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.  



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