To the editor: Reps. Tammie Wilson and Dave Talerico failed Interior Alaskans on Sunday. Rep. Wilson did not support the Interior delegation or the majority of Interior Alaskans. Talerico failed to show up for the vote. While I support Rep. Wilson’s message about wanting to make compromises across the aisle, she misrepresented the House bill under consideration, which restored the lengthy series of compromises that represented Republican, Democrat and Independent perspectives. The majority of public comments has recognized the work and trade-offs that the Legislature accomplished in developing the original budget passed for 2020. What she failed to mention is she really wanted to compromise not with Alaskans but with outside influences, primarily represented by Donna Arduin. Both Reps. Wilson and Talerico would benefit, as well as their constituents, by reading the current End of Session Report by Sen. John Coghill, July 2019. Sen. Coghill makes the case for how the budget should be considered with clear discussion of the history and rationale. This highlights why the governor’s budget, driven by outside influences and Donna Arduin, is not good for Alaskans.
If both Reps. Wilson and Talerico want to work for their districts and Alaskans, it is time they start siding with Alaskans. As a small-business owner, lifelong conservative Republican, I have to side with the overwhelming number of statewide and Interior banking, business and commerce groups that have spoken out in opposition to the governor’s plans, driven by outside influences and Donna Arduin. I encourage Reps. Wilson and Talerico to consider all the families and businesses in their districts and think about who should some first — Alaska families and business or the plans of Donna Arduin. I would give the governor credit for his budget, but he cannot even take the lead on defending it and leaves that to Arduin. If you do side with Arduin, at least be honest with your constituents and let them know all the nvegative impacts coming from your decisions.
There is time for them to do the right thing and join the other members of the Interior delegation to come together to work for Alaskans.