Carol “Kitty” Hafner is a Democrat running for Alaska’s At-Large seat in the United States Congress.
Vote in the Primary on August 21, 2018!
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- Carol “Kitty” Hafner is a Retired NEA Union Member Higher Education Administrator, Former Flight Attendant, and Biotechnology Industry Professional.
- Carol “Kitty” Hafner served as a union officer in the National Education Association and also has a long history as an active member of transportation worker unions, where she took part in labor actions in solidarity with energy industry workers.
- Carol “Kitty” Hafner is running on a platform of Medicare for All, Overhauling the V.A. to help Veterans, Legalizing Cannabis Federally, Investing in Alaska Native Communities, Net Neutrality, Protecting the Environment (Oppose Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling), Tuition-Free Higher Education for All, Ending Detention of Refugees and Separation of Families (Abolish ICE), A Smart on Crime approach with Harm Reduction, A Foreign Policy of Military Neutrality and Privacy Rights at Home, and supporting the rights of Women and LGBT people. Click here to visit The Issues page and learn more!
Vote Carol “Kitty” Hafner in the August 21, 2018 Alaska Democratic Primary Election!
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What Congressional Candidate Carol “Kitty” Hafner had to say at a recent debate:
1. What statewide, national, and international issues do you wish Alaskans were paying more attention to? Why?
I fully appreciate that just getting through each day is a challenge for many families not only in Alaska but across the United States. When daily survival is first and foremost, that takes precedent over all that is outside those immediate needs and crises. Having access to the basics of decent, safe housing, nutritious food and medical care should be a given, not a continuous challenge.
Prior to my years as a flight attendant, I traveled across the U.S on my own. When I began my career with the airlines, my assignments took me extensively throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. My science background served me well as I witnessed first hand and spoke with people regarding the environment and conditions where they lived. I used my travel privileges to frequently visit remote places including the mountain regions of Argentina and Chile that have many similarities to the pristine beauty and delicate ecosystems of Alaska.
Despite ignorant political denial, global warming is a reality. Alaskans are geographically forced to deal with this dramatic reality as the polar cap escalates in melting and impacts areas with rising temperatures and water levels. Allowing drilling in these newly accessible Arctic regions will not benefit Alaskans – certainly not when there is the inevitable spill and drilling accident – unless one is foolish enough to think attempts at clean up and remediation are the type of jobs that will boost the economy. This drilling is a key issue on which all Alaskans, regardless of political party affiliation, have to unite to immediately stop before the D.C. go-ahead gets any further along. The negative environmental effects of drilling will impact every aspect of Alaska’s economy – and, as far as increasing an oil surplus, basic economics dictates that increasing the available supply will simply further drive down the cost of oil on the market. None of it makes any sense except to those pockets of the drilling companies and their cronies that are paid off to support this folly. This drilling has international impact and Alaskans who already are fighting against global warming on their doorstep have the support of the educated world supporting them. You are not alone and I am adamant in vocally standing against this drilling.
Currently, the G-7 Summit has been in the news especially where Trump has displayed his arrogance and lack of respect and diplomacy most notably to our neighbor Canada. It takes a lot to burn the bridges of the Alaskan neighbor that normally supports America but this President continues to not only insult leaders but display his lack of education and vision in long term leadership. Trade and support with Alaska’s neighbor should be nurtured, not derailed. Good trade relations with Canada especially benefits Alaska’s key geographic location for economic access. Alaskans have much at stake as Trump slams our ally to the north of the 48 states.
2. There are a range of issues affecting Alaskans, from education funding, to water and salmon protection, to drilling for oil on the North Slope. If elected, what statewide issues would you prioritize work on for your first year in office?
I prioritize the most immediate and potentially devastating issue first – stop the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and anywhere it will be a detriment to the environment as this is short term and long term impact. Global warming and environmental issues such as the salmon production are vulnerable that as such, mistakes can result in an entire industry destroyed or so disabled that the impact goes well beyond our lifetimes. Even if someone doesn’t care about the environment, the integrity of the environment ensures that jobs and economy based on that integrity are inseparable. Anyone who doesn’t understand this symbiotic relationship should not be in a decision making capacity. Once the damage is done, that short term profit or any gain is gone — and the so called experts who downplay the devastating impact of, for example, fracking, need to first-hand light a match to a water faucet and see the resulting flame from the contamination.
Education is an investment in the immediate present and continues to be the lifeblood of our nation’s future. Education is a continuing issue across the country, not just Alaska. Regions of the country face particular challenges in addressing how to successfully fund and ensure productive outcomes for children and society. Depending how states fund education, monies and efforts can substantially differ. Since Alaska seems to have deprioritized education with funding reduction that only recently was reinstated, it appears that those in State government are not adequately planning long range investment in the coming generations. Of course, if your don’t educate your youth, they aren’t going to know to question how government runs and allow the status quo to prevail. Education is something you can never take away from a person and the most powerful tool to demand fair and equal treatment including wages for women. And, if tax dollars are not effectively utilized, those monies aren’t going to have the outcome that results in a quality education for all children and, I might also add, life long learning including that of adults, of which I am a strong proponent. Learning doesn’t stop with a diploma. We all as a society need to be continually learning and educating ourselves so we can select ethical and visionary leaders that will represent and inspire us to achieve and better ourselves and our society as a whole.
If we can get the federal cannabis laws changed, the extensive Alaska summer sunlight hours can produce bumper crops for export. But the key here is changing the federal law. Shipping out of state to, for example, New York and Las Vegas could bring in substantial revenue that could be earmarked to fund education for Alaskans. Jobs would be created and education generously funded — a winning combination for everyone. Additionally, the medical benefits available via cannabis would reduce the opiate option for medical use.
3. How will you ensure that Alaskans across the state will have access to affordable quality healthcare?
“Affordable health care” is a misnomer. What we need is a universal, single payer health care system, similar to Britain’s NHS, and that is what Medicare for All will provide. Everybody in Congress gets health care from the government and American citizens should get it also. I want transparency on exactly what coverage Congress is currently receiving. That’s never out there in the media anywhere, is it? We are footing the bill for Don Young and all of the current representatives and I want to know what they are receiving at taxpayer expense. If Don Young doesn’t believe in government healthcare for ALL, why has he been taking it for 45 years?
I will also be fighting for Medical Malpractice Reform, the Consolidation of Care, supporting Healthy Lifestyle Initiatives, and more. My goal will be to reduce the waste and cost associated with healthcare today and to promote access to nutritious food while promoting an active lifestyle.
Medical Malpractice Reform is essential to lowering the cost of healthcare. Allowing physicians to use Clinical Guidelines as just that, a guideline, rather than citable evidence in malpractice litigation, will enable physicians to develop a plan of care that is right for each patient. Healthcare is complex and there are hundreds of Clinical Guidelines per disorder. For example, an elderly patient with cancer whose death appears imminent to family, may still be receiving costly medical treatment until which time the patient is placed in hospice care. Regardless of waste, physicians often feel obligated to follow all Clinical Guidelines to prevent litigation and because auditors and managers judge the quality of care based on criteria related to Clinical Guidelines, even though some guidelines may be outdated. Physicians are not known to be mavericks. They’re prudent, caring people and it’s high time we trust them to do their job. Doing so, will not only improve the quality of care but will also lower the cost of healthcare.
Consolidation of care is vital. When physicians and nurses do the same procedure over and over, they become really good at that procedure. When physicians and nurses are good at what they do, the result is fewer medical errors, less costly waste, and improved quality of care.
Finally, healthy people are not a burden on the healthcare system.
4. Alaska has already seen villages dealing with the effects of climate change. To what extent will you support national legislation to address climate change, and what strategies would you recommend the State of Alaska take in order to address climate change on a statewide level?
I adamantly 100% support efforts to address the ravages of climate change through national legislation. For years science has documented the undisputed changes due to global warming and the recent (August 19, 2016) New York Times article “Reeling from Effects of Climate Change: Alaska Village Votes to Relocate” profiling the situation in Shishmaref, 120 miles north of Nome, has brought more national attention to this Alaska crisis. Now is the time to act – this isn’t something we can kick down the road and pretend doesn’t exist. Our citizens are suffering the impact and because many of them are in isolated areas, their plight has been overlooked. Journalists raising these issues have been vital to bringing this to the forefront of our concerns. “A Wrenching Choice for Alaska Town in Path of Climate Change” from the November 29, 2016 New York Times further documents these impacts. Politicians can’t say they don’t know about it, unless, of course, they pride themselves as ignorant. As I have traveled throughout the world, I have seen firsthand the pain and impact of a variety of crisis issues and this, right here in America is no different. We owe it to our citizens to help them with this. If we have an endless budget for homeland security and anything related to defense, we need to ensure our own citizens are safe where they live or need to be relocated.
I would recommend the Alaska Energy Authority use the 8.1 million from Volkswagen to build EV charging stations, to replace unhealthy diesel school buses, and to bring back the renewable energy fund. Second, I would push hard for the United States to be a part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It’s a shame children have had to sue the state of Alaska over Climate Change because adults in this state are not protecting their interest. Finally, we must implement the United Nations Agenda 21 for a sustainable future.
5. Alaska’s current representative, Don Young, has decades of experience and networking in Washington D.C. and is currently the longest-serving representative in the House. If elected, you would be one of the most junior members of the House of Representatives. Why should Alaskans consider electing you over re-electing Mr. Young?
I have never pulled a knife on anybody in Congress. I have never pulled an 18 inch whale penis bone on anybody in Congress. I have never been investigated by the House for corruption and fined nearly $60,000 as the result of a campaign finance investigation. Don was, according to information in ballotpedia.org, fined for using campaign funds for personal use, accepting unethical gifts and taking inappropriate trips. The committee examined 25 trips that Young and his family took between 2001 and 2013 and ruled that 15 of them were inappropriate. Don was required to repay the money he received with personal funds to his campaign and others that gave him gifts. I can assure the voting public I have no inclination to behave in such manners and will never take gifts or money or trips that would be questionable. I have the highest personal ethic standards. Money does not tempt me. When I was in my airline training, I was told one of the key qualifications was the trust my company placed in me to consistently do the right thing regardless where in the world I might be with or without any supervision. I have never betrayed that trust and never will. As for Don’s 45 years in Congress; just because someone has been doing the same thing for 45 years is no indication of effectiveness or positive outcome. If he was effective, his Congressional record would be far different than it is.
Don has also made statements to an Alaska high school that he believed suicide was “caused by Government welfare.” Unlike Don, I believe lack of access to proper mental health services as well as poverty are influences that Medicare for All can effectively address.
I support the arts and the economy, especially as the arts encourage young people to preserve Alaska native culture and can promote tourism. Don seems to think art work is “offensive” and, I am sorry to graphically clarify this but apparently, when pressed as to why, he said it was because “it included things like butt f***ing.” If Don has spent 45 years in Congress in Washington, D.C., it seems he has not expanded his horizons by visiting any art museums there or in close by Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC or any of the many other art treasures close by that I have personally enjoyed through my travels.
Don has also said that two men can’t get married. I’m an ordained minister so if two men out there want to get married, all they have to do is contact my campaign headquarters and I’ll not only be happy to officiate, but if you elect me, we can have the wedding in my congressional office in D.C. Don Young has done nothing to help women or LGBT people, Don Young is a sexist and a bigot.
6. Which factors more heavily when you consider a piece of legislation: constituent polling research or expert evidence-based research? Why?
If it is a local issue, not of scientific basis, it is important to follow the wishes of my constituents. Conversely, if it is a scientific issue like climate change, we have to use the scientific method of expert research to make informed decisions. When it comes to issues such as civil rights, we sometimes need to defend a minority from the majority if the majority is bigoted like Don Young.
7. What are your ideas to improve access to affordable childcare and effective education across Alaska? How would you improve education and funding in rural Alaska?
One option would be when cannabis is federally legalized, the taxes can be specifically earmarked to provide pre-K through 12 education funding for the state of Alaska. I support tuition free higher education. Child care can also be offered at education locations as some high schools have effectively done for student parents and the community or through childhood education programs at the college level. As an undergrad, I participated in this type of learning as part of childhood nutrition classes as well as special education classes. I volunteered with the Head Start program focusing on the nutrition component to ensure children had proper nutrition during these critical early developmental years.
With improved access to broadband internet, physical location will no longer be a barrier to rural education.
8. What strategies does your campaign have in place for getting the vote out in November? What actions or strategies will your campaign be taking in order to maximize your potential to win in November?
My personal approach to challenges is to take each challenge one step at a time. Right now, I am focusing on winning the Democratic primary. Like the majority of areas in America, voting in primaries does not bring out great numbers of voters in Alaska. I researched that last time around, about 25,000 people voted in the primary. But I have learned that there are many factors that can influence that turnout so even if the numbers are not huge, outcomes are not written in stone. I think my candor regarding my candidacy is a breath of fresh air to the usual political rhetoric.
PAID FOR BY CAROL HAFNER FOR CONGRESS. FEC ID C00679621.