In the News: Coalition to oppose constitutional convention grows

via the Juneau Empire:

A group formed to oppose holding a constitutional convention announced Thursday an expansive list of Alaskans that had joined its coalition and said it was expanding its information campaign to educate Alaskans on the subject.

In a meeting with reporters, co-chairs of Defend Our Constitution announced more than 150 Alaskans have joined the coalition to jointly express the belief a constitutional convention would be unnecessary, expensive and dangerous.

“We have a lot to lose,” said Cathy Giessel, a former Republican lawmaker from Anchorage who served as president of the Alaska State Senate. “We’re going to start over from scratch — how many investors will want to invest, what will the economic impact be?”

Speakers emphasized the political diversity of their coalition, saying members had put aside political differences to join in opposition to a convention. The group is chaired by current and former state lawmakers, former local officials, a union official and the president of an Alaska Native regional corporation all of whom emphasize their belief a convention would be costly, contentious and potentially disastrous for the state.

Former State Senator John Coghill and others emphasized that during a convention the entirety of the state’s constitution is subject to change, and several said current political divisions both in Alaska and the nation made this the wrong time to re-work the state’s foundational document.

“If you think it’s divided (in the Legislature) just wait until you see the outside money coming in,” Coghill said. “We have a lot to gain by staying where we’re at.”

Read the full article at: The Juneau Empire.