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, February 28, 2010


February 28th, 1951. Fifty-nine years ago today. Five days past my 18th birthday. A day that changed my life. The day I enlisted in the United States Air Force. Place: Mesa, Arizona.

Seven months past graduation from Garfield High School in tough environs of East Los Angeles, California. Dropped out of Pasadena City College. Not ready. Mail Clerk Coast Federal Savings and Loan, downtown Los Angeles. Going no where. Joined Air Force. Smart move.

Took the train to Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. 1951 Military enlistees didn’t fly to basic training. Was a proud “private.” Soon thereafter, rank of private re-named “Airman Basic” - as it is today. Service was evolving from “Air Corps” to “Air Force.” Then acquired two downward sloping stripes of a “corporal.” Then Air Force corporal rank ensignia changed to two upward sloping stripes of “Airman Second Class” (equivalent rank today is “Airman First Class”). Pay about $76 bucks a month, plus cot in open bay barracks plus good food at chow hall ( extra pay, evening janitor at the base theater ). In 1951 Air Force vintage, brown shoes were optional to black shoes. Ergo, I’m was a member of the “Brown Shoe Air Force” (and I’m proud of it), ‘Taint many of us left.

First assignment after basic training: “apprentice bassoonist,” 541st Air Force Band, Williams AFB, Chandler, Arizona. My bassoon sounds were stopped by popular demand. Returned to playing sax like I did in Garfield High Bulldog Band.

Then up the scale to Band Drum Major. (I think) only baton twirling drum major in all the military bands. Still twirl a baton - only out of public sight. Because I want to be re-elected!

1952: Applied for, accepted by, Air Force Aviation Cadets flying school (staff sergeant pay). 1953: age twenty, high school diploma, silver jet pilot wings, gold bars (“butter bars”) of second lieutenant. December 1976: Retired as Major. Proud of that? Yeah!

Recommend military career to almost anyone. Opportunity, new horizons, came possible when I enlisted February 28th, 1951.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today our House Judiciary Committee (of which I'm a member) conducted a confirmation hearing for Daniel (“Dan”) Sullivan, former Governor Sarah Palin’s pick for Attorney General June 16, 2009. He’s been serving as Acting Attorney General, pending confirmation of Joint Session of our Alaska Legislature. He will be supervising some 550 assistant attorneys and staff in thirteen offices throughout our state.

Dan Sullivan’s resume - and his comments at our hearing - are some of the most impressive I’ve ever heard. He graduated Harvard University magnum cum laude, with a BA in Economics, then proceeded to Georgetown University to earn a Juris Doctor (Doctor of Law) and Masters of Science in Foreign Service. Again, magnum cum laude; translated from the Latin language, it means “with great honor.” I myself might oneday earn a degree with magnum cum laude - if I can figure out how to live another hundred years.

Sullivan adds brawn to brains. He served as a United States Marine infantry officer, worked as strategic advisor Commander of Central Command General David Patraeus, CENCOM General John Abizaid. Much of this time was in the Middle East war zone. Sullivan still serves in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Prior to becoming Attorney General, Sullivan served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs. His nomination by the President was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in May 2006 and he served until January 2009. In this role, he was a senior advisor to the Secretary of State and other top U.S. government officials on the formulation and execution of international economic, energy, trade, finance, transportation, telecommunications and Arctic policies. Sullivan also led and managed the 200-employee State Department Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs.

As the Assistant Secretary of State, much of Sullivan’s work focused on international energy issues. He served as the U.S. Governing Board member of the Paris-based International Energy Agency – the world’s premier energy security organization. He and the State Department bureau he led worked closely with the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects on Alaska gas pipeline issues. That’s very good news, considering all the gas pipeline issues Alaska is dealing with.

Dan Sullivan is married to Julie Fate Sullivan of Fairbanks. She’s the daughter of former Representative Bud Fate, whom I served with the first few years after my election. They have three daughters. Dan Sullivan is one of my constituents in District 31 (which means that I work for him). He and his family, like Marlene and I, attend St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church in South Anchorage.

In addition to al of Dan Sullivan’s accomplishments, he is a very nice, and fun, guy to work with. He has my vote for confirmation as Attorney General.

Photo taken from my seat on the Judiciary Committee.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had an excellent chance to chat about current issues with United States Senator Lisa Murkowski, before her State of the State Address to a Joint Session of the Alaska Legislature.

Sen. Murkowski’s emphasis in her State of the State speech was domestic energy production, and issues affecting Alaska's economy. Excellent delivery.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Alaska State House Press Release: Bill Proposed to make State Personnel Board More Independent

Rep. Bob Lynn today introduced HB348 which changes the selection process and composition of the State Personnel Board appointed by the Governor.


The bill increases board membership from three to five members, with the governor selecting nominees from a list of candidates submitted by the Chief Justice of Alaska. It would also ensure a diversity of opinion by including least one board member from the two parties that received the high number of votes in the most recent gubernatorial election, according to the measure.

Note: Bill is currently scheduled for a Hearing before the House State Affairs Committee on March 9, 2010.

Friday, February 05, 2010


It’s required by our United States Constitution: a national census every ten years. The census in Alaska is already getting underway. In fact, the 2010 census of remote Alaska village of Noorvik was the first in the nation.

Officials from the census bureau conducted a briefing of our House Labor and Commerce today.

The first United States census was in 1790. For the first six censuses 1790 - 1840 enumerators recorded only heads of household names, and a general demographic accounting of the remaining members of the household. Beginning in 1850, everybody in the household were named.

I’m a family history buff. Genealogy (not to be confused with Gynecology) has been my hobby since 1951. Much use is made of census records in locating ancestors, and other family members. I was thrilled to learn that Anchorage has a branch Bureau of Archives - and I’ve spent time there checking out microfilm records, Nowadays, however, all the censuses (censi?) records are available on the Internet, through commercial entities like Using old census records, I’ve been able to locate and communicate with several “shirtail cousins” (5th cousins and more). The last census records available to the public was 1930, three years before my birth. Public viewing of Census records aren’t available to the public until seventy-four years after the census. When the 2010 census is complete, I’ll be able to find myself on the 1940 census - and find more missing kin.

Please cooperate with the census takers. It determines numbers for state and national legislative representation - which will be “reapportioned” after the census with new lines. In other words, when I run for re-election in 2012, my district number and area of representation will likely be different, like every one else. Photo shows the census briefing team.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Back in the mid-1980s, when I was on the City Council and teaching school in Moreno Valley California, the Air Force flew me and other worthies to Colorado Springs, Colorado for a VIP tour of the Air Force Academy. Quite a place. Quite a
curriculum. Impressive cadets. Especially impressive was the ultra-ultra-modern Air Force Chapel. I thought the chapel architecture so strange that cadets might wonder whether to pray “in it, at it, or for it.”

Now, according to the Associated Press, “strange” at the Air Force Academy has been elevated to a whole new level (but what do I know - I was an Aviation Cadet, not an Academy Cadet). The Air Force Academy has now set aside and designated a “special place” on the campus where Wiccans (witches, in case you didn’t know), Druids, and assorted Pagans can do what Wiccans, Druids, and assorted Pagans do. Wow! “Off we go into the wild blue yonder.” Or is it wild “black” yonder?

Since the academy superintendent three star general is navigating at Mach III speed to new levels of on-campus religious tolerance, let’s do it right, or not at all. To be fair, the superintendent should build a pyramid on campus that will enable Air Force Academy Aztecs believers to do what Aztecs do on top of pyramids. One must’nt discriminate against Aztecs. I’ve heard they can get quite nasty.

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