- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Here is a sampling of editorial opinions from Alaska newspapers:

July 9, 2014

Ketchikan Daily News: A worthy pledge

It’s in the name.

The “people’s pledge.”

It’s about the people of Alaska and the entire United States, people tired of negative influences from Outsiders.

Here in Alaska, Outside dollars fuel campaigns well past the boiling point.

The people don’t like it. We don’t like all of the negativity, and we don’t like Outside dollars telling us what to think and how to vote. We don’t like one candidate acting pure as snow while the same candidate’s advertisements paid for by Outsiders smear an opponent.

As a result in other states, and also in Alaska, some candidates are signing pledges designed to discourage attack ads funded by Outsiders.

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has been asked by Republican challenger Dan Sullivan to sign a similar pledge.

Begich says Sullivan’s being disingenuous; that his request is only a political ploy. Begich says he would have preferred that the campaigns negotiate in regard to the topic of the pledge.

Sullivan says he simply wanted to set a standard for the type of race he and Begich would conduct.

With still the equivalent of a third of a year - four months - of campaigning until November’s general election, time is available to do that and spare Alaskans a great deal of negativity from the Outside.

This sort of pledge might not arrive soon in Alaska, but in years to come, it - or something like it - will. Because like the title indicates, the people want a change from all of the negativity from Outside.

___

June 28, 2014

Peninsula Clarion: Alaska deserves better from its elected leaders

We’re embarrassed by recent revelations that two prominent Alaska politicians have been accused of violating ethics and campaign finance laws.

A House Ethics Committee found that U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, used campaign funds for personal trips and accepted improper gifts, according to a June 20 Associated Press report.

The committee ordered Young, the longest serving Republican in the House, to pay a nearly $60,000 fine and issued a formal letter of rebuke over 15 trips Young took to hunting lodges between 2001-2013.

Meanwhile, Anchorage mayor and candidate for lieutenant governor Dan Sullivan was fined $187.50 after issuing a campaign-related press release through his city spokesperson in May, an illegal use of city resources that violates campaign finance laws.

Alaskans are no strangers to ethics violations, misuse of resources, outright fraud and other abuses of power.

Former governor Sarah Palin was accused of abusing her power when she dismissed then-Anchorage police chief Walt Monegan, for allegedly refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law. A group of state legislators found she had violated the state executive ethics act, while the state’s personnel board ultimately found no wrongdoing.

And the infamous political corruption probe involving VECO and Bill Allen that resulted in charges for seven Alaskan politicians including extortion, bribery, money laundering, felony conspiracy, and mail fraud is still fresh in our memory.

We should expect better from our legislators and the people who have access to public money.

If they can’t hold themselves to a higher standard of ethical decision-making, they shouldn’t be in office.

Alaskans deserve politicians who won’t embarrass us, politicians who will be as careful with our money as they are their own. Most of all, we should be proud of the people we choose as our leaders.

We encourage you to share your opinion at the ballot box this fall and let our politicians know that we won’t tolerate their abuses of power anymore.

We deserve better.

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