Friday, November 28, 2008

Two Important Alaska Legislative Sessions - 1990 & 2009

Alaskans for Truth was turned into a political action committee this month, to aggressively and creatively engage the issue of ethics reform in Alaska government. We hope to influence, encourage and lobby the upcoming legislature, particularly on issues of reform of the executive office.

We're trying to initially raise $10,000 to further these goals. After just over a week, we're almost a third of the way there. Please help!

At the same time I'm thinking about how we might actually get something positive done in this regard, I'm reminded by a statement the Governor's press chief made at the end of last week:

"Tomorrow, Governor Palin could do an interview with any news media on the planet. Tomorrow, she could probably sign any one of a dozen book deals. She could start talking to people about a documentary or a movie on her life. That's the level we are at here.

"Barbara Walters called me. George Stephanopoulos called me. I've had multiple conversations with producers for Oprah, Letterman, Leno and 'The Daily Show.' "

The Associated Press writer further describes:

Agents from the William Morris Agency and elsewhere have come knocking. There even has been an offer to host a TV show. [Palin] is juggling offers to write books, appear in films and sit on dozens of interview couches at a rate astonishing for most Hollywood stars, let alone a first-term governor.

Alaska has never quite been in a situation like this before. How much of what is having to be fielded here has to do with the people of Alaska and the functions of our government? Surely, people fielding phone calls about book deals and right-wing docudramas should not be drawing their salaries from the State. But the AP article and McAllister's statements there and elsewhere offer no hint that there's a mechanism in place to funnel the funding of what must by now be at least one full-time job away from the State coffers.

I'm waiting for the Anchorage Daily News and KTUU-TV to ask her office serious questions with followups on this, that could be composed in any high school civics class. Once again, when it has to do with Palin's ethics, I'm not holding my breath.

Supposedly, the Governor will be moving back to Juneau by the beginning of the first full week of December. The renovations and upgrades to her mansion should be finished by then. Reportedly, progress is being made on a budget that will assure Alaskans that our cost-cutting, tax-cutting, corruption-fighting, pipeline-building, thanks-but-no-thanks, mavericky ethics pioneer chief executive is doing all that is humanly possible to keep Hugo Chavez away from our shores.

Come January, in the 2009 legislative session, Alaskans for Truth will be pushing for meaningful ethics reform.

Reading Dr. Riki Ott's new book, Not One Drop, I came across a passage yesterday that shows how little things have changed during the session over the past 19 years. Here's her introduction to the 1990 session:

Marna [Schwartz] and I got a rough start. No one paid attention to us. Money talked and we had none. We were trying to ante into a poker game for high rollers without any chips. There were bar deals, bedroom deals, vote-trading deals, fast talk, double-talk, and lots of downright lies, which, when spoken from the lips of high-salaried oil lobbyists, were taken as gospel until proven otherwise. Most legislators were quick to dismiss what we had to say because it ran counter to the established oil lobby, back in force after its disappearing act last spring after the [Exxon Valdez] spill.

Ott goes on to describe their hilarious and perilous adventures, as they actually forced through meaningful legislation. It is a great read, as is the rest of the book.

They had to fight and outwit the oil lobbyists. Alaskans for Truth only have to fight this wacky governor, uncourageous legislators, and indifferent media. If we can do half the job Ott did, we'll get a lot done.

You can help!

image - Riki Ott


Anonymous said...

Riki will be speaking in Anchorage on Dec 8th. She'll be at Alaska Pacific university at 1:00 and then at the UAA bookstore at 5 pm, talking about how to take our country back and avoid future disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Cook Inletkeeper is presenting her with the "Muckraker of the Year" award at Chilcoot Charlie's on the 6th. Good luck with your endeavors in the legislature - fight the good fight!

Philip Munger said...

Anon @ #1 - PA already covered the 'Koots award party. And we will again. I heard a promo for this event this morning (Saturday) on KSKA.

As to the book promo appearances, I'll be covering those here on Sunday. My daughter - a scientist herself - will be at Riki's Monday evening appearance at Seattle's Elliot Bay Book Company (7:00 p.m.).

Tea N. Crumpet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Phil-- do you thing our governor is really fielding what they say she is? I read her biography in the store-- it's not that interesting. She'd better have an affair or Tod should have one, just to make it interesting. (Vanna White's autobiography was better but still pretty lame.)

Will these ideas stick? If she doesn't strike while the iron is hot, will she loose out?

So many women do what she is doing every day. (Large-ish family, a career or job.) I know a lawyer whose secretary has six kids, a dead beat ex, and she is a hero and a savior to many, albeit first hand.

Anonymous said...

Who are "Alaskans for Truth" (names and bios of all principals, please) and how is the entity structured and governed? If you want my money, I need to know.