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).

Monday, December 12, 2005



Best wishes for Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year! I hope that traditional Holiday greeting doesn’t get me sued by the ACLU, or arrested for not being “politically correct.” But I like to live dangerously. That’s why I ran for the legislature, and why I’m running for re-election. As we used to say in my military career, I knew the risk when I joined up!

All of us are expecting to have a very busy 2006 session. There’s the possibility of hot and heavy debate on a gas pipeline, most of us have a half a dozen bills we’d like to get passed and, of course, all forty of us in the House, and half the Senate are up for re-election – and everyone’s going to be anxious to come home and campaign, and even hold fundraisers!

Let me start by touching on some of my personal legislation I hope will pass this coming session, and then touch on “you-know-what” – the gas pipeline.

I’ll be working on at least seven personal bills. I’m pre-filing legislation to prevent abuse of imminent domain or, said another way, to prevent judicial thievery of private property. In other words, if somebody in the chamber wants to build a new store in my backyard, and have a friend in government use imminent domain for “economic development” – using my private property for their private profit, I want a state law that says, “It ain’t going to happen.” I understand that both Rep. McGuire and Rep. Holm are also filing bills on the same subject, and that’s good. It doesn’t matter whose name is on the final bill, it only matters that we fix the imminent domain problem the court has pushed down upon us.

I have a bill, HB12, with Rep. Gruenberg that makes it illegal to have a TV in a vehicle that can be seen by the driver. In other words, we don’t want you watching Gavel to Gavel when should be paying attention to driving. (Now in House finance)

My HB 41, making assault of a school employee an aggravating factor in sentencing, has passed the House and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I’ve filed HB58, the Laci and Connor Peterson Bill, along with Rep. Gatto. It’s a companion bill to Sen. Dyson’s Senate Bill 20, which I’ve co-sponsored in the House. These are actually “Pro-Choice” bills. If you kill an unborn child while in the act of assaulting the mother, the murderer has taken whatever “choice” the mother may have had, had she not been assaulted.

My HB 258, Assault with HIV/AIDS, has been referred to HESS Committee. Any rape is horrible. A rape with HIV/AIDS, is nothing less than slow murder.

My HB 290 requires that an alien must have a legal presence in the United States to obtain an Alaska driver’s license. Sen. Charlie Huggins has a companion bill in the Senate, and we’re working cooperatively. Most of us would think that’s common sense, but nowadays common sense isn’t so common. (In House State Affairs)

Did you know that if you get a telephone call, and your caller ID identifies the call as coming from the cops, that it could be a hoax? Hackers can feed phony information into your caller ID, and that’s not good. My HB308 addresses that situation in Alaska. (In House Judiciary).

I’ll also be sponsoring a bill on how to deal with a prisoner who assaults a correctional officer with bodily fluids, et cetera, et cetera – we’ve just had lunch, so I’ll spare the details on that one!

I also have two resolutions in the legislative process. One is a resolution opposing a Milk Tax for Alaska. It’s passed the House and is in the Senate. The other resolves that American courts rely only on the United States Constitution in deciding American court cases. I don’t care what some court does in France, Germany, Holland, or Zimbabwe. This is America, and this is Alaska!

I strongly support Rep. Coghill’s bill and Sen. Dyson’s bill that opposes the government giving marital benefits to homosexual couples, and I’ll be co-sponsoring those bills. You know, if we were even discussing such a thing in years past, somebody would have come after us with a butterfly net!

Now let’s talk about the “elephant” in the upcoming session, the gas pipeline. That’s where I’ll earn my $24,000 a year salary!

If I’m in the legislature another twenty years – not likely at my age – the button I push on a gas pipeline contract will likely be the most important vote I’ll ever cast. Do I want a gas pipe line? Sure I do. That’s easy. But how am I going to vote? I don’t know - and I shouldn’t know, because I’ve not seen a contract. The only information I have, at this point, is from the media, and political gossip. I didn’t sign the confidentiality agreement, because I wanted to see the contract the same time the public sees it. I didn’t want to be put in the position of reading something I thought was bad news, and not be able to go public with it – for me, that wouldn’t be easy.

Based on what everyone else knows, I have do some concerns. My preference is an all Alaska gas pipeline – that was on my first campaign flyer in 2002 – but I’d also prefer a new Lamborghini to the car I’m driving. But we don’t always get what we want. That’s reality, and common sense people and good legislators deal in reality. Obviously, a gas pipeline – anywhere it goes – must make economic sense to all parties concerned, or it’s a bad deal.

I must tell you I do have concerns about putting the Future of Alaska through the sovereign foreign nation of Canada. Canada is our good neighbor today, and has been for many years – but who will the Prime Minister be in 20 years? Who will our president be in 20 years? Who will be our governor, and who will be the provincial governors? What will be the international issues in 20 years? Who knows? The answer is, nobody knows. So what’s to protect us if we have a falling out with our neighbor, and they shutdown the pipeline? Couldn’t happen you say. I admire your faith.

I’m very concerned with giving producers total control of dates, for what they will do and when they’ll do it. If one producer drags their feet, what can the other producers do about it, and what can Alaska do about it? Somebody needs to answer that question, and the answer should be in the contract.

Has the law of today been followed in the negotiations? Some say it hasn’t. I know at least seven people who say it hasn’t. If so, is the legislature supposed to make a hurry hurry quick fix of the law to make it fit the contract? I think that’s legislating in reverse, and I don’t like it.

There’s lots of questions and, at this point, not a lot of answers. Whatever, I hope no one in the legislature will base their votes on party politics - or whether or not they like the governor. The contract’s what important - - not the party, not the governor, not campaign contributions. When the time comes – and your guess is as good as mine, when that’ll be – my vote on the gas pipeline will be for what I hope is, in the balance – I repeat: in the balance - the best for Alaska.

Thank again for the opportunity to visit with you today. And please, ask all the hard questions to my colleagues. Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, and everyone you love!

(Note: Other legislators speaking at the forum: Senators Ben Stevens, Fred Dyson, Hollis French, and Representatives Ethan Berkowitz and Sharon Cissna.)

Friday, December 09, 2005


I started my teaching career at Stanford in 1959. No, not the university. Stanford Elementary School in Westminster, California, teaching a fifth grade class. Later, I taught in Garden Grove, California until recall back to Air Force active duty in 1962. After retiring from the military, I later returned to teaching in California in Riverside, Moreno Valley, and San Bernardino.

When Alaska called our family north, I taught severely emotionally disturbed teenagers at Romig Junior High in Anchorage. What wonderful preparation for the legislature!

I relate my teaching experience to give credibility to my observations of our District 31 schools. In addition to a full day at South High School as part of Legislators Back to School Week, I toured and have met one-on-one with school principals at Huffman, O’Malley and Bowman Elementary Schools, Goldenview Middle School, and South and Service High Schools. With few exceptions, I liked what I saw: good teachers, students on task, and involved PTSA leaders.

I also enjoyed being invited to a working breakfast with a group of South Anchorage principals. I’ve been called in to the see the principal before – both as a kid and as a teacher – but never before have I been on the “hot seat” alone with a whole bevy of principals!

My observation? Yes, most of our school facilities need some work, computers age fast, and most class sizes aren’t optimal, and some state policies have made recruitment of new teachers difficult, et cetera, et cetera – and this means money, money. But money alone a good education does not guarantee. I went, I saw, I learned: a lot of quality education is being provided to our children by quality educators.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Goldenview has a great music program, and I know what I’m talking about.

I was initiated to school music playing saxophone in the 6th grade. I played in the Garfield High School football band, ROTC Band, orchestra, advanced ensemble, and swing band. Later, in 1951, I played in the 541st Air Force Band at Williams AFB, Arizona – until I entered Air Force flying school as an Aviation Cadet. About 1988, I returned to music playing sax in the 25 piece “oompah” group “The American-Bavarian Brass Band” (I was also the official chicken dance demonstrator and twirled baton during the Grand Marsche – but that’s another story). Today, when legislative duty permits, I play bari sax in the Anchorage Community Concert Band.

Translated, all this means I love music (some genre excepted –but that’s not music). Coming up through the school music program has been the source of a continuing source of education and enjoyment, and I recommend it.

Tonight I attended the “Musical Collage” concert at Goldenview Middle School. The band, orchestra, and choir all performed with excellence before a packed house of proud parents and friends – I arrived twenty minutes early, and couldn’t find a seat!

The concert music selections, during the middle of the Christmas Season, were: Winner’s Circle March, Bashana Haba’ah, Kassation, Images of Ireland, Bafufalow, This Little Babe, Hanukkah Holiday, Le Froid De L’Hiver, Carol of the Bells, The Nutcracker, Lean on Me, African Bell Carol, StarGazer, Once Upon a December, Dance of the Tumblers. So much for tradition!

Congratulations to all the great school musicians and singers, and the parents and friends who support them. And Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Sixty-four years ago, when I was eight years old, I was home in East Los Angeles helping my grandparents (who raised me) decorate our Christmas tree. The family twelve-button free-standing radio was projecting swing music, and Bing Crosby was crooning Christmas music. It was December 7, 1941. Suddenly, the music was interrupted. A terse voice announced the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – a place I had never heard of.

The telephone rang. My granddad was a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, and he was put on notice that he might be recalled to work, and to be sure there was gasoline in our Huppmobile. My Uncle Earl and Aunt Ola May drove over to our home in their Nash automobile. Radio news flashes of the destruction and loss of life at Pearl Harbor came one after the other. All of us were scared. We darkened the lights in our home for a “blackout.” It was the beginning of a long and costly war. A war in which my mother enlisted in the Women’s Army Air Corps (WAACs), and served with the 15th Air Force as a Staff Sergeant at Bari, Italy.

On that Pearl Harbor Day, sixty-four years ago, America was attacked by a warmongering faction of the sovereign Empire of Japan. It was, as President Roosevelt correctly described it, “A day that will live in infamy.” We were fighting an easily identifiable enemy. Our enemy wore uniforms. It was like every other war, except in the vast scope of World War II - Japan, Germany, and Italy.

On September 11, 2001, there was another day that will live in infamy. 9/11, as it is called, launched the beginning of what is the equivalent of World War Three. In this new world war, the enemy has no uniform, and is dispersed throughout the world in a number of nations – including our own. The common denominator of this latest enemy is hate and radical (emphasize radical) Islam. It’s not politically correct, but this World War III is, in fact, a religious war – a religious war that has been going on for centuries, according to the enemy’s own timetable, a timetable accelerated by the speed and technology of the 21st Century.

The enemy of World War II is patient, far more patient that America. Consider the time spans between the Olympic Games attack, the first World Trade Center bombing, and the 9/11 last cataclysm tic World Trade Center. Partisan politicians who pander to the impatient who think war can be won like instant soup is made, and starry-eyed peaceniks can debate every aspect of America’s War on Terror (God Bless Freedom of Speech) - but such behavior is dangerous to survival. Without survival, there will be no freedom of speech, or any other freedom in our Bill of Rights.

And so, on this Pearl Harbor Day 2005, “Remember Pearl Harbor” and, please, also "Remember 9/11. "

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