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September 2, 2014

Parnell Targets Former First Lady

Obama is a socialist. Health care is communism. Closed parks are fascism. It’s weird the way words and labels get thrown around these days. Apparently dictionaries are one of the things some people no longer believe in.

Here’s a word that doesn’t get thrown around but should: corporatocracy. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a society or system that is governed or controlled by corporations.”

I joke about living in a resource colony but it isn’t actually funny. When the Corrupt Bastards Club was running the Legislature, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski asked them to effectively strip Alaskans of the right to pursue “public interest” lawsuits against state government.

The Corrupt Bastards were only too happy to comply. They changed the law so that if a citizen, or group of citizens, dared sue the state, with its bottomless pockets and legions of lawyers, and lost, those citizens would be liable for reimbursing the state for its legal expenses.

Let’s put that another way: If you sue the state over a matter of broad public interest, the state will fight you with public money, and if you lose, you pay for their lawyers with your money.

And why is this the law? Exactly one reason: So the Alaskans who are adversely affected by development projects supported by politicians in office will be afraid to challenge them.

Corporatocracy.

The Parnell administration, handmaiden to every multinational with a scheme to make money off Alaska, is using the attorney general’s office as a hammer to intimidate Alaskans. It’s simple bullying aimed primarily at those Alaskans who aren’t willing to sell our environment at the first whiff of a dollar bill.

People like former First Lady Bella Hammond and Alaska constitutional author Vic Fischer. Fischer, Hammond, Trustees for Alaska and Alaska Native groups sued the state Department of Natural Resources for ignoring the Constitution in granting permits to Pebble mine promoters without considering the public’s interest in salmon and other subsistence resources.

The permits were issued by natural resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, a gung-ho developer who was Alaska’s attorney general and now wants to be your next U.S. senator.

Frank Murkowski succeeded in denying citizens the right to challenge politicians and bureaucrats without having to risk their life savings. Now comes Gov. Sean Parnell to double down.

Parnell introduced HB77 last year. It will be on legislative desks in January. If it passes, DNR will be able to hand out permits like Halloween candy, and with just about as much thought.

Of course, you won’t have to worry about that because you won’t know it’s happening. No more public notice of such things. They won’t have to tell you anything, or answer your nosey questions, before shoving some developer’s dream down your throat. In-stream water rights? No longer available to Alaskans.

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Alaska Constitutional Delegate Vic Fischer. (Photo by Zach Roberts)

The case that Fischer, Hammond and others lost has been appealed. It will be back in court, before the state Supreme Court, in December.

While all this has been swirling about, our attorney general’s office has sued the feds over polar bears and belugas and voting rights, sued the Lake and Penn Borough over a ballot initiative (again on behalf of Pebble), defended a wife beater’s parental rights and more. All part of the Parnell re-election campaign.

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Alaska former First Lady, Bella Hammond. (Photo by Ben Knight)

Alaska should be trying to repay folks like Vic Fischer and Bella Hammond for their contributions to the state. When Jay Hammond was scratching out the math for the Permanent Fund, do you think he had any idea that a later governor would go after his wife’s savings for trying to protect her home from cyanide?

I’m embarrassed. I wish Sean Parnell could be.

This is bigger than the administration’s lack of respect for the plaintiffs in this one case. It’s about all of us — the little people who need a way to stand up to government when it refuses to do the right thing.

This was a systematic effort, begun under Murkowski, to use state resources to silence any resistance to questionable development.

Our current governor likes to tell the federal government, “We will not sit down and shut up.” Then he turns to Alaskans and says, “Sit down and shut up — or we’ll bankrupt you.”

Corporatocracy.

This article is cross-posted at The Anchorage Daily News.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Parnell Targets Former First Lady”
  1. Shawn McCrary says:

    Palin is old news. I was a fool once and believed her lies. I for one would hope for her to move to Arizona full time and allow Alaska’s issues to true Alaskans.

  2. Zyxomma says:

    This is what happens when voters choose a candidate based solely on the (R) next to his/her name.

    • slipstream says:

      Parnell showed his stripes early on.

      There was a rare Presidential visit to Alaska. Air Force One stopped at Elmendorf on the way to Asia, and the Commander in Chief spoke to the troops. The White House sent an invitation to the Governor of Alaska to attend. Remember all the Republican hoo-haw about supporting the troops? This would be a great time to show it. And for the Govenor to welcome Barack Obama to Alaska, representing slipstream and all other Alaskans.

      Parnell, ten miles away, decided he was “too busy” to go and welcome the President.

      Jerk.

  3. REPO says:

    so when Parnell got creative it was and IS to cover up the crimes of the century…they hate the thought of that coming to light…”it could be potentially huge” was I believe what the President said…Geneva can’t save them either – they can’t manipulate those international folks…Daddy Central Bank might be sleeping with Palin but when they wake up to see what Crazy Cruz well has and continues to create “buyers remorse” and that is when the REPO man comes into save the day…

  4. Dagian says:

    That is simply beyond my comprehension. I mean, how do these people sleep soundly at night? That big pile of cash (for them) is a pittance for the corporations and really not “enough” to be so thoughtless & short-sighted. Is it?

    When do you get to vote these clowns out of office? I’m not an Alaska resident, but I certainly wish you well. Any chance that the gentleman who ran against him before is willing to go through the political buzz saw again?

  5. mike from iowa says:

    Parnell couldn’t whip either one in a knockdown,drag out fight.

  6. Alaska Pi says:

    Amen AKM!
    A couple points of note:
    The Pebble oriented Land Use Plan for Bristol Bay area which came into being under Mr Murkowski was successfully challenged by tribes in the area. The state is continuing to say they won but what they did was settle so they wouldn’t lose. We need to keep paying attention to what happens there- especially in light of Gov Torpedo’s HB 77 mindset.
    Also too regarding the state suit against Lake and Pen – this is going to be very interesting as it is a first of a kind butting of heads of state v home rule borough in our state. Home rule here is built deeply into our state constitution
    (which was written as expressly anti-dillon’s rule) and the state will have to prove an overarching interest which supercedes that of the borough.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_rule_in_the_United_States

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