Democracy at home, too

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004

As our country exports democracy abroad, we must make certain to ensure that our own political process remains an example for others to follow. However, in a recent poll, 48 percent of Americans are concerned about the legitimacy of our upcoming national elections.

Right here in our own backyard, Sen. Murkowski is touting her voting record and accomplishments in the U.S. Senate, yet her votes there are the fruits of a poisonous (and undemocratic) tree that her father planted when he elevated her to his former office.

Gov. Murkowski's appointment of his daughter was not in accord with our state's laws (AS 39.52.120(b)(4); AS 39.52.960 ) nor was it in line with the generally accepted notion that nepotism is improper. In fact, the vast majority of Alaskans object strongly to the hereditary transmission of power (the Murkowski family and inner circle being the small minority in favor).

What the Murkowski family did resembles a scene from a corrupt Third World dictatorship or an archaic monarchy - not a democracy. The governor placed his daughter into a highly paid (100k +) and highly powerful public position. He cloaked her with a pseudo-incumbency and the endorsements of powerful friends.

Many Americans have put their lives in danger to spread democracy abroad. We also have to guard the integrity of our democracy right here at home - at the ballot box.

Mike Boyer


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