We've all been exposed to Fran and Frank's positions on major issues. Here are a few comments on less discussed items.
Fran has been active and accessible to fishery leaders in this state. Last January, she was a keynote speaker at the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council annual meeting where she declared her interest and appreciation for marine science and desire to bridge the gaps between science, resource dependent people and government.
Fran knows our fisheries and the need for supporting those fisheries with science. We heard loud and clear the call for science to help present an understanding of how the Bering Sea ecosystem functions and just what are the feeding relationships between Stellar Sea lions and pollock. Our statewater fisheries may become the next subjects of scrutiny and the disruptive intentions of radical environmental groups. The threats are indeed out there. Fran recognizes this and understands the need to bring resource users and science together.
Fran has the savvy and willingness to help us. Frank, by virtue of his position and presence in D.C., cannot have anywhere near the understanding of our fishery issues that Fran has. Perhaps he will eventually accomplish something of value to the state but it's my belief he should be left in D.C.
Frank proposes stimulating activity in natural resource extraction industries to help address the state's budget gap. One way he can do this is to reduce regulation on industry and cut the cost of government at the same time. This is speculation but I think there is basis for my fears. Are regulatory agencies like D.E.C apt to have their budgets cut further with Frank? We must never forget the laxity of regulation that existed before EVOS.
Finally, we don't need a Republican governor in a state dominated by a Republican Legislature. They've already demonstrated their region of priority for the state and it isn't rural or Bush. If Frank is elected governor, I believe we can say goodbye to environmental quality, needed regulation of industry and rural Alaska priorities.
Fran understands our fisheries and their importance to rural Alaska and has vowed to help us improve their condition. I believe she'll accomplish more than Frank in helping to unite rather than maintain the present regional divisiveness in this state.