A push-poll isn’t a poll that’s intended to gauge public sentiment. It’s meant to shape public opinion, and I’m sorry to report that I was invited to participate in a push-poll by our local state senator.
The first question implies that the only solutions to our fiscal problems include cutting state services or paying some form of new taxes.
Of the eighteen questions that follow, only two focus on requiring Alaska’s oil producers to pay us fairly for our oil and the tone of those questions was apologetic toward producers.
Only one question asks us what we might do to address the grievous giveaway of our children’s legacy. Sadly, it requires us to choose only one option when, in fact, many facets of our oil taxation system are flawed including an embarrassingly low base rate, a ridiculous system of tax credits that only returns sixty cents of revenue to us for every dollar we spend on credits, and a scheme that reduces taxes on “new oil” from fields that have been producing for years.
Receiving such a poll from our lawmakers is hardly surprising since 10 percent of our state senate is comprised of oil company employees and the remainder of the majority caucus receive lavish support from oil industry sources and supporters.
How unfortunate for Alaskans that we don’t have strong anti-corruption laws on the books.