The race that will have the greatest impact on Alaskans is not the much ballyhooed Senate race, where the winner will be one of 100 legislators, but the governor's race.
With the trans-Alaska oil pipeline (TAPS) now running 70 percent empty, the need for Alaska to have an additional source of revenue to prevent economic collapse is critically important. Why? Alaska is 90 percent reliant on revenue from an oil pipeline that is now 70 percent empty. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that TAPS throughput will decline to less than 500,000 barrels per day within five years. That is the consequence of a continual 6 percent average annual decline in TAPS throughput. Only high oil prices as part of the consequence of our invasion of Iraq, and the disruption of their significant oil output, in 2003, have saved Alaska from financial collapse.
October 29, 2010: The choice is clear; a governor who has fire in his eyes or one that has exhibited the backbone of a jellyfish. A governor who is willing to stand and take the heat, or one who has been hiding behind Sarah Palin's skirt for the last four years.
Ethan Berkowitz has earned my vote.
Sean Parnell has not.
I'm sorry, I cannot close my eyes and vote for Parnell simply because I am a Republican. I'd rather have a Democrat who moves right than a Republican who moves backwards any day.
Ethan Berkowitz is an intelligent man. As the Democratic candidate for governor, he has asked Bill Walker (primary Republican candidate for governor); to lead his all-Alaska Pipeline Team should Ethan become our next governor. For the benefit of all Alaskans, Bill Walker has accepted this offer. Ethan Berkowitz has put party politics with its re-tread rhetoric aside and selected the foremost expert in gas and oil issues by choosing Walker to join his cabinet. Ethan chose the best man for the job and we need to follow suit by voting for Ethan Berkowitz for governor.
To someone who has been active in the oil industry for 30-plus years and has been involved firsthand throughout that time in numerous investment decisions by major and independent oil companies, the answer clearly is Ethan Berkowitz.
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Geological Survey today released new estimates that the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska has a stunning one tenth of the oil previously estimated by federal scientists.
Ethan Berkowitz responded, "Sean Parnell authorized the biggest budgets and supported the biggest tax increase in state history. His policies led to a reduction of investment in oil and gas exploration and development. Simply, he put Alaska in harm's way, and today's devastating report from USGS show that the situation is more dire than initially feared. We are four years away from TAPS shutdown and economic collapse and Sean Parnell has failed to show the leadership we need to emerge safely from this jeopardy."
ANCHORAGE - KTUU Channel 2 and KIMO Channel 13 in Anchorage have confirmed that the Republican Governors Association has purchased nearly $275 thousand in advertising for Sean Parnell's campaign. The complete advertising buy statewide approaches $300 thousand.
Ethan Berkowitz responded: "First Sean bails out TransCanada and Exxon, and now Outsiders bail out his tanking campaign to the tune of $300 thousand bucks.
"It's more proof that Sean's zero ideas and zero accountability have caught up to him. And what is Sean's response? Does Sean man up and take action? No. He relies on Outside interests to save him.
"His Washington bailout sums up difference between our two campaigns: I have run a campaign supported by Alaskans, and based on giving Alaska back to Alaskans - Sean Parnell, on the other hand, did zero until the 11th hour, and then has Washingtonian Outsiders try to steal the election for him."
ANCHORAGE - Ethan Berkowitz has announced the fifth and final part of the Alaskan Ownership Stake: Restoring Accountability. Complete details are below and a copy of a sample scorecard is attached. Please contact Jon Blair with follow up questions or to schedule an interview with Ethan.
ANCHORAGE - Today Ethan Berkowitz offered a sneak preview of his new television commerical "Dirt" on YouTube. The ad will begin airing statewide tomorrow. The YouTube clip of the commercial also includes an outtake that shouldn't be missed. Full text of the new spot can be found below.
ANCHORAGE - Ethan Berkowitz had a strong reaction upon hearing the news that Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger was detained and handcuffed by a private security force hired by Senate candidate Joe Miller.
Berkowitz said, "In this country, journalists have a job to do, which includes exercising their rights and responsibilities under the First Amendment. A free press means that journalists must work without fear of muscle or muzzle."
ANCHORAGE - Bill Walker has committed to work with Ethan Berkowitz to finally deliver a gas pipeline. In a letter to Mr. Walker, Berkowitz stated that he believed that he and Walker shared a vision for Alaska's future and asked if Walker would commit to serving as an oil and gas adviser. Walker accepted. Copies of both letters are attached.
ANCHORAGE - Today acting Governor Sean Parnell admitted that ACES is a failure and must be changed. Acknowledging that the biggest tax increase in state history has failed and put our economy in jeopardy, Sean Parnell admitted, "We need a more competitive tax regime."
This shocking 180 degree turnaround came during a speech at the Resource Development Council in Anchorage.
Ethan Berkowitz responded, "This is a stunning admission of failure. Where was Sean? He showed zero leadership and now it is 2 weeks before an election. It's an election day conversion that shows he's getting increasingly desperate to save his sinking campaign. I don't buy it, and neither should Alaskans."
ANCHORAGE-- Ethan Berkowitz, the Democratic Party's candidate for Governor, again called on acting Governor Sean Parnell to take a stance on his stallwart support of Joe Miller. Miller was exposed Tuesday for having used Fairbanks Northstar Borough computers for political gain.
Berkowitz reacted: "Sean Parnell is handling the most recent Joe Miller scandal the way he has handled his entire acting Governorship - with zero response and abundant secrecy.
"At our debate Monday, Sean Parnell emphatically stated that he supports his party and their nominee. I told him that he could put party first, but I was putting Alaska first.
Wally Hickel described Alaska as "The Owner State." That's our legacy and our responsibility. We have an obligation, both moral and constitutional, to develop Alaska's bounty for the maximum benefit of Alaska's people. For too long, we've endured "leaders" who wait for others to take care of us and are content to rest on past achievements and hope that another boom comes our way. That timidity and passivity is dangerous in a changing world—the rest of the globe is moving forward while we stand still. It is time to show initiative and reject complacency. It is time to live up to the best of the Alaskan spirit and move forward boldly as the independent, self-reliant people we can and should be.
That's why, during this campaign, I've introduced a strategic, multi-part plan called "The Alaskan Ownership Stake." These proposals reflect Alaska's unique character and values. They are designed so we can stake a claim and take charge of our future.
"Through bashfulness, suspicion, and timorousness, (he) will not be seen abroad; (he) loves darkness as life and cannot endure the light or to sit in lightsome places; his hat still in his eyes, he will neither see, nor be seen by his good will. He dare not come in company for fear he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches, or be sick; he thinks every man observes him."—Hippocrates (400 BC)
Could someone please explain to me how it is that Alaska, populated as it is by men who know just what it is to be men, and by women who love our very manly qualities, how it is that we've elected a COMPLETE WUSS as our leader? Could someone please tell? Sean Parnell, a man who breaks into nightsweats at the prospect of ringing the Salvation Army bell at Christmas, is governor.
The TV commercial shows the buttoned-down Berkowitz in, yes, a buttoned-down plaid shirt and blue jeans (and bright orange construction vest: nice touch!) standing in front of a newly paved road. He's holding a copy of AGIA -- the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act -- pushed through by Gov. Sarah Palin and now supported by Parnell that, among other things, threw state support for a gas pipeline to TransCanada and Exxon Mobil and committed up to $500 million in state money for preliminary work on the project.
But now Berkowitz throws AGIA (literally) under the giant rollers of the yellow road compactor as it rumbles by.
"Sean Parnell is giving TransCanada and Exxon $500 million for a gas pipeline but didn't require them to build it," Berkowitz says. "Sean Parnell got rolled."
ANCHORAGE - The Berkowitz-Benson 'Energize Alaska' ticket came out of the gate with a strong start for the General Election, raising over $208,000 from 997 contributors in their first 5 weeks as a ticket.
The Berkowitz-Benson numbers for the reporting period August 25 - October 1 are:
Total Raised for Period: $208,002
Total Expenditures: $197, 632
Cash on Hand: $79,831
It is amusing that Gov. Sean Parnell is criticizing Democrat gubernatorial challenger Ethan Berkowitz for joining other House members in voting eight years ago to support a state income tax as Alaska faced a $1 billion shortfall.
You would think Parnell would be a trifle gun-shy about pointing fingers over tax issues.
There is no doubt Berkowitz should have made a different decision on an income tax, no matter the dire fiscal straits at the time, but Parnell - a governor during times of surplus - has a short memory. Read More...
Democratic candidate for Governor Ethan Berkowitz today proposed realigning the role of the Attorney General – to make certain that the AG independently represents the public, not the governor’s personal interests.
Berkowitz says it will avoid a possible abuse of power and could have prevented some of the ethical issues that have arisen over the past few administrations.
Berkowitz says he not change the current method of selecting the Attorney General – who appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. However, he would like to prevent the AG from being fired without cause – saying that would give the Department of Law more independence in its service to the public. Along with the separation of the two officers, the governor would have a legal counsel on his own staff to handle his own office’s legal needs. Read More...
Saying he wants to restore ethics in government and taking a clear swipe at Gov. Sean Parnell's controversial hiring of two legislators, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz on Friday proposed making the state attorney general an independent official separate from the governor's office.
Currently, the attorney general is chosen by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature. The AG represents the governor as well as the state but basically works for the governor. Read More...
FAIRBANKS — It's fine for Gov. Sean Parnell to go after Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz on his 2002 vote in favor of an income tax.
"In 2002, Ethan Berkowitz voted to implement a state income tax, which failed to become law. Separately, Governor Parnell has voted against creating such a tax," a press release from Parnell said last week.
Instead of just saying he would oppose the "tax lever," however, the governor should identify programs he would have eliminated or reduced to plug the $1 billion budget hole the state was facing in 2002. Read More...
ANCHORAGE - ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva has admitted to the London' Financial Times that they are "reassessing" their involvement in the natural gas pipeline. Ethan Berkowitz, the Democratic Party's candidate for Governor responded, "This is the final nail in the coffin for Sean Parnell's 'Gasline Success Ruse'."
"Sean Parnell has spent the majority of the year claiming that AGIA and the open season are a success, but refuses to release the numbers to back it up. Then he flipped, slipped, and let the real truth out, when he said just one week ago that the gasline was a 'project without a buyer, seller, shipper, or concrete plan.' Read More...
Anchorage, AK – Democratic candidate for Governor, Ethan Berkowitz, made the following statement after Bill Walker's announcement that he will not run as a write-in candidate in November's General Election:
"Bill and I have had a good relationship over the years, and we both share a commitment for seeing the All-Alaska line turned into a reality. As I have said before, I'd be honored to have Bill Walker be part of my administration and have a prominent role in negotiating the gasline." Read More...
Ethan Berkowitz is the biggest surprise in this gubernatorial election campaign. He does not even sound like a pesky Democrat when he's espousing his "Alaskan Ownership Stake" idea, which has left Gov. Sean 'Mr. Quo' Parnell in the dust. Read More...
We The Concerned were intrigued when you announced your candidate's three-part plan for Alaska's future, which you've dubbed the "Alaskan Ownership Stake." After all, it takes guts to be standing all alone out there in front of voters with a set of actual propositions, like a new bag of pet-store goldfish that your opponent is trying to poke holes in.
Part of your Alaskan Ownership Stake proposes an escrow account to which Alaskans can contribute part or all of their annual Permanent Fund dividend checks, in order to own a piece of a natural gas line running from the North Slope to somewhere. We The Concerned have been waiting for an opportunity to use our checks on something more future-oriented than credit card bills, airfare, home entertainment gear, and gourmet vittles from D'Artagnan. But since we started hearing more about your whole plan, we've grown increasingly concerned.
We're not concerned in the same manner as your opponent, Gov. Sean Parnell, however. His campaign's assertion that Alaskans chipping in on a gasline would cost the state jobs was pretty well deflated a short while after it was made. No, we're not worried about Alaskans' jobs. In fact, it looks like your plan is pointed toward making Alaskans, collectively and individually, live a more self-reliant lifestyle. Read More...
Alaska's business environment would hugely benefit by decreasing corporate income taxes and eliminating the tax altogether for ventures making less than $90,000 in annual profits, the state's Democratic nominee for governor said Tuesday.
Gubernatorial candidates met Monday at an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce debate and said basically the same things you've heard them say for the past few months about, pick one, the need for a gas line, tweaking oil taxes, fighting the federal government and so on. Read More...
Soldotna, AK –Appearing in the first Gubernatorial Debate for the 2010 General Election, Democratic candidate Ethan Berkowitz stressed the need to jump start Alaska's faltering economy. Berkowitz reminded voters that Alaska has been ranked dead last by national reports in terms of business opportunities and the business climate.
"All talk and no action is not acceptable in the Governor's mansion. Sean Parnell should change his campaign slogan to 'Talk is My Action'," Berkowitz said. "Too many Alaskans are looking for work, especially down here on the Kenai Peninsula. It's out of touch the $500 million bailout Sean Parnell gave to TransCanada/Exxon for a 'pig in a poke' pipeline while ignoring the loss of Agrium and good paying peninsula based jobs. Alaskans are saying 'we want our gas now, and we want Alaskan jobs now'…Sean Parnell says 'let them eat cake'." Read More...
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." Read More...
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaskan Independence Party was deciding Friday night who will be its gubernatorial candidate in the general election -- and possibly ending several days of speculation whether Bill Walker would continue his race for governor. Read More...
With an economic monster scuttling around in the state's fiscal attic, it is nothing short of astounding that so many Alaskans -- at least those who bothered to vote in last week's Republican primary -- seem satisfied to embrace the status quo in the state's top office. Read More...
Gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz wants to give individual Alaskans a chance to own a piece of the proposed North Slope gas pipeline.
Berkowitz, a Democrat, rolled out on Friday the idea of allowing Alaskans to decide to invest all or a portion of their Permanent Fund dividend check in a new state corporation that would help finance the pipeline. Read More...
Ethan Berkowitz's opposition to the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, the state's strategy to build a natural gas pipeline, seem to resonate with voters in the Democratic primary for governor. Read More...