Gatto said anyone who is party to overturning the voter mandate should step down. If voters didn't know what they were voting for with the initiative, he said, then maybe they were wrong about the lawmakers they elected, too.This is also interesting:
Gatto said he has a message for his colleagues who don't support the initiative: “If (the public) voted right in voting for you, then they voted right on the cruise ship initiative,” he said. “We cannot violate the will of the people."
The five members of the Transportation Committee who did not oppose HB 164 received a total of $11,300 in campaign contributions from cruise industry interests in the last election cycle, according to APOC records. Rep. Kyle Johansen, a first-term Republican from cruise industry-reliant Ketchikan who chairs the committee, led the pack with $3,900 in contributions from industry interests, despite having no opponent in the November election.(This, incidentally, is good reporting. It researches the issue and puts the legislative debate in a context of cruise-ship contributions, rather than simply reporting "he said, she said," which is what a lot of legislative articles turn into. Wouldn't want to be too controversial, you know.)
At a bill-signing today, Governor Palin didn't threaten a veto but she compared Gatto favorably to Thomas Jefferson and said she appreciated his comments. I wonder if this is one of those manifestations of the clash between the old party politics Palin campaigned against and the "new politics" she might represent.
The problem is that if she vetoes this watered-down bill, there might not be anything in place for this cruise season, which would be disappointing. On the plus side, the ADN finally got around to covering the issue today so that might result in a little positive public pressure.