Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anchorage Assembly Passes AR 2012−191(S) To Oppose Alaska 2012 Ballot Measure Two For Coastal Zone Management

The political battle over Alaska 2012 Ballot Measure Two to establish a coastal management program continues to rage on, with two more influential parties sounding off. But first, the four specific links a reader will need to become familiar with the measure and its respective partisans:

-- The actual 16-page text of Ballot Measure Two
-- Yes On 2 (pro)
-- No On 2 (anti)
-- August 28th Primary Election information

Former Alaska State Senator Arliss Sturgulewski had her opinion published in the Anchorage Daily News late on July 30th, 2012, and for someone who's a former state lawmaker, her opinion is remarkably short on facts and long on emotion. Basically, the only reason she gives us for voting for the measure is that Alaska is currently the only coastal state without a coastal management program, depriving Alaskans of a voice in coastal management. She glosses over the fact that this will be a DIFFERENT plan than the one allowed to sunset in 2011, and falsely states that the new plan isn't complicated or radical.

But just one day before, the Anchorage Daily Planet published their own assessment, and they assert that it is different, more complicated, and somewhat more radical. It's basically the same assessment published by Daily Planet editor Paul Jenkins in the Daily News back on July 14th; here's the money shot:

...It would establish a new and much different coastal management regime – unlike anything Alaska had before.

It would establish new, untouchable layers of bureaucracy, most of it outside the reach of the Legislature and not subject to its confirmation. It would spur lawsuit after lawsuit as the bureaucracies, using vague regulatory powers, tried to impose their will on communities and projects even hundreds of miles from any coast. It is poorly crafted – even the attorney general agrees – and some of its supporters acknowledge it will have to be reworked later. None of that inspires confidence.

But what the Daily Planet also revealed is that another influential party has weighed in; namely, the Anchorage Municipal Assembly. On July 24th, the Assembly passed a resolution expressing opposition to Ballot Measure Two. Naturally, this provoked me to check the Assembly's website to find out the particulars. The resolution in question is AR 2012−191(S), which eloquently lays out all the objections. According to the AOGA Facebook page, the Assembly vote was unanimous. A screenshot of both pages is provided below (after the jump):

It should also be noted that former Governor Frank Murkowski also weighed in against Ballot Measure Two on July 24th. Murkowski had initiated five specific reforms in 2003 to speed up the consistency review process, and claims that Ballot Measure Two would repeal those reforms by requiring DEC permits to be obtained twice -- once at the state level and then again at the coastal district level, most likely with more restrictions.

Some will tell you a bad law is better than no law at all. However, some laws, like Obamacare, are so bad they're even worse. One has to wonder if Obamacare wasn't deliberately written in such a complex and confusing fashion as to create a desire for single-payer national health insurance, which would seem simple by comparison. Ballot Measure Two is worse than no coastal management; the state legislature needs to go back to the well and bring back the old program which was supported by all the primary players.

Vote No on 2 on August 28th.


  1. While you're quickly and carelessly summarizing events to satisfy your own opinions, you might point out that the initiative is different... than the 2003-2011 version - amended by the Murkowski administration. You might point out that the initiative is styled after the program in place from 1977-2003 - which oversaw that huge greenie environmentalist plot: the North Slope. You might mention that the Anchorage Assembly passed a resolution in support of Coastal Zone last year... Unanimously. Or, you might mention that the current resolution was entered in as an item in the consent agenda - slipped in, by a bureaucratic move, after Birch pulled the initial resolution to kill it. It never had a stand alone vote. You might mention a lot of things. But clearly you don't.

  2. I mentioned what I found out. Since I wasn't at the Assembly meeting, I did not know that Birch had pulled the initial resolution, although I saw two resolutions listed on the agenda.

    Far too many sources state that Ballot Measure 2 is different (more cumbersome and restrictive) than the program that sunsetted in 2011. Are you suggesting they're all wrong?

    Nevertheless, your additional input is of interest.

  3. The Assembly vote was subject to reconsideration, which was requested by several members. The introduced version was a substitute and confused the vote on the resolution. Six members denied a reconsideration vote to the five requesting it, and although this would not have changed the majority voting yes, it was clear that this was NOT a unanimous vote.