Florida is a glass house

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002

Is the well of public debate in Juneau so dry that the local paper is having to publish the political ramblings and commentary on Alaska from Miami? In his letter, Mr. Camerlengo used all the right political buzz words to sling the mud: pork barrel, tax-and-spend, evil empire. Apparently, Alaskans were gullible enough to elect someone who would send his own daughter to Washington. Oh, the scandal!!!

Hmmm ... Miami? Isn't that the land of hanging chads? Aren't they the folks who elected our current president in the Election 2000 fiasco? Isn't the brother of the current president the governor of Florida and wasn't their father the one sitting in the Oval Office sending the troops into Iraq about a decade ago? Isn't Florida the state that couldn't find about 80 kids they placed in foster care, but wanted to keep Elian Gonzales from his father because he lived in Cuba? Isn't Florida the place where overdevelopment and poor water choices are draining aquifers to the point that homes are being swallowed by sizable sinkholes?

Yes, Alaska has its issues and concerns. The recent news out of Florida has been no less concerning or comical. If you want to sling mud at Alaska, take a ticket and wait in line. You will be in good company behind the folks in California who killed all the bruins they sport on their state flag trying to save Alaska wildlife, the folks in Texas and Oklahoma that don't care for Alaska oil competing with their oil market, and the Canadians who held an Alaska passenger ferry hostage claiming we're catching all their fish.

The last time I checked the U.S. Constitution, who a state sends to Congress to represent it is its very own business. There are at least a few current U.S. senators sporting political agendas I don't particularly care for. I am not so naive as to believe name-calling from afar is part of any reasonable solution. Next time, I would appreciate Mr. Camerlengo exercising the 1st Amendment in his own back yard.

Regarding the issue on the table, anyone who saw Sen. Lisa Murkowski at work as a state representative in the last Legislature knows she is more than qualified for the job. She will represent us well. I believe it took more character rather than less for Gov. Frank Murkowski to tap his daughter for the job. Like it or not, the decision is made. Those unhappy with the decision will have an opportunity to challenge the decision in 2004. The state and the nation have much more serious issues at hand. Let's get on with business!

Bill Hurr


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