On the same day that a person probably incapable of spelling nuance, let alone understanding its meaning,
recently laid off Anchorage shock radio personality, Eddie Burke, has announced he is running for Alaska Lieutenant Governor, Diane Benson, another candidate for that office has published a nuanced, understanding op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News. Benson's op-ed is titled Knee-jerk reactions to abuse are of little use. It is well worth a read.
Diane Benson's work with local, state and Federal law enforcement groups over the years, most of it behind-the-scenes, on practical solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault issues, contains more practical experience than that of any other person involved in politics in Alaska history.
Diane's courage, audacity and knowledge about Alaska may be a large part of why no other Democrats have yet stepped forward in the Lieutenant Governor race. She was a formidable opponent against Don Young in 2006, when she garnered almost 41% of the vote against Young, when being outspent 11 to one, and with virtually no meaningful support from the Alaska Democratic Party organization. In 2008, she did well against Ethan Berkowitz, who beat her in the primary. In the 2008 AK-AL final, Berkowitz had to spend about $125.00 for every additional 2008 vote against Young than Benson had gotten in 2006.
Her solutions to a host of problems confronting Alaskans merit revisiting now. I'll be doing that over the next month.
One issue other than sexual violence, though, has cropped up recently. The 2010 legislative session is being told that we don't have the skilled workers here in Alaska to build a gas pipeline, and may have to bring most workers for such a project in from other states. On April 8, 2008, shortly after BP and Conoco-Phillips announced their "Denali" plan for gas pipeline construction, Benson challenged them to step forward with direct support for vocational training for Alaskans, particularly Bush Alaskans, understanding then that we don't have the skilled work force to build the line. Nothing has been done about this since then, to my knowledge.
Eddie Burke is an under-informed, homophobic opportunist. His campaign will stand primarily on one issue - abortion. Every time Diane Benson's name came up on his radio programs over the past few years, predictably, the first words out of Eddie's mouth have been, "Baby killer!"
He has no intelligent solutions to any problem facing Alaskans. And, he has the albatross of Sarah Palin hanging around his neck. And, surprisingly, unless some kinky stuff on Eddie comes out between now and the 4th week of August, he will win the GOP primary.
images - Diane Benson with elders (PA); Eddie Burke at the first Ordinance 64 hearing (AKM?)