The Biggest Permanent Fund Raid Ever Attempted Was attempted at VECO's direction.
I went after Ben Stevens when Ben, at VECO's request, introduced legislation to end Alaska's tradition of distributing half of the Permanent Fund's earnings as dividends.
However, the biggest raid ever attempted on the Permanent Fund was orchestrated, also at VECOÃ‚Âs request, by Governor Tony Knowles in 1999. That's what that vote was all about.
Tony attempted to get voter permission to raid the Permanent Funds profits and principle. Tony's proposal would have abandoned the "Principles of Prudent Management" (Legally binding investment principles defined in common law that world class investment funds, like the Permanent Fund, are held to.)
Alaska's constitution bars our Legislators from spending principle but they can spend profits. And, by tradition, we have always appropriated half to dividends and put the other half back into the principle of the Fund. Tony's scam was to make over $4 Billion available for spending, by converting principle to profit.
Rather than selling stocks based on lackluster expectations for future earnings, Tony proposed selling stocks based on their appreciation since purchase. Conceptually, a share of stock purchased for $1, and now worth $1000, could be sold to yield spendable profit.
Tony asked his Attorney General to issue an opinion saying it was legal and got our Republican Legislature to put his proposal on the ballot. VECO then raised hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to get you to vote yes. Had they gotten their way, the rest of the Fund would have soon vanished and our tradition of dividends would be history.
Ben Stevens, Tony Knowles and VECO all conspired to trick Alaskans into patching potholes and paying teachers with Permanent Fund money. Had they succeeded, our legislators would have less pressure to get our fair share from oil. If the oil companies get their way, BP will be sucking our last barrel of oil out of the ground just about the time we spend our last dime out of the Permanent fund and Alaska would become one of the poorest places on the Planet soon there after.
A vote for any candidate that took VECO money is a vote for someone VECO is counting on to do their dirty work. The overwhelming majority of candidates taking VECO money are Republicans running for the House or Senate. But don't be fooled. Tony Knowles has taken more VECO money than any of them. For me, ending VECO's corrupting influence on our government trumps all other issues. If you vote Palin for Governor and Vote Democrat for your representatives in the House and Senate, you will be voting against VECO's wishes.
I can be reached at RayinAK@aol.com