Ethan Berkowitz has earned my vote.
Sean Parnell has not.
I'm sorry, I cannot close my eyes and vote for Parnell simply because I am a Republican. I'd rather have a Democrat who moves right than a Republican who moves backwards any day.
Parnell has had more than enough opportunity to demonstrate the leadership skills that this state needs, but has failed on every level.
Parnell has been a steadfast supporter of AGIA, even advocating for it in op/ed columns, saying it was the only way to get a gasline. In April of 2007, he looked across the table and told me that negotiating with the producers was too difficult so AGIA was necessary.
This is a guy who is clearly not up to the challenge.
In December of 2007, Parnell advocated for crippling taxes on Alaska's oil & gas industry, telling industry executives that they should be thankful because now they had stability. He ignored the warnings that the new taxes would cripple investment, instead he followed the lead of a governor who wouldn't last through her term. It wasn't until an election eve conversion that he admitted that the taxes he supported in 2007 were hurting Alaska's economy.
This is a guy who is clearly not up to the challenge and lacks the capacity to understand basic economics.
Last spring he pushed the legislature to adopt legislation that would have increased health care coverage for women and children, and then vetoed that same bill saying he didn't understand what it included.
This is a guy who is clearly not up to the challenge and mistakes quiet resolve for cluelessness.
For the last year plus Parnell has kept on arguably the worst Natural Resource Development Commissioners in recent history. Instead of making necessary changes to mend relationships with the resource development community and get Alaska's economy moving, he has refused to make the hard decisions.
Even Parnell's advocacy of lowering the cruise ship head tax was only because the state faced a lawsuit over a portion of the tax that violated federal law.
This is a guy who is clearly not up to the challenge and feels the status quo is the way to go, even when the state is going off the equivalent of an economic cliff.
Meanwhile, although I don't agree with Ethan on all issues, at least I know he will have the backbone to get Alaska's economy back on track and abandon the status quo.
Like the old political saying goes; It's about the economy stupid.
That's why I'm voting for Ethan.