My Turn: Ulmer will fight for working families

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

When you vote Tuesday, I urge you to choose Fran Ulmer as Alaska's next governor.

Fran is a fierce champion for jobs and economic growth. As a key partner in creating a pro-business environment to move Alaska forward, she'll keep fighting to make sure Alaska working families and businesses prosper.

Despite what you're hearing this campaign season, these are the facts about Alaska's economy since 1994:

• 30,000 new jobs in eight years of continued economic growth.

• Lowest unemployment since statehood.

• Highest median household income in America at $56,000.

• Home ownership growing to a record high of 65 percent.

• 6,000 Alaska families moving from welfare to work, saving Alaska $228 million.

The Knowles-Ulmer administration has promoted natural resource development and our economy is more diversified than ever.

For the first time in 10 years, Alaska oil production is increasing. With 25 percent of current production coming from new development just in the past three years, the Knowles-Ulmer administration has leased more oil and gas acreage than in the previous two decades.

We persuaded the Clinton administration to open 4 million acres in the NPRA, fought hard for ANWR development and brought an Alaska natural gas pipeline project closer to reality than ever.

By providing incentives and an open and ready-for-business climate, Alaska resident hire is at an all-time high and new industries were created building oil field service modules here in Alaska.

The same pro-business attitude toward mining helped push that important industry's value over the $1 billion mark. Through state policies and new discoveries in Interior and Western Alaska and future development in Southeast, Alaska is one of the world's top 10 hottest mining prospects, according to an industry survey.

With 300 timber sales, we've provided over 380 million board feet for Alaska's timber industry, with about a quarter of that going to more than 50 Alaska businesses making value-added wood products.

On state and federal boards, Fran Ulmer has pioneered Alaska's entry into the frontier of technology and global markets. She's made us a national leader in efficiently and conveniently delivering services though the Internet.

Fran Ulmer's vision recognizes the importance of investing in our children today. That's why she's worked so hard to establish higher standards and testing in our schools, fought for and won more money for school programs and new classrooms.

As a member of the Children's Cabinet, she was a persuasive advocate for Denali Kid Care which gives healthier care to 25,000 children in Alaska's working families. She fought for more child care funding so working moms and dads didn't have to choose between their children and their jobs. She helped lead the way for zero tolerance for child abuse and neglect.

Our agenda of good jobs, better schools, safer children and bringing Alaskans together is the foundation for building strong families and a prosperous future. There is no better fighter for this agenda than Fran Ulmer.

Here's a final thought for some of my Republican friends and Alaskans who have supported Frank Murkowski over the years. If you agree with what I have said about Fran and want to keep both candidates working for Alaska, put Fran in the Governor's House in Juneau. That way, you get to keep Frank working for Alaska in Washington.

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