My Turn: Proposed land exchange is in the public interest
Sen. Frank Murkowski's My Turn column in Sunday's Empire is strong evidence of the need for campaign finance reform in this country - you go John McCain and Russ Feingold!
I took the trouble to read through Sen. Murkowski's bill (S.2222) introduced on April 23. Here's what his bill actually does if you read through the obfuscation:
Sealaska Corp. will have net gains of 4,125 acres subsurface rights and surface rights of 9329 acres. Cape Fox Corporation has a net loss of 336.1 subsurface acres and 237.1 surface acres; however, most of the land they would trade already has been clear cut.
The U.S. taxpayer through the Forest Service has a net loss of 3,887.9 subsurface acres and 9,091.9 surface acres. And, a goodly portion of the approximately 3,000 acres traded to the Forest Service from Cape Fox has been clear cut. All the public acres to be traded away have the timber inventory intact.
And this is in the public interest and good for Alaska?
At best, Murkowski's article is misleading and a deliberate obfuscation. At worst, and probably the truth given the senator's track record, he is being a corporate shill, con man and snakeoil salesman.