Former Alaska Senate Majority Leader and multi-term State Senator John Coghill is set to debate constitutional scholar and radio talk-show host and Chair of the Alaska Independence Party Bob Bird on the whether Alaskans should vote in favor of a constitutional convention later this year.

Bird will argue in favor of the statewide convention, while Coghill will opposed it.

Former State Sen. John Coghill

The Lincoln-Douglas-style debate will be held live and in-person at Valley Performing Arts on Feb. 1st, beginning promptly at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as latecomers will not be admitted out of respect for presenters and attendees who arrived on time.

A 30-minute question-and-answer session with audience members will immediately follow the one-hour debate.

Every 10 years, Alaskans are asked whether the state should hold constitutional conventions to address key issues impacting the state. Both Coghill and Bird will have equal time to make their case regarding the potential risks and rewards of holding a state constitutional convention.

Alaska Independence Party Chairman Bob Bird

Lincoln–Douglas-styled debates are one-on-one competitive debates that place a heavy emphasis on logic, ethical values, and philosophy. They are named after the famous 1858 Lincoln–Douglas debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, which focused on slavery.

Alaska Watchman Publisher Jake Libbey will moderate the Feb. 1 event. Tickets are available for purchase at Ticket sales will help underwrite the cost of the venue and debate costs.

For more information, contact Alaska Watchman Publisher Jake Libbey at

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Debate Scheduled on Constitutional Convention

Jake Libbey
Christian, husband, father, amateur-apologist and lover of good communication, our Publisher has invested countless hours bringing the Alaska Watchman to life. Jake is responsible for operations at the Watchman, advertising, and design of the website. In partnership with our Editor-in-Chief, the content for the articles on are a product of the passion, energy and synergy between Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.