Why I’d like to be Lieutenant Governor:The Lieutenant Governor, according to the Alaska Constitution, has a limited roster of responsibilites. Many Alaskans can responsibly execute these duties. But the job can be so much more--like every job--it's what you make it. We need a lieutenant governor who can be a rainmaker, a facilitator, an ambassador and a connector amongst Alaskans and to help us find our place within the economy of the Pacific Rim. We must become more than the end of the supply chain for Seattle, shipping raw resources to the western United States and receiving back value-added goods, more like the 49th colony, than the 49th state.
Alaska must find its place in the 21st century global economy or it risks shrinking, while other states, nations and economies all around us are expanding. As a lifelong Alaskan, participating in this vibrant dialogue, is why I want to be elected Lieutenant Governor. We need strong, independent voices supported by original thought and I believe I can contribute in this way. We need leadership.
I’m in my third term in the House and I take a lot of pride in my five years in the Legislature. I've passed laws ranging from controlling precursor ingredients to eliminate crystal-methamphetamine labs and the scourge of "meth" to providing for hearing-loss testing for newborn babies.
On matters of leadership by action, I have spent tens of thousands of personal funds and improved access to the boat launch at Pike's Landing, which remains free and launches thousands of boats per summer season. Alongside outdoor access issues, is my interest in feeding the hungry across the state of Alaska. During my affiliation with the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, we have raised nearly 1,000,000 pounds of food through events I have funded and this made my effort last year to create a supply chain and spearhead a statewide effort to airlift 40,000 pounds of food to Western Alaska consistent with my belief that Alaskans should be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable amongst us.
But Alaska is a resource state and this is where 90% of our state's income is derived. I’ve been a catalyst for a higher level of discussion on the oil and gas issues that face us. We must stem the decline line in oil production coming from the North Slope. We need more oil in the Trans Alaskan Pipeline. We must disentangle ourselves from the convoluted AGIA process. We must focus on energy security for Alaskans as we face brown-outs in South Central Alaska as early as the winter of 2010, and the stunning lack of affordable natural gas for the Interior. Fairbanks remains the largest, coldest community in the circumpolar globe still tethered to diesel. This is unacceptable. As are the cost of kilowatts and the cost of heating our rural communities. These issues must be addressed.
I have a socially conservative voting record. In 2005, after my first year in the legislature, I took on the task of shrinking government by being the first republican to embrace the public ballot initiative process by introducing the "90 Day Session" and reducing the legislative session from 121 days. After watching legislation flounder that had been introduced 24 times in 15 years, I spearheaded the effort to collect 46,000 signatures and changed the statutory length of our legislative Sessions. This year, I signed (after passing the legislation out of the House Judiciary Committee I chair in both the 25th and 26th Legislatures--but watching both bills fail in the state senate) the republican led ballot initiative to require "parental consent for a minor to have an abortion." I am a pro-life republican.
Ultimately, however, we need statewide elected officials who have created jobs and understand how to shape an economy that welcomes business. I have met a payroll and never missed a bank payment since 1986. There is no substitute for having a lieutenant governor with private sector experience. I will work hard to expand the Alaska marketplace. I will work hard to be a responsible, deliberative, aspirational leader for the state of Alaska and this is why I want to be lieutenant governor.