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Alaska State Chamber of Commerce E-News - August 23, 2010 - Get Out and Vote on Tuesday

Private sector economic growth in Alaska continues to face a number of challenges.  To help ensure that state government enacts policies, which encourage investment and job creation, we need elected officials who understand and support business.  The Alaska State Chamber works hard to "promote a positive business environment in Alaska".  Now it is your turn to help make a difference. Make voting on Tuesday, August 24 a priority task for the day.

On Tuesday, Alaskans will vote in the Primary election for candidates for U. S. Senate, U. S. House of Representatives, Governor, Lt. Governor, 40 Representatives, 10 Senators and 2 important ballot initiatives.  The polls are open from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm, ample time to stop and vote.

For a list of all candidates for all seats, visit the State of Alaska Division of Elections website

Candidate List Not sure where to go to vote?  Here is a tool to use to look up your location of where to vote.  On-Line Polling Place Look Up Here is a link to read information about the two initiatives on the primary ballot.  Ballot Measures Pamphlet

Encourage your employees to vote.  Research proves that employees and associates rate their employers as the most credible source of information on issues and elections.  Companies can implement a year-round communication effort for issues and elections.  Employees and associates will appreciate this continual correspondence and will come to rely on it for making their political decisions.  You are not telling them how to vote, you are sharing information to help them make informed choices.

Alaska business needs a legislature and administration that is working to create a positive business environment in our state.  It is time for voters to hold their elected officials to performance standards that relate to the priorities of Alaska¹s business community.  Elected officials need to focus their efforts on the following broad policy areas ­ 1) Government Spending, 2) Regulatory Streamlining, 3) Tort Reform, 4) Business Taxes, 5) Open and Transparent Government, 6) Energy Policy, and 7) Leadership.

There must be a healthy business community for governments at all levels, if they are going to have the funds to accomplish the services they provide.  Successful businesses pay taxes on profits, not on losses.  Taxes fund government services.  Successful businesses are a necessary component for a healthy community.  It is all connected.  We need your help to make sure we elect people who understand that connection.

It is your turn to help make a difference.  Don't forget to Vote on Tuesday August 24.

Alaska State Chamber Board Opposes Ballot Proposition #1

The Alaska State Chamber Board recommends a "no" vote on Ballot Measure 1.  The State Chamber Board, at their May 5, 2010 meeting, adopted this recommendation.  This recommendation is based on the initiative's negative impact to business and persons working for business.   

The Alaska primary ballot on August 24 will include ballot Measure 1.  Ballot Measure 1 would, according to the language approved by the Lt. Governor for the summary, "ban the use of public funds for political campaigns and lobbying by state and local government agencies, and school districts.It would ban political contributions by government contract holders and members of their families.  It would ban legislators and their staff from being employed by government contract holders for two years after leaving state service."

Although the sponsors of this initiative abandoned the campaign for it, Alaskans will still have to vote on ballot Measure 1 on August 24.  If Measure 1 passes, you and your extended family could very well be barred from the political process. 

That is why we are asking you to VOTE NO ON 1!

The stated aim of ballot Measure 1 is to prevent public money from being used to fund lobbying.  Unfortunately, the impacts go well beyond that goal.  If enacted, thousands of average Alaskans would lose their ability to petition their state and local governments and donate freely to candidates of their choice.

The Alaska attorney general has already issued the opinion that the initiative will not stand up to a constitutional challenge, meaning Alaska taxpayers will have to foot the bill to undo this onerous initiative if it is passed.

Business owners who hold contracts with their city or the state would no longer be allowed to donate to the candidates of their choice.  A snowplow driver who works seasonally for the city, for example, would be criminalized if he gave money to an assembly candidate from his neighborhood.  Additionally, the following impacts are expected:

. Prohibits any Alaskan who has a government contract larger than $500 from making political contributions, including state and local contract-holders, many of which are Alaskans operating small and medium-sized businesses

. Ban extends to the contract holders' immediate family, which extends to parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, stepchildren and in-laws

While the initiative sponsors cleverly named the initiative the "Anti Corruption Act, "  Alaska State Chamber and its membership insist on adhering to a high code of conduct and business ethics.  Preventing law-abiding business owners from participating in the political process is not the way to address corruption. 

The Board of Directors of the Alaska State Chamber encourages you to vote "No" on Ballot Measure 1.

Alaska Business Monthly's Top 49er Companies
Announced Oct. 5 at Hilton Anchorage

Alaska Business Monthly's Top 49ers Listing, which congratulates the Top 49 Alaskan-owned and -operated businesses in the state, this year based on 2009 gross revenues, will be announced at a joint luncheon, co-sponsored by the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the Anchorage Hilton.  Doors open at 11:30 and the program will run from noon to 1 p.m.

Last year, for the first time in the 25-year history of the top 49ers luncheon, a corporation, Arctic Slope Regional Corp., topped the $2 billion mark and three companies topped the $1 billion mark.  This year's theme - Top 49ers: Still Growing Strong - illustrates the strength of these homegrown companies, most of which have shown an increase in gross revenues for 2009 over 2008 figures.

Cost per table of 10 is $300 and for single registrants is $30.  Reservations are required.  To make a reservation or to get more information, call Elaine Collins at 276-4373 or 1-800-770-4373.



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