Negativism in capital debate is not OK

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2001

How our community deals with local public policy issues is going to influence how the rest of Alaska will vote on the capital move issue slated for the November 2002 ballot question if ballot petitions are signed by more than 23,000 Alaskans over the next 10 to 12 months.

If Juneau is the capital city that represents Alaskans, Fairbanks voters will be influenced by our local decisions affecting tourism, mining, transportation, oil industry and the military. Anchorage voters, typically more pro-business than Fairbanks, will add financial industries, port and airport development, commercial development and a massive support services sector to Fairbanks' list. Down the Railbelt to the Kenai Peninsula, they will add the timber and fishing industries

The population of Alaskans that get their news from those two Alaskan urban centers and form their public opinions from those media exceed 400,000 Alaskans. If the registered voters in the Railbelt have to ask themselves whether the public policies and political decisions of Juneau have represented "their best interests" in the past 10 years, the majority answer will be "no." Juneau has not represented how they feel about the above-mentioned industries and businesses.

Juneau has been out of step with the Railbelt majority.

If the majority in Juneau supports those industries and businesses they better speak up now with letters to those Railbelt media sources or those Railbelt voters will move Alaska's capital to the "friendly confines" of their own ballpark in the Mat-Su Valley. If the vote was taken today, I would lay you odds!

Brian Phillips


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