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Second Group Forms to Oppose Oil Tax Reform Repeal

Published On: Nov 12 2013 03:21:36 PM AKST
Second Group Forms to Oppose Oil Tax Reform Repeal

A referendum on whether to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell’s oil tax reform package, slated to appear before Alaska voters next summer, has new opposition from a group hoping to stop the move.

A Tuesday statement from the new group opposing Ballot Measure 1, Vote No on 1, says members registered the ballot measure group’s creation with the Alaska Public Offices Commission Monday. It joins We Are Alaska, an increased expenditure group backed by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance and formed in May.

Members of Vote No on 1 plan to defend Parnell’s plan, Senate Bill 21, from the overturn effort led by elder Alaskan statesman Vic Fischer and former state First Lady Bella Hammond’s group, Stop the Oil Tax Giveaway.

“Vote No on 1 will organize a statewide campaign to defeat this ballot measure because it will undermine efforts to encourage new oil production, grow Alaska’s economy and create jobs,” group members wrote.

Vote No on 1’s primary officers comprise what the Tuesday statement calls “a diverse statewide leadership team representing business, organized labor and community leaders.” Its five co-chairs include Coastal Helicopters and TEMSCO Helicopters President Bob Berto, Teamsters Local 959 Principal Officer Rick Boyles, former Carlile Transportation Systems part-owner and president Linda Leary, former Anchorage mayor Rick Mystrom, and former Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board member Leslie Wien Hajdukovich.

“Our goal will be to ensure voters understand the complex issues at stake, have accurate information, and ultimately make a decision to oppose the repeal measure,” Boyles said in the statement.

Other key positions announced Tuesday include Spinell Homes developer Chuck Spinelli as the group’s treasurer, with Anchorage marketing executive Willis Lyford as its campaign director.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certified Ballot Measure 1 in April, with the Division of Elections verifying 31,673 signatures of more than 50,000 submitted by Stop the Oil Tax Giveaway. Backers had claimed that efforts were being made to disrupt signature gatherers as they gathered support for the measure.

Vote No on 1 lists three Alaska-based energy firms as its top contributors: Pioneer Natural Resources and Hilcorp Energy, both headquartered in Anchorage, as well as Tesoro Corp. of Kenai.