In a state the size of Alaska, issues are often different from place to place. In Southeastern Alaska we have suffered a progressively worsening economy for the past eight years, largely the result of restrictions on harvesting our timber, and falling prices on salmon.
Today, Ketchikan and surrounding communities are seeing an exodus of people due to limited job and business opportunities. During the past 10 years Ketchikan's population and labor force has decreased 6 percent. Total nominal earnings are down 8.5 percent.
People here aren't lazy, but like most of Alaska, we depend on our natural resources for our livelihood. Without timber, fishing, and mining, there is very little industry here. What has happened here should be a wakeup call for the rest of the state. Construction projects are only temporary fixes - all of Alaska depends on its natural resources for wealth.
Frank Murkowski sees these issues more clearly than his opponent. He has pledged to stand up to extreme outside environmental groups, an intrusive federal government and other outside special interests. His opponent, on the other hand, would only be a continuation of the last administration's harmful policies driven by radical environmentalists and special interests.
Frank Murkowski is good for Alaska; he has my vote.