Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Alaska Senator The Oil Companies Most Hate

 "This election will present two very clear choices for the people of Alaska:  Do we want to be an owner state or do we want to be an owned state?
Do we want to go back to the failed policies of 30 years that have left us with little to show or do we want a new direction, a new vision where we follow our constitution and get the maximum benefit for our resources?

[Note:  I always try to be objective and even-handed in my blog posts, but sometimes, there is only one right choice.  This really is about the richest companies in the world trying to snatch back $2 billion in taxes a year from the people of Alaska.  They're trying to get back to where things were before the FBI stepped in to expose the corruption in Juneau over oil taxes.  They've waited a few years and now they're back at it, buying legislators to pass their tax cut.  Those opposed to the tax in the Senate were both Republicans and Democrats. Watch the video.]

 This is the video tape that every Alaskan voter should see before the election.  Senator Bill Wielechowki lays out the argument against the Governor's plan to cut the oil companies' taxes by $2 Billion (yes with a B) per year.

For 30 years we had a policy of low or no taxes on the North Slope.  The philosophy was, low taxes will lead to more investment, low taxes will lead to more jobs, low taxes will lead to more oil.  [Thus ?] we have a 30 year experiment.  How did it work?

It failed.
  For 30 years we peaked at 2.1 million barrels a day of oil.  30 years later in 2006 with a zero percent tax rate on 15 out of 19 fields we had 740,000 barrels flowing down the pipeline.  The policy failed. Jobs declined. Investment declined.  Production declined.  Do we want to go back to that failed policy?  Are you willing to work to insure that we don’t go back to that failed policy?

They hate him because he has fought hard against the Governor's bill and because he's able to articulate clearly and passionately why it's all wrong.  There's no vague ideology and empty promises of more jobs.  It's full of facts that show that there is no good reason for Alaskans to give any money to the oil companies and plenty of reasons not to.  Most of his short speech is quoted here.  It's heavy with facts. 

We have a new policy in place.  It’s called ACES.  It’s working and there are two people I need to pay homage to . . . two of the legislators who stood up and said enough is enough and filed the first oil tax bill are with us today.  It is Senator Hollis French and Representative Les Gara.   
So how has that new policy worked?
Since we passed ACES, we’ve had all time highs in jobs every year since the bill passed.  We’ve had all time highs in investment every year since the bill passed.  We’ve had all time highs in the number of companies doing business in Alaska every year since the bill passed.   
We have more people working on the North Slope today than ever in the history of the state.  We have more  invested in the North Slope than ever in the history of the state.  We have a 253 percent increase in the number of companies doing business in Alaska in the oil patch.  I’d say it’s working pretty well, wouldn’t you?
I remember I was running six years ago and people were saying, “Are you going to raid the Permanent Fund?   Are you going to have an income tax?  Or a sales tax? Because the failed policies left us with nothing.  

Norway came to Alaska and studied our Permanent Fund.  
They started their Permanent Fund 19 years after ours.  They did it with less oil than ours.  Our Permanent Fund is worth 42 billion dollars.  Norway’s permanent fund is worth 600 billion dollars.  We have lost hundreds of billions of dollars because of the failed policies of 30 years.  We’re not going back to that are we?

But I recommend you listen to the video.  Wielechowski isn't some party hack.  He's a regular guy, a Mr. Smith Goes to Juneau, who looked around and saw how bad it was and got angry.  He's taken a stand that makes him a prime target for the oil companies who are taking advantage of Citizens United to get their $2 billion gift from their delivery boy in the Governor's Mansion in Juneau.  If they spent $100 million and succeeded in getting a Senate that supports their $2 billion a year tax cut, it would be the best investment in Alaska history.

Watch the video and see why oil company execs hate him so much.  See how clearly and well he exposes the fraud the Governor is trying to commit against the people of Alaska.

We have villages in Alaska without running water or sewage systems, but our Governor, a former ConocoPhillips lobbyist, wants to give back $2 billion a year to some of the richest companies in the world.  The governor is supposed to represent all the people of Alaska.  We've had governors like Hickel and Hammond, even Palin,  who have stood up to the oil companies.  But he wants to give them this money and in return we get vague mantras, but no promises, about jobs, jobs, jobs. 

The video was made Saturday, September 22, 2012 at a gathering of people in support of Save Our Oil and supported by a resurrected Alaska Backbone - the bi-partisan group that formed when ConocoPhilips bought ARCO.  Backbone demanded the state and feds hold out for better conditions before the deal was approved.

The key to preventing this giveaway is to elect enough coalition friendly senators to continue to block the oil companies' assault on the people of Alaska.

Who are the Senators in the Bi-Partisan Working Group?  From the Backbone website:
Senator Bill Wielechowski • Senator Bert Stedman • Senator Joe Thomas • Senator Joe Paskvan • Senator Linda Menard • Senator Lesil McGuire • Senator Johnny Ellis • Senator Gary Stevens • Senator Kevin Meyer • Senator Don Olson • Senator Hollis French • Senator Bettye Davis • Senator Tom Wagoner • Senator Lyman Hoffman • Senator Dennis Egan • Senator Al Kookesh

The Alaska Redistricting Board whittled away at the districts as much as the Supreme Court would let them.

Coalition Incumbents running against each other:

  • Senators Kookesh (Southeast) and Stedman (Southeast) are running against each other in Southeast, so one of them will be gone.  
  • Senator Joe Thomas (Fairbanks) was redistricted so that he is facing Senator John Coghill (Fairbanks).  

Coalition Incumbents lost in the primaries to anti-coalition Republicans:
  • Senators Linda Menard (Palmer)  
  • Tom Wagoner (Kenai).  

Redistricted into more conservative districts:
  • Senator Joe Paskvan (Fairbanks).
  • Senator Bettye Davis (Anchorage).  
  • Senator Bill Wielechowski (Anchorage).
  • Senator Hollis French (Anchorage).

New District with no Senate Incumbent (Anchorage)
  • Senate District H: Democratic Representative Berta Gardner v. Republican Don Smith
Here's the list of Senate Candidates adapted from the Division of Elections.

Republican Democrat (unafilliated for Seat N)
A John B. Coghill Jr. (Republican)
P.O. Box 58003
Fairbanks, AK 99711
Phone: (907) 488-7886
Candidate's web site: http://www.johncoghill.com
Joe J. Thomas (Democrat)*
879 Vide Way
Fairbanks, AK 99712
Phone: (907) 457-6710
Candidate's web site: http://www.alaskansforjoethomas.com
B Pete Kelly (Republican)
511 East Slater Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Candidate's web site: http://www.petekellyforsenate.co
Joe Paskvan (Democrat)*
3275 Riverview Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Phone: (907) 474-0551
C Click Bishop (Republican)**(see comments)
3365 Sandvik Rd.
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Phone: (907) 479-3969 e-mail: click@clickbishop.com
Candidate's web site: http://www.clickbishop.com
Anne Sudkamp (Democrat)**
P.O. Box 83304
Fairbanks, AK 99708
Phone: (907) 479-5192
e-mail: anne.sudkamp@gmail.com
Candidate's web site: www.annesudkamp.com
D Mike J. Dunleavy (Republican)
1830 E Parks Hwy, Ste A-113, PMB #550
Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: (907) 841-0399

E Charles R. "Charlie" Huggins (Republican)
3375 N Edgewater Drive
Wasilla, AK 99623
Phone: (907) 373-6419
e-mail: reelectcharliehuggins@gmail.com
Candidate's web site: www.charliehuggins.com
Susan M. Parsons Herman (Democrat)**
3101 E. Palmdale Dr.
Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: (907) 376-8281

F Fred J. Dyson (Republican)
12239 Lugene Lane
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: (907) 694-3744
Martin J. Lindeke (Democrat)**
16111 Cline Street
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: (907) 354-4402
G Bob Roses (Republican)
8200 E. 2nd Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 350-0684
Candidate's web site: http://www.bobroses.com
Bill Wielechowski (Democrat)*
1300 Farrow Circle
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 242-1558
e-mail: wielechowskiforsenate@gmail.com
Candidate's web site: www.wielechowski.org
H Don Smith (Republican)
2121 Tudor Hills Court
Anchorage, AK 99507
Phone: (907) 529-6170
Berta Gardner (Democrat)**
1405 Matterhorn Way
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 274-1334
I Paul D. Kendall (Republican)
1342 Hyder Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 222-7882
e-mail: pauldkendall@yahoo.co
Johnny Ellis (Democrat)*
1231 W. Northern Lights #533
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 223-7724
J Bob Bell (Republican)
P.O. Box 92520
Anchorage, AK 99509-2520
Phone: (907) 272-5160

Hollis S. French II (Democrat)*
2640 Telequana Drive
Anchorage, AK 99517
Phone: (907) 244-7135
e-mail: info@frenchforstatesenate.com
Candidate's web site: www.Frenchforstatesenate.com
K Lesil L. McGuire (Republican)*
2022 Kimberly Lynn Cir
Anchorage, AK 99515
Candidate's web site: http://www.lesilmcguire.com/
Roselynn Cacy (Democrat)**
11930 Johns Road
Anchorage, AK 99515
Phone: (907) 344-1261
L Kevin Meyer (Republican)*
4020 Winchester Loop
Anchorage, AK 99507
Phone: (907) 349-6511
Candidate's web site: http://www.senatormeyer.com
Jacob O. "Jake" Hale (Democrat)**
3561 Hollyberry Cir
Anchorage, AK 99507
Phone: (907) 351-6762
M Anna I. Fairclough (Republican)
P.O. Box 771112
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: (907) 694-7090
Candidate's web site: http://www.annafairclough.com
Bettye Davis (Democrat)*
2240 Foxhall Drive
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 337-2034
N Catherine A. "Cathy" Giessel (Republican)
12701 Ridgewood Road
Anchorage, AK 99516
Phone: (907) 345-5470
e-mail: Cathy@Giessel.org
Candidate's web site: www.CathyGiessel.com
Ron Devon (Non-Affiliated)**
Nominating Petition Candidate
6520 Italy Circle
Anchorage, AK 99516
Phone: (907) 301-1601
O Peter A. Micciche (Republican)
P.O. Box 1544
Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: (907) 262-6165


Sen. Egan* is the only legislator not up for election this year.

Q Bert K. Stedman (Republican)*
118 American St.
Sitka, AK 99835
Phone: (907) 821-2378
e-mail: bertstedman@yahoo.com
Candidate's web site: www.stedmanforsenate.com
Albert M. Kookesh (Democrat)*
P.O. Box 91
Angoon, AK 99820
Phone: (907) 788-3615
e-mail: amkookesh@gmail.com
R Gary L. Stevens (Republican)*
P.O. Box 201
Kodiak, AK 99615
Phone: (907) 486-4205
Robert J. Henrichs (Democrat)**
P.O. Box 1000
Cordova, AK 99574
Phone: (907) 424-7783
Lyman F. Hoffman (Democrat)*
P.O. Box 763
Bethel, AK 99559
Phone: (907) 543-3583
T Allen Minish (Republican)
P.O. Box 118
Chitina, AK 99566
Phone: (907) 823-2280

Donald C. "Donny" Olson (Democrat)*
P.O. Box 241248
Anchorage, AK 99524
Phone: (907) 240-3795
*Were Coalition Members in last Legislative Session, but if Republicans gain majority, not guaranteed next time
**Likely Coalition Members in future Legislsative Session

Actually, Bill Wielechowki is a pretty nice guy, and maybe the oil company people actually like him personally and hate someone else more. But they sure don't like his strong stand against changing the taxes and would love to see his opponent win.

[UPDATE 9/26/12:  Someone emailed me this link to Alaskans United to Stop Our Oil Wealth Giveaway (that's a mouthful)  for more information.


  1. Click Bishop is a likely member of the coalition. He explicitly stated that he would put Alaska ahead of Party and was attacked by Ralph Seekins as not a "real" republican.


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