WC to Assemblyman Want: Grow a Spine, Dude
Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Matt Want wants to submit chunks of the Borough budget to the voters in an advisory vote.
Assemblyman Want shouldn’t have skipped American Government classes. We’re a republic, not a democracy. We elect assembly members to do the research, get themselves informed, and then vote intelligently. Not to foist their jobs on the voters. The Alaska Constitution doesn’t allow voters to make decisions about money. The advisory vote is legally meaningless.
But Assemblyman Want thinks that the advisory vote might have political impact. He thinks that if the voters were given such a context-free question, and disapproved of, say, the Parks and Recreation Department budget, it might give him and his cronies leverage in their misguided quest to reduce the budget and size of Borough government. And thereby reduce property taxes. A kind of backdoor teabaggery, as it were.
That’s not how it works. If you and your buddies, Mr Want, are unhappy with, say, Assemblyman Karl Kassel’s view that Borough government is about the right size, then find a candidate who the voters will select in his place. Don’t try to punt your responsibilities to the voters.
In a radio interview today, Mr. Want said this was a great time to have such a voter question, because it is a presidential election year. Dude, the municipal election is in October. The general election is in November. A month later.
His comment suggests that Mr. Want isn’t doing his research, isn’t keeping himself informed, and isn’t doing his job.
Which is WC’s point.
And a special WC Badge of Shame to Assemblywoman Nadine Winters who moved to reconsider the earlier decision to kill this stupid idea. Some ideas, like cat turds, are unworthy of further inspection.