OPINION: Alaska’s constitution doesn’t need a revamp

By Larry Persily



Alaskans will vote in less than 11 weeks whether they want to convene a constitutional convention to embark on rewriting the state’s founding document.

Lust for a supersized Alaska Permanent Fund dividend and giving the government a larger role in dictating personal choices are about as miserable a pair of reasons for rewriting the state constitution as imaginable.

Problem is, they are not imagined, they are real.

Alaskans will vote in less than 11 weeks whether they want to convene a constitutional convention to embark on rewriting the state’s founding document.

The constitution requires that voters get a chance every 10 years to decide if they want a do-over on the 1950s’ guiding principles of law. And every 10 years, starting in 1972, Alaskans have overwhelmingly said that no, a constitutional convention to pick at, pick apart and pick winners and losers is not a good idea. The last vote, in 2012, was 2-1 against convening a convention.

Sadly, the political world has changed a lot since 2012, and not for the better. False claims — a polite way of saying lies — partisanship, animosity and social media-driven attacks have overtaken and overwhelmed common sense and common decency. This is not a healthy environment for treating the constitution as a blank piece of paper and writing a new version with a politically infused Sharpie.

But that’s where Alaska could be headed. And reminding voters that this is all about politics, hot-button social issues and money, a group of conservative Alaskans, headed by a leading member of the Alaska Republican Party and the president of the anti-abortion Alaska Family Council, has formed a campaign organization to support the constitutional convention vote on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot.

Read more at the Anchorage Daily News.