In his Oct. 26 letter to the editor, Rick Urion claims that a vote for Sarah Palin is a vote to keep the capital in Juneau because Palin supports the Juneau road project, and if we don't vote for Palin, the capital will move. Urion's logic is twisted at best, and his claims of Palin's support for Juneau are wishful thinking.
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Palin has proven herself to be exceedingly good at one thing - saying what a particular audience wants to hear. But if you listen to what she says, she has really said nothing. For example, in an Oct. 8 interview with the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Palin answered a question regarding the Juneau road as follows:
Looking at the Juneau road, do you support this project when it appears local sentiment in Juneau would rather see a second bridge to Douglas Island?
"I support access in and out of the capital city. The Juneau road project is in the midst of the public process. I will let that public process work, including giving great deference to the communities that are most affected by it (Juneau, Haines and Skagway).
"We need to make sure this is the best project for Alaska - the most cost effective, environmentally sound and economically beneficial to the state."
Access in and out of the capital; she'll let the public process work; she'll give great deference to Juneau, Skagway and Haines - Palin's answer to the Journal of Commerce is almost as good as her campaign manager's answer to the Juneau Empire's question relating to the capital move. An Oct. 17 article in the Empire states:
"Palin, former mayor of Wasilla, once joined with other area mayors to support moving the capital, but no longer does, said Curtis Smith, spokesman for the Palin campaign.
"'She's in favor of keeping Juneau's star on the map,' he said, though she wouldn't try to force the Legislature to meet in Juneau if it chose to meet elsewhere. 'The will of the people is the only thing that would move the capital,' he said."
Palin once wanted to move the capital and now she doesn't. She wants to keep the star on the map. She wouldn't force the Legislature to meet in Juneau. The will of the people is the only thing that would move the capital.
Oh, Carnac the Magnificent, what does it all mean?
The upcoming gubernatorial election is crucial to the economy of Juneau. This is no time to place a high-stakes bet on an untested and unreliable newcomer to state politics.
Tony Knowles has been clear on his opposition to a capital move. According to the same Oct. 17 Empire article, Knowles answered the capital move question directly:
"'As governor, I will veto any attempt to move the capital or the legislative sessions from Juneau.'"
I don't need a crystal ball to discern what Knowles meant in his answer. I'm not going to gamble with my economic future. I'm voting for Knowles.