Election 2012: Democratic Senator Bill Wielechowski v. Republican Bob Roses for Senate District G
This Senate race boils down to one primary issue: oil taxes
ANCHORAGE - In East Anchorage, a Senate race could determine the balance of power in the Legislature and the outcome of the debate over oil taxes.
Democrat Bill Wielechowski has been a member of a bipartisan coalition all six years he has been in the Senate.
Now Governor Parnell, state GOP Chair Randy Ruedrich and the oil industry are working to break that up.
Wielechowski takes exception. "To say that partisanship is better than bipartisanship, that's crazy. Look at what's happening in the Lower 48. You have hyper-partisanship. You have a congress that can't get anything done."
But former Republican Representative Bob Roses says the coalition has stifled needed legislation, including oil tax reform.
"There's lots of good pieces of legislation that didn't move because of the stalemate, not just in the Senate but within their own coalition."
Oil taxes are the biggest issue in this contest, as they are in the state generally.
Wielechowski breaks it down like this: "Well, the choice is you are going to get someone who's been going down to Juneau and fighting every year to make sure that we follow our constitutional mandate to get the maximum benefit for the resource, or you are going to get someone who has consistently sided with the oil industry, voted against ACES, has had multiple fund-raisers at the Petroleum Club with the CEO of BP, with the vice president of ConocoPhillips."
Roses says he does not favor tax reductions without an increase in production.
But he says Wielechowski is reluctant to make any changes, even though declining production threatens state services.
"If you listen very carefully to what he says, he says if they can show us, if they can demonstrate they're increasing production, then we'll lower the taxes. And he wants to wait until they've gotten proven increases over a period of a year, and then they'll have a discussion as to what we're going to do to reduce it, how we're going to reduce the taxes."
In Senate District G, it's all about the oil.
To see the full interview with Bill Wielechowski, click here.
To see the full interview with Bob Roses, click here.