Michael Tavoliero: Vote yes on constitutional convention

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By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO

From 1955 to 1956, during Alaska’s constitutional convention, our state constitution was crafted by a majority of New Deal Democrats. They wanted to construct a model utopian state constitution. This all occurred during a time when the expansion and strengthening of government control and power were the collectivist goals of the federal government as it evolved into progressivism. 

Seems like nothing has changed.

In developing the embryotic framework of Alaska’s state government, the delegates modeled our state constitution using many resources. 

At the time, progressive organizations helped to influence Alaska’s public policy. The draft state constitution embodied the new ideology promoted by the Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson progressive era at the turn of the 20th Century. The impetus for this was already deep in 19th Century American intellectuals who enjoyed reading the European and American journalists and popular writers of the day. One notable example in the mid 1800’s was Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune’s stable of writers, which included writers like Charles Anderson Dana, a utopian socialist, Friedrich Engels, and Karl Marx. Marx and Engels had already published “The Communist Manifesto.”

This authoritarian culture infused its influence subtly throughout America’s civic fabric including Alaska’s newborn fantasies of sovereignty, which today have transformed into delusions of colonialism. 

The progressive objective was to establish and centralize government power and control in a superior posture over individual rights and states sovereignty. This purpose opposed some of the guarantees found in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

Today, a new group, who may be the reincarnation in the spirit of FDR New Deal Democrats, has formed to tell you, the Alaskan voter, not to vote “Yes” for a constitutional convention on Nov. 8, 2022.

The group calls itself “Defend Our Constitution.” It has a website located at defendakconstitution.com. 

One of Defend Our Constitution’s major financial backers is the National Education Association-Alaska Political Action Committee for Education. This is the same public union responsible for the status of Alaska education.

Defend Our Constitution states correctly that Alaska voters have never approved a constitutional convention. Odds are Alaskans may not approve one this time. They warn, “The risks outweigh the rewards.”

If the voters have never approved a constitutional convention and the chances in November 2022 are slim that the voters will approve it this time, then why is the NEA-Alaska-PACE underwriting the effort to reject a constitutional convention?

The group claims a constitutional convention could create “the opportunity for outside special interest groups and dark money to change Alaska’s laws to promote their agenda over the interest of Alaskans.”

Isn’t that what Alaskans have experienced for decades?

Our state government is controlled by “outside special interests and dark money.” Our largest urban centers are controlled by “outside special interests and dark money.” Our legislature and judiciary appear to be controlled by “outside special interests and dark money.” Our election system is now controlled by “outside special interests and dark money.”

If it wasn’t, the 1955-56 delegates would have included Delegate Ralph Robertson’s right of work contribution to be added to our state constitution. 

If it wasn’t, the capitol would have moved closer to the state’s population. 

If it wasn’t, the Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas and the Alaska State Lands Advisory Group petition recommendations would have been submitted to and followed up with the President and Congress on restructuring ownership and management of federal lands in Alaska to continue maintaining the environment and biodiversity, allow public access to public resources as guaranteed by Congress, and bolster economic development. 

If it wasn’t, education would produce literacy and other scholastic standards with exemplary results at a fraction of the current costs. 

If it wasn’t, health care costs would be competitive with the rest of the nation. 

If it wasn’t, the development of the state’s natural resources would be the largest economic driver in the state, not government. 

If it wasn’t, every eligible Alaskan would have received their legal full past due Permanent Fund Dividend balances owed to them by the State.

Have you ever been told by somebody that they know more than you so do what we say? 

In simple terms, those, who want you to not vote “Yes” for a constitutional convention in the Nov. 8, 2022 election, are projecting on all of us what we should do through risk, fear and doubt. 

Has Alaska had enough of this manipulation? Will we all stand as Alaskans, certain, faithful, and confident in our capability to guide and construct the framework of our state government?

Will Alaska vote “Yes” for a constitutional convention?

Michael Tavoliero is a realtor in Eagle River, is active in the Alaska Republican Party and chaired Eaglexit.

Jodi Taylor: Private school, state reimbursement, and family choice is available to parents in Alaska

Michael Tavoliero: Education and the public purpose

16 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a yes on this. Maybe it’s a risk, but at this point doing nothing is an even bigger risk.

  2. Many Alaskans are being swept up by the world, losing morality and common sense, and the ‘woke’ seem to be moving up here, smoking pot to feel okay — because without pot they can’t feel okay, consciences bothering them. Alaska needs a spiritual revival now. Only then can we be assured that a constitutional convention will work out.

    “History fails to record a single precedent in which NATIONS SUBJECT TO MORAL DECAY have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a SPIRITUAL AWAKENING to overcome the moral lapse, OR a PROGRESSIVE DETERIORATION leading to ultimate national disaster.” – Douglas MacArthur

    “WITHOUT VIRTUE there can be NO LIBERTY.” – Benjamin Rush

    “Perfect FREEDOM consists in OBEYING the dictates of RIGHT REASON … where licentiousness begins, LIBERTY ENDS.” – Samuel West

  3. The PFD statutory formula needs to be put in the state constitution

    Will vote yes for two reasons.

    1. Each man, woman, and child of Alaska has had approximately $11,000 stolen from their PFD checks since 2016 by Walker, Dunleavy (paying lipservice), and the legislature acting on behalf of various special interests. Perpetual Embezzlement is now legal thanks to a decision by a Walker appointed judge.

    2. The legislature has shown it has no intention of honoring the existing PFD statutory formula, or any formula at all. Instead of being a simple disbursement based on financial performance, constituents PFD funds are now used as a political tool to reward friends and allies and to fund government.

    The Alaska Legislature has shown it can not govern itself, nor can it be trusted to honor existing law.

    Either you put the PFD statutory formula into the Alaska Constitution or push for a 50-50 payout of the Permanent Fund principal (currently 77.2 billion) via the Mackie plan by former State Senator Jerry Mackie

  4. You forgot about one of the worse abuses, that of having the proposed propositions go through the legislature. This has allowed Senator Stedman and crew to keep Governor Dunleavy’s three proposals from getting to where the people could vote on them. And since the Court ruled that the PFD is now a matter for the legislature, Senator Stedman has stated that the PFD should be decided by the legislature. There was also the one to allow Alaskans the say on whether they should have taxes and on what should be taxed. The legislature must not be allowed to block initiatives that the people should be voting on. As the constitution now stands, the legislature can do this until the cows come home. Just saying…

  5. According to the Legislative Scorecard article on this website, Alaska elects leaders that are LESS conservative than the American average. Either Alaska is not conservative, many of its conservatives cannot be bothered to vote and/or the so-called conservative party does not vet its candidates at all or very well. So how exactly are we going to keep a convention from moving us further to the left? How are delegates to the convention determined and do they have the authority to make changes without first facing a vote of the people? I could still go either way on this. Definitely open to serious feedback about the process.

    • We elect conservatives, who then must battle the “binding caucus” rule – the caucus is a power play move which delivers control to the left even with a Republican majority. Yeah, there are risks, but the untrustworthiness of the legislature and the courts demand we return control to the people through amendments to the Constitution, drafted by a Convention – then we all get to vote on their work.

  6. “Defend Our Constitution states correctly that Alaska voters have never approved a constitutional convention. ”

    Both of you are wrong. The very first time a ConCon was on the ballot, it was approved. The courts got itself involved after passage on the remarkable theory that Alaskan voters didn’t know what they were voting for, and threw out the results. This gave the left the opportunity and a 2-year head start to run an anti ConCon campaign, which was successful, as it was rejected by a vote in the neighborhood of 2:1, about the same split as subsequent rejections.

    The story reprises two current problems. First, the courts were out of control early and often. Second, any time the left loses, they take their loss to court, often winning there what they failed to do via the political process. Cheers –

    • Apparently AG believes Conservatives never take issues to Court and Courts always rule for Progressives. Alaskans can vote on judges every ten years, Conservatives have had 5 opportunities to vote out liberal judges. Maybe that means we have a great Constitution that does not need amending and the majority of voters approve of our judges.

      • Frank, You are dead wrong. Conservatives have had exactly ZERO opportunities to vote out liberal judges. The Alaska Judicial Council must approve all judicial nominees. That council is literally owned by the ultraliberal Alaska Bar Association. Which conservative nominees did Alaskan conservatives have an opportunity to vote for? …..Yeah, I thought so. – M.John

      • Here’s a fun quiz, Frank. My assertion is that every single time the political left screws up an election, they take it to state court, requesting them rewrite election law on the fly. Here are a few recent examples:

        – Walker Mallott Unity ticket agreed to a week, 10 days after the drop dead date for candidates on the general election ballot in 2014. AK Supremes allowed it.
        – Witness signature requirement on absentee ballots thrown out by AK Supremes for 2020 election.
        – AK Supremes allow a ballot initiative with at least 7 different topics on the ballot in 2020 (Prop 2) after decades of using multiple topics as an excuse to toss ballot initiatives.
        – Now backers of Tara Sweeny are attempting to elevate her into the final 4 at 58 days before the special (general) election. So far, they are unsuccessful. I remain hopeful but skeptical.

        There are more, but this is a pretty good start. Solution is obvious, for the Executive in all cases to tell the AK Supremes to pound sand when they do something creative and/or take it to federal court. Perhaps one day they will. Cheers –

  7. With the governor unable to appoint judges unless they’re recommended by an incestuous committee of lawyers and other judges, the courts have become inbred. The foremost reason to support a Convention is to rewrite these laws for appointing State judges.

    • Exactly. This particular arrangement is the main reason leftists want to stop a constitutional convention, Bitsko.

  8. This is the best effort yet to convince those of us who are wary of a constitutional convention. Now I just need someone to convince me that in a supposedly red state where we’ve elected “Republican” majority legislatures but end up being ruled by Democrats and leftists, how are we going to elect actual conservatives to the convention? How are we going to keep the left from dominating the convention the way they do our legislature?

    Given that Article XIII section 4 says “Constitutional conventions shall have plenary power to amend or revise the constitution, subject only to ratification by the people. No call for a constitutional convention shall limit these powers of the convention.” How exactly is anyone expected to simply hand over a blank check to the left?

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