Quote of the day: Democrats celebrate Independence Day by calling for state taxes


A letter, in full, from Hal Gazaway of the Bartlett Democratic Club in Anchorage, to the membership of the club is below, announcing that while there will be no meeting this week, due to the holiday, the fight against President Donald Trump must go on.

Cliff Notes: Gazaway has some things to say about the founding of our country (throwing off tyrants), likens our current national and state Republican leadership to aforementioned tyrants, and then uses his Independence Day message to tell his membership to “take out Don Young,” impeach the president, oppose any replacement to Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, and demand a state income tax:

Dear fellow Bartlett Club Supporters;

This day celebrates the day, 242 years ago, representatives from the American colonies, assembled in the name of the people, to declare the American colonies free and independent.
A fundamental principle guided them. All men are created equal, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Governments are instituted to ensure these ends. When government becomes destructive to these ends; it is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government.

The declaration listed a litany of offensive acts by their current ruler. The colonial representatives who signed the Declaration of Independence dissolved their allegiance to the tyrant who had been placed on the British throne. They chose to replace that autocratic rule with a government by free and independent states. The 56 representatives pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. With that pledge they signed the Declaration of Independence.

Today, a no less tyrannical regime has gained control of the United States and Alaska – an oligarchy, composed of plutocratic, international conspirators focused on concentrating wealth and power in a few, at the expense of the people.

Nowhere has the threat of this oligarchy become more apparent than here in Alaska where we have been reduced to a Third World colony by our state government over these last 15 years.

                                        Today it is time for people of principle to stand up.

To stand up for America.

To stand up for Alaska.


 Justice Kennedy‘s retirement opens the door for Donald Trump to appoint a sixth ultra conservative federalist justice to the Supreme Court Bench:

One who will swing all legal issues raised in Donald Trump‘s impeachment proceedings;

One who will decide all legal issues in Donald Trump ‘s challenges to:

  • Federal prosecution of political wrongdoing,
  • Immigration issues,
  • Environmental issues,
  • Protective designation of federal lands,
  • Corporate exploitation of federal lands,
  • Challenges to environmental laws,
  • Laws repealing a woman’s right to exercise her choice and control over her body,
  • Laws repealing people’s rights to chase who they love and spend their life with

    Today we can do something about that.


 Call Senator Lisa Murkowski:

Tell her to oppose any effort to rush the appointment of Justice Kennedy’s replacement until a full vetting can occur or take place before the members of the Senate and the House elected by 2018 voters who now have the benefit of seeing the results of 18 months of Trump Rule.

Take out Don Young:

For 40 years hard-working Alaskans have not had the benefit of a respected congressman capable of working outside of a small political clique. Don Young has two ardent opponents.


Work for Don Young’s opponents

Use social media, phone, letters, postcards to get their names and messages to your friends neighbors, and family.

  1. ALASKA:

The person we elect as governor will have two appointments to the five-member redistricting Board.

The disproportionate over-representation of Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives resulted from the gerrymandering by the four Republicans on the last redistricting board, loosely based upon the 2010 census.

The governor elected in 2018 will be able to appoint two of the five members to that redistricting board in 2020.


            Campaign for and vote for a governor committed to a balanced redistricting board


For six years Alaska has been a Third World colony. The legislature whines about not enough money to:

  • Fund our courts to be open more than 32 hours a week,
  • Fund public K-12 education even to the level the state had 1960 – 1964.
  • Fund public roads,
  • Fund the repair of bridges,
  • Fund professional law enforcement presence in 50% of Alaskan cities, towns and villages,
  • Fund public water and sewer in rural Alaskan villages to the level established by 1978,
  • Fund an effective public response to the opiate epidemic spiraling out of control in our city and the petty crime wave that funds it.

Today is the time to demand of our candidates for state Senate seats and state House of Representatives seats to commit to:

  1. Adopt an income tax
  2. Adopt an oil production tax that meets the Alaskan constitutional requirement to use Alaska’s natural resources for the maximum benefit of Alaskans
  3. Repeal oil tax credits that are not for exploring and developing new fields.

Provide steady state income by a graduated income tax on all income earned or received in Alaska.

My wish for all our members is to have a happy and safe Fourth of July. It is my wish that we will renew our joy of life and living in the land of opportunity, left to us by generations before us. I am hopeful that we can bring that change necessary to ensure those that follow us will enjoy the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we have enjoyed.

Hal Gazaway                                              


  1. I really don’t understand this infatuation with having a state income tax. Income taxes are the worst of taxes because it cuts into funds that you may need for your family, upkeep on your home, retirement, medical needs, food, recreation….in other words making a living & enjoying life. And the more you work or invest the more your taxed.

    I’ve lived in states with & without income taxes. Some have had higher sales taxes in various forms. I realize some taxes are necessary but at least with sales tax I can adjust my lifestyle & purchases to control how much I’m taxed at least a little bit. Plus its pay as you go not all coming down at the end of the year.

    But if I need cash to pay various expenses & work more hours that income tax comes right off the top making it just that more difficult.

    And once some state politicians get access to income tax funds it becomes alot easier to fund more & more programs that grow every year. The state income tax always starts small or attaches mostly to the “wealthy” (whatever that really means) but I can gaurantee you it won’t stay that way. Smaller is usually better when it comes to government.

  2. If the Democrat leadership is so enamored with an income tax, the states of Washington, Oregon & California are not that far away and they all love taxes. Washington doesn’t have a income tax, but the tax everything else to a very high degree to compensate.

  3. I’m not a Democrat but I do try to follow the issues from all sides, so maybe I can help Mr. Peck, above. First, I would ask what exactly does he mean by government? State government consists largely of education, public safety, public health, transportation facilities and safety (ports, airports, etc.), fish and wildlife management, health care for the poor and people with mental health problems, parks and recreational facilities, economic development and promotion of resource extraction, and such. Which part of government would we better off with less of?

    Now, why is income tax better than sales tax? Simply, income tax is based on ability to pay. Poor people pay little to nothing, rich people pay more but that money comes from disposable income not needed for living. Poor people pay a much larger part of their income with a sales tax since they pay on virtually everything they buy (with possible exclusions for food or a limited range of other necessities), whereas rich people spend a much smaller percentage of their incomes on daily living, and much more goes into investments, expensive and multiple homes, luxury automobiles, airplanes, boats, trips to Hawaii and Europe, and a range of other things on which little or no Alaska sales tax would be collected. Normally sales tax is capped on larger purchases so the percentage of the price paid on a new BMW, for example, is much less than what a lower income person would pay on a used Ford Focus.

    In addition, a state income tax would capture revenues from non-resident commercial fishermen, slope workers, out-of-state-owned tourism workers, construction workers and others. This is a far larger pool of potential revenue to support the “government” described above than would a sales tax, even one that captured tourists’ expenditures. And keep in mind that taxing tourism services makes Alaska businesses less affordable for potential visitors, and also that a lot of the tourism services are purchased out of state so a state sales tax wouldn’t capture it.

    In short, an income tax is more fair, has the least impact on most state residents. A slightly larger impact on Alaska’s wealthy would come out of their discretionary income. And it would tap a far larger pool of potential funds, making a lighter burden on residents.

    • Thanks for the reply Terry. You have good points. Many state services are essential & need funding. No question about that. Sometimes the debate is not “is that service necessary?” rather how much is necessary as far as costs/taxes are concerned. Or how much are the tax payers willing to pay for vs maybe the level of services some would like to see. Or where the priorities are as to where available funds should be spent. So those are considerstions that need to be taken into account before requiring tax payers to pay more through any taxation. If people are convinced their $$ is being used wisely additional taxes might be easier to sell.

      But if people see government expenditures that seem excessive, unnecessary or wasteful they will question any increase in taxes regarding any revenue source & be resistant to, for example, an income tax.

      There have been a number of examples cited in Must Read Alaska of government expenditures that could be questioned which instead could go to funding essential services before considering an income tax.

      But, you’ve got me thinking about the merits of a state income tax so thank you for that. dp

  4. I love their infatuation with redistricting. They even got the law changed several years back to change the way the board is selected. And really, between the Federal restrictions from Voter Rights and the interference of the courts the board is nearly useless except as defendant in court.

    It was almost pleasurable to see the results of their suit last election cycle when rather than having the two Joe’s run against each other in a Fairbanks Senate race, thereby ensuring one would win, they had the boundaries redrawn and both Joe’s lost.

  5. what we have is an over bloated budget year after year and administrative costs for the managers at obscene levels. I looked at all the breakdowns of all departments and the upper echelon in all these state departments. Their salaries and benefits were just obscene compared to the private sector. Funny when it comes time to cut back all departments they all manage to cut the workers who patrol our streets or plow them. Who give you your drivers license or inspects buildings for code. These are all ways management then can scream that their budgets were cut and the public feels the direct effects at the working man’s level. We need someone in office that will direct all departments to look at their upper tier for savings and cutbacks. A state income tax is not the answer. Living within our means is. Funny how most democrats voted for this bloated budget just passed in our last legislative session. All I can say is I have never met a democrat who never met a tax they didn’t like.

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