Payback time?

Posted: Monday, August 06, 2001

As a former Juneau resident and member of the Alaska Committee, I was interested in an Anchorage Daily News story about a recent statewide poll concerning moving legislative sessions out of Juneau.

When I was on the Alaska Committee, confidentiality was paramount. This is for obvious reasons. You always let the opposition do their own polling. Back in those days it was inconceivable to spill the results of a poll that showed we were losing and the support was for the move.

You've got to wonder why Juneau Mayor Sally Smith just had to tell the media about the poll and the fact the results showed most people favored the move. Does she like to see her name in print or is she just not very politically astute?

There is payback for the mentality of those in Juneau who fought the opening of the mines, testified against the timber industry, oppose tourism and are against a road out of Juneau. That payback is in the poll results shared by the Juneau mayor. Juneau has lost many of its allies. The payback will be that many of those who opposed real jobs will be unemployed after the move and have no option but to move from an economy they created.

I'd say that Mayor Smith might just have damaged Juneau's chances to beat this one back. If it happens there will be plenty of blame to go around and she will have earned her share. Maybe there is something to the karma thing.

Chuck Achberger


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