Conflicts in state government

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, October 25, 2004

It's only too clear from recent news that Gov. Murkowski's state appointees are still having trouble understanding the phrase "conflict of interest."

First it was Randy Ruedrich, who - until he was caught - essentially ran the Republican Party from his supposedly nonpartisan, taxpayer-funded office on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Now it's Attorney General Gregg Renkes (who, oddly enough, was roundly criticized for dragging his feet over the Ruedrich investigation). Renkes is in hot water for promoting coal technology company KFx in a major state deal. Turns out our AG has seemingly endless financial ties with KFx.

I was distressed to learn that Renkes also owns stock in Coeur d'Alene Mines, the corporation that is trying to reopen the Kensington gold mine in Berners Bay. Our attorney general's apparent habit of investing in companies that he could potentially have power over as a state official is a betrayal of the public trust.

Sarah Lemagie


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