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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: What are those yahoos in Juneau up to now?

Like a good story, most legislative sessions have a narrative. Last session’s narrative was simple and wholesome: the passage of a multi-billion dollar tax cut for oil companies. And by golly, we got the job done with SB 21, which passed the Senate 11-9, and fulfilled its unfortunate destiny by a vote of 27-12 on the floor of the House of Representatives at 2:07 a.m. in the wee hours of April 14, 2013. (I was among the dozen dissenters.)

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: About that Fukushima Radiation…

Since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I’ve been trying to find zen with the the ongoing Fukushima nuclear mess. Between colossal tax cuts for oil companies, a budget forecast that induces acid reflux, and Medicaid un-expansion, I barely had the brainspace to worry whether my dad’s smoked sockeye was going to give me colon cancer or turn me into a mutant.

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: A $2 Billion Goof

• “$2 billion revenue shortfall sparks oil tax debate” — Anchorage Daily News
• “Oil Tax Revenue Expected To Decline By $2 Billion” — Alaska Public Radio
• “Alaska Revenue Forecast Shows Unanticipated Multibillion-Dollar Deficit” — Alaska Dispatch

Translation: We, the State of Alaska, have $2 billion less in oil revenue this coming year than we thought.

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: The Obamacare Edition

Sportsmanship and Statesmanship

I love great sports rivalries. I love that the intensity of competition between great rivals — Red Sox and Yankees; Auburn and Alabama; Duke and North Carolina — is couched by an even greater respect each holds for the other. Ferocious competitors, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird dueled each other in some of the most epic playoff games in NBA history, but when the series was over, Bird and Jordan genuinely respected each other and even teamed up to shoot good-natured McDonalds commercials in the off-season.

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: Let Bylines Be Bygones

Who Really Writes This Thing?

I often get asked, “Who writes your newsletters?”

People are deathly cynical of politics, and who can blame them? The system is impersonal and insincere, practically by design. Politicians are insulated by an exquisite apparatus of spokespeople, press releases, and punditry.

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins Newsletter: What Happened?! (The Sequel)

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Alaska Legislature does two things: we write the budget and we write the law. I’m trying to break down the recent legislative session: last time I focused on the budget; this time I’ll focus on the law. Just what kind of legislation are those yahoos over in Juneau passing?!

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: What Happened?! (Part 1)

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

What exactly did those yahoos over in Juneau do with your money?!

I’m writing a couple of newsletters to help make sense of the recently concluded legislative session, and the budget was a big part of it. After all, the Alaska Legislature basically does two things: we write laws and we write the budget. It’s good to know how much money we have and how much we’re spending.

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