Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Janet Reiser State Senate Candidate Seat P

My state representative, Berta Gardner, had a reception for Democratic House Candidates last night.  After being in the Capitol every day for several months and then being totally disconnected from all that during our trip, I figured this was a good chance to see some of the folks I'd met in Juneau and to see some of the new candidates.  It was.  Among other things I learned was that Nancy Dahlstrom, House Rules Chair this session,  had resigned from the legislature to take a job with the administration.  I don't think that made it into the London papers.

 I met several of the new candidates, but didn't get pictures of them all.  At left above is Janet Reiser, a chemical engineer, who is running for Senate Seat P, the seat Sen. Con Bunde is retiring from.

Lupe Marroquin a retired public servant, most recently in charge of elections at the Municipality of Anchorage, is running for House in District 31.  This was the first time I actually met Lupe in person, but she went through extraordinary efforts to get us absentee ballots in Thailand in March 2008.  Getting a fax through to us and our getting it back took a lot of work on her part.  I was so impressed that I did a post on her efforts.

Rep. Bob Lynn has a primary opponent on the Republican side.  I got to know Rep. Lynn while I was in Juneau.  The one committee that I attended most regularly was the State Affairs Committee that he chaired.  I found him respectful, thoughtful, and he had a good sense of humor.   If he wins his primary, then the voters of District 31 are assured a good representative no matter who wins.

Jodie Dominquez, shown here (left) with her campaign manager, is running for House District 28 against Rep. Craig Johnson who appeared to me to be a strong advocate for oil and gas interests in the legislature.

I'm hoping that this election Alaska bloggers can take a key role in helping voters get to know the candidates.  My sense is that we (Alaskans) should seriously evaluate the candidates as if we were hiring someone to handle our personal estates.  Because that's what we're doing.  We need to get past the PR television ads that package candidates based on focus group information on how to push voters' emotional buttons.  And we need more than how they come off in a single public television debate.

We need to seriously look at their resumes and determine who is most qualified.  We need to interview them and we need to talk to them in less formal situations.  While I am a registered Democrat, I plan to give as objective information about candidates as possible.  To say that a registered Democrat or a registered Republican can't report on the elections is ridiculous.  That would either mean some of the most qualified reporters couldn't report, or that reporters would have to hide their affiliations by registering independent.  I think it's better that we declare our affiliations and then let the readers consider what we write.

Unlike some other bloggers, I will not use my blog as a partisan forum to push Democrats and attack Republicans.  (That's perfectly legitimate, but just not my style.) But I also can't cover everything.  I will attempt to gather information that will help readers make informed choices.  And I assume that on occasion I will slip into opinion, but it will be supported by the facts.

Here's a video I got of Janet Reiser last night.  One of the nice things about talking to people who are fairly new to politics is that they tend to be pretty open and haven't learned yet to hide themselves behind a professional facade.  Candidate Reiser really seems talks from the heart here.  Yes, she's pushing her candidacy, but she's pretty transparent.

So, Alaska bloggers, let's give Alaskans more information than they've ever gotten about the candidates for the legislature. Let's try to transform this political races to businesslike hiring decisions. If there are skeletons, let's get them out, but I don't think we should focus on the negative. Rather we should help Alaskans get to know the candidates in all their rich complexity.


  1. I know that looks shouldn't matter, but one of my daughters said that "she is as sincere as she is pretty"-- I thought that was nice.


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