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).

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Today is Marlene and my 56th Wedding Anniversary. I met Marlene on a blind date (she was "blind." I wasn't) in October 1952 when I was going through Air Force Cadets flying school at Malden Air Base, Missouri. She lived in Dexter, seventeen miles away. We were engaged on June 16th, 1953 at Big Springs,Texas - the evening after she pinned on my Air Force wings at cadet graduation at Webb Air Force Base.

On a Sunday August 30th, Marlene and I were married at Valdosta, Georgia the day before I soloed the F94C at Moody Air Force Base. The wedding took place after a regular church service. The wedding guests were whoever remained in the church after the service, plus Marlene's mom, plus my best man from the base - whose name I don't even remember. I thought I had taken some great wedding photos with my little Argus C3 camera. Unfortunately, there was no film in the camera. But the photos would have been good.

We've had a great life together. When we were married, I was 20. She was 19. We are somewhat older now. Marlene is not only the "Speaker of the House," but also a great wife!

The"then" photo shows Marlene and I (when I had hair) a month or so after our marriage. The "now" photo shows us at a picnic at McHugh Creek after a picnic.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Attended today one of my favorite events: graduation of Alaska Military Youth Academy cadets. The Bruckner Sports Center at Ft. Richardson was packed for the ceremony with family and well wishers. Governor Sean Parnell gave a well-received inspirational speech to the students.

The Academy's Challenge program is a 22 week high power program that includes academics, job skills, and service to community. It high rate of success is due to discipline based on individual self-control (what a concept!). The regular school curriculum (and thereby the State of Alaska) could profit from the some of the techniques that bring so much success to the students of the Youth Academy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Tonight was the kickoff event for the gathering of the 32,734 signatures required to put an initiative on the 2010 ballot that would require parental notification for a minor child’s abortion. The event as held at the Changepoint Auditorium in Anchorage. Obviously, if parental consent is needed for an aspirin at school, ear piercing, etc., why is not such permission mandated for a serious medical procedure? Yes, I’m Pro-Life. But here the issue isn’t abortion. The issue is parental rights.

Keynote speaker was Star Parker, a prominent supporter of parental rights. Her spirited speech about parental rights and other issues was one I wish everyone could hear. She held the audience spellbound. Sarah Palin had been expected also to attend, but didn’t make it. Some have wanted to make that the issue - but it’s not. The issue is parental rights, not who attends. The only disappointment is that such a bill or initiative is necessary.

The initiative would require notice (but not necessarily consent) to the parent or guardian of a child under 18 before she has an abortion. Notice to a parent would have to be at least 48 hours before the abortion - but that period could be waived if consent is given. The initiative would also allow a so-called “judicial bypass” without notice to a parent, if the child presented convincing evidence to the court it was needed. Likewise, a court could allow a victim of abuse by her parent to get an abortion without parental notice. This isn’t rocket science. It’s a an initiative that allows parents to be parents, but makes allowances for children of the parentally challenged.

This initiative is similar to HB35 introduced this legislative session by Rep. John Coghill (I’m a co-sponsor), but is less stringent because the initiative requires requires notice, but not necessarily consent. HB35 passed the House 23 to 14, mainly along party lines. The bill currently resides in the Senate, but is unlikely to even pass out of committee.

36 states already have enforceable laws that protect parental rights in this area. Polls show some 78% support such a common-sense policy.

Photos show Star Parker speaking, me with friends Dirk Moffatt, Jim Minnery, and Jay Griffin, and me talking with Star after the event.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Wow! The new University of Alaska Anchorage Integrated Science Building is spectacular. Along with several other legislators, I was invited to tour the new building. More than just great functional architecture, the building about doubles the space available for science students. If Alaska is going to progress as it should, we must have the university facilities needed to serve our university brain power here at home. As University President Mark Hamilton says, we need to " . . . raise up our hands and say, yes, we can meet the challenges of the next 50 years."

The photos show University President Mark Hamilton, Chancellor Fran Ulmer, and Mayor Dan Sullivan speaking to our group, and the group of legislators.

Monday, August 10, 2009


The following are my remarks to the Joint Session of the Alaska Legislature that was called at the Egan Center in Anchorage to override former Governor Palin's veto of $28 million for energy assistance in the form of "better" building codes, et cetera:

"Thank you Mr. President (of the Senate) I also want to thank you Mr. Speaker (of the House) for the manner you have put this special session together to consider the override of a governor’s veto. In 1994 when I got involved in an attempt to override a governor’s veto, I got into all kinds of trouble - but that hasn’t happened this time, because you did everything the proper way. Thank you.

An attempt to override a governor’s veto, whether we agree with a veto or not, is a legitimate process that helps preserve the balance of power between separate and independent branches of government. I strongly support that balance of power.

However, I do not support overriding the veto. We’re getting conflicting messages from our so-called friends in Washington DC. A letter from the Department of Energy says one thing, but that’s in direct conflict with ARRA Section 410, which looks like strings - maybe ropes - on the 28 million dollars to me. You know, we build good houses up here in Alaska, we have excellent engineers, we have a great construction industry, and we can figure out our own building codes - when and how we want to.

So I’m voting 'No', and I’m telling Nancy Pelosi, and the other busybodies in Washington DC, to keep their money, and to keep their pea picking hands off Alaska."

Governor Palin's veto was overturned, by one vote. The photos show protestors across the street from the Special Session, me "running the gauntlet" of protestors (they were very nice), and a photo inside during a time out in the proceedings. One photo shows a sign I especially liked held by a six year old child. I shook hands with many of the demonstrators - both the Pro and the Con. They were a great group of Alaskans demonstrating democracy in action.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Our Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan held a Press Conference today at 1:00PM at the Department of Law Conference room in Anchorage, to issue a formal opinion on Executive Branch ethics issues. I was the only legislator present.

Among Attorney General Sullivan’s recommendations are that a public official cleared of an ethics charge would be reimbursed by the state for legal expenses. This change would be “prospective,” and not cover any of former Governor Palin’s legal expenses for all the dismissed ethics complaints.

General Sullivan also recommended investigative reports be kept confidential unless a complaint is determined to have merit. That would be in harmony with the bill I’ve drafted on the same subject, which I’ll be filing in January when our legislature reconvenes (please refer to my blog entry for June 18, 2009).

I’ll be asking our legislative legal people to comment on the Attorney General’s opinion. The Executive Branch and Legislative Branch are separate and independent branches of government. After the Press Conference, I did briefly discuss with a deputy attorney general the legal opinion as it might relate to the bill I’m filing. Hopefully, legislative committee chairs will act to expedite ethics related bills.

Every Alaskan has a right to file an ethics complaint against any governmental official. Nothing in my proposed bill, or the General Sullivan’s proposed regulation changes, takes away that right. It doesn’t matter to me whether my proposed bill fixes the problem, or a governor’s bill does the job - so long as the job gets done by somebody. As I’ve said repeatedly, ethics complaints need to be ethical.

Photo: Department of Law Conference Room, Anchorage. Attorney General Sullivan at podium. Channel 11 TV on the left, Channel 2 TV on right. AP photographer Al Grillo taking pictures. Reporters at the table.

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