"Chris Birch lost me when he voted to cut the PFD.
According to every economic study done the last two years, cutting the PFD has the "largest adverse impact" on the overall economy of all the new revenue options, is "by far" the worst option for Alaska families and at the level of cuts supported by Birch, put an additional 12 - 15,000 Alaskans (2% of the population) below the poverty line.
By supporting PFD cuts Birch has prioritized continued government spending and protecting the Top 20% of Alaskans from paying their fair share of those costs, at the expense of the overall Alaska economy (at the very time it continues to slip deeper into recession), working Alaska families and those teetering on the poverty line.
We will be looking forward to supporting other candidates in his district who bring a brighter outlook for the overall Alaska economy and a fairer outcome for all Alaskans."Later in the day a reader asked us who else we viewed similarly in this coming election cycle -- who has "lost us" by voting to cut the PFD this session. Here is the gist of our response:
"There are several votes this past session that could be used as a litmus test, but most involve the same vote split and Rep. Birch is on the wrong side of all of them.
From the House side, probably the most charitable (from the perspective of giving members the benefit of the doubt) was the floor vote March 17 on Amendment No. 102 to the FY 2018 Operating Budget.
The Amendment read: "Delete "The sum of $793,795,000." Insert "The amount authorized under AS 37.13.145(b) for transfer by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation on June 30, 2017, estimated to be $1,501,000,000."
Here was the vote (https://goo.gl/yF14XF):
Yeas (a vote for paying the full FY 2018 PFD): Chenault, Eastman, Johnson, Millett, Neuman, Pruitt, Rauscher, Reinbold, Saddler, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Thompson, Tilton, Wilson
Nays (a vote to cut the FY 2018 PFD): Birch, Drummond, Edgmon, Fansler, Foster, Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg, Johnston, Josephson, Kawasaki, Kito, Knopp, Kopp, Kreiss-Tomkins, LeDoux, Ortiz, Parish, Seaton, Spohnholz, Stutes, Tarr, Tuck, Westlake, Wool
On the Senate side, the most direct measure likely was the vote on SB 26, which would restructure the Permanent Fund going forward by, among other things, permanently reducing and capping the PFD.
Here was the vote on that (https://goo.gl/3AyFxi):
Yeas (a vote permanently to reduce and cap the PFD): #Bishop, Coghill, #Costello, #Egan, Giessel, #Hoffman, #Kelly, #MacKinnon, #Meyer, #Micciche, Stedman, Stevens, von Imhof
Nays (a vote for retaining the PFD as is): Begich, Dunleavy, Gardner, Hughes, Olson, Wielechowski, Wilson
All of the House members are up for reelection this coming year. Those Senators voting "Yes" on SB 23 (in other words, to cut the PFD) up for reelection this year are preceded by an #."