Energy, Tribal Policies Highlight Gubernatorial Debate

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

There are major differences between the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor this year.  Incumbent Sean Parnell and challenger Ethan Berkowitz differ sharply on most energy issues and on their approaches to education and social policy. Last night during the Public Television Debate for the State, they took opposing positions on recognizing tribal jurisdiction.  Governor Parnell said he’s all for tribal administration of social programs, but he opposes any self government power.

Democratic Challenger Ethan Berkowitz believes the time has passed for the state government to be refusing to recognize tribal jurisdiction.

The issue came up during a discussion of why the administration tried to appeal a tribal adoption case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  That appeal was recently denied, leaving the state to try to develop new policy on tribal court powers.

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