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Alaska is Red Territory Indeed: It Bleeds from Politicians' Wounds
Letters / Anchorage Daily News / December 13, 2005

Add my name to the growing list of people ashamed of, or disgusted by, the behavior of Alaska's so-called political leaders. Where to start? Perhaps with Rep. Don Young's boondoggle transportation bill (which, thankfully, Congress has improved a bit, by eliminating specified funding for our bridges to nowhere), followed by the ridiculous defense of "his" bridges.

Or what about the arrogance and tantrums of Sen. Ted Stevens and son -- not to mention his opposition to Sen. John McCain's bill defining torture and state Sen. Ben Stevens' ongoing ethical lapses?

Or I could cite Sen. Lisa Murkowski's determination to join the jet set while programs benefiting Alaskans remain under-funded.

Or I could point to the Alaska Legislature, which has spent hundreds of millions of "extra" dollars as oil prices soar, while allowing villages around the state to sink into black holes of debt and despair, furthering Alaska's urban-rural divide. It makes a fellow wonder how many Alaskans pay attention to the people they elect.

There is much to love about Alaska and its people (as evidenced by the generosity of residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophes). But, politically, we're a regressive mess, from wildlife management to good-old-boy politics, corporate influence and disregard for those residents who need the most help. Red state indeed: We're bleeding from the self-inflicted wounds of our politicians and the people who gave them power.

---- Bill Sherwonit / Anchorage

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