It's been rightly noted that politics is downstream from culture. Legislators we elect and legislation they pass are often just a reflection of what is being talked about, believed in and lived out in communities. I do believe that good law can and has transformed society and that is why Alaska Family Action continues to exist as a public policy ministry. At the same time, the Body of Christ (individuals) are called to live as "servants of God", to "honor everyone" and in doing so, to be salt and light in a fallen world. 1 Peter 2:13-17
How are each of us called to live out that Truth personally as we do our part to protect innocent human life made in God's image ?
With Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2015 quickly approaching, I'm privileged to pass along one possible opportunity for you from CPC Community Pregnancy Center of Anchorage. Here's an alert for pastors and to pass along to pastors from my friend Bill Donovan who serves a Executive Director of this profoundly important ministry. For those of you outside of Anchorage, be sure to scroll to the bottom for other opportunities and resources around the state and nation.
Sunday, January 18, has been chosen to be Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in remembrance of the infamous court ruling on January 22, 1973, known as Roe v. Wade, legalizing most abortions nationwide. In response to the women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies, CPC has, for the past 30 years, offered hope and life affirming encouragement to all who enter our doors.
The American Church is not immune from suffering the devastating effects of abortion. Research indicates that one in three women chose abortion for their unborn baby last year and 37% identified themselves as Protestants. This means that many of these women are sitting in your church pews. And many of these women chose abortion because of the stigma of being pregnant and unmarried in the church. We have to give these women a safe place to choose LIFE for their baby and a safe place to heal from their abortion, if they didn’t.
At a recent pastors’ lunch hosted by CPC, many pastors shared the difficulty in speaking on this issue from the pulpit. We recognize this, too, but know God’s love is the only love that will heal their broken hearts, allow them to find forgiveness and provide freedom from their past decision. We shouldn’t allow anything to keep us from sharing this message of hope and forgiveness. For the many women who experienced abortion this last year, let’s not make them suffer for the next 20 or 30 years until they find healing. Let the body of Christ embrace them so they can surrender their secret.
Politics and culture have high-jacked the issue of abortion and with so many Christians rightly entering the public square to protect and defend LIFE and with many pastors being silent on the issue, are we unintentionally creating a culture of secrecy and shame for the post-abortive woman? This does not reflect the way God deals with His hurt and broken people. As the body of Christ, we have to take back the issue of abortion from the public square, bring it in the church and allow God to transform the lives of hurting women and men, through forgiveness, and restoration and, ultimately, freedom from their past decision.
I want to encourage you to consider dedicating a portion of your service on Sunday, January 18, to honor life and pray for the unborn. Pray for the women who are considering abortion that they would choose LIFE. Pray for organizations like Community Pregnancy Center that are making a difference in the hearts and lives of mothers, fathers and their babies. Pray for the women who have had an abortion that they will find healing and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
I’ve included a list of resources that will help you prepare your message on the Sanctity of Human Life. Also, we’d ask that you make your congregation aware of the bible study for post abortive women CPC offers called Surrendering the Secret. This eight week study meets privately and is completely confidential. Please share this with your church body and encourage them to go to our website to find more information. We have bulletin announcements and powerwpoint slides that are available, as well.
We want to help and equip you to offer a safe place for hope, healing and restoration. We are happy to provide a speaker or additional resources. Please contact us at 337-9292 or you can email me at the email address: [email protected]. Or Sheri Schmitz at [email protected]
Focus on the Family- www.beavoice.net
Other Pregnancy Centers in Alaska - Ramah International- ramahinternational.org
Abort73 - www.abort73.com
Surrendering The Secret- www.surrenderingthesecret.com
Hope for a Better Alaska
Do you have hope for a better Alaska ? Hope for our families and our freedoms ?
Since 2007, Alaska Family Council and our political arm, Alaska Family Action, has worked to protect and advance foundational values. Values that have been under increasing attack in the Courts, in the culture and in Juneau where laws are advanced or thwarted.
We are just weeks away from the start of another legislative session and we have much to look forward to despite falling oil prices that will have real impact on Alaskans.
Will you join us in standing tall to advance a better vision for Alaska ? One where every unborn Alaskan is cherished and protected ? Where a culture is rebuilt that truly understands the meaning and purpose of marriage ? Where timeless truths are given a voice in the media, in our churches and in the hallways in our State Capitol ?
As we prepare for the 2015 legislative session, we know that we will once again be outnumbered by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other anti-family forces with much bigger budgets than our ministry.
Whether we're working to pass legislation to promote and defend foundational values (more on that in another email as we are now meeting with allied legislators to develop strategies) or we're blocking legislation that threatens life, families, and freedoms, we can't do this on our own.
We’re counting on your financial support. Would you be willing to make a year-end gift today that will help us prepare for the 2015-16 legislative session ?
Despite being out-numbered and out-financed at every turn, we've had much success in representing your values in Juneau and across our state. I am convinced that is because we have two things - God's Truth on our side and partners like you.
This year, as you decide where to place your year-end gifts, please consider Alaska Family Action or Alaska Family Council. Your gift today will go directly to our legislative and judicial efforts. We intend to stay fully engaged, but we can only do that with your help.
From our small staff and dedicated Board, have a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!
P.S. The Legislative session is less than six weeks away. We can’t put this off. We have to equip our team. Please help us plan by contributing today.
Common Core In Alaska - What You Need To Know
Alaska Family Council highly recommends the following opportunity December 9th and 10th at the BP Energy Center to learn more about how the Alaska Education Standards are nearly identical to the Common Core. Click HERE to see how this massive Government overreach should frighten every Alaskan - whether you're a liberal or a conservative. We also commend Representative Lora Reinbold for taking the lead on this vital issue.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Unknown
Last week, the Division of Elections certified the final results of the Nov. 4 election, thus closing the books on the 2014 election cycle. So it’s a good time to take stock of what happened: the GOOD, theBAD, and the UGLY. And this year, we add a new category – the UNKNOWN. Happily, in 2014, the good news dramatically outweighs the other stuff. So there’s much to be grateful for as we usher in December and prepare for the celebration of the Christ child.
1) U.S. Senate: Not surprisingly, the U.S. Senate race tops our list of good news. By defeating Mark Begich and electing Dan Sullivan, Alaska contributed to the national wave election that will soon bring a merciful end to the liberal, Democratic regime that has controlled the U.S. Senate for eight long, painful years. And, as he indicated in his responses to our survey, Sullivan supports pro-family policies across the board. We look forward to building a strong relationship with our new United States Senator.
2) Planned Parenthood’s Drained Bank Account:Dan Sullivan’s victory also represents a bitter defeat for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. They spent gobs of money trying to convince Alaska voters, especially women, that Dan Sullivan was somehow “anti-woman” – just because he was pro-life, and just because he agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court that business owners have the same constitutionally protected religious liberty as everyone else does. Thankfully, this absurd “War on Women” propaganda fell flat on its face – not just in Alaska, but throughout the country. That dog don’t hunt anymore.
3) Improved State Senate: We celebrated two years ago when we helped bring an end to the liberal coalition that controlled the State Senate. Thankfully, in 2014 that victory was further solidified. Liberal Democrat Hollis French has retired from the Senate. His replacement will be Republican Mia Costello, who is aligned with us on many important issues.
4) Planned Parenthood Loses Again: The U.S. Senate race wasn’t Planned Parenthood’s only setback. The leader of the abortion industry spent big this year on Alaska legislative races. It was not a happy experience for them. Planned Parenthood endorsed 6 non-incumbent candidates who were running for State Senate seats. Result? 0 wins, 6 losses. In the State House, their track record was not much better: of 12 non-incumbent candidates endorsed, they had 1 win and 11 defeats (the one win being Matt Claman’s razor-thin 91-vote victory over Anand Dubey in District 21).
5) Pro-life women re-elected: Planned Parenthood’s obvious priority in the 2014 legislative races was to punish several pro-life women who voted for SB 49, the bill we helped to pass this year to stop taxpayer funding of elective abortions. Of course, most of this abortion money has been flowing into the coffers of Planned Parenthood. (Hell hath no fury like an organization that feels entitled to a government subsidy – and then has it taken away). So Planned Parenthood tried mightily to defeat the following women: Senator Cathy Giessel, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, Rep. Mia Costello, and Rep. Cathy Munoz. And once again, they failed – and all four of these ladies will be back in the Capitol come January 2015. So there really was a “War on Women” in 2014: Planned Parenthood’s war against women legislators who dared to oppose their radical agenda.
1) Wrong track in State House: Democrats picked up two seats in the House of Representatives. Because of this, the Democratic representation on standing committees in the Legislature will increase, as explained in this Alaska Dispatch article here.
Alaska Family Action is a non-partisan organization, and on occasion we’ve worked with elected Democrats to advance good public policy. But we also have to be realistic and observe that the current Democratic caucus in the State House has shown an unrelenting hostility toward virtually the entire pro-life and pro-family agenda. Case in point: the vote on Senate Bill 49 earlier this year, to end taxpayer subsidies for elective abortions. Although the bill passed by a vote of 23 to 17, not a single Democrat in the State House voted for it. The two new Democrats elected this month, Adam Wool of Fairbanks and Matt Claman from Anchorage, don’t show any sign of deviating one bit from this dreary, left-wing conformity in the Democratic tribe. We still have a Republican majority in the House, and it’s still possible for good legislation to pass. But the Nov. 4 election results certainly won’t make it any easier to accomplish good things in the State House.
1) No hope in dope: The passage of Ballot Measure 2, legalizing recreational use of marijuana, was not a huge surprise. After all, the pro-legalization campaign enjoyed an enormous financial advantage – spending about 9 dollars for every one dollar that opponents had. Yet the measure did not win by a landslide… almost 47 percent of voters said “no” to legalization.
I suspect that when some of the ill effects of legalization begin to show up in our schools, in our workplaces, and on our roads, the “love affair with weed” will come to an abrupt end. The voters have granted this new liberty; they can also take it away. Alaskans are right to resist laws that are overly intrusive, but most of us understand that some limits on personal freedom can be necessary to protect the common good of society. There are such things as speed limits, public nuisance laws, anti-trust laws, etc. – all of which recognize that one person’s notion of “freedom” can be a source of oppression or even danger to someone else. True freedom can flourish only under a system of ordered liberty, not under anarchy. One thing is for sure: the passage of Ballot Measure 2 doesn’t signify the end of the legalization debate. We’re just getting started.
1) Governor Bill Walker: You knew we weren’t going to overlook this! We took a very vocal position supporting the re-election of Governor Parnell, and we’re obviously disappointed that the Parnell-Sullivan ticket came up short on Election Day. Out of 279,498 total votes cast, the margin of victory for the Walker-Mallott ticket over the Parnell-Sullivan ticket was only6,225 votes. That works out to 14 votes per precinct. It was a close election.
The narrow margin here should make us think very carefully about the role that 3rd parties play. For example, the conservative “Alaska Constitution Party” ticket of J.R. Meyers for Governor & Maria Rensel for Lt. Gov. received 6,996 votes. If those 6,996 votes had gone to the Parnell-Sullivan ticket, the outcome of the Governor’s race would be different. The Constitution Party is pro-life, supports the traditional definition of marriage, and favors educational choice. At the risk of stating the obvious, when conservative voters are divided, we lose. When we sing from the same sheet of music, we win.
In our first announcement that we were supporting Governor Parnell’s re-election, we acknowledged that Bill Walker and his wife Donna have been long-time supporters of Alaska Family Council and Alaska Family Action. It was precisely because of that long-time support that we were both alarmed and dismayed when Walker made public comments that seemed designed to assure liberal Democrats that his traditional beliefs on issues like life and marriage wouldn’t lead to any public policy action that might give them heartburn.
For example, Walker all but promised that he would abandon the state’s appeal of an outrageous ruling by one federal judge that struck down our constitutional definition of marriage. On the issue of abortion, he promised that he would take no initiative to advance protection of the unborn (“not on my radar screen”) – which naturally compelled a response from us. We feel like words have meaning. You can’t say, “I’m pro-life” – and then say you’re disinterested in advancing any public policy proposal that would help protect the lives of the approximately 1,400 unborn children who are killed by abortion every year in Alaska.
Having said all that, Bill Walker has repeatedly said that he hasn’t changed his core values. Shortly after his controversial remarks on abortion, he told the Alaska Dispatch: “I’m still the same last week as I am this week, last year as I am this year. I gave up nothing in the way of my core values. I was not asked to give up anything.”
If that’s true, then I’m very glad to hear it. Bill Walker will be sworn in as Governor in la few days. Our approach as a pro-family advocacy group will be simple: we will give Governor Walker the benefit of the doubt. We will take his words at face value, that he has not abandoned any fundamental principle or value. In terms of our legislative goals in Juneau, we will pursue exactly the same public policies that we would have if Governor Parnell had been re-elected. And then we will form an opinion about the Walker Administration in the same way that all Alaskans will: by judging his performance. Because actions always speak louder than words.
For right now, will you please join me in praying for Bill Walker? Pray that God will give him great wisdom as he appoints people to key positions of leadership in state government. Pray that he will have a healthy and productive relationship with the state Legislature. Pray that he will seek God’s wisdom in all the controversial decisions that will land on his desk over the next four years.
Finally, pray for us at Alaska Family Action – that we may be filled with the same wisdom, and learn how to adapt to all the enormous changes in state government that will occur in the coming weeks and months.
Time To Call Nome
Nome, Alaska has made national news but this time it has nothing to do with dog mushing.
In an attempt to address budget shortfalls, the Nome City Council is voting TONITE on whether to tax churches and other nonprofits. We wrote about this issue earlier but it's coming to a vote tonite. Currently, Nome issues sales tax exemption certificates to nearly 80 governmental and nonprofit entities including eleven (11) churches or ministries. The wide variety of groups includes a teen center, food bank, veteran organizations and legal services for low-income Alaskans.
I spoke with a tax assessor at the State of Alaska this morning and he told me that as far as he knows, every Municipality, Borough and governing body that has a sales tax in place provides this exemption to churches and nonprofit organizations. It just makes sense.
If the Nome City Council approves the ordinance tonight, we can count on this being just the beginning. If they can eliminate sales tax exemptions in Nome, they can eliminate property tax exemptions in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Southeast.
Please do your part now as a concerned Alaskan and contact one or more members of the Nome City Council to let them know this is bad policy. Here are a few talking points to get you started but the main thing is for you to take a few minutes right now and contact one or more of the members below and tell them to NOT REMOVE the sales tax exemption for churches and nonprofits.
- Taxes on churches and other nonprofits would decrease the programs and services they provide to the community.
- Churches and nonprofits provide considerable benefits to the community and generally do so much more efficiently and effectively than the Government can.
- Long before we had Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, religious and nonprofit organizations were providing essential services to society.
- It is critical that Alaska maintains a healthy and robust nonprofit sector for those falling through the cracks or becoming dependent on Governmental programs.
Here are the names and contact info for Nome City Council members. Please contact them right away as they are voting on this issue at their meeting TONITE.
Tom Sparks - [email protected] - (907)443-5485
Louis Green Sr. - [email protected] - (907)443-5892
Randy Pomeranz - [email protected] - (907)443-5901
Stanley C. Andersen - (907)304-9104
Jerald Brown - [email protected] - (907)443-4307
Matt Culley - [email protected] - (907)443-3686
Click HERE for a great article on a ballot initiative in Colorado nearly 20 years ago on the same subject that eventually was obliterated at the polls. An incredibly diverse group of nonprofits stood together and demonstrated how wrong-headed this type of tax can be.
Wrong Side of History
The seismic cultural changes all around us regarding marriage and sexuality can be disheartening. With views on same-sex marriage changing so fast, what kind of culture and community can we expect our children and grandchildren to be living in 5, 10 or 20 years from now?
How many of your friends and family members have "evolved" on this important issue ?
Is it inevitable that such massive changes to the foundations of society will keep unfolding ?
Are we on the "wrong side of history" for holding a Biblical, natural view of marriage and sexuality ? We don't want to be on the wrong side of history do we ?
This is a question many of us are often asked in light of marriage and we should be ready to respond.
In this short, six-minute video from The Gospel Coalition, John Piper, Tim Keller and Don Carson address how to discuss your core beliefs in light of cultural shifts in law and public opinion.
As Piper points out, Scripture makes it abundantly clear that there will be a time when we most definitely want to be on the "wrong side of history" depending on one's definitions of terms.
At the same time, as Keller reminds us, we can always sincerely ask people if there are any historical trends going on right now in the world that they disagree with or that they don't like. Most often, they will say "of course there are" which means they are now on the "wrong side of history" themselves. Shouldn't we, as believers in natural marriage, also have the right to stand against an historical trend we disagree with?
Ultimately, the most important part of all of history is for each of us to know of and be grateful for how our story and His story intersect. We are fallen and walking away from freedom in Christ. God has intervened on our behalf. That is a history lesson we all need to be reminded of and grateful for.
Romans 15:4 " For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."
Should Alaskan Churches Be Taxed ?
Should churches be taxed in Alaska ?
According to an article recently in the Catholic Anchor, it appears the Nome City Council is looking to move in that direction by removing the sales tax exemption churches and other non-profits in the area have had.
Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, a national legal organization we regularly partner with, have some great thoughts on this issue that every religious liberty loving Alaskan should be familiar with.
SHOULD CHURCHES BE TAX-EXEMPT ?
Eric Stanley - Senior Legal Counsel
Director of Church Projects
Why is your church tax exempt? Why should it continue to be tax exempt? If I were to sit down and ask you these questions, would you have a clear and coherent answer? I suspect this is something we seldom think about. After all, tax exemption for churches has always been given and we assume, because of its historical longevity, it always will be given.
The fact that most Americans cannot explain why their church is tax exempt indicates a forgotten history and is emblematic of a society that has systematically devalued the church as a beneficial societal institution.
Whenever I litigate a case about church tax exemption or Pulpit Freedom Sunday, the inevitable media comments go something like this: “Churches should pay taxes just like everyone else! They have tons of money, so why can’t they pay their fair share? Why should churches get a free ride? Make them pay!” Comments like these are more prevalent today than any other time I can remember.
Cases involving local governments attempting to tax churches are also becoming more prevalent. For example, Alliance Defending Freedom litigated and won a case against the City of Mission, Kansas, for attempting to impose a “driveway tax” on churches. Or consider the case of Liberty Assembly of God in New Hampshire which was slapped with a property tax bill simply because the local taxing authorities rifled through the church buildings and concluded that because some rooms were “untidy,” the church was not using them for a religious purpose.
So why should churches be tax exempt? There are very sound and valid reasons for church tax exemption. First, there is the “social benefit” theory of tax exemption. This recognizes the fact that churches provide great benefits to society by their good works. Churches minister to the poor and needy in the community, provide numerous social services for the downtrodden among us, and reach out to the “least of these” in thousands of different ways. The social benefit theory justifies tax exemption for churches as a kind of bargain – churches provide needed services, so they are entitled to tax exemption.
Click HERE to read the rest of this blog.
6th Circuit Rules for Natural Marriage
Earlier this year, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, widely known as one of the most liberal Justices on the bench, said the likelihood of the high Court taking up the marriage issue would largely depend on what the Sixth Circuit did with the issue. In her words, if the Sixth Circuit (representing Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) upheld the state's definitions of marriage between one man and women, "there will be some urgency" for the United States Supreme Court to put it on their to do list.
Consider this an alarm.
Earlier today, the Sixth Circuit ruled that laws in each of those states that define marriage as a relationship between a man and woman are constitutional.
The Court said it would be inappropriate of them to make a final determination on the issue of marriage:
"Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for the matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us -- just two in truth -- to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee." Click here to read the actual ruling.
Finally, they concluded that the legislative arena is the better place to resolve political debates over social issues:
"In just eleven years, nineteen States and a conspicuous District, account for nearly forty-five percent of the population, have exercised their sovereign powers to expand a definition of marriage that until recently was universally followed going back to the earliest days of human history. That is a difficult timeline to criticize as unworthy of further debate and voting. When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.
For this reason, we reverse."
This decision comes only four weeks after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of other decisions ruling that marriage is unconstitutional including the outrageous abuse of power by Alaska District Court Judge Tim Burgess.
Judge Burgess and the Sixth Circuit Judge's ruling couldn't be farther apart in terms of judicial philosophy. Now it looks as though we might see where the U.S. Supreme Court comes down on what has become the most important public discussion we've had as a country since Roe v Wade in 1973.
Stay tuned and be of good cheer.
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
If you've already voted, thanks for doing your part.
If you haven't yet, please vote your values and remind at least one other person to get to the polls today.
Here's a short summary of the recommendations Alaska Family Action has made regarding today's General Election -
For additional information on other candidates, please visit akvoter.com to review our 2014 Values Voter Guide.
U.S. Senator - Dan Sullivan
Governor - Sean Parnell
NO on Ballot Measure 2
State Senate District N - Cathy Giessel
State Senate District K - Mia Costello
House District 15 - Gabrielle LeDoux
House District 22 - Liz Vazquez
House District 16 - Don Hadley
On Election Day, what’s on your radar screen?
PROTECTING LIFE: “I am pro-life but…. It is not on my radar screen to introduce new legislation in this area.” - Bill Walker, Interview with Fairbanks Daily News Miner, 08-14-14
DEFENDING MARRIAGE: “Despite my personal views on marriage… pursuing expensive litigation that has little chance of victory is an unwise use of our dwindling resources.” - Bill Walker, Official campaign news release, 10-12-14
REFORMING THE JUDICIARY: “No, I do not believe we have an activist court… I don’t see a particular problem with the [Alaska Judicial] Council at this point… So that’s not where I’m going to spend my time, on the judicial process of how the judges are selected… I’ll leave that alone.” - Bill Walker, Alaska Public Media Debate, 10-29-14
Last Thoughts on the Race for Governor
Bill Walker told us a few weeks ago, “I am not running on social issues.” Nevertheless, issues like abortion and same-sex marriage have haunted his campaign. Candidates often say they’re not runningon social issues, but they never succeed in running from them – for the obvious reason that a whole bunch of voters take these issues very seriously. Yet “running away” from social issues is precisely what Bill Walker has been trying to do.
Let’s consider the subject of abortion for a moment. Many candidates and political consultants view abortion as just a political football – a symbolic wedge issue that, if handled correctly, can win certain blocs of voters to your side. But when fumbled, it can suddenly shift the momentum of the entire campaign to your opponent. Unfortunately, the news media has been trained to view the abortion issue in this same light. It’s all about political drama and gamesmanship, while the deeper meaning of the issue is completely ignored.
What is the deeper meaning? In 2013, the lives of 1,450 unborn children in our state were ended by abortion. Too many Alaskans view such statistics with a clinical detachment. They don’t see the human faces behind the numbers. Yet each and every one of those 1,450 abortions represents an incalculable loss for our society – a girl or boy who will never be born, never sit in a classroom, never grow up, never start a family, and never have a chance to run for Governor someday. Worse yet, almost 40 percent of these abortions were paid for with public funds. Our current generation’s money is literally being used to eliminate the next generation. If that doesn’t make you nauseous, nothing will.
Enter Bill Walker, candidate for Governor. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner asked Walker, “Under what circumstances, if any, should abortions be permitted or funded under state law?” Walker’s complete response follows:
“I am pro-life but the reason I am running for Governor is to grab the reins and steer Alaska from financial ruin. I will follow a long line of pro-life governors. The Alaska Legislature has had a conservative Republican majority in recent years that has grappled with this issue. It is not on my radar screen to introduce new legislation in this area.” (emphasis added)
Just as a thought experiment, imagine Bill Walker telling Vince Beltrami with the AFL-CIO, “I’m very pro-union, but it’s not on my radar screen to deal with any union concerns as Governor.” Do you think the AFL-CIO would lend their enthusiastic support to his campaign?
Or imagine Walker telling the NEA – which has also endorsed his campaign – “I’m strongly in favor of public education, but education issues just aren’t on my radar screen. I’ve got to focus on the budget deficit instead.” Would the NEA be impressed, or would they tell Bill Walker to take a hike?
But apparently, abortion is not the only issue that is missing from Bill Walker’s radar screen. The subject of judicial reform came up earlier this week at the Alaska Public Media’s televised debate.
Both Governor Parnell and Bill Walker were asked, “Do you believe the State of Alaska has an activist court, and do you believe there should be changes to the ways judges are selected?”
Parnell answered more diplomatically than I would have, but the substance of his response was right on target. First, he stated that he could point to specific judicial decisions that revealed an activist court. Second, he went on to knowledgeably discuss the problem on the Alaska Judicial Council where the attorney members have been overruling the public members to reduce the number of judicial nominees that the Governor can consider for filling judicial vacancies.
Without committing to a specific reform of the process, Parnell warned:
“But I can tell you, if the practice continues, and the frustration continues to build on the part of the public with the Judicial Council appearing to manipulate judges through [the nomination process], you can expect the public to want more change. So I think there’s opportunity for the Judicial Council to change that pattern.”
In stark contrast to Parnell’s response, Walker flatly denied that we have any problems with judges who exceed their lawful powers: “No, I do not believe we have an activist court.” Really, Mr. Walker? I don’t know a single conservative attorney in Alaska who agrees with you on that. There have been countless decisions in the last 20 years where the courts have engaged in social engineering on homosexual marriage, on abortion, and on numerous other issues. Judges have routinely defied the constitutionally protected authority of the Legislature, the Governor, and even the voters themselves acting through the initiative process.
Walker then went on to make a truly bizarre remark. Referring to the judicial selection process, Walker commented: “My job is to defend the constitution, so I’d be concerned about any modification that would change that process.” But the Constitution belongs to the people, not to the Governor, and certainly not to the unelected, black-robed lawyers in the Judiciary. If the people decide they want to amend theirconstitution to change the way their judges are selected – then it’s a Governor’s job to respect that process of amendment that is contained in the constitution itself! The oath to defend the constitution is not so much a pledge to defend a piece of paper, but to respect the true source of political authority that is embodied on that piece of paper – the people!
The more we find out about Bill Walker, the more reasons we find to support Sean Parnell’s re-election. Alaska Family Action is not alone in this judgment. Numerous other groups that take conservative positions on social issues have also urged their members to vote for Sean Parnell, including the National Right to Life Committee, Family Research Council Action, and the Conservative Patriots Group.
Less than 24 hours remain before the polls open. But don’t believe for a second that it’s too late to affect the outcome of this race. Consider forwarding this message to at least 5 like-minded friends with a simple message that says, “When a candidate says that your issues aren’t on his radar screen, then maybe it’s time to turn that radar screen off and find a better one. Vote Sean Parnell for Governor.”
This communication was paid for by Alaska Family Action, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska. I am Jim Minnery, President of Alaska Family Action, Inc., and I approve this message. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. We certify that this message is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.