Join me this afternoon (5:30 – 7:30p) for a campaign fundraiser and silent art auction for Lupe Marroquin for State House. The details are here. If you are not able to attend, please consider supporting Lupe nevertheless if you have not already, by going to her website and clicking on “Donate.”
This is an important race. Although the incumbent, Rep. Bob Lynn, suggests he is a fiscal conservative — and apparently fooled Prosperity Alaska into agreeing — he is anything but. Last session, Marroquin’s opponent voted for the largest spending bill in Alaska’s history and then, on top of that, sponsored a bill (H.B. 236) proposing to return state employees to a defined benefit program. The latter proposal would undermine Alaska’s ability to achieve a sustainable budget for decades to come.
As Deputy Commissioner of Administration Mike Barnhill said at the time, “if Lynn’s bill … passes, it will extend out the liability now projected to be paid off in 70 years. ‘It would continue indefinitely, because we’re now promising to pay defined benefits to a new generation of State of Alaska employees.’ All the reasons an unfunded liability can be created in a defined benefit plan would be true under … HB 236 …. ’So the risks of a new unfunded liability being created in that new system are very high.’”
At a candidate forum earlier this month, Lynn defended his actions by arguing he was simply “one of 40 [representatives],” so what could he do to move the state toward a more fiscally responsible approach? That statement ignores the fact that the bill he personally sponsored would have made the state’s fiscal situation worse, much worse. Put simply, not only is Lynn not part of the solution, he is an active part of the problem.
Alaska Energy 1st’s analysis of the latest campaign reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission makes clear the problem with Lynn continues. That analysis (see chart), shows that Marroquin has greatly outstripped — more than doubling — Lynn in terms of individual giving, but that Lynn has received more campaign funds overall solely because of the continuing support he has received from public union political action groups and his POET account (which results from the previous levels of support he has received from the same groups).
Any claim that Lynn may make that he has “seen the light” on fiscal issues is belied by this report. If reelected, he will continue to be — as he always has been — beholden to the public employee and other unions from whom he has received the bulk of his support, not the interests of Alaskans overall.
Marroquin, on the other hand, has received no union support.
As I said in a previous comment, sometimes the best candidate is in a different party than you expect, but you support them because its the right thing to do. As Ted Stevens was often quoted as saying, “To hell with politics. Do what is best for Alaska.” This is one of those times to put those words into action.
Lupe Marroquin is a different type of Democrat, in a good way from the perspective of fiscal responsibility. Bob Lynn is a different type of Republican, in a very, very bad way if you are a fiscal conservative.
Please consider attending Lupe’s fundraiser today to meet the candidate, but even if you can’t, please consider donating nonetheless. This race is an important opportunity to start moving Alaska toward a sustainable budget.