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Red = negative slant toward Murkowski; positive toward Ulmer

Green = negative slant toward Ulmer; positive toward Murkowski

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Excerpts from ULMER ARTICLES citing Murkowski/Ross opinions

Chasing bush votes    

The candidates are separated in the details. On subsistence, both say they favor an amendment to the state constitution giving rural residents a priority over other Alaskans in use of fish and wildlife.

But Murkowski is perceived by many people in the Bush as less friendly toward a rural priority. He has blasted the decision by the Knowles-Ulmer administration not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the so-called Katie John lawsuit, in which a federal appeals court stripped the state of its authority over subsistence fishing on many Alaska rivers.

Both Ulmer and Murkowski back the state's big resource developments, such as a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope and drilling in ANWR.


Ulmer lays out ideas on economy

Murkowski campaign spokesman Dan Saddler dismissed the speech as a re-tread of policies from Gov. Tony Knowles' administration, which, he says, have failed. Saddler also criticized the speech for not being specific.

"You're going to ask what the specifics are (of Murkowski's economic positions), and I can't tell you that. But there will be an attitude change to get things done," he said.

Ulmer said she plans to detail her fiscal plan in late August or early September. Murkowski will also spell out his suggested solutions to the fiscal gap before the general election, Saddler said. In previous public statements, Murkowski has said he opposes new taxes to fill the gap. Instead, he has said he favors cutting the budget and increasing resource development for more revenues. So far, Murkowski has not been specific on what resource development could fill the gap.

Saddler declined comment on whether Murkowski would also release a similar written statement on the economy.


Ulmer on economy

None of which is particularly dramatic or surprising. These are the orthodoxies of Alaska politics, and Lt. Gov. Ulmer is well-informed on them. It would be surprising if Sen. Murkowski departed from them, either -- though we are less than a month from the primary and he has been conspicuously quiet in the campaign.

There are, however, at least two areas where promising debate may emerge. The first is the previously-mentioned transition toward knowledge-based industries. Lt. Gov. Ulmer has worked specifically on telecommunications and technology advances in Alaska and sprinkled references to "new economy" prospects throughout her economic document. Sen. Murkowski traditionally has been identified more closely with resource development and "old economy" approaches, but in the U.S. Senate he cannot have missed the implications of the information age.

The second critical debate is on the biggest issue in this election -- state fiscal issues. Nothing serious can be done to arrest Alaska's economic drift until the fiscal gap is fixed and sound foundations are placed under state finances. Because the "fiscal gap" is a significant deterrent to investment, Lt. Gov. Ulmer is right to make a responsible fiscal plan part of her economic development program. She promised Wednesday to supply such a plan -- later. Sen. Murkowski's only contribution to the question, so far, is inherently contradictory:  He says growth will get us out of this fix without new taxes -- but the reality is that growth without new revenues to help pay for its costs only worsens the problem.


Excerpts from MURKOWSKI ARTICLES citing Ulmer/Ross opinions


Murkowski gets tough

Murkowski presented few specifics to back up his broad allegations . And his key opponents -- Republican Wayne Anthony Ross and Democrat Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer -- distanced themselves from his attacks on the state's public safety institutions.

But both Ross and Ulmer leapt on the particulars of Murkowski's plan, calling it an adoption of their own goals.

"It's an absolute plagiarism ," Ross said, referring to Murkowski's statements on enhancing public safety in the Bush. Ross said he wants to hire 100 new state troopers. Murkowski said nothing about hiring more state troopers, but he wants more training for rural public safety officers and he lamented that 73 of the 165 off-road communities in Alaska have no local police protection.

Last year, Knowles asked the Republican-controlled Legislature for 20 new troopers, 20 new village public safety officers and 11 constables. The Legislature funded less than a quarter of the request.

"More support for rural Alaska has been a constant goal of our administration. If he wants to criticize, he needs to criticize his Republican colleagues," Ulmer said.

Ross, a defense attorney, dismissed Murkowski's assertion the state's judges are soft.

"I've yet to find a judge who will coddle criminals. I'm a defense attorney. If he knows of any judges like that -- I'd like to find 'em," Ross said.


Murkowski cancels fair face-off

Subtitle:  Fran Ulmer's staff miffed at what it calls broken commitment

The two leading candidates for governor, Frank Murkowski and Fran Ulmer, will not face off in Fairbanks this week, as had been tentatively planned.

But Murkowski and his opponent in the Aug. 27 Republican primary, Wayne Anthony Ross, will debate at a noon lunch Thursday at the Petroleum Club, said Murkowski campaign spokesman Dan Saddler.

Democrat Ulmer's campaign staff was miffed Monday, saying Murkowski backed out on a commitment to appear Thursday evening at the Tanana Valley Fair.

Meanwhile, Ross, who has been struggling to draw attention to his campaign, was thrilled that Murkowski would stay in Anchorage. He complains that Murkowski, a U.S. senator, has been staying in Washington, D.C., to avoid the primary campaign.

"You mean we're actually going to see the phantom campaigner?" Ross asked. "Seeing Murkowski is like sighting Elvis. I hear rumors that he's actually alive, in the flesh, in Anchorage."


Murkowski campaign gets boost from Washington

Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, the Democratic candidate, and the likely challenger to Murkowski should he win the Aug. 27 Republican primary, has had no national-level politicians helping her campaign or raise money, said spokesman Jason Moore.

"I don't think most Alaskans care what Outsiders think about who their next governor should be," Moore said.

While the Ulmer campaign emphasized the angle of Outsider involvement in Murkowski's campaign as a negative, Republican political strategist Curtis Thayer said it is evidence of the close ties to Washington that the Murkowski could bring to the Alaska governor's office.




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