BILL LONGBRAKE: On Independence

A story my father repeated years ago about a county judge in Ohio has set a high standard for my expectations of those who hold public office. The judge had walked across the street from the courthouse to the pharmacy for a nickel cup of coffee. As he made his order, a friend standing nearby offered to pay for the coffee. The judge quietly said, no thanks I’ll pay. It seemed an insignificant part of the conversations, but everyone in that room and everyone they told of the conversation knew that if they ever came before that judge, they would be treated fairly – because the judge owed no-one a favor, not even for a nickel cup of coffee. That independence gave him the respect needed to judge everyone fairly.

Every day I hear our legislators and executives identified not as Senator or Representative or Governor, but as Red or Blue or D or R. I don’t vote for a color or letter, I vote for an individual that I trust to weigh all the information available and use their independence and negotiating skills to guide our community, state, and nation.

I have donated to the Walker-Drygas campaign for Governor/Lt. Governor. I have invited neighbors to meet Bill and Heidi at my home. I have great expectations in return. I expect them only to govern with independence, knowledge, cooperation, and fairness, to arrive with legislation beneficial for everyone in Alaska. Nothing more.

Bill Longbrake is a resident of Palmer who owns and operates a farming business.