Should the residents of Southeast Alaska be alarmed concerning a capital move depending on who is elected the next governor of Alaska?
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On Aug. 27, the Juneau Empire reported the chairman of the Alaska Committee, our anti-capital move group, claimed, "there's no reason to be alarmed regarding Palin's intentions," about moving legislative sessions out of Juneau - that what the Republican candidate Palin says now should be relied upon, not what she said in the past.
What have been Sarah Palin's positions in the past? In 2001, as mayor of Wasilla, she signed a petition to move the Legislature and said, "Our arms are wide open for the Legislature to meet here (Wasilla)." In 2002, as a statewide candidate campaigning in Juneau, she waffled and finally said she was undecided. Now, in 2006, she says she'll leave it up to the Legislature.
And the Alaska Committee chairman is not alarmed? The committee was alarmed in 2001 when it organized a campaign to oppose the very initiative candidate Palin signed. At that time, officials in Juneau called the idea of moving the legislative sessions a closet capital move.
Recently, at the Southeast Conference in Ketchikan, Palin claimed she wants to keep the capital in Juneau, but failed to indicate her position on where the Legislature should meet.
Sarah Palin should be seen as a potential capital move threat by everyone in Southeast Alaska. The voters of Southeast and the Alaska Committee should be alarmed.
Tony Knowles, the Democratic candidate for governor, has always opposed the capital move and has said he would veto any legislation to relocate the capital or legislative sessions. His track record is clear and strong, unlike Palin's changing rhetoric and positions.