Legislature in need of change

Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Thank you for printing the picture of House Speaker Brian Porter and his billy club closing the Legislative session. How graphic and how apropos.

There could not be a better symbol of the pig-headed attitude of our so-called ``conservative'' legislators. It's as if they were saying, ``We know what's good for you and if you don't like it we'll bust your head.'' They have ignored the will of the people, often, to push their own agenda. They feel they are equipped to ``know better than the rest of us what's good for Alaska'' and ignore the voters who put them in office.

The real result of their arrogance has been the federal takeover of Alaska's wildlife resources and the ongoing reduction in the quality of life for all Alaskans. There is no spirit of cooperation and polarization is the norm. They always favor the special interests who financially keep them in office. Who needs them besides their special interests? Indeed.

Alaskans should look at the term limit laws that are now becoming effective in other states, such as Florida's ``eight is enough'' law. That law limits lawmakers to eight consecutive years in office and then mandates a two-year hiatus before taking another office, or going into the lobbying business. If any politician is worth his salt he can then run for another office and be elected. Sounds mighty good to me.

We also badly need some serious campaign finance reform to reduce the influence of big money over our state's legislators. Some of our legislators are ever ready to sell out the people's needs and interests.

It won't be easy. The abusive ones will kick and scream and whine and resort to their tactic of bullying. But, it must be done. Alaskans must retake control of our state and call the shots. Support the good guys and root out the jerks.

Erik Lie-Nielsen Juneau

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