Sunday, July 20, 2014

A debate on SB 21 this Wednesday ...

In a piece in yesterday's Alaska Disptach ("Still have questions about the oil tax referendum? You're not alone"), Cliff Groh sets the stage for a debate this upcoming Wednesday evening (July 23) on Proposition 1, the proposal to repeal SB 21.  The debate features Sen. Bill Wielechowski and economist Gregg Erickson on the "Vote Yes" side, and economist Roger Marks and me on the "Vote No" side. Gunnar Knapp, an economist and Director of the University of Alaska's Institute of Social and Economic Research is moderating.

I am looking forward to the discussion, which will provide an increased level of engagement among the panelists.  As Cliff says in his piece, "[t]his forum will differ from a number of others on this issue in that it will focus on getting each side to answer the other side's questions. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions of their own."

The forum is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Anchorage, the League of Women Voters of Alaska, the Anchorage Public Library, ISER, and Alaska Integrated Media (the home of KOAN -- Dan Fagan and Glenn Biegel, and KVNT -- Tom Anderson, and the same group that stepped up and sponsored the Senate Republican Debate a few weeks ago when it threatened to implode).

As Cliff concludes, "[t]he old saying is that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. But if you don’t try to learn the issues you are voting on, you can’t complain that they are confusing." The forum will be held at the Wilda Marston Theatre at Anchorage’s Loussac Library from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.