8/18/14 KNBA News - Voters to decide oil taxes; Republican underdogs chase well-financed leader

Aug 17, 2014

Alaskans head to the polls Tuesday to decide if their old system for taxing oil companies is better than the new one. Ballot Measure 1 asks voters if they want to reject the 2013 law Legislators adopted with the idea it would increase oil production. It replaces a law critics say did gave tax credits for investment but ate too deeply into oil company profits when oil prices are high.

Former Attorney General Dan Sullivan has more money, more campaign staff, and has run more ads than his opponents in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. But the underdogs in the race, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, are hoping personal connections will make the difference. Treadwell is counting on his decades-long ties to the state, while Miller retains loyal backers from his run for the seat in 2010. Sullivan leads with 35% of the vote compared to 29% for Treadwell and 20% for Miller. Treadwell has cut Sullivan's lead by eight points since May, when the race stood at 40% to 26%.

Rep. Don Young Sunday announced plans to marry. The 81-year-old introduced Anne Garland Walton as his fiancee at church in Anchorage. No date for the wedding has been set. A spokesman said Walton is in her 70s. Young's wife Lu died in 2009.

Three Army units were inactivated Friday at Joint base Elmendorf-Richardson as military priorities change, and due to fiscal belt-tightening. As KSKA's Monica Gokey reports, troops will be transferred to other units, with none losing their jobs.