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, July 31, 2006


Back to Special Session in Juneau today –I hope – to get something done. I’ll do my part to come up with an appropriate oil tax compromise that can pass both houses of the legislature, thereby putting the ball in the governor’s court. And, at least, I hope we can determine what’s “fixable” in the current governor’s gas contract proposal.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


My son and daughter-in-law John and Ann Lynn, and grandkids Simon and Ethan, are in Anchorage from Indiana helping my wife Marlene during her recovery from her shoulder operation while I’m in the legislative Special Session.

I got to come home for a weekend short visit. Not only that, I took my kids for their very first gold prospecting experience at Crow Creek near Girdwood. We found some gold flecks - but we still have to keep our day jobs. But what a thrill to share some Alaska adventure with my young’uns. And then . . .

We went trout fishing at Jewell Lake in Anchorage, and my grandkids caught their very first fish!! Today was, in a manner of speaking, “My Kind of Day!”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


During today's special session I made the following comments on the House Floor:
This special session is costing the State of Alaska a lot of money. The legislature didn’t call the special session, the governor did. But it’s the same amount of money, no matter who called the special session. Whatever, we’re down here to do a job, and we need to get on with it.

On the top of that list is the oil tax. We need to walk out of here with a new and better oil tax, whatever it is. I’m talking about the House, and I’m also talking about the twenty folks in the other body (Senate) down the hall. Sensible compromises are going to have to be made.

And I could say the same thing about the proposed gas line contract. We need to act - but act prudently - with all deliberate speed. There’s a golden opportunity out there to take our gas to market – finally – and add to what’s good for Alaska as well as what’s good for the country.

The fact that there’s a gubernatorial election going on, and everybody and their uncle is running for governor – and that some of us in the legislature are backing one candidate or another is irrelevant. We must not fail to act, just to give some candidate or some political party a perceived advantage in the upcoming elections.

It doesn’t matter who the governor is, or who the next governor may be. Evaluate the tax proposals, and try to fix the pipeline contract - and I think it’s fixable, without getting into gubernatorial politics. And I think we can fix what needs fixing without being bullied by the administration, or the producers, or bullied by the folks in Washington DC.

Speaking for myself, I want to fix the fixable, be willing to make reasonable compromises to get the job done, and not fall victim to killing proposals by seeking perfection. Perfection can be the enemy of progress. There’s no such thing, and never will be, perfect legislation because we aren't perfect legislators. As the Good Book says, “Come let us reason together,” adjourn, and go home with good job well done.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I confess. I like to dance. Today I danced with a “blood drop.” Even Fred Astair (famous movie terpsichorean circa 1933 – 1987)never did that. It happened at the Governor’s Annual Picnic held at the Anchorage Park Strip. The picnic’s been a twenty year tradition for governors of all political persuasions. Lots of fun and camaraderie. There's a tented section on the picnic grounds reserved for seniors - I visited with with the seniors, and no one "carded me." This year’s picnic theme was “Salute to the Military,” which is most appropriate. Music was provided by The Alaska Brass from Elmendorf AFB.

And, oh yes, what's a “terpsichorean”? It's a fancy word for “dancer” – I learned that after I left East Los Angeles.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Hats off to the Anchorage School District! According to today's newspaper, a man had been convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in 2000 for molesting a girlfriend’s first-grade daughter on at least two occasions when left alone with the child. As a result of his crime, he is a “registered sex offender. The sex offender, owner of an asphalt business, had been sub-contracted to do work on school property.

When the superintendent was informed that the sub-contractor is a registered sex offender, she banned the man from school property. Good for her! Better safe than sorry when the safety of children is involved.

Unbelievably, the sex offender is suing the school district for $80,000 for being excluded from working on school property. Hopefully (hope springs eternal!) the court will exercise the same good judgment as the superintendent.

I’m going to check into sponsoring legislation that clarifies what registered sex offenders can and cannot do on school property.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Flew out today with Rep. Berta Gardner to Iliamna to check out Northern Dynasty Mines’ proposed Pebble Mine Project, where a world class geologic discovery of a combination of gold, copper, and molybdenum deposits has been made. If the project comes into operation, the Pebble Mine would have a pit 2.5 miles wide, and a tailings lake covering about 20 square miles. The mine would require some 95 miles of access road to connect it with a port on Cook Inlet.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd owns all the rights to purchase this mineral deposit, which is located on state land already designated for resource development. From core samples obtained by exploration drilling, it appears that the deposit contains 27 million ounces of gold, 16.5 billion pounds of copper, as well as copper-molybdenum. That’s not pocket change. Likewise important for the Bristol Bay region where the project is located, the mine could result in some 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 operational jobs – in an area that desperately needs for job opportunities.

Proposals for large scale projects of any kind typically spur a variety of support and opposition, and the Pebble Project is no exception. As might be expected, environmental groups are at the forefront of the opposition. There’s also some well-funded opposition from fishing lodge operators based in the Keyes Point area of Lake Clark (about 30 air miles from the proposed mine), some of whom have sought support for their opposition from US Senator Ted Stevens. However, according to a quote from Congressman Don Young, the Pebble “project is exactly what statehood advocates envisioned – Alaska supporting itself and its residents on land granted to the state for economic development.”

One reason for my trip to the Pebble Mine Project was to help give me insight as to whether the massive mine project and resultant economic development and appropriate environmental protection can co-exist. Hopefully it can. I strongly support economic and resource development, so long as reasonable actions are taken to protect Alaska’s environment. Whatever, the Pebble Mine Project has great potential.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I'd rather get the input of one constituent than fifty of the governor's people or the oil company lobbyists. Therefore, I mailed a survey to Republicans,Democrats, and "independents" in District 31. The following is my Press Release about the survey results"


(ANCHORAGE) – South Anchorage Representative Bob Lynn is releasing the results of a seven question House District 31 survey on currently proposed changes to the oil tax, and the governor’s proposed gas pipeline contract. The survey was mailed to 6,985 (Republican, Democrat, Independent) constituents who voted in the 2004 primary election. Two hundred and fifty five (3.65%) responded to the unscientific survey, as of July 16.

Representative Lynn stated, “I wasn’t elected to represent the administration or the oil producers – unless they live in District 31. The survey is important because it expands the input from my constituents. The better the communication, the better the representation.”

He added, “Oil tax and gas pipeline issues are still evolving. Survey results alone won’t determine my vote on critical issues, but I think the survey provides helpful guidance for whatever compromises may be necessary.”

Question 1: What tax should be placed on net oil profits?

Less than 20%: 11.37% ; 20.0% (governor’s proposal):18.96% 22.5% (House proposal): 26.07% ; 25%: 21.80%; More than 25%: 21.80%

Question 2: Should “progressivity” be applied to the oil tax?

Yes: 75.8 % No: 24.2 %

Question 3: Should there be a “floor” on any oil tax?

Yes: 74.56% No: 25.44%

Question 4: Should the oil and gas taxes be locked in for 30 and 45 years?

Yes: 25.86% No: 74.14%

Question 5: Should any decisions on oil taxes and the gas pipeline be delayed until we know who the next governor is?

Yes: 42.86% No: 57.14%

Question 6: Do you agree with the governor and the oil producers that the “All Alaska” gas pipeline is not economically feasible?

Yes: 55.78% No: 44.22%

Question 7: Should the legislature make necessary and prudent compromises on the oil taxes proposals and gas pipeline contract and move forward now?

Yes: 50.46% No: 49.54%

Note: In addition to the survey questions, space was provided for individual comments. A very large number of comments came back with the surveys and are in the process of being recorded. Many of the comments were very strongly worded.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I kid thee not. A “colossal colon” arrives in Anchorage July 17th. What a colossal invitation for satire, political or otherwise! It’s oh so difficult, I shall – I shall, I really shall - try to resist the temptation.

Actually the “colossal colon” – nicknamed “ Coco” - is a four foot high model educational display of a colon. It can be seen at the Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Anchorage. One can walk through the "colon" (be careful where you step - sorry 'bout that) and see model renditions inside the colon of very serious colorectal diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns’ disease, diverticulosis, and cancer. The display includes symptoms of the diseases, and recommendations for protecting one’s health. Serious stuff, and worth seeing. The moral: just because something sounds silly, doesn’t make it so. Disclosure: My daughter Robyn tells me she walked through the colossal colon when it was in Washington DC.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Our Governor Murkowski called our legislature into yet another special session yesterday. We gaveled in at 6:00PM, said the invocation, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, assigned the governor’s oil/gas pipeline bills to committees - and adjoined until today for a hearing of the governor’s speech to the joint session of the House and Senate.

At 11AM today the governor read a twenty-three page, forty-five minute speech, that basically threatened the legislature with “hell, fire, and damnation” if the legislature didn’t do his bidding. He alleged that failure to act on his oil and gas proposals during this current special session could result in an income tax, or a statewide sales tax, or a lost permanent fund dividend – he may have also mentioned something about the sky falling. No applause, except at the conclusion of the speech. Backdrop for the governor’s speech? The House chambers graced by the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and the giant state seal – very impressive stuff for the current political season.

At the conclusion of the governor’s speech, the House adjoined until July 24th, and everybody caught the first available flight out of Juneau for home. The cost? Travel expenses for some sixty legislators, rental cars, session per diem times 60, plus costs for certain legislative staff. Was it worth the cost? We shall see.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


We are, I'm sad to report, in the middle of the four day “Our Way Home National Reunion” at the Brilliant Cultural Center in Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada. In plain English, the event is a reunion of Vietnam draft dodgers who fled to Canada during the war. I shall be more explicit. It’s a “Reunion of Cowards.” These people ran away from their country, so others could die in their place.

During the Revolutionary War, the Tories deserted the Patriots and fled to Canada; during the Vietnam War, the draft dodgers likewise headed for Canada. Apparently, nothing is new.

More than 50,000 draft dodgers who skidadled to Canada during the Vietnam War. Several stayed and became Canadian citizens after the war ended in 1975 – and good riddance. The folks organizing the coward’s reunion in Canada allege they want to honor both the draft dodgers, and Canadians who helped them – and they also plan to offer "refuge" for Iraqi war deserters. This whole story makes me want to puke.

I’m a Vietnam veteran, and an Air force retiree. As a father of six, I certainly didn’t volunteer for Vietnam - but when my turn came in 1972 I made no attempt to avoid the assignment. I proudly served my country at Monkey Mountain near DaNang, and as commander of the radar site at Pleiku, Vietnam in the central highlands. I stood guard with my men at the perimeter fence on the last night of the war in 1973. I can tell that to my grandchildren. What cockamamie story will the draft dodgers tell their grandchildren?

Thursday, July 06, 2006


My office issued the following Press Release today:

"Governor Signs Three Crime-Related Lynn Bills

(ANCHORAGE) – Three bills, dealing with crime and sponsored by Representative Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) were signed into law today by Governor Frank H. Murkowski.

HB 41 addresses assault on school grounds, a school bus, or at a school sponsored event. Representative Lynn’s legislation adds a 60-day minimum sentence to fourth degree assaults on persons in a school setting.

“This bill sends a powerful message that violence will not be tolerated – especially when it pertains to school grounds and school functions. We must provide for the safety of school employees and teachers, as well as safety for children. This will is a giant step in that direction,” said Representative Lynn.

The second bill, HB 258, makes sexual assault by persons who have been diagnosed with or tested positive for HIV or AIDS an aggravating factor at sentencing.

Representative Lynn said of HB 258, “Sexual assault, of any kind, is painful enough. But the possibility of HIV transmission – with six months or more of terror that testing may reveal a life-threatening infection – makes rape even more horrible. This bill will help put the scum convicted of such crimes behind bars for a long, long time. And I am in favor of that.”

HB 343 makes it a class A misdemeanor to throw human or animal bodily fluids at another person, making it a crime of harassment in the first degree.

“HB 343 provides a minimum of 60 days in jail for anyone convicted of throwing bodily fluids at correctional officers, law enforcement officers, and first responders. God bless our public safety people. They dedicate their lives to protecting us and our loved ones. With the Governor’s signature on this bill, we are taking a major step in helping to protect those who protect us,” said Representative Lynn. Each of the bills takes effect in 90 days."

NOTE: Governor Murkowski's office also issued a Press Release on the same subject.In addition, the governor also today signed my HB409 legislation that relieves real estate company owners from paying unnecessary workers compensation insurance premiums.


Happy 60th Birthday President George Bush. It occurs to me that I'm older than both the current and previous president. Good. I'm in favor of getting old - though I do wish I had my experience in my twenty year old body. But I can tell you it gets some getting used to - being the family patriarch, and getting used to military generals, physicians, judges, clergy, and presidents are all younger than us.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


In my youth, I marched six times with the Sheriffs’ Boys’ Band in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. I confess. I still love a parade! This year marks my fourth time in the Anchorage Fourth of July Parade, as Chair of the House Special Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and an Air Force retiree. I get to ride in a sexy sports car(unfortunately, not mine), play the Air Force Song on the car radio at top volume for all to hear, and ham it up waving at folks along the parade route. The photos show me with this year’s parade car (A Chrysler Crossfire), and surrounded by guards from the Starship Enterprise (I think that’s who they are, but ‘twas afraid to ask).

Two-hundred thirty years ago, our brave Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Today, our brave troops preserve that independence. God Bless our troops!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


My phone rang today, and a familiar voice asked, “Is this Collins 23”? And I answered “Rodge.” The call was from “Grover” (Manfred R. Groves), one of my oldest friends. He lives in Hampton, Virginia. “Collins 23” was my individual radio callsign when I flew the F94C Starfire interceptor jet out of Langley AFB, Virginia during the early fifties. Grover was one of my Radar Observers (R.O.) and he was the “GIB” (Guy in Back) who worked the radar to guide me to intercept unknown aircraft out over the Atlantic Ocean. We were both Second Lieutenants assigned to the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.
The F94C was the first operational supersonic interceptor in the Air Force inventory. Unfortunately, you had to fly straight down to go supersonic! Obviously, that made it dangerous to fly supersonic for extended periods of time (think about that). The official name of the bird was the Starfire, but we all called it the “Banana Boat." I don’t know why. When Grover and I first flew together in those exciting days of yesteryear (1953). I was only 20 years old, and Grover was 24. He’s now 77 (Do the math. I know you will).

When Grover decided to marry Marylou in Virginia, I’m the one he asked to help him write the “Dear John” letter to his old girl friend. Grover tells me he hasn’t heard from her since. I hope she doesn’t read this blog, and decide to come after me. Good Heavens - I hope the forsaken lady didn't happen to move to Alaska and discovers she's one my constituents (so much for that vote!).

Grover and I re-told our shared “war stories,” as old veterans and fliers are wont to do. It was like all those adventures occurred yesterday. Won’t bore you with the stories here - as the saying goes, you’d have to have been there to understand.

Sometime after we had parted in our shared assignment at Langley AFB, Grover told me he was in the back seat of a F101 interceptor attempting to land at Otis AFB in Massachusetts. The weather was extremely bad (read unsafe) – 50 ft ceiling and barely ¼ viability, but approach control cleared his F101 in to land anyway. Turns out the next plane to land was Air Force One, with President John F. Kennedy on board. Apparently, approach control had used Grover’s plane as a “guinea pig” to see if the weather was good enough for the president to land. That’s the kind of stuff you’ll not find in a history book.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


The state has expended public funds to produce and mail a slick brochure to every Alaskan and their half-brother touting the administration's position on oil taxes and the proposed gas pipeline contract. I address here, not the merits of the two issues of oil taxes and pipeline, but only the propriety of the brochure. I have a basic problem with using public funds to advocate for public proposals, whether it's the gas pipeline, the POMV, school bonds, or whatever.

Here we go again. Check out my blog of about April 26, 2004, which is a copy of my Letter to the Editor of the Anchorage Daily News on the same subject. To quote a small segment of that letter, "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."

According to today's Daily News, the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) says the brochure may be "legal." Well, I suppose that's good. But I'm tried of politicians resorting to technicalities of the law, while slaughtering the spirit of the law. Here we go again - again!

The administration and the legislature have conducted numerious committee hearings, and public forums throughtout the state, to "advertise" the gas pipeline proposal. Good. The more open the process the better. In addition, it's all over TV, the newspaper, talk radio, and when folks are gathered around the office water cooler, the subject probably also comes up. Methinks if governmental proposals need slick brochures to "sell the product," perhaps we need to look more closely at the products.

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