Why you should vote no on Ballot Measure One - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Why you should vote no on Ballot Measure One

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Take a good long look at the picture above. That’s John-Henry Heckendorn in the middle with the big sign.

He’s the brains behind the Ship Creek Group, which is getting Democrats elected right and left in Alaska since he arrived on the scene just a few short years ago from the East Coast.

Heckendorn was the political director for the Alaska Democrats. He interned for Mark Begich. His Ship Creek clients are all Democrats. He is the best thing to ever happen to Democrats in Alaska.

In this photo, he is turning in 42,540 signatures to get Measure One on the Nov. 8 ballot. He’s happy.

Why would Heckendorn, who recently helped win four-for-four in Anchorage Assembly races and who dragged Dean Westlake over the finish line in the House District 40 race, want to push for every eligible Alaskan to be registered to vote? Out of the goodness of his heart, or out of the interest of a political agenda?

Liberal progressives are trying to turn red-leaning Alaska into a blue state. Ballot Measure One is part of their plan. Heckendorn is just the guy to do it.

It’s all being funded by outside groups backed by untraceable dollars that know they can socially engineer Alaska by simply getting more low-information voters to cast ballots.

Heckendorn and his Ship Creek Group have the contract with the ballot measure backers to make sure that happens.

Theirs is a two-pronged approach: First get everyone registered to vote, including those who have no interest and who will rarely vote. And second, make sure those ballots get voted in future elections. No matter what it takes.

The measure, put on the ballot by left-wing activists, would automatically register as a voter every single person who applies for an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. You apply for a dividend? The state is going to make sure you’re registered to vote, not by your choice, but by the state’s. Of course it will weed out kids and felons, but everyone else will be fair game.

Let’s look at who at the national level is behind this push for automatic registration.

First we have the National Education Association, or NEA, which is a national union and a powerful one at that, with an annual budget of $300 million.

The NEA backs Democrats and spends $3.6 million on lobbyists in a typical year. It’s membership totals 3.2 million. Why does NEA want the automatic voter registration to pass? So it can bargain for higher teacher pay and less accountability for results. Having more Democrats in office will help.

The New Venture Fund is also a main funder of the propaganda blitz to pass Ballot Measure One.

The NV Fund is a grant-making organization that gives heavily to organizations closely associated with the Democratic Party’s key causes.

More than $550,000 is being spent on media messaging by the New Venture Fund to support the passage of Ballot Measure One. The fund’s president was quoted in the Alaska Dispatch News saying that when more people vote, it’s better for democracy.

But a look through the IRS Form 990 filing of the New Venture Fund reveals three big grant strategies: Pro-abortion groups, climate change advocates (anti-oil), and voter engagement efforts.

These three strategies are aligned: Get more uninformed people registered to vote, and then create strong messaging and marketing around specific issues to drive them to the polls to ensure that “progressive” lawmakers are elected.

The New Venture Fund is trying to change public policy by swinging elections. It is a pro-big-government group whose lobbyists are part of the revolving door, in and out of government. The Fund has also made six-figure contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.

WHO ISN’T REGISTERED

A recent Pew study reports that some 24 percent of the eligible voting public isn’t registered to vote.

That may seem like a hefty number, until you consider this: According to a Gallup poll taken this year, when adults are asked to identify the country from which America gained its independence, 24 percent had no idea (they answered Russia, France, China, Mexico and Unsure).

In another question during the same poll, some 20 percent of adults answered incorrectly when asked if the earth revolves around the sun or the sun revolves around the earth.

It’s a rather sure bet that there’s an overlap between those who think the sun revolves around the earth and those who aren’t registered to vote.

But among those who are registered, some 25 percent hardly ever vote anyway. Three quarters of those people say they just don’t know enough about the candidates.

Is that not OK?  To not vote if you don’t know what you’re voting for? In fact, many of us have felt similarly when faced with a long ballot filled with names of judges about whom we know nothing. But do we as a society governed by laws truly want willfully ignorant people pushed into the voting booth?

The liberal hive mind says yes.

But there are others who say no. Registering to vote, they say, is a demonstration of citizenship and is a responsibility that should not be automatically compelled by the government. When government pushes voter registration on people as nearly mandatory, it compells a behavior, and thus influences outcomes.

Ballot Measure One is a solution in search of a problem. Its backers are not being intellectually honest with voters because they have a clear and focused agenda to sway elections to Democrats and their causes.

On Ballot Measure One it’s buyer beware. The universal voter registration opens a world of unintended consequences for Alaska, and will likely turn a red state blue.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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