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Commonwealth North Gubernatorial Debates, AGIA & Rep. Young

Commonwealth North Democratic Debate 2010 Commonwealth North Gubernatorial Debate Series
12:00 noon, doors open at 11:30 am
Formal program: 12:00 noon - 1 pm, Extended Q&A: 1pm - 2 pm
Captain Cook Hotel Ballroom

Underwriter and Table Sponsorship Opportunities Available

DEMOCRATIC DEBATE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 5
Moderated by Retired Judge Karen Hunt

Click here to Register

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Participants: Ethan Berkowitz, Senator Hollis French

Commonwealth North is pleased to welcome members and guests to our 2010 Democratic Debate between former House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz and Senator Hollis French August 5th at the Captain Cook Hotel. The formal program will be moderated by former State of Alaska Judge Karen Hunt and will begin at noon with an extended Q&A session from 1pm - 2pm. Commonwealth North continues to promote interest in government, economic, social and cultural issues impacting Alaska and its future in what will be a dynamic statewide dialogue. Hear detailed responses from the candidates' to major public policy issues including energy, health care, and fiscal policy and participate in a one hour question and answer session. This debate will be an organized discussion between respected individuals invested in moving the Alaska forward.

As the Primary Election approaches on August 24th, Alaskans are seeking details on the different public policy initiatives each candidate proposes. Among the topics Alaskans will be seeking clarification on at the time of this debate is ACES.

Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES), Alaska's current structure for taxing oil and gas, is controversial and after a contentious 2010 legislative session is again being debated by the two leading Democratic candidates. Under ACES, a portion of revenue from oil and gas production currently goes to the Alaska Permanent Fund. The rest goes to the state's general fund for yearly spending. The major oil companies and many Republican Legislators say it costs jobs and investment as production from the North Slope continues its long decline, but Alaska Department of Labor statistics show oil and gas employment rose after ACES passed in the fall of 2007 to 12,200 jobs in May of 2010.

On Wednesday, July 21 a handful of local Democratic Legislators stood with Senator French in a press conference to defend ACES against Berkowitz's proposal to eliminate the oil tax system for a new system, in which a new state commission would negotiate with the oil companies over what the royalty should be on each field. French helped develop the current system and has defended the controversial legislation passed in 2007. Senator French says that in his view "This is the single biggest issue in this election."

Ethan Berkowitz is pursuing a stable revenue system by purposing an all-royalty solution as the basis for Alaska's oil revenue system. Putting oil wealth into the Permanent Fund takes a non-renewable resource and makes it renewable, he said. Berkowitz proposes that the state should eventually transition to a tax system in which all revenues go to the Permanent Fund, which he says provides stability as oil prices fluctuate. The oil industry would want to invest more in Alaska because it could be certain the State would not be increasing taxes in order to make up for budget shortfalls, he said. Berkowitz dismissed the arguments of his Democratic colleagues as unwillingness to talk about something new and contends that this is only a small part of his overall fiscal and renewable energy policy that he has been discussing for months while his challenger has only recently turned this into a contentious issue.

If you are interested in the public policy issues facing Alaska, and supporting the work Commonwealth North does to inform, involve and influence all Alaskans on public policy issues you should become a member. Please call Joshua Wilson at (907) 258-9522 or visit us on our website at www.commonwealthnorth.org if you have any questions.


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Commonwealth North Republican Debate 2010 Commonwealth North Gubernatorial Debate Series
12:00 noon, doors open at 11:30 am
Formal program: 12:00 noon - 1 pm, Extended Q&A: 1pm - 2 pm
Captain Cook Hotel Ballroom

Underwriter and Table Sponsorship Opportunities Available

REPUBLICAN DEBATE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
Moderated by Chancellor Fran Ulmer

Click here to Register

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Participants: Governor Sean Parnell, Ralph Samuels, Bill Walker

Commonwealth North is pleased to welcome members and guests to the 2010 Gubernatorial Debate Series. Commonwealth North continues to promote interest in government, economic, social and cultural issues impacting Alaska and its future in what will be a dynamic statewide dialogue. Hear the candidates' responses to major public policy issues including energy, health care, and fiscal policy and participate in a one hour question and answer session. For more information or to reserve a seat please call Joshua Wilson at 258-9522, use the registration links above or go to www.commonwealthnorth.org.

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Energy Action Coalition - AGIA Report Commonwealth North Energy Action Coalition
Friday, July 30, 12-1pm (AGIA/Open Season)
ANGDA, 411 West 4th Avenue
Click to EditClick to EditCommonwealth North's Energy Action Coalition will meet this Friday, July 30 from 12-1 with Commissioner Irwin and Deputy Commissioner Rutherford, Department of Resources, to discuss the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act day the AGIA's open season officially closes. During the past 90-days gas producers could commit to buy transit capacity in AGIA's planned natural gas pipeline. Our speakers will be summarizing the open season process, give a progress report, outline possible outcomes, and discuss reasonable open season expectations.

Originally based on past Commonwealth North energy and gasline studies the Energy Action Coalition addresses the need for Southcentral utilities and local governments to assess the potential of a gas deliverability disruption in the near future, establishing a scope of review of supply contracts consistent with 2001 practices, the Governor and Legislature to substantially increase funding with the goal of reducing rural Alaskans' energy costs by at least 50%, the evaluation of all factors to encourage development of oil and natural gas potential in Cook Inlet, and the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

The group continues to hear speakers, evaluate proposed solutions, and facilitate dialogue regarding energy policy throughout Alaska, with a goal of securing a vibrant energy future for the State. Over the last six months this group has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas between the membership and many of Alaska's private and public energy leaders, including the co-chairs of the Senate and House Energy Committees, as well as with state employees charged with the management of the state's resources and state regulators whose decisions impact the state's energy businesses.

Commonwealth North members are encouraged to attend. If you wish to become involved in Commonwealth North's Energy Initiative please call Joshua Wilson at 258-9522.





Commonwealth North a Co-Convener in Municipality Budget Dialogues The Municipality of Anchorage is facing difficult choices in these times of increasing costs and declining revenues. Upcoming spending, tax, and budget decisions will affect all Anchorage residents.

You are invited to participate in a dialogue about what sort of city you want to live in, what services our government should provide, and how to pay for them.

Commonwealth North has recommended a similar public process in many of our past reports in an effort to help Alaskans on the budget and fiscal responsibility. Commonwealth North joins the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, University of Anchorage Alaska, and the Chugiak Eagle River Chamber of Commerce as a co-convener of the Municipality's fiscal dialogues.

Please join us for one of the following dialogues:

Wednesday, August 4
Embassy Suites Hotel, 600 E. Benson Blvd.

Tuesday, August 10
Eagle River Lions Club, 16630 Eagle River Rd.

Wednesday, August 11
ASD Headquarters Bldg., 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd.

5:15-5:40 p.m. light dinner
5:45-8:45 p.m. (starts promptly)

You don't need to be a budget expert to participate! These small group dialogues will focus on what is important to you, your family, and neighbors. The results will be a key input to the Mayor and Assembly members as decisions are made about next year's budget, services, and taxes.

Please go to www.muni.org for more information or register by responding to budget2011@muni.org. Walk-ins are welcome too, but space is limited.

Representative Don Young Forum
Wednesday, August 18, 12-1
Dena'ina Center
Sponsorship Opportunities Available


Click here to Register

Click to EditCommonwealth North is proud to host Representative Don Young on Wednesday, August 18 from 12-1 at the Hilton Hotel. Representative Young will be giving a Washington Report from the House of Representative and hone in on many of his Alaskan priorities including health care, cap and trade, regulatory standards, and earmarks.

Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 111th Congress in 2008 to serve his 19th term as Alaska's Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress in 1973, Congressman Young is today the 2nd ranking Republican member and the 6th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, House Natural Resources Committee, and the Republican Policy Committee. Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska's central interior region.

Commonwealth North Calendar

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