Thursday, January 17, 2013

State of the State: The Madness Begins

The Best Big Oil Can Buy  Chris Miller — Associated Press
The legislature has gaveled in and the Republican-led House, Senate and executive branch has begun what might be the craziest session in AK history.  Let's take a look at some of what is being proposed:

1) The Kenai's own Mike Chenault has introduced HB 9, legislation that could result in the arrest of federal agents if they tried to enforce any possible future national gun control laws.  The new federal proposals include ammo clips designed to hold more than 10 rounds as well as automatic weapons. Never mind that the Alaskan law would be void as it violates the US Constitution.   Alaska has the highest rate of all states per capita of deaths by guns, only DC has more gun-related deaths. One might think that our politicians might offer something to address the problem rather than ways of making it worse.

2) Not to be outdone, Republican Bob Lynn has introduced HB 55 that would allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms.  Hey, now that we have over 300 million guns in the US and we in Alaska are doing all we can to make it easy for everyone to pack heat, let's face it, there's going to be more and more school shootings. The Republican/NRA answer is to turn the country into an armed nightmare.

3) Republican Mark Neuman has offered up a stand-your-ground gun law that would make it legal to blow someone away anywhere you are legally allowed to be.  Seriously.  Anyone remember the shooting at The Sports Authority a few years back? Thanks to our already lax laws, two gangbangers were let free despite shooting and killing another doper in the parking lot there.  The dead guy, who had stolen some bling from a pusher, saw the hit men coming, pulled his gun, but was slow on the draw.  Since he had pulled down, it was OK for the other gangsters to shoot away. In the middle of the day with customers all around. I think some of these politicians have watched too many spaghetti westerns.

The logic behind both of these bills escapes me. It does seems that the 2nd amendment to our constitution has trumped the whole purpose of that document as stated in its preamble: to provide for domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare of citizens. I know of 20 kids and 5 teachers who no longer have life and liberty and I know that their families are not going to be able to pursue happiness for quite some time.

The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion. As a nation, we have restricted speech in some cases. There are laws prohibiting libel, threats, and yelling fire in a crowded theater. We have restricted religious beliefs by outlawing polygamy and hallucinogenic drugs used in religious ceremonies.

But we'd rather bury children than confront the problems guns cause.

4) Republican Wes Keller has proposed a bill to allow the state to fund religious schools.  Cool - can't wait to see the reaction when a madrassa (Islamic relgious school) requests to be let in on the gravy train.

5)Republicans Eric Feige and Charisse Millett are trying to restrict local governments, native organizations, citizens and environmental groups from questioning resource development and would require these people/groups to post a bond which would be forfeited if they lost in court.

6) Republicans Neuman and Charlie Huggins have proposed legislation that would pump millions more into the Knik Arm Bridge.  Yes, Republicans, the party of fiscal conservatives (well only when Dems are spending), would throw money at this project that reeks of cronyism, cost-over runs and would primarily benefit their buddies with property near the project.

Of course, the Biggies are the Corporate Welfare Bills that the bi-partisan Senate had stymied the last two sessions:

7) Republicans House Speaker Mike Chenault and Rep. Mike Hawker have introduced HB 4, to fund a 24" natural pipeline from the slope.  Initially, there would be $335 million of state money appropriated, but the cost of that pipeline would be around $8 Billion and that's without considering overruns.  The stunning thing about this bill is that the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation work and reports would all be done in secret and with no oversight.  And then there's the competing large-bore pipeline that TransCanada/AGEA is now proposing instead of that original plan to pump natural gas through Canada and into the midwest. Alaska has already committed $500 million for that. Two in-state pipeline projects...?  Really?

8) Then there's the $2 Billion/year giveaway to the major oil companies that Governor Parnell is still trying to pitch.  It got nowhere with the bi-partisan in the past, but that safety net is no longer there.

I wonder how many of these bills will become law?  Thanks to gerrymandering and now with no opposition (despite 40% of the voters casting ballots for Dems last election), we could be about to witness the complete sell-out of Alaska.


akglow said...

Thank you for re-assuring me that there is still some sanity alive on Kenai. (though your numbers may be small, your voice is strong)

Hire Intelligence said...

These comments come from the Clarion's version of KSRM's Sound Off.
Verdict Is In
The verdict is in, Mike Chenault is either the stupidest or most pandering politician in the Alaska Legislature. And think about it, that's saying something. Set aside the issue here, gun safety, or gun control, depending on your personal views, and focus for a moment on Mike's behavior. He knows that no state law has the ability to make the act of a federal employee carrying out federal law, a crime. He has been told this by the AG and his Legislative Counsel. It is called the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. In the history of the nation no state law has accomplished such a result, although states have tried, and always failed. The Supremacy Clause is a central pillars of the Constitution. Our system has a mechanism to test and challenge the acts of local, state and federal officials if it is believed the acts or enactments of such officials exceed the scope of authority of such officials, or the acts or enactments violate some other provision of the Constitution. What's troubling here is that when politicians pander to the crowd, as Mike has here, he risks misleading some poor local yokel into believing he is free to substitute his political views with established constitutional law, acting on such views, and endangering himself and others. Any executive orders or legislative enactments on the subject of guns will be judged against established principals of constitutional law, as have thousands of executive orders and legislative enactments in the past. Come on Mike, start showing some leadership and not just acting like another screamer in the crowd. There is no shortage of screamers. I believe with a little calm reflection Mike would have to agree that in his position as an elected official he would better serve the public if he had used his position to address those who feel strongly on this issue, and explained to them the issues and procedures which will be followed to resolve any disputes concerning their concerns.
Second Comment
There were no Executive Orders
What the President did was hold a press conference and outlined what goals he would like congress to address. No law was made, nothing has changed, but a dialogue was started and many ill-informed frothing people took this as their time to spew their views from every corner of ignorance. Congress would still have to act to change and implement many of the proposed Executive Actions, which on their own have no force of law. Actions 20 through 23 are by far the most critical. Special funding should be allotted for "Truthers" that think the government killed the kids, or that no one was killed.

Hire Intelligence said...

Now Mike has company, more people are signing on to his bill and there is a move to up the penalty to a felony for the Feds to enforce a law they don't like. Next up, the Attorney General may defend the citizen charged with this federal law they don't like. I really think these legislators like the publicity that makes them sound strange and bizarre to most of the world. Crazy is good ink for the folks back home.
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) CHENAULT, Millett, Johnson, T.Wilson, Hawker, Olson, Feige, P.Wilson, Thompson, Keller, Gattis, Lynn, Saddler, Higgins, LeDoux, Foster, Hughes, Stoltze, Reinbold, Tuck

TITLE: "An Act exempting certain firearms and firearm accessories in this state from federal regulation; providing criminal penalties for federal officials who enforce or attempt to enforce a federal law, regulation, rule, or order regulating certain firearms and firearm accessories in this state; and providing for an effective date."

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