Michael Tavoliero: We need a constitutional convention in Alaska in 2022



We need a constitutional convention in Alaska.  

November, 2022 may provide another angle before stepping in that direction with a better working Legislature and a conservative governor, unless Ballot Measure 2 upsets that design, which it may.  

Our vote on the constitutional convention will not be under the regulation of Ballot Measure 2 and therefore may be an opportunity and a decisive decision for republicanism (Little “r” where power is held by the people and their elected representatives.).

I would like to point out that fascism is Left on the political spectrum heading towards totalitarianism, while anarchy is the extreme Right. 

I don’t see Bob Bird, in his column in Must Read Alaska, as advocating the tyranny of the Left nor the lawlessness of the Right. If anything, Bird is attempting the move the discussion to the Right side of the spectrum to just about the position of the U.S. Constitution.  Stunningly accurate, if we are to maintain Americanism and a constitutional republic.

But I meander, let’s stay on topic.

Keep in mind the state has refused to implement Janus, Espinoza, and Thompson. If you don’t know what these decisions are, look them up (they refer to public employee labor unions, education tax dollars, and Citizens United).  It’s time we all get a better civics lesson in Alaska.

These are cornerstone Supreme Court decisions in implementing individual constitutional protections under the First Amendment.  Such implementations may provide the people of Alaska with more responsibility and accountability, rather than the current entitlement and hegemony, thus building strength and comity instead of weakness and chaos.

While the governor has not implemented his Article III, Section 22 and 23, duties in a manner which I believe he has authority to do, the governor has sought to put before the electorate three constitutional amendments, the PFD, budget spending cap, and voter approved taxes. 

All three are timely and necessary in the greatest natural resource development potential state in the world, to assist in stopping the pillaging of our state treasury.

For some this was a great start.  

For myself, I would agree with Bird that the Alaska governor clearly has the constitutional authority to make sweeping changes in our state government’s organization. He has not, and for that I lay this at his feet, especially when he had the strategic advantage when the Alaska Legislature had taken so much time to organize.

Regarding our state constitution:

My first thought is elect candidates who do their duty under the oath of office and honor and obey Article I, Section 2, allowing the true source of government to decide the issues such as stated above. Simple and genuine.

Article IV, Section 1, second sentence, albeit has no real 1955 constitutional explanation. I still contend it does give the legislature and the voters an effective tool for regulating state judicial jurisdiction as well as regulating the role of the judicial council, yet to my knowledge, this has never been done. 

The cornerstone of our social construct is Article VII, Section 1, yet the 1995 constitutional delegates had no committee studying this, instead, the delegates left the single most major societal component up to the Alaska Legislature which started as a political football and evolved into a political weapon.

Article VII, Section 1, has yet to be addressed despite several sweeping federal acts which impacted the state. 

Delegate Bob Bartlett believed in the role of resource development in Alaska’s future could only benefit the state through careful management when he stated, “. . . fifty years from now, the people of Alaska may very well judge the product of this Convention not by the decisions taken upon issues like local government, apportionment, and the structure and powers of the three branches of government, but rather by the decision taken upon the vital issue of resources policy.”

Fifty years later, the Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas and Alaska State Lands Advisory Group’s “Recommended Petition By The State Of Alaska To Congress And The Executive Branch For Transfer Of Certain Federal Lands To The State And Power Sharing In Governance And Planning On Remaining Federal Lands” issued the greatest challenge by the State of Alaska to federal colonialism.

Yet this topic, which should be in every course in Alaska’s education system has received little if any recognition and attention as we head to 2022. This is the foundation of our state Constitution, the true vestige of our Last Frontier.

Bob Bartlett may be rolling in his grave.

The list goes on and on with each successive state government administration working hard to front the pillaging of our state despite themselves.  This is behavior derived from the schizophrenia of our current state Constitution.

I contend that if we examine the actions, we will find we no longer have a Democratic and Republican Party in Alaska, instead we are now “Marxists” and “conservatives.”

Arguably this is another part of the discussion, but the risk avoidance tolerance and courage appear to be much greater in the Marxists than the current conservatives and this is the real dilemma.

After all, when we read the state Constitution, do we all realize that the aim of Article XII, General Provisions, Section 11, was to avoid confusion created by different expressions for the concept of law, yet it does the very thing the delegates meant to prevent by creating unfettered discretion by the state government about the scope of law-making, whether legislative or by the people?

Yes, I realize we have probably run out of time, but then again, where are the adults in the room?  Bob Bird is an adult in the room attempting to create reasonable and legitimate discussion and change amongst many who will not even try. 

“It is far easier to whisper advice from cover than to risk its merit at the point of attack.” – Sir Cedric Willingham, King Ralph. 

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


  1. We the people petition for a convention. Where is it? One man (you, Bob, Governor etc) doesn’t have that authority. I believe we need a petition with a majority adults with political rights asking for a convention. That hasn’t happened. Our legislature doesn’t seem sensitive about: our rights, our instructions to them, and they are very deliberate about deliberating about these items I believe. The nation itself is fulfilling the foreign desires of other forms of government so perhaps the countrymen want to petition for one later but it is very important to discuss these items.

  2. I agree & anyone who thinks otherwise has some hidden liberal agenda.
    If Walker happened to get back in office & used his cadre of lawyers to help him dismantle the PFD, we can be assured that the dividend as we know it today would be gone.
    The second item that needs to be addressed is the preservation of a free society that is not coerced or forced into any medical procedure (including vaccines & other pharmaceutical therapies).
    We do not want vaccine passports to become accepted in Alaska for entry into shopping or other public places throughout the state.

    • Really? The vast majority of Alaskans are opposed to your BS claims. They will all be surprised that you think they are “liberals” (in your pejorative definition). You wallow in the naive belief that a Convention would turn out the way you think it would.

  3. Bob Bird may be an adult but he is not in any “room”. He has never run for office where he was not a party-appointed candidate that I am aware of. Although his beliefs are sincere, he is wrong on many of his ideas including the need for a constitutional convention. The main problem we have today is the Legislature does not follow the Constitution we have. That and the civil war this country and state are fighting between 2 sides of stupid arguments. Now, Biden has launched a major offensive against conservatives – the final phase of his dopey bullshit artist career.

  4. Voter approved taxes…has a pleasingly Democratic ring to it, doesn’t it?
    Pure democracy, where 50.1% get to decide the fate of everyone else.
    Maybe the Founding Father’s greatest fear…it’s why they wrote a Constitution to stop the majority from ruling over the minority.
    And why they believed that we all have a natural right to enjoy the fruits of our labors (aka our property) without fear of the government taking it away from us through popular vote.
    And this guy wants taxation enshrined in the state constitution?
    How about this alternative…stop using public funds to enhance the lifestyles of people who aren’t productive enough to pay their own way through life.
    Translated that means ending all welfare and other social services that politicians have put into place to buy votes and that have turned so many Americans into government supported dependents who would just love to enshrine their payment streams in the state constitution through a popular vote.
    Don’t be a naive fool…opening up the constitution to today’s socialist leaning majority would be a huge mistake.

    • You had me until “…fruits of our labors (aka our property).” What if you have no property? What if you cannot get property? What if you are ensconced in a minimum wage job at a place where the owner has property but you do not? Your labor goes to the benefit of the property owner, not you. That not only puts you in the minority, it puts you into the category of not being able to enjoy the “fruits of your labors.” It puts you into the category of “not a land owner.” You wouldn’t have been allowed to vote in the early American government. And even if you owned property then and were a woman, you still couldn’t vote.
      I suppose we could unravel this back to the stone age, but why bother. That would be the task of a naive fool.

      • Property is everything a person can claim as his or her own and that includes the wages your minimum wage worker earns.
        Learn some basic economics…the minimum wage earner is working at a job that he chooses to be working at…he can quit and get a better paying job IF his skills and labor can command a higher wage in the labor market.
        It’s the failings or limitations of the worker that depresses the wage he can earn in a competitive labor market…it’s not the employer at all.
        Employers hire workers only because the employer can profit from the goods and services that the worker produces.
        Competition in the free market for labor determines the wage that an employer must offer to get the labor he needs…well, until the government steps in and forces a higher wage than the free market would set.
        And who cares what would have happened 200 years ago…live in the now and stop whining about things that are far in the past. Those things don’t matter now, it’s over so get over it.
        BTW…when did you get your degree from CRT University?

  5. Great idea! The state has so much wealth but it stays in the ground and unharvested because of the lack of vision and leadership, maybe a constitutional convention in Alaska in 2022 is exactly what is needed to save the state’s economy from the current free fall. Prosperity and happiness is coming to Alaska in 2022!

  6. In these divisive time, the last thing we need is a constitutional convention. Don’t let this mountebank fool you.

    • H.E., as with most leftist what are you doing for unity? You come on here an troll but never try to do anything to unite our divided country.
      Think what you are typing and try to become part of the solution rather than problem.

      • I repeat, the main obstacle for Alaskan prosperity is stupidity. The GOP has been running the state for the last 20 years, since I arrived here. We keep putting them back into office expecting a different result. That’s stupidity.
        Destroying the university system and the public school educational system is not the way to prosperity. Promoting pie-in-the-sky projects like the gas pipeline or the continued exploitation of the oil patch or fish processing plants or huge dams and hoping they will lead us into the future is a fools errand.
        There’s nothing wrong with the state constitution. It could be tweaked, but those who seek a convention want to replace it with their own idea of what it should be. That is a recipe for disaster during tumultuous times.
        Unity will come when we get together and work out a reasonable and practical way forward that we all can agree upon. That’s what happened with the first state constitution.

  7. “Yet this topic, which should be in every course in Alaska’s education system has received little if any recognition and attention as we head to 2022. This is the foundation of our state Constitution, the true vestige of our Last Frontier.” Nothing will change and we will continue to be a colony economically for 2 reasons: PFD and meeting in Juneau. Eliminate both and we’ll have clear sailing.

Comments are closed.