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June 15, 2021


Giessel “Reallocates” Wealth to Donors


I’m still getting used to seeing the Walter J. Hickel Expressway signs. I still think Wally’s Way would have been better, but it gives me a chance to remember to read “Who Owns America” again. My copy has a brown signature inside. A treasure.

So, as I pull onto Wally’s Way, heading south, the voice of Lori Townsend making me feel better about the news on my radio. Seriously. If there’s a meteor bearing down on Earth and we’re all gonna die, she should be the one announcing it-she makes even Alaska news sound better.

My phone rings.

“Did you know about Cathy Giessel’s crazy payback bill?”

I’m sorry, bring me up to date, I can’t track all the crazy that woman has to give.

Just so you don’t feel like you’re eavesdropping, here’s the “crazy.” Sen. Giessel (R), locked in a tight race against popular former House Rep. Harry Crawford (D), is now doling out millions in state dollars for campaign contributors. Apparently the State of Alaska has an extra $1.9 million per year laying around to drop on for-profit DMV service providers — who already charge Alaskans a big fat fee for service. Apparently the “free market” doesn’t work for at least one of Giessel’s campaign contributors, and the state needs to subsidize her seemingly profitable business. Wait a second! I thought the government wasn’t supposed to “pick winners and losers,” Cath.

So, it’s $1.9 million. Here’s what Sen. Giessel said in some “Talking Points” about her bill, “This is not a giveaway, it is a reallocation of funds.” Exactly, a reallocation to a few rich businesspeople. Interestingly, Sen. Giessel thinks it’s OK to reallocate state funds to businesses, especially when they give her campaign contributions, but not to the poor, tired masses — since she voted against an amendment to cut DMV fees by 15 percent for all Alaskans.

Before we started giving $2 billion dollars of oil profit away for nothing every year I guess a million here and there wasn’t so noticeable.

Oh, but wait! The legislators who voted for this oil giveaway have suddenly noticed, (the shock!), that giving away billions and getting nothing in return leads to… wait for it… billions in deficits. Wow. It’s like a regular Mensa convention in Juneau.

You can’t make these people up. What’s the solution? Apparently $1.9 million is just enough to help out your friends in the private DMV business, but not good enough for a DMV fee cut for average Alaskans and $1.2 million is certainly way too much for getting doctors interested in coming to Alaska to care for our underserved.

I realize compromise is not a strong suit for most of our representatives, but here’s a thought. Why don’t the Neighborhood Health clinics also renew vehicle tags. Or maybe Cathy’s friend with the DMV shop can start swabbing for strep and can practice saying “turn your head and cough.”

Or we could vote for representatives that don’t seem to be so short-sighted.

Or Cathy can drop her silly anti-free-market bill and save us the $1.9 million to put towards student loan repayment for new Alaskan doctors.

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



7 Responses to “Giessel “Reallocates” Wealth to Donors”
  1. mike says:

    OMG ! Between Cathy & Lesil we have got all bases covered. As they say in sports they are stinking up the place. Who do they represent ? Alaskans ? Vote !

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    This is such utter BS .
    The so-called business partners/contractors all appear to be in the most heavily populated areas of the state

    so this largesse doesn’t help about 1/2 of the people in the state , does it?

    Personally, I do almost all my DMV business online and whaddayano? There aren’t any lines!
    There’s no wait! There’s no tired employee who has had to deal with people all day! Easy peasy!
    And it doesn’t cost me anything extra!

    I even did the one time renew-your-license-online dealie last year

    This dippo dealie passed the Senate, Is sent to House now.
    Jeez and crackers! Alaska can’t fund education properly but we sure can spend money for others to make money for doing something which isn’t a big flap to begin with. For crying out loud!

  3. Zyxomma says:

    I could respond to this with sarcasm and contempt, but instead I urge all of you to REGISTER and VOTE. Remember, it’s not Republicans who elect all the RWNJs; it’s Democrats who STAY HOME on election day. Register. Help your friends register. If you’re in a state that requires state-issued ID, help your friends get theirs, with a ride, a small loan, or whatever help you can offer. I was among the legion of people who helped get 18-year-olds the right to vote. I carried petitions door-to-door, back when petitions were pieces of paper to be signed in ink. I turned 18 in 1972, the first year we could vote. I’ve never missed a primary or a general — in fact, a few years ago, I showed up at my polling place only to find out there was no race in my district. I didn’t mind. GOTV!!!!!

    • Zyxomma says:

      In fact, it’s not just Democrats who stay home. Very often, progressives don’t vote because the Dems are too corporatist for them. Well, they’re too corporatist — way too far right — for me. I’ve never let that stop me from voting, because the alternative is simply too much to bear.

  4. ~Sil in Corea says:

    Man, I sure don’t want HER karma!

  5. John says:

    We should figure out how much it costs to keep our state DMV customer service offices open. Then pay private business twice that amount to do it for us, and we can close our state offices. That reallocation of funds should be worth a few thousand in campaign contributions easily. And it seems that the Rs in power only want to pass bills and allocate spending in ways that get them business contributions. Some would call that bribery, but really it is just the free market at work. The government subsidizes private business so the private business can subsidize their wholly owned subisidaries such as Rep. Geisel.

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