Referendum needed on capital-move bills

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I turned on Gavel to Gavel this morning and was really galled to see a legislator, who I at first thought was a real estate developer, trying to pass another back-door bill to move the capital. He says he's really not moving it, but I believe him like I would Saddam Hussein.

In this bill that he and his "aides" spent a lot of time on, he proposes to repeal the FRANK (Fiscally Responsible Alaskans Needing Knowledge) Initiative, which mandates that before the state can spend money to move the capitol or Legislature, the voters must know the costs and approve them.

I believe a lot of Alaskans are sick and tired of legislators spending time and money every session to try and move the capitol. We are sick and tired of hearing it. Maybe we need to have a referendum for a 20-year moratorium on capital move bills.

The legislators reasoning for this "free" 1,000-acre complex was accessibility. If I want accessibility, I turn on Gavel to Gavel, pick up the telephone or a pen and paper.

I have only been to the Capitol building once and I have lived in Juneau about a third of my life and another third in Anchorage. I was overcome by the history of the building from the Grecian columns on the steps to the austere 19th-century hallways and offices, which are lined with the history of our state. It was quite a strong feeling.

I thought this proposal was about a meeting hall for Legislative sessions, although any man can see it is a back-door maneuver to move the capital, again.

Well, we all know it is about money.

And lo and behold, it turns out to be a lone proposal from the Mat-Su Valley to give 1,000 acres "free." We all know what that word means - nothing is free.

I sure hope this bill never passes and it really makes me angry that legislators are wasting our time and money, when they should be working on the budget or things more important to the people and not some developer, especially when they whine about 90 days not being long enough to get business done.

Jerry Shelley


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