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After reading recent editorials in the Juneau Empire, Anchorage Daily News and Pacific Fishing, I can only say ``voters beware.'' Once again the press is spinning a subsistence image that is misleading and seriously lacking any objectivity. They also are taking an election year swing at the legislators that protected the constitutional rights of all Alaskans during the 2000 session. It is unclear to this writer whether the expressed opinions of these publications are due to pressure from Sen. Stevens, money and special interest groups in Anchorage and elsewhere, or a lack of understanding of what is at risk by the state complying with federal provisions of ANILCA that created the management mess we have today.
Alaskans do not gain management of fish and game back by merely adopting a ``rural priority'' in our state constitution. What you receive for voting to destroy your constitutionally guaranteed equal access to fish and game is the establishment of a discriminatory system of access based on where you reside. You also receive federal bureaucracy and federal court oversight of the state management agency to ensure we remain in compliance. A good deal for Alaska? I don't believe so. This solution is of course a good dodge for politicians who are relying on fooling the public into voting for such a solution so they don't have to face the tough political decisions necessary to fairly resolve this issue.
The editorials are really aimed at helping efforts to terminate the political careers of many of the eight senators who did not support the misguided-guided attempt by other legislators to push a constitutional amendment out during the 2000 session. Sen. Robin Taylor and Sen. Jerry Ward are both being targeted for removal by special interests. What a shame that those interests have so little regard for the constitutional rights of all Alaskans as well as the state constitution itself. Taylor, Ward and the other six senators deserve your continued support. Candidates that can't defend your constitutional rights from the get-go don't deserve your vote. Don't be mislead by claims of would be legislators or special interest groups that the subsistence issue can be resolved by merely changing the state constitution. Fair resolution can only occur with deletion of the discriminatory provisions of ANILCA.
Carl L. RosierRetired Fish and Game CommissionerJuneau