Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

In Defense of Free Enterprise: April 28, 2004


I have serious concerns about the effect of this House Bill 511. What in the world ever happened to free enterprise?

The result of this bill, it would seem to me, would be to protect the big guys from the little guys – big business from small business – the large multi-million dollar hospitals from competition. I think there’s a place for both large business, and small business. It seems to me that this bill would have a chilling effect on competition. I think we need more, competition, not less.

It seems to me that, if I wanted go in business with some of my colleagues here, and buy equipment and hire qualified medical people, to open a radiology office, or other small medical facility, we shouldn’t have to go hat-in-hand to the state bureaucracy, and beg for permission to open our business. Let the marketplace decide if a business is needed, not the government.

Certificate of need legislation of this type may be appropriate for large facilities and institutions that receive non-profit status and receive government fund, and grants, and so on – but I do not think it’s appropriate for small business medical providers.

This bill may be well intended, and I believe it is - but I think we need more free enterprise, not less - and for that reason I cannot support this legislation.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Bad Music: Easter/Passover Season: 2004


Mr. Speaker:

There’s “good” music, and there’s “bad” music, and last Thursday at the University of Alaska, I learned about some very “bad” music and a very bad situation, during return to my district during the Holiday.

I was asked by a friend - who is a gifted trumpet player in the Anchorage Community Concert Band in which I play - and who is also a practicing member of the Jewish faith, to a lecture by an adjunct music professor at UAA about a cantata the professor composed entitled “The Skies are Weeping.” The cantata glorifies the death in the Gaza Strip in Israel of an American woman named “Rachel Coorie,” who spewed anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and burned the American flag as a member a radical Palestinian organization that has condoned homicide bombers. Worse, that adjunct professor attempted to dedicate the cantata to the president of the University! Also present at the lecture was Rabbi Josef Greenberg, and several members of the Lobovich Congregation – as well as a scruffy bunch of radicals from who knows where.

I must tell you it was an “eye-opener.” I could hardly believe an American professor - an Alaskan professor – at an Alaska campus - could utter such anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism on the campus of one of our universities. So-called academic freedom didn’t apply here, because the professor was lecturing outside his field of expertise in music, in matters of politics involving world affairs, attacks on our president, and one outrageous anti-Semitic remark after another – including offensive words about people who “look like Jews.”

I’ll never stand still for such conduct, so I stood up, identified myself, and said, “I am outraged. We had over 3000 persons of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions killed on 9/11 – why didn’t you write a cantata about them? This is a time of Easter, a time of Passover, but it’s not a time to glorify an American who burns an American flag in a foreign country, and there’s never a time to promote anti-Semitism!” It was all I could do not say even more.

Mr. Speaker, it’s sad that such anti-Semitism is occurring not in some far off land, or somewhere in the Lower 48, but right here in Alaska. I think we need to compose beautiful music of love that’s appropriate to this time of the year that’s so meaningful for Christians and Jews – not the bad music of hate.

Monday, April 26, 2004

House Amendments to Help Seniors Failed April 26, 2004

Rep. Bob Lynn supported amendments to the Senior Care Program HB374 that would have helped seniors but sadly the amendments to help seniors failed to pass

Amendment 1 attempted to fully funded longevity bonus for fiscal year 2005. LYNN VOTED “YES.” Amendment 1 failed: YEAS: 12 (yeas include Rep. Lynn) NAYS: 23 EXCUSED: 1 ABSENT: 4

Amendment 4 attempted to increase maximum drug benefits per year in one situation from $1000 to $1500, and in another situation from $1600 to $2000. LYNN VOTED “YES.” Amendment 4 failed: YEAS: 14 (yeas include Rep. Lynn) NAYS: 22 EXCUSED: 1 ABSENT: 3

Amendment 6 attempted to remove the “marriage penalty,” by treating for purposes of determining eligibility for senior care, each individual applicant shall be treated as if that individual were the only individual in the household. Marriage should be encouraged. I think it’s ridiculous that any married couple should be penalized for being married. LYNN VOTED “YES.” Amendment 6 failed: YEAS: 16 (yeas include Rep. Lynn) NAYS: 17 EXCUSED: 1 ABSENT: 6

Amendment 7 attempted to increase the number of allowable days seniors could be absent from Alaska and still receive benefits from senior care from 30 to 60. LYNN VOTED “YES.” Amendment 7 failed: YEAS: 18 (yeas include Rep. Lynn) NAYS: 19 EXCUSED: 1 ABSENT: 2

Letter to Editor: Misuse of State Funds: April 26, 2004

The following is a Letter to the Editor, Anchorage Daily News

Dear Editor,

The State of Alaska has no business spending over a million dollars in state funds to campaign for changing dividend calculations to a percent of market value (POMV). Wordmeister spinners can label it "educating" - but political campaigning by any other name is still political campaigning. Dress a pig in a tuxedo, and it’s still a pig.

Should those of us who campaign for the legislature call our political advertising "education," and get campaign funds from the state? Absolutely not, and neither should the Permanent Fund trustees. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits or demerits of any proposed POMV plan. Personally, I think some variety of the POMV plan may be OK, but that doesn’t mean the state should be spending the public’s money to sell any plan to voters.

There's no shortage of organizations and individuals with strong opinions, pro and con, about the Permanent Fund and what to do with dividends. These entities should put their private money where their mouth is, and raise their own campaign dollars for television, radio, and mailers. “Tain’t fair” for the state to subsidize either side of the POMV debate - it’s a misuse of scarce state funds, and I’m “agin it.”

Bob Lynn

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Just Say "NO" To Doing Nothing

The following is the House floor speech I gave just before my "Yes" vote on the POMV proposal.

I’m in frequent contact with my constituents, and they’re concerned about what we’ve been doing down here - or more accurately, perhaps, what we’re not doing down here. Let me tell you they say, “Just say NO – Just say NO to doing NOTHING!” They tell me we have proposals for an income tax, a sales tax, a POMV thing, a head tax, and I don’t know what else. The constituents tell me we need to “pick our poison” and “get on with it.” OK, I get the message. The POMV split before us has a chance of addressing the budget shortfall, but only if we take action. I’m just a lowly freshman, but I have the feeling that our constituents are more likely to kick us out of office if we do nothing, rather than something. In the military we used to say, “No Guts, No Glory” – and maybe that applies here.

Whatever, the POMV split can help resolve at least some of our fiscal problems – and that’s a good thing, a very good thing. But I call it the “Pontius Pilate Solution” - in other words, we put the POMV up to the voters, and then we wash our hands of it, and blame the voters for whatever they do when they vote in November. And I’m here to tell you that I wouldn’t bet my housecat that the voters will approve the POMV – regardless of its merits – and if it doesn’t pass in November some of us will be back here next January – and we STILL will not have addressed the budget shortfall – and if we think constituents are angry now about our inaction, wait until then. It’s just plain not smart to put our eggs – the future of Alaska – all in one basket.

Here’s something to consider: Perhaps we should consider structuring the POMV vote in November so that if the POMV solution fails, then a reasonable sales tax is in place that’s contingent upon the failure of the POMV plan at the poll. If we don’t get one sensible way to raise revenue, we’ll get the other, and we’ll have done our job. The back up sales tax plan would give the voters more than one choice - in fact, it’s “pro-choice.”

If there is anyone here who believes voters deserve more than one option in November, and that that option should be a sales tax if the POMV fails in November, let me know, and we can work together – Republicans and Democrats - to draft an appropriate amendment.

Whatever, this 23 Legislature has an historic opportunity to help set the foundation for the stable and predictable economy we so desperately need, that foundation will help bring about the resource development we need and want.

Once against – “Just say NO to doing nothing!”

Friday, April 02, 2004

Let's Help the Alaska National Guard and Reserve: April 2, 2004

The following is a letter to my constituents asking for help to the Alaska National Guard Family Assistance Center. About $2300 was raised from our District 31. Contributiuons can still be accepted. If interested, please contact me.

Dear Neighbor,


There’s a link between the safety of our neighbors serving in the Alaska National Guard and Reserve, the success of its military mission, and the well being of their families back home. Guard and Reserve families are no less important than the latest weapons technology, aircraft, or tanks on the battlefield.


Families can be left with many burdens, and usually reduced income, when their loved ones are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, or some other place in the world. Others may be the sole help for an aged or disabled parent. Our Guard and Reserve needs to know help is available at home when help is needed.

For example, the Alaska National Guard Family Assistance Center recently helped the family of a deployed airman who lost their home and possessions in a fire, including helping to replace contact lenses lost in the fire. In other words, services provided by the National Guard Family Assistance Center can be indispensable.


We have almost 13,000 registered voters in our House District 31. That’s 13,000 potential partners for the Alaska National Guard Family Assistance Center. Please help support our Guard and Reserve families with a generous tax-deductible contribution through their account at “Friends of the Guard and Reserve.” A pre-addressed envelope will deploy your donation directly to the Family Assistance Center in Anchorage.


This fundraising effort has been coordinated with the Alaska National Guard command. You may call Major Beth Law at 264-5311, if you have any questions. God Bless our Alaska National Guard and Reserve, and their families!

House Special Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs

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