They Think We’re Idiots. Are We?
BY: SHANNYN MOORE
I will admit to outrage fatigue. The “Shock and Fraud” campaign in Juneau is working. Legislators, drunk on one-party power, are trying to jam so much crazy through — well, it’s mind-boggling. We’ve just passed the halfway point of the session — think of it as solstice; Alaska’s future only gets darker from here.
We had it too good for too long and didn’t even realize it. The petty, preposterous, personal-issue bills were ignored for years. But now that we’ve solved our energy issues, jobs are plentiful and every education challenge is behind us, the Legislature has entire weeks to “solve” problems we don’t have, with time left over to rain gifts on special interests with deep pockets.
Sean Parnell is what you’d get if Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin had a baby governor: A pro-oil evangelical busily concealing his own lack of substance by demonizing the federal government.
For example, this week Parnell stated his support for HB69, the nutty “nullification” bill. He also rejected federal dollars that would have insured 32,000 Alaskans. He sided with Alabama rather protect the voting rights of Alaska Natives. He continued to dodge a real debate about his big oil bailout. And he’s preparing to punish state employees with skids on their paychecks.
Here’s the oath that “all public officers, before entering upon the duties of their offices, shall take and subscribe to … I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alaska, and that I will faithfully discharge my duties … to the best of my ability.”
This is the pledge lawmakers take. Did they cross their fingers? Did they not swear on a Bible? Any lightning bolts seen over the Capitol?
Where is: “I do solemnly swear to give billions in tax cuts with no strings attached to the richest oil companies in the history of the world.”
I can’t find the promise to “defend the people of Alaska from affordable access to health insurance.” Did they confuse “faithfully discharge my duties” for “happily discharge a billion gallons of cruise ship sewage into coastal waters?”
In his quest to force victims of rape and incest to have babies, Sen. John Coghill of North Pole apparently couldn’t find an Alaska doctor to help him stack the testimony on his bill. He trotted in Outside hacktivists to justify the elimination of “medically necessary” abortions for poor women, regardless of the diagnoses of their doctors. The Alaska front in the War on Women has never been more fierce, so prepare yourself, ladies, for more “barefoot-in-burkas” legislation.
We can’t afford to fund pre-K programs, and we have to cut post-K programs but the coal industry can get a cool $326 million for a railroad spur line.
Let’s change our Constitution so we can fund religious education but don’t ask what it’s going to cost us. I guess if we’re paying for praying, we should have faith it’ll all work out. No fiscal facts for us.
The Lady Republicans in the House accessorized themselves to vote for the unconstitutional gun bill. Camo scarves — that’s so clever! “We went shopping!” OMG!
Apparently Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s constituents came to him and begged for a bill allowing insurance companies to set all our rates based on our credit scores. Really? So if we’ve never had a loan or a credit card, we get to pay more? Genius. Who writes this stuff? Oh, right: insurance company lawyers.
An advertisement starring former lawmaker Glenn Hackney, paid for by mysterious oil industry donors, has been airing. It compares Gov. Jay Hammond’s leadership in creating the Alaska Permanent Fund to Parnell’s effort to save big oil companies billions in exchange for … exactly nothing.
They think we’re idiots. And if we let this continue, maybe we are.