The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Mudslinging ends Tuesday after general elections

Valdez will see new representation in Juneau in the House and Senate seats

 

House District 9 candidates (l-r): Jim Colver, R-Hatcher Pass; Pam Goode, AC-Delta Junction; Mabel Wimmer, D-Mendeltna.

Robocalls, excessive junk mail and incessant political advertising will abate next week after Tuesday's general elections.

After months of mudslinging, voters will be able to decide who will be governor for the next four years – the incumbent Republican, Gov. Sean Parnell or upstart Bill Walker, who is running unaffiliated.

Other hotly contested seats up before Alaska voters include the race for Alaska's one seat in the House of Representatives between the longtime Republican incumbent, Rep. Don Young, and the fresh-faced Democrat, Forrest Dunbar. The US Senate race is also spawning its share of political dirt-digging in the race between the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Mark Begich, and Republican challenger Dan Sullivan.

Valdez voters will see all new face in its representation in both the Alaska House and Senate, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's elections. The new election map, which redrew voting districts, placed Valdez in District E, which is currently held by Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla. He is being challenged by Warren Keogh of Chickaloon, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate.

District 9 voters dumped Rep. Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon, in the August primaries in favor of nominating Jim Colver, R-Hatcher Pass. He is facing off against Mabel Wimmer, D-Mendeltna and Delta Junction's Pamela Goode, who is running under the Alaska Constitution party.

Remember to vote Tuesday, November 4.

House District 9 candidates

Pamela Goode is 55 years old and is married to James Squyres, they live in Delta Junction.

She did not report how long they have lived there or if there are children in the family. She was born in Brunswick, Georgia. For education, she listed 1-12 Public/Military-Base Schooling/Several-States, AAS Data Processing, Tidewater Community College/Virginia and

BA Computer Information Systems, University of Houston/Texas. She is an activist. Previous elected offices held include the Deltana Community Corporation Board of Directors,

Delta/Greely School District Policy Committee, Alaska Constitution Party District Chair.

Q: Please explain how you would address the state's budget deficit in the face of declining oil related revenues:

A: It is absolutely vital that Alaska adhere to a sustainable budget. That means we cut the pork and build down to a lean and powerful sustainable operating budget. Individuals who love Alaska's way of life will become that much more personally responsible for themselves, their family, and community. This is a good thing. Personal responsibility builds strength in all of us and sets an example for the children to look up to and follow.

A strong resilient state citizenry is the lure to investors and entrepreneurs willing to accept the financial risks that come with starting up a business and relocating. A self-reliant citizenry imposes little to no drain on a state government. This projects stability, fiscal strength and order for companies, corporations, and businesses to confidently invest in Alaska bringing jobs and long lasting economic growth. This can happen even in the most difficult and challenging of times, which are coming.

We must start accessing and developing our resources responsibly. If Alaska is forced to stand up to the federal government and enact our 10th Amendment Rights of State Sovereignty in order to do what is best for us, then that is what we must do. There are few things in life worth having that ever come easy.

Mabel H. Wimmer is 57 years old and lived in Mendeltna for 12 years. She was born in

Greensburg Penn. She is married to Russell A. Wimmer and they have four children, John Eric, age 38, Danielle, age 36, Vincent, age 34, and Pearl, age 32. She has also live in Anchorage, Eagle River and Wasilla. She attended both East Anchorage High and UAA.

She is owner of the Mendeltna Creek Lodge and never held an elected office.

Q: Please explain how you would address the state's budget deficit in the face of declining oil related revenues:

A: As a State we can pay our basic bills. It is when we start spending money on studies for projects that never come into fruition. The Susitna Dam project has been studied and talked about for almost thirty years. The Knik bridge, the road to Nome, the list goes on and on and it is bleeding us dry.

Jim Colver, age 56, has lived in Hatcher Pass (Palmer) since 1984. He was born in Anchorage. He and wife Marie-Louise, have three children, Julia, age 14, Calum, age 12, and Hannah, age 28. He has also live in the Mat-Su Valley, Juneau and Anchorage; He has worked statewide: Prudhoe-Ketchikan 1976-curent. He attended University of Alaska, Anchorage ( UAA), A.S. Surveying Technology; UAA - Business Management, Law; West Anchorage High School. He is the owner of Colver Surveying. Previous elected offices held are: Assembly member, Mat-Su Borough (MSB) 2009-currrent, Vice-Chair MSB Fish & Wildlife Commission 2009-2014, School Board Member MSB 2006-2009, School Board President , Deputy Mayor and Assembly member MSB 2000-2006.

Q: Please explain how you would address the state's budget deficit in the face of declining oil related revenues:

A: State spending needs to be aligned with revenue, just like we do in our households.

To accomplish this, the governor and the legislature need to prioritize essential services and reduce the non-essential services. My budget priorities for essential services are public safety, education and transportation. Recent high oil prices allowed the budget to mushroom. State spending needs to put it on a diet. State budgets have always been cyclical, tied to the price of oil. We have reined in spending before and we can do it again.

State agencies are over-regulating the private sector at a huge cost to the state and our citizens. By cutting red tape we can reduce costs. Alaska needs a strategic plan and then to align budgets with the implementing the strategic plan.

I think there are a number of pass thru grants that could be reduced or eliminated in the budget. Perhaps there should be a requirement for a 50 percent match to receive a legislative grant.

I have extensive experience trimming and balancing budgets in local government. I will put that experience to work for you in Juneau. I will always listen to you.

Senate District E candidates

Warren Keogh is 65 years old and has been married to his wife, Sally, for 36 years. He was born in Port Huron, Michigan but has live in Alaska for 30 years, 29 of them in Chickaloon. He is father to Connor, age 35, Hugh, age 32, and Ryan, age 30. His educational background includes: AA University of Alaska, 1975; A.A.S. University of Alaska, 1977; B.S. University of the State of New York, 1992; M.A. Alaska Pacific University, 1994. He is

Retired but formerly worked as a paramedic and firefighter with Anchorage Fire Department; Researcher/Paralegal with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Previous elected offices include assemblyman, Matanuska Susitna Borough Chair and Chickaloon Community Council.

Q: Please explain strategies you would support legislatively to improve education opportunities for Alaska's school age children.

A: My goals for public education align closely with those of "Great Alaska Schools." Let's fund our schools in ways that are sustainable, predictable and stable. In accordance with our Alaska State Constitution, let's also ensure that public monies for public schools do not go elsewhere. Let's find the means to guarantee that children leaving our schools are highly literate, think critically and creatively, and are properly equipped to join our workforce and/or further their vocational, technical or professional educations.

As a former health professional, I applied the fundamental principle of health care, "Do no harm." The same rule applies to that of a lawmaker. Unfortunately, this past legislative session my opponent sponsored four misguided senate bills concerning education that would have harmed our public schools. Fortunately, none of them passed. The most egregious bill was SJR9, a failed attempt to initiate a process to allow public funds intended solely for public schools to be spent elsewhere, something specifically prohibited in our State Constitution. We cannot improve our kids' education by defunding our schools.

On matters of public education, the role of a state legislator is to listen to all constituents (particularly parents, elected leaders of our local school districts, and professionals) and act on their advice to find legislative solutions that improve our public schools. As a lifelong Independent, I welcome everyone's ideas to solve our problems. I will listen and act in the public interest. In the future, let's keep personal and extremist agendas concerning public education out of Juneau.

Michael J. Dunleavy is 53 years old and has been married to his wife Rose for 27 years. The couple has lived in Wasilla for ten years. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania but has lived in Alaska since 1984. They have three children, Maggie, age 22; Catherine, age 17, and Ceil Ann, age 15. He has a BA-History and holds a M.Ed Cross-cultural education. When not working as a senator in Juneau, he is an education consultant with Dunleavy Educational Services. He is a former school board member with the Mat-Su Borough School District and was elected to the State Senate to represent District D in 2012.

Q: Please explain strategies you would support legislatively to improve education opportunities for Alaska's school age children.

A: As a life-long public school educator, including that as a certified teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, and school board member in the Mat-Su Borough School District, and as one who has attended public school and one who currently sends his children to public school, I understand the importance of an adequately funded public education system, and the impact well crafted educational programs have on the lives of children.

Senate District E candidates (l-r): Incumbent Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla; Warren Keogh, unaffiliated, Chickaloon.

With this background comes the understanding that the best ideas for improving educational opportunities for children more often than not come from the local level. Teachers, administration, the school board, parents, and students know what is needed at their schools and their school district better than those decision makers outside of the district. As your state senator my job will be to listen to these local stakeholder groups associated with the district and bring to Juneau the ideas that come about through regularly schedule meetings and dialogue. Whether its changes in statute or legislation, or funding possibilities for new innovative approaches to education, ideas generated at the local level more often than not have the greatest impact on students.

In addition, programs that allow individual students to excel at their own pace, including partnerships with blue collar training entities, partnerships with the University of Alaska for dual credit opportunities, and on-line learning are just a few of the approaches being taken advantage of by many school districts across the country and here in state that Valdez could take advantage of as well.

 

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