January 14, 2011 — In an earlier article on this website, Groundswell revealed its reasons why Alaskan voters should not vote for Lisa Murkowski as U.S. Senator. We noted her desire to do special legislation to grant the for-profit subsidiaries of Community Development Quota non-profits an exemption from federal income taxes. Since the certification of Murkowski to the Senate, again, she has — along with Alaska’s Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Mark Begich and two Washington State Democratic U.S. Senators (Maria Cantwell and Patti Murray), forwarded a Ted Stevens like end-run legislation on fisheries law, S.1609, to establish a Cooperative for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Cod Longliner Catcher Processors. Talk about a payback system working quick! With a little sleight of hand — no thanks to Maria Cantwell for sponsoring S.1609 — the direct kickback nature got washed a little. But anyone on the ground in Alaska prior to the general election is fully aware of the role played by the Native organizations and Seattle and Tokyo-owned fish companies in providing Murkowski with the money to wage an all out write-in campaign.
“Alaskans Standing Together” — Native organizations gave $895,000 to Murkowski campaign.
In our earlier article, we linked you to the website for the campaign contributions received by Murkowski. Media across the nation noted the role of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow corporate money to be spent lavishly and largely unrestricted for such campaigns, and Murkowski’s run as a write-in candidate was noted as one of the first major outcomes of that decision. We’d like to update readers in a simple way, today. Just take a look at the following table of which “contributors” gave to Alaskans Standing Together, and then ask yourself if it is really fair to steal an election by funneling monies from groups who are large recipients of government no-bid contracts and other special deals, where that very Senator has a lot of pull in Congress.
Many true harvesters and participants (not the mailbox fishermen) in the fishing industry have expressed their concerns about the ‘asset commoditization’ of fish species, or Catch Share programs that create tradeable quota shares, owned by private individuals or institutions.