As many Alaskans already know, the recent primary election had substantial discrepancies in District 40 where incumbent Benjamin Nageak was running for reelection. It is no secret that the present Walker administration had targeted Benjamin because, as a Democrat, he lined up and caucused with the majority Republicans.
Director of Elections, Josephine Bahnke, in reference to one of the biggest Election Day glitches (both party ballots being handed to voters), dismissed it as no big deal since voters still used only one ballot. But how about the idea that it is against the law to hand a registered Democrat a Republican ballot? And then, most strange of all is Lt. Governor Byron Mallott’s dismissal of the entire mess, with flippant statements, even though his main responsibility is to preside over and ensure the integrity of Alaska elections.
So , let’s dig a little into the Lt. Governor’s background for answers. In recent years, Byron Mallott has worked closely with our senior Senator Lisa Murkowski to violate the terms of ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act). The Lt. Governor, a former Sealaska Native Corporation CEO, supported legislation with Murkowski that would move more public land into the jurisdiction of Sealaska Native Corporation, a direct violation of ANILCA.
ANILCA defines the relationship of the federal government and the State of Alaska regarding land use and Alaska sovereign rights. This has been the mutual agreement since 1980. The only state agency that could bring public focus to these violations was CACFA, or the Citizens Advisory Council for Federal Areas. Unsurprisingly, Byron Mallott was not a fan of CACFA.
Looking the Governor’s recent line item vetoes, one must ask why of 120 boards and commissions, Governor Walker chose to defund only one, CACFA. I would suggest it is the close relationship he enjoys with Byron Mallot. I will also suggest that if Lisa Murkowski retains her senate seat, we will see legislation from her which will attempt to advance land holdings for Sealaska Native Corporation, again, in violation of ANILCA but without the strong oversight of CACFA.
And, on this subject, how can any reasonable person think that Lt. Governor Byron Mallott will preside over the November election in a fair and impartial manner when he was the co-Chair for Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign in 2010? Are we to assume that all is well in the Division of Election hen house with the fox presiding over the outcome?
This is the fodder of third-world countries. We must demand that our State government function with integrity and respect for the will of the people. We must demand election integrity if we intend to secure a quality legislature, both State and national, to represent “We the People” in a manner which operates within the rule of law. It is past time, Alaska.