Lieutenant Governor Candidates Debate Hot Topics

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Four candidates running to be Alaska’s next Lieutenant Governor squared off in a Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce sponsored forum on Tuesday. The candidates: Republicans Jay Ramras, Mead Treadwell, and Eddie Burke, and Democrat Diane Benson took questions on a range of topics, including two initiatives that will be on the August 24 primary ballot.

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Proposition One, would basically forbid public employees, and officials from lobbying. Eddie Burke of Anchorage says he supports the measure, which would also limit political action of entities, including unions, involved in government contracting.

Fellow Republican and Fairbanks State Representative Jay Ramras, disagreed, saying he’s against the so called anti corruption proposition. Ramras called the technical multi paragraph ballot measure bad public policy.

Another Republican, Mead Treadwell of Anchorage is also opposed to prop one. Treadwell said as Lieutenant Governor he would help craft ballot proposition language to avoid problems he sees with the anti corruption proposition.

Democratic candidate Diane Benson sided with Ramras and Treadwell in opposing proposition one, saying that while everyone supports the premise of the measure, she has concerns about unintended effects. Benson, of Anchorage, was the only candidate who voiced opposition to requiring parental consent for abortion for women under 18 years old, the subject of the other proposition that will be on the August ballot.

Four other candidates running for Lieutenant Governor, three Democrats, a Republican and a Libertarian did not participate in yesterday’s Fairbanks Chamber forum. The candidates are vying to replace current Lieutenant Governor Craig Campbell, who is not running.