Paid for by:
Alaskans for Les Gara
P.O. Box 202259
Anchorage, AK 99520
Tel: (907) 274-0730
I've enjoyed working for you in the Legislature, and want to thank you for all your support as we've worked together for a better community. With your help and support, we can work together to expand opportunity for ALL Alaskans, not just those lucky enough to be born with privilege or into a stable family. We can protect Alaska's fishing streams (I passed legislation pushing to protect Alaska's public fishing access in 2012), our outdoors, and promote economic development as we have on the past. But there's a new move in recent years to trade wild fishing streams for irresponsible development. That's poor policy, and the Pebble and Chuitna Mine (which provides for dredging 10 miles of salmon stream for 30 years) concern me.
Carol Comeau, Retired Anch. School Superintendent
Money should never be a barrier to college, job training or opportunity. Today too few Alaskans attend college and get needed job training - our college graduation numbers are the worst or second worst per capita in the nation, depending on which survey you look at. I worked to help re-write the Governor's so-called "merit" scholarship - which left out rural students who go to schools that don't offer the courses needed to qualify; and bright, driven youth who earned their GED while in a broken family. We have added needs-based aid now - something I've fought for since I've been in the Legislature.
And we need to enhance our economy with expanded, smart renewable energy production in urban and rural Alaska, and expand Alaska's natural gas production so the most energy-rich state in the nation doesn't face an energy shortage. I succeeded in co-sponsoring efforts to require that future state buildings and schools be built to cost effective energy efficiency standards, and succeeded in pushing for an additional $50 million to Alaska's Renewable Energy Fund during the 2008 Special Session, which I co-sponsored and successfully voted to renew this year. I've fought hard for a natural gas policy that will lead to a gas pipeline and more natural gas production - one that serves your interests, and results in affordable gas that provides for both in-state use, and exports that produce Alaska revenue. A big pipeline, preferably to Valdez, will also require gas exploration, which experts convincingly say will lead to more needed oil finds as well.
And I believe in working for more oil production. We have more exploration on the North Slope, and more companies working there, than in recent history - and 40% more investment and jobs - all as of prior to the GOP giveaway that passed in April!
The Governor and his allies gave away upwards of $2 billion/yr. in tax reductions without requiring them to be invested in Alaska - and allowed companies to invest the same as they would have, and just take that money out of state.
The largest tax giveaway in his bill - $700 million to $2 billion a year depending on oil prices - just hands that money to Exxon, Conoco and BP without requiring them to invest it in Alaska. They can keep it. They can invest it in Azerbaijan or Libya. Lower taxes, with no strings requiring action by oil companies, didn't work before, and won't work.
In contrast, I and others pushed for oil policy that only let companies buy down their tax rate if they invested in new exploration; new processing facilities for new oil, heavy oil research needed to bring that untapped resource into the pipeline, so companies couldn't just take their tax breaks and spend them outside. We should benefit, not just the oil companies that put their political backing behind the Governor.
And I wouldn't have busted the bank with excessive breaks - which will call for teacher, law enforcement, construction and other layoffs that will harm, not help the economy all just because the Governor wanted a sloppy, not carefully written bill.
With your help, I'll keep working for fairness and opportunity for all, and for a vibrant future for this and the next generation.
PS - As always, just call or write (274-0730; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to share questions, thoughts or concerns.
Les on the Issues |
Want to Donate? |