Murkowski hasn't received the message

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, September 04, 2006

In wasting state monies for another expensive legislative special session, it seems obvious the governor hasn't received the message Alaska Republican voters sent him on Aug. 22. Is he really that obtuse? If so, I'll write slowly, and maybe it will soak in.

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Eighty-one percent of Alaska Republicans who voted sent Frank Murkowski a personal no-confidence vote. In the last three-plus years, not only has he alienated many Republicans who voted for him, he has also alienated so many Republican legislators that "the stars are no longer aligned."

He made many mistakes when he progressed from a senator to Alaska's top manager, but one was the key to his failure: He surrounded himself with "yes people." Every good manager seeks very smart people as subordinates who will give him or her honest feedback. When he violated the law and fired Tom Irwin, it became apparent he didn't want honest feedback. Lack of honest feedback leaves a manager operating alone, to sink or swim on his own wits. That was his undoing.

Because he had had no successful "management experience" in his entire adult life - coupled with his arrogance and bullheadedness (in D.C., that's called "Potomac Fever") - he was doomed to failure from the beginning as Alaska's top manager. He couldn't keep his campaign promises, because he simply didn't know how. And his yes-people and appointed cronies agreed with all his ideas just to keep their jobs.

All good managers operate with common sense and seek advice from others, who are smarter than they are. All good "elected" managers do not treat their constituency with disdain or as dupes. All good "elected" managers are responsible stewards of public monies and do not operate in secret, which might give the unethical appearance or "image" of being "owned" by special interests.

A lot has been written nationwide about this Alaska primary election. In my opinion, as a voting Alaska Republican, most Alaskans just don't trust Murkowski to do the right thing.

The governor's suggested "personality transplant" was actually one of his best ideas. He should have considered that years ago.

Richard Hahn


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