Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Alaska's Lt. Governor misbehaves

This is irritating. The Anchorage News reports that the Official Election Pamphlet, sent to 300,000 households, contained a verbatim statement opposing the initiative, written by an office staffer for Lt. Gov. Loren Leman. Tax dollars are spent on this publication that is supposed to be providing impartial information for the voter, not propaganda.

Although the statement was signed by Dr. Charles Herndon, medical director of Providence Breakthrough, a drug and alcohol disorder treatment center, it was written by Leman's chief of staff, Annette Kreitzer.

"It's outrageous conduct," said initiative backer David Finkelstein. He and other proponents of the measure said the lieutenant governor is required to remain neutral on election issues.

Former U.S. Attorney Wev Shea [and vocal opponent of the measure] said the statement could give marijuana advocates a valid court challenge if they lose. "I'm just totally disgusted," he said.

In a telling remark, "Laura Glaiser, director of the Elections Division, said it was difficult to find opponents to the initiative with a medical background to write the statement."

Of course it was difficult. A majority of the US public believes the plant to be relatively harmless. I doubt many of the remaining minority are medical people.


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