A trio of left-leaning media outlets have agreed to host a live debate on whether Alaskans should vote in favor of calling a statewide constitutional convention. Every 10 years, Alaskans have to opportunity to vote on this issue. The next opportunity is Nov. 8.
Convention advocates say it is the best opportunity – and perhaps the only viable way – to protect the Permanent Fund Dividend, address judicial overreach, enact election reform, expand school choice and advance other key issues which the State Legislature has failed to address.
Those opposed to the convention, which includes Alaska’s Democratic Party, say it’s too risky and could fundamentally change the political landscape of Alaska.
The Sept. 29 event will feature pro-convention debaters, Bob Bird (Alaska Independence Party Chairman) and Loren Leman (former Alaska Lt. Governor). The anti-convention team consists of Joelle Hall (President Alaska AFL-CIO) and Matt Shuckerow (Owner Fathom Strategic Communications).
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The debate starts at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. Free and open to the public, the event will be moderated Lori Townsend (Alaska Public Media) and will include questions via a panel of reporters from Alaska Public Media, Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Beacon.
In addition to watching in-person, viewers can see the debate live streamed on Alaska Public Media YouTube and the Alaska Public Media Facebook page. A replay of the debate will air on KTOO 360TV at 8:30 p.m.
This past February, the Alaska Watchman hosted a constitutional convention debate between Bob Bird and former State Sen. John Coghill. That debate can be viewed here.