By SCOTT OGAN
Did you know that Sen. Mike Shower of Wasilla was the point man on repealing Senate Bill 91?
SB 91 was the ill-advised, catch-and-release, soft-on-crime bill that caused a huge spike in crime. SB 91 was so famous in Alaska that it became a household name, even among criminals, who loved it. Shower saw the problem with it and acted with conviction to reverse the damage.
Sen. Shower led the heavy lift in committee and then led the conference committee that made no concessions to the soft-on-crime legislators who opposed the repeal.
Shower has also authored more conservative bills than any other legislator. He takes on the hardest issues. Thanks to certain Republican House coalition members, however, any Republican legislation has to be a compromise to survive in the House.
In Sen. Mike Shower’s election integrity bill, Senate Bill 39, Shower used the policy metric of “making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Notwithstanding Shower’s conservative credentials, he is a very effective negotiator, and knows how to work with those with diverse views.
Shower’s election reform bill would have gotten rid of of Dominion machines. SB 39 would have fixed Alaska’s loose ballot chain-of-custody protocols. It incorporated best-practice protocols for cleaning up Alaska’s over-inflated voter rolls, and removed Alaska from the ERIC system, a George Soros-funded private election entity with no oversight from the Legislature.
SB 39 required open-source software for any voter machines, and required them to be “air gapped,” so they are transparent and not connected in any way to the internet or cell towers. Hello, election transparency.
The bill was a work in progress and some last-minute amendments were added that Sen Shower did not agree with, so after two years of work, he actually killed his own bill in the final minutes of the session. Shower did great for hanging tough and not compromising core election integrity values.
Shower also successfully challenged the “binding caucus,” a quid pro quo system of political favors doled out by leadership to control critical votes of legislators. For the first time in decades there was no binding caucus in the senate. Do you think it’s a coincidence it’s also the first time a full statutory PFD passed in that body in seven years? Shower did that. His amendment realized the largest PFD in Alaska history because he simply followed the law. What a concept!
Sen. Shower has been conservatively consistent with his legislation to break the liberal Alaska Bar control of who serves on the bench.
The bottom line, is Sen. Shower is Alaska’s most conservative and effective State Senator.
Scott Ogan is a retired Alaska State Senate.