Sunday, October 22, 2006

Benson benefits

I've had a lot to say here about the general yuckiness of Don Young, but I haven't said much about why I think Diane Benson would make a better representative than he would. Here's a couple of reasons right off the top of my head:

1. Benson's a woman, a Tlingit, and actually spends most of her time in Alaska. She has very deep roots in this state. She's taking the time to talk with as many people as she can, from all walks of life. She seems to me to really care about people and their concerns. I think that the fewer rich white men supported by corporate money and the more minorities and women supported by ideals and your average joe that we have in Congress, the better for all of us.

2. Benson's a Democrat. It's a sure bet that at least the House of Representatives will be controlled by the Democrats after November, and that means that all those cushy committee appointments Young has right now will be whisked out from under him if he remains in office. Even with his seniority, he is going to lose his clout—and so will Alaska, unless we elect a Democrat. If Benson wins, then we will have a representative, who, though a freshman, will still be a member of the majority party. And that will be very important. The Congressional Democrats will want to hold onto Alaska, and will try to make Benson's first term a successful one, because helping her will help the party hang onto that seat in the next election.

3. Benson, unlike Young, can see the evidence in front of her eyes, and knows that we need to invest in alternative energy. That's where our future is. I've been running a series of articles by Brian Yanity on alternative energy resources in Alaska, and this state is a phenomenal powerhouse of wind, water, and sun. It's amazing, and I'm glad to see a candidate emphasizing this.

4. She's also addressing the health care crisis, and recognizes that getting health care affordable means that everybody benefits: "Healthier employees make better workers." (Young's got a 0% rating on public health votes by the American Public Health Association.)

5. Campaign finance reform!

6. She has a brief list of the basic issues and legislative goals on her website, but this doesn't reflect one of the best things about her: she's ELOQUENT. I heard part of her testimony at the Fairbanks Borough Assembly meeting on the Rumsfeld resignation resolution, and she was articulate, expressive, clear, and heartfelt. She spoke beautifully.

1 comment:

David in AK said...

I'd also add that Diane knows better than most what she's talking about when it comes to supporting veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.