Palin’s Alaska Senate Pick Tim Grussendorf On The Issues

Tim Grussendorf is known among longtime Juneau residents for his unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives in 2002 and as the son of former Rep. Ben Grussendorf, D-Sitka, a former House speaker.

While Grussendorf did not win the endorsement of the Juneau Democratic Party, he said his conservative mainstream Democratic views are in the middle of public opinion. Here’s where he stands on several Alaska issues:

Abortion

Grussendorf said he said he was pro-choice when he ran for office in 2002.

“When I ran, that’s where I stood, and I’m still there,” he said.

He said he didn’t know how he felt about Republican-sponsored legislation requiring parental notice and consent for minor’s abortions.

“That’s something I’m going to have to take a closer look at,” he said.

Gov. Sarah Palin did not ask about those views in his interview, he said.

Juneau road

Grussendorf said he’s supported the long-sought, controversial road since he ran for office.

“I’ve always supported the road. I was the only one in 2002 that came right out and supported the road,” he said.

Kensington mine

The Berners Bay mine, now tied up in the courts, would help improve Juneau’s economy, he said.

“That’s truly economic stimulus; that’s 300 to 500 good-paying jobs,” he said.

Natural gas pipeline

Palin’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act passed in the Legislature with only a single “no” vote, but Grussendorf said he’s not sure it was a good idea.

“I still have a lot of questions,” he said.

He said he also has doubts about a TransCanada Corp. license approved under the act last summer.

“It’s hard to move forward with something that doesn’t have the big companies involved with it,” he said.

Palin’s AGIA process has been at the heart of the governor’s agenda during the first two years of her administration. It is designed to get a natural gas pipeline built, even if the state’s oil producers object.

Federal stimulus

Grussendorf said he agrees with some of Palin’s concerns about accepting federal money that Alaska may not be able to sustain.

“I’m not interested in something that’s going to grow government and then disappear,” he said.

He said he’s concerned about increasing the state’s budget deficit in future years.

“We cannot continue to burn through our savings at the rate that we’re seeing right now,” he said.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Bringing more revenue to the state is more likely to come from drilling for oil in ANWR, rather than selling natural gas, Grussendorf said.

“Responsible development in ANWR, that’s the big one,” he said. “We’ve already got the infrastructure” to ship the oil, he said. “It’s definitely faster than a gas pipeline.”

JuneauEmpire.com

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