I have serious concerns regarding the recent "My Turn" column by Assembly member Dale Anderson. To begin with, it is rare to see an Assembly member take on a fellow Assembly member in a newspaper opinion column. Concerns about a member's vote or stance on an issue are normally the subject of debate at Assembly meetings, and the press reports on the various points of view. Why did Mr. Anderson take Mr. Wheeler on in the paper, rather than in person?
I believe Mr. Anderson is using the pages of the Juneau Empire to continue the orchestrated campaign against political moderates that Laurie Ferguson Craig so aptly described in her recent "My Turn" column. Mr. Anderson belongs to a group pro-developers who lost a key election last year on the issue of building a road to Juneau. They also lost several key seats on the Assembly, and with the retirement of Mayor Dennis Egan and long-time Assembly member John MacKinnon, they are experiencing a loss of control.
Ever since last year's election, this group has worked to divide our community, seeking to regain control so they can achieve their pro-development ends. We voted on the road and it lost. Continued beating of this dead horse does nothing but bring attention to an issue that hurts Juneau.
Orchestrating political campaigns is a smart thing to do. Orchestrating campaigns that divide us when we should be working together to fight a capital move is a dangerous game. Assembly member Mark Wheeler is a political moderate who is working to build a new school and a swimming pool for the valley, development projects we need. Assembly member Dale Anderson is working to divide us when we most need to be together.