Is conference really impartial?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Preliminary Report of the state of Alaska's Long-Range Financial Planning Commission (Aug. 12, 1995) shows that the commission chair was Brian Rogers.

The commission's executive summary report (Oct. 1995) said - among other recommendations - to "cap the Permanent Fund Dividend pool" and to "use the Permanent Fund as an endowment."

Alaskans rejected such recommendations in 1999, when 83 percent voted no, government should not get even "some" PF money. Eighty-three percent!

Now the Fairbanks Conference is meeting to work on questions such as POMV (an endowment approach) and use of PF earnings (affecting dividends).

The supposedly neutral facilitator that Governor Murkowski appointed for this conference? Right. The same former LRFPC chair, Brian Rogers.

Neutral facilitator? Fair conference? Credible process? Appearance of neutrality, fairness, credibility? You decide.

In 1955, the Constitutional Convention delegates - who were elected, not appointed - had three months (not three days) to do their work, assisted by a neutral Outside firm, the Public Administration Service, not by one Alaskan with a history. Compare that process with the conference process. You decide.

Joe Sonneman


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