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Having just finished reading "State grants for capitol design steams Gatto" in the April 13 Empire, I'm now wiping the crocodile tears from my eyes for poor, indignant, and steamed Gatto.
I too get steamed when I look at the annual state transportation improvement plan and see where the general fund money goes and what it goes for. I get steamed when Gatto says "they [Juneau] should have approached us first" while the House passes a resolution to not fund any portion of the new capitol building.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Ben Stevens and the gang have no problem justifying taking $337 million of permanent fund earnings, $213 of million which will go toward deferred maintenance and construction projects and $125 million for the University of Alaska and the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.
By God, if Anchorage needs to fund a museum, let's take care of it. If Juneau needs a new capitol, "they can pay for it themselves." What a bunch of self-serving hypocrites. Voters told legislators to keep their hands off the permanent fund, and they spit in our face and with their hogs-at-the-trough appetite dole it out as they see fit.
Like it or not, Juneau is the capital of Alaska and should receive the same consideration for funding that the Southcentral area does.
We've asked for the last 10 years to address the constant financial shortfall, and all we get are dishonest, creative ways to fund pet projects, move-the-capital-out-of-Juneau bills, and cut every program that the Bush and small communities depend on. They have wasted our time and our money with their little games.
Ben Stevens and his like-minded cronies have my solemn promise to never vote for them, and my sincere desire to see them removed from office.