The governor tries to sell the public on oil tax reform

Governor Sean Parnell isn’t much known for using a heavy hand or voice in passing bills. Last year, he got about as antagonistic as he gets when he called the bipartisan Senate a “do nothing” body when they failed to pass his oil tax bill. That kind of backfired, temporarily at least, because for all the world the Senate was working very, very hard.

Anyway, things are going better for the governor this session, at least as oil taxes are concerned. (Trouble is brewing on other fronts, however. HB 77, a major bill that would revise Alaska’s water and land use laws to benefit mining and other commercial interests appears to be in trouble.) Even Rep. Les Gara conceded in a committee hearing that a reform to ACES will likely pass this session.

But Parnell’s success on this front has little to do with his own efforts, which seem to involve only talking to the Legislature through the Associated Press and writing a weekly oil tax message. (If that weekly message had done one little thing to change one heart and mind, then writers and thinkers with any talent everywhere should just give up and declare themselves the uncles of monkeys. The same goes for industry sponsored commercials on Gavel to Gavel, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, Parnell did get a little cutting edge on Thursday, trying to reach the masses today through twitter and urged others to do the same. In his tell-tale, conversational style, Parnell tweeted the following:

As one pundit put it, “The third floor’s political acumen remains less than stellar,” and then, in his real voice, he said, “This is how he’s trying to sell this bill?”

A few made fun of Parnell’s tweet, and two hours after he urged a re-tweet, only ten had done so, including Deputy Press Secretary Luke Miller, who, when he worked for U.S. Rep. Don Young, spent his days reaching out and actually talking to reporters. Strangely enough, that seemed to work.

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