Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Rat Island"

   Evidently unsatisfied with doing nothing, Alaska legislatures bailed out on their job. Above & beyond the hard work passing “vacation resolutions” and - most disgustingly of all - corrupting bills beyond recognition of their original intent, as in the case of the shameless politicization of Erin's Law:
The original bill was three pages. The committee substitute is 12. “I’m really concerned that it might take the focus away and might be a little more controversial,” Senator Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) said at Tuesday’s hearing. Millett responded in agreement, stating her belief that the CS “basically guts the bill and takes the meat of the bill away.”
   Since push came to shove after the call for a special session to specifically address a balanced budget, expansion of Medicare and bill mentioned above (update: read more on the response to the Alaskan legislature's pollution of Erin's Law from its creator here) they decided to take their toys and first go home, then go play in their own newly-remodeled sandbox litterbox. And irrespective of any prudent fiscal planning during the budgetary implosion, they bought a lot of litter where they can continue essentially crapping on the will of the electorate:
The Legislature paid $7.5 million to renovate the building, which has long housed the Anchorage delegation in the interim. It then signed a 10-year lease for the space. All costs included, the 10-year price tag for the building is estimated at about $45.5 million.
   With the budget veto from Gov. Walker, these charlatans now sets the stage for a potential state government shutdown, which arguably is only an accelerated variation of what some of the principle members ultimately envision while laboring to dismantle and cripple key functions of government. Regardless of citizen input, the legislature continues to turn a deaf ear to constituents:
After public comment closed on the state operating budget, Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, and Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, moved to reduce education formula funding by 4 percent, introducing an unexpected funding gap of about $47.5 million in state funds to districts across Alaska. The formula funding decrease had not been previously debated or presented as a likely option, and it took residents by surprise.
   Their brazen arrogance is hand-in-mitten with their behind-the-scenes maneuvering:
"Kelly and MacKinnon took the House budget bill, HB 72, which added another $125 million in cuts to the $250 million in cuts proposed by Gov. Bill Walker’s budget and decided to make even further cuts without, apparently, discussing it with their own caucus. And they did it with zero public input. The primary victims of the additional cuts? Public education..."
   A note that in all the years of observing the spectrum of political shenanigans this state has exhibited, I have yet to see anything - save possibly the Corrupt Bastards - close to the overwhelmingly outraged public sentiment being expressed (Updated: take for example Wickersham's Conscience here , the Alaska Journal of Commerce here, and a succinct breakdown + analysis from What Do I know here). These fools and frauds are right to remain cloistered, defensive and afraid, as there will be no amount of gerrymandering that will save their reputation or careers come next election.

"You dun messed up" (Hat-Tip/via Steve)

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