Move legislative sessions north
As Alaskan Independence Party chairperson, Mr. Chryson's letter in Tuesday's Empire carries a bit more weight than the average card-carrying member. I presume he is speaking for the membership as a whole, independent of any personal bias or self-interest. He makes some valid points regarding travel expenses incurred by sending legislators to Juneau for sessions but the message is lost in the poison-pen approach of his delivery. I may point out that Mr. Chryson represents all AIP members. Some, I assume, reside in Juneau.
One-third of his letter is pointedly directed toward our regional newspaper. Apparently he is under the impression that the tail is wagging the dog in this instance. I have a personal preference for daily newspapers I can carry under the arm without strain, and as a 40-year resident I would not take kindly to my local newspaper advocating the removal of legislative sessions from Juneau to Mr. Chryson's district. Duh! On the other hand, our newspaper has published opinions unpopular to the region. His is only one example.
Mr. Chryson's reference to a "drunken sailor mentality" does not set well with me. I am a Vietnam-era sailor, as were relatives of mine, and I would inquire into his military service. He does not come across as one who has served in the military because he cannot make the distinction between service and R&R.
I have a slight problem with giving credence to Mr. Chryson's political party. It has been for sale. Die-hard party members have, in the past, routinely switched affiliation to use fringe organizations as a shortcut. It worked here once as I remember, but he bailed early for a cabinet seat in the Nixon administration. I, as a young lad, remember sitting next to Gov. Egan over coffee and apple pie at Percy's Cafe before AIP was conceived. He knew my name. I couldn't even ride an elevator with Hickel because of his security force.
I suppose there are two points I am trying to make here. First, and foremost, Alaskans do no harm to Alaskans. Relocating the Capitol will do harm. What was done to Sitka nearly a century ago has little bearing on what will be done to Juneau now. As for traveling expenses, the state's expenditure to send representatives to the Capitol pales in comparison to sending folks to Anchorage because department heads do business where we need to get to them.