Foreign Interests Attack Alaska’s Voice
Here it comes. We knew it would happen. Because it always does.
This time, the Alaska citizens’ initiative that’s in the cross-hairs of multinational corporations is the August 28th Ballot Prop #2, which would bring back Alaskans’ ability to have input into decisions made regarding management of our coastline. Local input. Kind of a no-brainer. Coastal Zone management worked fine for decades, but recently the Parnell administration and big moneyed interests let it go… Now, we have no say, even though we have more coastline than the rest of the nation combined. It’s all up to the feds.
Makes no sense to you? There’s a good reason for that – it actually makes no sense. That is, of course, unless you’re one of those giant multinationals who care about nothing but development at all costs – local input be damned. They’d rather deal with federal agencies they’re used to, than spunky, smart, local Alaskans who actually have a stake in their own backyard. Those real people can be scary, and they can interrupt the bigger agenda.
The latest Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) report confirms that opposition to Alaska’s coastal zone management ballot initiative is funded largely by Outside sources. Shocking, I know.
Alaska Sea Party co-chair Terzah Tippin Poe said. “We assumed all along big Outside money would oppose our local voices, but we didn’t expect such a huge flood of non-Alaska funding. These mostly foreign companies are opposing Alaskans having a say in how our coastal lands are managed. They are trying to buy this election any way they can.”
So far, Outside entities have contributed nearly 70% of the whopping $767,000.00 in the opposition’s campaign war chest. More than half a million dollars came from companies headquartered outside Alaska and some even outside the U.S. There is also sneaky funding which appears to be from Alaska, but can be traced to non-Alaskan sources. For example, fourteen of the fifteen member companies of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association are based outside of Alaska.
Those who would like it if Alaskans didn’t get a say in how we manage our own coastline have thus far gotten more than ten times the amount of donations than what has been raised by the grassroots Alaska Sea Party. Shell Oil of the Netherlands gave a staggering $150,000. Four Canadian-owned mining companies gave a total $135,000 (International Tower Hill Mines, Ltd., owners of the Livengood prospect; Kinross Gold Corporation, which owns the Fort Knox mine near Fairbanks; and Barrick Gold Corporation and NovaGold Resources, Inc., owners of the Donlin gold mine). Barrick Gold is also the force behind the proposed massive Chuitna coal project right across the Inlet from Anchorage. An Idaho-based mining company contributed $75,000.
Even though these numbers are already staggering, they’re likely to increase. The next report will be issued August 21, 2012.
“If this pattern holds, the next APOC report will be even more unsettling,” Poe said.
“Alaskans need to recognize this is unprecedented. If Outsiders succeed in defeating our proposal, this will be the first time corporations have just walked in, written a few big checks, bought an election, and driven the policy decisions of an entire state. It’s stunningly blatant, arrogant, and aggressive.”
Support for the grassroots effort to reinstate coastal management to Alaska is far more widespread and locally based. More than 200 Alaskans from around the state have provided the Yes on 2 campaign 99.7% of their funds, amounting to just over $64,000 by the July reporting period deadline.
“We’re lucky so many individual Alaskans support coastal management, not only with their dollars but especially with their voices” Alaska Sea Party co-chair Bruce Botelho said. “Over 30,000 Alaskans signed the petition to get the initiative on the ballot, it has 280 co-sponsors, and is supported by the majority of Alaska’s mayors and hundreds of Alaska organizations.
“Our opponents may throw all kinds of big Outside money at us, but Alaskans know what’s right and what’s best for the state in the long term.
“Big business can try to buy this election, but we trust Alaska voters to see through their scheme. They have three individual donors; we have 200. David can defeat Goliath one more time. Our message is Alaska is not for sale.”
Remember to VOTE YES on #2, VOTE YES for Alaska’s voice, VOTE YES for our coast.
Prop 2 will be on the PRIMARY ballot on August 28th.
DONATE HERE to add your voice to the voices of real Alaskans.