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).

Thursday, December 27, 2007


The following is an Anchorage KTUU Channel 2 story broadcast on TV by reporter tonight by Bill McAllister:

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Three state lawmakers are proposing to designate an Alaska highway between Fairbanks and the Canadian border as part of the National Purple Heart Trail.

A bill pre-filed for the legislative session beginning Jan. 15 is intended to honor military servicemen and women who have been wounded in combat. Signs with the Purple Heart logo would be placed along the highway. The bill is being co-sponsored by Anchorage legislators Senator Johnny Ellis, Representatives Berta Gardner, and Bob Lynn."

The Purple Heart was established by General George Washington at Newburgh, New York, on 7 August 1782, during the Revolutionary War. It is awarded to military persons who have suffered wounds from armed conflict or terrorist attack. The Purple Heart one of the most respected of all military decorations.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Best wishes from Marlene and I, and the entire Lynn Family, for a Merry Christmas for you and for all those you love. Merry Christmas too for our military women and men serving Alaska and our nation throughout the world. God Bless!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The older one gets, the more opportunity to do what one has never done before. That’s a good reason for getting older (which, by the way, I’m in favor of).

Case in point: today I took my first sailplane glider flight, and walked away after landing the thing (being able to “walk away” is the definition of a good landing). Of course, there was a GIB – acronym for “guy in back.” The GIB was my instructor, a fellow more antique than me. Obviously, in a glider, there are no go-arounds for screwups on approaches to the airfield, and every landing is a forced landing.

In addition to my time as a F94C jet interceptor pilot, T-33, T-28, T-6 jock, and a sometimes Aero Club Cessna 172 pilot, I’ve flown the T34, and co-piloted everything from DC3 Gooney Birds, the B25, C124, L20, and even 10 long hours as a right-seat warm body in a B50 Superfortress – but never before had I piloted a glider. My glider flight impression: lots of fun, thermals can move the soarplane upstairs without much help from the pilot, more noise than expected, sluggish controls, and a whole lot of rudder use (I’m glad I got my hip replacement in August). .

My sailplane flight – in a Glob103 - went aloft from Dillingham Field, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Nearby, more intrepid individuals were surfing gigantic waves at the “Bonzai Pipeline” beach. But I chose surfing the wind thermals, where one is less likely to drown.

Marlene and I have been on vacation here in Hawaii (on our own dime), staying at the Hale Koa Military Hotel beachside at Waikiki – available only to active duty military people and military retirees (that’s me). It’s a good deal, but we’ve “paid our dues.” The good news: not one person has asked me how I voted on ACES, Governor Palin’s oil tax bill!

I do phone my offices in Juneau and Anchorage every day - not to rub it in to my staff, but to keep up with what’s going on. I also report my research on how Hawaiian beach sand might be used to sand slippery winter roads in Alaska (if anyone believes that, I can count on them as a supporter no matter what!).

I also did some snorkeling in the crystal clear waters off Makaha Beach on the west end of the island. I saw lots of fish, but couldn’t catch anything. Snorkeling for me is easy. Extra fat equals extra flotation. Those who didn’t snorkel and stayed on the boat got an extra bonus. They looked at me and thought they were whale watching.

Note: Top photo is from the sailplane, getting ready for the tow aloft from the L19 tow aircraft - note tow cable. Didn't take photos during flight, 'cuz 'twas busy flying. The middle photo shows me standing proudly next to the sailplane after trhem flight. The bottom photo shows me impersonating a creature from the deep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Everyone - presidential candidates included - should be able to announce and practice their religious faith (Aztec human sacrifice excluded) publicly without reprisal. No political candidate for anything should have to defend their religion, make excuses for it, or deny potential moral influence from their faith if successful at winning the office they seek. If someone is a conscientious believer, they will not attempt to separate moral imperatives of their religion from their everyday lives – or public service.

No one should vote for or against someone only because of their religion – or apparent lack thereof. Certainly, no one should use religion for political innuendo and smears. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution has something to say about restricting the free exercise of religion.

As we launch into the 2008 election season it’s reasonable to consider that, if someone cannot be true to their own religion, how could they possibly be true to constituents? This has nothing to do with so-called “separation of church and state.” Whatever, no one should vote for a presidential candidate – or any other candidate - who answers the question, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most religious of us all”?

Friday, December 07, 2007


Today federal Judge John Sedgwick sentenced former House Speaker of the House Pete Kott to 6 years in jail, 3 years probation, a $10,000 fine, and post-sentence treatment for alcohol abuse. A federal jury in September 2007 convicted Pete Kott of bribery, conspiracy and extortion for his role in advocating an oil tax pushed by VECO Corp.

PERSONAL NOTE: In January 2004, then Speaker of the House Pete Kott instructed our caucus to vote a certain way on the Longevity Bonus, pointed to me, and commanded, “That means you too Lynn”! After I voted opposite to the improper order of Speaker Kott on the House floor, Kott informed me, “Bob, if you want to succeed, you’re going to have to learn to follow rules.” Obviously, Pete Kott didn’t follow his own advice.

Following is from an ”Alaska Politics” audio of Judge John Sedwick December 7th pre-sentencing remarks, transcribed from the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska.

TRANSCRIPT: “What we have here is an offense that has caused the entirety of the population of this district, and a few kibitzers from Outside, to question the integrity of the very political system here in Alaska. The code of behavior in which Mr. Kott indulged is the kind of behavior that causes all of us to wonder what really does go on in Juneau. How many other people are there out there that may have behaved like Mr. Kott? Maybe as Mr. Kott has said, in his heart of hearts he thought he was serving the interests of the public because he believed that a particular piece of legislation was going to get the gas pipeline built. But whether that’s right or not is a political judgment that needs to be made by the members of the legislature in an environment free of influence peddling by people like Bill Allen.

Bill Allen of VECO had a particular view, and whether that view is correct or not is correct is not for me to say, but it is clear their view was driven by greed. Bill Allen had a very successful company. He wanted it to be more successful. He knew that to do that he needed to create favor with his best customers and to do that he needed to do their bidding. And so it was that Mr. Allen and Mr. Kott effectively agreed to do the bidding of those customers rather than the public’s work.

This isn’t to say, one way or another, whether the 20-20 (tax) was the best piece of legislation that could have been passed. I have no way of knowing that. But what I do know is that the decision should have been made by sixty people in Juneau exercising good faith to the best of their ability rendering a decision on the merits - not a decision colored by the illicit overtures by someone like Mr. Allen

So this was really a very serious crime. I don’t know how much money it might have been worth to the state. I don’t even know if we are better off with the legislation we have now than we would have been with 20-20. How can I possibly say? That’s a matter far beyond the grasp of this court.

What is clear is that the amount of money involved, one way or the other, was indeed hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars So yes, this is an unusual public bribery case because what was at stake was of interest to every member of the public in Alaska - everybody that cashes a permanent fund dividend check, and everybody that cares about integrity in the public process.

Now in regards to the history and characteristics of the defendant: it’s really quite surprising that some with all plusses on the ledger that Mr. Kott has stands before the court convicted of the crimes which he committed. He did have a career in the Air Force. I, among many others, admire people who do dedicate themselves to such careers - because it’s only by the service of those who are in the military that the rest of us enjoy the freedoms we all have here in this country.

But it needs to be remembered that Mr. Kott’s service, like that of others in the armed service, is rendered so that we can live in a society that is free and democratic, and where our elected representatives can do the peoples business in the peoples interest. And so all those 22 years he put in defending our opportunity to have that kind of political process came to naught, when Mr. Kott himself insisted the decision whether or not to continue to honor that process (was his) - because instead he threw in and joined with those who had corrupted.

I need to impose a sentence that is sufficient to deter similar behavior others . . . . I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say that Mr. Allen was able to seduce Mr. Kott. Mr. Kott is a man of the world with considerable experience going for him. But I do think its worth recognizing that there are always people, often people with a lot of money who, if they possess the right personality, can somehow overcome the best judgment those who have the world experience like that Mr. Kott has.

In other words, we really do need to stiffen up some backbones here so that people understand that no matte how alluring or how much their being around someone, they need to put their priorities in order and serve the public that elects them first, rather than people who have become their close friends . . . . I need impose a sentence that will protect the community from criminal conduct by Mr. Kott himself. . . . "

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