Capital Move Controversy

Capital move supporters argue that the capital is not accessible to the majority of the citizens in the state. Keeping it in the present location will “impose on future generations a capital at the extreme southeastern corner.” Capital move opponents argue that the state institutions are already fairly dispersed to promote economic growth for all the state’s regions. Taking away capital status from its current location will cripple the economy and the southeast region will suffer. Not to mention that the cost of relocating would be astronomical. So plays the debate that is all too familiar for Alaskans. Except that this particular debate occurred in 1904—in Wyoming.

So, if Alaska is not particularly unique as far as capital moves go – aside from our uniquely inaccessible capital – why have we had easily over two dozen pieces of legislation dealing with the issue since statehood and several ballot initiatives to boot?

Likely, the economic issues at play are far more important than the ideas of “access” or “representation” that are touted by capital move proponents. Predictions as to the actual outcome seem to run the gamut from “capital creep” eventually succeeding in moving all but the official title (and maybe that too) to the eventual making peace with the historical (from statehood on anyways) capital of Juneau.

Juneau's New Capitol Building Competition - Morphosis Entry

So, with that non-definitive discussion on the move, I’m curious who on here is for or against the move and why? Anybody that doesn’t care?


One Response

  1. Moving the capital is one of Palin’s dream. One could feel the disgust that this governor has about Juneau – and respectively, she gets pretty much the same attitude towards her from the people here.

    I was thinking about this issue recently, when Sen. Kim Elton resigned about a month ago. It turns out that the governor gets to appoint someone for his seat in the state senate. Granted it has to be from the same party as Elton’s (Democrat), but still – she gets to choose which Democrat she wants.

    Kim Elton was not all that great, but the one thing that he was able to do is stop any capital move in the Senate (Elton was part of the Coalition, of which many would not stand in the way of a capital move). Palin might do exactly that and choose a democrat who won’t mix up her plans. I hope I am wrong.

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