Shifting the blame

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2002

Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer has finally taken responsibility for the election pamphlet fiasco. This disaster sent 40 percent of the state's election pamphlets to the wrong election districts, and made Alaska the laughingstock of the country, the state of Florida excepted. This snafu is not only embarrassing - it is expensive! The cost to reprint and mail the pamphlets will run more than $95,000. In addition, a senior Division of Elections official had to travel to the Lower 48 to oversee the reprinting. Not only must the work be done again, it is not even being done in Alaska!

Fran's initial reaction when the mistake was discovered was to blame the state employees in the Division of Elections. Just a week earlier, Fran stated that the Division of Elections represented her most important work as lieutenant governor. Blaming others for mistakes that you are responsible for is the oldest dodge in the book and it is not first time that she has made a serious mistake and blamed it on others.

At the beginning of the last legislative session, Fran held and attended a fund-raiser and planned a second in Juneau. That's illegal! AS 15.13.072(g) passed in 1998 clearly states that it is illegal for a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor to hold a fund-raiser in the state's capital during the legislative session. As the official responsible for filing the bill, a former legislator, former mayor of Juneau and candidate for the highest elected office in this state, Fran knows that such an event is illegal. However, as usual, Fran chose to blame her campaign staff for the mistake.

Fran just cannot seem to take responsibility for her mistakes. What other disasters will Fran blame on state employees and the citizens of Alaska if she is elected governor? I do not want to find out. That is why I am voting for Frank Murkowski - a man of integrity, character and responsibility.

Stephen McCarthy


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