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Out of the mainstream

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

On election day, Juneau voters have a great opportunity to lift their community's presence in the Alaska Senate by electing Cathy Muñoz. Cathy is the only candidate in that race who can claim to be a consensus-building moderate capable of working with other Southeast legislators in Juneau's interest.

Kim Elton, on a recent KINY interview, claimed to be more conservative than people might think. However, a look at the Project Vote Smart Web site gives a good snapshot of Kim Elton's out-of-the-mainstream standing.

For Elton's term as a senator, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB) awarded Elton the lowest score of any member of the Alaska Legislature: a 0 for the 21st Legislature, and a 44 for the 22nd. Other than Johnny Ellis, who also rated a 44, no other legislator - House or Senate, Republican or Democrat - ranked as low.

On the other hand, the Conservation Voters ranked Elton a 93 - higher than any other legislator except for Beth Kerttula who claimed a perfect score. Again, this shows that Elton is way out of the mainstream. Alaska Democrats - House and Senate - rated a more moderate 68.7. Southeast legislators, House and Senate, ranked a 41.7.

Clearly backtracking from his record, Elton told the Juneau Chamber he supports opening ANWR. Yet the record shows he's opposed to this development in any practical sense. And Elton's record also shows he supports environmental regulations tougher than federal standards.

Elton supports both an income tax and use of Permanent Fund earnings, while making no mention of voter approval.

Elton has said he's for - and against - a road out of Juneau. Yet as an incumbent of the same party as the governor, Elton was unable to advance the road EIS, which, had it been completed, might have helped lay the legislative move to rest.

While Elton has stood outside the mainstream, Cathy Muñoz has worked across regional and political lines - and Juneau is better off for it. Cathy will make a great - and effective - senator.

Linda Sylvester

Juneau



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