Les Gara
Standing up for Whats Right


Paid for by:

Alaskans for Les Gara
P.O. Box 202259
Anchorage, AK 99520
Tel: (907) 274-0730
lesgara@yahoo.com


“Les Has Been A Champion For Alaska's Schoolchildren.”
Carol Comeau, Retired Anch. School Superintendent
I've enjoyed working for you in the Legislature, and want to thank you for all your support as we've worked together for a better community. With your help and support, we can work together to expand opportunity for ALL Alaskans, not just those lucky enough to be born with privilege or into a stable family. I've voted to stop the damaging cuts in our schools, and to reverse them.  With your support I will keep working for quality voluntary pre-k, which studies show improve opportunity and performance, especially for children from low income families with parents who both work.

I've co-written bi-partisan legislation to make more vibrant communities, allowing Alaska's housing authority to build and finance housing that also includes businesses and non-profits like grocery stores, restaurants and doctors offices.  Until that bill passed the state's housing authority was barred from doing that.

I wrote legislation that was added, as an amendment, to protect veterans with combat-related PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

We can protect Alaska's fishing streams (I passed legislation pushing to protect Alaska's public fishing access in 2012), our outdoors, and promote economic development as we have on the past. But there's a new move in recent years to trade wild fishing streams for irresponsible development. That's poor policy, and the Pebble and Chuitna Mine (which would dredge 11 miles of salmon stream and not "restore" it for 30 years) concern me.

Money should never be a barrier to college, job training or opportunity. Today too few Alaskans attend college and get needed job training - our college graduation numbers are the worst or second worst per capita in the nation, depending on which survey you look at. I worked to help re-write the Governor's so-called "merit" scholarship - which left out rural students who go to schools that don't offer the courses needed to qualify; and bright, driven youth who earned their GED while in a broken family. We have added needs-based aid now - something I've fought for since I've been in the Legislature. I've pushed my and others' legislation to reduce Alaska's crippling 7% student loan rate, which is 3 times what you can get a used car loan for.

And we need to enhance our economy with expanded, smart renewable energy production in urban and rural Alaska, and expand Alaska's natural gas production so the most energy-rich state in the nation doesn't face an energy shortage. I succeeded in co-sponsoring efforts to require that future state buildings and schools be built to cost effective energy efficiency standards, and succeeded in pushing for an additional $50 million to Alaska's Renewable Energy Fund during the 2008 Special Session, which I co-sponsored and successfully voted to renew. I've fought hard for a natural gas policy that will lead to a gas pipeline and more natural gas production - though the plan that passed this year needs improvement.  I voted for because it was better than the alternative of a back up small, cost ineffective small line that will produce little Alaska revenue, and told the Governor it needs improvement.  A gasline should serve your interests, and result in affordable gas that provides for both in-state use, and exports that produce Alaska revenue.

Standing upAnd I believe in working for more oil production. We have more exploration on the North Slope, and more companies working there, than in recent history - and 40% more investment and jobs - all as of prior to the GOP giveaway that passed in April!  A non-partisan coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents, including former First Lady Bella Hammond, Constitutional Convention Delegate Vic Fischer, and current and former Democratic and Republican public officials are pushing to repeal this law on the August ballot,

The Governor and his allies passed a law that rewards Exxon, for illegally withholding production from Pt. Thompson for over 30 years, an additional 40% discount on it's already reduced tax rate under that bill.  It reduces oil company tax rates continuously into the future, until we are stuck with one of the lowest rates in the world. 

The largest tax giveaway in his bill - upwards of $1 billion or more per year depending on oil prices - just hands that money to Exxon, Conoco and BP without requiring them to invest it in Alaska. They can keep it. They can invest it in Azerbaijan or Libya. Lower taxes, with no strings requiring action by oil companies in Alaska, didn't work before, and won't work.

I and others pushed for oil policy that lets companies buy down their tax rate if they invest in new exploration, new processing facilities for new oil, and heavy oil research needed to bring that untapped resource into the pipeline, so companies couldn't just take their tax breaks and spend them outside. We should benefit, not just the oil companies that put their political backing behind the Governor.

And I would have ranked stopping and reversing education cuts ahead of a $1.8 billion Knik Arm Bridge project, and a $50 million subsidy to Tesoro, which didn't said it didn't need the money.  The Giveaway of your money isn't good policy.

With your help, I'll keep working for fairness and opportunity for all, and for a vibrant future for this and the next generation.

Thanks,

Gara
Les Gara

PS - As always, just call or write (274-0730; lesgara@yahoo.com) if you'd like to share questions, thoughts or concerns.

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