The “Non-Partisan” Scam at the Fairbanks North Star Borough

Heard a lot lately of the line “non-partisan” or “bi-partisan” in political advertising? Have you seen who is usually pushing that line? The “bi-partisan” coalition in our Senate this last year was “bi-partisan” as long as the bill was pushing the progressive, liberal line of thought. For example, the House had true bi-partisan support with Coastal Zone management and passed it 40-0, but then the Senate bowed to the environmentalists and refused to craft anything but a hard-core environmentalist document. We then ended up having to defeat a bad Coastal Zone management initiative at the polls. The “bi-partisan” Senate would not let any social issues be touched, since the Democrats in control wouldn’t allow anything that conflicted with their platform.

Running for office in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, there are a few candidates who like to spout the “non-partisan” line. Kathryn Dodge says on her website that Kathryn will “Keep local government non-partisan.” Similarly, Cliff Russell has stated at forums that he wants to keep things non-partisan. Of course, anyone who has spent any time observing the actions of the Fairbanks North Star Borough government knows it is anything but nonpartisan!

In addition to this warning about candidates who disingenuously advocate the “non-partisan” line, here is some additional guidance conservatives may use for the Fairbanks election next week:

Borough Assembly Seat G

Lance Roberts – A solid conservative who wants to ease subdivision and land use restrictions. He also wants reforms that will allow road service area commissioners to do their job without Borough interference. Mr. Roberts is seeking to cut the budget and mill rate to give people more money in their pockets, which will create more economic development. He also believes that private companies should be used for any gas distribution system and the state money it will take to build it.

Cliff Russell – IBEW Electrician with little apparent knowledge or experience with the Assembly. He has attended a few of the forums but has failed to offer much specificity with respect to his positions. Mr. Russell does not seem to have any signs or literature. On Facebook, he states that, “I have a strong connection with the community of Fairbanks and hope to serve you and the rest of the borough if elected. Although being new to the scene I know that my belief in local hire, drive to assist in affordable energy, and keep local issues local, will only help this great community. ”

Borough Assembly Seat F

Rocky MacDonald – Rocky MacDonald is another solid candidate with a history of conservative activism. From his campaign literature, Mr. MacDonald’s primary positions include making local government “responsible to the taxpayers”; working “to stop the loss of people from the borough due to high-energy costs”; and using Borough government resources wisely, “with an eye to lessening the burden on citizens’ lives.”

Kathryn Dodge – Kathryn Dodge is a former Fairbanks North Star Borough employee who says on her web page that she has “moderate, non-partisan views, willingness to challenge the status quo when it is in the community’s best interest, and partnering skills are what our community needs to develop our energy solutions and economy.” Her long-term association with liberal Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker suggests that she is unlikely to pursue any policies that restrict government growth or citizen accountability over the FNSB. Her apparent positions put her squarely in the pro-union, anti-wood stove, and pro-big government camp.

Bill Stodden – Although Bill Stodden is likely a well-intentioned candidate who undoubtedly would make a better Assembly member than Ms. Dodge, he does not appear to be running a serious campaign. He has no apparent website, Facebook page, or campaign signage. His presence in the race will likely only serve to pull votes from Mr. MacDonald.

Borough Assembly Seat A

Joe Blanchard – Joe Blanchard has three years experience with the Assembly, last year as its Presiding Officer. He’s getting more conservative as he matures, but does not have a consistent conservative history. His “Vision” statement on his blog states that he “support[s] a reasonable gas pipeline project regardless of diameter to bring much needed energy options to Fairbanks, with a corresponding distribution system”; works to “ensure our education department has the money and flexibility to succeed”; and want to keep “the Borough government out of the wood stove banning business.”

Van Lawrence – Van Lawrence is a local attorney who ran a close race against Assembly member Michael Dukes last year. His Facebook fanpage has not been updated to include the current race against Joe Blanchard. The Interior Democrats have referred to Mr. Lawrence as “our long time friend” and he reputedly has held party positions within the Alaska Democratic Party. Like Kathryn Dodge, he seems to be pro-union, anti-wood stove, and pro-big government.

As in past municipal elections, the turn out in the Fairbanks North Star Borough is likely to be very low. Every vote will undoubtedly count. Please ensure that you call all of your conservative family, friends, and neighbors to get out and vote. Many local elections have been determined only by a handful of votes; this one may be no different.