By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO
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.