A few Alaska Political Items – Stephen Taufen, Groundswell Fisheries Movement


Governor Walker has put SAM COTTON in place as the current acting commissioner – so Cora Campbell is out.  We’re more than pleased with Sam.  He has always shown great respect for Alaska and its fishermen and coastal communities.

We hope that Gov. Walker gave Cotten marching orders to begin with next week’s NPFMC meeting to get the entire group of Alaska appointees “on the team” to ensure small boat local fisheries have a chance against the globalized industrial lobbyists who represent large scale domination and drive Catch Share mentality (insanity) forward.


“Cotten, who served 16 years in the Legislature, is a former House speaker and a Navy veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. Cotten lives in Eagle River and has served on a number of fisheries-related boards including the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

“Cotten is among those under consideration for a permanent appointment as Fish and Game commissioner.

““Sam has a long history of public service in Alaska,” Walker said in a press release. “I’m confident his strong fisheries background and legislative experience will guide us through this critical transition period.””

It’s going to be interesting to watch … especially at the NPFMC where Sam will return in THE State seat … where lots of Motions spring from… and a lot of votes center around it.  Maybe the State will get it straight that it is a violation of public input standards to wait until after all public comments are made then lay on the table for councilmen discussion only a significant and overwhelming motion, and rush headlong into deliberations and voting.

We await his transition team’s report.  See: http://www.adn.com/article/20141123/conference-comes-bold-recommendations-walker-readies-office

See AG appointment news at:  http://www.adn.com/article/20141125/walker-names-law-partner-attorney-general-makes-3-other-appointments

They’ll be looking at the appropriateness of redactions etc. on the National Guard investigations, etc., as well.  It’s about time for some real integrity on important matters in Alaska’s higher offices!  Walker had the discretion of choosing an AG with known integrity, since Alaska does not elect AGs.  We trust this is off to a good start.  Next, we need the AG to investigate our fisheries department (ADF&G) regarding abuses in the arena of the closed and state-confiscated Hobson Creek hatchery that would help restore salmon in Western Alaska.  Maybe the lieutenant governor, a Tlingit native, could help ensure heads roll at ADF&G when needed.

Juneau is going to be easier to breathe in, possibly. Clearly, the capital city’s air is changing… and we have to push for greater transparency on oil and gas development, even if the slant is pro-Alaska, as we can never trust the megacorps and their profit driven need to lie to the People.  We need true Development, not Briberization (Kleptocracy).  Former Governor Parnell’s administration failed to ensure its Revenue commissioner did job number one – auditing the Alaska producers – letting the time clock run out on crucial accountability and transparency for oil: 93% of Alaska’s unrestricted general fund revenues.  We hope Walker is a Hickelesque “Owner State” philosophy and extracts globally equivalent taxes for true development, as does Norway.

Fisheries is the state’s largest resource-industry employer, but Oil’s tax revenues alone dwarf the total value of fisheries exports to foreign exploiters and the lower-48.  We hope Gov. Walker is ready to look at Groundswell’s proposal for a state Resource Economic Sovereignty Commission (on Undervalued Exports) – the RESCUE Plan, and to take on Abusive Transfer Pricing, whether in foreign-owned subsidiaries that exploit Alaska, or in global corporate inversion structures.

Why should fishermen pay taxes when the big companies, using accounting schemes and structural hat tricks get to go Scott free?


Caveat: this is just the beginning… and we have been disappointed before … so we’ll see if Alaska finally takes an interest in ensuring the true market value of its resources or continues to enslave its industry and people to global kleptocrats, especially the fishing Thalassocracy for starters.


Stephen Taufen

Groundswell Fisheries Movement


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