Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On the Anti-SB 21 Referendum

former Alaska legislator Ray Metcalfe
The 27th Alaska Legislature's passage of the Gov. Parnell-inspired Senate Bill 21 was greeted by a movement to allow Alaska voters to respond to this reckless legislation, with an opportunity to vote it out of existence, through Alaska's referendum process.  The need for such a response to passage of the bill was seen by a few, since the beginning of the session, as inevitable.

Back on March 22nd, I interviewed former legislator, Ray Metcalfe, who was the first person to put serious thoughts together on a direct appeal to voters.

I posted the video at Youtube, facebook, twitter, and at my blog.  I linked to it at the comments of several news stories to which commenters were lamenting SB 21's inexorable progress.

Here's the March 22nd interview again:

His ideas evolved, with critical input coming back to him from a number of people who have sponsored or initiated referenda or initiatives in the past.  Last week, as it became obvious that the state house and senate would reconcile their minor differences on the bill, Metcalfe was sought out, and a series of meetings on the mechanics of how to organize, write, distribute and deliver the necessary paperwork for such an appeal to Alaskans, began.

Ray invited me to participate, as a past colleague on some of his projects, and as a person seriously motivated to get this issue on the 2014 statewide ballot.  I couldn't make it to Friday's organizing meeting, but was there for Monday's meeting.

I took away a couple of deep impressions from the meeting.  The most indelible was seeing former Wally Hickel aide Malcolm Roberts, former legislator and gubernatorial candidate Chancy Croft, former Anchorage mayor Jack Roderick, and former legislator and constitutional convention participant, Vic Fischer, all sitting together at one end of the table.  What a stunning group of four men, with a collective set of accomplishments, memories and stories about our short statehood experience, second to none.

There  were a number of Republicans present, a lot of independents participating, and a few Alaska Natives.  A fair number of people from around the state attended telephonically.

My second deep impression was that all these people understand the urgency of getting a viable referendum petition, clearly legal in its construction, out to all the districts, as soon as possible.  They also understand the need for the public to see this process for what it truly is - a bipartisan move to thwart some of the worst legislation we've ever been dealt.

There should be an announcement from this statewide, bipartisan citizens' group sometime Tuesday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

We are going to need manpower in various communities all across the state, best start publishing contact numbers so volunteers can sign up as needed.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Ray Metcalfe SHOULD NOT be the face of this organization. And he should not be the one who does media interviews.

In order to be successful, this organization needs to reflect a balanced, thoughtful, and discerning group of Alaskans in "leadership" roles.

Anonymous said...

The current Alaska voters are so dumb they always vote against their best interest just because they hate Democrats and anything that comes from the Ds. Almost all Alaskans are the dumberest/dumbester voters I've ever experienced. There are others such as Alabamans, but I've not encountered them on a personal level.
I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor. I hope you are able to stop this foolish Parnell person.

Philip Munger said...

"Ray Metcalfe SHOULD NOT be the face of this organization. And he should not be the one who does media interviews."

--- at the time I interviewed Ray, on March 22nd, he was the only person to interview about an initiative or referendum, as nobody else had proposed such action.

What I participated in on Monday included Ray. He was in on the choice that the three individual sponsors of the referendum will not include him, but will be prominent Alaskans of stature.

That being said, I doubt action would be being taken so fully on this so early after the governor's signing of the bill, without Ray having helped set up the framework, and with the feedback Ray had gotten during March and early April, from Alaskans who made suggestions to him, or helped him modify his approach.

Anonymous said...

I will lend hand as best i can. You have my email. AKjah.