Looking at the “Alaskans for Integrity” ballot initiative, one cannot help but sense what Yogi Berra called, “déjà vu all over again.”
The initiative’s lead sponsors are Rep. Jason Grenn, an Anchorage independent who joined with the House Democrat majority last year, and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, a Sitka Democrat. On its surface, the effort appears aimed at tightening restrictions on legislators’ conflicts of interests and contacts with lobbyists. For good measure, it would make per diem contingent on lawmakers passing a fully funded budget.
But what the “Alaska Governmental Accountability Act” really would do is gut any notion of Alaska’s citizen Legislature and make the House and Senate playgrounds for the rich by making rules so ridiculously stringent and unfair many Alaskans could not — or would not — serve.The campaign — and there is not much Alaskan about it — is chock-full of oddities, so many that it is painfully reminiscent of 2010’s euphemistically tagged “Alaska Anti-Corruption Act,” which simply was an assault on the Constitution disguised as reform.