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).

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Good news! One of the legislature’s antiquated elevators has been repaired (finally). We are now returned to use of an elevator to conduct the usual “Ups and Downs” of legislative business that requires motating between offices, committee rooms, and chambers spread between the six floors of the capitol.

Legislators and staff have, except for the few indomitable haughtily hardy, vacated capitol stairwells and returned to elevator comfort. Personally, whenever I feel the urge to exercise by climbing stairs, I use the elevator until the feeling goes away. That may account for the shape I’m in.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


“Special Orders” the part of the legislative order of business is when members of the House may speak freely on any topic of their choosing, not otherwise on the agenda. Topics run the gamut from light-hearted and humorous to the serious. Recently, two of us in the House presented Special Orders about the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King.

I remember the great civil rights cultural battles of the fifties and sixties. These historic times prompted by initial interest in politics.

I watched Kings famous and inspiring “I have a dream” speech on television – perhaps the greatest speech I’ve heard in my lifetime. I remember, as an Air Force private in 1951, not being allowed entry to a restaurant in Chandler, Arizona - because I was with a black airman and a Filipino fellow airman from my band squadron at Williams Air Force Base. I remember in 1962 living off base as a Captain attending a computerized air defense system (SAGE), at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi, and having to sneak a black fellow Air Force Captain over to my home at night for a study session – because it was dangerous to have a black man seen with me in the front seat of my car, or to have a black man seen entering my home through the front door of my quarters. That same year, I remember sitting on a “colored” bus bench in Gulfport, Mississippi – and the bus driver threaten to call the cops (I hadn’t sat on the “wrong” bench deliberately – but I did “mouth off” to the bus driver, saying the bench was painted white, so I didn’t know it was “colored”).

We have made a lot of progress since those days, and it’s good to look to the future. That’s what Martin Luther King did. There remain racial inequities to be fixed, but it’s a disservice to the great Martin Luther King, and racial equality, for anyone - whatever their race - to use the “race card” for politics, to give phony credence to an issue without merit, or for other nefarious purposes. Shame on those who do that.

I believe Dr. King was a leader by example; a uniter not a divider; an optimist, not a pessimist. That’s why Martin Luther King is one of my heroes. I wish today we had people of his caliber to address racial issues today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


There’s a crisis in the legislature. Everything has gone into slow motion. Legislators, staffers, and lobbyists are breathless. What, pray tell, happened? - I hear you cry.

The legislature inhabits a six story building in Juneau. All of the elevators in the old building have now been out of order for several days. No one knows, not even the psychic network, when they’ll be fixed. The elevator motors have died (they now “belong to the ages”), and none are available in Alaska. Apparently the closest parts are somewhere within the labyrinths of New York.

Perhaps the governor could utilize his new jet airplane to ferry the elevator parts from New York to Alaska. If not having to climb five flights of stairs to do legislative business isn‘t a threat to “public safety,” I don’t know what is.

But as the lyrics of the old song claim, “behind every cloud is a silver lining.” We’re all getting more exercise, we don’t eat as much because going to the cafeteria makes us question whether torture by stair climbing is worth it, and we may become weight losers. In that context, being a legislative “loser,” would make us a winner. Oh happy day.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Today this Vietnam veteran had joy, a lump in my throat, pride, honor, you-name-it. It was my best day (so-far) of 2006! I joined over 300 good people at the Juneau Airport in welcoming home a contingent of the Alaska National Guard home from Iraq. Someone asked me if a member of my family was among the returning military heroes. I said, “Yes.” To me, every one of these guys was “family.”

We hear so much anti-American, anti-war, anti-military rhetoric (disingenuously they say, “I support the troops because I want them out of Iraq” – but that’s not support, its defeatism) from the clamoring cut-and-run peaceniks that it’s easy to assume their numbers are greater than they are. Not so. The majority truly supports America’s Armed Forces and today, Praise God, the “silent majority” wasn’t silent. It’s about time.

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