The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Rocking the Boat


The following is from the editorial page of the May 18, 1989 Seward Phoenix LOG.

THE BEST CANDIDATE... Next year’s race for governor is about to go into full gear. Prospective candidates are polling the voters, hoping to find out which way the political winds are currently blowing and will blow by election time, November 1990. Already there’s talk of a crowded field as a multitude of Democrats and Republicans weigh the odds. Since the race is wide open, this is the appropriate time for us to give you our thoughts on the ideal candidate.

The next governor of Alaska should have deep roots in the state and a sincere appreciation of the private sector’s ability to create jobs and economic growth. He, or she, should have experienced Alaska before oil was flowing through the pipeline – before oil revenues bloated state government. The next governor must understand and realize that the state is resource rich and can provide Alaskan with the opportunities that other states have already exhausted.

But far more important is that the next governor must be a leader who can set the direction for the state well into the 21st century. Our governor has to have a vision of what this state can be – a state not dependent on oil, a state with a diversified economy and a state where the quality of life is the highest in the nation.

We have enough of the run-of-the-mill politicians seen so often in Juneau during the legislative sessions. We have had enough of the politicians who have failed to lead, never more obvious than during the aftermath of the oil spill. We have had enough of the professional politicians who do nothing more in life than run for political office, whose only vision of Alaska is a state pension and a hefty annual salary for working four months of the year. We have had enough of the politicians who can’t make up their minds unless a lobbyist whispers in their ears.

We know there’s a high quality gubernatorial candidate out there. Alaska has had some excellent leaders – leaders who worked to achieve statehood, rebuild the state after the earthquake and encouraged the wise and orderly development of our resources.

The 1990s and the early years of the 21st century are going to be critical because the issues will be so clear and potentially divisive. We’ll need to find other sources of state revenue. We’ll have to finally realize that we cannot have a state government that attempts to provide everything for everybody. We need to have a leader, not a simple politician who can easily win election because he says the simple things that mean nothing, yet please everybody, every special interest group. We need a governor who believes in Alaska and its people, someone who remembers the promises of the Statehood Act. Yes, we do believe there’s an Alaskan among us, somewhere between Ketchikan and Barrow. Someone who can lead and not only react, someone whose idea of public service is to serve without expectations of financial rewards or public adulation. Someone who believes that elected public service does not mean going after one public office after another without so much as leaving a footprint in the sands of time.

We have until June 1, 1990 to find that ideal candidate.


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