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"An Informed Voter Is The Best Defense Against Bad Government"



Doveryai no Proveryai
By James Price, March 12, 2003


"Doveryai no Proveryai" is a Russian proverb, which means trust but verify.  The reason that I write this is that if our Governor and Legislature have their way, that proverb and the following history will no longer be applicable to Alaskan lawmakers.  Their proposed legislation puts public policy behind political gain.


From the APOC website:


“The impetus for campaign disclosure resulting from the Watergate scandal, and a successful citizen initiative effort convinced the state legislature to pass the Alaska Campaign Disclosure Law (in 1974).


That same year, another initiative effort succeeded in placing Alaska’s Public Official Financial Disclosure Law on the ballot.  In 1976, the legislature revised state lobbying reporting by passing Alaska’s Lobbying Law.


In 1990, the legislature responded to an increased demand for ethics regulation and disclosure by expanding its previous reporting requirements.


In 1996, the legislature responded to a new citizen initiative effort and revised Alaska's 20 year-old campaign disclosure law to include stricter limitation and disclosure measures, including the prohibition of corporate and out-of-state group contributions to state and local candidates.”


Last month, the new State Legislature introduced proposals to dismantle existing law requiring accountability of funds spent by lobbyists to influence legislation.  Since last month, four bills have been introduced that propose ending restrictions of direct contributions from lobbyists to every Legislator, ending reporting requirements that reveal who’s spending money to influence Legislators and replacing the Alaska Public Offices Commission with an agency controlled by the Governor.


Alaska citizens initiatives created laws demanding ethics and disclosure standards in three statewide elections.  Why do our Governor and Legislators now wish to dismantle these safeguards?  Is this good for Alaska?  Who will benefit?


The Alaska Voters Organization has published the facts at www.akvoters.org. showing the proposed legislation SB-89/119 and HB-106/157.  Please research the facts and tell your Legislators and Governor how you feel about returning to the pre-Watergate “good old days.”



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