WC Gets Mail: Senator Pete Kelly’s Defenders


Sen. Pete Kelly (Stock photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

WC recently received an email from an anonymous Pete Kelly supporter, accusing WC of “distorting” Senator Kelly’s position. And failing to acknowledge the sacrifices Senator Kelly makes by serving in the state senate. (Grammar tips, Mr. Anonymous: the possessive “its” doesn’t take an apostrophe. And it’s “They’re,” not “their.”)

So, yeah, let’s remember to thank Senator Pete Kelly and the Alaska Senate’s Republican majority.

Without their unrelenting obstructionism, their idiocy and economic ignorance, Alaska wouldn’t have had its bond rating downgraded. Again. That makes financing capital improvements even more expensive because, by any objective measure, the State of Alaska is an increasingly lousy credit risk. All that deferred maintenance will be that much pricier when it finally get done. Not that long ago Alaska’s bonds were top-rated. Now we’re headed to junk bond status. Alaska has gone from highest to third lowest on your watch. Nice work!

And Alaska just set an all-time record for consecutive years with a decline in the state’s gross domestic product. Four years! The longest continuous decline since statehood! Well done, Senator Kelly. High school seniors graduating this year spent their entire high school careers in a the recession you helped create.

And those unlucky high school seniors are graduating into a workplace where jobs are vanishing like Pete Kelly’s dreams of being elected governor. Alaska now has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation. Good luck, graduating seniors.

In past recessions, graduating high school students could cope with a recession by heading to college, deferring their entry into the workplace. And possibly picking up skills that might increase their chances of landing a job. But the unrelenting cuts to the University of Alaska budget have jacked the price of tuition and fees beyond the means of many students. And no one with the brains of a chunk of Birch Creek schist wants to incur a bunch of student debt with no clear chance at a job.

Oh, and wages are falling as well – a logical consequence of high unemployment, to anyone with any grasp of elementary economics. A group which evidently excludes the Republican majority controlling the state senate.

Back in 1971, WC was briefly dragooned into fighting a wildfire along the Richardson Highway at Little Salcha River bridge. The fire had destroyed two homes. WC ineffectually chopped at smoking ruins with his pulaski, looking for hot spots. The heat, mess and stench were pretty bad. But that’s nothing compared to the smoking ruins that Senator Kelly and his Republican colleagues are making of the Alaska economy.

And don’t get WC started on the long-term effects of depleting the state’s savings accounts. Or the brain drain Alaska is suffering as Alaska’s best and brightest look outside Alaska for their futures.

So, no, Mr. Anonymous. WC is not distorting Senator Kelly’s position. If anything, WC isn’t being critical enough. And as for those “sacrifices,” WC hasn’t heard that Senator Kelly has foregone his generous stipend or salary to help out with the budget. Especially when it is mostly his fault that the Legislature is now in yet another special session to accomplish work that should have been done in the regular session.

And Mr. Anonymous? It’s spelled “idiot,” not “idiut.” Just saying.

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