It was nice to see coverage of Desa Jacobsson as a potential Green Party candidate for governor (Monday's Empire). As evidenced by 2000 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke's speech in Juneau, the Green Party is attracting strong candidates.
What was disappointing about the article was how Dave Dittman, of Dittman Research, was allowed to characterize the Green Party. Mr. Dittman said that the Green Party of Alaska is not capitalizing on its showing in the last election cycle and is marginalizing itself with "strident rhetoric on ANWR" and opposing new ballparks in Anchorage.
The Green Party has not taken an official stand on the ballparks, though we may do so at our state convention in March. I am not sure how either side of that debate could be considered marginal however, since public opinion seems to be equally split.
A Dittman Research poll on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reported in the Anchorage Daily News (April 16, 2001) found that 23 percent of Alaskans favored protecting the Refuge. This was a poll paid for by Sen. Frank Murkowski out of his campaign fund.
Mr. Dittman was quoted saying, "These new arrivals come with Outside attitudes. Whether they are contaminated, polluted or whatever, as they become more informed their ideas change." It appears that an objective pollster believes a more "informed" opinion is to open the refuge.
The same article highlights a similar poll done by Ivan Moore in which 45 percent of Alaskans agreed to the statement: "The Arctic National Wildlife refuge should be protected from oil drilling."
Clearly 45 percent of Alaska cannot be marginal. Yet whether it is 23 or 45 percent, those Alaskans who support protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should have a voice, and that voice is the Green Party.
Had Mr. Dittman spoken with me or even visited our Web site, www.alaskagreens.org, he would have know of the many efforts we are undertaking to capitalize on the success of the 2000 election. Instead of raising the nearly half million dollars that the Democrats and Republicans have by once again selling themselves to corporate interests, the Green Party has been actively seeking new members all across the state, by the old-fashioned method of talking to people, not charging them $1,000 a plate.
Please join us in building a sustainable future for Alaska.
Chair, Green Party of Alaska