Wednesday's (May 25) Voice of the Times editorial shocked me so much I almost fell out of my chair. The Times is usually so far right of center they make Lew Williams sound like a "tree-hugging" liberal. They actually criticized our Republican leadership and accused them of being "asleep" as Alaska's military bases were being targeted for closure.
Apparently, the Times has not been keeping up with the news coming out of Juneau, or they would have known our leaders were busy elsewhere.
Gov. Marie Antoinette (let them eat ice cream) Murkowski and the "nobles" spent the entire legislative session figuring out how best put the screws to the long-suffering masses, and secure huge pay increases for themselves to boot. The governor, who already makes six times more then the average peon in his administration, managed to secure a 50 percent pay raise, and the "nobles," the governor's directors and commissioners who make more than twice as much as the same peon, got a $6,000 pay raise.
The governor, the smart fellow that he is, figured he could buy off the long-suffering masses with a couple of scoops of ice cream and a bag of popcorn. But when the "riot" started the governor's pit bull (Art Chance, director of labor relations, what a joke) was sent in to quell and disperse those individuals that so shamefully disrupted this "show of gratitude." Yes, it was a shame, a shame that after years of receiving either no "cost of living adjustment" or adjustments far less then the actual cost of living the masses felt they had to say something. Because the king, I mean, the governor couldn't show his gratitude by cutting loose with some of the half-billion-dollar surplus the state is sitting on, in the form of long overdue pay increases or even a one-time bonus.
Ice cream and popcorn may be a fine way to show your gratitude to a bunch of kindergartners, but when you have car payments and a mortgage nothing says "thank you" better than cash.
So as you can see, our leaders weren't asleep. They just had a different set of priorities. Base closures - who cares about 5,000 lost jobs? "We got our pay raises, and we'll make the next generation of Alaskans pay for them."
Fred C. Dobbs
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