Monday, August 20, 2007

Alaska State Representative Mike Kelly (R-Fairbanks) Calls For Ted Stevens And Don Young Not To Run For Re-Election In 2008

Alaska's U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young have come under considerable scrutiny over investigations being directed towards them. Not only have both have endured media criticism, but Don Young has already attracted two semi-marquee Democratic opponents, Diane Benson and current state Democratic Party Chairman Jake Metcalfe. A report on this development also aired on KTUU Channel 2.

But for the first time, a prominent Republican has fired a serious shot across the bow. In a letter to the editor published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on August 19th, 2007, State Representative Mike Kelly (pictured above left), who represents House District 7 in Fairbanks, called for Senator Stevens and Congressman Young not to run for re-election in 2008.

Rep. Kelly begins the letter by reminding us that the Alaska Republican Party has traditionally been the home of a solid conservative agenda built upon individual responsibility, limited government, development of human and natural resource potential, solid ethics and traditional family values (which contrasts favorably with the national Republican "kahn-servative" agenda of imposing "democracy" by force worldwide, Israel-worship, open borders, and corporate predation). But he believes ethical change is necessary, fearing that if key party members don't set the example, voters will do it for them. Left unspoken is the possibility that voters might decide to punish the Republican Party by turning the state legislature into a Democratic preserve in 2008.

In order to rebuild public trust and confidence, and to effectively complement the ethical reforms promoted by Governor Sarah Palin, Rep. Kelly believes some self-sacrifice is necessary. Here are his suggestions from his letter:

- Senator Ted Stevens would announce his intent to retire at the end of his current term and support the strongest conservative candidate that comes forth to replace him in the next election.

- Congressman Don Young would take the same action to contribute to the re-birth of his party.

- Senate Rules Chair John Cowdery would, in the same spirit, resign his Alaska Senate seat to permit Governor Palin to appoint a replacement in time for the special session beginning October 18.

- Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich would join the effort by announcing his intent to resign and assist his replacement in the transition.

Since the next election isn't until 2008, and Rep. Kelly has not yet declared his intent to run for re-election, his letter to the editor shouldn't be written off as "pre-election posturing". Rep. Kelly, in a quiet and dignified way, has a track record for placing principle ahead of popularity. In 2005, he willingly tackled the thorny problem of public sector pension reform when rising health-related pension costs were threatening to swamp the state treasury, ultimately producing a money-saving plan in which future state workers would be enrolled in defined-contribution plans rather than defined-benefit plans.

And Rep. Kelly's integrity and effectiveness were rewarded by the District 7 voters in 2008, when they re-elected him to a second two-year term in the Alaska State House. Kelly earned 56% of the vote, swamping his Democratic challenger by nearly 17 percentage points.

Commentary: Rep. Kelly is to be commended for his unusual political courage in swimming against the party tide. He's not your typical party apparatchik.

However, replacing Stevens' and Young's seniority in Congress is easier said than done. And with America's escalating debt combined with growing financial needs, competing for increasingly scarce financial resources will be difficult enough even for experienced war horses like Stevens and Young. A couple of rookies might be overwhelmed initially, and we still have no natural gas pipeline contract to serve as our next golden parachute. Even if a natural gas pipeline contract were signed today, it might be as late as 2017 before production actually begins. So unless Stevens and Young actually get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, we should probably keep them in office.

It would probably be a good idea for Rep. John Cowdery to publicly announce that he won't seek re-election in 2008. Rep. Cowdery's name has been somewhat tarnished by the VECO scandals (although he's not been indicted), and he's getting old. It's time for him to retire. This would be a relatively painless sacrifice to symbolize reform.

This leaves state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. While the party has been quite successful during his stewardship, he's been the subject of considerable controversy. Don't forget, when Ruedrich was serving on the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, he was caught doing party business on committee time (then-fellow commissioner Sarah Palin blew the whistle on him) and fined $12,000. He feuded with the Palin campaign during much of the 2006 campaign. And while he's apparently buried the hatchet with Sarah Palin, the VECO corruption scandals occurred during his watch, which, combined with his own checkered past, makes his continued presence a liability. Ruedrich's voluntary resignation would dramatically symbolize the Alaska Republican Party's renewed commitment to ethics, and, by itself, might be enough to halt the erosion of public confidence.

News Flash: Maybe Mike Kelly is more prescient than I thought. Just moments ago, according to a KTUU news brief, McClatchy Newspapers reports the Justice Department's corruption unit is now investigating Rep. Don Young's $10 million earmark for the Coconut Road extension project in Florida. Criminy - when does it stop.


  1. Now what do you know about Rep. Kelly's thoughts on Israel? Is he your best bud? Did you even hear about him before this letter to the editor showed up? Enquiring minds want to know......

    BTW, Clark Kent, it's not "quite and dignified" it's "quiet and dignified".
    Do a proofread once in a while. You "white" haters have the oddest way of passing yourselves off as the "super race" when not one of you seem to be able to post without misspellings.

    It's about as funny as the one-balled wonder back in WW2 measuring skulls and then blowing a hole in his own. My idea of a final solution.....wink wink

    As far as Rep. Kelly goes, maybe he should just throw his hat in the ring, huh!

  2. Mike Kelly is well-known by those who follow politics because of his efforts towards PERS/TERS reform. Where have you been?

    And who knows or cares about his attitude towards Israel? Foreign policy is not normally within the purview of a state legislature.


  3. Clark....., you don't mind if I call you Clark do you,
    do you even read your own posts?

    You are the one that brought up what "the Alaska Republican Party has traditionally been" and how Mike Kelly fits that profile.
    You also said that one of the finer qualities of that "traditional" thinking, in your mind and words, concerned it's lack of "Israel-worship".

    So to answer your question, Clark. I would say it is you that cares what Mike Kelly thinks/believes about Israel.
    So you either don't know what he thinks or just never found out.

    Gollee, Clark! Ya don't suppose ya should work on them thar reportin' skills, do ya?

    Now I know why you never answer half my comments on your blog.
    You can't!

    So if you don't care and it doesn't have anything to do with Alaskan politics, why bring it up?!

    You are so mired down in the BS of hate that you don't even have a clue what you wrote.
    Nice to see you took my advice and at least fixed the spelling errors. Good job, good job!

  4. No, Judith, the reason I don't respond to half of your comments is because they're either bullshit or off-point.

    I reiterate - and more slowly this time, so even you can understand - Kelly's views on Israel are IRRELEVANT to this discussion because the Alaska State Legislature does not fund appropriations for Israel. However, the national Republicans are Israel-worshippers because they virtually rubber-stamp every foreign aid request by Israel.

    Obviously you need to learn the difference between the responsibilities of a state legislature versus the responsibilities of a national legislature.


  5. I'm never off subject because I only ask you to enlighten me on why you put into your posts what you do. Don't try playing stupid it's pathetic.

    So, if Israel has nothing to do with the subject why bring it up Clark or should I change that to Flash? You did bring it up, remember? If it had nothing to do with the subject, which you claim to be Alaska, then why bring it up!?
    Talk about nuggets and being win the idiot of the day award. A guy with Jewish blood trying to be a "white" supremacist tinpot general.
    Thanks for the laugh, Flash.

    Have another need it!