Frank Murkowski: King Often Taken by Queenship8/21/06
The GOP side of the governor's race reminds one of a chess game, where right up until losing its King, the trailing team plunges forward-despite having been beaten far earlier. This one's a classic case of forgetting how powerful be the Queen.
Tuesday's the primary, so how about some political gamesmanship, regarding why you should elect someone outside the crony system-Sarah Palin. She alone can and will sweep the crony boards and help restore the People's rights.
For two terms, the Republican Might of Alaska has abused the system of constitutionally based governance. And if you didn't like it, you were supposed to be treated like a pawn and removed from the board-like when Frank Murkowski did not like the duly elected city councilmen at Adak speaking out against corruption, and had their testimonies redacted from a U.S. Senate hearing on Adak lands in May, 2002. Murkowski's office then placed "a very upset phone call" to the mayor of Adak, and ordered me (electric utility manager for the city, partner in Adak Power and Electric) off the island on the next plane. It was against his plans to have someone look out for the public's best interests and state that true development meant lower cost electricity.
I turned in a voice recording tape of a call from the mayor to my electric utility partner, during a federal case deposition (Larry Davison versus City of Adak, U.S. District Court, Anchorage) in December of 2004. Do you understand now why I had so much fun shaking Frank's hand for the first time this past month? And why he couldn't address the issue of massive product laundering involving fishery resources.
In 2002, Frank's office had also immediately taken the city councilmen letters sent to the Public Lands and Forests subcommittee (of Senate Commerce's Energy Committee) opposing fuel-gouging and other problems at Adak, and handed them to Ted Stevens' brother-in-law's law firm (Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot), into the hands of lobbyist Tom Albert-who, in crony crisis control mode, immediately faxed them to the Aleut Corporation (TAC) in Anchorage. They then immediately faxed the letters (wherein councilmen supported ensuring that public serving language regarding utilities actually stayed in the Adak Land Transfer Bill in 2002) to the mayor, who along with the vice mayor began to intimidate those councilmen, and me too.
The Aleut Corporation never had title to any land at Adak until several years later, long after the second-class city of Adak existed. The City was supposed to receive all public serving assets, and should also have been the proper authority to form a "community based organization" to receive any fishing rights at Adak. That's what the State's own documents (signed by Knowles) indicated when the Adak Reuse Corporation was appointed the second official Local Reuse Authority (under Base Realignment and Closure Act, the law in effect on the still federally-owned properties at Adak at that time).
The Aleut Corporation had no fish rights (to pollock or crab) at Adak until Ted nefariously gave them some in the Omnibus Rider (else why didn't Ted give them one of the Dutch Harbor plants owned by Japanese MNEs?). That's why we sued the federal government agencies (NMFS & the North Pacific Council) in January 2003 after TAC agents perjured themselves before the Council. So when you consider how Frank and Ted and friends have looked out for TAC and friends, instead of the public, you can see why I believe once-senator Frank Murkowski should be investigated for RICO, too. But given Ted's Boeing largesse (it was no surprise that co-crony Patty Murray joined him last week in China), we doubt any future residents at Adak will complain, as long as the caribou run free.
Add in the Ben Stevens "secret deal" to get 25% of the Adak fish processing rights, and given what that means in terms of senator Ted illegitimately enriching his own family at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and the Public Weal, followed on this track by the GOP cavalry (one being Art Hackney, the public relations Slick Oil salesman and Mr. Fixit for 'the Party' was also on the first Aleut Enterprise Board, a.k.a. AEC, with Ben) and you have a RICO trifecta. Add in the manner in which the U.S. Department of Commerce's EDA offices became embroiled in protecting Ted, and denying a proper FOIA request, hiding the proof so that we could not publicly expose the frauds and larcenies of misappropriated and missing federal funds, and you have a RICO case from its crony pillar to its criminal post.
It took the Knight of Ray Metcalfe's ethical Republican Moderate Party to block the Rook (Ben Stevens) from bee-lining it from an undeserved back row across the political board under the speedy hands of nepotism and corruption. But Ben's corruption days will soon be over; and with some luck, he'll likely take all the other horses with him-leading them right off the track into the grey-bar corral.
Like sure-footed hoofer Metcalfe, Sarah Palin already stood firm and helped scuttle the diagonal dealings of another GOP dark bishop (Randy Ruedrich) earlier. We trust that Palin will also conquer the obvious moves of the big money-backed GOP rook (Mr. Binkley) too. And if she's elected governor, we plan to ask her for an Office of Special Prosecutions investigation into why both Tony Knowles and then Frank Murkowski failed as governors, by making sure that the complaints to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska on the Adak Electric Utility were covered up. The school district and other ratepayers fell prey to price-gouging by TAC/AEC, while over $7 million in electricity went unbilled, and unpaid, despite 1999 orders to bill it-but that would have meant TAC paying a large part of the bill.
No other Alaskan utility was allowed such carte blanche rip offs of federal Economic Development Assistance funds (TAC never had any money of its own invested, as it swapped lands for Adak later), granted by Ted to Adak for other purposes, but taken instead by TAC/AEC and cronies. By extension, the lobbyists were also paid with the defrauded funds-giving them all the more reason not to challenge how federal funds were used. Hell, everyone was in on this except for the Navy's community service officer and my partner and I, as Adak saw millions upon millions larcenously pilfered, while Ted never lifted a finger, and Tony and Frank played parts in covering up the crimes.
Could it be that because former U.S. Attorney General Timothy Burgess once worked for Frank, passed the Bar with Lisa, and was appointed under Ted, that it explains why the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement's 40+ counts at Adak went unprosecuted, too? Instead, the AK-US-AG only let the Icicle and Adak Seafoods fine of $3.44 million go through (Ben's jointly and severally liable for that, as well). Are you listening, Sarah? We have a lot of reasons for seeing you elected, and you'll have your work cut out for you. But a good chess queen can handle it-once she cleans house across the State from commission boards to the AG offices.
So maybe Palin could use a little reassurance that the Public is behind her for governor: as never before. We're all fed up with corruption.
After returning from Alaska in 1978, while working at Peter Pan Seafoods, I wrote a poem about how the plant superintendents were looked at like kings of old. I'd worked that summer with a great one, Ole Lie (of NEFCO, Noyes Island fame), who was wise and stern, yet of good humor and understanding, and far from abusive like many often were-and sober, too. That shorter poem soon turned into a double stanza version, a strophe where the king's ill manner is offset by the powers of the queen. Truth will find a way.
In his book, "A Time for Truth," former Secretary of the Treasury William Simon advised that the way to stop bad government was to refuse to take any of its money-namely, the money from programs that corrupt politicians expect you to accept so that you will not complain about what's wrong. Simon also wisely pointed out that when you believe that "If you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain," you can easily fall prey to endorsing that corrupt system. He pointed out that the right to vote is inherent in one's citizenship, and the right not to exercise that vote is the correct choice when one is not presented with good choices.
That's how it would be were Murkowski to face Knowles-paired cronyism without choice. As former Secretary Simon advised, the check on that bad situation is when the winner knows that they may only be elected with as little as 21% of the total eligible voter population (as presidents have), and thus reside in a seat of power with the shaky knowledge that they did not have the people's mandate. Also, since our forefathers did not form a democracy (because crowd mentality and majority rule can be a disaster), we have a representative republic, and it is highly important to make sure that the chief representative in a state is the correct one.
William Simon testified before Congress more than any other American in history, something like over 430 times during his stint at Treasury. He had a pretty good handle on what was wrong and how to fix it. He defined our duty as starting on the local level to weed out bad politicians (or as the RMP would do, self police its own party) and to promote those who are looking out for the People. It is on the local level where to not vote can often be disastrous, because being a good citizen means knowing about local elections and issues, and voting where you are informed and where the choices are not always cast bronze beforehand.
That's what is so refreshing about Palin, as she proven the quality of her metal by breaking ranks with the good old boys, and being malleable to the People's will. She alone among the GOP candidates gets it right about how valuable Alaska's resources are, and she is not afraid to use the words when it comes to how multinational corporations are waging economic war regarding our Public Weal in resources. No other candidate comes even close to making sure that voters know that as governor, she will take to heart and sword the meanings of the state constitution regarding common use and maximizing the benefit to Alaskans from those resources. In short, she knows what the job's duties are, and plans to carry them out.
It was all too predictable that the corruption at United Fishermen of Alaska would blind them, and under the corporate pawnship of Bobby T. Jr., they obsequiously bowed to the falling King Murkowski and even endorsed Ben Stevens, in their respective races. That deliberate recklessness alone forever disqualifies UFA as a voice for fishermen. It will be remembered that they squandered the chance to endorse Palin early on-after she'd already taken the proper (anti-monopoly) stance on fisheries.
And UFA's recent sorry attempts to get out a message that they can support Palin "if and when" she wins the primary will be seen exactly for what they are-and such cowardice will not be forgotten. We can only hope that one of her first tasks as governor will be to order an investigation into the manner in which UFA holds elections of officers, and why UFA fails (as do others) to conduct itself as a properly run association. We need to tighten state laws so that never again can a minority of cronies swindle the governor's office using the words "united fishermen," without proof that an association truly represents the greater body of our fleets and fishery-dependent communities.
Palin's most outstanding position is that of more Accountability and Transparency!
Throughout the centuries people have yearned for leaders in whom they could place their trust. And it is time to end Alaska's rule by dynasty-seekers, too. We believe Palin will take the primary and that if elected Sarah will change the face of Alaska for the better. Without further adieu, we salute her with that poem.
THE PRICE HIGH --- YOUR LAND, YOUR HEAD
LOYALTY --- SUCH AS A KING DESERVES
It is true, I like to enjoin and amuse the commoners.
Love to descend to streets and observe their ways.
But, I should really travel down there much oftener,
And spread happiness to my serfs' every days.
Descending from his castle in gilded carriage,
Thru forest of green, past the fields they tender.
To visit his serfdom-a King, and his entourage.
Leaving behind house servants: along, the court jester.
How I love to appease the people of my land.
Bid them "Ho!," and "What a nice hog you've got."
Peasants, with love of my protection close at hand;
'Tis indeed a good gift, 'twill make pleasing pork for my pot.
Princes, nobles; earls, dukes and marquis,
On horses, in carriages, and hand-held canopies observed.
Traveling past commoners, who each his own way sees,
Not a King of glory, but a ruler constantly served.
Blessed by parentage and bestowed upon I with dowry,
Land!, with crops and rivers; and abundant stands of elm.
Behold my Queen!, that I have procured for all to see.
The lands so acquired expanding my power's realm.
Beautiful and calm, as on foot she strolls,
Amidst her maidens-in-attendance: giggling at paupers.
As if not these peasants she by marriage controls,
For, at fruit stands whence she abides, she barters.
Pleased to obey my every command! --- let it be said;
Follow in servitude, attain obsequiously in line.
Else for you, poor fellow, the price high-your Land, your head!
For, in the end, these and all else are and will be mine.
Smiling, laughingly, these ladies saunter onward.
Court jester in accompany brings laughs for all.
Crowd pleased by the occasion-none is bored.
Queen, ladies and paupers: all having a ball.
Work thee dutifully hard, pay my most bountiful taxes.
Plow my fields of grain, for there's a harvest to be gleaned.
And, lumber my multitudinous greens with axes;
For upon my wealth and power, ye are weaned.
Respected stands this lady, as all confer to her,
Most respectful loyalty, so earnest loyalty;
Such, through identity, and as no king could confer.
Heralding "Long live this Queen," shouted jubilantly.
For, but if not for I, their King,
Their successive lives would ensue bedarkened;
And they together no songs could sing.
For 'tis upon the bread of royalty they are enlivened.
She arrived from afar, in a not so awkward way,
Now here amongst these people for her willing to serve.
And showered with their gifts of love her every day.
Loyalty-regal and revered-such as a King should deserve.
April & May of 1978Stephen Taufen - Groundswell Fisheries Movement
A public watchdog and advocate for fishermen and their coastal communities. Taufen is an "insider" who blew the whistle on the international profit laundering between global affiliates of North Pacific seafood companies, who use illicit accounting to deny the USA the proper taxes on seafood trade. The same practices are used to lower ex-vessel prices to the fleets, and to bleed monies from our regional economy. Contact Stephen Taufen