Thursday, October 05, 2006

Candidate non-answers ought to frighten Rural Alaskans

As a reluctant Fairbanksan (and a transplant from Rural Alaska), I'm pretty suspicious of the number of questions that Sarah Palin failed to answer that deal with the state outside of Anchorage, Wasilla and Squarebanks.

If you're reading this, you're either one of my friends bored at work or you are like me and read most of the Alaska blogs regularly, including Alaskan Abroad, who teamed up with the Anchorage Press on a gubernatorial candidate questionnaire, which is posted here. Their questions were a pretty well thought out survey on statewide issues.

Questions which Palin skipped:
  • Do you support oil and gas exploration in Bristol Bay? How would you ensure that the salmon fishery there is adequately protected?
  • How would you change the Alaska coastal management program? Would you move the Fish Habitat Division from the Department of Natural Resources back to the Department of Fish & Game?
  • Do you support a 90-day legislative session?
  • How would you rectify the long-standing issue of dual wildlife management in rural Alaska? Do you support changing Alaska's Constitution to match federal law on subsistence?
  • Would you reinstate municipal revenue sharing? How would you find a sustainable way of paying for the program? Is a Permanent Fund community dividend a possibility?
  • How would you improve health care in rural and urban areas? How would you lower health care costs?
  • What is your position on law enforcement in rural Alaska and the wish by many predominately Native communities to use tribal courts and tribal police to resolve disputes in the absence of state troopers?
  • How would you describe the cultural value of Alaska's Native communities? Should that be enough of a reason to preserve them?
  • How would you deal with attempts to expand tribal sovereignty in the state?
I'm not sure whether she is unwilling to say what she thinks about these issues and risk showing her true colors/priorities and cost herself the rural vote - or more frighteningly, is perhaps so unfamiliar with Rural Alaska that she can't formulate answers to those questions... that it is all completely off the radar for her campaign. Which is worse, cluelessness or dissembling?

To be fair, Knowles skipped a question, too. Go read the rest already!


Anonymous said...

I don't think Knowles skipped a question. I think it got left off the version of the questionnaire I sent him. It wasn't on the one he returned and he answered all the other questions, so I'm pretty sure the mistake was mine. Can't prove it, though.

Alaskan Abroad

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

I vote for clueless. Most folk in the the cities are pretty clueless about rural Alaska.