GOP Incumbent in Alaska’s Most Conservative District Responds to Challenger
Primary Elections are important! But, don’t be tempted to vote for a candidate based on partial truths, errors, or false implications. I am honored to be the sitting legislator of District 10 and am seeking re-election. The pursuit of and desire to become a public servant is an honorable part of our Constitutional Republic. However, I challenge my opponent to do so with extreme care, to not compromise accuracy for a short-term gain, to speak honorably.
I believe it is my responsibility to refute some of what is being stated in this campaign season. I invite you to visit the legislative archives and State law to verify these clarifications.
* I, Wes Keller, have in fact served as an Alaska State Legislator for NINE years. My first budget vote was in March, 2008. This was a memorable event for me with 29 Republican Majority “Yeas”, and 10 Democrat “Nays”; this was before the huge oil revenue drop.
* I am running for my FIFTH term. 2008 was my first election cycle.
* I am NOT in favor of term-limits for State level legislators. Each year there is more to learn and progressive learning provides more insight, experience, and makes us better communicating legislators as we work together. A State representative has a built-in, robust term limit every two years (re-election). US Congress term limits, on the other hand, are a completely different animal. I fully support Congressional term limits and welcome any opportunity to explain this further.
* My voting decisions are based on who I am in terms of values. It has been liberating and freeing to be true to myself, and thereby represent a majority of my constituents. It is my job to be transparent on voting decisions so constituents can decide if I do in fact represent them. I DO NOT vote based on party line, but my values align very well with the traditional Republican Party platform. I am pro-life, pro-family, pro-small business, and pro-limited government – and, I work grounded in the foundational values of American Constitutionalism. It has been an honor to be part of the Majority Caucus, whose consensus plan is determined each election cycle by the majority caucus of each house. This “consensus plan” is a compromise team to enable budget passage. This is why it is so important to make sure your legislator’s values represent your own. It is naïve, at best, to vow to not vote for a budget, or to promise to not join either the minority or majority ‘team’ (caucus). The bi-annual hope for us conservatives is that Alaskans will send enough strong conservatives to shape the consensus plan, to make the spending cuts we need. We are at a critical time in Alaskan history, and we need effective, experienced conservative legislators representing all Alaskans.
* The Governor made the decision on the PFD veto without the Legislature’s approval – It seems to be, in a “knee-jerk” reaction to the Legislature’s attempt to block revenue measures. Special Session agendas, in this case, were set by the Governor. The bills “handled” were approved/requested/negotiated with the Governor. An individual legislator CANNOT dictate what the Governor does and the Governor CANNOT dictate what the legislature decides. Each legislator MUST WORK with the other 59 legislators to come to a collective agreement.
Some general clarifications:
Alaskans are increasingly aware we do indeed have a fiscal crisis and are asking why? How did we get to spending more per capita than any other state? Are we going to have to liquidate or downsize some of our ‘crown jewels assets’? If so, which ones: Education (K-12 and UA)? Social Services (Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc.)? The Ferry system? Obviously, none of these would be beneficial to get rid of completely, so there is give and take in how to encompass the best major reform for the majority of Alaskans. I will fight to keep government limited, cut extra spending, and keep what most benefits Alaskans.
Constitutionally, it is the Alaska Legislature (NOT the Governor) who carries the responsibility for spending decisions. Spending decisions are a product of legislative consensus in the budget process. The budget process is a product of years and years of legislative rules and laws, and it is a slow process to change. Spending level reductions are directly tied to:
1. available revenue (we cannot spend what we do not have), and
2. the willingness of Alaskans to re-elect a majority of conservative spenders.
Nothing happens quickly or efficiently in a republic (by design). We must balance the budget BEFORE any new taxes – for sure BEFORE spending PF earnings.
The source of “All political power is inherent in the PEOPLE” (Art 1, Section 2). It is the voter’s decision whether they want an experienced legislator or ‘new blood’. I respect this power, and believe it is very, very wrong to intentionally mislead voters to either end. I will respect voter choice even if I believe they have been misled, but am obligated to try to eliminate confusions. Alaska is small, so every constituent has the ability to contact their legislator directly. Your voice, or lack of, DOES define Alaska.
The truth is I believe I am the best option for my constituents to best protect the interests of Alaskans. The Alaska Family Council | Alaska Family Action also believes this. The following is a recommendation from them:
“This one is a no-brainer. There are 40 members of the State House of Representatives – and not one has worked harder and more effectively to advance conservative principles than Wes Keller. Wes is a soft-spoken and self-deprecating man – but when it comes to supporting pro-life and pro-family policies, he is a rock star. His experience includes nearly 10 years in the state House, and also eight years serving as Chief of Staff for former Senator Fred Dyson, another champion of conservative and Christian values.”
* “Do you support school choice? Wes Keller sponsored the constitutional amendment (HJR 1) to make school choice possible.
* Do you support protecting religious liberty? Rep. Keller sponsored the most serious bill to prevent government discrimination against people of faith (HB 325).
* Do you support stopping Planned Parenthood from indoctrinating public school students? Rep. Keller sponsored a bill (HB 192) to keep them out of our schools.
* Do you support legislation to rein in liberal, activist judges? Rep. Keller is the ONLY House member who has made serious efforts (HJR 33, HB 200) to reform our out-of-control judiciary.
* Are you opposed to abortion? Rep. Keller has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills to increase protections for unborn children.
* Support family values? Rep. Keller sponsored legislation to try and keep pornography out of our public libraries.”
“Alaska is full of candidates who thump their chest about being “pro-life” and “pro-family” – especially during election years – and then go down to Juneau and do absolutely nothing to move the ball down the field on those issues. Wes Keller is that refreshing exception – a man with a strong moral compass and the courage to act on what he believes. Perhaps it goes without saying, but Rep. Keller has returned our candidate survey, and is solidly in alignment with AFA on every single one of our public policy goals.”
“Rep. Keller faces off against three other Republican opponents in the August 16 primary: Steve Menard, Andrew Wright, and David Eastman. Menard and Wright have not responded to the AFA candidate survey. To his credit, Eastman has responded to our survey, and indicates strong agreement with most AFA priorities. Regardless, this primary is not a close call: exchanging Wes Keller’s 18 years of battlefield wisdom for an earnest but untested candidate is not a smart trade. We need to send Wes Keller back to Juneau, so we can keep this savvy and courageous leader working on the issues that matter most.”
“Share this information with friends who live in District 10: Mat-Su Borough (Meadow Lakes & other Wasilla-area precincts, Houston, Willow, Susitna, Trapper Creek, Talkeetna).”
All State documentation can be found at https://akleg.gov/index.php.
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