Putting Alaska first

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2002

The recent letters from the supporters of Fran Ulmer and Wayne Ross that Frank Murkowski would better serve Alaska by remaining in the Senate should be seen for what they are - a sad attempt to deflect the campaign from the issues.

How will Alaska survive another four years of politics as usual? Our unemployment rate is now over 6 percent. Hundreds of Alaskans are losing their jobs, while Tony Knowles and Fran Ulmer tell us that Alaska's economy is "robust." If this is robust, God help us if the economy falters.

Given the state of our economy and the lack of leadership by the Knowles-Ulmer administration, it's not surprising Fran Ulmer is trying to fool Alaska's electorate into voting for her. She can't run on the issues. Her administration has overseen the collapse of our fishing and timber industries, the loss of hundreds of oil production jobs and a continuing fiscal crisis in state government.

Wayne Ross' adoption of Ulmer's campaign strategy is disingenuous. I thought he was more original and independent. What has Fran promised him if he adopts her campaign strategy?

This is a perfect time for Frank Murkowski to return to Alaska as governor. We need his leadership. He is the one who can lead us out of this economic decline and end the special interests' stranglehold on Alaska. By leaving the U.S. Senate, he is opening the door for a younger Alaskan to earn seniority in Congress before Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young retire. His decision ensures that Alaska will continue to have a voice in the Senate for the next 20 years.

Frank Murkowski could have remained in Washington, enjoying all the privileges of a U.S. senator. Instead, he chose to put Alaska first and return home to help us solve the crisis created by Tony Knowles and Fran Ulmer.

Donald Stolworthy


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