State of Alaska Archives: on Government Reform


Mark Begich: Active trader on the stock market, despite proposed ban

Earlier this year, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that for the first time, most members of Congress were millionaires, with 268 of the 534 members enjoying that status. They also reported that for 2012, Begich had assets worth between $1.7 million and $4.2 million. The center calculated Begich's average net worth at $1.4 million in 2012, ranking him 58th in the Senate.

Begich, who owns commercial properties in Alaska and Nevada, has been called an active trader on the stock market. He's still buying and selling individual stocks--according to his personal disclosure forms--a practice also carried out by other Congressmen, but one that some lawmakers have tried to stamp out.

In January, for example, Begich reported selling between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of securities in Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, a company whose stock price has more than doubled in the past year. His disclosure reports list 45 transactions in 2012 for buying and selling stocks.

Source: Alaska Dispatch on 2014 Alaska Senate race Feb 25, 2014

Lisa Murkowski: Sometimes building infrastructure takes earmarks

Miller said Alaska must wean itself off federal dollars because money is rapidly drying up. Miller said, "The deficit has reached a point where we're on the verge of hitting the same catastrophe that Greece had."

Alaska's delegation for decades has worked to ease regulatory burdens imposed by the federal government, encourage it to convey land promised to the state and Alaska Natives, while at the same time seeking federal money for infrastructure that other states enjoy and that could advance resource development, Murkowski said. She called Miller's plans simplistic, saying "that's why it's more than just a little bit frustrating to keep hearing him repeat it over and over again, as if it's something that we haven't been doing."

"Sometimes building that infrastructure takes earmarks," she said. "Joe has not made that connection yet." She said she was not sure how Miller could force areas to be opened for resource extraction, given that the federal government owns 2/3 of Alaska.

Source: Anchorage Daily News coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 26, 2010

Joe Miller: Federal aid to Alaska is coming to an end

Murkowski took aim at Miller's contention that the era of earmarks is dead, saying aid to further build infrastructure in this still-young state is vital, not pork. She suggested--to loud applause--that if such cuts are to be made, perhaps the best place to start looking to make them is in the Lower 48.

Miller said a new day is coming and Alaska needs to be prepared. While the past few decades have been a blessing, he said--a period in which members of Alaska's delegation brought home billions in federal aid and projects--it's a "dream" to think that will continue. He believes the fights should be waged during the appropriations process.

But McAdams, like Murkowski, argued the need for Alaska to continue fighting for what he calls its fair share. Murkowski stressed her seniority as critical to helping to ensure Alaska's voice is heard.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Joe Miller: Limit federal powers to those spelled out in Constitution

A big issue was money. Miller, who believes the powers of the federal government should be limited to those spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, has argued that federal deficits are crippling, Washington is out of control and Alaska must be weaned off its heavy reliance on federal help and given greater control of its own resources.
Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Lisa Murkowski: Earmarked aid for Alaska is vital; cut pork in Lower 48

Murkowski took aim at Miller's contention that the era of earmarks is dead, saying aid to further build infrastructure in this still-young state is vital, not pork. She suggested--to loud applause--that if such cuts are to be made, perhaps the best place to start looking to make them is in the Lower 48.

Miller said a new day is coming and Alaska needs to be prepared. While the past few decades have been a blessing, he said--a period in which members of Alaska's delegation brought home billions in federal aid and projects--it's a "dream" to think that will continue. He believes the fights should be waged during the appropriations process.

But McAdams, like Murkowski, argued the need for Alaska to continue fighting for what he calls its fair share. Murkowski stressed her seniority as critical to helping to ensure Alaska's voice is heard.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Scott McAdams: Fight for fair share of federal aid to Alaska

Murkowski took aim at Miller's contention that the era of earmarks is dead, saying aid to further build infrastructure in this still-young state is vital, not pork. She suggested--to loud applause--that if such cuts are to be made, perhaps the best place to start looking to make them is in the Lower 48.

Miller said a new day is coming and Alaska needs to be prepared. While the past few decades have been a blessing, he said--a period in which members of Alaska's delegation brought home billions in federal aid and projects--it's a "dream" to think that will continue. He believes the fights should be waged during the appropriations process.

But McAdams, like Murkowski, argued the need for Alaska to continue fighting for what he calls its fair share. Murkowski stressed her seniority as critical to helping to ensure Alaska's voice is heard.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Joe Miller: Get rid of earmarks and regulations that limit development

During the debate it struck me that Joe Miller was a two-issue candidate who kept referring to the need to get rid of earmarks and regulations that limit development. Remember, he is supported by the tea party which would like to abolish Social Security, food stamps, federal education funding, Medicare and the new health care plan. It was very disturbing to me that he spoke as though all regulations were bad. Just think of what that could mean if regulations regarding mining development were repealed: Pebble Mine could start up and, oops, there goes the Bristol Bay fishery. Is this what Alaskans want, no one overseeing our industries? No regulations on pipeline construction and maintenance, the pharmaceutical industry, food? Sure it would be easier and cheaper for corporate interests but we've already seen the catastrophic results of poor regulatory control.
Source: Juneau Empire Op-Ed on 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 6, 2010

Joe Miller: Pledge against earmarks: we're over-dependent on feds

At a luncheon debate, "pork" and "earmarks" were also on the menu, the two buzzwords of the day reiterated dozens of times throughout the debate. McAdams began his introductory speech with a reading of a "no earmarks" pledge from the Citizens Against Government Waste signed by Miller.

"As we continue to responsibly develop our natural resources, we will bring our state into maturity," McAdams said. "But to say no to earmarks now is a threat to Alaska."

Miller argued that he was not against funds being brought to Alaska, but rather was concerned with the state's over-dependency on federal dollars. "We can pretend that this economic calamity isn't going to impact the state of Alaska," he said. "Or we can do our darnedest to find the direction that provides us with an economic base to move forward in the future."

McAdams said that arguing against projects--like the much maligned & lampooned "Bridge to Nowhere"--was arguing against the future of Alaska.

Source: Capital City Weekly coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Sep 22, 2010

Scott McAdams: Banning earmarks now is a threat to Alaska

At a luncheon debate, "pork" and "earmarks" were also on the menu, the two buzzwords of the day reiterated dozens of times throughout the debate. McAdams began his introductory speech with a reading of a "no earmarks" pledge from the Citizens Against Government Waste signed by Miller.

"As we continue to responsibly develop our natural resources, we will bring our state into maturity," McAdams said. "But to say no to earmarks now is a threat to Alaska."

Miller argued that he was not against funds being brought to Alaska, but rather was concerned with the state's over-dependency on federal dollars. "We can pretend that this economic calamity isn't going to impact the state of Alaska," he said. "Or we can do our darnedest to find the direction that provides us with an economic base to move forward in the future."

McAdams said that arguing against projects--like the much maligned & lampooned "Bridge to Nowhere"--was arguing against the future of Alaska.

Source: Capital City Weekly coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Sep 22, 2010

Joe Miller: Increase campaign limits; deregulate corporate donations

Q: Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: No.

Q: Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?

A: No.

Q: Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto?

A: Yes.

Source: Alaska Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test Sep 9, 2010

Sarah Palin: Overall reduction of 7% spending, plus state hiring freeze

Unless the price of a barrel of oil dramatically increases, soon, we're looking at a potential revenue shortfall in excess of a billion dollars this year. So with a close eye on price, we need to be willing to curtail spending as needed. If there's a shortfall, there are options. It'll take a cooperative spirit all around to see us through the uncertainty.

I had proposed we start with an overall reduction of seven percent from last year's expenditures. This is a real reduction, not just a reductio in the rate of spending increases--as cuts are often defined elsewhere. That's transparency in budgeting--just as the public saw when we put the state's checkbook online. We stand ready to work with lawmakers--who hold the purse strings--to amend the budget, as we receive revenue updates in weeks ahead.

I am implementing a hiring freeze, exempting public safety, and I am restricting non-essential purchases. These actions reduce the draw on savings as we monitor revenue for the rest of 2009.

Source: Alaska 2009 State of the State Address Jan 22, 2009

Sarah Palin: Comprehensive ethics reform: change politics as usual

Gov. Palin today signed House Bill 109 into law. The legislation improves Alaska’s ethics and disclosure laws. “It was so gratifying to be a part of a bipartisan effort, where the focus was on doing the right thing for the people of Alaska,” said Gov. Palin. “Comprehensive ethics reform was a priority of mine. HB 109 is a good first step toward changing the culture of politics as usual.”
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 07-162 “Ethics Bill” Jul 9, 2007

Sarah Palin: Presented comprehensive ethics bill in early 2007

Keeping her campaign promise to govern in an open and transparent fashion, Gov. Palin presented an ethics bill to the Legislature on Jan. 24. The comprehensive bill tightens ethics within the executive branch, but touches upon all public servants. The bill mandates more detail in financial disclosure, encourages electronic access, further defines conflicts of interest, bans gifts from lobbyists, and tightens certain employment restrictions after leaving office.
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: press release, “100th Day” Mar 13, 2007

Sarah Palin: Sell previous governor’s jet on eBay--it’s impractical

Governor Sarah Palin today [decided] to sell the jet that was purchased by former Governor Frank Murkowski’s administration. The Westwind II will be put up for auction on eBay. “The purchase of the jet was impractical and unwise and it’s time to get rid of it,” said Governor Palin. “In the meantime, I am keeping my promise not to set foot on the jet.”

The State has successfully used eBay in the past to sell State assets, including a former Marine Highways ferry, and several Public Safety aircraft. The State’s surplus property disposal policy is to use eBay for high value, mobile assets because it offers the widest possible exposure for these types of sales, at a low cost.

The jet was purchased for $2,692,600 in November 2005 by the Murkowski administration. Until final sale, Governor Palin has authorized the Department of Public Safety to use the jet for suitable operational purposes.

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 06-006A, “E-Bay” Dec 12, 2006

Sarah Palin: Attended numerous debates & did not avoid any unnecessarily

[With regards to the previous BP debate]: What I did out there in Wasilla also, I was able to apply those Rotarian values, that four-way test about truthfulness and fairness. And I wish that that applied to state politics and to campaigns. Just yesterday, a real quick example of how the nature of the beast of politics is so far from that four-way test of Rotarians, it’s so unfortunate.

Yesterday--at the BP forum--I was invited weeks ago to show up. Well, I’d already met with the BP group. I just met with the president of BP. Wasn’t able to re-arrange my schedule to get there yesterday. And I get home last night and all over the news is ‘Sarah was a no show. She wasn’t at the debate.’ “There’s a sign out front making it look like I was supposed to be there and I wasn’t. But I wasn’t supposed to be there.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: at Anchorage Rotary Oct 31, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Alaska Politicians: Archives.
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