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, August 30, 2008


Marlene and I celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary here in Anchorage August 30th. In case you’re wondering, when we married in 1953 she was 19 and I was 20. We were married in Valdosta, Georgia where I was attending Air Force Advanced Instrument training, and checking out in the F94C Starfire interceptor at Moody Air Force Base. I soloed the F94C the morning after our marriage.

I met Marlene (Wagner) on a blind date (she was “blind” date – I wasn’t) in 1952, when I was an Aviation Cadet at Malden Air Base, Missouri. My roommate Cadet Don Carter had a date in Dexter, Missouri – 12 miles north of Malden. He didn’t have wheels. I did: a 1941 Oldsmobile Club Coupe. Marlene and I, Don and his date Betty, drove to East Cape Girardeau, Illinois for dinner and dancing to big band music at the Purple Crackle, a fine supper club in those days.

When I graduated in June 1953 from Aviation Cadets at Webb AFB, Big Springs, Texas, Marlene and I became engaged. She pinned my Air Force wings and second lieutenant’s bars at the Cadet graduation ceremony. We’re now the proud parents of six kids, grandparents of 19, and great-grandparent on one. Life is good!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Early morning August 29th my phone rang . It was my staffer Mike Sica. “Turn on your TV,” he said. “Sarah Palin has been selected as his Vice-Presidential running mate by John McCain!” Wow!

I’d thought for several months that Sarah would be an inspired choice for the Republican VP candidate, but thought it wouldn't happen because Alaska has only three electoral votes – but then Senator Biden from Delaware on the Democrat only has four electoral votes.

Within minutes I started receiving call after call from friends Outside. “What can you tell about Sarah Palin?” everyone asked. My answer to the callers was pretty much the same as my response to the moderator on the KAKM “Running Debate” when he asked, “What kind of marks do you give Governor Palin?”

The record shows my verbatim answer to that question was, “I give her a double A+. I think she is a breath of fresh air – I think she’s the right person at the right time. I think she is a 'can do' person. I think she has done what other governor’s have been unable to do – the gas pipeline – AGIA is a good example of that and I’m very pleased . . . she’s done a good job – the person we need at the right time. Do the times make the people, or the people make the times, I don’t know - but she’s a darn good governor.”

I likewise believe Sarah would make a “darn good” Vice-President of the United States.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Governor Sarah Palin signed SB 4002 into law at a card table set up on a card table on a driveway of a winterized home in the Muldoon area of Anchorage. The bill, among other provisions, includes the $1200 resource rebate to qualified Alaskans and suspens the state gasoline tax for a year. I had voted "yes." My blog for August 12th presents some of my thoughts on the bill. Legislators present for the bill signing were Senator Bettye Davis, Senator Wielechowski, Rep. Max Gruenberg, and me. Each of the legislators present commented on the bill. The bill had passed the House 33 to 5.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


What a remarkable thing. Our legislature is "giving" everyone in Alaska who receives a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) an extra $1200 to be added to the coming PFD, which itself may exceed $2000. It started out as an “energy” rebate – and ended up as a “resource” rebate. Near as I can figure, if it’s an “energy” rebate, bush Alaskans who pay for more energy could try to justify a larger rebate. If it’s a “resource” rebate, everyone should get the same amount. It’s the same amount of money disingeniously dressed in different language. Ahh, the magic of language!

The cost of the rebate is $744 million, whatever you call it. This is a one-time, repeat, one-time rebate, aimed at sharing some of the revenue windfall money generated by record high crude oil prices. And yes, some of the windfall has, in fact, been saved.

Some Alaskans state they don’t need or want the rebate. Good for them. I recommend they gave their $1200 to worthy charities or a hungry family. Others say wealthy Alaskans shouldn’t get the rebate money because they don’t need it – but these are the same wealthy people who pay more taxes than the rest of us. If someone makes more money than me, good for them.

Many are saying that too many Alaskans will squander their $1200 rebate on big screen TVs, or something else others calls "frivolous." Probably true. But it’s not my business as a legislator, to tell you how you must spend your money. It’s your money, not mine! Furthermore, however you spend your money, it’ll spur the Alaska economy thereby helping keep people employed.

I’m hearing from folks who complain that homes with a large number of children, will get substantially more than childless families or the “ideal” (in some people’s opinion) family of 2.5 children. Remember, it’s a “resource” rebate to consumers - not money to heat a household. Children are consumers too (big time).

Several Alaskans (including a couple in my own family) are upset that only current PFD recipients will receive the $1200 rebate. The governor’s original plan was also to include Alaskans for the rebate who have been residents for at least six months. It's understandable that those who, through no fault of their own, miss out on the rebate are upset. But it would be a very expensive and impractical process to hire application inspectors to administer a one-time rebate. The PFD verification process and the employees that administer it, are already in place. Limiting the rebate to PFD recepients is probably “not fair” but, in practicality, a line must be drawn at some point.

The Alaska tax of 8 cents is also being extended for one year. It’s not much, but every little bit helps. Fuel is outrageously expensive. I can verify that, having just used my Suburban to haul my RV trailer where I lived during special session back home from Juneau! This gasoline tax relief will help people to afford going to work, as well as commercial drivers all over the state. Predictably, some complain that Alaska already has the lowest fuel tax in the US, so we should keep the tax. Frankly, I don’t care how it’s done outside Alaska.

Extra help, in fact, was given to lower the cost of electricity in rural communities with a timely a revision to the power cost equalization (PCE) program.

And yes, I did vote “Yes” for the rebate and “Yes” for suspending the gasoline tax.

Monday, August 11, 2008


The seemingly “endless” special session actually ended Thursday night – finally. I put my gas guzzling Suburban and 22’ RV trailer on the ferry to Haynes Friday afternoon. From Haynes, it was a long – but astonishing beautiful – solo drive back home to Anchorage via Haines Junction, and Beaver Creek in the Yukon Territory, and thence on to Tok, Glennallen, and through Palmer to rejoin my family in Anchorage.

My favorite chow down restaurants along the way are always been Buckshot Betty’s in Beaver Creek and Fast Eddy’s in Tok. I stayed alert in between stops with too much Starbucks bottled or canned coffee. I took photos at every opportunity. The only delays came from road construction (there’s two seasons in Alaska: winter, construction).

Rather than listening to music as I did on the drive down to Juneau, I listened to an audio book on my CD: historian David McCullough’s “1776.” I’ve read the book, and I’ve listened to McCoullough comments on the Revolutionary War last year at the National Council of State Legislators in Boston. I’m also in the process of reading “Patriots” by A.J. Langguth which covers the same period of American history. The revolutionary era is one of my favorite periods of history (another interesting period of history for me has been 2003-2008 – my era in the legislature). Seemingly, the only differences between politicians in 1775 and 2008 are clothing and hair style. As I asked in a previous blog, which Alaska legislators in 2008 would be the patriots, and who would be the Tories? I’ve my opinions, but too much sense to share them on a blog!

It’s super to be home again. But I’m already back at work on several legislative and political projects. I’ve also been given a lengthy list of “Honey dos” from my favorite constituent and the “Speaker” of “my” house named Marlene.

The photos show a rainbow from the back of the ferry, Pickhandle Lake in the Yukon, and US Customs at the Yukon and Alaska border.


I drove through Tok, Alaska enroute home from the special session in Juneau, so I figured it a good opportunity to visit the Denali Gas Pipeline field office they’ve told us about in newspaper and TV ads. So I did.

I found the The Denali office between Fast Eddy’s and the Husky Liquor Store and Lounge. No one was in the office except a couple security guards (it was Sunday when I dropped in). I had hoped to learn about their progress.

The sooner someone gets to work and builds the gas pipeline, the better.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


There was a bright object in the sky this morning that one hardly sees here. It was the star closest to our Planet Earth, and what we call the "sun." That's headline news for Juneau!

Friday, August 01, 2008


Today the Alaska State Senate passed our gas pipeline license with a floor vote of 14 to 5. The bill received stronger support in the Senate than I expected. The bill had previously passed the Alaska House with a vote of 24 to 16, and I had voted "Yes."

Passage was a tremendous victory for Governor Sarah Palin and, hopefully, for Alaska and the United States of America.

Now the real challenges begin. With the award of the license to TransCanada, a lot of very savvy business people - TransCanada, the North Slope producers, and others can make things happen that will - finally - make the gas pipeline a reality. I recommend we now, as the Good Book says, we "all come reason together." I hope talks begin immediately to do some "partnering up" between the Producers and TransCanada. "Let's roll"!

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