tease

Opinion: Voting for Galvin or Gross is voting against Alaska

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:33am
  • Opinion

By Ron Somerville

Two things caught my eye in the paper on Tuesday, which need some clarification for your readers.

First, Paulette Simpson’s my turn piece presented an argument that Juneau citizens should go the extra mile to support their local businesses during these extreme times caused by the pandemic. In other words, use them or lose them. In reality, I agree with Paulette and most of the people I know have gone out of their way to use innovative means to support local businesses. It is a bitter-sweet issue for Juneau seniors, however, as it was the Chamber of Commerce, representing local businesses, who led the successful charge to only increase taxes on local seniors by taking away much of their sales tax exemption several years ago. Thus, many seniors turned to Amazon Prime to make up for their income loss.

CBJ later estimated that it would take almost $4 million to cover the taxes lost if the senior tax exemption were reinstated. As we enjoy a 5% sales tax, including food sales taxes, that $4 million in tax revenues means that Juneau seniors are funneling $80 million to outside businesses — mainly Amazon Prime. Although I disagree with the $4 million estimate the sad part of this story is that with Amazon Prime now taxing some of our purchases and the city receives some of those taxes, the local businesses have lost their sales. Maybe the Chamber should have considered the worst case scenario before punishing the seniors in our community.

The last issue regards two independent candidates running for U.S. Congress. Both Alyse Galvin and Dr. Gross are running as independents in this year’s election and pledge to represent Alaskan interests in Congress. Although I would normally encourage people to run as independents, both candidates will caucus with the Democrats in DC if they intend to pursue their goals. Dr. Gross has already admitted he would do that. Unless you have been living on Mars, the Democrat caucus does very little to represent Alaska. Does the caucus support drilling in ANWR? No. Does the caucus support giving Alaskans broader use of federal public lands? No. Does the caucus support Medicare for all including illegal aliens? Yes. Does the caucus support abortion until actual birth? Yes. Does the caucus support increasing taxes and eliminating the tax increases we got this past year? Yes. Does the caucus support eliminating use of fossil fuels? Yes. In other words, voting for these two candidates is a vote against Alaskans. These two candidates have no chance of working “for” Alaskans.

• Ron Somerville is an 83-year-old Alaskan. He moved to Juneau from Anchorage in 1979. He grew up in Craig. 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.

More in Opinion

teese
Opinion: Exploring lessons of the Trump Era

There’s an opportunity here to discuss issues important to both sides of the political divide.

Common Ground. Super literal.
Opinion: It’s time to find common ground

We have families, jobs, hobbies and a desire for stability and calm.

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

Corri A. Feige is commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. (Courtesy Photo / DNR)
Alaska Geospatial Council helps state really ‘know where it’s at’

“Geospatial” means “location on the earth.”

teezer
Opinion: Psychiatric patients need right to appeal

By Faith Myers The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Anchorage Daily News, the… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to local leaders at the Alaska Municipal League's legislative conference in this February 2020 photo. (Peter Segall/  Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy needs to use his bully pulpit

For guidance, he can look to the Republican governors of Utah, North Dakota and Iowa.

tease
Opinion: UBI is needed for all Alaskans

Biden should support a Universal Basic Income of $500 per month for each Alaskan adult.

This 2018 photo shows, then-Alaska Gov. Bill Walker addresses delegates at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen File)
Opinion: Now is the time for Alaska’s gasline

By Bill Walker I am pleased to be a founding member of… Continue reading

This photo taken Oct. 16 shows the in-progress site of the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: City investment in Arts Campus would provide economic and cultural returns

We humbly ask the people of Juneau to take this journey with us again

Most Read