Editorial: Alaska Native lawmaker jumped over the line

"If there's an ethics complaint in the works against Sen. Al Kookesh of Angoon, then due process will take its course. But the senator's comments before the Craig City Council can't be read as anything other than no-veil-at-all threat to play ball with Sealaska, the senator's regional Native corporation, or pay the price when Craig brings its wish list to the Legislature.

Here's what he said about the council members' debate over a bill in Congress that would give Sealaska thousands of acres of timber land on Prince of Wales Island.

"I am the state senator that represents Craig. I'm not a vindictive person. I see you're going to have your 2010 capital projects on the table here tonight. And who's it going to go to? It's going to go to me. And to (Rep.) Bill Thomas, who is also a Sealaska board member. We have to be good neighbors.

"There are times you are going to need my help and Bill Thomas' help. And this is a time we need yours."

Let's apply the duck test, where the duck is the threat to make Craig pay for lack of cooperation, or failure to be "good neighbors."

Does it walk like a duck? Waddle.

Does it talk like a duck? Quack."

Get the Story:
Our view: Threat or promise? (The Anchorage Daily News 1/26)

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