This is something I wrote over a month ago. Lately, my S.O. has noticed that whenever she visits Yahoo she gets a banner headline advising her to vote “no” on prop 2 (who’s paying for this – give me a break). Ballot Measure 2 will protect Alaska, Alaskans and the water we all depend on. If it fails, we get screwed – simple as that. Tell the foriegn cruise lines (and the ad agencies in Seattle) to go fly a kite; they should respect us, not exploit us.

The foreign cruise lines that use Alaska waters to make “big bucks” have pulled out the stops and are spending huge sums of money (from “Outside”) to try to convince us Alaskans that the $50/head tax that Ballot Measure 2 would impose on cruise line pasengers visiting our state would hurt us. Ballot Measure 2 is on the ballot because a bunch of Alaskans thought it was important to let the citizens of Alaska decide if monitoring the impact of cruise ships on our State’s waters and the impact that the cruise lines have on local business should be put to a vote. I got a very slick brochure, paid for by out-of-state concerns, urging me to vote “NO” just the other day. In a word the cruise lines, and their outside supporters are full of B.S. The cruise lines don’t give 2 hoots about the impact of the tax on their clients (how much are they charging their customers now for a ride?) What the foreign cruise ship operators are worried about is what Alaska will do with the tax money collected. Specifically a portion of the funds collected, if Measure 2 is approved by the citizens of Alaska, would be used to enforce existing laws regarding the Cruise ship industries impact on our environment. What the Cruise ship operators are worried about is that if law enforcement is funded they might get fined for dumping raw sewage, diesel fuel and who knows what else into the pristine waters of Alaska (more than a few have been caught already). Not surprisingly The Anchorage Daily News (ADN) has chosen to throw its’ lot with the cruise ship owners. I think it’s ironic that ADN would argue that outside groups might be responsible for getting the measure on the ballot considering that ADN is run by a bunch of folks in California and owned by outsiders. The “tax,” a good “tax,” imposed by Ballot Measure 2 will help keep our waters clean for future tourists and thus, increase the desirability of a vacation in Alaska – not diminish the desire as the cruise lines have claimed – that’s a good thing.. VOTE YES on #2.

Addendum: The Alaska based “poster businesses” lending their names to the “vote no on Prop 2 advertising” are all, without exception, the “big operators” who fear that disclosing the monies they pay to the cruise lines will hurt their businesses, regardless of the impact that their “kick-backs” have on other small businesses who do not kick-back procedes to the cruise lines (if the majority of voters vote yes on Prop 2 the “big operators” will have to disclose what they’ve kicked-back to the cruise operators.)