Sunday, September 27, 2009

Outer Limits of Term Limits

I was going to write separate pieces about the SOLdotna City Council elections and the borough-wide term-limits ballot proposition, but when I started to think about it, the fact that every council seat has a challenger running against an incumbent (or has two new candidates squaring off) completes the argument against any sort of need for term limits.

As you listen to ACT, they say we need term limits for several reasons: to oust entrenched politicians, to get fresh blood involved, and to have elected officials listen to the will of the people. Never mind that term limits are just another way to restrict your freedom by taking away your right to vote for the candidate of your choice; forget about the dedication and experience of those who have been involved in government; and please ignore that when we elect someone, that IS the will of the people in that district. Oh, and don't confuse them with the facts that in recent borough elections incumbents HAVE lost to challengers (John Williams, Betty Glick, John Davis, Mike Navarre to mention a few).

So, here in river city, there are folks who are unhappy with the way the mayor and city council have handled the cemetery issue. What is there to do? Challenge the status quo and present candidates for the city council that offer us a different perspective. Democracy at work. If people feel strongly enough about something, our system of government, especially on the local level, allows for people to get involved and be the change that they seek.

Have you noticed that ACT doesn't present candidates for office? Their excuse is that they don't present candidates. Oh, I see. They feel strongly about issues and want to unseat incumbents, but they don't want to bother actually running against an incumbent.

You may wonder why ACT has its no-candidate policy. Exhibit A would be Vicki Pate, one of ACT's loudest mouths in an organization of loud mouths. She ran for school board a few years ago and was thoroughly trounced in the election. Of course, she had to say a few words about why she was running and her reasons were simple: she wanted to do away with public schools and cut all of its funding. Those in ACT have one basic agenda - cut their taxes in order to cut government. But they do want all of the government services that someone else has to pay for: police, fire, health care, road repairs, snow plowing and etc. They just want the tooth fairy to pay for it all. Or you and me. Once they actually speak about what they want to accomplish, the only ones that are going to vote for them are those on the fringe.

ACT is all about having the minority rule. Remember the first borough initiative that they managed to pass? It required a super majority (61%) of the vote for the borough to authorize any spending over $1 million. That means that the minority (41%) controlled the will of the rest of the voters.

Rather than put a candidate against Gary Superman in Nikiski, they hope to term-limit him out so someone can run unopposed for that seat. Ron Long and Pete Sprague won their assembly seats by well over 60% of the votes in their districts, but Ron is now term-limited out and Pete will be out the next cycle. Clearly these candidates have the support of the citizens, but they don't agree with ACT's agenda. Since no candidate that espoused the ACT agenda would find much support in SOLdotna or Seward, ACT is trying to get their way by removing candidates that they don't agree with by term limits rather than by a direct challenge.

ACT is all about suppressing your vote and about taking away your freedoms as a way to accomplish their goals.

And that is exactly how tyranny works.


Anonymous said...

ACT's assertion that they have a 'no candidate' policy is transparently refuted by their vocal and publicly acknowledged support for candidates, most recently and notably, their support for Dave Carey in the last election.

Because of APOC rules together with attempts to protect or preserve their non-profit status, they may skirt support through more traditional means, but that doesn't mean they don't campaign for and support the candidates of their choice.

Their denial doesn't stand up to the test of plausibility.

ACT is made up of a number of previously vocal Libertarian Party proponents.

They no longer speak aloud of their Libertarian leanings or affiliation, the LIbertarian Party platform pretty much guaranteed that most folks couldn't and wouldn't support that kind of idiocy if they continued to ally themselves with Libertarianism directly.

But Libertarians they still are, they just call it something else or are careful now to not call attention to their Libertarian leaning and roots.

They've 'rebranded' themselves in a flimsy attempt to distance themselves from being easily recognized for what they are.

ACT is a sham and a front for a few loons who will not openly admit to what it is they're proposing, and cannot even keep track of what it is they're supposed to stand for from one minute to the next.

They 'say' they're against tax and spend politicians, yet they supported the current tax and spend mayor and won't speak against his policies of increased deficit spending, increased taxation and increased government.

No, the ACT members describe the current mayor instead as representing 'reduced government'.

They were all for a borough manager form of borough governance when they were trying to oust a politician they had political differences with, yet when 'their candidate's' mayoral powers were at stake, they suddenly withdrew support for a borough manager proposal, they even attempted to pretend never to have supported the borough manager form of governance.

ACT has shown that they can't put forth viable candidates or viable public policy proposals, and yes, since they cannot compete in the public sphere by advancing any merit for their lunacy, they do wish to deconstruct the electoral process in order that they may promote their self interests at the expense of everyone else's rights and freedoms.

ACT represents nothing but a small lunatic minority of disgruntled Libertarian has-beens.

Wolfe Tone said...

Well-written piece, and an excellent argument for the elimination of artificial term limits. Within the City of Kenai, there are two seats available, and three candidates running... only one of whom is an incumbent.

Artificially limiting terms disenfranchises voters who may be perfectly happy with the job being done by the elected officials being "termed out."

We already have "term limits."

They're called "elections."

Anonymous said...

I am a little uneasy about the "Fassler Four". Jim Fassler is throwing money into a city election that he cannot vote in. We know he wants the cemetery where it is not being put, fine, Fassler could move into the city, run for mayor, and then tell everyone what to do. Sort of like the VFW.

There is a reason for election cycles. Two city council seats each term are up for grabs. Due to resignations this cycle there are four seats. This is a concern for the public. FOUR equals a QUORUM and a quorum gets their way any time they vote as a block. This may develop within a group in the process of being on the council but I do not vote in people that are singularly minded. Nor do I not want this "Fassler Four" to be the coup of the dead people.

Just got Peggy's cute post card that talks of Clean Water and dead people parking.
The Redoubt site for the boneyard
is also a catch basin, retention pond, so please keep the pond free of floating dead people.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Would you consider putting your opinion piece on

Thanks. Concerned citizen in Seward

Anonymous said...

Carey supporters, ACT and others, need to stand up and question his decisions that continue to cause government bloat and nonsense spending.

He initiated a significant raise for his "Special Assistant" with estimates of $25k to $30k per year in salary increases for her alone.

Additionally, he included a 4%+ raise for employees across the board.

Where was ACT when that happened?

Carey, Chumley and Wilcox have essentially neutered the public works department that serve as project managers for everything from hospital and school construction to major maintenance issues and solid waste projects across the borough.

This dream team took the inhouse engineers out of the picture and now promote using "consultants" for project management, definately not a money saver.

In some cases, the trio lets a borough department act as their own project manager. Look at Central Emergency Services "fill site" projects. Fox guarding the hen house? Where is the check and balance?

Exactly the kind of government ACT asked for, but no one wanted.

With Carey as the posterboy for term limits, it's hard not to want them, but the truth is voters need to decide which candidate stays or goes by casting a vote in each election.

As for Soldotna elections and the field of candidates running on the "overturn the cemetary decision" platform: if the decision to buy a different site included consideration of asset value to the city (i.e.: Parcel A is worth $1million to the city unimproved and Parcel B can be purchased for $300k for the same purpose), it seems to make better financial sense to have chosen Parcel B.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU for being a voice of reason and providing a forum for reasonable, intelligent people to try to counter the drivel that is spewing from ACT and ACT minded people, including our current Borough administration. This has always been my home and I love it, but is is a scary time to live here.

Ryan Marquis said...

Wolfe Tone said...
"Within the City of Kenai, there are two seats available, and three candidates running... only one of whom is an incumbent."

And I personally believe you should elect Ryan Marquis to one of those seats.

I may have some bias though....

Good job on the blog SOL, I wish there were more related to our community.


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