U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Just the facts about Sullivan, ma’am’, just the facts

“Fact is, Senator Sullivan has earned reelection.”

  • Friday, October 23, 2020 12:04pm
  • Opinion

By Ken Koelsch

We got our first television in the late ‘50s on our family farm. After the evening chores were done, the family would gather by the TV instead of listening to the radio. We could get reception from just two distant TV stations, so if anyone wanted to change channels, one of the kids was designated to go outside and move the antenna until the picture and sound became clear. “Dragnet” with its main character, Sgt. Joe Friday, was a family favorite. The expression “Just the facts, ma’am” is attributed to that show.

Facts can be defined as the truth about events as opposed to interpretation. In this current election cycle facts fail to be presented with reliability or civility. The only bright “fact” spot this election year was our local election. While municipal election results didn’t turn out to everyone’s satisfaction, our local candidates campaigned on the issues with civility and class.

The current presidential campaign, on the other hand, is at the opposite end of the civility spectrum compared to our local election.

This U. S. Senate race will undoubtedly go down as the most negative in Alaska history. Al Gross’s campaign for the U.S. Senate dominates the media and facts are changed, maligned or just plain ignored. The outside political groups behind Al Gross, the Democratic nominee, are determined to win this election, at any cost.

It is impossible to escape the sheer volume of distorted, divisive “facts’ and innuendo that arrive hourly and sometimes minute by minute over the airwaves, social media and in our mail.

Here are some facts: I’m supporting and voting for Dan Sullivan for U.S. Senator and hope you will consider doing likewise.

Sullivan supports fisheries. Sullivan does not support the Pebble Mine.

Sullivan supports insurance companies being required to accept pre-existing medical conditions. Sullivan does not support Obamacare and its taxation of private insurance plans and uninsured individuals.

Sullivan supports lower cost prescription drugs. He has voted against efforts to allow “unsafe” or “unapproved” prescription drugs into the U.S.

Sullivan supports our military and law enforcement.

Sullivan secured $1.6 billion in new military construction for Alaska. Sullivan helped increase personnel and modernize vessels for the U. S Coast including new cutters for Southeast Alaska.

Sullivan has championed “Choose Respect” campaigns for women and aided survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

He fought to keep and to increase federal work positions based in Juneau which make up almost 7% of our workforce.

When the pandemic struck, Sullivan fought for and helped secure billions of dollars for Alaska in the CARES Act that translated into over $53 million for the CBJ and millions more for local Native entities, fisheries, Juneau International Airport and Bartlett Regional Hospital. Those funds helped maintain our police and fire units, our school system, our local businesses, our tourism industry, our homeless, our arts, our hospitality organizations, and our non-profits.

The composition and powers of the Senate were established by Article 1 of the United States Constitution. The Senate is considered the more deliberative and prestigious body of Congress due to its longer terms (6 years) and its smaller size (100 members). Sullivan has served with honor in this august body.

As a freshman senator, Dan Sullivan was the primary sponsor of 10 bills that were enacted into law and they range from Save Our Seas to the Veteran Advocacy Act of 2020. Sullivan was designated in the top 10% of most effective bipartisan senators and is respected on both sides of the aisle. He has earned respect as a tireless fighter for Alaska and its people.

Fact is, Senator Sullivan has earned reelection.

Please join me in voting to send Dan Sullivan back to the U.S. Senate for a second term.

Ken Koelsch was a teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School 1969-1996, port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection 1996-2014, served on the CBJ Assembly 1997-2003 and served as mayor 2016-2018. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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