27 July 2007

A Hollow Answer

Lisa Murkowski's comments on the Kenai land deal continue to strike me as hollow:

Murkowski voiced irritation with the Alaska media on how the story has been portrayed. In an interview this afternoon, she claimed to have been friends with Penney since she was five years old and it was simply a deal between longtime friends.

The senator also emphasized that she paid a fair price at the Kenai Borough's assessed value.

I believe Penney is 25 years older than her. So if she's "been friends" with him since she was 5, either it's an odd relationship (a 30 year-old and a 5 year-old?) or Penney was pals with Frank and thus knew Lisa as the daughter of his friend. If the latter is the case, then it seems that Penney is trying to use to his advantage an old relationship now that Lisa is a position of power, which would confirm everything that seems bad about this whole situation.

But I have friends who are 25 years older than me (I just went fishing with one last night, as a matter of fact) so I can believe the former. If it's the former, the problem is that Lisa is no longer just a long-time friend. She's a senator and therefore barred from taking gifts over a certain amount of money.

And even though she says she paid a fair value, which is objectively true (if any of us can actually define "fair"), she should have paid the market value, which is almost never fair.

I like Lisa a lot and I don't think there was any malicious intent here. In fact, I hope now that she's looking for property again, she checks out some of the great places available on the Seward Peninsula. I'd love to have her as my neighbor.

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