I have been asked to do this blog for Alaskan’s and by extension, all Americans. Before I get into my first topic let me introduce myself.
I am a retired USAF TSgt (E-6) with 20 years service to this nation I love dearly. I was a dental tech for 14 years then the last 6 years changed careers to medical administration with the best job in the Air Force, NCOIC Medical Readiness, Wright-Patterson Medical Center, WPAFB, Ohio. This was when I first really saw the impact of our government on the military and our lack of readiness. Fortunately, I started this career with President Reagan who was fixing the 4 years of decay by Jimmy Carter. I then ended that career after Desert Storm with the pride that we had made huge strides in readiness so we could prosecute a war with minimal casualties. We deployed 212 people overseas, we got all of them back without a scratch. The change in attitude was palatable and I was proud to be part of that.
During that time at WPAFB I got the privilege to be part of the best Volunteer Fire Department anywhere, Bethel Township Fire Department. My Squad Chief saw something in me that I didn’t know I had and I was sent to Paramedic School. I did that in Ohio then moved to Alaska in 1995 and continued working as a Paramedic both paid and volunteer for a total of 22 years. I loved it and privileged to have worked with some the greatest Paramedics ever (they forgot more about the job than I would ever know). Lastly worked at Elmendorf AFB as an Entry Control Officer (Security) for 8 years. The sad thing about that time was I saw an Air Force that I barely recognized! Thus I am very upset and an advocate for all veterans, in and out! Now, I and my wife of 37 years, are pretty much retired, she’s working still. BTW, my wife is USAF Retired TSgt as well. Well, that is enough about me.
I believe it was last month or the start of this month that a Senator from Tennessee called Mark Levin to discuss that Tennessee was working on a bill to side-step the 17th Amendment. Basically, the Senate and House majority would nominate a person for Senate and the minority would do the same. Then the people would vote. The main positive is that the Legislature reinstates it’s Constitutional role in picking US Senator’s whom are to uphold the interests of the State vs that of the Federal government. Even though the 17th Amendment changed from Legislature to People, the intent of the Senate never changed, that to uphold and to work towards the interest of the individual States. The House, or as so often called the “Peoples House” is to work for the benefit of We the People. Well, as we all know that intent has been turned on it’s head over the last 100 years, especially since the ratification of the 17th Amendment.
FOX News a few months ago did a special called “Boom-town”. They showed that Washington D.C. is booming and awash with money and lobbyist as the main industry. So what kind of impact has this had? An example is that in talking to Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office staff (she refuses to have a meeting with me) I asked who she worked for. The answer was the Senate. Although I shouldn’t have been, I was taken aback! I forcefully informed the staffer that Lisa worked for Alaska and We the People, NOT her masters in the Senate, McConnell and the Anarchist Prince Harry Reid (I use Anarchist due to Reid in his role as Senate Majority Leader on the floor of the Senate called We the People Anarchist because we oppose ObamaCare, the Prince aspect from Sean Hannity)! Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are bought and paid for by the “machine”, not only the Alaska Republican Party, the Republican National Committee and the Democrat National Committee, but by all the lobbyist with deep pockets for their re-elections. The media talks about voter apathy and that people don’t vote because they are “disenfranchised” and don’t believe their vote counts. Who has the money to fight against all that money and influence? Any wonder why once they get in and get past the first re-election to remove them is like pulling hen’s teeth? Then of course is the liberal media who backs both and never gave Joe Miller a chance at an even playing field!
The good news is that Representative Wes Keller, is looking hard at what Tennessee is doing and is working at introducing legislation this coming session. I was fortunate to talk with Representative John Ragan, the sponsor from the House in Tennessee about this bill (the bill numbers are SB 0471 and HB 0415http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB0471&ga=108 ). We had a very good and informative conversation, and he was going to call Wes after our conversation with all positives and negatives they were having. The major negatives were the establishment Parties and the Media. No surprise.
So, let me go into the pro’s on this.
Voter apathy and disenfranchisement. When and where do the close elections happen? Answer, local and State Legislature. As we all know, Hollis French won by about 50 votes, others have won by single digit votes, not to mention Borough elections, assembly and school board. Why is that? Because we are close to those people and the impact is immediate on our property taxes and what goes on in our state. In talking to Lower 48 folks, many do not know their State Legislator’s like we do here. I know Wes Keller, Shelly Hughes, Mike Dunleavy, Charlie Huggins, Mark Newman, Fred Dyson, Lynn Gattis and Bill Stoltze personally, not because I’m a deep pocket donor, but as a citizen who can easily discuss issues with our Citizen Legislator’s. So, when the Legislature is considering a person for the US Senate, I have direct input to that decision making process! Not a lobbyist, not the RNC/ARP or the DNC determining ahead of time who we will have for the two choices! If this were to go through, can you not imagine the increase in voter turn-out for State Legislative elections and then the General Election for the Senate seats? Our vote then would have IMPACT! Our vote would COUNT!
Cost of elections and the power of the almighty dollar in elections! How many hundreds of thousands of dollars does it take to just get through a Primary? Along with that come “influence peddling” by lobbyist and PAC’s, some we may or may not agree with! So, if the Senate and House were to vet individuals based on their experience, their stand for the Constitution (or in the case of Democrats the opposite) the potential for influence peddling is dramatically reduced. With our strong ethics laws, that would reduce it even further. Thus when the nominees are voted on, it is the matter of getting funds for the General Election only. Sure PAC’s, lobbyists are open to spend freely for the election as well as We the People to put our money toward the candidate of our choice!
Election ads. Who isn’t tired of election ads? Once all candidates announce we get TV and radio ads coming out of our ears from June to the Primary election. Then we have to put up with even more for the General Election! Would it not be grand if we only had to listen and view campaign ads for a couple months, instead of month after month after month?
Debates. As it stands now we beat up each other in the Primary debates that give the opposition ammo for the General Election. If all we had to do is debate for the General Election, the debates could be much more substantive and focused. It is up to the candidates if they want to go negative or stay positive and focused, that is up to them.
Sovereignty. The elected Senator is not only responsible to the voters who voter him/her in, but more importantly, to the State Legislature. The State Legislature can have direct influence in Senate votes because if the Senator votes against the interest of the State, next election, they very well may not get nominated again! Talk about term limits and re-election based on performance!
These are just a few of the pro’s I have come up with. As to negatives? Looking at the list of pro’s, I am hard pressed to come up with negatives to the positives!
Not only is it important to speak out, testify at the Committee hearing, and to press our legislators to vote yes, but we must over-ride the media attack that will be coming. Some of this can be done with Letters to Editor, our testimony to the Committees that the media does report on and the use of the many and varied internet means of getting the message out! Social media, like Facebook, Twitter and the many blogs are having an influence over that of the liberal media! All one has to do is look at FOX News who routinely reports on what is trending and being brought up! According to Representative Ragan, the media attack has influenced his constituents view of this bill negatively since the pro’s are not discussed, not to mention covered up. Then other media’s like Brietbart, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and other conservative TV, radio and internet shows and outlets are viewed more and more and are getting out the truth! We, the People can influence all those avenues to get the truth out and in doing so, we can start down the path of regaining our State Sovereignty and States Rights.
I thank you all for this opportunity and I do hope this was helpful.