Taxation without representation, thanks to Lisa Murkowski

When Rep. Don Young, Alaska’s representative to the United States for 49 years, died March 18, he left a hole the size of the Yukon in the fabric of Alaska. With his outspoken manner and the legacy he left in the halls of Congress, he was one of a kind and Alaskan through and through.

Alaska has depended on Mr. Young’s leadership in the House of Representatives since 1973, but now, thanks to Senator Lisa Murkowski, we will be without representation until mid-August.

For the next five months, there will be no members of the Alaska House due to “Bullot Measure 2,” a comprehensive overhaul of Alaska’s electoral systems narrowly passed by referendum in 2020. The program provides for an open, multiparty primary in which voters choose one candidate, with the top four voters qualifying for a general election. In this general election, voters have the opportunity to rank the four remaining candidates, and a winner will be declared following a complicated process that reallocates the votes of candidates eliminated in the tabulation.

Due to statutory deadlines and the time it takes to print and distribute ballots, it is clear that Alaska will not have any members in the House until mid-August. Ballot Measure 2 replaced the existing process which called for a single multi-party election. Under this method, if a candidate got 50% plus one vote, Alaska would have had a new representative in mid-June, two months earlier than we will have one now.

It is widely believed that Ballot Measure 2 was put in place as an incumbent protection plan for Ms Murkowski. She certainly would have been unable to survive a direct Republican primary election this year. Her supporters point out that she lost a Republican primary once before, in 2010, and then won re-election anyway in an unlikely general election campaign. But that was then, and this is now.

The 2010 election took place before former President Donald Trump enacted many policies that greatly benefited Alaska, and also before Ms. Murkowski opposed Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, his re-election in 2020 and many of his efforts, such as the confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. to the Supreme Court.

It was also before Ms. Murkowski authorized all the horribly damaging policies of the Biden administration by approving more than 90% of her cabinet appointments, including voting tiebreakers to advance the confirmation of the Interior Secretary. Deb Haaland, who led the charge on President Biden’s assault on Alaskan energy and resource workers and companies. And that was before the Alaska Republican Party censored Ms. Murkowski and ordered her to stop running as a Republican in Alaska.

Ms Murkowski’s team knew they would not survive their bid for re-election in 2022 if the rules were not changed to their advantage.

So came Ballot Measure 2, which was drafted and championed by political operative Scott Kendall, who previously served as Ms Murkowski’s written campaign lawyer in 2010 and later served as campaign co-ordinator when she was last re-elected in 2016.

Thus, there is no doubt that the massive restructuring of our electoral process was carried out by Ms. Murkowski’s team for the benefit of Ms. Murkowski and not in the best interest of the people of Alaska.

Once again, we see Ms. Murkowski’s concern for herself taking precedence over the interests of the people. She was given the Senate seat by her father, Frank Murkowski, to fulfill his own unexpired term when he was elected governor. In 2010, she ignored the clearly expressed will of the people of Alaska by navigating her primary election defeat through a written campaign, despite promising to honor the primary result. And now she has approved a new electoral system that will leave all of Alaska defenseless in the United States House of Representatives for nearly six months.

Above all, what motivates Ms. Murkowski is her desperation to keep at all costs the Senate seat she inherited from her father.

And therefore, at a time when Mr. Biden is trampling on Alaska, continually dismantling our primary industries and destroying thousands of jobs, we are left with no one left in the lower house of Congress to try to protect our interests and fight for us.

We Alaskans are used to the lower 48s forgetting about us, ignoring us, and leaving us speechless. It is especially devastating that this time we have no voice because of the selfish choices of our own US Senator, Lisa Murkowski.

• Kelly Tshibaka was born and raised in Alaska and a US Senate candidate in Alaska, supported by former President Donald Trump and the Alaska Republican Party.