Of the candidates for Senate District O, Peter Micciche scores highest using my evaluation criteria:
(1) Experience. Peter demonstrated a hard work ethic, trustworthiness and competence as he worked his way up from an entry-level job at a notable oil company to become the managing executive of a large industrial plant. Peter is also a commercial fisherman since 1994 and knows the excitement of a good season and the disappointment of a bad one. Peter started his political career as a Soldotna councilor and then was twice elected as its mayor.
(2) Integrity. In corporate life, integrity is mandatory to rise to senior plant executive level. This progression attests to Peter’s integrity and acumen, which has continued through his public service career. Peter has been transparent about his career in the oil and gas industry, and I have never observed that he allowed his professional occupation to alter his decisions as a lawmaker.
(3) Effectiveness. The very first complaint I hear from people after a legislative session in Juneau is that they never get anything done. In my experience in the Kenai Borough Assembly, I understand that it is difficult for the public to completely understand the hard work that a public servant undergoes to effect change on behalf of their constituency. I cannot imagine a legislator without any government or corporate experience attempting to be effective when blindly entering the Senate level. Peter is a leader in the Senate. He and his Senate colleagues were able to beat back 13 attempts by the governor and the House majority to impose tax increases last year. No doubt, if it were not for Peter and the Senate, we would be paying some form of income tax. Eighteen out of the 20 senators (including Peter) voted for the crime bill, SB 91. They all took a lot of criticism for this comprehensive bill that was very disappointing overall. Fair enough. Impressive, was that Peter recognized SB 91’s failures, and has led the charge to pass legislation that amended many of its shortfalls. He is committed to improve the bill. Peter always works hard to hear the differing perspectives on issues and then uses his experience to get things done. Sen. Micciche is a very effective legislator who can point to real accomplishments that he has achieved on behalf of his constituents.
With any political servant who has such a varied constituency, there are few that can say they are 100 percent pleased. I do not agree with the state government intruding into businesses and imposing a smoking ban. While I understand there may be those that do not like smoking, they are free to go to other establishments that prohibit smoking. Despite his support for that bill, I overwhelmingly endorse Peter and am thankful for the vast majority of his hard work and decisions in Juneau.
Peter Micciche is the only candidate who has the experience, effectiveness and integrity that we need in the Alaska Senate.
Wayne Ogle is president of the Kenai Borough Assembly and lives in Nikiski.