Category - Rep. Les Gara

Note from Rep. Gara: Corporate-Funded Ads Paint Skewed Picture: Tuesday Ballot Measures

So far Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell and ConocoPhillips have spent over a half million dollars with deceptive ads telling you how their companies want you to vote Tuesday. That's the new election world we live in. In this world of unlimited election spending, facts should matter more than spin, and when corporations fund ads you should take a close look to see if they are trying to spin you into voting against the public's interest. I believe they are here. What's good for outside corporations isn't always what's good for you. Ballot Measure 2: Local Voice, Or Let Federal Bureaucrats Dictate Development Issues on Federal Lands in Alaska: I'm Voting Yes On 2

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Note from Rep. Gara: State Hushing Public On Pesticides & Fighting Gasoline Price Gouging

I could spend this newsletter taking a poll on when the official start of summer will be. I could be wrong, but I remember it starting earlier than late July in past years. I'll have to check my journal. Actually, I'm looking out the window and think it might be starting now! Good. OK, next subject. Want More Pesticides With Your Coffee? For Your Children, and Our Fish, Game and Wildlife?

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Note from Rep. Gara: It’s Back! Summer Used/New Laptop, Mentor and Foster Parent Drive

Want to change a life for the better? Want it to be easy? Have we got a deal for you! May is National Foster Care Month, and in conjunction with that we have launched our second annual summer "Laptops for Foster Youth Drive". And, don’t worry. No laptop? There are other ways to help, ranging from easy to not so easy. Option 1: Donate a New or Quality Used Laptop

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Note from Rep. Gara: Guv Signs Our Bill to Protect Alaskans’ Fishing Stream Access!

Well good news doesn't usually come in the hospital. But that's where I am, and where I got the good news that the Governor signed my bill seeking to maintain and enhance the cherished right of Alaskans to access our fishing streams, so public access remains for this and the next generation. Predictions are that surgery went well, but it will be a little bit before we know for sure. What we do know is all the cancer is gone - thanks for all the well wishes. That's the good news. It will take a little time to find out if there are any side effects.

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Note from Rep. Gara: End of Session, Pre “Unspecial Session” Update – The Good, Bad and Ugly.

Well, a flurry of bills passed the last 24 hours of the regular legislative session. I’ll give you the highlights and low lights, and a short preview of special session. I’m able to write now that my blood pressure is back to normal. What caused the rise? The few legislators who pride themselves on blocking good legislation out of pure partisanship and animosity. Would anyone outside the Legislature (or Congress where the same stuff is done) really make the state a worse place just because you’re trying to block legislation by an “opponent” – or trying to make your opponent’s election chances worse? It’s a sick part of the legislative process that, I’m happy to say, most legislators don’t tolerate. But the few that do make life, and the state, worse for the rest of us.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Mourning the Loss of a Great Legislator: Rep. Carl Gatto

Yesterday Alaska lost a great legislator, and a great family man. He was a friend of mine and of many. Carl Gatto, a fiercely independent Palmer Republican, fought prostate cancer for roughly a decade, and, though spry and active until very recently, passed away after bravely battling a month of rapidly declining health. Carl and I had a running joke. We were both born in New York, and in our first year as legislators, voters, administrators who sent us our hiring packets, and many others got us mixed up. For a year I got blamed for his votes and he got blamed for mine - which we kidded about. I claimed the confusion got him votes because people thought he was me; he claimed it got me votes because it was obvious people thought I was him. He was probably right.

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Note from Rep. Gara: The End (Of Session) Is Near. Or It Isn’t. An Update Anyway.

We have a number of priorities that have passed, may pass, or are on life support but could pass in the next 14 days. One of our priorities is NOT an extended Special Session that takes us past the voter-approved 90-day session. And when I say “special,” I mean it in the way an irritated woman in a bar calls an annoying drunk guy with unending and bad pickup lines “special.” I think we can get our work done on time, but I’m one of sixty votes. I won’t detail these bills, but this week there will be a constitutional amendment to provide state money to private and religious schools – something I think will detract from needed support for public education, and will vote against.

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