Home Editorials State GOP Tries to School Dems on Twitter, Everybody Loses.

State GOP Tries to School Dems on Twitter, Everybody Loses.


This week, we figured out what this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend check would look like: $900. Groovy.
The annual event has come to mean something entirely different in the ugly realm of partisan bickering. Every year, our two major political parties engage in an epically stupid, king-of-the-hill battle, with each desperately trying to define themselves as the party that protects your dividend check the hardest.
This year is no different, save for the platform. Now, the revolution is televised. On Twitter.
Upon announcement of this year’s check size, both sides made for the sacred cow like a contestant in the Hunger games breaking for the Cornucopia.
gop dem pfd twitter war
You kids, get a room. Preferably, a new one without any decision-making capabilities.
The Democrats tossed tweets safely from the safety of their “giveaway” talking point. The term references the slogan they’ve afforded the effort to repeal the recently passed oil tax cuts: “Repeal the Oil Wealth Giveaway.”
The repeal effort is legit. The slogan isn’t. “Oil wealth giveaway” sounds like everyone gets a door prize. “You get a North Slope, and you get a North Slope. Everybody gets a North Slope!”
Why would anyone want to repeal that?
The Parnell administration’s decision to grow the oil companies’ profit margin by shrinking the revenue that comes back to the state will translate to a reduction in government services.
After the “government sucks” chants wear off and people start realizing we can’t pay to fix potholes, parks, or our education system, we’re going to have to come up with money from somewhere. Either we raid the Permanent Fund, or we go back to a state income tax.
Former State Representative Mike Doogan brought this up in 2012. He unsuccessfully floated an idea to move $10 billion from the constitutional budget reserve to the permanent fund. The move was in anticipation of an economic collapse when the oil money dries up for good – something we don’t much care to think about or bother to plan for.
In a press opportunity, he fielded a question and landed in hot water: “The purpose of the permanent fund is to take that money, get rid of the dividend and use the money, finance at least part state government.”
In reality, both parties would rather cut every service in state government and live in the woods before seriously considering the political implications of cutting the dividend.
The Alaska Republican Party jumped on Doogan’s comments, which sidestepped the fact that he was stepping on a political third rail trying to pad our savings before the GOP slashed oil taxes and starved our checking account.
Undeterred by the facts, they ran a radio advertisement entitled “Democrats Want Your Dividend” to sound their made up alarm:
“Doogan and House Democrats want to take away your dividend and use it to pay for state government. Democrats Pete Petersen, Max Gruenberg, Lindsay Holmes, Les Gara, and Chris Tuck supported Doogan’s raid on your dividend. Now, the word’s out. Democrats are backtracking and trying to pretend it never happened, because the truth hurts.”
During Wednesday’s online toddler-off, the GOP twice called back the “truth hurts” bit, and dragged the bogus advertisement out of the shadows.
Except, there’s a bit of a problem.
Mike Doogan retired from the legislature. Petersen was voted out. Les Gara and Chris Tuck aren’t likely going anywhere anytime soon.
And Lindsay Holmes, easily the most vulnerable seat in question, now bats for their team. So, are they disavowing their most recent recruit? Throwing her to the wolves?
Or do they just need some adult supervision when on the computer?