This August 19th and November 4th, 2014 Alaskans have have an important duty to go to the polls and vote for the people they want to represent them during the next two, four, and six years. One of the choices on those ballots will be me, Andrew C. Lee.
Am I the best person for this job, likely not. Am I the best person for the job on the ballot, debatable. Am I smart enough, informed enough, and dedicated enough to do the job well, Yes. Am I good enough for your vote, you must answer that yourself.
Alaska is at a very critical point in her development. Irresponsible budgets over the past 8 years, and poor planning for two decades before that, has put us on the road to a Statewide fiscal disaster which will crash the Alaskan economy within 9 years.
To avoid this crash, we need to reduce our spending a little bit right now. This might mean that one out of eight capital projects gets pushed back a year or two. If we do not, then next year one out of six capital projects get pushed back two years. If we delay a couple more years, then the State would be unable to afford any capital projects ever again, unless the PFD is eliminated AND a massive Alaska personal income tax AND sales tax were enacted. I do not want to see any of those three things happen, and they don’t have to happen. Those economy killing disasters will happen very soon if the Republicans continue to spend above sustainable levels.
According to a trusted expert, mostly because of overspending allowed by the Palin and Parnell administrations, the funds available for sustainable spending has decreased over the past several years. According to the UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research, the sustainable level of spending fell from the $5.5 billion for FY 2014, to $5.0 billion for FY 2015, down to only $4.75 billion FY 2016. This will soon be zero, unless we correct our budget behavior. The longer we wait, the more severe and painful the correction will be.
With proper budgeting over the next four years, Alaska can be placed on a path that preserves the PFD, eliminates the need for Statewide personal income or sales taxes, nearly eliminates our reliance on oil production, and greatly increases our spending on capital projects and social programs. But we are almost too late to start. We must elect fiscal competence to our State offices this year.
I pledge to fight for a sustainable budget, in every legal way possible, to the fullest extent of my powers as a resident of Alaska and, if elected, as Lt. Governor of Alaska. There are many actions I can take from campaigning against wasteful incumbents to encouraging the use of the Governor’s line item veto to bring down the budget.
I take the Keithley Sustainable Budget Pledge: I will not vote for, support, or sign a combined operating and capital budget that will result in spending higher than the sustainable spending levels determined using the criteria established by the Institute of Social and Economic Research or a similar approach, unless, consistent with Art. 9, Sec. 8 of the Constitution, a higher spending level is required for the purpose of “repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, defending the State in war, [or] meeting natural disasters.” And I will not be a member of, or support, a legislative caucus if under the rules of that caucus I become committed to voting for a budget which is not required to meet the same criteria.
Furthermore, as a voter this coming election season I will only support and vote for candidates that also take this pledge or have a similar stance when it comes to State budgetary responsibilities.
As for the other relevant and/or important issues facing Alaska and Alaskan over the next four year, please read through the following for my stance and the ways that the Lt. Governor can influence policy related to that issue. Also, for my general political philosophy, please see the section of this site labeled “Libertarianism” to better understand me and the classical liberal approach to government.
Prop 1: NO. While I always default to a No (for no change) vote on all propositions unless I fully under stand the proposed changes and have spent a great deal of time researching the issue, I have sufficiently studied this referendum to oppose it for reasons more than as just my default initiative position. Three reasons I oppose repealing the new tax law: First, it really won’t make any difference in bottom line revenue, so it’s a null point. Second, a large majority of legislators were elected to enact these changes, and they fulfilled their campaign promises, those voters and legislators and governor are responsible for this law, whether it succeeds or fails. Third, we Alaskans need more oil production or we may lose the Trans-Alaska Pipeline altogether, and that will put us in a world of hurt individually and as a State.
Yes on 2: I’ve had enough with all the time, money, and lives wasted worrying about what some people choose to privately do with this plant. It’s none of my business, unless you are harming an innocent person. At the very worst/most, we should treat the active component of this plant (THC) like alcohol (which is the active drug in beer, wine, and liquor).
No on 3 and 4. Will people please stop signing petitions unless they first understand the issue and support the measure. Don’t sign a ballot measure petition unless you are pretty sure you are going to vote for it. I believe that minimum wages laws hurt poor people more than helps; and it isn’t the place of government to set wage controls in a truly free market. But we are not really a free market due to excess regulations which increases the barrier to entry for small operators beyond economic practicality. Big businesses don’t care about regulation, they can afford teams of accountants and lawyers. As for “protecting salmon” and “evil miners” you will not get very far with me. I’ve written about Pebble before. Alaska has some of the best science-based regulation and laws when it comes to resource development. Enough with these “I don’t own a piece of the action, so I’m going to fight it” ballot measures targeting a potential idea that already would have to meet very strict standards to the point where it’s likely not feasible; even without all this “always been” nonsense.
Abortion: Not an issue where the Lt. Governor can affect any policy or law. A more detailed statement will be linked here soon. My position basically echos President Obama’s populist position, but I come from a principled libertarian perspective. I recognize an individual’s body as being a sovereign space; and I do not, nor does anyone else, nor does any collection of persons (governments) have any right nor duty to force their will into another person’s body, even if it is to protect the life of another human contained therein.
I fully support the repeal of the marriage definition amendment that is currently part of the Alaska constitution. I am fully aligned with the Libertarian Party’s position (basically unchanged since 1972) on the matter of gay marriage and other LGBT issues; which is to say that an individual is an individual no matter their orientation or relationship status and it’s not the government’s place to treat anyone different for being different.
I fully support individuals’ natural right to free association and to think and do whatever they like, so long as it does not harm another; even if they are knuckleheads. I oppose forcing anyone to bake a cake they don’t want to, or to take pictures they don’t want to, or any other form of slavery.
I fully and completely oppose using any tax dollars for private purposes, such as school vouchers. I oppose the State constitutional amendment proposed by SJR9 and HJR1.
I oppose the initiation of force. I recognize and support the natural right of self-defense.
When it comes to governance, I want control and power and responsibility to be as local as possible. That is to say as much power should stay at the individual level as possible. Then as much power and control should stay with the village and community, such as fishing and hunting rules and limits and public school curriculum and policies. Then, issues of a regional importance are dealt with on a regional level, such as deciding whether a road between villages is more important than a small stretch of wetland. Then the State should have some control over statewide issues such as resources development and matters that span multiple regions. Then there would be a small number of matters that the national government would have some control over, such as dealing with issues between the states and with other countries, for these there is a list in that there Constitution thingy some elected people seem to have forgotten about.
We need to keep all the promises that have been made, and we need to stop making unsustainable promises.
The Alaska State constitution requires that we spend the maximum amount on social programs and capital improvements that we can sustainably spend from royalty revenues derived from oil production and other resource development. This is indeed compatible with the Libertarian philosophy, and when elected I will uphold this requirement for all Alaskans.
Send me emails to “lee2014″ [at-sign] “safonatt.com” to ask question, seek clarification, offer support and endorsements, or to tell me how I’m wrong.
Paid for by “Andrew C Lee for Alaska” PO Box 1370, Nome, AK 99762