Empire, Democrats pick on wrong person

Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Isn't it interesting. Our local state house representative and state senator, both Democrats, take time to criticize a citizen who has done more than any other person in Juneau or the rest of the state to fight capital move efforts and position Juneau as a great capital city. The Empire mysteriously picks up this "hot" story and prints it at the top of the front page of the Sunday paper. Meanwhile, no other local or state news agency sees fit to even give it a mention.

Just a few days later the same representative votes against HB 298, which would bring over $3 million additional dollars to Juneau to help pay for programs the city is currently cutting because of city budget shortfalls. It barely receives a mention on the back page of the weekday paper.

If our local representative is unwilling to vote for a fiscal plan that has a chance of passing the Legislature, then she should be held accountable for the cuts that will come in city services, state services and educational services that will follow. And the Juneau Empire reporters should be asking the hard questions of that same elected official, not harassing citizens who volunteer their time and energy to protect and promote Juneau as the capital city.

Now that the fiscal plan has moved to the Senate, we can only hope that our Democratic state senator will help with the heavy lifting as our Democratic House representative failed to do. If he does not, then perhaps he can answer a few hard questions on the front page of the paper.

Thanks to our other state House representative, Bruce Weyrauch, for recognizing the importance of passing HB 298 and voting yes. And finally, a huge thank you to Paulette Simpson for tirelessly working on behalf of our capital city as an unpaid, unelected and apparently underappreciated volunteer.

Betsy Fischer


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