Saturday, October 15, 2011

Defining the Kenai: The Runoff Election

Just what is happening here?

The Peninsula Clarion poll has Fred and Mike running neck-to-neck.  Considering the Clarion doesn't have much readership outside of the Central Peninsula, and that Fred probably has his strongest support in Sterling, Nikiski, Kasilof and Ninilchik areas, I'm not too sure how accurate the poll is.  Again and again, I have to come back to the fact that Joe Miller, one of the most slimy politicians (aside from Jerry Ward) to run for office got, by far, the most votes of anyone for the US Senate than any other candidate last year.

How do you explain it, the support for Joe Miller and the support for Fred Sturman?   

Fred has run one of those old-timey campaigns and his Burma-shave style placards along the highway are folksy. But what the heck is Freddy saying?  Basically that government is bad, that we are paying too much for what we are getting, and that government employees are paid too much and don't work hard enough.

Maybe it's just me, but the borough seems to have very competent people running the day-to-day stuff.  We do get some whacked politicians, the current mayor would be one example and one or two council members might qualify for that description too.  People who don't have a firm grasp on how organizations work.

And in case you haven't really done any research, the taxes we pay here on the Kenai are among the lowest in the entire country and in most all of the incorporated areas of Alaska. I wonder where the folks like Fred say they are going to move to when they say they are going to move because taxes here are too high? 

We do have an apathetic voter base and Fred's base isn't apathetic.  Fred's base are the people who voted for Joe Miller.  Unlike Miller, I'd have to say that Sturman is at least sincere.  But just what has done to make the Kenai a better place?  Um, aside from bitchin' and moanin' on soundoff, pretty much nothing.  Hey Fred, wanna complain? - start a blog for goodness sake!  Has he been involved in any public service? No.  Nada, nothing.

I'm trying hard not to make a cheap shot here, but Fred is barely illiterate.  Please don't think he's going to actually read up on any issue.  Fred is also fairly computer illiterate.  Really, does anyone think he's going to be effective at doing anything but offering inane folksy advice on anything? If he even attempts to cut any service, you folks who didn't vote will come out in droves and whine about how your road needs plowed/repaired, how your local fire service needs improvement, how your kid's school needs some basic maintenance or some books.

Let's head off the problem and get out there and vote - if the typical 20-30% of folks vote, Fred's base will constitute about 1/2 of those voters.  It will be close.  If you are a teacher, in law enforcement, work for emergency services, if your child goes to a public school, if you work to make the Kenai a better place, if you want sanity to prevail, get out and vote.

It might be that we can only hope that we won't be SOL is that folks in Seward and Homer, where sanity holds a slight majority, vote in significant numbers.

You would think that after Carey's disaster of running the borough, folks would be fed up with incompetence.

Oh, well.  If Fred wins, it will be way easy to continue writing this blog.  I'll have plenty of material!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

It's Fred vs Mike

All along, the borough mayor's race pit Mike Navarre vs the other candidates, but who would have guessed that Fred Sturman would have been the top of those five?

I guess I'm not really surprised by voters on the Kenai - just how many were snookered by Joe Miller after all?

The run-off will tell a lot about who we are here on the Kenai Peninsula as the two surviving candidates offer completely different visions for how government will work - or won't.

Fred is dedicated to cutting everything and that will fly until the consequences of doing so becomes a reality.  Just what will be cut?  What services will we do without?  As soon as it is something that impacts someone, and every cut will do so, the political carnage will begin.  Fred complains about high taxes, yet there is no place in the US where you will pay less taxes, especially when the PFD check gets factored in.  So, now that the focus is down to two candidates, maybe Fred should explicitly let us all know what he will cut.  What borough services will be eliminated?  Who will get pay cuts?  What roads won't be serviced?

It's only fair for Mike Navarre to present a clearer picture of what he will do as mayor as well.  He took money from lobbyists for both projects, so what is his stance on the Pebble and Chuitna mines?

The prime question for voters is simply do we want the Kenai to progress in a way that promotes a better quality life or do we want to do without those things that serve and protect us and make living here not such a bad thing.

With just 20% of the eligible voters casting ballots this last time, the direction the borough takes may very well be made by the minority.  Look at the fiasco of the Carey administration, I suspect that those errors will seem minor if Fred gets elected.

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