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Alaska editorial: If swearing-in moves, what moves next?

Posted: Monday, November 27, 2006

The following editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

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Juneau, beware; it's the first step. Gov.-elect Sarah Palin has selected Fairbanks - not Juneau - as the location for her swearing-in ceremony Dec. 4.

This will be the first time Alaska's inauguration will be held outside of the capital of Juneau, according to The Associated Press. It is open to all Alaskans who can get to Fairbanks.

Palin chose Fairbanks in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Alaska Constitution and to honor the delegates. Fifty-five delegates drafted the constitution at the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks in 1955. Alaskans voted for the document in April 1956.

Palin told Juneau during her campaign for governor that she wouldn't move the capital. It was up to the Alaska Legislature to decide where it wanted to meet. She isn't moving the whole capital with the selection of Fairbanks for the inauguration, but she has decided to move the tradition of holding the swearing-in ceremony from Juneau. It has to make Juneau wonder what's next.

This could be either an appropriate move to honor the delegates or it could be a harbinger of things to come. Only time will tell.

But it is worth honoring the delegates who wrote the Alaska Constitution. It is a document heralded as the best of its kind, and only Alaskans of the highest caliber could have written it. We salute them for their contribution, and applaud our incoming governor for her sense of history and propriety when it comes to doing what's right in Alaska.



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