OPPONENTS OF predator control in Alaska are zealots and avid mudslingers, but they are stooping to a new low with their media campaign against wolf control legislation.
A television ad running in a heavy (and expensive) schedule on Alaska's broadcast stations suggests that their opponents are tied in with the ongoing corruption scandals involving several legislators and two former executives of Veco Corp. It even incorporates footage shot by the FBI with hidden cameras in the infamous Room 604 of the Baranof Hotel.
The ad, funded by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, says "the corruption must end." Only problem for them - and members of the public who are deceived by the ad - is that the wolf control legislation being considered has nothing whatever to do with the corruption scandal.
Defenders of Wildlife is upset because the proposed legislation would blunt the impact of a wolf-control initiative on the ballot for this . . .
(cont'd from front page) August's primary election in Alaska, one signed by 56,000 people.
Rep. Wes Keller, a Wasilla Republican, is sponsor of one of the bills. His would establish game as an asset that can only be allocated by the Legislature, not a citizens' initiative.
Defenders of Wildife's ploy is a sleazy opportunist trick intended to distort public policy with downright dishonesty.
We support Keller's idea and feel it should be expanded to put further limits on what can and can't be decided by petition. We think another measure would be in order as well, one restricting the sales pitches used by activists soliciting signatures on petitions.
Right now, the signature collectors can say anything they want. Even if people read before they sign, anyone who has ever been approached by them has probably heard statements made like: "Do you like wolves? Sign here." or in other cases: "Want to save democracy? Just write your name here."
By the time the person bends over to read the petition, he or she has already made up their mind and skims the wording (if they read it at all) before signing.
This is gross abuse of the public trust. The right to petition government is sacred in this country, but abuses like those we see here every year must be curtailed.