Lt. Governor - Carolyn Clift

(Photo Courtesy Care Clift)

Name: Carolyn Clift

District: Lt. Governor

Area: Alaska

Party Affiliation: Libertarian

Where were you born? Nashville, TN

If you weren't born in Alaska, when did you come here? August 1979

Age on election day: 67

If you've attended college, which schools did you attend? What's your highest degree achieved?
University of Arizona, Tucson, and University of Alaska, various, M. Ed.

What is or was your main career?
Educator, preschool to 7th grade, Reading Specialist and Special Education

If you've held or run for public office before, which one(s)?
Candidate for Governor, 2014

If you have a spouse or significant other whom you live with, what is their name?
Robert Clift

If you have children, what are their first names and ages?
Ian, 38; Bruck Ann, 36; and Daniel, 32

Why are you running for office?
When I ran for office in 2014, I had high hopes that I would be the first Libertarian Governor candidate, in over 30 years, to obtain 3% of the votes or higher. We were successful. This is significant, because since 2012, the Alaska Libertarian Party has maintained ballot access through high vote counts in the statewide races specified by statute. We hope to duplicate the success of 2014. As Lt. Governor, it will be my job to oversee the fair election process. I will encourage legislation to end the state-paid party primaries and make it easier for alternative candidates to run.

What are the most important issues facing Alaska?
The most important issues are the taxing of the permanent fund and other talk of taxes; what to do about crime and the opioid epidemic; and minimizing government while protecting ALL our freedoms.

What would you do to reduce crime in Alaska?
Government exists to protect the persons, property, and civil rights of all citizens. There are a few causes of increased crime and it was going on long before SB 91 was passed: Lost law enforcement positions, due to the budget crisis; incarcerating less people and not providing the rehabilitation and job training that is needed for re-entry into the job market; the high unemployment rate, which is due to the depressed economy and no incentive to hire ex-cons; and the high rate of young people in foster care, who often end up being less educated, have alienation issues, and are more prone to criminal activity.

Should dividends be paid under the original dividend formula?
Dividends should be paid under the original dividend formula, and there should be an option on the PFD application to make a voluntary tax payment to the State of Alaska. By giving us the full dividend as income, our state tax payment will be fully deductible on our federal IRS tax forms.

Should Permanent Fund earnings be used to pay for state government? How much?
Under the 50-50 formula, half of the earnings is used for government. That should continue.

What, if anything would you cut from the budget?
First, the Libertarian team is going to be looking for instances of inefficency, fraud, and waste, but not looking to cut anything. If I was elected, I would be asking my department heads to find a percentage of savings in their own departments, instead of padding the budget as is the custom, including reducing their own salaries if that is necessary. I would also work with the unions to negotiate salary freezes and flat-rate cuts so that everyone could keep their jobs, instead of having to RIF the least senior employees.

Should Alaska have new or increased taxes? What would you suggest?
Right now, there should not be any new or increased taxes on the people. All corporate taxes should be restructured to encourage business growth and higher employment. I would like to see a "voluntary tax" choice on the PFD applications, to allow the people to vote with their wallets. No income tax is the best, but a very small flat tax on income might be considered as second best, if voluntary taxes do not make up the deficit.

Have humans contributed to climate change, and if so, does the state bear any responsibility to undo some of the effects?
Climate change is inevitable, but humans can choose to do more to protect their own environment, on an individual basis. In court cases, there must be proof that there was intent to harm their neighbors. Companies that cause air, soil, or water pollution are causing harm to the people and resources of the State and should be responsible to abide by state regulations. They must have a plan for preventing and correcting environmental crimes, and be held accountable.

Do you agree or disagree with Gov. Walker's decision to expand Medicaid in 2014? How much do you believe that decision cost the state treasury?
I adamantly opposed Medicaid expansion in 2014. Even though the federal government had agree to pay 90% of the costs, I accurately predicted that we would be talking state income tax to meet the obligations of the expansion. Additionally, our payments to providers were already compromised, before the expansion, and now it appears that some providers were overpayed due to accounting glitches. I also think, and research would prove or disprove, that Medicaid expansion is indirectly responsible for part of the opioid crisis, due to cheap appointments and prescriptions. There have been steps to register users, but a black market thrives.