27 February 2007

The Effect of Budget Cuts

Apparently, McClatchey, the company that owns the ADN, isn't so much interested in reporting on all the news that's important to Alaskans. A while back, I understand they cut funding for their Washington, D.C. reporter. I heard they had one guy covering Idaho and Alaska issues in Washington but I haven't seen any articles.

That means with Sarah Palin in D.C., explaining probably the most important piece of legislation in her young term, the state's paper of record is silent on what she's up to. Unless someone sees something I don't in the paper, there's nothing about her meeting with the FERC chairman (even though the governor's office conveniently issued a press release on it) or about the news that one of the inducements is a half-billion dollars up front from the state.

(Where's that money going to come from? Surpluses are drying up, we are told, and there's a need to cut more spending. The governor wants to spend a half-billion this year on helping communities with PERS and TRS increases. Those rate increases aren't going away so the pressure for that half-billion isn't either. Would you trade PERS/TRS for a half-billion dollars down on a pipeline? Or maybe it should come from the Permanent Fund? Or the CBR?)

The governor is having a press conference on her trip tomorrow. I'm sure the ADN will call in and have a big long story on Thursday but it strikes me as a little too little and a little too late.

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