By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO
What difference can one vote make?
I’m not a history buff, as some of you are, so I am sure there are other stunning examples in the history of the world where one vote made all the difference.
One example was Andrew Johnson’s impeachment conviction. He was not convicted because the Senate was one vote shy of the two-thirds necessary.
Another was in 1876. It was one vote that ultimately made Rutherford B. Hayes the 19th president of the United States.
In recent history, the effects of one vote are even more breathtaking.
In 1973, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act passed the US Senate by one vote.
Can any Alaskan imagine if it didn’t?
Do remember you the 60th vote (one vote in the United States Senate by an Alaskan) in the beginning of the 2010s? That’s how we got The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).
Don’t forget that in 2017 one vote in the United States Senate by an Alaskan prevented the repeal of Obamacare.
Then there was that one vote on Feb. 11, 2021 in the Alaska Legislature.
What could that one vote do in Alaska?
- Because of one vote, for the third session in a row the Alaska House of Representatives with a majority of Republicans is controlled by the Alaska Democrat Party.
- Because of one vote, a Republican-controlled Alaska state senate and Republican Governor agenda may never be realized.
- Because of one vote, special interests may have open access to the State of Alaska treasury.
- Because of one vote, the 32nd Session House Finance Committee has an “R” and a “D” sharing the chair, an “N/A” as the vice chair and then the makeup of the committee is 6 “R”‘s, 3 “D”‘s, 1 “I” and an “N/A”. If you believe the “R”’s control the House Finance Committee, I have a bridge for you to buy. Keep in mind, the House Speaker is an “R” who has voted with the “D”’s since her election and the Committee on Committee’s membership is 3 “D”‘s and 4 “R”‘s, but one of those “R”’s is the House Speaker. Like the previously controlled sessions, Alaskans may see changes in not just the House Finance Committee membership but others as well if the Alaska Democrat Party does not get its way.
- Because of one vote, special interests stopped Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration three constitutional amendments – the basis for a permanent fiscal plan. The three measures included: 1) protect the PFD; 2) enact a spending limit and savings rule; 3) require a vote of the people for any new tax or tax increase.
- Because of one vote, the State of Alaska will continue to use public funds to murder the unborn. Alaska spent public money to kill 570 unborn out of the 1,270 unborn who were killed in 2019.
- Because of one vote, the State of Alaska will continue one of the lowest performance examples and one of the one of the highest cost examples of public education in the nation.
- Because of one vote, the State of Alaska will continue to have one of the lowest public college performances along with one of the highest costs.
- Because of one vote, the outcome of the post education may result in lower lifestyle expectations and loss of income and more debt for Alaska’s future, especially if employment opportunities are relegated to the largest employer in the state, government, and not the private sector.
- Because of one vote, the Janus and Espinoza decisions addressing government unions and public education funding may not be implemented across Alaska.
- Because of one vote, the Alaska House of Representatives may continue to make health care and education the largest components in the operating budget, thus making government the largest component in Alaska’s economy.
- Because of one vote, post Covid-19 expectations to the current public education shutdown may yield the highest debt to income ratio disparities ever seen in Alaska with no remediation planned. Alaska’s future work force may see the lowest earnings projections against the highest cost of living in the history of the state.
- Because of one vote, without the Alaska legislature prescribing judicial jurisdiction limitations, post Covid-19 litigation liabilities may abound as the number one source of personal injury and business liability litigation in the state.
- Because of one vote, government spending (redistribution of wealth) and regulation as the main source of employment for the construction industry as well as all support industries may continue as the predicate for economic development in Alaska and not the private sector.
- Because of one vote, government may continue as the largest employer in the state, nullifying community and economic development opportunities for the private sector.
- Because of one vote, the institution of an income tax or sales tax or both may continue to be the current legislative dialog and intent with no accompanying accountability for a bloated budget.
- Because of one vote, eligible Alaskans may not receive the full overdue balances of their 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 PFD’s.
- Because of one vote, the PFD may end.
- Because of one vote, the Permanent Fund may be raided.
- Because of one vote, ______________________.
Because of one vote.
Michael Tavoliero is a realtor at Core Real Estate Group in Eagle River, is active in the Alaska Republican Party and chairs Eaglexit.