Will Government’s Looting of Alaska’s PFD Be Stopped by the Rule of Law?

Governor Jay Hammond, Permanent Fund founder, knew this time would come – the time when politicians would move to spend the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) without public consent. Hammond believed in the PFD as Alaskans’ right to share equally in the resource wealth saved in the Alaska Permanent Fund and as a way to protect the Fund. Ever since the start of the PFD in 1983 the dividend has been the politicians’ target for spending. Today, politicians are working to grab a large percentage of the people’s PFD. That is exactly what Hammond and other Alaskans warned against and opposed during past failed attempts.

Voters approved the Alaska Permanent Fund by Constitutional amendment in 1976 based on the foresighted proposal of leaders to save a portion of the oil revenues instead of blowing every dollar on government programs and needless projects. Together we saved a portion of the vast wealth generated by a non-renewable oil bonanza owned in common by the people for our future and for future generations.

The leaders who created the Fund wisely knew that protecting the Permanent Fund and stopping the political caste from looting the Fund was going to be difficult. That’s why they advanced the idea of creating the PFD. Establishment of the PFD was designed so that every Alaskan shares equally in the proceeds of the Permanent Fund. Hammond believed the PFD would insulate the Permanent Fund from plunder by future politicians.

Deceptive statements by some government and business leaders are confusing many Alaskans. They claim we need to hand over a large portion of our PFD to fill the gap from declining oil revenue or else Alaska will face financial catastrophe. I’m not buying this PFD grab and neither are many other savvy Alaskans. My Democrat friends tell me we have a revenue problem. My Republican friends insist our state has a spending problem. But these beliefs miss the main point. Alaska has a serious leadership problem after years of unsustainable budgets. This is a cash flow management problem not a full-blown fiscal crisis. What we have is a self-inflicted political crisis that select members of the political establishment are using to reduce your share of the PFD.

This “Owner State” we call home has ample sources of other income as well as areas where we can make additional targeted cuts. We have the means to pass a balanced and sustainable budget without slashing every Alaskan’s PFD. What’s missing now from our elected officials is the will to adopt reasonable measures that achieve this. Fights about taxes, cuts, and oil credits produced political gridlock that has led to a raid on PFD money as a convenient way to balance the budget.

Gov. Jay Hammond wouldn’t have put up with this grab of your funds and neither would have my father, Gov. Wally Hickel. And neither should we.

So how, exactly, did your PFD get chopped over $1,000 last year with another big reduction scheduled for this year?

Current law directs the trustees of the Permanent Fund Corporation to transfer Fund revenue into the Earnings Reserve Account for PFD distribution. These funds are never placed in the General Fund for government spending according to this law. The entire PFD process is automatically governed by statute; no further appropriation or action is required by the legislature or the Governor to make the full payment to every Alaskan.

The basic problem is that the Alaska Legislature, the Governor and the Permanent Fund Corporation all failed to follow the law for the PFD distribution process. The Legislature needlessly added language related to transfer of PFD funds into an appropriation bill. The Permanent Fund Corporation didn’t promptly transfer the necessary funds for disbursement of the PFD as required by law. Then the current Governor incorrectly vetoed the existing PFD transfer that has worked legally for the past 37 years.

Not surprisingly, the Governor’s actions were challenged in court. At the core of the PFD dispute is the law that requires payment of an equal dividend to every eligible Alaskan.

I believe in holding our public officials accountable. I believe every Alaskan eligible for a PFD should receive the full measure of their dividend according to the law. Any change in the PFD law should take place in an open and transparent way through the legislature not some sleight-of-hand process by an illegal veto.

At stake is more than the amount of the PFD. Are we a state that adheres to the rule of law? Or are we going to succumb to convenient measures enacted by short-sighted politicians without regard to our actual financial circumstances or the needs and rights of every Alaskan? The Supreme Court should require nothing less than adherence to the law requiring full dividend distribution to every Alaskan. Disconnect the PFD from the Fund by appropriation, veto, and short term political self-interest and Fund itself will be lost. The future of the Permanent Fund is in the Supreme Court’s hands.

For my part, I’m contacting my political representatives to tell them to follow the PFD distribution law. And I am encouraging all Alaskans to do the same. I expect a full PFD as the proper share of the wealth generated by our Permanent Fund for every Alaskan including my grandchildren. So should you.

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The Great Statesman and Beloved Mayor of Alaskan Town Has Died

Stubbs, Talkeetna, Alaska’s honorary cat mayor and beloved by Alaskans and tourists alike, has died at the age of 20 according to the animal’s owners. The great statesman, who never once wrote a law or took freedom from anyone, has passed on.

After the false death report about Stubbs last year, the statesman quickly rebounded and proved he’d beaten the lies. But not for long. Stubbs’ death was announced late Saturday in a statement from the Spone family, who purchased Nagley’s General Store and the West Rib Pub and Grill in 2015. Part of the contract, the family said, was that Stubbs would stay with the store. But Stubbs the cat went on to become the Mayor of Talkeetna.

Stubbs had survived an attack by a dog in 2013 but because of his age, was spending less time out and about at the general store where he had routinely let visitors pet him. By late 2016 he was largely staying at home, but was spending more time with the two kittens the Spones had taken in, Aurora and Denali. “After a day or two of him giving them the eye and a little growl here and there; they became best friends,” the family wrote. “He got some spunk back playing with kittens. He would even swat at them as they passed and snuggle in his bed with them at night.”

Stubbs’ last day on earth was Thursday. That night, the loving cat went to bed curled up next to the kitten, Aurora. When the family woke up Friday, “he was already in heaven.”

“Stubbs lived for 20 years and 3 months. He was a trooper until the very last day of his life; meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap,” the family wrote. “Thank you, Stubbs, for coming into our lives for the past 31 months; you are a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you. We loved the time we were allowed to spend with you.”

Although Stubbs is gone, one of the Spones’ kittens might be ready to step up and take the illustrious cat’s place as mayor. “Amazingly, Denali has the exact personality as Stubbs. He loves the attention, he’s like a little puppy when he’s around people,” the family wrote. “We couldn’t have asked for a better understudy than Denali – he really has followed in Stubbs’ paw prints in just about everything.”

If you wish to send condolences to Stubbs’ family, they have asked that cards be mailed and to avoid calling them, the store, or the restaurant. But please if you wish, please send cards or letters to the store at PO Box 413, Talkeetna AK 99676.

Rest in peace, Stubbs. One of the last, great, statesman. (For more from the author of “The Great Statesman and Beloved Mayor of Alaskan Town Has Died” please click HERE)

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Alaska’s Catholic Bishops Quiver Before Apostate Murkowski’s Pro-Abortion Jihad

Once again, Alaska’s “Catholic” U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has given herself over to Planned Parenthood and the Culture of Death that it promotes by her refusal to de-fund the abortion giant from federal hand-outs. Of the approximately sixty million abortions that have been performed when the first states legalized it since the late 60s, through the feminist years of the 70s and 80s until now, Planned Parenthood has accounted for more abortions — into the tens of millions — than any other source.

Planned Parenthood is the first to deny that they are obsessed with abortion, constantly referring to their “other services” such as pap smears and breast cancer tests … yet join with gusto as co-litigants whenever a challenge to “abortion rights” occurs on the state and national levels.

Most people reading this are not Catholic Alaskans, but every one of them have Murkowski as their U.S. Senator. In dealing with political figures who deviate from Catholic teaching, there are supposed to be consequences that instruct the recalcitrant office holders, consequences that can range anywhere from a public rebuke to excommunication. There are, of course, other options in between those parameters, yet none have ever been visited upon any Alaskan Catholic politician.

Indeed, public statements come out from chanceries whenever a favored socialist program is threatened by conservatives. One is reminded of the instant reaction regarding President Trump’s travel ban.

This leaves many prolifers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, in a quandary. “The Catholic Church talks a good game, but does not follow through”, would be one way to characterize it. The faithful who have approached now three different bishops in the Archdiocese of Anchorage over the years have received silence, tut-tut head pats, assurances that behind-the-scenes efforts would be a better way to approach the problem, or admonishment for fomenting divisiveness.

There are other issues that this cavalier treatment by the bishops of Alaska are creating by a tepid response. One would be the salvation of the soul of the offending politician. “Actions have eternal consequences” are homilies that seldom are heard in the “peace-and-justice” themes that dominate Alaskan Catholic parishes, and the only sins discussed seem to be “judgmentalism” and “rigidity”.

Then we have the confusion this creates among the faithful, especially those with a weak catechesis, the favored policy of the chanceries. In my own parish we have had candidates and elected officials serve as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and teachers who were openly in favor of “abortion rights”, or characterized themselves as “pro-choice”. My own children who joined in the picketing of abortionists asked me, in their formative years, how this could be. I told them straightforward:

“Cowardly and weak priests, bishops and nuns”. I believe that my response helped them to understand the challenges inside of their Church now that they are adults.

When I debated Mark Begich in 2008 for the U.S. Senate, I had some vague sense that he was a nominal Catholic, and when he confirmed that he was, I asked him how he could reconcile his aggressive promotion of abortion and Planned Parenthood, in light of some very public statements that had been made by Pope Benedict and the U.S. bishops’ conference. He went into a predictably frosty discourse of how his faith was “personal and private”, and would not allow it to dictate public policy, a response learned at the knee of Mario Cuomo and delivered as a speech at that great “Catholic” institution, Notre Dame.

Indeed, Begich spoke with the calm certitude that he had a free rein. What’s more, he had appeared at Anchorage’s Holy Family Cathedral on the topic of homelessness just before his campaign began.

“Follow the Money” is the sagest advice for understanding corruption. Could it be that the Catholic bishops do not want to lose federal funding for their homeless shelters, hospitals and other social services? According to the Washington Times, over $1.6 billion has been funneled their way in recent years.

Alaska’s Catholic clerics have failed to perform any meaningful gesture, however small or symbolic, to proclaim the truth about allegedly Catholic politicians who support Planned Parenthood’s war on the unborn. If they did, it would constitute a minor miracle that might give a small ray of hope in a culture that has gone mad.

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Murkowski 1 of the 3 Republican Senators Blocking Final Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood

It looks like Planned Parenthood won’t be defunded and Obamacare won’t be repealed thanks to three Republican senators.

Republicans failed to rally enough senators to vote for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would repeal and replace Obamacare. Then, Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced the Senate would instead only vote on repealing the pro-abortion healthcare law.

The bill repealing Obamacare would also defund Planned Parenthood for one year. Three Republican senators, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine, have all said they’d vote against the bill. This means McConnell doesn’t have the 50 votes needed to debate and then pass the bill.

Capito has a mixed record on abortion, having voted for a few moderate pro-life bills but also to expand research on human embryonic stem cell lines and fund contraception. In 2015, she voted to repeal Obamacare, when it was obvious the then-president would veto the legislation. She said she doesn’t support repealing Obamacare without a replacement.

(Read more from “Murkowski 1 of the 3 Republican Senators Blocking Final Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood” HERE)

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North Korea Threat: Alaska Mayor Says He’s ‘Worried About Moose, Not Missiles’

While lawmakers in Alaska have doubled down on calls for improved U.S. defense in the wake of a North Korea ICBM test, some have appeared to shrug off the threat seemingly posed by the rogue regime.

“I’m worried about moose, not missiles,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told The Washington Post in a story published Saturday. “Bears, not bombs.”

Todd Sherwood, an attorney who served more than a decade in the U.S. Air Force, told the newspaper that if North Korea would to attack, the U.S. military reaction would probably be severe. He downplayed the threats cast by Dictator Kim Jong Un . . .

According to The Washington Post, Alaska’s past may have something to do with its mellow response to the possibility of an attack from North Korea. An Alaskan town was bombed in 1942 during World War II and in the same week Japan occupied two Aleutian Islands. Alaska was also on alert during the Cold War with its incredibly close proximity to Russia. Some Alaskan homes still have fallout shelters. (Read more from “North Korea Threat: Alaska Mayor Says He’s ‘Worried About Moose, Not Missiles'” HERE)

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North Korea Tested Intercontinental Ballistic Missile [Capable of Reaching Alaska], U.S. Officials Believe

North Korea fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday, military officials said, a significant step forward in Pyongyang’s weapons program and an escalation of a perilous nuclear standoff with the United States.

The United States condemned the test-launch, firing warning missiles and vowing to hold the regime accountable at the United Nations.

The ICBM, which is believed to be “two-stage,” officials said, would have a range of at least 3,500 miles and thus be able to reach Alaska.

The North Korean regime earlier Tuesday claimed that it successfully fired a long-range missile into the Sea of Japan, declaring itself a “proud nuclear state.”

“It is a major celebration in our history,” said an announcer on North Korean state television. North Korea “is now a proud nuclear state, which possesses [an] almighty ICBM rocket that can now target anywhere in the world.” (Read more from “North Korea Tested Intercontinental Ballistic Missile [Capable of Reaching Alaska], U.S. Officials Believe” HERE)

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Battle for the Permanent Fund and PFD Heats up as New Special Session Called by Gov. Walker

Alaskans are facing historic decisions on the Permanent Fund and PFD that affect every citizen in the state. The Legislature’s plans to restructure the Permanent Fund and PFD for government spending remain on the table into another Special Session. And, another decision on the PFD is on the way in the Alaska Supreme Court with the lawsuit challenging Gov. Walker’s PFD veto in 2016 scheduled for a hearing next week, June 20th in Anchorage at the Boney Courthouse.

The lawsuit was filed last September by Sen. Bill Wielechowski and former State Senators, Clem Tillion and Rick Halford against the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation and the State of Alaska. The case hinges on whether it’s legal for the Governor to veto a law that provides an automatic transfer of funds that go directly to Alaskans. If the veto challenge wins, the money cut from PFD in 2016 by the Governor’s veto will be returned to eligible Alaskans – $1032 per resident.

Besides the Governor’s veto, the PFD and Fund are also under threat from the Governor and Legislature’s restructure plans that have not been approved by a public vote. In 1999, an advisory vote was held when similar restructure plans were proposed by lawmakers. The voters rejected the restructure plan by 83%.

As owners of the Permanent Fund, Alaskans’ input and approval of changes to the Fund system is critical to protecting the Permanent Fund from government spending and mismanagement. Clem Tillion, PFD lawsuit plaintiff and former legislator, commented on this in a recent video interview. He said, “Many people who’ve moved to Alaska and received the dividend don’t realize they actually own the resource. We are a land grant state, we received 100 million acres and the People own it. The Fund is yours. If you allow it to be taken away by politicians who want to change the law, then you deserve to lose it. You should have to fight for what you have (if you are able to do so). And the fight is now. Do not let the legislators steal your dividend.”

In response to these attacks on the PFD, Alaskans are taking action with a Save the PFD Rally next week (Tues., June 20 from 11am-1pm) in front of the Boney Courthouse, 303 K. Street in Anchorage before the PFD lawsuit hearing at the Boney Courthouse (1:30pm, 5th floor). Join this family-friendly, non-partisan, rally to defend Alaskans’ shareholder rights as resource owners.

For more information on protecting the PFD and Fund to share with your neighbors, visit Permanent Fund Defenders’ website at www.pfdak.com and Facebook.

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Despite Alaska’s Fiscal Crisis, Republicans Vote to Restore Funding to Planned Parenthood; Rep. DeLena Johnson Betrays Pro-Lifers

Wednesday afternoon, in a brazen disregard for the lives of the preborn and good stewardship of your money, the Alaska State House voted to give Planned Parenthood an extra nearly million dollars from the state’s capital budget.

The Senate had previously passed the capital budget (SB23) without the funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest child killing chain. Democrat leadership in the House then added it into the bill. On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Eastman moved an amendment to strip the money out of the capital budget. The amendment failed 28 to 12 with many Republicans voting to keep Planned Parenthood’s blood money in the budget

You can watch the floor debate here.

I want to focus on one legislator in particular who betrayed the pro-life movement – Palmer Rep. DeLena Johnson. Rep. Johnson came to us last summer seeking the Alaska Right to Life endorsement to help her get elected. Here is a copy of her signed Personhood affirmation and promises to us.

Not only has Rep. Johnson voted to give Planned Parenthood an extra million dollars, but she also refused to keep her commitment to co-sponsor HB250 the Life at Conception Act of 2017. This is the first bill in Alaska history that will give total protection to the preborn.

Politicians often give lip service to the pro-life movement during election season but shove us to the back of the bus during legislative season. This is why Alaska Right to Life requires a signed Personhood affirmation before candidates are considered for endorsement. Because of Rep. Johnson’s promises to us, we did grant her an endorsement. This is a completely brazen betrayal of her commitment!

We can’t let this betrayal go unpunished or the pro-life movement will never be taken seriously.

Contact Rep. Johnson and let her know how disappointed you are:
Representative DeLena Johnson
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 866-465-4958

Planned Parenthood’s puppets have already started spreading the lie that a judge ordered the payment therefore we have to give Planned Parenthood this money. This will be the line many politician will peddle to obfuscate their complicity. The Constitution gives the legislature the purse strings for a reason. It’s called “separation of powers”. The truth is that Planned Parenthood only gets this money if the legislature willing votes to give it to them. Period.

Here is Alaska Right to Life’s position statement sent to legislators before the vote. They were duly warned.

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Sarah Palin Considering Suing New York Times

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is considering suing the New York Times for libel after the Times published a Wednesday editorial falsely accusing her of inciting Jared Lee Loughner to shoot Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011 even though it has long been established that there has never been any evidence whatsoever linking Palin to the attempted assassination.

Palin tweeted that a journalist suggested to her on Thursday that the Times “has fulfilled the two criteria for libeling a public figure”—a reckless disregard for the truth and malice.

She said she is “talking to attorneys this AM and exploring options.”

After James T. Hodgkinson, who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and hated President Donald Trump and Republicans, shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and targeted other Republicans as they were practicing for their Congressional baseball game, the Times decided to publish an editorial on Wednesday in which it falsely blamed Palin for the assassination attempt on Giffords:

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

(Read more from “Sarah Palin Considering Suing New York Times” HERE)

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Town Hall Planned to Discuss Alaska Arrow-3 Missile Testing for Israel

Officials from the spaceport on Kodiak Island will host a town hall meeting Wednesday to answer questions about the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s plans to test a U.S.-Israeli anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska.

Testing of the Arrow-3 missile system will begin in 2018, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported. The system was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing, and is co-managed by the Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organization.

It will be part of the five- to six-year, $80.4 million contract between Alaska Aerospace Corporation and the Missile Defense Agency, which was announced last summer, Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell said. (Read more from “Town Hall Planned to Discuss Alaska Arrow-3 Missile Testing for Israel” HERE)

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