Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paul Jenkins Publishes Devastating Indictment Of Alaska 2012 Ballot Measure Two, Calls It A Convoluted 15-Page Freak Show From Hell

To the list of those who oppose Alaska 2012 Ballot Measure Two for the creation of a new coastal management zone, you can now add the name of Anchorage conservative pundit Paul Jenkins. His comment piece entitled "New coastal initiative is bad news for jobs, future" is a devastating indictment of the measure; he characterizes it as "an initiative from hell: a convoluted, 15-page freak show slapped together behind closed doors".

But before we continue, here are the four basic references relevant to Ballot Measure Two:

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

Jenkins' objections are similar to those I put forth in my previous post entitled "Unraveling The Mysteries Of Alaska 2012 Ballot Measure Two To Restore A Coastal Management Program; The Cure May Be Worse Than The Disease"; multiple unelected bureaucracies, more red tape, increased costs, and a more litigation-friendly environment. Industry advocates are already lining up en masse against the measure, while independent oil and gas explorers just granted additional incentives by the state to search in Cook Inlet say they will rethink their investment and exploration decisions if the ballot measure passes, citing the possibility of delays and increased costs. Jenkins also notes that the measure is biased in favor of rural areas, although the bulk of the state's population lives in urban areas.

Jenkins names the three new unelected bureaucracies as the Coastal Policy Board at the very top, the new state division of Coastal Management, and local district panels. In contrast, I omitted local district panels as a separate layer of bureaucracy, simply because there would be one panel for each local coastal management district. This illustrates the complexity of the measure. Attorney General John Burns recommended the measure be put on the ballot despite numerous potential constitutional concerns and numerous irregularities involving draftsmanship, inconsistencies and ambiguities in the bill itself. Burns also noted that the measure proposes 18 new statutory provisions. The reasoning is that even if it has deficiencies, they can be ironed out by the legislature. However, everyone seems to have forgotten that state law specifies that lawmakers cannot substantially tamper with this measure for two years if it passes.

Alaska is the only coastal state that is not currently plugged into the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, so passing a coastal zone management act would correct that deficiency. However, Ballot Measure Two is not the way to go. As the Conservative Patriots Group previously stated, it should be constructed through the legislative process, where it can be openly debated and citizens can have their input into shaping the final law rather than by an emotional initiative process where the people who shout the loudest and spend the most money get to decide what goes into the law.

Vote No on Ballot Measure Two on August 28th.

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