‘KILLING SPITZ’ MEANS ELECTING REAL REPUBLICANS
By ART CHANCE
Watching movie trailers for the “Call of the Wild” started me thinking about what I once thought Alaska was about, when in 1974, I packed up Wife 1.0, kid, and dog in a Toyota Land Cruiser and set out “North to the Future.”
“Call of the Wild” is being marketed as an “All-American” story. But it occurred in the Yukon Territory; the book’s author Jack London is about as far from a mainstream American as you get.
Don’t get me wrong; I like some of London’s writing: “To Build a Fire” is one of my favorite pieces of writing. But London was an atheist, a Socialist, an alcoholic, and at the end of his days a morphine addict who died of an overdose. That is not an “All-American” biography.
To go with the “Buck the dog protagonist” analogy, we the people of Alaska, have to struggle with Spitz, our lead dog.
“The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see…” is the Republican fratricide in the organization of the Alaska Legislature.
Much of Alaska’s history has been an existential struggle against a harsh environment. As Jack London’s protagonist in “To Build a Fire” struggled and failed to build a fire in the Yukon wilderness, we struggled to build a state and only became one because of the Soviet Union’s relentless anti-colonial pressure.
The United States worried about our viability as a state from the outset and considered us a welfare dependency liability. In reality, Congress only considered us for statehood because the Cook Inlet oil discoveries gave us some revenue other than from washing each other’s clothes.
Then came Prudhoe Bay.
Since oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay, we’ve become trust fund babies. Like Buck when he was Judge Miller’s dog, we have become soft, pampered pets. Only about a third of our population even bothers to engage in productive, wealth-producing work; the rest are either public employees or welfare recipients.
Welfare is so lucrative in Alaska that you’re foolish to work a job that pays much less than $40,000 a year and provides full benefits.
Like Buck, we’re going to have to learn to be wild again.
The leadership of the House are a bunch of union-owned hacks. I worked on the union side when I was young and dumb and learned that the ultimate goal is to get yourself into a position where a bunch of working stiffs have to work and pay union dues so you no longer have to work with the tools of the trade and you can make a salary many multiples of theirs for doing nothing measurable.
The Senate is run by a true trust fund baby and by Nurse Ratched. They are in thrall to their egos and to the healthcare racket, the education racket, and the public employee union racket.
They happily ignore the interests of everyday Alaskans so the administrators of so-called non-profit healthcare organizations can make a million bucks a year for sending invoices to the State, and so “education professionals” can run school districts producing the least-able students in the nation.
And they ignore the interests of regular Alaskans so union officials can make multi-hundred thousand dollar a year salaries to extort money from public employees so that the employees can get and keep jobs.
The governor and his administration are clueless. They don’t have anyone in their appointee ranks that has a clue how to run State government, and they have a disloyal and barely competent workforce beneath the appointee level.
Not only does the Administration not know what to do, it doesn’t have anybody it can ask. In my book I recommend that any Republican executive taking over from a Democrat fire everybody s/he has a legal right to fire and let the merit system employees run the government; they’ll keep it running.
I’m not so sure that is good advice anymore; from what I’ve seen if the merit system employees don’t have somebody telling them what to do, some portion will actively sabotage the Administration and the rest will just sit and idly stare.
Like Buck, in “Call of the Wild,” we’re going to have to find it in us to kill Spitz. We have to hear and obey the call of the wild.
Now that the Administration stupidly went for an expedited hearing on the Recall Dunleavy case, the Supreme Court is getting to pay Dunleavy back for the “abortion budget cut.” That’s the cut Dunleavy made to the administrative portion of the court’s budget, and shifted it over to pay for the state-funded, elective abortions that the Supreme Court demands the state cover.
Some of us learned long ago that you don’t cross swords with the people who can decide your fate. Gov. Dunleavy’s fate is to become a former governor this summer. His only hope was to have the recall on the General Election Ballot in November, as Alaskans will vote overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump and people who vote for Trump aren’t likely to vote to recall even an inept Republican governor.
The only people who will vote in a recall Special Election are super voters and interest-group voters, and the interest groups will work their lists hard. Of course, there really aren’t any Republican/conservative organized interest groups.
Dunleavy is toast. If the only hope they had was to delay the recall vote to the General Election, and Dunleavy and Attorney General Kevin Clarkson embraced the expedited hearing, then they deserve what’s going to happen to them.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer will be governor in November and he isn’t up until 2022, so he’ll get to oversee redistricting and try to keep the Democrats from redlining Republicans/conservatives into oblivion.
“Killing Spitz” requires that the working, tax-paying people of Alaska eliminate the rent-seekers and tax farmers in the Alaska Legislature. It has been suggested that elected officials become like NASCAR drivers and wear all their sponsors’ logos on their jackets. When you vote, remember you’re not voting for the candidate, but for his/her sponsors; choose wisely.
Alaska’s people do not have to live out the existential crisis of “Call of the Wild.” Our Yeehats are not among the People of the State, but rather among a largely self-anointed elite of rent-seekers and power mongers. We don’t have to have Buck’s existential battle with the Yeehats, we just need to send some legislators packing in the next Primary and General elections.
If you haven’t read Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” or haven’t read it in a long time, pick up the book and give it a read; it is a good allegory for our time and place. Watching the new movie won’t do, because that’s Hollywierd.
Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon.