Don’t be tempted to vote for a candidate based on partial truths, errors, or false implications. I believe it is my responsibility to refute some of what is being stated in this campaign season.
The pursuit of and desire to become a public servant is an honorable part of our Constitutional Republic. However, I challenge my opponent to do so with extreme care, to not compromise accuracy for a short-term gain, to speak honorably.
I invite you to visit the legislative archives and State law to verify these clarifications. All State documentation can be found at http://akleg.gov/index.php.
- I have in fact served as an Alaska State Legislator for NINE years.
- I am running for my FIFTH term. 2008 was my first election cycle.
- I am NOT in favor of term-limits for State level legislators. A State representative has a built-in, robust term limit every two years (re-election). US Congress term limits, on the other hand, are a completely different animal. I fully support Congressional term limits and welcome any opportunity to explain this further.
- My voting decisions are based on who I am in terms of values. It has been liberating and freeing to be true to myself, and thereby represent a majority of my constituents. It is my job to be transparent on voting decisions so constituents can decide if I do in fact represent them. I DO NOT vote based on party line, but my values align very well with the Republican Party platform. I am pro-life, pro-family, pro-small business, and pro-limited government – and, I work grounded in the foundational values of American Constitutionalism. It has been an honor to be part of the Majority Caucus, whose consensus plan is determined each election cycle by the majority caucus of each house. This “consensus plan” is a compromise team to enable budget passage. It is naïve, at best, to vow to not vote for a budget, or to promise to not join either the minority or majority ‘team’ (caucus). The bi-annual hope for conservatives is that Alaskans will send enough strong conservatives to shape the consensus plan, to make the spending cuts we need. We are at a critical time in Alaskan history, and we need effective, experienced conservative legislators representing all Alaskans.
- The Governor made the decision on the PFD veto without the Legislature’s approval – It seems to be, in a “knee-jerk” reaction to the Legislature’s attempt to block revenue measures. Special Session agendas, in this case, were set by the Governor. The bills “handled” were approved/requested/negotiated with the Governor. An individual legislator CANNOT dictate what the Governor does and the Governor CANNOT dictate what the legislature decides. Each legislator MUST WORK with the other 59 legislators to come to a collective agreement.
Some general clarifications:
Alaskans are increasingly aware we do indeed have a fiscal crisis and are asking why? How did we get to spending more per capita than any other state? Are we going to have to liquidate or downsize some of our ‘crown jewels assets’? If so, which ones: Education (K-12 and UA)? Social Services (Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc.)? The Ferry system? Obviously, none of these would be beneficial to get rid of completely, so there is give and take in how to encompass the best major reform for the majority of Alaskans. I will fight to keep government limited, cut extra spending, and keep what most benefits Alaskans.
Constitutionally, it is the Alaska Legislature (NOT the Governor) who carries the responsibility for spending decisions. Spending decisions are a product of legislative consensus in the budget process. The budget process is a product of years and years of legislative rules and laws, and it is a slow process to change. Spending level reductions are directly tied to:
- available revenue (we cannot spend what we do not have), and
- the willingness of Alaskans to re-elect a majority of conservative spenders.
Nothing happens quickly or efficiently in a republic (by design). We must balance the budget BEFORE any new taxes – for sure BEFORE spending PF earnings.
The source of “All political power is inherent in the PEOPLE” (Art 1, Section 2). It is the voter’s decision whether they want an experienced legislator or ‘new blood’. I respect this power, and believe it is very, very wrong to intentionally mislead voters to either end. I will respect voter choice even if I believe they have been misled, but am obligated to try to eliminate confusions. Alaska is small, so every constituent has the ability to contact their legislator directly. Your voice, or lack of, DOES define Alaska.
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Paid for by Citizens for Wes Keller | 4501 E Foxtrot Ave. | Wasilla, Alaska 99654