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, March 19, 2007


Governor Sarah Palin today personally introduced her own HB109 ethics legislation before the House Judiciary Committee, of which I’m a member. This may be the first time a governor has ever actually presented their own bill before a legislative committee.

I think that’s marvelous, and speaks volumes about Governor Palin’s readiness and willingness to get things done, and work with the legislature. Symbolic? Yes. But what a wonderful symbol. It’s a “personal touch” by the governor, and greatly appreciated.

The photo shows Governor Palin, and three of our Judiciary Committee members (Left to Right) Chair Jay Ramras, Rep. John Coghill, and me.


Today senior United States Senator Ted Stevens (cordially known ‘round parts as “Uncle Ted”) made his annual report to a Joint Session of the Alaska Legislature. He underscored the need for prompt action on the Alaska Gas Pipeline, indicating we’re in competition with entities around the world and unnecessary delay could cause us to miss out. I agree.

Unfortunately, when Sen. Stevens spoke his personal opinion on our war in Iraq, some peacenik looney-tune stood up in the visitor’s gallery and shouted out anti-war tripe, complete with words I shan’t report here. He was promptly escorted out of the gallery by the Sergeant at Arms. People like that need to learn how to act in a civilized society. Sen. Stevens simply stated, “Thank God in America we have freedom of speech.”

In the photo behind Sen . Stevens is Senate President Lyda Green and House Speaker John Harris.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT! (Only kidding)

According to Yahoo News, Scientists have uncovered the first concrete evidence that playing music can significantly enhance the brain . . . Furthermore, an article in the April issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience claims, "We think music engages higher level functions in the cortex that actually tune the brainstem." I don’t make stuff up.

As a matter of full legislative disclosure I took saxophone lessons beginning in the 5th grade, played in my Garfield High East Los Angeles Bulldog Band, my first military assignment was as a bandsman with the base band at Williams AFB, Arizona, and played in an “oompah-pah” band as well as the Anchorage Concert Band not very long ago. I rest my case.

However, whatever the connect between music and the brain, I’m advised to keep my day job.

Friday, March 16, 2007



(Juneau) - The Alaska House of Representatives today passed HB7, a bill that makes misrepresenting telephone caller identification a class "A" misdemeanor. Current state law does not fine or otherwise punish the practice of "spoofing," or using false caller identification software or tools.

Rep. Bob Lynn said, "Alaskans need to be able to trust their telephone caller ID," Lynn said. "We have to keep ahead of the technology already available on-line and anywhere else to protect consumers and maybe our very lives. Not only could this enable economic fraud, but it could also cost your life. Imagine if some predator calls your spouse or child, claiming to represent a bank or other entity in order to gain personal information like your home address. Imagine the inherent danger - sexual assault, spousal or verbal abuse - that so-called 'spoofing' can engender if used by the wrong types of people.

"HB 7 amends state consumer protection statutes by adding a new section that states a person may not, with the intent to defraud, make a call or engage in other conduct that results in the display of false caller identification on a recipient's phone. The bill does not apply to law enforcement agencies of federal, state or municipal government, or intelligence or security agencies of the federal government.

"This is very dangerous stuff, and this bill puts a penalty on anyone in Alaska who uses false telephone caller ID with the intent to defraud," Lynn said. "It's a pro-active bill whose time has come. Imagine what could happen if we don't do the best we can to stay ahead of the bad guys. This bill gives law enforcement another tool to work with to combat consumer crime." HB 7 has been referred to the Senate for its consideration.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Governor Palin invited the Republican House Republican Majority to her official residence this evening to chat about current issues, including the gas pipeline, ethics, education, and budget legislation. She had invited the House Democratic Minority last week to her home. Her openness, leadership, and willingness to communicate are breath of fresh air.

Photo, left to right: Majority Leader Ralph Samuels, Labor Commissioner Click Bishop, Finance Vice-Chair Bill Stoltze, Speaker John Harris, First Gentleman Todd Palin, Economic Development Chair Mark Neuman, Rules Chair John Coghill, and Governor Sarah Palin. I'm not shown because I took the picture!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Osama bin Laden and his buddies shouldn’t have a right to Alaska driver’s licenses. That’s why I sponsored HB 3, a bill requiring legal presence in the United States and, by extension, legal presence in the State of Alaska for an Alaska driver’s license. With my bill, everyone in Alaska can get an Alaska driver’s license or ID Card, except illegal aliens. That’s my bill in a nutshell. We welcome legal visitors to Alaska, and the more the better. Visitors will have driving privileges so long as they are here legally.

Want a driver’s license in Mexico? Prove you entered their sovereign nation legally and have an official immigration document. No proof of legal presence in Mexico? No Mexican driver's license. Wow – what a concept! Want a driver’s license in the Yukon? You’ll need Canadian citizenship or an unexpired passport. The same common sense should apply in Alaska.

Predictably, my bill is opposed by the ACLU and their fellow travelers. Perhaps that’s something of a recommendation. Unfortunately, the ACLU and a radio talk show are propagandizing and inciting controversy aimed at linking my state bill to the federal “Real ID Act” – which (surprise, surprise) the ACLU and the radio show also oppose. In fact, the talk show host attempted to ambush me by phoning my capitol office on live radio and asking to speak to me as the “sponsor” of the “Real ID Act”! Reality check: state legislators don’t sponsor federal legislation.

The same radio show is encouraging “psycho-ceramic” (crackpot) calls in an attempt to use my state driver’s license legislation as a vehicle to attack the federal legislation. They allege everything from radio chips inserted under the skin, the “mark of the beast,” to registration of firearms (especially offensive to me as an NRA member), and more. A slick web site has been posted showing a phony-baloney Alaska driver’s license with the governor’s smiling face on it - with her religion, and firearms registration number! It’s a classic example of repeating a lie often enough for everyone to believe it. This stuff is an insult to intelligent commonsense Alaskans. Enough already.

Here’s another reality check. I sponsored HB40 in 2003, almost identical to my current HB3 driver’s license bill. That’s two years before the federal Real ID Act became law. My state bill can and should be judged on its own merits, whatever one’s position on the federal Real ID Act.

Some say illegal aliens will continue driving with or without an Alaska license. Probably. But some folks will continue committing burglary and homicide, regardless of the law – but we still have laws against burglary and homicide, and for good reason. Because someone violates a law, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a law. Others say illegal aliens will be safer drivers if they pass a driver’s license tests. So what? Illegals shouldn’t be driving in Alaska in the first place.

The DMV is not the INS. Granted. But the DMV does have the right to determine if an applicant has the necessary documents needed for a license. It’s done every day. HB3 simply adds verification of the applicant having legal presence in our state. If a person doesn’t have a right to be in Alaska, because they don’t have legal presence, how could they logically have a legal right to have a license to be on our highways - where they shouldn’t be in the first place? This isn’t rocket science.

I value my privacy, just like other Alaskans. I also value common sense and the right of the State of Alaska to decide who does and who does not qualify for an Alaska driver’s license. Alaska is a sovereign state in a sovereign nation, and we should act like one by passing HB3.

NOTE: My bill on restricting Alaska Driver’s licenses and Identification Cards, HB3 moved out of our House State Affairs Committee last Tuesday with a party line 5 Republican 2 Democratic vote. The next committee of referral is Judiciary.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I’m proud to announce that HB109, the governor’s bill on ethics passed successfully out of the House State Affairs Committee today, Saturday.

My top priority as Chair of the House State Affairs Committee has been revised ethics legislation. I sponsored HB10, with five Republican and five Democrat prime co-sponsors. Speaker John Harris brought forth another good ethics bill, HB20. Several other legislators had other good bills addressing ethics issues. Then Governor Sarah Palin sponsored HB109 on ethics.

As Committee Chair, I decided to roll all the various proposed ethics bills into one omnibus ethics proposal using HB109, the governor’s bill, as the vehicle. That removed at least some of the “politics” from the legislation, because individual legislator’s names would not appear as sponsors. Also, by combining the many bills into one omnibus bill, there is less chance of an unintended consequence of one bill not meshing with another bill. It should be pointed out that, when legislators craft ethics legislation, we are freely legislating ourselves. Apparently our constituents like what they see happening, because we only had one person offer public testimony - and that testimony was positive.

The Sub-Committee I appointed, and then the full Committee, successfully worked though some 34 amendments, plus amendments to amendments to amendments. It was difficult but rewarding, and resulted in a good product. The Judiciary Committee (of which I am a member) will start with a fresh “Committee Substitute” HB109 ,which can then be tweaked even further by that committee. After the hearin g in Judiciary C ommittee, HB109 will go to the House floor for a vote and, if it passes, go through a similar process in the Senate.

Hats off and thanks to the hard-working staff, both majority and minority, of every member of the House State Affairs Committee! Personal especial thanks for helping keep me on track during the hearing on this bill goes to my own Chief of Staff and Committee Aide Nancy Manly, and Session Staffer Mike Sica – both of whom stayed late many evenings to have the paperwork ready for me for the committee hearings. Nancy and Mike’s photo above shows them in my office in behind-the-scenes work on this bill; both are “workaholics” in the best sense of the term.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Governor Sarah Palin, today at a press conference, announced "AGIA" - the acronym standing for the "Alaska Gasline Inducement Act." Basically, AGIA is a fresh approach to finally bringing Alaska's immense resources of natural gas to market through a gas pipeline.

Governor Palin said, "America should not rely on foreign imports to fuel our homes and our businesses. Alaska is willing and able to supply energy for our nation . . . I think we should all agree we cannot afford to allow clean, safe, domestic energy supplies to sit untapped any longer." AGIA is a competitive approach to a gas pipeline, structured very differently from Governor Murkpowski's plan that failed last year.

The legislature now has AGIA in its lap, where it will be examined line by line in an exhaustive committee process in both the House and Senate, before I get a chance to vote "Yes" or "No" on the House floor.

Good News: AGIA appears to be a positive, competitive, and transparent approach to getting the much desired pipeline. So far, the outlook looks good (I'm a politician, so please note I qualified my opinion with the words "so far!").

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