2012 Star Primary Candidate Guide
This year’s Aug. 28 2012 Alaska Primary Elections will be used to determine which candidates represent their parties in the November General Elections. This year, the Chugiak-Eagle River area will select candidates in five races — two Senate seats and three House.
In Senate District F (Eagle River/Chugiak/Butte), Republican incumbent Fred Dyson is running unopposed in the primary, as is Democrat Martin Lindeke. In Senate District M (East Anchorage/Eagle River Valley), Sen. Bettye Davis is running against challenger Harry Crawford in the Democratic primary for the right to face unopposed Republican Anna Fairclough.
In the House, District 11 (Chugiak/Butte) incumbent Rep. Bill Stoltze faces fellow Republican Thomas Connelly. Since there is no Democrat in the primary, the winner of the Stoltze-Connelly race will run unopposed in the General Election. In House District 12 (Eagle River/S. Birchwood/Ft. Rich), newcomer Glen Eichenlaub will face incumbent Rep. Dan Saddler in the Republican Primary — another race in which no Democrat has filed to run. The most hotly-contested primary is House District 26 (Eagle River Valley), where three Republicans — Lora Reinbold, Larry Wood and Kim Skipper — will run for the right to face unopposed Democrat Roberta Goughnour.
For a complete list of polling places in your area, visit www.elections.alaska.gov. Here’s a look at each candidate’s background and their answers to a list of questions from the Star:
Senate District F
FRED DYSON (R)
Place of birth: Vancouver, B.C.
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River
Occupation: Mechanical engineer, commercial marine vessel operator, professional consultant and writer
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): Anchorage Municipal Assembly, 1985-91; Alaska State House, 1997-2002; Alaska State Senate, 2003-present.
Hobbies: Mechanical antiques restoration, cars, guns, boats, tools, history, outdoor sports and reading.
Education: Highline High (Seattle), diploma; University of Washington, 1958-63, Mechanical Engineering
Family: Wife, Jane Dyson, daughters Cindy, Wendy and Jana; 17 grandchildren
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I have always had a keen interest in the experiment that is Alaska. The concept of a constitutional republic was/is unique, principled and enduring.
I got involved in public office when a group of community leaders asked me to fill a vacancy on the Anchorage Assembly. I ran, won, and served for 6 years. My introduction and apprenticeship in politics. After 5 years out of public service, similar circumstances resulted in the same community leaders encouraging me to run for a legislative vacancy.
I strongly believe in the principles laid down in the U.S. and State Constitutions. I will always fight to have our state follow or return to those values and principles. In my opinion, our future and our liberty depend upon it.
The voters will decide if I am the best of the available candidates. I have had the privilege of many years of legislative experience that have helped me understand the convoluted process and the extraordinary breadth of issues facing us.
Probably more important, I have had many jobs and positions in the private sector that have given me some unique insight into our economics and culture. I worked in the oil industry as an engineer at Prudhoe Bay for 13 years, I spent 25 summer months working in the fishing industry, I have been involved in a dozen engineering projects in rural Alaska and was the skipper on research vessels on six marine science projects. The experience of these jobs significantly inform my decisions on many state issues.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? Our area is fortunate and is probably one of the best places to live in urban Alaska.
Our immediate problems are traffic. We have road upgrades in progress on the: Old Glenn, Eagle River Road, Old Eagle River Road, and both Eklutna Bridges. In addition, the design process is beginning on widening the New Glenn where it crosses Eagle River, and an entire new intersection at the South Eagle River (Artillery Road) exit.
We also have at least three areas with significant drainage problems, mostly due to poor actions of government and bad design. Our local State House members have done excellent work on these problems.
On a more human note: Our area needs more local jobs, recreation opportunities and better access to Chugach State Park.
I am also concerned about the increasing levels of vandalism, burglaries and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? I believe our oil production taxes need to be revised. The present system is working very well in Cook Inlet. There are 13 drilling rigs working this summer, an unprecedented number for decades.
The production tax structure does not seem to be working at Prudhoe Bay. There are generous tax credits available and the North Slope producers have taken nearly $3 billion in tax credits which has reduced the effective tax rate to 38 percent. This does not appear to be the right solution. I would cut the “progressivity” or “windfall tax” by about half and make it only on the incremental production.
We must also find a way to work with industry to make the production of heavy oil and gas hydrates economically feasible.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? The State House is working quite well and our local delegation has had a large part in that performance.
The current State Senate is dysfunctional. It always sounds good to say that the Democrats and Republicans are working together wonderfully and in harmony. The reality is that the State Senate is almost completely dominated by inner city liberal Democrats and the combined group is structurally unable to deal with many of the very hard issues that the state faces. This has resulted in gridlock on resource development, tax revisions, family values, welfare, health care, school choice and the huge financial burden of entitlements. The Democratic leadership of the State Senate has different values and a different view of the future than most of the citizens of Chugiak-Eagle River and probably the state. In my opinion it must change for the state to move forward.
MARTIN LINDEKE (D)
Place of birth: Waterbury, Conn.
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River
Occupation: Occupational health and safety specialist
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): None — ran for State House in 2010
Hobbies: Running, skiing, fishing, golf, cycling
Education: B.S. Environmental Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
Family: Wife, Mary Richards; Son, Emery (4 ½ years old)
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am running to provide an alternative to the status quo and a genuine concern about our communities, families, and businesses. I bring vitality, enthusiasm, compassion and fearlessness.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? I have watched as the Eagle River area has grown. The largest issue facing our community today is how to accommodate this growth with the generation of new businesses to support the growing population. Ensuring public safety by including sound civic design to address increased auto and pedestrian traffic and encourage small business development while preserving the sense of tight community spirit. Essential to this process will be to accomplish community development without increasing any tax burden through property taxes.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? The State relies on tax revenue as a major source of funding to support our State’s infrastructure and development. In my view, it is important to the argument to remember that the citizens of the State are the owners of the resource as defined in the State Constitution. My job would be to achieve the balance of maximum revenue for the State as well as maximum revenue for the oil and gas companies. This will be achieved through cooperation, negotiation and compromise between private enterprise and public decision makers. Essentially, yes, I believe the oil tax structure should be changed to allow flexibility and change to adapt to a changing and dynamic industry. I will not take lightly the honor of working tirelessly to advocate for the prosperity of our State and our community.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Gridlock.
As the term suggests, all too often it seems that ideas and positions have lines drawn around them and become locked behind those lines by some who are unwilling to reach out or look beyond. I have a different idea that involves respectful deliberation, thoughtful reflection, a spirit of cooperation and a belief that, through this process, we can behave with honor and respect. In doing so, our future cannot help but be based on sound principles and fair decisions. If that be the case then we have nothing to fear and everything to be hopeful about.
Senate District M
HARRY T. CRAWFORD JR. (D)
Place of birth: Shreveport, La.
Current town/neighborhood: Chugach Foothills, Anchorage
Occupation: Retired Iron Worker
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): State Representative, Dist. 21 and 22; Chugach Electric Board of Directors
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, hiking and Cajun cooking
Education: C. E. Byrd H.S. grad; attended L. S. U.
Family: Wife, Gwen Perry-Crawford; children, Harry III (Beau), Clarissa, Andrew and Trevor
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am seeking office because I want to repay the debt to the many great Alaskans that have gone before me, smoothing the way and making this the wonderful place to live, work, and raise the family that I’ve been blessed with. My experience in the energy and construction fields, coupled with my 10 years in the Legislature, gives me perspective and insight that will prove useful as we set a new course for the next stage of Alaska’s development.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? I have been to many of your doorsteps and have heard your concerns over several local issues, such as the need for better schools, road repair and the high cost of gas, but nothing quite reaches the level of our need for a solid economic future for Alaska. All of these other issues depend on the revenue we derive from oil--and in the not too distant future, natural gas. To increase oil production we have to have a way to handle more gas. Either we need to build an export-sized gas line to get our gas to market, or we have to build another compressor plant to reinject more gas into the ground. I know which option I prefer. Now is our time. Japan is desperate for a new source of dependable, reasonably-priced energy to replace their lost nuclear industry. Financing has never been this cheap. The cost of steel, other materials and construction labor are way down.
We need a gas pipeline now.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? I think the oil tax structure should be simplified. I voted against ACES, because it is a complicated net profits tax, instead of a simple tax on the gross amount of oil produced. All of the other oil-producing states have a tax on the gross, and it seems to be working for the Dakotas and Texas. Also, we should tie any incentives we provide to more investment in increased oil production. We should pay for actual performance, not mere promises.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? “Controlled” — too many members are controlled by big money donors that don’t necessarily have Alaska’s best interests at heart. “Independent” should be the descriptive word, and that’s what I’ll work towards when I’m back in Juneau, representing the good people of Eagle River.
BETTYE DAVIS (D)
Place of birth: Homer, La.
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): Alaska State Senator in the Majority Coalition – longest serving woman in the Alaska State Legislature (2000-2012). Elected to the Anchorage School Board from 1982 to 1989 & 1997-1999 - serving two terms as board president. Elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives, serving three terms (1990-1996). In 2000, Davis became the first African-American elected to the Alaska State Senate and continues to serve as Chair of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee; Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee: Member, Senate Labor and Commerce Committee; and Member, Joint Armed Services Committee. Nationally, Davis serves as Western Interstate Commissioner for Higher Education; ECS (Education Commission of the States) Commissioner; Board of Director for Women in Government; Region X Health Equity Board Member; and NFWL State Director. Davis was appointed to the State Board of Education in 1997-99 and served on the Governor’s Commission on Youth and Justice from 1995-1996.
Hobbies: Reading, cooking, charitable fundraising
Education: St. Anthony’s School of Practical Nursing, certificate; Grambling State University, BSW; University of Alaska Anchorage, Graduate studies.
Family: Children, Tony and Sonja; Grandchildren, Anthony, Alesha, Philecia and Taylor
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I’ve served 12 years in the State Senate and currently serve in the majority coalition with real authority. With over 30 years of valuable hands-on experience, why would I leave knowing I am very effective and have a history of getting things done. My record speaks for itself. In the private sector, if you had more experience than anyone else and got more done, you’d be promoted, not challenged. I haven’t finished getting healthcare for all Alaska’s children, securing more jobs statewide or helping our teachers create classrooms that excite and encourage all kids. I’m seeking political office because I believe in getting things done...no matter the party politics, the stereotypes and “the way we’ve always done it.” While most work another time job during the interim, I’m retired and have time to devote to my constituents year round. I’ve been a change agent in local and state politics for years, making me a well-sought after spokesperson on education, economic development and social service issues.
Some people look at me and see a person of color; others see someone older than they are. Still others see me as a woman – one who is very dedicated to children and schools. I’m the first African American to serve in the Senate of our great state of Alaska and the longest serving woman to ever serve in the legislature. And, as a woman, I’m proud to have served for over 30 years in local and state leadership. I still get to work earlier and stay later than most my colleagues. In addition, when they need someone to volunteer for a new hard job, they all look at me. They don’t see a frail, old woman; they see someone who has never stoppedworking – and is still one tough lady. I am proud to be all these things, but there is so much more to me. I am widely experienced, hardworking, dedicated, strong and more independent every year. I head to Juneau to ask the questions you ask ... and I won’t back down until you get the best we can afford. Alaskans have seen and felt my strength on the School Board, the state house and the state senate.”
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? I served Eagle River in the 1990’s as a House Representative with Ramona Barnes and understand after meeting with residents and listening to their concerns recently at various “Meet and Greets” and other events, transportation, schools/education and growth of the community remain concerns within Chugiak-Eagle River. I look forward to actively participating with the community councils to learn more about these issues, as it relates to planning and zoning, recreation, roads, public safety and education so that I can use my experience and qualifications, while working across party lines to resolve these and other concerns.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? I voted to support ACES because ACES allows the state to put billions into savings, to forward-fund education and to make sizeable investments to Alaska’s roads, harbors, schools, etc. I’m willing to consider changing Alaska’s oil tax structure only if it produces greater investment for Alaskans and promotes a healthy long-term industry in this state.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Fragmented. Why? Because of party politics, the stereotypes and “the way we’ve always done it.”
ANNA I. FAIRCLOUGH (R)
Place of birth: Auburn, Wash.
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River (Eaglewood)
Occupation: Development Director, Hospice of Anchorage
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): Anchorage Assembly, 1999 – 2006; House of Representatives, 2006 to present
Hobbies: Gardening, fishing, hiking
Education: Service and Unalaska High Schools, 1970 – 1976; Anchorage Community College, 1976-1977; University of Alaska Anchorage, 1996 – 1997
Family: 2 grown boys, Cory and Garret
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am running for the State Senate, Seat M, because I love my community and believe in Alaska’s future. I will continue to work hard to make sure Alaska has a sound fiscal plan, a sustainable budget and the resources to improve education, maintain our roads and make our communities safer places to work and live.
I am the only candidate for Senate Seat M who lives in Eagle River (for over twenty-six years). In addition to raising my family and volunteering in our community (Special Olympics, Winter Olympics, Girl Scouts, Knik Little League and as a founding member of the Alaska Veterans Museum), I represented Chugiak-Eagle River for seven years on the Anchorage Assembly and for six years in Alaska’s House of Representatives. I have the experience, the work ethic and the energy to get the job done. I know our community well and cherish its uniqueness.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The biggest issue facing Chugiak-Eagle River is Alaska’s economy and how that economy affects our community’s ability to grow and prosper. A healthy economy is reflected in our home values, a robust housing market and employment opportunities. We can strengthen our economy and preserve our unique identity by working together. The Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAP’s) has been the life-blood of Alaska’s economy. Currently TAP’s is running at 25% capacity. We must increase our exploration and development to maintain the quality of life we have grown to love and cherish.
I will address that issue on an ongoing basis, by staying in close touch with the community, listening to citizens’ concerns, responding to the community’s unique needs, and always being an advocate for small business development and reviewing barriers to business owners.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Yes, I do believe our oil tax structure needs to be changed. Over the past several years there have been many proposals for consideration; I believe there is a compromise that can be reached that will better serve Alaskans.
We must be sure our pipeline has an ample supply of oil “through put” to guarantee a revenue stream and jobs for future generations. To accomplish this, we must balance the needs of our state with the needs of industry and understand the competition in the global market for capital investment.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? My one word is “well-intended.”
Why “well-intended”? The Legislature, as a whole, has found it difficult to address and solve some of the pressing problems facing Alaskans – not because those elected don’t care, but because they do not share a common vision for Alaska. Short term actions can affect the future of Alaska; elected representatives need to have an open dialogue that reflects all interested parties, not limiting participation to one perspective. We must move beyond political sound bites and have a discussion with Alaskans about the real challenges we face. Developing a long term financial plan will help members focus on a common vision for the future and the best solutions to get us there.
House District 11
THOMAS CONNELLY (R)
Place of birth: Buffalo, N.Y.
Current town/neighborhood: Chugiak
Occupation: Retired railroader, active truck driver
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): None
Education: About 60 credit hours gathered over 10 years while in the U.S. Air Force and at A.C.C. after moving to Alaska in 1973.
Family: Wife, Claire, and stepson, Dylan. Five kids of my own: T.J., 17 years old; Fiona, 15, Annie, 14, Mark 12, and Michael, 10. My three oldest attend Chugiak High School. Mark attends Mirror Lake Middle School and Michael attends Eagle Academy Charter School in Eagle River.
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? With 6 kids out there, I fear for their future. Will there be a future for them in Alaska, or will they need to leave and seek a better life somewhere else? The current legislature has had opportunity after opportunity to do something, but fails to get a handle on it. We need jobs. Our children need jobs. This legislature lacks visionaries to take Alaska into the future. It lacks the courage to just do what is right for the people of Alaska, and to put their political future secondary to the needs of the people of Alaska. New leaders, new perspective, new results.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? I believe that the failure of state government has placed all the people of the state in a most precarious position. Today, I believe that we, the people of Alaska, need to address the common good for all Alaskans, not just the few. The greatest good for the greatest number of people needs to become the priority for all of us. As for local needs, the Glenn Highway bottle neck needs to be resolved. I believe a 3rd set of lanes with controlled crossovers would keep traffic moving well into the future.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? It’s a philosophical difference between those that believe that government should tax only for what it needs and not what it wants. I believe that we should only be taxed for what is needed to operate the government today. The oil companies are paying a huge amount of money to pay for the wants, not the needs of the Alaskan people. I believe that the final price at the pump reflects all of the cost incurred by all parties involved and the tax paid to the government (s) should be based on this number alone. I believe that the pump price should also be broken down to show the consumer the real cost of government tax versus the cost to produce.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Gridlock. I don’t believe that the existing personalities in the legislature will ever be able to agree on a plan to move the state forward, and a new group of people, different voices with a different perspective, need to step forward and take a shot at it. In no way do I want to imply that the current legislators are less than honorable, dedicated, and decent people. They are. I believe that a new chemistry, a new perspective, and new ideas are what are needed to get Alaska moving again.
BILL STOLTZE (R)
Place of birth: Anchorage (Old Providence Hospital)
Current town/neighborhood: Chugiak
Occupation: Currently serving in the Alaska Legislature
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): See above
Hobbies: Fishing, gardening, baseball, watching high school sports, Alaska history, community service
Education: Birchwood Elementary, Chugiak/Gruening Jr.-Sr. High; U.A.F.
Family: Family has lived in this area for over 50 years.
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am running again partly because so many of my neighbors encouraged me to run again. I am honored to have the privilege to serve my community, it is not just a job, but a passion. I just wish it wasn’t in Juneau!
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The overriding concern is the same as much of the rest of the state — the economy. We need to have a vibrant, not declining, oil presence in Alaska. It is an anchor for our economy that I do not believe can be replaced. On the local level, transportation (both state and local roads) will remain a top priority.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Yes. I have, and will continue to support changes to ACES, especially the “regressive” progressivity provisions.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? “Crossroads.” The decisions that we choose to make, or not make, will have a significant impact on Alaska’s future. We need to face , not avoid, decisions regarding oil taxes, government spending and whether or not we will promote, not stop economic development opportunity.
House District 12
GLEN A. EICHENLAUB (R)
Place of birth: Portsmouth, N.H.
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): None
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, poker, and family activities
Education: UAA Majoring in BBA Management and AAS in Radiologic Technology
Family: Recently engaged to my high school sweetheart and we look forward to having a family of our own some day.
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am seeking office to fulfill the enlistment oath I took before joining the United States Air Force. I swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. After doing multiple deployments to Iraq/Afghanistan, I realized the greatest threat to our Constitution isn’t overseas but right here in our own government. I am the best candidate because I am merely a concerned citizen and not someone who has spent his life building a politician’s resume. I have the standing and will to say no to government spending, government growth, and the federal governments intrusiveness on our state.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The biggest concern to Chugiak-Eagle River is the federal government’s overreaching controls put on our state and cities. I am a firm believer in Thomas Jefferson’s theory of “state nullification.” State nullification is the idea that a state can and must refuse to enforce federal laws that the state views as unconstitutional. If elected, I will push to pass legislation nullifying unconstitutional federal laws put on our state and cities.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Alaska has lost its attractiveness for oil companies to explore and develop new oilfields. Due to past legislation, including ACES, oil exploration and production has greatly decreased. Revisions implementing a more competitive tax structure, which includes reducing taxes on both new and existing oil fields, are needed to encourage more oil profits to be reinvested back into Alaska.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? RINO (Republican In Name Only). Tradition Republican core values include fiscal responsibility, low taxes, and limited government size and spending. Despite this, many of the Republicans currently holding office consistently vote against these ideals. Our state spending has tripled in the last ten years on things that include the recent 1,500 airline tickets purchased for the “Shootout Partnership” and a $150 million sports facility at UAA. While the spending has tripled, the size of government along with property taxes continues to increase. Alaska needs to replace these RINOs with true conservative Republicans.
DAN SADDLER (R)
Place of birth: Elyria, Ohio
Current Hometown/Neighborhood: Eagle River
Occupation: State representative
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): State Representative, 2011 to present
Hobbies: Flying, songwriting and performing, hiking, reading
Education: B.A., Journalism, Miami University, 1983; M.A. Journalism, Ohio State University, 1987
Family: Married to Chris for 18 years; father to twins Peggy and Danny (13 years old), stepfather to Sam and Don (adults)
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position?
I’m running for re-election because I want to continue serving the people of our community, and to keep working on Alaska’s toughest challenges: providing jobs and opportunities through private resource development; securing reliable and affordable energy; championing military personnel, veterans and their families; and supporting good schools, safe neighborhoods and decent roads. My 25 years in Alaska as a reporter, legislative aide and senior executive staffer give me the experience, connections and perspective to continue being an effective representative.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The biggest issue facing our community is the need for a stable, prosperous economy to support our jobs and families. Reforming oil taxes will play a big part in securing that prosperity, but we must also have reasonable business and environmental regulations, low taxes, and accessible, accountable government.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Yes, I believe the current oil tax structure discourages the investment needed to keep Alaska’s North Slope oil flowing. At the least, we must bracket the progressivity of state oil taxes, as federal income taxes are bracketed. While current exploration incentives are working; we must also craft incentives to encourage new production from legacy fields and from as-yet unproduced frontier regions, and look toward production of heavy oil to extend the life of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? In a word, “high-centered. While there is a general consensus in the House and in some parts of the Senate on the direction the state should take, partisan differences and political power plays have sidetracked too many good legislative ideas. If we can’t get better traction, we’ll just keep spinning our wheels.
House District 26
ROBERTA GOUGHNOUR (D)
Place of birth: Fairbanks
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River/Eaglewood
Occupation: HR Consultant
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): None
Hobbies: Camping with family, reading, exercise
Education: BBA, Econ, MBA
Family: Robert, son, 20; Ronald D., spouse
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am seeking public office because Alaska is at a crossroads as far as our economic future. Our families depend on lawmakers to make family centered decisions about the economy, jobs and our educational system. I believe my experience as a Mom, business owner and community member has provided the experience to go to Juneau and make the right decisions to ensure the well-being of our community.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River revolves around the well-being of the families in our community. This is because the uncertainties of the budget issues on the federal and state levels make it hard for families in feel secure about their future. When parents are worried about job security, the value of their homes, the availability of health care for themselves, their elders and children and the quality of the educational system it is stressful for parents and they do not feel secure in planning for the future.
The Legislature needs to understand that its actions (or lack thereof) have consequences for Alaskans. It is important that uncertainties be addressed rather than letting them carry over from year to year. This could be done by developing a strategic plan for the future of the state that lays out plans for economic development, management of our financial and nature resources and workforce readiness.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? I know that we must engage in a rigorous debate about the economic well-being of our State. There are producers who have told lawmakers that they cannot guarantee they will be investing in production of oil from our State unless we change ACES. However, they have not presented any plans for future investment or jobs if the tax structure is changed. What legislators need is assurance from producers that tax structure changes will result in an increase on the through put of oil in the pipeline and/or that the life of heavy oil fields will be extended so we get a return on investment of lower taxes.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Split. Our Legislature has not been able to take decisive action on many large issues such as a natural gas pipeline and oil tax reform. Unfortunately, each side is so polarized that there is a lack of consensus and legislation is bottled up in committees. I would make efforts to help bring some clarity and vision to the development of our State’s resources so projects can move forward and citizens receive relief rather than grief from the political process.
LORA REINBOLD (R)
Place of birth: Fairbanks
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River
Occupation: Substitute Teaching & Marketing
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): Vice President South Fork Community Council (2009-present); Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Board (2010-present); District 32, Vice Chair Republican Party (2010-2011); Eagle River Stadium Committee Chair (2011); Eagle River Trails Sub Committee Chair ERNSC ( 2008-2012); Kempton Park Homeowners board 2002
Hobbies: Running, skiing, biking, hiking & trail development
Education: East Anchorage High (1978-1982), Oral Roberts University (1982-87, B.S. Business Administration), University of Alaska, Anchorage (1985/2001).
Family: Eric Reinbold, husband; sons Zachary and Rydell
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am concerned about our State’s future, declining oil, increasing state budgets and new federal mandates being placed on our health care system. Being married to a petroleum engineer has given me a deep understanding of the importance of responsible resource development. Because of my extensive work in Alaska’s health care industry I will be more aware of the negative impacts of Obamacare in Alaska. As a bold conservative leader I support market-based, patient-centered health care reform—not government mandates. In addition, I have been a substitute teacher for many years and have a great appreciation of the unique challenges we face in our education system. Because of my understanding of classroom dynamics and the challenges our teachers face in Alaska, I will lend credibility to the conversation about education reform. I support parental involvement in education and will advocate for school choice.
I have a unique blend of credentials in three important areas: health care, business management, and education. I will bring badly-needed expertise and leadership in these areas to Juneau.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? Chugiak and Eagle River are growing communities. We need to prepare for the anticipated growth by providing infrastructure to accommodate for future needs. Hiland & Eagle River road upgrades should be top priority. Finally, addressing the projected growth in downtown Eagle River and ensuring we have proper traffic flow plans in place to make sure our small businesses have the infrastructure they need to thrive.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Alaska is constitutionally obligated to develop its resources to the maximum benefit of Alaskans. However, taxes are high and regulations strict causing the oil industry to send investments elsewhere. The current tax regime, ACES, needs to be adjusted in order to incentivize new development. Higher production means more jobs and more revenue for Alaska. We’re also long overdue for real action on a natural gas pipeline. As a member of Governor Parnell’s Transition Team on Energy, Resources and the Environment, coupled with my extensive business and leadership experience, I will fight hard to improve the business climate and encourage development in our State.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Gridlock. Many in Juneau are working hard and doing the right thing, however, there is still too much politics, and bureaucracy in Juneau, and not enough business savvy.
Juneau needs strong, competent, no-nonsense leadership: a leader with a proven record in business and economic issues who understands the limited role that government should play. I will fight to improve our business climate and pursue market-based, patient-centered health care reform. With hands-on classroom experience and a deep appreciation of education, I will thoughtfully pursue education reform that benefit families and give teachers the needed resources and support they need in the classroom.
KIM SKIPPER (R)
Place of birth: Kearny, N.J.
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River/Eaglewood
Occupation: Former Legislative Aide, 30 years accounting experience in private sector, business manager of North Slope Water/Sewer O&M Project
Previous elected office(s) held (ifany): N/A
Hobbies: Golfing, fishing, reading, cross country skiing
Education: AA/Paralegal Studies – University of Alaska Anchorage
Family: Husband, Steven Skipper (US Air Force – Retired)
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? I am running because I care deeply about Eagle River and the future of our state. For many years we flourished with new businesses and new families. However, we face many challenges with the decline in oil production and an unsustainable operating budget. I am the only candidate with legislative, accounting and a military background which I believe is the right combination of experience to serve Eagle River – I can hit the ground running from day one!
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? The economy and Alaska’s oil tax structure has serious implications on our community and our state. Many in our community work in the industry and are impacted as oil companies and service companies invest outside Alaska. This will have an effect on a family’s income, housing and our local economy if we are unable to pass meaningful legislation that will help bring investment back to Alaska.
Chugiak-Eagle River has grown with new families and new businesses – with the growth we need to ensure that our roads are upgraded to manage the increase in traffic and mitigate areas of congestion at various intersections in the business district. During my work in the legislature I helped to obtain funding for engineering studies and road improvements. I will continue to work with our constituents, legislative delegation, CBERRRSA (our local road board), the Chugiak- Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, and community councils on prioritizing and funding additional road projects. The safety of our residents as they travel throughout our community is a top priority.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? I do support changing Alaska’s oil tax structure and making Alaska more competitive in the world market. The current tax structure is driving investment outside Alaska – we are declining in production while other areas are booming. I would propose changes similar to HB 110 passed by the State House in 2011 – for example: bracket progressivity, modify the calculation of progressivity to annual versus monthly calculation, and provide investment incentives in core fields and existing units.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Gridlock — I believe the House has functioned well and conducted the business they were elected to do. The House and the administration were able to reach solutions that would strengthen the Alaskan economy, encourage more oil production and create jobs for Alaskans, unfortunately the Senate Bipartisan Working Group decided to dig their heels in — wouldn’t engage or compromise on these important issues.
LARRY WOOD (R)
Place of birth: Anchorage
Current town/neighborhood: Eagle River (27 years)
Occupation: Business Attorney/Mediator
Previous elected office(s) held (if any): N/A
Hobbies: Family, Hunting, Fishing, Skiing, Hockey
Education: Willamette University, College of Law, Juris Doctor (Winner, Moot Court Competition; T.A., Moot Court) Washington State University, B.A., Political Science (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, ROTC Superior Cadet) Franklin Pierce High School, H.S. Diploma
Family: Spouse, Ellen (homemaker/certified teacher; Anchorage School District Volunteer of the Year); Children, Matthew, Jeremy (spouse: Jamie), Adam (spouse: Sasha), and Suzanne
Why are you seeking political office and what makes you the best candidate for the position? Alaska can still be the magnificent land of opportunity we have all enjoyed. But, there’s much work to do to build a bright future for tomorrow. Let me put my extensive professional, public, and community experience to work for you reforming taxes and regulations to ensure prosperity and good stewardship of our beloved Last Frontier.
From a values perspective, I am a conservative Republican. I am pro-family, pro-life (endorsed by Alaska Right to Life), pro-business, pro-Second Amendment and, certainly, pro-Eagle River! I believe government must provide public safety, safe roads, education that ensures our children’s success, and responsible resource and economic development. Regulation of private enterprise must be reasonable, promoting business growth and private jobs. Health care costs are spiraling, but reforms need not impose new taxes on Americans.
Among House candidates, I believe that I am the most qualified: 35 years dealing with complex public policy and business issues as Chief Assistant Attorney General, State of Alaska; General Counsel, Alaska Railroad Corporation; Assistant General Counsel, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.; and Chair, Alaska Public Offices Commission. I have also been very involved in community service and currently serve on the boards of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center, and Community Covenant Church. I am a mentor with Alaska Correctional Ministries, and have been actively involved in various Alaska Bar Association committees. Ellen and I have raised four children in our community; they attended our local public schools and have graduated from college.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Chugiak-Eagle River, and how would you like to see that issue addressed? Like other communities in Alaska, the livelihoods of Chugiak-Eagle River residents and our local economy are deeply affected by the decline in North Slope oil production. That topic, however, is addressed in the next question.
More locally, traffic circulation, access, and congestion issues in Eagle River must be resolved. A 2010 Municipality of Anchorage Transportation Study defines projects that will improve traffic issues and insure good traffic flow in our community and business district. Along the same lines, traffic safety issues on “Red Light Hill” need additional attention. Our legislative delegation has worked well as a team to keep abreast of these and other issues critical to our community, and secured State funding for bridge replacement, road remediation and improvements, school and recreation enhancements, fire station replacement, and others. Like them, I will be in touch with community and business leaders, our Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, businesses and non-profits, and residents to identify appropriate funding and capital projects to help insure high quality life in and growth of our magnificent Chugiak-Eagle River community. We want our hometown to maintain its reputation as a beautiful, vibrant community with wonderful vistas and recreation, great shopping, and excellent schools.
Do you believe Alaska’s oil tax structure should be changed? If so, how? Yes, definitely. Alaska’s oil production is declining. Since 90 percent of State revenues depend upon oil, and we are experiencing 6 to 7 percent annual declines in oil production, we must reform oil taxation to encourage new production. We must support oil and gas development in existing fields, and open new fields in NPR-A, ANWR, and offshore. We must reduce energy costs by getting natural gas to our communities and to market. Because I have represented both the State of Alaska and the oil industry, I am uniquely qualified to bring divergent views together to prevent economic crisis and to break the legislative stalemate in Juneau. I will help develop a fiscal plan that stewards public funds, trims unsustainable spending, and targets only viable projects that strengthen Alaska’s economic future and the infrastructure it needs to move ahead economically.
If you could use one word to sum up the current state of the Alaska Legislature, what word would you choose? Why? Stalemate. Although this year’s election cycle may change its dynamic, the political make-up of the Alaska Senate has resulted in impasse for meaningful oil tax reform that will encourage new oil production. There have been roadblocks that prevent resolution of other critical issues too. As a seasoned and persuasive communicator, and as a trained mediator, I can help break the stalemate in Juneau by identifying common interests and by helping build bridges to resolve our critical economic issues.
I have the expertise to craft good laws, fix bad laws, and stop laws that we don’t need or want. Did you know? There are seven lawyers in our Legislature: each one a liberal Democrat. I ask that you send me, a conservative Republican business attorney, to represent our interests in Juneau. I would appreciate your vote!