Comment of the day: ‘Who made Brad the Great White Hope?’

The below came from a reader in reaction to Brad Keithley’s legislative “hit list.” While I don’t endorse everything that the reader is saying, it’s provocative enough and enough people are saying variations of the same thing, that I asked if I could publish it. (Read the backstory here and here.)

Thank you for your recent posting about Brad Keithley. It’s fascinating, but, Christ, what a pompous, arrogant, craven, hypocritical, and sanctimonious ass he is. With a selective standard for measuring legislators.

Most of his comments slamming his targets could have applied to nearly every damn lawmaker. Why single out these bastards, Brad? Why not rage against the entire machine?

For example, nearly every legislator last session voted for SB 119, the capital budget bill. Only one voted no: Sen. Berta Gardner.  (See here.) The previous year, no one voted against the capital budget, SB 18, including Berta. (See here.) And yet Brad harpoons only a couple of legislators for voting for both capital budgets.

What a sham. But it’s to be expected from a newcomer who wasn’t here in Alaska during the 1990s when oil prices were below $10 a barrel. He missed the debate from that era — including the infamous 83 percent rejection by voters of a fiscal plan on a 1999 advisory ballot measure. He missed the context for larger capital budgets that started to emerge in 2005 and how they addressed pent-up demand for infrastructure that couldn’t be built during a time of fiscal restraint.

He may bristle at all this and dismiss it as nothing more than the foolish consistency uttered by the hobgoblin of little minds, to mangle Ralph Waldo Emerson. But who made Brad the Great White Hope, here to save us dumb locals from ourselves? It’s the kind of arrogance that many have come to expect from arrogant white men. So presumptuous. So full of themselves.


13 thoughts on “Comment of the day: ‘Who made Brad the Great White Hope?’

  1. Kyle Johansen

    Aside from the efforts of Mr. Keithley, his supporters and his detractors, when the dust settles Alaska will still have to make a choice in the revenue streams needed to fund future State government operations.

    The fact is our deficit spending is currently approaching one billion dollars per year. A spike in short term oil prices (similar to the one experienced post the aforementioned 1999 advisory vote, and subsequent others) will release the pressure and kick the can down the road once again. Eventually, we will have to stand tall before the reality.

    The real options for policymakers include increased taxes on industry (SB 21 sealed the big one for a few years, fishermen already pay off the gross and good luck with any large tax-producing mining projects going forward and gas revenue will be a meek shadow of oil revenue, if it happens at all), implementation of personal income taxes (there are simply not enough local or seasonal people), implementation of personal property taxes (the Feds own most of it, tax-free) or a statewide sales tax (a main revenue source for municipalities) OR accessing the revenue stream create by the earnings of the Permanent Fund. If there are other options, please post them and start talking about them now (and I double dog dare anybody to come up with anything other than “Increased Oil Production” Let’s just try it, come on!).

    I read on this site the comments of current Anchorage Mayor and Lt. Governor Candidate Sullivan regarding the earnings reserve. Mayor Dan speaks the truth. Real choices are coming and tough decisions must be made and the dividend will be part of the conversation.

    One of the “Fathers” of the Dividend program was Representative Oral Freeman of Ketchikan. I have listened to and heard of the legislative intent straight from one of the policymakers mouth (as well as from one of his staffers at the time of the 1970’s debate, Representative Mike Doogan) of how these options would eventually collide and cause a very robust conversations on state spending vs. taxes vs. dividend checks. The tension, so wonderfully crafted, is not an accident.

    I trust Chairman Freeman has a wry smile as he watches it all unfold, no doubt as it should…

  2. alaskapi

    Crimenently. What does your silly remark have to do with anything here?
    Ditto what Bob Williams said here.
    I disagree with akmom about “balance” here on this blog, but it is not really about balance is it?
    This is a place for news and POV in a unique blend.
    Ms Coyne’s journalism credentials and background are evident over and over in the more straight reporting pieces. She’s long been one of our best.
    Her personal POV , which is very different than mine, is clear and unambiguous , when presented.
    Hats off to Ms Coyne for pulling off a difficult set of projects all in one place. And Pfffttt! on folks who fall back on nasty old ad hominem jabs , especially those with no context in the current piece.

  3. Bob Williams

    Anonymoust, your last sentence was accurate. The others weren’t. Amanda covered every single Lt Governor forum or debate this year. I’ve seen her working and gathering information at numerous political events, rallies, and fundraisers. If there is a key event or brawl that she is not attending, she tracks information down quickly. Attributing her work ethic to someone else is inaccurate and also is a royal insult.

    For those that are interested, opportunities for Queen are limited.

  4. Twig

    This is indeed a provacative diatribe. I appreciate you posting it with the disclaimer you noted. The Dems rake the Koch bothers and Karl Rove over the fires of hell claiming they are bad, ill-willed people. The GOP does the same with Bloomberg, Steyer and the like. So, now that Keithley has entered the public world, I’m sure that some want to know about his personal life and question his motivations. I find his political calculus a bit odd if not sophomoric. It will be interesting to watch it all unfold. Again, thanks for all the good work you do and your tolerance for some of the idiots that frequent your world. I find your site to be informative, educational, deliberative and fair. It’s a lot of fun too.

  5. Lynn Willis

    “I can’t control myself so please help me before I spend again by re-electing me to office”. Is that both you’re excuse and solution for this mess?
    Would you have me believe that most of these operating budget expenditures are absolutely mandatory based on unchangeable and irrevocable formulas? How about the formula that just gave me $1,800? I bet that one is going to change soon enough.
    If your observation is true then why now have a legislature and Governor when all we need is a receipt and payments office?
    Also, how many of those 16,000 jobs Parnell claims he created are directly linked to this unsustainable spending increase, especially those “dumb” capital budget expenditures which are merely a distraction?
    To illustrate our situation now, I have a neighbor who makes good wages in the private sector applying his craft to many state funded projects including the LIO expansion and other capital expenditure projects. Should he soon seek state employment so he can be paid under the operating budget instead of the capital budget? Or, should he seek a “position in retail” if private investment can’t sustain this construction work tempo (which it can’t)?
    This unsustainable spending scenario which creates a false economy happened in the 1980s and lasted until oil prices collapsed. The scenario is repeating itself and is about to cripple our state economy again because the old adage that “you can pay me now or you can pay me later” is about to strike us between the eyes again as soon as our cash reserves that are sustain this deficit spending are consumed.

  6. Mae

    Someone in this state has finally stepped up and spoke up with back up… So, of course another has come out against it.

    I, for one, am tired of all the screaming fiscal conservatives mouthing off about government spending then vote to pass the highest budget ever.

  7. Jon K

    On the merits, what’s driving the deficit is the operating budget and mandatory spending. Over the last ten years the operating budget went from $2 billion to about $6 billion. Focusing on dumb capital projects is like the GOP’s fixation w ear marks. It’s a distraction. Some of these projects need to go, but they are not the cause of our deficits.

  8. Anonymoust

    That would be like saying “Who made Amanda Coyne Queen”. We all know that you get all your info from Ashley Reed. Brad is doing what he wants with his time and money.

  9. Anonymous

    While I agree with the sentiment, the racist comment about arrogant white men is out of place. I have been around long enough to see all of the positive and negative human traits in people of all races.

  10. Bob Williams

    Do you have any evidence that Brad is “pompous, arrogant, craven, hypocritical, and sanctimonious”? I would think it would be exhausting to exhibit all five of those traits simultaneously.

    Since you called him an “ass”, I’d like to balance it out with a few positive things to say about Brad.

    1. Brad Keithley wore a “Kids Not Cuts” sticker while in line to testify before legislators at Loussac this Spring.
    2. In my few conversations with Brad, we may have different views on some policies but I’ve always found him to be civil, courteous and polite.
    3. His decision not to run for office but to bring his money in to shape the discussion is actually quite rational.

Comments are closed.