Conflicts in the administration

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, October 18, 2004

The Murkowski administration seems to be most often in the news for some real or perceived conflict of interest, blunder, sleaze or just dumb decisions. We all deserve more from our elected and appointed officials.

Attorney General Gregg Renkes and Gov. Murkowski have been illegally touting the coal drying process of KFx Inc., a company that Renkes has financial interest in. The governor has claimed that the drying process "is actually up and in operation." But, according to KFx the process is not yet perfected. Now remember Gregg Renkes is the head law enforcement officer in the state and the governor is his boss.

The attorney general has stated that he will sell or place his KFx financial holdings in a blind trust. Well, that sounds pretty familiar; in 1985 Sen. Frank Murkowski placed his financial holdings (which included timber-related interests) in a blind trust. However the trust wasn't very blind since a paid timber lobbyist (Jim Clark, now the governor's chief of staff) managed the trust.

So maybe Clark can manage Renkes' blind trust. That wouldn't be any more bizarre than what we have become accustomed to from this administration.

K. James Metcalf


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