ANCHORAGE - In the Republican race for a state House seat in Midtown, the candidates are calling for oil tax reform, but in very different ways.
Roman Romanovski and Jimmy Crawford are articulate, passionate young men who said the job is not getting done in Juneau.
But they have different approaches to the biggest issue in state politics.
They agree the state needs to encourage more oil production. But they disagree on how to do it.
Romanovski supports Governor Parnell’s effort to drop production taxes by up to $2 billion a year.
Crawford does not.
"His solution for oil taxation is a big across the board cut, giveaway, and hopefully the oil companies will play nicely."
Crawford instead proposes a sliding scale for taxes, lowering them as production increases.
Romanovski is disdainful of that idea.
"It seems really unrealistic and naive, and it almost seems borderline communist, like Soviet Europe, where you had to reach certain quotas."
They also differ on the retirement plans for public employees.
Crawford would consider reverting from the 401(k)-style plan now in effect to the previous “defined benefit” plan, arguing that teachers in particular shouldn't have to become sophisticated investors.
"And yet we as a state are saying, hey teachers, do it yourself, and if you fail, it sucks to be you."
Romanovski has a different philosophy.
"I do want government out of the business of providing a retirement for people. They’ve shown that they can't manage it, and in the end it puts taxpayers on the hook."
Romanovski faults Crawford for not returning a questionnaire from the National Rifle Association; Crawford said it was a clerical mix-up.
Crawford said he has a more concrete agenda, including education-spending reform to lower class sizes.
Romanovski, who said he's never had a credit card or taken out a loan, said he's the more fiscally conservative.
In a week, Republican voters in District 16 get to choose.
Romanovski is a pastry chef at the Bear Tooth, and Crawford works in a family-owned real estate business.
The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic contest between Harriet Drummond and Hugh Brown.