Story last updated at 4:32 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2002

New legislative vision needed
We select our legislators to work for us, not for state government. Once in this bucket, brainwashing begins, and we are soon forgotten, replaced by special interests within the bucket, both state and private, as evidenced by their speech: "The state needs additional taxes" or "I am doing the best job I can for the state." "Downsizing" becomes a nasty word now absent from their vocabulary. They believe they are acting in our best interest.

The seduction of our legislator in the bucket by those special interests lying in wait for them is very subtle, an art handed down and honed to perfection over the years. When outside, we are unable to see inside, and unaware of the goings-on until too late. We have permitted this seduction for many years. Those presently in the bucket would have it continue; they love the seclusion, the unaccountability and the very accommodating newly found friends.

We must remove our legislators from within this bucket in order to make our government responsive to our needs, rather than Alaskans being responsive to the needs of government. We have permitted the seduction, approved the conception and brought forth a bear whose tail we can hardly hold. To quote Walt Kelly in his classic Pogo comic strip, "We have met the enemy and he is us!"

Hang the cost, we need a muzzle on the bear. What is more important, a legislature with new vision, new direction, free from the pressures within the bucket and making changes that will result in a leaner and more efficient state government? Or, business as usual, the "status quo" attitude of those presently within the bucket? We must make that leap for change on Aug. 27. If we fail to make that change, the bear will not go into hibernation, but continue to grow, and we on the outside will find ourselves deeper in the doo-doo as years go by. The move is inevitable; everyone realizes the time has come. Let's not procrastinate any longer Do it now!

Jerry B. Scholes, Fritz Creek