With Parnell, Republicans do not have a legitimate candidate
Alaska Dispatch - September 14, 2010
The Alaska Republican Party has called for unity. The party desires to dissuade the potential for third party or write-in candidacies that might take away support from Republican gubernatorial candidate Gov. Sean Parnell.
The Alaska Republican Party's call for unity where the gubernatorial race is concerned comes at too high a price. Unfortunately, the Republican Party of Alaska has set itself up for failure in its selection of a gubernatorial candidate.
Parnell is dirty. His transgressions against our state constitution require his removal. He openly worked to circumvent Article II, Section 5 of the state constitution:
"No legislator may hold any other office or position of profit under the United States or the State. During the term for which elected and for one year thereafter, no legislator may be nominated, elected, or appointed to any other office or position of profit which has been created, or the salary or emoluments of which have been increased, while he was a member. This section shall not prevent any person from seeking or holding the office of governor, secretary of state, or member of Congress. This section shall not apply to employment by or election to a constitutional convention."
Gov. Sean Parnell acted to circumvent Article II, Section 5 in his appointments of sitting legislators to positions created especially for them.
He did so with open eyes and full knowledge of the law. Parnell is an attorney and a former legislator. How can he have acted otherwise?
How is it that a common citizen can be held to the full measure of the law having acted in ignorance, but our governor is above the law and without reproach?
Does the Alaska Republican Party leadership really think that Democrat Ethan Berkowitz and the Democratic Party will ignore this blatant and illegal conduct?
Parnell should be encouraged to resign. He is the anathema of what the Republican Party stands for in its platform and bylaws. Unfortunately, the rest of the party leadership is silent on Parnell's egregious breach of ethics and violation of the law.
It is obvious that the Alaska Republican Party is putting Alaska last in its keeping Gov. Sean Parnell as its candidate.
One also has to wonder, where is Sarah Palin in all of this? After all, Parnell was her number two. Sarah campaigned on integrity, yet she is silent on Sean's lack thereof. Does she really believe that his violations of his oath and his disrespect for the state constitution and our rule of law will not rub off on her reputation? After all, silence is assent under the law. Sarah's silence means Sarah's agreement with Parnell's conduct in violating Article II, Section 5 of the state's constitution.
Does the state constitution mean so little to those in power that it can be so demeaned and mocked by this governor?
Where was the Legislature in all of this?
Is there any integrity left in Juneau?
Worse is the fact that 44,924 Alaskans voted for Parnell.
Does that mean he gets a free pass?
Will Parnell's contempt for Alaska's constitution be allowed to stand because this is an election year?
I am a Republican. I believe in a rule of law. I believe in integrity. I believe that our state constitution is Alaska's supreme law. That is why I am incensed over Parnell's continuing to avoid the consequences of his violations of Article II, Section 5. Ignorance of the law is a specious, meritless excuse.
Try the ignorance of the law argument with the judge at your next traffic ticket hearing.
Gov. Sean Parnell needs to act honorably, as have Nancy Dahlstrom and Gene Therriault in resigning their illegal appointments, and step down as the party's gubernatorial candidate.
No one is above the law, including the governor.
Alaska Dispatch Commentary
Larry Wood is a 56-year resident of Alaska and a businessman living in Palmer, Alaska.