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, April 18, 2009


On March 26th, Governor Sarah Palin nominated Anchorage attorney Wayne Anthony Ross (“W.A.R”) to be Alaska’s Attorney General. After his nomination, I met with Mr. Ross in my Juneau office, listened to his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, and read the pro and con email and letters sent to my office. The pro vs. con communications received from our District 31 were about evenly split. At a Joint Session of the Legislature on April 16th, three days before the legislature adjourned,  I voted ”Yes” to confirm Wayne Anthony Ross as Alaska’s Attorney General.  

Ross’ confirmation was rejected on a vote of 23 yea to 35 nay. Needed were 31 yes votes. My "yes" vote had good company. I was joined in my  "Yes" vote by Republican Representatives Coghill, Dahlstrom, Fairclough, Gatto, Harris, Hawker, Johnson, Keller, Kelly, Millett, Munoz, Neuman, Olson, Ramras, Stoltze, and Republican Senators Bunde, Dyson, Huggins, McGuire, Menard, Meyer, and Therriault. All House and Senate Democrats opposed Ross’ confirmation. 

I first met Wayne Ross (at my St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church, where he was serving as a greeter) soon after I moved to Alaska. At that time he was Alaska’s Republican National Committeeman. I supported Ross for governor when he ran in opposition to Frank Murkowski. I’ve worked alongside his wife Barbara as a Board Director. The Ross’s are a fine and honorable family, with traditional Alaska family values. 

The confirmation process was supposed to be primarily about competency, not a nominee’s political party, opinions, personality, or his actions as defense attorney representing client's (however reprehensible) rights to a fair trial. Nor is a confirmation supposed to be about social issues, subsistence, current politics inside the capitol building, or about the governor who made the nomination. I think any governor should have reasonable latitude in selecting and having confirmed the cabinet members they would like have advise them, so long as they have competency. In the case of Wayne Ross, my personal opinion is that pure politics had more to do to Ross’ rejection than anything else. And it was not a pretty sight. 

The political courage of Wayne Anthony Ross was well displayed during the confirmation hearing, when he sat voluntarily in the Legislative Gallery and listened to orations from legislative opponents that mischaracterized the values of a good and decent man. During the entire confirmation ordeal, Ross showed tremendous grace (and humor). Ross’s opponents certainly had First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech, most assuredly on the Legislative Floor. But methinks some tolerance would have been appropriate for Mr. Ross’ own Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Opinion.  


Friday, April 10, 2009


Our House Judiciary Committee, of which I'm a member, today interviewed Attorney General Designee Wayne Anthony Ross prior to next week's confirmation hearing by a Joint Session of the Legislature. His initials are "WAR," and that's the license plate on his big red Hummer SUV seen frequently in Anchorage.

Disclaimer: I have known Wayne Ross since 1995, and we attend the same church - but because of church schedules, we don't often see each other there. I don't think anyone would accuse Mr. Ross of being a "shrinking violet." Some would say he is "opinionated but lovable." Some wouldn't be so kind. Personally I like him. One doesn't have to agree with someone 100% to like them.

During the hearing I think Wayne Ross projected his unique personality, demonstrated competence, and defended himself admirably against some outrageous allegations - while "keeping his cool." A few committee questions seemed like the hearing was less about confirming confirming Mr. Ross, than it was about "confirming" Governor Palin. The photo shows Wayne and me talking when he visited my Juneau office earlier in the week.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


The new U.S. Senator Mark Begich made his first visit to the capitol today as a member of the Alaska Congressional Delagation. Begich was formerly the mayor of Anchorage.

Mark spoke first to a Joint Session of our Legislature, then to legislators during an informal Open Caucus in the Speaker's Chamber, and later attended a legislative reception in his honor at the capitol for lawmakers, staff, administrators, and other guests. The photos show me with Senator Begich in the Speaker's Chambers, and the senator talking to the Open Caucus.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Had a great meeting in my capitol office today with representatives of the Alaska Public Employees Association (APEA).

Shown in the photo, sent to me by Peggy Wilcox of APEA/AFT, are Colin Clausson(one of my constituents)who works for Alaska Higher Education Crafts and Trades, Local 6070 at the University of Alaska Anchorage,Cindy Spanyers the APEA's Legislative
Liaison,and Bill Feltey who is one of Rep. Cissna's constituents who works in the
Anchorage School District and is a member of TOTEM.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Sometimes it takes awhile, but America usually gets things right - eventually. Today the United States Department of Justice today halted their opposition to former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens for a new trial, and will be dismissing the original criminal indictment for bribery. The practical result? Uncle Ted’s conviction has been voided. No this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.

Whatever Stevens allegedly did or didn’t do that initiated this mess - and only the principal actors really know – the prosecutors bungled the case. In America, everyone deserves a fair trial and apparently in this case it didn’t happen.

The prosecutorial debacle obviously contributed to Senator Stevens’ re-election defeat in November, which probably otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Stevens was represented by topnotch (meaning expensive) attorneys, and it’s a good thing he was. Good for him. No one deserves to be convicted unfairly, whatever their economic or political status.

It makes me proud justice occurred. Now it’s time to look forward and forth good things for Alaska, with lessons learned.

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