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, January 10, 2010


On December 8th, the Moreno Valley City Council, Riverside County, California (just outside of March Air Force Base) celebrated its 25th Anniversary of incorporation. I was there for a homecoming of the city founders and first City Council members. The framed City Council Proclamation honoring us will be hanging on my legislative office wall in Juneau.

I’m proud to be one of the city’s incorporation leaders, and to have served on Moreno Valley’s first City Council, first as a Councilman, then as Mayor Pro-Tem. When we incorporated in 1984, Moreno Valley’s population was a mere 53,000. Today population is some 186,000. In a 1993 Almanac, Moreno Valley was listed as the fastest growing city in the entire United States. Wow!

Politics in the Alaska Legislature are tame, compared to the political adventures and high jinks of Moreno Valley’s incorporation and first City Council. I know, because I was smack dab in the middle of it.

In 1982, an attempt to incorporate the communities of Sunnymead, Moreno, and Edgemont into one city of Moreno Valley failed. I wasn’t part of that incorporation attempt, but was one of 14 candidates who ran for one of the five seats on the City Council. I was a total unknown, with no money, but still managed to come in seventh. But no matter. No city, no city council.

Later in 1982, one of the leaders of the failed incorporation - “The Moustache” - called (like summoned) me - “The Beard” - to his office and “invited” me to be one of a four-member slate of candidates for City Council in a new incorporation effort. He said the anointed four would have to act in conformity to “the team,” and that ample funding would be forthcoming from unnamed sources. Neither the source of funding, or the policies the slate would enact after election, were disclosed. I informed The Mustache that, if I ran for a future Council, I would “be my own man,” answering only to the people who elected me - not to him or any other power broker. That brought the meeting to hasty conclusion.

In 1983 I joined with PTA leader Ruth Ann Kahlert to initiate a new incorporation effort. We believed any successful incorporation campaign would have to be “inclusive” rather than “exclusive,” so we invited opponents of the previous failed incorporation attempt to join our committee. I chaired the first official incorporation meeting of our “United Citizens for Cityhood.” The Moustache attended the meeting and did his best to torpedo it. Later he, and a group of “Mustache-a-teers,” held a different meeting, called our group “divisive” - even though they met after us.

Our United Citizens for Cityhood did the grunt work of getting the new incorporation effort on the ballot. I stepped down from incorporation leadership to run for the City Council. Soon thereafter a group of four candidates, one of which was The Moustache, filed for a seat on the new Council. I recognized the group as the slate The Moustache had attempted to recruit me for. Next a group called “Moreno Valley Citizens for Cityhood” appeared, with huge campaign contributions from Orange County developers pouring into the coffers of this new group, and to the slate of four. The average person didn’t understand the difference between the original “real” incorporation committee, and the “Moustache’s new slate-backing committee with a similar name. Clever.

A tough election campaign followed – far tougher than anything (so far) from any of my campaigns in Alaska. My campaign committee worked hard, and was innovative. I knocked off one of The Moustache’s slate and won a place on the first City Council - although the slate spent about $100,000 to my $2,000. I earned a seat on the Council, but The Moustache and his two slate cohorts had the votes to make him mayor - even though he wasn’t the highest vote-getter on the slate.

Our new City Council wrote the city’s first ordinances, and hired the first employees. Then came the onslaught of highly inappropriate residential development proposals from Orange County. The other non-slate councilperson and I found ourselves on the losing side of an overabundance of 3-2 votes. When political critical mass arrived, a recall election was organized and the three slate councilpersons were tossed off the council – but not before recall opponents brought “bag heads” (five people with paper sacks on their heads), and a clown in full makeup who attempted corner me for a photo that could be used against me. When the three recallees left the Council, I became the new Mayor Pro-Tem, and City Council business became normal.

At the December 25th anniversary ceremony the first mayor (“The Moustache”) was present with me for the ceremonies. During his remarks he failed to recognize the original incorporation committee “United Citizens for Cityhood,” but did name those on his “Moreno Valley Citizens for Cityhood.” When I spoke, I delicately corrected the omission. The Moustache and “The Beard” (me) smiled and shook hands. As it turned out, both committees appealed to different factions of the community, the incorporation was successful, and Moreno Valley will soon be the largest city in Riverside County.

It’s quite an experience to help found a new city, and to serve on a first city council. Congratulations to Moreno Valley, its founders, and to its early council members, on the 25th anniversary of the city!

Friday, January 08, 2010


This afternoon I ventured into a live taping of Shannyn Moore’s TV talk show “Moore Up North.” I was joined on the panel by Senator Lesl McGuire, and Representative Charisse Millett. I think we were the only Republicans in the room. The TV taping was at an upstairs room at Bernie’s Bungalow downtown. The Bungalow is actually a barroom. Can’t fool me. But it's a nice barroom.

Shannyn Moore, “Just a Girl from Homer,” is an excellent interviewer who adds spice to the dialogue with some very humorous comments. I think Shannon has great potential for national TV. But what do I know. I’m “Just a boy from East Los Angeles.”

Shannyn is a “progressive” or “liberal” (whatever the term du jour is), who claims she is “Painting a Red State BLUE, one stroke at a time.” The major discussion items on the show were the Parental Notification Initiative for an abortion, overseas legislative travel, and Rep. Keller’s bill that would require random drug testing for state welfare assistance.

It was an interesting show, with provocative but fair questions. Rather than comment on how each of us did, check out the show scheduled to air this Saturday at 4:00PM on Anchorage Channel 5 KYES. It will probably also be streamed on the Internet.

After the taping, I left the TV venue at the barroom for a HALO Community Council meeting at the Holy Spirit Retreat House. How about that for covering all the bases?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


It’s legislature moving-time again. All our computers, files, and other stuff, are being boxed up for their journey to the capitol in Juneau. Then everything is unpacked there, and back to work we go – after we re-locate everything. To a far lesser degree, legislators are doing the same thing: sorting out our stuff at home to decide what needs to be with us in Juneau. No complaints. Just fact. Photo shows just one of the rooms with packed boxes at our legislative office in Anchorage.

Monday, January 04, 2010


I believe in public safety. Mine. Yours. Everybody’s. That’s why I’m such a strong supporter of firemen and cops. All kinds of issues are important, including budgets. But unless we survive medical emergencies, fire, and crime – none of those issues mean a thing, because we won’t be around to debate them, or to vote.

Public safety requires state-of-the-art equipment: fire trucks, ambulances, cop cars, communications, and all the other good stuff it takes to make meaningful the public safety mission, like keeping the doors open for business. Likewise, public safety means keeping our fire and police academies populated with top caliber men and women – and keeping high the morale of our current fire and police workforce.

That requires leadership from the governor, the legislature, the mayors, department heads, down to the least ranking supervisory individual. Leadership includes action that puts public safety at the top of the budget “must haves.”

Again, first we survive – then we cuss and discuss everything else. Same same for our military. When public safety servants put their lives on the line, morale must accompany them.

Free Web Site Counter
Free Counter