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).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Photo above is of our brave warriors in Iraq, responding to Sen. Kerry with good old GI humor.

Speaking as Chair of the Alaska House Special Committee on Military and Veterans, as well as a veteran, I’m sad to report what Senator John Kerry said today in California. From the lips of the man who, except for a few votes, could have been the Commander-in-Chief of our nation’s military came the disturbing words, “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” Outrageous!

Mr. Kerry, I bring you news. Our military men and women have done well, and are doing well, and are just as smart as anyone else – including some who serve in the United States Senate. Mr. Kerry, you have insulted every member of the armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and every Vietnam Veteran, Korean Veteran, and every veteran of every other war (including my mother who served in the Women’s Army Corps – “WAC” - in the 15th Air Force in Italy during World War II). Shame.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Was listening the Dan Fagan Show on the car radio about 2:30PM today, enroute to COSTCO, and almost drove off the road – when Fagan announced that Governor Murkowski was calling the legislature back into yet another Special Session on November 13th. That’s six days after the general election.

In other words, it’ll be a “Lame Duck Session” called by a “Lame Duck Governor” – because new Governor “Whoever-it-is” will take office December 4th, and the new 25th Legislature will be sworn in January 17th.

According to the governor’s special session Executive Proclamation, the purpose of the call to Juneau is “to consider the subject of employer related benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees and retirees under the state’s retirement systems.” I talked with the Commissioner of Administration at a political function in Anchorage this evening, and he “confirmed” the subject to be discussed. I agree that so-called “same sex benefits” definitely needs legislative review, but the timing is very debatable indeed.

Cynical political minds wonder if the governor will add his gas pipeline proposal to the special session agenda. And, if the legislature balks - will he sign the proposal anyway? Since it’s incredible that the governor might do this, he probably will.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


A Santa Monica, California, elementary school has banned the game of tag, once synonymous with youth and innocence, because they say it creates self-esteem issues among weaker and slower children. Officials at an elementary school south of Boston, Massachusetts have also banned kids from playing tag for fear they'll get hurt. Another school in Massachusetts banned dodge ball because was “exclusionary and dangerous.” Apparently California and Massachusetts have a lot in common – but we already knew that, didn’t we.

I had this archaic concept that it’s OK for children at school recess to run around playing tag (and even dodge ball) and that, in the total scheme of the universe, it’s not such a bad thing. But “Oh No!” – I learn they might hurt themselves or their self-esteem. Really. Say it’s not so.

There must be a clever response to this kind of stuff but words fail me. Maybe I’ll think of something before someone sponsors legislation to outlaw tag in Alaska schools, and it comes before a committee on which I serve.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Alaska faces a momentous question on November 7th, when we vote "Yes" or "No" on the initiative (Proposition 2) to tax Alaska's underground natural gas until the oil producers build a pipeline to take the gas to market. There is incredible potential for multiple millions of dollars in revenue to the state from the sale of natural gas. The problem, of course, is to negotiate an appropriate contract between the producers and the state.

I strongly support the people's initiative process - whether or not I personally agree or disagree with a particular initiative. Initiatives can serve as checks and balances on the Legislature and administration. A good initiative can sometimes also spur legislative and administrative action that otherwise might not occur.

However, the reserves tax Proposition 2 initiative amounts to “blackmail by initiative” that is, “build the gas pipeline, or we’ll tax you.” It's also taxing income that's not yet occured.

If the reserves tax initiative passes in November, lengthy litigation is sure to follow. That means further delay of the long overdue gas pipeline. The intent of those who support the initiative may be noble, but the practical effects from passage of the initiative passes are troubling.

If the Legislature, administration, and the producers can finally work together (hope springs eternal), legislative amendments might fix at least some of the problems that could result from passage of the initiative, to the benefit of all concerned. Gas markets fluctuate. We must not miss the window of opportunity for building the pipeline. The goal is to “come reason together” to build the gas pipeline.


Today, the governor’s office released "public" responses from folks who were present to comment at various presentations of the governor’s gas pipeline proposal. According to Alaska Department of Revenue Commissioner Bill Corbus, 65% favored the governor's proposal, while some 29% opposed it. Very very interesting.

On July 17th (see my Blog for that date) I mailed a survey 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. About 350 have now responded. That's a large response for a mail-back survey.

In Question 7 of my survey I asked, “Should the legislature make necessary and prudent compromises on the oil taxes proposals and gas pipeline contract and move forward now?” To which 50.46% answered “Yes,” while 49.54% answered “No.” In other words, it was about 50-50. That’s much different that the 65% versus 29% released by the governor. One must ponder why.

The difference between my survey and that of the governor’s may result from our south Anchorage District 31 being closer to a cross-section of Alaskans (even though our district is “oily” due to a relatively high number of oil industry residents).

In contrast, the administration’s “public” responses came from people who attended “dog and pony shows” orchestrated by the governor’s people throughout the state, with ample opportunity for audiences favoring the governor’s pipeline proposal to attend. Whatever, there’s a big difference between 65/29, and about 50/50.

I agree with Commissioner Corbus that “We as a state must proceed expeditiously with a gas line and move Alaska from an oil - to a gas-based economy.” However, I hope (I hope. I hope. I hope.) the commissioner means when the next governor takes office on December 4th, and not precipitous action by the current administration.


For better or worse, Proposition 2 was certified March 6th, for the general election ballot on November 7th. Proposition 2 is a highly controversial initiative that proposes to tax the oil producers for “stranded” natural gas if they fail to build a gas pipeline or fail to abandon their rights to the gas.

Now we learn that one of the lease holders, Exxon Mobil Corporation, wrote a secret letter to Governor Murkowski asking him to decertify the initiative and remove it from the ballot. The Exxon Mobil e-mail stated "we request that it not be shared outside the Administration in order to preserve its confidentiality and privilege." Wow!

Congratulations to Alaska’s Department of Law which, in a manner of speaking, told Exxon to shove it! Applause please.

How dare Exxon attempt to meddle with Alaska’s initiative process! It’s behind-the-scenes stuff like this that contributes to a climate of distrust.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Don’t blame me. Blame the Blog bugs. Somehow or t'other, a wayward bug found its way into the blogosphere universe and lost the URL to my Blog. Translated to meaningful language, when you attempted to pull up my Blog on the Internet, the Internet couldn’t locate it. As a result, you missed some of my most brilliant Blogs (If you believe that, you’ll believe anything)!

Whatever, after much agonizing and many machinations, I finally got it fixed (killed the Blog bug). All my many Blogs going back to 2002 are still there. Listen for my sigh of relief.

While I was at it, I arranged to simplify my Blog address. My Blog address is now Please tell your friends.

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