Interview and Podcast with Sheila Finkenbinder for Alaska State House - P.O.W. Report

Monday, August 1, 2016

Interview and Podcast with Sheila Finkenbinder for Alaska State House

On July 27th 2016, POW Report was able to meet up with Sheila Finkenbinder who is running for Alaska State House in our District 35 against Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

Her website


You may listen to the interview podcast in full here



Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was raised in the Seattle area and got a degree in Drama and Education. I married a Vietnam Vet, raised a couple of kids and ran several small business’—This was all before my opponent was born—and then we sailed to Alaska in 1990.

Since we have been here I have worked mainly in job training and business development type of work and then I went to work for Representative Peggy Wilson. So, I’ve been working up to this kind of position as I’ve always had an interest in politics.

Why did you decide to run for State House?

It’s a daunting year to be running for this kind of position and I can tell you that I’m not doing this because I’ve always been dying to be a politician. It’s easy to work for a politician but being a politician is much different.

But I was not happy with the fact that we had an unopposed Democrat representing our district and he is in the minority and doesn’t have the kind of influence for Southeast that we need. Because we are a small part of the population in Alaska we need politicians who are in positions of influence to make a difference.

If elected, I will be in the House Majority, which sets the priorities, the goals and what’s going to be introduced in committees, so being in the Majority party will allow us in Southeast to have more influence.

Are there other differences between you and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins?

Certainly, I’m definitely more Conservative and more business oriented, since I ran my own businesses in the past and helped other entrepreneurs as well, so I believe that economic development is incredibly important.

We have to build the economy and develop the resources in our state. I am supportive of Viking Lumber, and was at the bill signing the other day. My opponent wasn’t there. We have to be producing things out of the resources that we have available to us or this State is going to be in trouble.

Besides the Fiscal Crisis and the Oil Crisis we are going through do you foresee any other difficulties in Southeast Alaska in general that we will be facing?

I think that the loss of oil and the fiscal crisis are the main issues but I also think because of the last redistricting and census--Southeast lost Representation in the Legislature because of a loss in population and that really hurts us. But the reason why the population declined is because of a lack of jobs. So we must grow the economy.

Why doesn’t a politician ever run and support term limits for Office? The Governor serves for 2 terms the President serves for 2 terms but yet we have these ‘career’ politicians who have been serving for 20-30 years. What is your opinion on term limits?

We have elections on both the state and national levels and they are designed to get rid of people if we think they aren’t doing a good job. It’s interesting to see that people hate Congress but love what their Congressman is doing…but at any time you can vote that person out.

You can hold the politicians feet to the fire, throw them in jail if they are doing something illegal or if you don’t like what’s going on, run for office. Which is exactly what I’m doing.

And the flip side of that is, we want our representative to have more influence. That’s the reason why I am running, I want stronger influence for Southeast. If I go up there and do a good job for 2, 4, 6 or 8 years why do you want to throw that person out? If they are doing a good job like Senator Stedman (who does a good job for southeast) why would you want to throw them out and put somebody else in who is new? Again, if they are doing a good job…if not that’s what elections are for.

Don Young get’s a lot done and is the only Congressman for Alaska, if you throw him out and put in a new freshman who doesn’t know anything or anybody all of a sudden Alaska loses all that influence in Washington D.C. And if they are crooked get rid of them! Ideally, it sounds good on the surface and a lot of people question that but I believe that there are good reasons for not having term limits.

Thanks
(Sheila is updating her campaign Facebook site and I will link it up when it is ready).

Read More: Governor Walker Signs Bill to Support Alaska Timber Industry

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