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Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 1:00 am | Updated: 11:54 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Oct. 31, 2012

To the editor:

I write in support of Joe Paskvan for Senate District B. As a lifelong Alaskan and business owner, my highest priority is to support a strong Alaska economy. When it comes to choosing elected officials, I prefer political candidates with a solid business background who have the experience to make tough decisions based on a rigorous examination of the facts.

Given that 90 percent of our state revenues are generated from the sale of Alaska’s oil, a candidate with a strong background in finance, tax law and tough negotiations is an ideal candidate. I prefer a candidate with a successful private sector background; however, I don’t support pro-business candidates blindly. In order to earn my vote, a candidate must be strong enough to stand up against ideological pressure and do what is best for all Alaskans.

The Senate’s bipartisan working group has been doing a good job of tending to Alaska’s economy. They have paid off the state’s debt, put billions into savings, increased the state’s credit rating and kept the local economy growing despite a worldwide recession that drained the pocketbooks of our friends and families in many other states.

Most importantly, the Senate acted like a shrewd board of directors in the face of a multi-billion dollar deal that would have greatly benefited oil companies headquartered in London and Houston but done harm to the Alaskans who own Alaska’s oil.

Joe Paskvan, a member of the Senate’s bipartisan working group, meets and exceeds nearly every important standard I apply to a pro-business candidate. It is trivial to tell you “we don’t agree on everything.” It’s an unfair expectation for any of us to place upon a candidate. What is critically important is that on the very biggest issue in this election — protecting our state treasury and the future of Alaska from those who would put the financial interests of ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips before the well-being of 650,000 Alaskans — we do agree. Joe Paskvan is far and away the best person for state Senate District B. Please join me in supporting Joe in his run for the Senate.

Tony Johansen

Fairbanks

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