In the November 8 midterm elections Alaskans will be asked in Ballot Measure 1 whether to hold a Constitutional Convention.2 My late friend John Havelock in 2012 wrote a book about why Alaskans needed to have a constitutional convention at the last time it was possible to do so.
Today Big Money is Opposed to Alaskans having a
Alaska Public Office Commission REPORT for funding against Con-Con:
But Alaskans are an Independent lot and recent elections have shown that just throwing money at a candidate or issue will not assure a win.3
Position Statement in favor:
Position Statement Opposed:
Havelock quotes the father of the Democrat Party, Thomas Jefferson:
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regime of their barbarous ancestors.”4
In his book Havelock added: Responding to those who feared that terrible things can happen because of all the crazies out there who want to make weird changes or repel liberties, he (Jefferson) said:
“I know no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.”
Havelock: Alaskans now considering the possibility of a constitutional convention should consider the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson.
In 2002 this Alaska ballot question lost by more than two-to-one, but something seems different in 2022.This writer is hoping Alaskans are ready to look under the hood of our 1959 vehicle and perhaps give ‘er a tune-up.
This is the history of this question before voters since 1972:
It seems the same Outside money that got us Ranked Choice Voting, and put unbelievable amounts into crazy liberal candidate campaigns last election (2020), are now urging a vote against Alaskans having a Constitutional Convention. It has been now 63 years since Alaska was blessed with statehood because statehood advocates took the initiative to make a constitution progressive enough to be acceptable to post-war Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower and Congress.
Why Alaskans Wanted Statehood (Pt 1)
President Franklin D Roosevelt got the United States out of the Great Depression with World War II, and during the 1950s Americans just wanted peace and prosperity. This writer is a member of that Baby Boomer generation that has brought us to the place we are today in Alaska and America as a country. If this time the ballot question of holding a Con-Con passes, we need to know why Liberals really wanted it to pass and what we can expect from them in the actual Con-Con.
Havelock provides more perspective:
The Constitution of Alaska was prepared in the winter of 1955-56 at a convention held at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, concluding three years before Alaska would become a state and well before any Alaska Statehood Bill went to the desk of the President. The Alaska Constitution needs first to be understood as a document intended to persuade a hesitant Congress and resistant President that the people of Alaska were capable of putting together a state constitution that would be responsible—a model of its time for what a constitution should be.
In other words, the end of Manifest Destiny was at Bering Strait; the Alaska subcontinent geographically separate from the rest of North America at a place then still having a majority Indigenous population, likely not ready for the demands of self-government. Instead of covered wagons in long trains drawn by oxen driven from East to West, adventurous Americans drove the Alcan Highway in American-Made station wagons and pickup trucks, pulling trailers.5
The provision to review and update our Alaska Constitution was established in the constitution itself by these progressive visionaries who believed the path to liberal utopia was certain with opportunities to further their Camelot cause if the Democrat base remained firmly entrenched as it was at the time of statehood.But a funny thing happened: When Alaska was broke we were wall-to-wall Democrats. When we became rich beyond our wildest imaginations, we quickly became wall-to-wall Republicans.
At this election we will have 144,542 registered Republicans, 77,137 Democrats, 19,277 Alaska Independent Party voters, and some other party trees with squirrels. We also have 266,085 Undeclared and 83,576 Non-declared, but nobody runs as an Undeclared or Non-Declared so those numbers break out in the same proportion of Republican/Democrat/AIP when the count is finalized.
Havelock apparently saw the Con-Con as a way to consolidate State government, even suggesting a Unicamerial Legislature:
He writes in his book:
Technology, by way of the omnipresence of television and radio and the development of propaganda arts in these media, has made money in politics, long a big problem, overwhelming. It is surely the biggest problem with American Democracy. This issue will be discussed together with a state cure in the review of Article 5. Our bicameral Congress, a lesser issue but still important, has been around for a century or so, growing as the responsibilities of the national government relative to the states have grown, It is obvious, at least to some, that the Constitution of the United States would be much improved by changing the composition of the Congress to make it more representative and less responsive to the power of money and less subject to deadlock by reducing the power of the upper chamber, moving the whole system nearer a unicameral form.6
Sounds like Get Rid of the Senate Filibuster at the national level to me. Certainly this will go hand-in-mitten with packing the US Supreme Court goals even Roosevelt couldn’t pull off.
Keep your ears open to Limousine Liberal Democrat’s bleating about too much money in politics. Alaska has it’s share of trust fund babies, you know.
For Havelock the changes in 2010 from long-standing technology, television and radio, were forces of propaganda requiring new constraints in constitutional law which he carried further on the liberal wish-list to even restructuring our bicameral legislative body.
…It is true that most conventions, called in other states over the past several decades have sometimes produced indifferent results. One might hope that if Alaska moved to Unicameralism, and cheered the results, it might encourage other states to follow suit. Maybe then, in years to come, or reforming the functions of the Senate or otherwise alleviate the extreme disproportion in popular representation. It is not possible. The graduated income tax and direct election of Senators also had to overcome powerful vested interests.7
Havelock’s 14 Recommended Changes
Havelock goes on section-by-section to advocate for a political philosophy once held by most Alaskans beholding to Uncle Sam’s bounty and US Strategic Military requirements. But we know now that once Alaskans discovered the opportunities presented by wealth from resource development, we built infrastructure and sought independence through conservative economic policies.
This change may require review of some aspects of our founding documents.
Review of our Public Institutions is in Order
The only way to create accountability of Alaska Bench and Bar is to vote “Yes on a Constitutional Convention,” declares Theresa Nagel Obermeyer in her individual campaign on this topic. Are you aware that there cannot be “Initiative Petitions” to change Alaska Constitution on any topic about Alaska Bench and Bar?
If the Alaska Constitutional Convention passes, there will then be candidates elected at the ballot box to represent us. I will not be a candidate. After the Delegates are elected, AK Constitutional Convention will be held. The Delegates will then decide on a new Alaska Constitution. The new Constitution will be voted on at the ballot box “up or down.”
Between 1990-1994 Obermeyer was a colorful member of the Anchorage School Board; serving as Treasurer, 1993, Anchorage School District. This writer knew of her through my employment with the Association of Alaska School Boards in Juneau.
Two issues to included in the new Constitution are:
- Confirmation of Alaska Permanent Fund Board by Alaska Legislature:
- An Alaska officeholder, probably Alaska Attorney General, must be required to be a member of the Alaska Bar Association. Currently, NO Alaska elected officeholder is required to be a member.
Obermeyer provided evidence of her mistreatment by the University of Alaska and Alaska Courts System which are attached.8
Alaskans want better Government.
Over 60 winters this writer has observed and participated in shaping our state from oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay to Covid shutdowns. Our institutions are handicapped by the caliber of people available and the systems meant to provide essential services. If The People decide our Constitution is ready for a tune-up, we who value Alaska Independence and Traditional Values must be ready to stand against those who want more government employees on their Alaska Adventure.
- Thomas Jefferson, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson
- Ballot Initiative and pro/con position statements
- Ballot Initiative and pro/con position statements
- Let’s Get it Right; You Get to Vote, John Havelock, 2010*
- Manifest Destiny: the 19th-century doctrine or belief that the expansion of the US throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny
- Let’s Get it Right, P 17
- Let’s Get it Right, P 18]
1.) A total of 12 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judges have fabricated court cases against me starting when I ethically did what I was supposed to do when four others and I were locked out of our offices at University of Alaska. The other four were paid off up to $10,000 each in moving expenses to leave Alaska. I was the only one who filed a civil lawsuit Theresa (Nangle) Obermeyer v. University of Alaska for which I received a “Not for Publication” ruling and was required to pay $17,161.75.
2.) My only jury trial in which I was acquitted and my three assaults for which AK Violent Crimes Compensation Committee attorneys did not so much as side with me after I had been acquitted in a seven day jury trial. Think of how much that trial cost.
3.) The published article by Talis Colberg as long ago as 2012 supporting the election of Alaska Attorney General.