The following is the text of a press release that was distributed earlier today. A copy of the release is available here or by clicking on the picture to the left.
Alaska budget hawk announces effort to hold State Legislative candidates accountable
Anchorage, AK, August 6, 2014– Today, Brad Keithley, an Anchorage based oil, gas and fiscal policy consultant, announced plans to spend up to $200,000 of his own money to target 3-5 legislative races this fall.
Mr. Keithley is a well-known expert on Alaska state budget and other fiscal issues and has regularly appeared as a guest on local talk shows, in local policy debates, and was an appointee last year to the state House of Representative’s Sustainable Education Task Force. He has spoken repeatedly about what the non-partisan Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) terms the coming “fiscal crisis” Alaska faces as a result of continued overspending.
“In January 2013 ISER said ‘the state is on a path it can’t sustain. … Reasonable assumptions … suggest we do not have enough cash in reserves to avoid a severe fiscal crunch soon after 2023, and with that fiscal crisis will come an economic crash,’” said Keithley. “Instead of heeding these warnings, the legislature has gone backwards in the last two years by running up the two largest budget deficits in Alaska’s history and draining over a third of the state’s cash reserves.”
“The state’s legislators acted responsibly when it came to oil taxes and I’m confident voters will reward their work by voting no on Prop 1,” Keithley said. “When it comes to spending, however, our leaders have lost their way. Many go to Juneau claiming to be ‘fiscal conservatives,’ but stop paying attention to fiscal reality when they get there. Sadly, they are spending the state directly into the ‘fiscal crisis’ that ISER has predicted, and they know it.”
“I was raised in a culture that taught one generation is responsible for passing on a bright future to the next. I’m unwilling to see tomorrow’s kids go without a decent education, tomorrow’s Alaskans bear massive broad based taxes, and tomorrow’s Permanent Fund depleted, just because elected leaders today won’t do in Juneau what they claim they’ll do when on the campaign trail.”
“I’ve been successful in my life and it’s time to pay some of that success forward. The best way I can do that is to hold legislators accountable for what they are doing to Alaska’s future generations,” Keithley said. “I’ve accepted it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.”
Mr. Keithley said, “In the end, every voter has to ask themselves whether voting for a candidate just because they use the right sound bite every second or fourth year is good enough. I will encourage voters to demand more. As a people, it’s time we hold our legislators accountable. “
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I will be talking about my decision on various radio shows during the day, and I anticipate it will make the news along the way as well. I will try to collect links to those as the day goes on so that readers will have the benefit of those further discussions.
As always is the case, we will see how this goes.