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It's not often in politics that important questions have simple answers. But with the choices available to voters this year, the question of who should be Alaska's next governor has a clear answer: Frank Murkowski.
Alaskans have traditionally been proud to live in a land of opportunity, where optimism and hard work can bring a better future. But instead of progress, Alaskans in the past eight years have seen a lack of direction. Instead of confidence, they feel indecision. Instead of hope, they feel doubt.
The state's economic performance has lagged behind the national economy, with paychecks eroding, gross state product declining, young people seeking opportunities elsewhere, industry cutting investment, and oil producers struggling to stave off declines. In the absence of executive leadership on issues like oil and gas development, fisheries, forests, and mining we only see task forces talking, bureaucrats dawdling and Alaskans suffering.
This has led to a do-nothing/delay attitude in which state government seeks to maintain an ever-growing budget, while many of our resources remain unproductive. Alaskans simply cannot afford a continuation of the policies of the last eight years.
Frank Murkowski believes the future of our state and our children is at stake when Alaskans choose their next governor. He will do more to promote an economy based on our resources, geography, and ingenuity, offering all Alaskans the opportunity for good jobs and better opportunities for the future.
State government has become complacent or even hostile toward our basic resource industries. Our children's futures have been wagered on a Permanent Fund tied to the stock market's whims, and more federal spending - a wager we'll likely lose, given disappearing budget surpluses, an expensive war on terrorism, and a lagging national economy.
As governor, Frank Murkowski will encourage responsible development in basic resource industries to provide good jobs and fair pay for Alaskans while using the best technology to protect our environment and quality of life.
Frank Murkowski believes we can develop our Arctic oil resources; build a natural gasline; host the National Missile Defense system; revitalize our timber industry; demand scientific fisheries management; encourage new tourism destinations like the Wrangell-St. Elias; access and process our mineral wealth at Red Dog, Pogo, Kensington and elsewhere; encourage local agriculture for local markets; link our railroad south through Canada; and expand our roads and ports to access our resource wealth.
Murkowski will do more to ensure all children get the education they need to be prepared to achieve their hopes and dreams.
As governor, Frank Murkowski will give young Alaskans more reasons to study and work here by supporting our university, improving access to vocational training, and promoting an Alaska-based economy with good jobs and business opportunities.
Frank Murkowski will work to retain our best teachers by providing them better resources, in exchange for performance accountability. He'll work with Alaskans to create an educational system that encourages innovation, rewards success, and provides the resources young people need to succeed.
Frank Murkowski will break the gridlock in state government, make decisions, and get Alaska moving forward again.
As governor, Murkowski will work with the Legislature to break the political gridlock and get our state moving forward again. He has the leadership skills, understanding and stature to bring Alaskans together to face the challenges of the new century.
This election offers an historic opportunity. As governor, Frank Murkowski can work closely with his friends, President Bush, Sen. Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young, to fulfill the federal promises of statehood. He can work cooperatively with the Alaska Legislature to reach solutions on long-standing challenges. And he can work with all Alaskans to renew our sense of community as we make our state a land of opportunity again.
Alaskans face a clear choice for governor. Those satisfied with the drift and decline of the past eight years have one choice. But those seeking a leader who will move Alaska forward into a bright future have a much better choice: Frank Murkowski for governor.
Mulder, of Anchorage, served as co-chairman of the House Finance Committee for the last four years.