ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!
I am writing this on a beautiful sunshiny day with spring around the corner, even though there is still a little chill in the air wondering if we have seen the last of the cold. That description reminds me of recent state and local races. November 6th was a sunny and warm day as we took back the governorship and kept the Senate. But the chill remained in the air when we failed to win a solid majority in the house and several key Republicans formed a coalition with mostly Democrats in charge. If we thought that looked bad it didn't compare to the complete spring storm in last week's municipal races! Elections do have consequences and we in Anchorage continue watching a once great city turn into a blue leaning homeless shelter.
I returned last week from 3 days in Juneau. The atmosphere was definitely different than years past. Our Governor is holding firm on his campaign pledges while he finds only lukewarm responses from both sectors of the legislature. It is a very difficult time for the House which seems to be split in several different factions. Many of our first term legislators have seen a dysfunctional organization with bitter battles and long term working relationships severed. It is going to be a long session with Governor vetoes and possible overrides of those vetoes.
I was asked by several legislators what I thought about the PFD. I told them I thought the same as I did when I voted for Governor Dunleavy in November. He very clearly stood on returning the full dividend and balancing the budget. He is a rare politician since immediately upon being elected he kept those promises with his actions. I further stated as long as rural/bush Alaska continues to get a free ride, with $100 million a year ferry subsidies, Olympic swimming pools in Sitka, PBS and Arts Council funding and millions being spent on failing schools with no accountability for results, I, like many others, want our full dividend. When we see a true cap on spending perhaps we will discuss a cap on the PFD. Right now, it is just the principal of some getting it all and the rest of us sharing the burden.
If you have not been involved in the past, this is a good time to start! I try to send action alerts and appreciate all that call or send emails. Legislators tell me it does matter and they want to hear from us, not special interest groups. I have to sometimes wonder about that since when running as a candidate we often hear something different than after they arrive in Juneau. Watch Channel 15 on your TV to see your legislator at work. Sign up to follow bills of interest, then call in and testify or at the least write an email. Conservatives have got to become as organized as the Democrats. Instead we seem to be better at calling into talk radio and ranting on Facebook than we do grassroots.
Yes, elections have consequences and unless apathy in the conservative community gets better, we are not going to like our consequences.
STAY INVOLVED BY RENEWING YOUR ARWC MEMBERSHIP TODAY AT: www.anchoragerepublicanwomensclub.com