Formatting look odd (especially Yahoo users)? Then click here:
Note from Rep. Les Gara
Note from Rep. Les Gara  
Unacceptable: Legislator Wrong To Play Abortion Politics
Note from Rep. Les Gara

May 3, 2017

Voice Your Opinions!

Letters to the editor make a difference. You can send a letter of up to 200 words (shorter letters are more likely to be accepted) to the Alaska Dispatch News by email (; or by fax or mail (call them at 257-4308). Send letters to the Anchorage Press via e-mail or by mail to 540 E. Fifth Ave, Anchorage, 99501. Feel free to call us if you need factual information to help you write a letter.

Contact the Governor. The Governor can be reached at 269-7450; or

Contact us. My office can be reached at: 1500 W Benson Blvd, Rm 216, Anchorage, AK 99503; by phone: 269-0106; visit my website at; or email:

Want to Volunteer To Help A Child?

You can be a Volunteer Mentor to help a child, through a program we worked with foster care advocates to start, at Big Brothers, Big Sisters.  Just call433-4691. Have the time to do more?  Alaska has a major shortage of foster and adoptive parents, and you can help change a life by doing that.  To ask about foster parenting or adopting a child out of foster care call 1-800-478-7307.  And, of course, we are always asking people to donate tax deductible new or used (good condition only) laptops for current and recent foster youth.  You can contact us if you'd like to do that.

Share this on Facebook

Dear Neighbors:

We should be working hard on the budget, not playing games with voter emotions over abortion. While many of us are trying to work to find consensus on solving a nearly $3 billion budget gap, one of our colleagues unthoughtfully started an ugly battle on a woman's right to choose this week.  Here's what I said when asked about it during a press conference yesterday. I used softer words than I wanted to. 

The representative went, in my view, over the top by sponsoring a harsh anti-abortion amendment, which he then tacked onto a non-controversial bill raising awareness about Alaska's terrible rates of child abuse and sexual assault. That was wrong. It turned a bi-partisan bill into a political tool for division and election politics.  I respect the other committee members who asked him not to create this controversy, and asked him not to introduce the amendment they told him would politicize this bill.  He insisted on putting politics ahead of policy.

The Wasilla legislator then went further over the line.  He claimed to a reporter that women "try to get pregnant in this state so that they can get a free trip to the city."  I try not to use harsh words.  That comment was both offensive and false.  I don’t know whether my Wasilla colleague innocently doesn’t know any better, or truly has views I would consider divisively anti-rural.  I will try to assume terribly misinformed innocence on his part. New York Times Article - Alaska Lawmakers Mull Measure Calling Abortion 'Child Abuse'

Still, regardless of the representative’s motivations and views, they were damaging insults, intended or not, to the children and women the original bill aims to protect. And they insulted rural Alaskan women who face difficult private decisions.  

Ok, I'm going back to work now. But I needed to say this - as I did at yesterday's press conference- because women who face difficult personal decisions need to know they are not being judged.  I want to let them know that, and I hope you will too. 

Life is full of enough difficulty. Legislators don't need to make the difficulties our neighbors face even worse.  

It's time to move back to important work, and to stop playing games on emotional issues.  I am going to keep working to solve our budget deficit, to keep working for a fair revenue plan, and to reverse major proposed budget cuts to public education, abused and neglected children, seniors, and those who live with disabilities. 

Here's a link to my last newsletter on that subject! 

My Best,

[signed] Les Gara

Send an email to Subscribe
Send an email to Unsubscribe
Visit my Website