Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alaskans: Be Wary of Democrats in Republican Clothing

Paul Jenkins, editor of the Anchorage Daily Planet, wrote a pro-Berkowitz op ed at the Anchorage Daily News that tries to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting Alaskans by selling the idea that Ethan Berkowitz is more like a Republican than Sean Parnell.  Jenkins' piece makes one wonder exactly which planet his publication's name refers to. Of course no one wants to sell themselves as a Democrat anymore these days. So it's understandable that one would want to throw an elephant suit over the donkey. But this is nothing more than a snow job that will leave the rhetorical Alaskan political road full of potholes at the end of the day.

If Berkowitz is such a "Republican" then Jenkins needs to explain why he wanted to introduce a state income tax in 2002. The supporter of the income tax advocating Berkowitz wastes no time in calling Parnell a "tax-and-spend chief executive" despite the fact that Parnell has not raised taxes since becoming governor, and he is pressing hard to hold the line on spending much like his predecessor was.

Speaking of his predecessor, Jenkins has no problem attacking Parnell by taking a cheap shot at Sarah Palin all in the same spew, calling the Parnell administration "the lifeless spawn of Demi-Gov. Sarah Palin."

Alaskans can see right through that pot shot as well as the naysaying on the gas pipeline (when gas goes back up over $13 per million btu everyone will be kicking themselves in the butt if they pull the plug on AGIA). And, asking Parnell to release the results of AGIA when a number of things have not been determined or finalized yet is akin to complaining that the coach won't tell you who won the game even when it's only the third quarter.

Jenkins complains "Jobs are being lost, investment is off, exploration is down, oil production is dwindling and we have about five years before Alaska tanks." Shouldn't these complaints be directed to President Obama rather than Sean Parnell? How many more moratoriums and lock ups of the ANWR does Alaska need before big nanny state Fedzilla gets state politicians to break down and go running back to Washington begging for other people's money again?

Alaska has weathered the Obama recession much better than most states have because of the policies of Palin and Parnell. I'll cede the point that government jobs also help, but the other sectors are all private. Is Jenkins asking that a Governor Berkowitz do away with government jobs?

Criticizing Governor Parnell for "state maintenance programs and capital spending" makes me think that Berkowitz would rather not have any infrastructure at all. Republicans are fiscally conservative, but they also recognize that spending on projects and infrastructure are a necessary function of state government. Since the budget is balanced (thanks to Palin's and Parnell's stewardship), why is this even an issue?

Don't be fooled by a Democrat in Republican clothing. I've seen this movie before. It's called the Mark Warner story. When he was governor of Virginia, I watched our roads and infrastructure go to pot under his and the subsequent Tim Kaine administration. The suspension-wrecking disaster I used to travel to work has been completely repaved now that Bob McDonnell is running things here.

Alaskans may want to be careful with playing political games with infrastructure spending. They also need to avoid fake elephants.

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