to vote for any changes to the Affordable Care Act that include defunding Planned Parenthood. Read more

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:42

Alaska editorial: The opioid issue

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

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Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:41

Expanding apprenticeship in rural Alaska

We are proud to announce a new statewide training initiative: the Alaska Maritime Apprenticeship Program. Over the past year, the Calista Corporation, in partnership with the state and federal government, has built a Registered Apprenticeship program to train Alaskans for careers on deck, in the engine room, and in the galley, earning both a salary and an industry-recognized credential. Working with a group of companies including Brice Marine and Yukon River Towing, we are expanding career and training opportunities for Alaskans in the maritime industry.

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Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:40

Transboundary mining: Defending Alaska’s interests

It is a big week for Alaska’s capital city. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are in town to address the Alaska State Legislature, the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) Board of Directors, and all Alaskans. There are a number of issues on which the state of Alaska, including our elected decision makers at both the state and federal levels, can show unity. One of those critical issues is asking the U.S. federal government to defend Alaskan interests in the Alaska-British Columbia (B.C.) transboundary mining issue.

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