by Jason Lamb
Thursday, February 5, 2009
JUNEAU, Alaska -- As economic hardships continue in western Alaska, in communities like Emmonak, a political battle has broken out over what is or isn't being done to help out.
Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, attacked the Palin administration by saying it isn't providing enough "compassionate aid" or support to western Alaska villages.
But Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday that Ramras is simply giving out misleading information and playing politics as usual.
The scuffle is over a bill Ramras introduced Wednesday in the state House, with bipartisan backers.
"In 90 minutes, I was able to get 13 co-sponsors for this compassionate aid bill," Ramras said.
The bill would allow the state to use its planes and vehicles to deliver "compassionate aid," Ramras said. That includes food, water, and other supplies for communities that need it.
"We can address the hunger issue right away with nonprofits and a faith-based effort, but help us by at least providing state transportation assets," Ramras said.