Avid readers of our website (www.alaskastar.com) may have already noticed, but we’ve grown in the last week.
This week’s edition marks the Star debut of the newest member of our editorial staff, veteran Alaska journalist Kirsten Swann. Swann has an extensive background in community journalism, and you may know her name from the popular Mountain View Post blog she started and ran on her own time as a way to create interesting and informative hyper-local news for the East Anchorage community.
Donald Trump’s speech in Arizona has occasioned wailing and rending of garments among the commentariat and “respectable” people everywhere. At bottom, the cause of the freakout is simple: Trump believes in immigration laws, and the country’s elite really doesn’t.
Minus a few trademark excesses that are too ingrained in the Trump shtick to abandon at this point — e.g., we are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it — Trump’s speech was rock-solid on policy.
Joe Miller last week threw his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate race — his third try for the seat and second run against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Miller upset Murkowski in the 2010 Republican primary election, leading to Murkowski’s historic write-in victory in the general election.
In 2014, he lost in the Republican primary to Dan Sullivan, who went on to defeat incumbent Mark Begich, a Democrat.
There was a time in Alaska when leadership was seized by those who had inexhaustible enthusiasm and strong motivation to address the challenges faced by our state.
Today, our leaders face demands — financial, social and educational — that are daunting. Now, more than ever, is the time for Alaskans to step up and join together to address our state’s challenges and seize our opportunities.
The US Supreme Court Ruling is a Big Win for State’s Rights
In a 4-4 tie, the US Supreme Court struck down President Barack Obama’s immigration plan, an executive order which would have given millions of illegal immigrants work permits. The court’s ruling affirms that the president overstepped the powers granted him by the US constitution.
The Fitch Ratings downgrade of Alaska’s credit rating last week was no surprise. Once again, the Legislature and Governor have failed to deliver a sustainable state budget. Instead, they continue to falsely claim that significant budget cuts have been made in order to convince the public to allow politicians access to the Permanent Fund in order to fund big government.
Thousands of Alaskan families likely breathed a sigh of relief May 31 when the legislature passed its budget to avoid a government shutdown less than 24 hours before the deadline to issue layoff warnings. Last year, pink slips did go out. Nothing has been done yet this year to ensure we don’t repeat this next year.
Once again, the legislature voted to balance the budget by drawing down the constitutional budget reserve. In just two years, we will have drawn $7.6 billion from savings.
The State House and Senate just passed the Conference Committee Operating Budget bill and, to no surprise, it reveals that little progress was made to reduce the cost of State government. Despite continued claims of significant operating budget cuts, the budget numbers published by the Legislative Finance Division tell a different story: (http://www.legfin.state.ak.us/BudgetReports/LY2016/Operating/SelectBudge...).