Early voting in Alaska is now underway and we are urging a vote for Sen. Lisa Murkowski to continue representing Alaskans in Washington, D.C.
According to a Bloomberg.com article published this summer, it has been forecasted 46 states will have budget deficits in the coming year, totaling upwards of $112 billion. All the while, Alaska continues to build its reserves (in the billions) and just recently paid every qualifying Alaskan a dividend check of $1,281, accounting for nearly another billion dollars.
This has not been lost on other state leaders and it could mean trouble on the horizon for Alaska. There are movements afoot in both houses of Congress to sharply curtail federal spending to our state and to withdraw favorable status from Alaskan native corporations bidding on government contracts and to redirect funding and benefits to states that are suffering financial crises on a grand scale. It's hard for other House and Senate members to be sympathetic to Alaska when their own states are in such bad shape. This means the loss of Alaskan jobs, and a great many of them.
There is no question that Congress will have to wrestle with a burgeoning national deficit and a sluggish economic recovery. Now, at a time when Alaska is most vulnerable of having spending siphoned away, we need Murkowski's seniority to fight for our interests.
In a recent stopover by Sen. Mark Begich, he said stated since 2005, the senate has turned over 50 percent of its members. Should Joe Miller or Scott McAdams prevail in the election, Alaska will have the least senior delegation of all 50 states, with Begich's two years and a newly elected freshman. Begich currently ranks 92nd out of 100 on the senate seniority list.
The mudslinging begins with some thread of truth which then gets taken out of context and woven into a grandiose exaggerations on the radio, TV and in print. One might debate these embellishments as if they're real but in the end we delude ourselves into thinking this drivel matters. Miller and McAdams both extol how they will fight for Alaska, and they may try, but they will do so at a decided and significant disadvantage.
There are those who voted for Murkowski in the primary and feel she should have walked away after her loss. Ordinarily we would concur without hesitation, but we can't get past the apathetic voter turnout where 85 percent of the electorate felt it wasn't worth their time to vote in one of the most important senatorial races in decades. Those who did exercise their vote nearly created a draw with the edge only slightly favoring Miller. Murkowski's decision to run a write-in campaign creates the opportunity for the will of the people to be better represented.
We believe change is coming in Washington regardless of whom Alaska sends to represent its interests. Seniority is going to be crucial, as are key committee posts where Murkowski now holds senior ranking. We fear the scenario of Miller or McAdams winning the battle and all of Alaska losing the war.
Fill in the oval and write in Murkowski.