As the debate on my House colleague’s recent e-newsletter about Mudflats intensified this week, I was happy to see so many people come to her defense. Alaska’s most popular political blogger’s earned a loyal following with hard work and good writing.
I was as bothered as many of you by what happened, and I’ve said so to my colleague, Rep. Mike Doogan. A number of your favorite democratic legislators share your views on this one. But we don’t supervise each other around here. We don’t require each other to march in line. Democrats are pretty bad at demanding that kind of thing from each other. So, basically, I don’t get to tell Mike what to do, and he doesn’t get to tell me what to do. Trust me. At times, we both wish we could. But the fact that we can’t is, in the long run, a pretty good thing.
Shoot, as tensions mount around Juneau near the end of session, there’d be a lot of folks flying off cliffs if legislators got to tell each other what to do. I’d be typing this while free-falling past the Governor’s window right now. That wouldn’t be good.
In the end, we aren’t the bosses of each other. Our constituents are our bosses. I don’t get to tell my colleagues what do, but you do get to tell us.
So, I’m writing in part to let you know that we all don’t agree with Rep. Doogan about the manner in which he’s responded to your e-mails, and about what he did in last week’s e-newsletter.
And I’m writing for a reason I consider just as important. We have a lot of work to do in this state. Sniping at those who are trying to foster a community discussion about how to move Alaska forward isn’t helpful. Unless, of course, we all think we’re such a powerful force that we can afford to tear each other apart.
Guess what. We’re not that powerful. But together, we’ve made great progress. I know some of you personally, have worked on community efforts with you, and would rather keep us together than tear us apart.
You and I want universal health care for those who are sick, and need a doctor.
We want a renewable energy policy that protects our economy, the air we breathe, the waters we fish, and lessens America’s dependence on foreign oil.
We believe people should be paid fairly for an honest day’s work, that Alaskans should have their pension rights back, and that our children are entitled to an education that creates opportunity for all, not just the 60% who graduate from high school in Alaska today.
College shouldn’t be a luxury, and we shouldn’t be proud that Alaska ranks last in the nation in college attendance.
And Governor Palin’s failure to help move Alaska from having the nation’s second worst children’s health plan in the nation is, in my view, unacceptable. That’s why Senator Bill Wielechowski, Senator Hollis French and I have all worked on universal children’s, and universal adult health coverage plans.
That’s why Mudflats is important. It provides a way for people who want these things to stay connected, and work together. Mudflats, and its readers, have been a positive force in this community. I’ll disagree with you sometimes. I have in the past. When I do, I’ll try to do it respectfully. And when I have in the past, you’ve been respectful in your responses.
But, basically, I’m just glad Mudflats is back.