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It's beyond Kookesh to threaten council

Posted: Monday, February 08, 2010

I read that Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, may be under an ethics complaint for allegedly threatening the Craig City Council, because that local government entity may not support Sealaska Corp. on its proposed land legislation in Congress.

For decades, Sealaska Corp. has been waiting to receive its full land entitlement under terms of ANCSA.

I have known Sealaska Board member Albert Kookesh both personally and as a professional representative of Sealaska. Kookesh took time out of his busy schedule to speak at my father's funeral many years ago. Kookesh is a gentleman, a sports person and a protector of Sealaska shareholders.

It's beyond Kookesh to threaten Craig City Council. In his statements, Kookesh describes how we need to get along politically and socially in the world in which we live.

I, for one, would not want to see Kookesh be weakened in the Alaska Legislature. But he will make it through this political fallout.

There is no direct or implied threat to affect capital funding or state funding for the residents of Craig. Kookesh is a lawyer, a state senator and board member, who, at all times, places the interests of his district first.

Outsiders of Sealaska and the Southeast Native community may view this as bitter in-fighting. I encourage my fellow shareholders and Senate district voters to back Kookesh.

As for the proposed federal legislation, I encourage our congressional delegation to pass it. Craig should be neutral on the bill.

Kookesh is our legislative leader and shareholder advocate in Southeast Alaska. We Fairbanksans, politically, help keep the state capital in Juneau. Remember that!

Oscar Frank Jr. and Ethan Nickolai

Fairbanks



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