Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warren Keogh's Letter to the Editor of The Frontiersman on the Tea Party-Inspired Recall Petition

Here's part of Mat-Su Assembly member Warren Keogh's response to the recall petition submitted to the Borough for approval last Thursday.  It is a letter to Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman editor, Andrew Wellner, in response to Wellner's query to the assemblyman.

Wellner had written:
A copy of a recall petition against you landed in my inbox today. I was wondering if you could spare some time to discuss it.

Here's Keogh's response, a letter to the editor, so to say:
Hi Andy,

I've been pretty busy on a variety of matters..

Regarding the recall petition....

People clearly have a right to petition to recall any elected public official.  In this case though, it certainly looks like a politically motivated effort rather than one based on "competence."  People in public office often have backgrounds in business or nonprofits, and some continue their affiliations.  As far as I know, simply disagreeing with an elected individual's position or vote on any issue is an everyday occurrence, but it's certainly not grounds for recall.  I think the record will show I've been fair, open-minded, and willing to meet people face to face, and to openly discuss any issue, including the Wishbone Hill Coal Mine Project, as I did Thursday night in a community council meeting and in recent assembly meetings.

Although there is no requirement to talk about earlier affiliations, I made them clear during my Assembly campaign.  They are listed under "Experience and Qualifications" on my 2010 assembly campaign website, posted in July of 2010 and they are still available online:

While I don't believe any of the assertions on the recall petition demonstrate "incompetence", nor are they grounds for recall, I will address them.

Regarding my past service as an officer of the Chickaloon Community Council and the Castle Mountain Coalition, my term expired with the former and I resigned from the latter before I filed as a candidate for assembly in 2010.  So far as I knew, I severed all ties with these organizations. Apparently, no one changed my status as registered agent.  When I discovered this in May of 2011 I notified the state of my earlier resignation.

Regarding matters of funding received by nonprofits who support or oppose coal development, I have no knowledge of that.

Regarding my May 10, 2011, e-mail correspondence to the Alaska Mental Health Trust, it speaks for itself.  I do not oppose coal development, but ask for additional information.  I believe that is one of my duties as a member of the Assembly.  Same goes for my comments made during recent assembly meetings.  They are a matter of public record, and I stand by them.

There are many, many issues relating to coal development in the Valley, and the Wishbone Hill Project in particular.  I encourage you to report on all coal matters, especially the politics, money, and business of coal at the local and state government level.  I also hope we can learn more about the public health, public safety, and environmental impacts of the Wishbone Hill Coal Mine.  I hope you report on them as well as this recall petition.


Warren Keogh
Assembly Member, District 1
Matanuska Susitna Borough

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You mean there is no snark? No derisive attack on a group of people, denigrating them as haters or labeling them with frivolous motives?

Excellent response. That is the response of a professional leader with ethics and diplomacy befitting the role they are ostensibly charged to play.

Nothing resembling the horror of any kind of Palinesque-style of management and PR.

Question now should be, will the paper report on all aspects of the project?