Earlier this month, voters across the country delivered a strong message that they are tired of government overreach and want a change in direction. In Virginia, New Jersey, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Buffalo, people showed support for parental involvement in schools and opposition to pandemic-related mandates. They also supported increased law enforcement and spoke clearly against government intrusion.
It’s good that the rest of the nation is finally catching on. In Alaska, we’ve been fed up with encroachment of government for a long time.
President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is blatantly unconstitutional. Already halted by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which called it “fatally flawed” and “staggeringly overbroad,” it threatens the jobs of workers if they decline to be vaccinated. Biden bulldozed over millions of Americans' rights and medical autonomy by compelling individual behavior under the guise of a workplace regulation. What’s more, his mandate made no allowance for people who already recovered from COVID-19 and have natural immunity, People should make their own decisions about medical treatment, and independent Alaskans don’t take kindly to having politicians push their way into the provider-patient relationship.
Alaska had by far the highest violent crime rate of any state in 2020, and still there are leftists who want to defund and dismantle police departments. Incredibly, Biden installed Vanita Gupta in a top job at the Department of Justice, despite her Senate testimony a year earlier urging lawmakers to adhere to the Defund the Police movement. In Alaska, we know that people in our most vulnerable communities need public safety protection.
Another great risk to the livelihoods of Alaskans are Biden’s radical environmental policies, which attack our resource industries. On his first day in office, Biden halted the oil and gas leasing approved under President Donald Trump. Biden then worsened the blow by suspending leases that had already been sold, with the Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, leading the charge. And even though he had promised he would defend the massive Willow energy project and its billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs, Biden allowed U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason to block it without filing an appeal.
Biden reversed another Trump policy when he returned to the “roadless rule” for the Tongass National Forest. This blocks our ability to attract tourists and produce timber, both of which mean jobs for Alaskans. It was Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivering the blow that time.
And finally, the same federal judge as in the Willow case, Judge Gleason, stopped the King Cove Road, which would link Alaskans living in the Aleutians with life-saving emergency medical facilities.
The people listed above have taken direct aim at Alaska’s sovereignty, safety, and prosperity. And all of them have something in common: They all bear the seal of approval from Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski paved the way for Biden’s presidency through her outspoken and unrelenting opposition to President Trump, even though Trump won Alaska twice by double digits and enacted policies that were great for us.
Murkowski cast the deciding vote on the Senate floor to confirm Gupta to the Justice Department.
Murkowski cast the deciding vote in committee to move Haaland’s nomination for Interior Secretary to the floor of the Senate, despite expressing “very real misgivings" knowing it would hurt Alaskans.
Murkowski voted to confirm Judge Gleason, calling her a “superb judge" despite knowing her record of supporting environmentally radical positions from the bench, putting her in position to block the Willow project and the King Cove Road.
Murkowski voted to confirm Vilsack as Agriculture Secretary, allowing him to block access to our own forest.
And when she had a chance to cast votes that would actually help Alaska with liberty-minded judges, she voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and voted to filibuster Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
We heard what voters said across the nation earlier this month--it’s what Alaskans have been saying for a while. Government is supposed to work for us, not against us.
The government's role in our life is supposed to be like the two referees in a hockey game. They regulate the game, call the fouls, and make sure the plays are fair. But right now, we have 200 referees on the ice with sticks in their hands, messing with our puck!
Next November, I will be asking Alaskans to send me to the U.S. Senate because we deserve a leader who will listen to the people, and who will help clear the rink so we can get back to playing the game!
Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate for U.S. Senate in Alaska endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party and President Donald Trump.