Can't trust Knowles to keep promises

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, November 03, 2006

It is truly amazing to witness the political tap dancing of former Gov. Tony Knowles. Just in case Alaskans have forgotten, it was Knowles who promised us the opening of the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge and a gas pipeline for the North slope as he campaigned for his former two terms as governor. Sadly, he was unable or unwilling to fulfill either promise.

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I also would like to remind Alaskans of one of former Knowles' most famous promises. On March 3, 2000, in reference to a case in federal court that concerned state management of its fisheries in state navigable waters, Gov. Knowles promised: "No governor of any state would - or should - ever voluntarily relinquish this authority back to the federal government.

"As Alaska's governor, I believe it is my clear responsibility, even in the face of a difficult political battle, to vigorously defend this important aspect of sovereignty.

"That was certainly my position as a candidate for this office six years ago, and it was my position in 1995, when I fought in court a federal attempt to take this authority from Alaska. And it remains my firm stand today as I appeal the same case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and to the Supreme Court if necessary.

"If we lose the Katie John case, we also will lose navigable waters to the feds."

Despite his promises, in August 2001, Knowles did not appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and agreed to dismiss this case with prejudice. This meant the state would never be able to bring this issue before the federal court again. It also meant that Knowles broke his promises and gave away fisheries management in state navigable waters, a right we inherited at statehood, to the federal government.

Does anyone really trust Tony to keep his promises? Would Tony vote to move the capital if it helped his political career? I don't trust him, and I am voting for Sarah Palin to make sure Alaska isn't subjected to four more years of Tony's broken promises.

Ron Somerville


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