Use current space for government

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2005

Here's my say about a new capitol building and whether it should be built in Juneau or elsewhere. A new building is apparently desirable because the Legislature is becoming overcrowded in its current "old" quarters.

Instead of a new building, I support kicking the governor and lieutenant governor's offices out of the Capitol's third floor, and then moving them to the top floor of the State Office Building. It would be more economically efficient to shift the governor's subordinate bureaucracy around than to spend millions in public money building new buildings, no matter who pays for it.

Try consolidating state government functions in buildings scattered around Juneau and stick them in the old Kmart building to make room and cut costs. Furthermore, asserting the need for swank, luxurious quarters to enforce respect and compliance to heads of government is an age-old excuse to abuse power. Therefore, using this excuse is political heresy for modern politicians, as well as being ethically suspect.

There are those who trumpet that the capital must be moved because physical proximity to the majority of citizens is vital to the economic practice of representative government. Now, you do find this principle prominent in the application of the audience methodology of kings and nobles. It gives a democratic perfume to the benevolent care and appeasement of subject populations. However, I challenge anybody to find this principle emphasized in the writings and debates of U.S. founding fathers. For those unwilling to take this challenge, answer this simple question. If this principle is so important to American democracy, why didn't it force the U.S. Capitol to be moved to St. Louis, Mo., after World War II?

It's obscene to import the methodologies of kings and feudal lords to make up for the anarchy created by the lack of representative government infrastructure. Politicians permit this by benevolently treating constituents like pseudo-peasants rather than their political superiors. Currently, each legislator, just with a few aides and the Capitol communications systems, tries to represent either 15,000 or 30,000 Alaskans simultaneously. This is as ridiculous now as it has ever been throughout history with kings and nobles with similar populations they served or "represented."

Stuart Thompson

Auke Bay

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