Many years ago, like lots of people, I decided to ignore politics for all the reasons so many do today. It took years, but I realized when I was on political vacation, so were my liberties. About six years ago I began my awakening by attending a local tea party event. I have never turned back from my civic involvement since.
Today, I am deeply engaged in Alaskan and national political arenas because citizen involvement is needed more now than anytime in our American heritage. To put it bluntly, we are quickly going to “Hell in a hand basket” from city to state to national governance.
In this opinion editorial I convey my concern with a state senatorial campaign in the Mat-Su and Chugiak. This is specifically Senate District F, which is being vacated by retiring Senator Bill Stoltze. Bill has been, in every sense of the word, a true statesman. He will be missed dearly for his steady, conservative values and plain speak.
The August 16th Primary Election is just around the corner. It is quite predictable this seat will be retained by one of the Republican challengers. The Valley and Chugiak have two-term State Representative Shelley Hughes, past president of CPG, Steve StClair, and Adam Crum stepping up to the plate to fill the senate seat.
Assessing the Three Candidates:
As chairman of United for Liberty (UFL), I have had the opportunity to work closely with Steve StClair on an extensive 96-page budget book proposal we submitted to the legislature to assist them in cutting the budget. Steve was a team captain in the formulation of our booklet. He oversaw one-third of the final result. He is a tireless worker who steps up to leadership roles over and over again. I consider him not only a man of his word, but an action person who walks the walk. My life is immeasurably better with our close association.
Shelley Hughes was one of the few representatives in Juneau who actually picked up the UFL budget book and incorporated it in her arguments to trim the excess of government. She was constantly reaching out to me for any assistance I could offer. I am not a constituent of hers, but that did not matter to Shelley. She took to heart the assistance UFL and our advocacy was attempting to give.
In my view, the main reason there was not effective results in cutting the budget this session is that Juneau is mostly filled with half-baked politicians who are reluctant to do the hard work required to bring government back to a sustainable size we can afford.
Shelley Hughes needs more conservative representatives like herself to craft conservative legislation effectively. A strong indicator for me is Governor Walker’s strained relationship with Shelley. This is a clear indication that she is on the right track indeed. Shelley is one of the representatives at the top of the Governor’s hit list.
Which brings me full circle to Adam Crum. Since I have not had any relationship with Adam, I have to rely on research to identify the character and composure of his candidacy. It is interesting what I found, to say the least.
In Alaska we only have 20 senators to represent our interests. This is the big league in Alaskan politics and I believe any candidate who is asking to serve in such a huge role should have some form of political track record we can utilize in our evaluation.
Apart from very little civic experience, Crum has not even been active in voting. It concerns me deeply. If a man can’t even take the time to vote, then how can he effectively lead in the governance and political arena? Such a candidate is either disinterested in doing the research required for casting an intelligent ballot, or could care less about our right to vote and engage.
Additionally, Crum has touted receiving an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). However, a close inspection of his rating reveals Crum is trying to sell us an eight-inch fish when it is only four inches. He is a man of exaggeration.
Although he is involved in business, close inspection reveals this is a multi-family business in which Crum participates in a minor role. He is hardly the “Donald Trump” of Alaska, nor an entrepreneur in the self-start sense of the meaning.
Crum has indicated he does not agree with Governor Bill Walker’s liberal agenda, but some troubling associations are worrying conservatives like myself.
Crum received a large donation from one of the top paid advisors to the Governor. Crum received the endorsement of the for-profit Mat-Su Business Alliance, which is a member of Alaska’s Future, the group promoting the Governor’s agenda to restructure the Permanent Fund to the detriment of the public. In addition, a board on which Adam Crum serves signed a letter in support of changing the Permanent Fund to an endowment model. So the question arises as to whether he can be trusted to stick with his campaign rhetoric or are these associations indications of things to come?
Through it all, I respectfully ask the voters in District F to reject the notion that Adam Crum would represent the conservative interests of the state that we sorely need during this time of budget crisis. Make no bones about it, Adam Crum is Governor Walker’s choice. That should give you pause. We do not need another half-baked politician in Juneau to add to the bakery we already have.
Michael Chambers, Libertarian for Life in more ways than one.