Recently the Juneau Empire praised Gov. Sean Parnell for skipping President Obama's first Alaska visit so he could attend the Associated General Contractors (AGC) meeting in Anchorage. The Empire stated that the governor kept his commitment to AGC and Alaskans should all be proud of this.
In reality, the AGC event was a three-and-a-half day conference, which the governor could have easily requested a slight change. As Alaska's head of state, Gov. Parnell could have met the President while still fulfilling his speaking engagement.
The fact that all of the key statewide Republican leadership - Gov. Parnell, Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young - boycotted the President's visit speaks for itself.
I can promise you that had President G. W. Bush showed up for a first Alaska visit, Gov. Parnell and his Republican colleagues would have fallen over each other to attend. Regardless of who is President, we as Americans should respect the office.
Communications director, Alaska Democratic Party