AIP candidate visit rounds out campaign season

Madden: Binding-caucus rule is not constitutional

Alaska Senate candidate Greg Madden meets with voters at the Kayak Cafe. (Oct. 22, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Following visits from candidates Dr. Al Gross and Rep. Don Young, Cordova rounded out its campaign season Oct. 22 with a visit from Alaska Independence Party state Senate candidate Greg Madden. Madden will challenge Republican Sen. Gary Stevens for Alaska Senate District P on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Madden is a chiropractic physician and a licensed private, and serves on the finance committee of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board. In keeping with the AIP’s advocacy for limited government, Madden said he would push for less federal intervention in Alaska if elected.

During an election season abounding in vitriolic political ads, Madden refused to attack Stevens’s character, but said the senator’s legislative record showed ongoing support for unsustainable budgets. Madden contends that Alaska’s budget woes have been compounded by the Alaska Republican Party’s binding-caucus rule, which requires participating legislators to vote along with the rest of the party on budget issues. The binding-caucus rule is not constitutional, Madden said.

“You haven’t seen a single line to that budget, and you’ve already signed your life away, saying, ‘I’ll vote for whatever you give me!’” Madden said during a meet-and-greet at Kayak Cafe. “That’s why we keep having bloated budgets that come back year after year, and that’s why you have people keep voting for those bloated budgets. They get locked into a system, and they don’t want to lose their staff, they don’t want to lose their parking, they don’t want to lose their fancy office, and they don’t want to lose their chairmanship, or whatever it is.”

If elected, Madden said he would be free to buck the binding-caucus rule because he would happily work out of a broom close and park “on the back 40.”

The binding-caucus rule has proven unpopular among Cordova Republicans, with the party’s local precinct passing a resolution demanding the rule’s abolition. However, Stevens argues that the binding-caucus rule helps streamline the decision-making process and prevent a minority of legislators from incapacitating the legislature until they get their way.

Like other candidates, Madden has voiced strong support for better ferry service, saying that privatization could open avenues to create a more sustainable ferry system. Madden also said that current anti-coronavirus measures, however well intended, have proven excessive.

“I think the fear factor of this is being hyped by the mainstream media, and that it’s being overblown,” Madden said. “I wear a mask out of respect to people … I believe the coronavirus is responsible for a lot of pain and suffering, but, when I look at the numbers, I believe that the flu is also possibly more of a trouble than the coronavirus.”

Madden encouraged voters to call or text him at 907-420-4120, and said that he would not change his number if elected. Madden also said he would voluntarily step down after two terms if elected.

“I’m not a princess!” Madden said. “I don’t need all the fancy stuff. I’m there to serve the people.”