A Democrat for Murkowski

Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am appealing to my fellow Alaskans - and especially to others who, like me, are registered Democrats - to please join me and write in Lisa Murkowski to send her back to Washington as our senior Senator on Nov. 2. Although my truck still displays a bumper sticker for President Barack Obama advocating "Change the Course" and I am proud to be part of the majority of Americans who made history two years ago, Murkowski's reelection is too important for partisan politics to overtake Alaskan voters.

Join me in making history again. A vote for our Democratic candidate, who lags well behind in CNN's Oct. 20 poll despite major spending, could open the door for Joe Miller to represent us for the next six years - a terrifying possibility - particularly when we can continue to have one of the best moderate Senate delegations in the country. With each of your votes, Murkowski will understand it was Alaskans from all camps who stepped up and returned her - not just the Republican leaders. With each of your write-in votes, she will earn more bipartisan respect, a rarity in Washington, D.C. No other Alaska candidate for Senate has the seniority, status and respect it takes to sit down with Congressional leadership and Obama on matters important to many of us - matters like jobs, the environment, green energy, keeping our military bases and public lands. I want Obama and Murkowski to deliver on renewable energy and other issues important to Alaskans.

Murkowski has a command of the complexity of Congress on a wide variety of subjects from military affairs and federal health care to managing our federal lands for increased productivity. She has introduced bills to make Alaska clean energy, such as hydropower, qualify as renewable. This is important because currently our federal government does not recognize environmentally friendly lake tap and run-of-river hydropower projects as renewable. She understands the energy marketplace and can deliver the federal support necessary for Alaska's natural gas line construction. Sen. Mark Begich cannot carry this water by himself. He simply does not have the powerful Energy and Resources Committee assignment nor does he have the Appropriations Committee assignments, which Murkowski has. To have both authorization and appropriation assignments is something we cannot afford to lose.

I believe in Murkowski when she says she will now help fix the national health care program in need of change despite her critical partisan stand last year. Specifically, she showed her strength and wisdom with the ultimate passage of the Indian Health Care Reauthorization Act. As a returning bipartisan moderate, she will, in my opinion, lead necessary changes and amendments in order to reform the bill. When we send her back, Murkowski will be without a doubt the most powerful woman in Congress - we are used to having one of the most powerful men. Please give this some serious thought.

I have not always agreed with Murkowski, particularly regarding the Wall Street bailout and her past views on health care reform. There will be other issues as well, but she will have a seat at the table and the other two candidates will not. As a moderate, I believe she will look out for Alaska's best interest, something every Democrat wants. I do not want to imagine where we will be six years from now without Lisa continuing to represent us in Washington.

Like Scott McAdams said at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Murkowski puts Alaska first and her party second. Talk to your friends, join me and many other Democrats by taking McAdams' advice and put Alaska's interests before party interests. It is time to put partisanship aside. Please join me by filling the oval for U.S. Senate and writing in her name. She is what Alaska and America needs today. If you care about Alaska, throw in your support now before all Alaskans are handcuffed for the next six years.

• Naoroz is a registered Democrat who lives on Thane Road in Juneau.

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