Wayne E. Heimer: On Biden's Build Back Better plan, a no vote is what's best for Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Wayne E. Heimer: On Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a no vote is what’s best for Alaska

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By WAYNE E. HEIMER

Years ago the late Kathleen “Mike” Dalton gave me custody of a pair of cufflinks allegedly commissioned by then-freshman U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.  

The inscription on the cufflinks was, “TO HELL WITH THE POLITICS! JUST DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ALASKA!”  In those days, doing what was “right” for Alaska meant bringing home as much federal cash as possible.  

Ted “Did what was right for Alaska,” with a vengeance, selling off “pieces of Alaska” to the Feds for cash in dozens of ways.  In fact, Sen. Stevens was so good at “bringing home the bacon,” he eventually earned the sobriquet, “The King of Pork.”  

I no longer have custody of those cufflinks. When it became clear I’d never wear a formal cufflink-requiring shirt again, I donated that small piece of Alaska’s history to a fundraiser for the Alaska Outdoor Council. I figured “Mike,” a strong supporter of the Alaska lifestyle through the Alaska Outdoor Council, would approve.

Of course, Lisa Murkowski, eventually “became” Alaska’s other senator, and she initially appeared to faithfully follow Ted’s cufflink motto. Lisa hasn’t exactly earned the title, “The Queen of Pork,” but she’s sold pieces of Alaska’s future for cheap cash in many ways as well.  

Charity compels me to think Ted’s obsolete ethic of “doing what’s right” for Alaska keeps Lisa loyally bringing bacon home to her supporters. This could account for a lot of fascinating cooperation with the “woke” Democrats. After all, some Democrat votes wouldn’t have hurt when she was campaigning for chair the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Chasing that chair-ship might account for much of her dithering over confirmation of Supreme Court justices, impeachment votes, environmental sell-outs, and other “apparently-woke” things that didn’t make sense to most of Alaska.  

That chance evaporated with that interesting election in Georgia. When the Democrats got control of the Senate, Lisa’s courtship of Democrats came to nothing.  She was left out in the cold as Alaska’s “lame duck” senator. 

Where she hasn’t done so well following Ted’s recipe is acting as a U.S. senator the way Ted did.  When the national interest was at stake, Ted proclaimed himself a ‘United States’ senator, and sometimes set aside Alaska’s special interests to just do what was critical for the Nation.”  I’ve not seen Lisa following in these footsteps.  I understand compromises must be made to “bring home the bacon,” but Lisa doesn’t explain, and I’m left to guess at what she’s up to.

Both Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan apparently “did what looked right for Alaska” by voting for the first “infrastructure” bill. In a joint statement, they said they voted for it because it contained funding for actual infrastructure projects that Alaska needed.  I might not approve, but I understand.  

However, it now looks like there might have been some strings attached to the pork in that bill. Having shown willingness to dip their toes in the federal infrastructure water, there’s pressure to to vote for the scaled down “human infrastructure” (now “Build Back Better”) reconciliation bill as well.  

That’s the $3.5 trillion one that’s now down to two trillion, but still contains all the Alaska-harmful climate control stuff, and would fund the USA as a globally functional socialist society. 

Now, we’re told funding this socialist utopia won’t cost anything, and will be on the books for only three three years.  To get started, we’ll just print $2 trillion in paper money, which I gather is kind of like borrowing it. Here, I have admit that following this sort of economic hocus pocus has not been my life’s work.

My perspective is that simply doing what’s right for Alaska presently calls for killing the “human infrastructure” bill and maybe the tricky first one with it.  

Senator Sullivan has been plain that he’s not for the second one (among other clear positions that make him look like a United States as well as an Alaskan Senator).  

Lisa has been curiously quiet on this, besides confirming the anti-petroleum Secretary of the Interior for Biden.  

To her credit, she did finally vote with the minority against confirming that very strange, “Earth First” Tracy Stone-Manning for BLM Director.  

Now that the Democrats “aren’t showing Lisa any love,” it would appear she remains a quaint caricature of “McCain maverick-ness” along with her lady pals from New England. I wonder what’s in it for Alaska.

I suggest it’s time for Alaska’s congressional delegation to stand up like U. S. Senators from Alaska, maybe by “biting the bullet” and opposing the administration’s infrastructure agenda that seems likely to harm Alaska’s economy. 

Wayne Heimer is a 54-year resident of Alaska whom “Mike” Dalton apparently thought was “Alaska-aware enough” of to give him Ted’s cufflinks.

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  • Lisa will do what’s best for Lisa. Not Alaska.

    If Lisa helping Lisa helps Alaska, that’s a nice coincidence. If it doesn’t, irs a day that ends in Y.

    • You are correct Masked Avenger.

  • I agree with most of what you said. Growing up with “uncle Ted” during the heyday of development for Alaska was a great experience. The people of Alaska gained many improvements during this time.
    However, the flood gates opened to softer people to move to the state and bring along their petty ways of comfort to tame the land and make it easier for them. This has softened the climate and made people expect cushy things. Real people of Alaska have moved out of the cities and to the smaller communities to capture what still remains wild. The sound of Alaska has been drowned out by political noise and backroom talks. The government has raided the funds and lined their pockets beyond our budget and needs for ridiculous pet projects. They have forgotten real Alaskans and who they represent. Its a shame! I will vote for new blood and energy to conserve what little freedom and liberty our great state has left.

  • Both of our senators need to say NO to both bills. The 2,000+ pages of the bill will destroy our nation with no going back to a democratic republic. Every page in that bill needs to thoroughly read by the senators themselves to be believed, there is more pork in there than a pig farm. It will be the end of our personal freedoms with the policies IRS intrusion of our bank accounts, the sweeping green new deal policies on our state (the feds already just about stopped our production of oil), additional 87,000 IRS agents, less than 6% of the trillions is for ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE (bridges, roads), its loaded with social programs that dont belong here (Paid leave, Child care. Caregiving, free college to illegal immigrants-a slap in the face to any legal immigrant)… its a complete trojan horse and we should all be appalled at the massive tax and soend hidden in this bill. Filled with more borrowed money, and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy

    Call on our senators to SAY NO. And dont be strong armed by the DNC, nancy Pelosi would turn Alaska into Commifornia if she could, Lisa needs to say no.
    Hidden in the bill
    -Less than 6 percent ($115 billion) for roads and bridges
    -43 percent more is spent on mass transit and rail ($165 billion) than for roads and bridges
    -Less than 2 percent ($42 billion) for waterways, locks, dams, ports, and airports
    -Less than 5 percent ($100 billion) for broadband
    -74 percent more is spent on subsidies for electric vehicles ($174 billion) than for broadband.
    -Meanwhile, most of the bill consists of non-infrastructure provisions such as:
    -$400 billion for expansion of Medicaid
    -$213 billion for housing and to increase federal control of local housing markets
    -$100 billion of additional funding for schools without requiring them to reopen
    -$50 billion for a new office at the U.S. Department of Commerce
    -$35 billion for climate science, innovation, and R&D
    -$10 billion for a new “Civilian Climate Corps”
    -Overturns right-to-work laws in 27 states

    • Please sight a source for your info. I know you didn’t read the bill.
      From what you’ve posted, I am a fan so far. At a minimum, the US needs more mass transit.

      • There are several sites that are giving details, including the whithouse.gov site. I got about halfway through the green/climate section. Every time i read a story ive collected these hilites. And no way is this bipartisan unless they are counting RINOs like Lisa.

        Read it for yourself
        “https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5376″

        SEC. 30432. CRITICAL FACILITY MODERNIZATION.

        $200 million for a park in Pelosi’s district, she has her pork too
        SEC. 70203. PRESIDIO TRUST.

        (a) Presidio Trust Defined.–With regard to this section, the term
        “Presidio Trust” means the entity established under section 103(a) of
        title I of division I of Public Law 104-333 and under the requirements
        placed upon that entity by section 104(a) of title I of division I of
        Public Law 104-333.
        (b) In General.–In addition to amounts otherwise available, there
        is appropriated to the Presidio Trust for fiscal year 2022, out of any
        money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $200,000,000, to
        remain available until September 30, 2026, for carrying out projects
        identified by the Presidio Trust in accordance with the purposes
        identified under the first section of Public Law 92-589 (16 U.S.C.
        460bb).

      • Not sure i can post the link, read for yourself
        Look up house bill 5376 on congress dot gov website, the summary page, then the full text, its appalling.

      • “…….At a minimum, the US needs more mass transit……..”
        Says who? Where are these masses who need to be transported? The homeless? Illegal migrants? Even if “you” need mass transit, you need railroad tracks, roads, bridges, and ports like everybody else. Rights-of-way. Infrastructure. The basic stuff that is crumbling or obsolete from coast to coast.

      • Brian, why more Mass Transit? Is it because the Politburo controls the schedule? Totalitarians loathe freedom, especially freedom of movement.
        I’ve also noticed that increased ridership of Mass Transit in Alaska has a correlation co-efficient with strict enforcement of Driving under the Influence laws… meaning that only those who have lost their rights to move freely use public transit.

  • In all her (nepotistically gained) years in the US Senate, I have rarely seen Lisa Murkowski take the right side of any issue. It just outrages me that dumb and blind Alaskans keep re-electing her, such a consummate corrupt and self-serving politician — that is, corrupt and self-serving, except when she is actively pushing the far left “woke” agenda.
    .
    Lisa, when it comes to politicians, you are the worst of all worlds.

  • One simple thing to remember.

    “You can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way back out.”

    • Excellent observation. Looks like the voting part is almost complete……….

  • I suspect that Princess Lisa will pull a John McCain (pardon me while I spit) and vote with the Democrats on the trillion dollar + welfare bill.

  • The infrastructure bill will be good for Alaska. The state needs it.

  • Don’t ever forget, the specific actions of any of these elected officials took or didn’t take, and the consequences yet to be experienced by all of us. Most likely, no consequences for them.
    Don’t ever forget, it happened on “their” watch when they had an opportunity to do something significant (but didn’t). Yet, they serve their own selfish and narcissistic wants and desires.
    Don’t ever forget, your personal sacrifice (job, house, savings, retirement, potential project or business opportunities) versus theirs.
    Never Forget, Never Forgive!!!

  • Thanks Wayne, for at least trying to communicate some understanding of the way D.C. (doesn’t) works. Should have kept the cufflinks – they will be priceless in another generation. Our AOC seems to do okay for fundraising… Pragmatism is the mother of all compromise – and the likely source of many other commenters’ disgust. And yeah, vote NO on any initiative coming from the left – it’s past the point of even trying to compromise with any of it, and none of it benefits Alaska or grants any power that might be used in the future to benefit us.

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