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Friday, July 9, 2021

Governor Sean Parnell Gives Alaskans Brain Freeze

By Shannyn Moore

It’s summer in Alaska. Days are long and the fish are running. For most of us, it’s the season for rain-gear and fleece, fishing tackle and clam shovels, not torches and pitchforks and recall petitions. That’s lucky for Gov. Sean Parnell.

A few weeks ago, Attorney General John Burns addressed a federal ruling on roads in the Tongass by saying, “Today … more so than at any time since statehood, Alaskans’ ability to manage and to responsibly develop its state’s resources is under an unprecedented and coordinated assault by federal regulatory agencies and environmental organizations.”

We hear a lot of that kind of talk from the administration these days.

But less than two weeks later, Mr. Burns was happy to see the state’s Coastal Zone Management Program fail. That program was the main way the state injected its views into federal decisions about coastal development throughout Alaska. But carrying the governor’s water, Mr. Burns assured us we’ll have the ear of the federal government even after surrendering our sovereignty.

What about the “unprecedented and coordinated assault,” Mr. Burns?

I’m getting whiplash and losing count of how many times the Parnell administration has sued the federal government — the same government he now trusts to hear and embrace our opinions on coastal development. That’s quite a reconciliation. Did anyone see Dr. Phil on the third floor of the Capitol?

On Wednesday, it rained budget vetoes. Like most storms, it poured in some places and merely drizzled in others. Seems as though the darkest clouds gathered over districts represented by lawmakers who opposed the governor’s proposal to cut oil taxes by $2 billion a year. I guess Parnell was telling the truth about cutting their appropriations before he said he wouldn’t.

In explaining his approach to reducing state capital spending, the governor smiled and started talking about ice cream. It was Palinesque. “I love to have a bowl of it at night. And if you put half a gallon of ice cream in the freezer, you can go get the half-gallon and you can eat it all in one night, because you like it. Or you can save something for tomorrow,” Parnell said. “That’s what I’ve done.”

Ice cream? His strategy for spending state dollars is like eating ice cream? Is that what the villagers in Emmonak and Marshall were trying to figure out a few years ago: What kind of ice cream to have and when to eat it? I don’t think so. As I recall, they were choosing between food and heat. The governor vetoed weatherization and energy relief funds. No ice cream for those Alaskans.

On the other hand, because he failed to veto his own pay raise, the governor should be able to stash all the ice cream he wants in his freezer at home — maybe he’ll get all fancy and buy gelato.

As an Alaskan who prefers “us” to “them,” Alaska over “Outside” and doesn’t like to be bossed around by any government, it has been a rough week.

The same governor who failed in his quest to give back billions of dollars to some of the wealthiest corporations on Earth — with no guarantees for additional oil in the pipeline — is trying to claim a fiscal conservative badge. I’m not buying it.

If Sean Parnell believed in smaller government, he would have cut the operating budget — that’s what funds “big government.” It’s bigger now after his measly hacking than it has ever been. More government, fewer roads. More bureaucrats, fewer private sector jobs. More money in the governor’s own pocket, but less in yours — once the heating bill arrives.

Smaller government doesn’t mean fewer jobs or projects for our communities. It doesn’t mean Homer suffers through another winter without a gas pipeline, Ketchikan without hydro power, no drainage ditches for flooded apartments in East Anchorage, or Western Alaska without school and energy funding. Limited government doesn’t mean picking Astroturf over repairing damaged roofs on schools.

Brothers and sisters, we Alaskans are faring better than many other Americans. We rest on trillions in resources and billions in stock portfolios, bonds and banks. But it isn’t fiscally responsible or dutiful to the constitution to let Alaskans remained hijacked by skyrocketing energy costs. Alaska’s resources are supposed to be used for the betterment of all Alaskans.

Instead we’ve all got whiplash and ice cream headaches.

Crossposted at the Anchorage Daily News



13 Responses to “Governor Sean Parnell Gives Alaskans Brain Freeze”
  1. Dom Pusser says:

    Hopefully, like a brain freeze, Gov. Parnell will go away quickly.

  2. Man_from_Unk says:

    Hundreds of people on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers can’t top their “ice cream” with bits of dried, smoked or canned King Salmon this summer. The people along the Norton Sound is out of luck too – the chum run that traditionally hit the area in the first part of June is too late because now it’s too wet to dry salmon. Besides that, the little bitty commercial fishery in the Norton Sound is catching the few chum and king salmon returning to the itty bitty rivers up here. Our own people intercepting the salmon along the coast before they hit the itty bitty rivers to spawn and feed the subsistence users.

  3. Alaska Pi says:

    I love ice cream so am not going there.
    Parnell gives me a stomach ache I associate more with nasties like salmonella.

  4. Ndjinn says:

    Pass me the recall petition. When our leaders are unreasonable we have no voice.

  5. AKjah says:

    My favorite flavor– Swirll Parnell doo flush. I may not see his term through but DAMN i hope someone with something like a working brain fills the spot. A state with so much promise should not be held back by a dim wit.

  6. You scream, I scream – we all scream……

  7. PollyinAK says:

    I agree with mike from iowa. Shannyn you are pretty wonderful! thank you for all you do. i’m a girl from Homer too. but, live in Anchorage. i’ve lived in Alaska since 1975, and Parnell is on the worst governor list in my book.

  8. mike from iowa says:

    Ms Shannyn, What can be done about the guv? For us Alaskans at heart,how can we help get rid of this menace? I truly believe the whole bunch of conservatives have taken the poison pill and are trying to take the rest of us down with them. BTW-your article is enjoyable reading. Humor and sarcasm work for me.Thank you.

  9. I See Villages From My House says:

    Beautifully written and inarguably one of the best criticisms of Parnell’s justification I’ve seen yet. Let’s hope more put a magnifying glass onto Captain Zero and find that he’s for “them” over ‘us.’

    We saw how he dealt with Emmonak and Marshall as Lt. Governor, he let God deal with it – and followed Sarah’s lead in hitch-hiking on Franklin Graham’s private Lear Jets packed with processed Jesus commodities in 40 lbs. boxes to each household in villages other than Emmo or Marshall. With what they spent on fuel alone for this propoganda trip, they could have powered the entire Lower Yukon villages for the rest of the winter.

    Whatever, Jesus sleeve-wearers like Parnell like to leave charity to the private sector, and we see how responsible Samaritan’s Purse and those like them are with corporate and private donations – it must be nice to make millions and have your life subsidized on the backs of the poor, Sarah found a way to do it without having to get a preacher’s license online. . .yet.

    • Man_from_Unk says:

      What was done to Marshall and Emmonak is called “shunning” – if you swim against the flow, you will be shut out; you become invisible; stomped on; defamed with small bits of truth intermessed with personal supectulative biased opinions; intimidated; threatened; warned; mocked; phewed on. Poor people don’t have time to ‘feel more fear’, it’s pretty scarey where they are at already.

  10. Zyxomma says:

    I wish Alaska’s politics were as lovely to observe as her natural beauty. Alas, you’re stuck with SP2.0, and ice cream asininity.

  11. Dagian says:

    I found this and thought it was appropriate:

  12. Dagian says:

    Well, the long dark nights of winter are coming. Maybe then Alaskans will broom this joker to the curb.

    Obviously, some are distracted by that too luscious-looking plate of oysters. I am!

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