Alaska Statehood Pioneers: In Their Own Words

Episode 9: Jay Hammond (part 1)

Episode transcript

Jay Hammond: So everything I’ve done in life has not been planned or programmed. I’ve been what I call a victim of serendipity. Good things happen to me in spite of myself. Never thought I’d come – never thought about coming to Alaska either.

Opening Titles.

Narrator: Jay Hammond was born in upstate New York in 1922 . As a young man, he studied petroleum engineering, but migraines and a football injury drove him out of college. He took up flying as a civilian, but was compelled to enlist after the United States was drawn into World War II. He becane an Alaska bush pilot after the war and stumbled into the newly established state’s politics. He was a key player in deciding how the state would manage its newfound oil wealth, and eventually became one of Alaska’s most colorful governors.

Jay Hammond: Well I was born in Troy, New York, but mercifully left at age five. Troy back then was kind of a grubby garment town, although we didn’t live directly in Troy. My dad was a Methodist preacher and he got moved to upstate New York in a little town called Scotia, which not far from Troy, but which is near Scotia — near Schenectady. And I grew up there spent my school years there until high school when my dad was transferred to Au Sable Forks in the Adirondacks up near Lake Placid. And I was there part of the time, but spent my high school years really with a family back in Scotia to finish up during which period my dad moved and mother moved to Vermont. I much prefer people think I came from Vermont than Troy, New York. But Troy has cleaned up its act. It’s much less undesirable than it was back then.

And I went back after many, many years of absence and I almost didn’t want to return. I thought it would be all plastic, paved over, and populated. Same ruts in the road. Looked just the same to me as it did when I – and it was kind of great in a way because it is nice to know there are some things not changing that dramatically up here. Can’t say that about Alaska.

Prior to getting in the Marine Corps I went to Penn State in 1940 to ostensibly become a petroleum engineer…

A good friend of mine a fellow that I had stayed with my last year of high school he – his dad was an old Penn State graduate. He was going to Penn State and he was aspiring to become a petroleum engineer. And we had romantic visions of exploring all sorts of remote, exotic places and so forth. But I was not cut out to be an engineer. I had no interest in the engineering curricula to speak of. I should have been doing something worthwhile like learning waterfowl identification or something I could use in later life, but anyhow and I was miserable at it.

…But I was having some problems. I had headaches virtually every day for a period of time and my dad took me to oh, my goodness, we went to the Harvard Migraine Clinic. I saw 14 different specialists to see what was wrong. Nobody could figure it out. …
….about two times a week I had bone-busting headaches, but every day I had one. There wasn’t a day I woke up without them. Not conducive to doing well in engineering studies, thermodynamics and spherical trig and quantitative analysis. I flunked my only course that I ever flunked at school. It happened to be surveying and I got a D in it. And what happened though the circumstances were somewhat mitigating because the reason I flunked another fellow and myself were off goofing off in a coffee shop having coffee and donuts when the professor came along and found we were not on our assigned location doing the survey project. And he gave me a D.

So I in a way welcomed the excuse the leave, which of course was presented in 1942. But while I was at the University I was playing football. I got injured.

Back then we played full 60 minutes. We played both offense and defense and I played defensive end, right end, and offensive fullback. I wasn’t that big and I was vying for the fullback job which in the East-West game the first year I was in the service I heard this guy, the biggest man on the field, was on Aldo Sensy from Penn State. Now he and I were competing for the fullback job so you can understand he played a little more often than I did. But when I got injured I had to turn down – I had been offered a scholarship and I of course was no longer eligible for that.

Intertitle: Becoming a Pilot

Jay Hammond: Well for one thing I had broken a toe. It had an eardrum busted, but at that time I – my back was giving me fits and I started getting the headaches. And whether there was a connection between the back and the head I don’t know. But I couldn’t stand to watch a football game while I was somehow – unless I was playing. And so somebody said why don’t you take flying lessons. And out at a little airfield I think outside of college, Penn State, State College, and there was a course that was being inaugurated called the Civilian Pilot Training, SPT Program. And for $25 if you could pass the flight physical, they would teach you to fly with one consideration and that was in the event of a national emergency you were compelled or you agreed to enlist in either the Army, Navy, or Marine Air arm.

And of course not long after there was a national emergency. So I was had and I enlisted in the first Navy Preflight School. And I was given theoretically you were given your choice of whether going to preflight school and if going to preflight school where to go. And it was the very first Navy Preflight School. And I opted to go to Philadelphia. So I was sent to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Then for primary training you were given a selection. I opted to go to Boston, which was near Vermont. So I went to Dallas. Then while in Dallas, I was asked whether I wanted to go to intermediate training to an area called Eager Acres, Cabanos Field, or Cudahee Field. Eager Acres or Easy Acres, so naturally I opted for Easy and got Eager. Everything I asked for in the Marine Corps I didn’t get.

Oddly enough like most people that end up flying they say they were really nuts about flying as kids. I had no interest in flying airplanes to speak of at all….

I had an incident when I was in flight training that really aggravated my problem. One night we were flying these OS2U floatplanes and there were a whole bunch of us up about 100 aircraft cruising around. The fog came in at Corpus Christi, really flew off of a place called Laguna Madre outside of Corpus. And the fog came in and we – it became the – I don’t if it still is, but it was the worst training accident in the Navy history. I don’t remember how planes and how many pilots were lost, but it was something else. The fog came in and you heard a lot of chatter on the radio, guys hollering, guys panicked and airplanes smacking into each other and you’d go along and suddenly be in somebody’s slip screen. It was rather terrifying.

But I saw a red glow coming up through the fog and I thought I knew I was oriented over the place near Laguna Madre and so I started to let down on instruments thinking I was going to land in the water and all of a sudden I broke through the mist and here are buildings on both sides. I’m going down one of the main streets in Corpus Christi. And a fellow in the paper the next day said he looked out the window and saw an airplane below him. And I don’t know whether that was me or not, but I remember I had a leather flight jacket on and it literally soaked through with sweat. I was – oh.

Anyhow I finally got oriented from that and I went over to where I was pretty sure Laguna Madre was and now Padre Island – you don’t want too far out or you’re going to hit the island. So you had to calculate it and fortunately I – it’s not hard to land a floatplane on instruments. And so I let down and let down and let down, hit the water, heaved a big sigh of relief and about 10 seconds shot up on a sandbar. Didn’t flip over but high and dry.

Meanwhile hearing people hollering and screeching and actually hearing a couple of airplanes collide and a guy came in, spun in and crashed about 200 yards from me and his airplane was about to sink. And I had a – my rubber life raft inflatable and I went over and pulled him out of it. And a fellow by the name of Harry Moore, who became a general later, but Harry’s head looked like about the size of a pumpkin and split open. And my back, we paddled in – oh, we got over to my airplane and then the tide came in and was able to taxi into the base. And I almost went to the hospital, turned myself in, but I was supposed to graduate within a couple of weeks, so I didn’t do it. And it was only years later I found out that at that time I had fractured either lumbar or cervical vertebrae. And then that got aggravated later on when I had another occurrence.

And then I asked to go into – I didn’t want to go into being an instructor and so naturally they assigned me as an instructor. So I thought well I’m going to play this game. You never get anything you want so then I put my application in to be sent overseas. Lo and behold I finally got what I’d asked for.
And so I got sent out, but I went only in the last year of the war.

In the spring of ’45 I went overseas and then it was in the Marshalls, actually all over the South Pacific, but mostly in the Philippines, Zamboanga, the Philippines, and then Okinawa and when the war folded up.

When the war folded up I was in Okinawa and had enough points to come home. They had a point system that would release you if you had enough of them accumulated and I went to the squadron doctor. I had a couple of incidents that injured my backbone pretty badly and I used to have to wear a two by four behind my parachute, a piece of two by four to keep my back pulled in some sort of line. And I wanted to see about getting a medical discharge, but he said you have enough points to get home anyhow very shortly. It will take you two months to go through the drill of getting a medical.

And so I decided to wait. Meanwhile they asked for volunteers to fly Corsairs up to the Chinese Nationalists, Chiang Kai-shek, who was then in power. And I thought, well I’ll never get to see China otherwise so I’ll do that and be gone for a couple of weeks. And six months later I’m still in China. After the – we had very poor timing. We got there just at the time the communists had taken over and they were bombing our administration building and we were theoretically flying dissuasive combat air patrols. We were supposed to make simulated strafing runs on the communists troops that were coming into North China, but we weren’t supposed to fire our weapons. We had our machine guns were taped up and so forth. So our strafing runs were conducted about 6,000 feet because they were shooting back.

Oh I had my tail feathers knocked off and I was going to jump out of the airplane, but I chickened out. I was only about 600 feet up and I looked – got over there and looked, looked over the side and I wasn’t doing anything dramatic. I had no vertical stabilizer.

I had a little stick up there so I had no rudder control, but the aircraft was not doing anything dramatic and I was able to land on the beach, wheels up, but gave me another jolt.

So between those two or three incidences, plus the football injury, I was not in too good of shape.

So everything I’ve done in life has not been planned or programmed. I’ve been what I call a victim of serendipity. Good things happen to me in spite of myself. Never thought I’d come – never thought about coming to Alaska either. And I ran into this Navy officer shortly after I got my wings in Corpus. We were walking toward each other down the sidewalk and this guy has his nose all Calamine lotion and he blistered and red headed fellow. I walked by him and I said boy you look as miserable in this country as I am, where you from? He said I’m from Alaska. Well it happened to be a fellow by the name of Bud Branom who was about 13 years older than I was and he was a Navy officer who came to Alaska to – and handled the Navy’s Air Sea Rescue Program and I went to the South Pacific. But we corresponded and he spun a bunch of tails that sounded pretty good to a wild haired kid and asked me if I’d maybe want to come up and work with him after the war. So I did and only wish I had come up 20 years before.

Well then when I first started out in Petroleum Geology up there when I went back to school but concluded again that wasn’t for me so I switched to anthropology – switched to premed and graduated in biological sciences. And I tell people I still don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up.

Intertitle: Fish and Wildlife

Jay Hammond: One of the reasons I went back to school and took biological sciences, I had gone to see Hogar Larson, who was an old game warden with Fish and Wildlife Service here in Anchorage, see about getting a job as a pilot agent. And he said well you ought to go back to school get a degree in biology, we don’t have any openings right now and so forth. So I went back to school and I got my degree and I came back and but I departed a bit from the pilot agent thing in this manner. I had written an article that predated Farley Mollett’s Never Cry Wolf exactly in the same vein. Ivory tower assumption that wolves took nothing but the lame, the sick, and the whole and it was printed in, I don’t remember, Field and Stream or Outdoor Life or something.

And remember Frank Glaser , old-time wolfer, mountain man, incredible guy and Morrie Kelly. Morrie Kelly was the head of the newly inaugurated predator control division here in Alaska and they had read my article and they came out to see me. And as graciously as possible told me I was all wet. I had – and they said you’re familiar with the Rainy Pass country, you’ve flown around there a lot, we want to do some predator appraise studies up in that locale. And you’re also a pilot and would you be interested in taking a job as a temporary, at least to see what really is going on. I had the impression they were flying around the country indiscriminately throwing poison out of the windows and killing everything and sundry in the process and so forth.

And they asked me – they said would you be interested in taking a temporary job so you see what’s really going on. And I said well if I do and find things to be, as I believe them to be, I’ll be your worse critic. I ended up working for them for seven years. But in the process I’d like to think did something to win the public attitudes away from what prevailed when I first came here in Alaska, which would kill all the varmints off. That was the attitude back then and predator control was very, very popular, wasn’t controversial, no, they had bounties on virtually everything up here as you might know, eagles and wolves and coyotes and seals and somebody even wanted to put them on bear, but they didn’t go that far.

Anyhow I ended up working for them for seven years and we I think – I personally – most people start out one end of the spectrum or another, either all varmints or they’re noble creatures that never should be in the slightest degree harmed. The truth is as in most instances somewhere between the two, but very few people reach that point.

I remember I made the statement one time – in fact I think I wrote it in the book I said I want to make it clear from the start that I’m not a wolf expert but of course like everybody else I used to be, but that was before I got a degree in biology, trapped for a living, worked seven years as a government hunter, lived in the area where we see wolves frequently. And as they say the truth is somewhere – if you truly want to affect population dynamics that increase numbers of not only moose or caribou, but incidentally the wolves predator control may be warranted in certain circumstances. Most everybody agrees that, even the most extreme ivory tower biologists may say and there are maybes but they never encounter those circumstances.

So what happens? You try to conduct a reasonable operation up here that is surgically pinpointed to affect a select area or a number of wolves and of course it is so outrageously un-sportsman like the screams of anguish deter the – say for example if you – what’s the most select means of conducting predator control? To go out and locate the offending pack members and radio collar them and then follow them with the helicopter and selectively pick – oh, my gosh it’s so outrageously un-sportsman like. Politically it’s untenable. So the state is then forced to do something else. And what do they do, they adopted this snaring program, which of course then was videoed and sent around the country showing the wolves suffering in the snare and the public outrage was in extreme. So then they adopted ridiculous measures like trying to neuter the males and cut down on production when – I don’t know.

The answer to it is to do it selectively if recommended by not the politicians but by the biologists. And ironically enough the biologists that recommended when I was in office as governor, the biologists for Fish and Game recommended the state conduct a very selective predator control program south of Fairbanks. You may remember that. It was one who had been the most critical of the federal programs and totally opposed to predator control until you’re out in the field and you see the results of constraining the wolf population. And wolf populations are kind of like a rubber band. If you cut them way down they’ll spring back in greater numbers than they were before. Nothing in a wolf population depends on prey and by protecting the prey and let it build up in numbers your wolf population will incline upward as well, but most people will never have the chance or opportunity or necessarily desire to learn the facts and so they take one extreme position or the other.

And the truth is somewhere between the two. If you want to increase prey populations in some instances wolf control – I’ve seen it – I saw it on the Alaska Peninsula. I went down – I was sent down there to take a look at the situation. The caribou that at one time caribou and reindeer population totaled 60,000 allegedly back in the old days. Wolf populations built up with the introduction of reindeer. People down there had never seen the wolf until they introduced reindeer into the country. Wolf population built up to the point where they were – I remember Dave and Mary Alsworth for example took – found what – I don’t remember – they had taken a number of wolves between Egavik and Naknek. Can’t remember numbers. But we took about 250 wolves off the Alaska Peninsula. When I went down there to survey the reindeer/caribou populations, all we could find is roughly 1,200 of that 60,000 alleged. We took – I didn’t do it all by myself but together about 250 wolves off of that herd. They built back up to 20,000 and the wolf population built up along with it. So there are plenty of wolves and plenty of caribou or at least they were. I don’t know what it is like now.I

Intertitle: Bella

Jay Hammond: I met Bella when I went into the Fish and Wildlife Service I first was assigned here in Anchorage.

And I was in Dillingham and they had – they used to have kind of family type dances and penucle games weekly at a place called The Willow Tree. And there was a dance that particular evening and I’m not much for tripping the light fantastic. It is not very light but it sure is fantastic. Anyhow, I walked up to this pretty young thing and I said I always accord myself the privilege of asking the prettiest girl in the room to dance and that’s the only dance – and it happened to be Bella. And I met her, she was I don’t know, still in high school then and I – her dad was an old Scotchman that came from the old country back in 1896 or something. It was on the Gold Rush. He had been playing professional soccer around the world at different locales. Anyhow he was much older than Bella’s mother.

And I think the next time I encountered her was in the restaurant called the Greenfront Café in Dillingham and I used to eat there regularly and I very carefully avoided ever drinking the water because they got their water from up on the hill just above the Greenfront, which was at the base of the cemetery. And I remember seeing a small boy relieving himself in the water hole one time and I thought I’m going to drink nothing but orange juice. I conveyed this to Bella and her dad and they started laughing and found out that they were reconstituting the orange juice with very high calcium content plus whoever knows what else on the other hand. That was kind of my second introduction with Bella.

She then went to the University and was up there in ’51 I believe and I took her away from all that and we got married in ’52, yeah.

We got married in Palmer. … And then we honeymooned in Seward.

And then I came back and we went back to Bristol Bay, King Salmon actually. And I was working for Fish and Wildlife. We had a little World War II house, building, about the size of this room, less so. And I moved it into a location there, paneled it, and spent not much. We had no indoor plumbing facilities of course.

Intertitle: 1956 – A Good Landing Gone Bad

Jay Hammond: And then I had another very strange accident that you perhaps recall where I don’t know how much you want me to go into it but I was flying a fellow by the name of Sea Otter Jones, very colorful character from Cold Bay around the country and he wanted to stop at King Cove. This was before King Cove had an airstrip and we were – I had ski wheels on the airplane, Super Cub and there was a little lake there that we used to use to land there. At the end of the lake about three feet off the ground is a big wooden pipe that the canneries got their water from. And there were a number of kids who were skating on the ice.

And I came down, buzzed the lake to let them know I wanted to land and they all parted to make room. And I came around to land and it was a hot day for Cold Bay at that time of year. It was above freezing and the sun was shining and a little slick of water on the ice. And if you land on skis on ice of that nature it seems like you accelerate rather than slow down. So I pumped the skis up, landed on wheels and congratulated myself on getting in right on the edge of the lake, but it kept going, and going and going and going and going. It looked like we were going to run out and I might knock the gear off. So normally I would just done half a ground loop and caught it with the throttle, which is easily done on ice, but the kids had all come back behind me so I didn’t dare do it. I had to ride it straight out.

So I jumped out of the airplane, grabbed a hold of the strut and I’m sliding along trying to slow it down. We weren’t going very fast, but I hit a box that was buried in the ice and it shattered both my ankle bones and I got picked up by a fellow who is known the Bull of King Cove, old Mike Utak. And he packed me up the hill on his back and they put me in – well first we stopped at the schoolteacher’s place there who professed to be an expert in First Aid. And I should have known better and it didn’t sound right to me. Oh you got to soak your feet in hot water right now. Worst thing I could have done. They blew up like balloons. They were all red blood blistered and so forth.

Well we – they tried to get an airplane in from the Coast Guard from Kodiak and Fish and Wildlife tried to get a Goose in from Anchorage. They couldn’t get in the weather was bad and for three days I – they put me in a cannery bunkhouse there and the people proceeded to party for about three solid days and it was just as well I guess because I couldn’t get any sleep anyhow. I had taken fistfuls of aspirin but my legs were blown up to the point where they looked like elephant legs and I thought I got to get out of here.

Well they couldn’t – I couldn’t fly. I couldn’t fit in the front seat with the feet the way they were or I could fit but I didn’t think I could press on the rudder pedals, but I thought if I had to in an absolute emergency maybe I could do it, but Bob Jones who didn’t fly he got in the back seat of the airplane and I said you work the pedals and I’ll work the stick and throttle. Well let me tell you, two heads are not better than one when it comes to trying to fly an airplane. And we went racheting off the ice there and I thought oh my gosh we got aloft, how are we ever going to get down? Right, right, left, left, right, left, we’re going off like a besodded ptarmigan over ripe berries. And we went over to Cold Bay and it was still blowing bad cross wind and I thought oh, my gosh, how are we ever going to get down? We came in for a landing and hit the runway, caromed up in the air, up on one wheel, around, missing the runway lights and finally did a ground loop and knocked the (inaudible) off one, but got stopped. And didn’t do any damage to the airplane.

They packed me over to Jones’ hut. Fellow by the name of I think it was Cal Linsink and Ron Skube, but I’m not sure. Names that you may remember and while we were at Jones’ still they’re trying to get airplanes in. There was nobody at Cold Bay. This was before the Army, very few people there. It was before Reeve established a regular stop there and so forth. And I’m at Jones now for another three or four days and things are getting worse and worse and I thought I was going to lose my feet if I didn’t get out of there, but there was nobody, believe it or not, in Cold Bay who flew that could fly me north.

So I had them build me a couple of splint type things that went down below my foot so I could push on the rudder pedals, cause I couldn’t stand the pressure if my life had depended on it I couldn’t have pushed on those rudders. I found when I took off at King Cove. So anyhow some brave soul went along with me cause we had to have somebody to pour gas in the airplane and I put – I couldn’t sit in the front seat because of this splint type things. So I sat in the back seat where the rudder pedals that I could push but there wasn’t throttle or stick. The throttle had been removed. There was one up front but I attached a rod to it so I could use that and I had a big long screwdriver that went down through the floor into the slot where the stick belonged.

And we got off all right and went up to I don’t know whether it was Port Moller or some place, Port Heiden maybe and he fueled the airplane with gas. We had terrible weather. Blowing a gale. My wife meanwhile has heard I was coming up and waiting there at the airfield with an ambulance. She is there with some of the medics from the military. And it’s getting pretty dark about now and we’re coming in for a landing and all of a sudden this guy snatches the control. He panicked, snatched the controls away from me, and we go rocketing up like this. And I’m hollering at him. I got it. I got it. And the normal means of communicating with your co-pilot is to wiggle your stick, which I did and my screwdriver came out. And there we are fluttering along. Fortunately I was able to get it back in and made not a textbook landing, but they put me in the ambulance and finally then brought me into Anchorage a day or two later. They doped me up and hauled me into Anchorage.

They put me in the 5001st Hospital, which was an old elephant hut is what it was, like a big Quonset hut. And they got me in traction because they had to let the blood blisters and swelling reduce somewhat before they could operate. And I’m hung up in this traction device one night and suddenly I heard shrieking and screaming and people come out of one of the sections of this thing. The doors open, smoke billowing down the hall and here’s the lame, the sick, and the whole going out on their crutches and canes and wheelchairs. Hey you guys I’m hung up in this traction device. And finally I had to unhook myself and slip over the side of the bed and go out in the snow on my butt. And it burned the whole place down. Two nurses were lost in it. Really a tragic event.

And that wasn’t the end of my humiliation however. They put me in the then new Native service hospital here in Anchorage.

There was a picture in the Anchorage News or maybe it was the Times that was the ultimate. That picture on the front-page it says Native women from the villages arrive anticipating what was the headline? Native Women and Villages arrive to anticipate birth of their children or something like that. Here’s a picture of maybe 30 or 40 very obviously pregnant Native women and in the midst of this conglomeration is myself; the lone male on a hospital gurney looking like an oriental potentate this was his harem. That was the ultimate.

But then that finished my career with Fish and Wildlife Service, so.

I was long time in a cast. They fused my right ankle, not my left one, but they put me in a cast and we moved to Naknek then and bought what they call Model Café. And it was truly a model. It was certainly of ancient vintage, but it had one of the few flush toilets in town, one of the three or four about all there were. And we built onto that and then ultimately got a piece of land out up on the hill towards King Salmon and moved that building over another basement that we dug up there. I didn’t do that one in plaster cast however.

When I was able to walk around at all we bought the Model Café as a place to live and that was and Bella and I, I was stumping around on crutches, short order cooking and finally I had a couple of walking casts. She was making up the 30 pies a day or so and we were losing our shirts believe it or not. And we had charged I remember outrageous prices. A cup of coffee and potato salad and hamburger we were charging one dollar. And it seemed like a high price back then believe it or not. Anyhow that proved to be a very unsuccessful venture. When I was able to function again they offered me a job Fish and Wildlife. I could either go to Juneau in an office capacity or take what they call a reduced retirement. It was reduced by so many percent for every year you were less than 65. So being much less than 65 myself it ended up something like a negative percentage, very small, $100 or something like that. But it was getting out of an office job.

I never aspired to an office job and then I went into the guiding, flying and the commercial fishing business.

Intertitle: Rep. Jay Hammond – 1959-1965

Jay Hammond: In 1959 I – couple of schoolteachers came to me one day. We just became a State. And they said you ought to run for State Legislature. By the time I stopped laughing I told them I had no interest whatsoever and that actually I had voted against statehood.

My reasons were simply this that with our tiny population – I don’t know it was only about 70,000 people and we had no economic potential immediately on the horizon, fishery, timber, mining, trapping all gone down hill. And I felt with our tiny population and first our ability to finance and administer were very dicey. And I said that with our small population virtually any idiot that aspired to public office is liable to achieve it. And a lot of folks subsequently have said yes and you proved it on more than one occasion. I did not oppose it idealistically, but I also was affronted by the fact that you couldn’t even look at such things as commonwealth status, which seemed to have some interesting aspects worthy of examination, but the very suggestion of looking at alternatives branded you as a crackpot or communist or some sort of loathsome creature. And very few openly opposed statehood. It was kind of the kiss of death to do so.

All I wanted to look at it. When I become suspicious when people won’t lift up the rocks and look at things and because they wouldn’t even let us talk about it virtually back then was another reason I voted against statehood. Again, not idealistically, but I didn’t like what I felt was being obscured.

They said well, and I said I’m not affiliated with either party, Republican or Democrat. And they came back a day or two later and they said well they named a fellow with most outrageous choices imaginable, pretty well inebriated type, which is one qualification I suspect for many politicians, but he exceeded the balance of propriety when it came to that. And he – they said guy has filed. He’s going to win. The only other fellow that has filed is a Republican and doesn’t stand a chance to win and it was six to one Democrats in the villages back in those days. And they said well you could run as an Independent. And they said all you have to do is go out and get a petition with so many names that say they’ll support you. And I said forget it. And they said well would you consider it if we went out and got the petition? I said that’s the only way I would consider it and that’s what I thought would be the end of it.

The next day they came back with a petition. And in their minds consideration translated into commitment. I never said I would but I never had guts enough to tell folk who think I made a commitment that I really didn’t. And so I agreed to – I didn’t do any campaigning. Didn’t lift a finger. And to my dismay really I found I was elected.

I ran as an Independent initially and there was a certain wooing from both sides of the aisle when I — they changed the election code to make it almost impossible for an Independent to win. And I remember being counseled by some of the Democrat – Alex Miller, some of the big guns, Louie Dishner (?), some of the other guys there, but hey you know you’re reasonably smart guy. If you want to get elected without having to worry about it too much, get that magic D behind your name. And I must confess there was a certain attraction to that. I hadn’t had any party affiliation and I realized you could probably have – join either party and vote pretty much the way you wanted to. But on the other hand I made this comment.

Down in Bristol Bay it seemed like every stumblebum and nare-do-well and freeloader was a Democrat. I didn’t realize that was because they were only Democrats down there at the time. I subsequently learned that nobody has got the market cornered on that quality of people. And I thought about you know, not very seriously, about declaring as a Democrat because it would have been so much easier.

Because you never won because you were a Republican back in those days. It was in spite of the fact. And I think that’s a healthy condition.

But then I thought hey you know my folks are Republican. I kind of was inculcated with what was then the Republican philosophy. And I’m at odds very much many times with Republicans today, but not all. And one of them being the fact that they seem to be totally opposed to anything that smacks of environmental constraints and on par with being branded the child molester to be termed an environmentalist, I say I’m an environmentalist but I’m equally concerned about the social and economic environment. Many so-called physical environmentalists are not or not to the extent they should be, but – and to me I – the old Republican conservation mode of Teddy Roosevelt represented is the sort of – but these people seem to think there’s nothing to some of these concerns and others. And that troubles me.

But I enjoyed the legislature. I spent six years there and it was an entertaining time in Alaska’s history. We were setting up the whole state government and there was some very remarkable outstanding statesman like figures involved back then that – and we had the sort of legislature that was truly citizen legislature. It wasn’t you had to get down there, do your work as rapidly as possible, and get out as soon as you could to make a living.

Well I had long been concerned with the impact of nonresident transients particularly in the fishery in Bristol Bay. And I believe 1962 or 3 a very good friend of mine since deceased, Bristol Bay fisherman, Native fellow by the name of Martin Seaverson. Was very good at figures and analyzing things and he showed me a study he had done that evidenced that 97% of the pay day made within the Bristol Bay area or confines of the Bristol Bay Borough as it turned out to be went elsewhere; 65% of it went outside the State. The rest of it elsewhere in the State only 3% stayed at home. And what did we have to show for these facts are that literally billions of dollars of resource while we’re a rural slum. We didn’t have any secondary education. We had no sewer and water system. We had no health care facility, no fire fighting capability. Our garbage disposal plant was throwing it over the bank into the river.

So that is what got me to start thinking about how can we remedy this situation and address some of our social needs by using some of this vast resource wealth which was hemorrhaging out – not only outside of the borough but outside of the state. Previously I and the legislature had tried to throw all sorts of curve balls at the nonresident fisherman, increasing the cost of gear licenses. And one of the most interesting ones was, if I can remember it, was called the PNA Bill after Pacific Northern Airlines. What it was I proposed a piece of legislation that would require people be — come to Alaska in person to acquire their gear license by I don’t remember March 1 or something like that. …

And Bill Egan vetoed that bill. I remember his veto message clearly. It said I would have supported this bill if it did precisely what it contended it did three pages later. I don’t know who gave him counsel and vetoed it. So that didn’t work.

And then there were other unconstitutional things. But then in the wake of this evidence that so much of this money was leaving I thought if we could impose a small tax on the fish, say 3%, paid by the fisherman, not by the canneries, we would capture for every $3 we paid $97 and we can do some of these things, build some of these social vacuums. And I thought, hum, I was then in the legislature and I got a bill through that created a use tax. I remember Bill Borden, who was the speaker of the house at the time. What do you want that for? Well, don’t worry about it. We weren’t yet a borough. Then but I saw the potential I felt for doing something to remedy this and forming a borough.

Intertitle: Bristol Bay

Jay Hammond: Then it was in ’65 that I ran against Joe McGill, lost to Joe McGill. I didn’t campaign at all or really wasn’t that unhappy about it. I had been in the legislature for six years, but it gave me a chance then I went in and we became a borough. And I took over the management of the borough and I saw a chance to impose this tax. So I proposed exactly the same thing as I said in Alaska, Inc., but I called it Bristol, Inc. To sell it I said we could form an investment corporation or investment account, give everybody a share of stock that would earn dividends for each year. We would raise enough money to give you back more than what the fisherman pay in their fish tax and do some of these other things – build – we didn’t have a high school then. Didn’t have any of these other services, social services. And all they could see is Hammond is proposing a tax. It is like the income tax. They are blind. We can create a tax and make people money. They turn it down and they did.

And I thought well I’ll have to give them an offer they can’t refuse. So I wrote two ordinances. One of them imposed the tax and the second one said yes and only if ordinance A passes will we then eliminate your residential property tax. Well the average local, of course locals owned the residential property and non-transients didn’t. They paid a full tax and locals would – the same thing as the capped income tax thing. And they looked at their hole card and they voted it in.

And beyond my wildest anticipation what it did. It translated that borough almost overnight into what Fortune Magazine termed in an article the richest municipality per capita in the nation. And we suddenly were engulfed with revenues that enabled us to build a high school, put in the finest sewer and water – not sewer and water, but sewer system, health care facility, ambulance services, fire fighting equipment, state of the art garbage disposal, you name it – overnight.

Let me tell you a little more directly what happened. When I was borough manager and mayor – no, I was manager first and then I became mayor when I was out of the legislature. Salary – my salary was 6,000 a year. My total budget was 35,000. I had a secretary for 12,000. We hired temporary for tax collection. 35,000 a year total budget. I had one full-time employee. Four years later I believe it was, I’m sure of the four, whether it was four or five or three, the borough budget was $4 million. They had 21 people on the payroll. Borough manager salary went from 6,000 to 82 I think. They spent it all on government. And because Tom Fink came in, didn’t put a cap – didn’t put a lid on how much residential property tax exemption you could render, totally blew out of the tub my tradeoff, the offer you can’t refuse. Made a liar out of me – we’re getting taxed both ways now.

Man, so then – so I failed. That was my first failure in doing it the way I wanted to.

This again this shows you how difficult it is to deal with public and to alert them to things that particularly me, being the world’s worse soap salesman. When we had the experience in Bristol Bay of generating this enormous wealth almost overnight, I went to the Municipal League and spoke to other mayors and borough managers from throughout the state, Kodiak, Peninsula, southeastern and so forth and I said hey guys you’re missing a pretty good deal here. I told them exactly what our experience had been, suggesting they might want to impose a fish use tax in their locale. Nobody did it for years, for years and finally all of them have done it. But that’s a glacial slow public awareness of the difficulty in selling things that are not – you got to think outside the box a little bit to do some of these things and that is tough for us to do. Because we have been so conditioned again we’re so blind sided with taxes who can want a tax. It is either cut government or you know get their money from some other source. And that’s fine if you can cut government to stay within the bounds that’s fine, but everybody agrees you can’t do that and bridge this budget gap.

So what are the alternatives? Many would like to rob your dividends to do it.

Intertitle: Closing Thoughts

Jay Hammond: One of the problems I think is that people spend so much money and time and effort getting elected that they – that becomes the overriding consideration. What’s going to get me re-elected? And when I was Governor I used to have people come to me not infrequently and say you’re right I’d love to go beyond this but I wouldn’t dare I’d never get re-elected.

Problem is too few really can place the best interests of the State over the interests of their selective constituencies or provincial constituencies or special interests constituencies. And it’s a shame. I don’t know how you get around it, but I almost have reached the conclusion we’d be better off if they could vote secretly on issues.

The problem is the people in the legislature cannot put the statewide interest paramount. They have to cater to their selective provincial constituents in order to get reelected.
And so don’t expect much in the way of change.
Most legislators’ concept of infinity is two or four years away at the next election — 20 years down the pike, they really could care less.

A lot of folks say you know there was a suggestion one time that I might want to go back to Washington and run for either Congress. In fact Mike Coletta came to me one time after a meeting with Republican chair in Anchorage and said we’ve got 250,000 if you’ll file for a seat against Begich. And forget it. I’ve got no interest going back to Washington. I refused to move backward to anything that would take me out of Alaska and bring me to Washington is retrogression. Forget it.

Certainly the last thing I’d ever thought I’d do is get into politics. If anybody had suggested it, I’d probably have kicked them out from under their hats. I had low pain threshold for politicians, still do for that matter, but on the other hand you know I used to say I was one of the good guys, hurling rocks in the arena at the bureaucrats and I suddenly figured out with four years in the service, four plus years in the service, and two years as mayor, one year working for the weather bureau, seven years with Fish and Wildlife Service, six years or twelve years in the legislature and eight years as governor, I’m the biggest bureaucrat of all. And if that isn’t a horrible realization, but anyhow it has been an interesting trip.

Closing titles.

Credits:
Recorded January 4, 2004, in Anchorage.
Hammond Died August 2, 2005.

 

Full interview transcript

Jay Hammond
Interviewed by Dr. Terrence ColeTerence: Today is Thursday, January 22, 1904. No, it just feels like 1904, Jay, but it is 2004 and we’re in Anchorage with Jay Hammond and anyway Jay, thanks a lot for talking to us and this will be fun. I guess we just maybe start a little bit with your background. I guess growing up in New York, maybe little of your military service and how you came to Alaska. We can just talk about that, okay.

Hammond: I have to tell you I don’t hear too well.

Terence: Oh, that’s okay, okay. I’ll be louder, right. If we just talk about – start with talking a little bit about your early childhood, growing up in New York maybe, and your military service, something about that.

Hammond: Okay. Well I was born in Troy, New York, but mercifully left at age five. Troy back then was kind of a grubby garment town, although we didn’t live directly in Troy. My dad was a Methodist preacher and he got moved to upstate New York in a little town called Scotia, which not far from Troy, but which is near – Scotia near Schenectady. And I grew up there spent my school years there until high school when my dad was transferred to Au Sable Forks in the Adirondack’s up near Lake Placid. And I was there part of the time, but spent my high school years really with a family back in Scotia to finish up during which period my dad moved and mother moved to Vermont. I much prefer people think I came from Vermont than Troy, New York. But Troy has cleaned up its act. It’s much less undesirable than it was back then.

Anyhow, I had grown up there but I spent my college years and years in the service, my residency was Vermont. And when I was in 1942 I enlisted in the first preflight program for the Navy, February I think 13th in 1942, but I really didn’t go into training until the spring. And when I graduated and got my wings I opted to go into the Marine Corps, primarily so I wouldn’t have to fly off the carriers. And of course you might guess it; my first assignment was carriers.

And when the war folded up I was in Okinawa and had enough points to come home. They had a point system that would release if you had enough of them accumulated and I went to the squadron doctor. I had a couple of incidents that injured my backbone pretty badly and I used to have to wear a two by four behind my parachute, a piece of two by four to keep my back pulled in some sort of line. And I wanted to see about getting a medical discharge, but he said you have enough points to get home anyhow very shortly. It will take you two months to go through the drill of getting a medical.

And so I decided to wait. Meanwhile they asked for volunteers to fly Course Airs up to the Chinese Nationalists, Chiang Kai-shek, who ws then in power. And I thought well I’ll never get to see China otherwise so I’ll do that and be gone for a couple of weeks. And six months later I’m still in China. After the – we had very poor timing. We got there just at the time the communists had taken over and they were bombing our administration building and we were theoretically flying dissuasive combat air patrols. We were supposed to make simulated strafing runs on the communists troops that were coming into North China, but we weren’t supposed to fire our weapons. We had our machine guns were taped up and so forth. So our strafing runs were conducted about 6,000 feet because they were shooting back.

Anyhow but prior to – I’m getting ahead of myself. Prior to getting in the Marine Corps I went to Penn State in 1940 to ostensibly become a petroleum engineer, but I was having some problems. I had headaches virtually every day for a period of time and my dad took me to oh, my goodness, we went to the Harvard Migraine Clinic. I saw 14 different specialists to see what was wrong. Nobody could figure it out. They gave me hemoglobin shots and asked me about everything under the sun and nothing seemed to help. And when I went to preflight school I was actually happy to leave my engineering studies at Penn State because I was about two times a week I had bone-busting headaches, but every day I had one. There wasn’t a day I woke up without them. Not conducive to doing well in engineering studies, thermodynamics and spherical trig and quantitative analysis. I flunked my only course that I ever flunked at school. It happened to be surveying and I got a D in it. And what happened though the circumstances were somewhat mitigating because the reason I flunked another fellow and myself were off goofing off in a coffee shop having coffee and donuts when the professor came along and found we were not on our assigned location doing the survey project. And he gave me a B. Anyhow –

Terence: Let me ask you why did you pick petroleum engineering.

Hammond: Why did I pick petroleum engineering? A good friend of mine a fellow that I had stayed with my last year of high school he – his dad was an old Penn State graduate. He was going to Penn State and he was aspiring to become a petroleum engineer. And we had romantic visions of exploring all sorts of remote, exotic places and so forth. But I was not cut out to be an engineer. I had no interest in the engineering curricula to speak of. I should have been doing something worthwhile like learning waterfowl identification or something I could use in later life, but anyhow and I was miserable at it.

So I in a way welcomed the excuse the leave, which of course was presented in 1942. But while I was at the University I was playing football. I got injured.

Terence: What position did you play?

Hammond: Beg pardon?

Terence: What position did you play?

Hammond: Well I played, back then we played full 60 minutes. We played both offense and defense and I played defensive end, right end, and offensive fullback. I wasn’t that big and I was vying for the fullback job which in East-West game the first year I was in the service I heard this guy, the biggest man on the field, was on Aldo Sensy from Penn State. Now he and I were competing for the fullback job so you can understand he played a little more often than I did. But when I got injured I had to turn down – I had been offered a scholarship and I of course was no longer eligible for that.

Terence: Now injured, you mean injured in the service?

Hammond: In football.

Terence: Well what was the injury, what happened?

Hammond: Well for one thing I had broken a toe. It had an eardrum busted, but at that time I – my back was giving me fits and I started getting the headaches. And whether there was a connection between the back and the head I don’t know. But I couldn’t stand to watch a football game while I was somehow – unless I was playing. And so somebody said why don’t you take flying lessons. And out at a little airfield I think outside of college, Penn State College, and there was a course that was being inaugurated called the Civilian Pilot Training, SPT Program. And for $25 if you could pass the flight physical, they would teach you to fly with one consideration and that was in the event of a national emergency you were compelled or you agreed to enlist in either the Army, Navy, or Marine Air arm.

And of course not long after there was a national emergency. So I was had and I enlisted in the first Navy Preflight School. And I was given theoretically you were given your choice of whether going to preflight school and if going to preflight school where to go. And it was the very first Navy Preflight School. And I opted to go to Philadelphia. So I was sent to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Then for primary training you were given a selection. I opted to go to Boston, which was near Vermont. So I went to Dallas. Then while in Dallas, I was asked whether I wanted to go to intermediate training to an area called Eager Acres, Cabanos Field, or Cudahee Field. Eager Acres or Easy Acres, so naturally I opted for Easy and got Eager. Everything I asked for in the Marine Corps I didn’t get. I asked for fighters. I got assigned to flying those old OST2U that were catapulted off a battle ships and actually float planes, actually good training, but everything I got I didn’t ask.

And then I asked to go into – I didn’t want to go into being an instructor and so naturally they assigned me as an instructor. So I thought well I’m going to play this game. You never get anything you want so then I put my application in to be sent overseas. Lo and behold I finally got what I’d asked for.

And so I got sent out, but I went only in the last year of the war. And I was – I got in the when did the war –

Terence: You were down in the South Pacific, right, Jay?

Hammond: South Pacific.

Terence: The war ended in August of ’45 and but you went out in ’45 or ’44 or what?

Hammond: No, yeah I went out – I went in the spring of ’45 I went overseas and then it was in the Marshall’s, actually all over the South Pacific, but mostly in the Philippines, Zamboanga, the Philippines, and then Okinawa and when the war folded up.

Terence: What kind of plane did you fly, was it a dive – I thought you had a diver bomber?

Hammond: No I flew mostly Course Airs, although I did fly dive-bombers, SPD Donlets, but mostly Course Airs yeah.

Terence: And what was it, cause did you crack up once or how did you hurt your back?

Hammond: Well I had an incident when I was in flight training that really aggravated my problem. One night we were flying these OS2U floatplanes and there were a whole bunch of us up about 100 aircraft cruising around. The fog came in at Corpus Christi, really flew off of a place called Laguna Madre outside of Corpus. And the fog came in and we – it became the – I don’t if it still is, but it was the worst training accident in the Navy history. I don’t remember how planes and how many pilots were lost, but it was something else. The fog came in and you heard a lot of chatter on the radio, guys hollering, guys panicked and airplanes smacking into each other and you’d go along and suddenly be in somebody’s slip screen. It was rather terrifying.

But I was a red glow coming up through the fog and I thought I knew I was oriented over the place near Laguna Madre and so I started to let down on instruments thinking I was going to land in the water and all of a sudden I broke through the mist and here are buildings on both sides. I’m going down one of the main streets in Corpus Christi. And a fellow in the paper the next day said he looked out the window and saw an airplane below him. And I don’t know whether that was me or not, but I remember I had a leather flight jacket on and it literally soaked through with sweat. I was – oh.

Anyhow I finally got oriented from that and I went over to where I was pretty sure Laguna Madre was and now Padre Island – you don’t want too far out or you’re going to hit the island. So you had to calculate it and fortunately I – it’s not had to land a floatplane on instruments. And so I let down and let down and let down, hit the water, heaved a big sigh of relief and about 10 seconds shot up on a sandbar. Didn’t flip over but high and dry.

Meanwhile hearing people hollering and screeching and actually hearing a couple of airplanes collide and a guy came in, spun in and crashed about 200 yards from me and his airplane was about to sink. And I had a – my rubber life raft inflatable and I went over and pulled him out of it. And a fellow by the name of Harry Moore, who became a general later, but Harry’s head looked like about the size of a pumpkin and split open. And my back, we paddled in – oh, we got over to my airplane and then the tide came in and was able to taxi into the base. And I almost went to the hospital, turned myself in, but I was supposed to graduate within a couple of weeks, so I didn’t do it. And it was only years later I found out that at that time I had fractured either lumbar or cervical vertebrae. And then that got aggravated later on when I had another (inaudible).

I did graduate and went overseas. Didn’t have too much trouble with the back until later on. And oh I had my tail feathers knocked off and I was going to jump out of the airplane, but I chickened out. I was only about 600 feet up and I looked – got over there and looked, looked over the side and I wasn’t doing anything dramatic. I had no vertical stabilizer.

Terence: So the end of the plane was shot off, is that right?

Hammond: Yeah, it was, yeah, it was – I had a little stick up there so I had no rudder control, but the aircraft was not doing anything dramatic and I was able to land on the beach, wheels up, but gave me another jolt.

So between those two or three incidences, plus the football injury, I was not in too good of shape. But when I came back home I had met a fellow in Texas who was walking down the street.

Terence: Okay. Let’s see Jay we were just talking a little bit more about the war and I wanted to ask you something about Vermont, but anything else. What was the thing when you got your tail of the plane shot off, where was that action at? Do you remember where that was?

Hammond: It was in the Marshall – Marshall Islands.

Terence: And what was the mission, do you remember what the – do you remember what the mission was on that particular day?

Hammond: Yeah. We were on a combat air patrol. I don’t remember precisely. We did a lot of – during the last year of the war there was mostly aerial combat was over. Most of the stuff we did was air ground support, dropping Napon and that sort of stuff and against shipping. And that was what we were doing at that time, combat air patrol, so.

Terence: So the – you would have been shot down or the thing that got you was like fire from the ship?

Hammond: Another aircraft.

Terence: Oh, it was.

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: Like Japanese Zero or something or what was the – do you know?

Hammond: I don’t know exactly what airplane?

Terence: Okay.

Hammond: I knew suddenly I didn’t have a tail. They had a – what is it – this was not – there’s an old Kipling rhyme, monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga, they got shot off by – or cut off – bit off by the whales at Zamboanga or something. And I remember we had a big half of a zero that was hung up and (inaudible).

Terence: That’s a great. What about in Vermont? You said in a way you remember that a little bit better maybe?

Hammond: We lived in a beautiful spot in Vermont called Rupert, Vermont, which I used to say nobody had ever heard of. I’d been many years in Alaska before I found anybody that had ever heard of it. I was – remember when the volcano blew up over here in Redoubt some – no yeah, Redoubt, no not Redoubt –

Terence: Augustine or

Hammond: Yeah Redoubt and they evacuated some people that were staying at a lodge there. Well that was Big River Lakes going through Lake Clark Pass. I was flying home one time and got caught in bad weather and had to land there and spent the night with those folks. And they asked me where I was from and I said Vermont. And the fellow said where in Vermont. And I said you’ve never heard of it and he said try me. I said Rupert, Vermont. He says my father was born there. Couldn’t believe it. He knew all about Rupert.

Two weeks later – I used to do a TV show and we were out in Upnuk, oh no Dutch Harbor and I was staying with a schoolteacher, my crew and I. And they asked me the same thing. Where you from? I said Vermont. They said where in Vermont and I went through my usual drill. You never heard of it. The woman said I was skiing on Hammond Road two weeks ago. I’d never heard of Hammond Road. There was a little stretch of dirt road named after my father who was on remember the Merck drug industry, Mr. Merck had a beautiful farm not far from where we lived there and my dad was appointed to a conservation organization and they named this little stretch of road. And sure enough I found it. A little sign up, Hammond Road.

And that wasn’t enough, the same year I’m in Dillingham buying some lumber at the Dillingham Lumber Yard and some guy came up to me and said you know I used to have cocoa and cookies at your dad and mother’s parsonage in Rupert, Vermont. So I don’t say that anymore. You’ve probably even head of Rupert, Vermont. I guess less than 100 people, but a beautiful area.

And I went back after many, many years of absence and I almost didn’t want to return. I thought it would be all plastic, paved over, and populated. Same ruts in the road. Looked just the same to me as it did when I – and it was kind of great in a way because it is nice to know there are some things not changing that dramatically up here. Can’t say that about Alaska.

Terence: What part of Vermont was this, the northern?

Hammond: It’s the southwestern part.

Terence: Southwest corner, okay, okay.

Hammond: Near Manchester if you know where Manchester is, yeah.

Terence: Did – so when you were a kid Jay did you like hunting and fishing or what was your dad –

Hammond: Oddly enough like most people that end up flying they say they were really nuts about flying as kids. I had no interest in flying airplanes to speak of at all. My brother did however. Every weekend he’d bicycle out to the Schenectady Airport. I remember we went and met Wiley Post and Caddy and they had been doing their thing with the Winnie Mae – a little before your time. And we’d go out – I’d once in a while would go out there with him, but he was always building model airplanes. I was nuts about horses. Never had one, but I was crazy about horses. I had big albums full of I could name virtually every kind of horseback then. Spent a little time grooming some Arabian horses that the troopers have and I was privileged to deal with them, even shovel the stables was rapture to me of all things. Anyhow what ends up my brother ends up in the Mountain Troops in Colorado with horses and I end up flying in the Marine Corps. And he never did learn how to fly and I never got a horse.

So everything I’ve done in life has not been planned or programed. I’ve been what I call a victim of serendipity. Good things happen to me in spite of myself. Never thought I’d come – never thought about coming to Alaska either. And I ran into this Navy officer shortly after I got my wings in Corpus. We were walking toward each other down the sidewalk and this guy has his nose all Calamine lotion and he blistered and red headed fellow. I walked by him and I said boy you look as miserable in this country as I am, where you from? He said I’m from Alaska. Well it happened to be a fellow by the name of Bud Branom who was about 13 years older than I was and he was a Navy officer who came to Alaska to – and handled the Navy’s Air Sea Rescue Program and I went to the South Pacific. But we corresponded and he spun a bunch of tails that sounded pretty good to a well haired kid and asked me if I’d maybe want to come up and work with him after the war. So I did and only wish I had come up 20 years before.

Terence: Cause he was a guide, right?

Hammond: Yeah, he was a guide and probably one of the most prominent ones and successful back in those days. And I worked off and on, well actually while I was out we had a trapline and about 180 miles in a figure eight. When I was out on the trapline with the dogs one day it got warmed up and was slogging along on snowshoes and big heavy – and it knocked my back out again. And I had to hold up with the dogs and he came out and picked me up and I went to Fairbanks. And saw a chiropractor up there and he got me functional again, but I got a job then at – as a labor foreman – actually I wasn’t a labor foreman yet, I worked as an apprentice carpenter at Ladd Field, which is what now?

Terence: Fort Wainwright.

Hammond: Fort Wainwright, yeah, it was then Ladd Field. And one day I picked up a heavy case of tar and oh, I felt something go and I was hauled over to the infirmary and they X-rayed me and turned me loose and I’m walking home and an ambulance comes screeching up and said get in you’ve got a broken back. And they put me in the hospital in a full body cast, which I wore for about oh my goodness I don’t know how long, long period of time.

But while I’m in the hospital I was on Worker’s Compensation at the time and one day the fellow that handled that came in and says I hate to tell you this but we have to take you off of Workman’s Comp. Why is that? He says well we got a letter that your X-rays show that – evidence of what appears to be either – might be either cancer of the spine or tuberculosis (inaudible). Well fortunately Dr. Haglund, Paul Haglund reviewed those X-rays and concluded no you have an old spinal injury and which apparently an infectious process set in and it collapsed when you picked up that case of tar. And so he checked my records and I had amebic dysentery when I was overseas and he concluded an amebiasis infection that had caused a weakening in the bone and collapsed and so forth. And boy he achieved sainthood in my mind – old Dr. Haglund because of that because it bailed me out and they – then I went back to school at the University to finish up, wearing a full body cast and bought an area of land from old Dr. Bunnell out in what they call Vulture Flats.

And I remember one day I was down there. I bought a little shack and moved it out there and I was going to build a basement and move it over the top of that. And I’m down digging and shoveling the basement wearing my full body cast and some guy comes up to me and – two guys and they’re standing there watching me and asked me what my name was and I told them and said you know I had an instructor in the Marine Corps by the name of Hammond, but he was a great big guy, big SOB. I said I guess I’m that SOB. Sure enough he had been a student of mine. Jack Hagdahl by name. Maybe you knew him. He was around Fairbanks for a long time.

Well then when I first started out in Petroleum Geology up there when I went back to school but concluded again that wasn’t for me so I switched to anthropology – switched to premed and graduated in biological sciences. And I tell people I still don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up. Certainly the last thing I’d ever thought I’d do is get into politics. If anybody had suggested it, I’d probably have kicked them out from under their hats. I had slow pain threshold for politicians, still do for that matter, but on the other hand you know I used to say I was one of the good guys, hurling rocks in the arena at the bureaucrats and I suddenly figured out with four years in the service, four plus years in the service, and two years as mayor, one year working for the weather bureau, seven years with Fish and Wildlife Service, six years or twelve years in the legislature and eight years as governor, I’m the biggest bureaucrat of all. And if that isn’t a horrible realization, but anyhow it has been an interesting trip.

Terence: Well Jay did you have Iris Garland in anthropology.

Hammond: I remember that very well and I worked for Louie Giddings as – I was the assistant curator under Louie, helped pay my way through school and that and also worked as a carpenter there – helping the carpenter. Funny little guy – I wish I could remember his name. I’m sure he’s long gone, but I remember when we’d go up to the girls dorm to do a repair job, he opened the door and he said all right girls close your eyes we’re coming through. Oh dear.

Terence: What a great guy to work with.

Hammond: Wonderful little guy.

Terence: What was the – cause your degree was in – was it biological – what was your degree finally in Wildlife or?

Hammond: No, no, degree in the Biological Sciences.

Terence: So was that –

Hammond: Druce Schaible or Druce Gacar at that time was the main professor. She had aspirations or thought I was interested in going into medicine and she was very helpful and permitted myself and two or three of her other students to sit in on autopsies and do a number of things that normally you weren’t permitted to do at that stage of time. And – but I had never had intention to become a doctor and could never have made the grade anyhow in all probability, but I’ll never confess that publicly.

Terence: What was the – the shack where you lived or the house that you built that was down in the flats, right, Vulture Flats?

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: But do you remember where that was or I don’t know –

Hammond: Well I found it. I had to look carefully to find it because it is all grown up. Back then there was only I think two other residences. Nick Item had a store there that maybe still exists and then there were one or two other people but I don’t remember their names, but I found it. It had been built onto. People had added little wings and the original shack was pretty well enclosed, but I can’t remember the name of the street. Do you know the names of any of the streets there we might be able to – if I heard it I’d remember it?

Terence: Well Bunnell had named – I think he named the streets – now I don’t know if this was afterwards, but he had – there was Deborah, Hess, Hayes. He named them after the mountains and there was also one after the first graduate Shanley.

Hammond: I don’t remember where it is exactly, but –

Terence: Next time you come up I want you to show it to me though.

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: We ought to do that, yeah because, especially if you dug it out you know if you had a basement then that has got to be pretty unusual.

Hammond: I had a basement and the interesting thing I also had a well and had you know how the water much of it has got that iron, wonderful water, beautiful water, perfect. And somebody said oh you’re just getting surface water. You got to get down. And so I got a steam point and I drilled it down another and I busted into that lousy stuff. Then I got out of there shortly thereafter. But Jack Hagdahl had a place not far from where I was ultimately and Jack – and in fact one time I went back to visit there and I spent a little time in the trailer with Jack. I’m sure that the other guys you’d remember if I could think of their names, but I can’t.

Terence: So Jay tell me when did you meet Bella, cause –

Hammond: I met Bella when I went into the Fish and Wildlife Service I first was assigned here in Anchorage.

Terence: Now was Fish and Wildlife right after you graduated was that what I should go back a second, so when you graduated –

Hammond: I went to Fish and Wildlife, yeah. One of the reasons I went back to school and took biological sciences, I had gone to see Hogar Larson, who was an old game warden with Fish and Wildlife Service here in Anchorage, see about getting a job as a pilot agent. And he said well you ought to go back to school get a degree in biology, we don’t have any openings right now and so forth. So I went back to school and I got my degree and I came back and but I departed a bit from the pilot agent thing in this manner. I had written an article that predated Farley Mollett’s Never Cry Wolf exactly in the same vein. Ivory tower assumption that wolves took nothing but the lame, the sick, and the whole and it was printed in, I don’t remember, Field and Stream or Outdoor Life or something and –

Terence: Was that your first publication?

Hammond: Not the first one but one of the first, yeah. And remember Frank Glazier, old-time wolfer, mountain man, incredible guy and Morrie Kelly. Morrie Kelly was the head of the newly inaugurated predator control division here in Alaska and they had read my article and they came out to see me. And as graciously as possible told me I was all wet. I had – and they said you’re familiar with the Rainy Pass country, you’ve flown around there a lot, we want to do some predator appraise studies up in that locale. And you’re also a pilot and would you be interested in taking a job as a temporary, at least to see what really is going on. I had the impression they were flying around the country indiscriminately throwing poison out of the windows and killing everything and sundry in the process and so forth.

And they asked me – they said would you be interested in taking a temporary job so you see what’s really going on. And I said well if I do and find things to be, as I believe them to be, I’ll be your worse critic. I ended up working for them for seven years. But in the process I’d like to think did something to win the public attitudes away from what prevailed when I first came here in Alaska, which would kill all the varmints off. That was the attitude back then and predator control was very, very popular, wasn’t controversial, no, they had bounties on virtually everything up here as you might know, eagles and wolves and coyotes and seals and somebody even wanted to put them on bear, but they didn’t go that far.

Anyhow I ended up working for them for seven years and we I think – I personally – most people start out one end of the spectrum or another, either all varmints or they’re noble creatures that never should be in the slightest degree harmed. The truth is as in most instances somewhere between the two, but very few people reach that point.

I remember I made the statement one time – in fact I think I wrote it in the book I said I want to make it clear from the start that I’m not a wolf expert but of course like everybody else I used to be, but that was before I got a degree in biology, trapped for a living, worked seven years as a government hunter, lived in the area where we see wolves frequently. And as they say the truth is somewhere – if you truly want to affect population dynamics that increase numbers of not only moose or caribou, but incidentally the wolves predator control may be warranted in certain circumstances. Most everybody agrees that, even the most extreme (inaudible) retired biologists may say and there are maybes but they never encounter those circumstances.

So what happens? You try to conduct a reasonable operation up here that is surgically pinpointed to affect a select area or a number of wolves and of course it is so outrageously un-sportsman like the screams of anguish deter the – say for example if you – what’s the most select means of conducting predator control. To go out and locate the offending pack members and radio collar them and then follow them with the helicopter and selectively pick – oh, my gosh it’s so outrageously un-sportsman like. Politically is untenable. So the state is then forced to do something else. And what do they do, they adopted this snaring program, which of course then was vidoed and sent around the country showing the wolves suffering in the snare and the public outrage was in extreme. So then they adopted ridiculous measures like trying to neuter the males and cut down on production when – I don’t know.

The answer to it is to do it selectively if recommended by not the politicians but by the biologists. And ironically enough the biologists that recommended when I was in office as governor, the biologists for Fish and Game recommended the state conduct a very selective predator control program south of Fairbanks. You may remember that. It was one who had been the most critical of the federal programs and totally opposed to predator control until you’re out in the field and you see the results of constraining the wolf population. And wolf populations are kind of like a rubber band. If you cut them way down they’ll spring back in greater numbers than they were before. Nothing in a wolf population depends on prey and by protecting the prey and let it build up in numbers your wolf population will incline upward as well, but most people will never have the chance or opportunity or necessarily desire to learn the facts and so they take one extreme position or the other. Let’s get on to something else.

Terence: But Jay so in the seven years so after you left the University you went to work for the predator control guys. And I remember then you wrote an article on Alaska sportsmen about that, right? Was that after you had left, remember you wrote after you working for them. If you don’t remember, that’s okay.

Hammond: Oh I –

Terence: Might be more than one. I don’t remember.

Hammond: I did do more than one, but I tried to – I did one oh, maybe it was something I did for my last book – Chips Off the Chopping Block. Remember Bill Waugaman wrote a letter to the Editor saying every biologist and all Alaskans should read this, best thing he read on wolves, trying to give an even and balance to presentation in regard to the wolf situation, but most people are so entrenched in their one camp or the other it is hard to meet a happy middle.

And the truth is somewhere between the two. If you want to increase prey populations in some instances wolf control – I’ve seen it – I saw it on the Alaska Peninsula. I went down – I was sent down there to take a look at the situation. The caribou that at one time caribou and reindeer population totaled 60,000 allegedly back in the old days. Wolf populations built up with the introduction of reindeer. People down there had never seen the wolf until they introduced reindeer into the country. Wolf population built up to the point where they were – I remember Dave and Mary Alsworth for example took – found what – I don’t remember – they had taken a number of wolves between Egavik and Naknek. Can’t remember numbers. But we took 250 wolves off the Alaska Peninsula. When I went down there to survey the reindeer/caribou populations, all we could find is roughly 1,200 of that 60,000 alleged. We took – I didn’t do it all by myself but together about 250 wolves off of that herd. They built back up to 20,000 and the wolf population built up along with it. So there are plenty of wolves and caribou or at least they were. I don’t know what it is like now.

Terence: It’s the balance isn’t it. Let me check is there a thermometer in here? Jay, I might turn that down because the heat we’re hearing.

Terence: All right. How is that?

Hammond: Okay. I first met Bella – I had been sent down to Bristol Bay and –

Terence: And this as a predator control guy?

Hammond: Predator control, right and I was in Dillingham and they had – they used to have kind of family type dances and penuche games weekly at a place called The Willow Tree. And there was a dance that particular evening and I’m not much for tripping the light fantastic. It is not very light but it sure is fantastic. Anyhow, I walked up to this pretty young thing and I said I always accord myself the privilege of asking the prettiest girl in the room to dance and that’s the only dance – and it happened to be Bella. And I met her, she was I don’t know, still in high school then and I – her dad was an old Scotchman that came from the old country back in 1896 or something. It was on the Gold Rush. He had been playing professional soccer around the world at different locales. Anyhow he was much older than Bella’s mother.

And I think the next time I encountered her was in the restaurant called the Greenfront Café in Dillingham and I used to eat there regularly and I very carefully avoided ever drinking the water because they got their water from up on the hill just above the Greenfront, which was at the base of the cemetery. And I remember seeing a small boy relieving himself in the water hole one time and I thought I’m going to drink nothing by orange juice. I conveyed this to Bella and her dad and they started laughing and found out that they were reconstituting the orange juice with very high calcium content plus whoever knows what else on the other hand. That was kind of my second introduction with Bella.

She then went to the University and was up there in ’51 I believe and I took her away from all that and we got married in ’52, yeah.

Terence: What was her dad’s name?

Hammond: Her dad’s name was Tom Gardiner.

Terence: G-A-R-D-N-E-R.

Hammond: G-A-R-D-I-N-E-R. And he was kind of the head of the fisherman union or whatever they called it back then and a very interesting fellow. I wish we had recorded more accurately some of the stories he had.

We went back to Scotland here some years ago to try to locate where he had come from but it was all part of an urban renewal thing and had been wiped out. We finally located his site, but the interesting thing about that was we went over there the first time the convener which is like a governor had known we were coming over and that I wanted to seek out his family tree. And a fellow, very proper gentleman by the name of Mr. Quale drove us around and he said we’ve looked into all the records and we can find no reference. We knew what his name was, what his date of birth, what his father and mother’s name were, where they lived and so forth – couldn’t find any reference to it, any records. And I went – he said but you could go to the archives there in Edinburgh and find the names of –

Hammond: F. Gardiner, D. Gardiner different names and so forth and nothing jived. The birth dates or anything else. And I started to walk out and the thought hit me. I wonder if he changed his name. I went back there and looked up Thomas Gardiner Finley. There it all was. His mother, where he lived, the date of birth. Mr. Quayle and Bella were there and I told them what had happened. I said we’re going to come over and research further sometime and the next time I’m going to check the jail records. Mr. Quayle threw up his hands oh my God. But I guess that was not uncommon to change their names and assume his mother’s name I guess.

But we went back then later and we found exactly the street he lived on and it was in Grenich, a place not far from Glasgow and the whole business. Very interesting. We enjoyed Scotland immensely. I’d like to go back again

Hammond: And determine how to disburse the wealth. I would put it in the people’s pockets and compel the local governments and the state government to tax it back or user fee it back.

Terence: Yeah, yeah. Cause he’s talking about this community is that his deal?

Hammond: Well a community dividend, which is nothing more of course than revenue sharing.

Terence: Yeah, yeah.

Hammond: Which I have submitted before. I wrote the bill incidentally that created it.

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond: And one of the most interesting things that time does not permit to understand but if I ever did anything that gave me satisfaction in the legislature was that action. Because it involved a free conference committee report that the media said, whoa, you talk about a free conscious of disband in five minutes. It was a free conference comprised in the House of Bill Ray, Tom Fink, and the free conference that couldn’t possible resolve it. In five minutes we came out with a bill that all agreed to. It gave everybody presumably exactly what they all wanted. The only thing is it gave us in the Senate exactly what we wanted and it gave the house only what they wanted after we had been accommodated in the Senate. And after we had been accommodated in the Senate from the funds that had been appropriated – but it worked beautifully. But it’s so hard to explain and understand. But I never had more satisfaction from doing something that (inaudible), anyhow.

Terence: Well Jay I always thought that you had fun in politics. Well I did and largely because of guys like Tillion. They gave the comic relief that was so helpful. I remember, you may have read about it, when Tillion first came aboard he sat in front of me. And I’d think of some outrageous thing to do but didn’t have guts enough to do it and knuckle in Tillion’s back and I’d say Clamp, why don’t you and he’d leap up and perpetrate another outrage and I’d sit there of course in shock and dismay like everybody else. Wonderful. But I don’t I could have survived it without Clemhill. But anyhow.

Terence: Well let’s see, oh (inaudible), so you guys got married in ’52?

Hammond: We got married in 1952 and honeymoon. We got married in Palmer and by Dorothy Saxson, who I think may be still Magistrate up there. She was for many, many years, but last I heard she was still holding forth in Palmer in some capacity. And then we honeymooned in Seward.

And then I came back and we went back to Bristol Bay, King Salmon actually. And I was working for Fish and Wildlife. We had a little World War II house, building, about the size of this room, less so. And I moved it into a location there, paneled it, and spent not much. We had no indoor plumbing facilities of course. Fixed it up and then Fish and Wildlife Service decided to charge me rent.

So we moved to Naknek and bought what they call Model Café. And it was truly a model. It was certainly of ancient vintage, but it had one of the few flush toilets in town, one of the three or four about all there were. And we built onto that and then ultimately got a piece of land out up on the hill towards King Salmon and moved that building over another basement that we dug up there. I didn’t do that one in plaster cast however.

Terence: And then you guys – so you decided you were going to live down there in Naknek or cause of the Fish and Wildlife work basically, right, was that it?

Hammond: Yeah, I work out of there for a number of years and then I had another very strange accident that you perhaps recall where I don’t know how much you want me to go into it but I was flying a fellow by the name of Sea Otter Jones, very colorful character from Cold Bay around the country and he wanted to stop at King Cove. This was before King Cove had an airstrip and we were – I had ski wheels on the airplane, Super Cub and there was a little lake there that we used to use to land there. At the end of the lake about three feet off the ground is a big wooden pipe that the canneries got their water from. And there were a number of kids who were skating on the ice.

And I came down, buzzed the lake to let them know I wanted to land and they all parted to make room. And I came around to land and it was a hot day for Cold Bay at that time of year. It was above freezing and the sun was shining and a little slick of water on the ice. And if you land on skis on ice of that nature it seems like you accelerate rather than slow down. So I pumped the skis up, landed on wheels and congratulated myself on getting in right on the edge of the lake, but it kept going, and going and going and going and going. It looked like we were going to run out and I might knock the gear off. So normally I would just done half a ground loop and caught it with the throttle, which is easily done on ice, but the kids had all come back behind me so I didn’t dare do it. I had to ride it straight out.

So I jumped out of the airplane, grabbed a hold of the strut and I’m sliding along trying to slow it down. We weren’t going very fast, but I hit a box that was buried in the ice and it shattered both my ankle bones and I got picked up by a fellow who is known the Bull of King Cove, old Mike Utak. And he packed me up the hill on his back and they put me in – well first we stopped at the schoolteacher’s place there who professed to be an expert in First Aid. And I should have known better and it didn’t sound right to me. Oh you got to soak your feet in hot water right now. Worst thing I could have done. They blew up like balloons. They were all red blood blistered and so forth.

Well we – they tried to get an airplane in from the Coast Guard from Kodiak and Fish and Wildlife tried to get a Goose in from Anchorage. They couldn’t get in the weather was bad and for three days I – they put me in a cannery bunkhouse there and the people proceeded to party for about three solid days and it was just as well I guess because I couldn’t get any sleep anyhow. I had taken fistfuls of aspirin but my legs were blown up to the point where they looked like elephant legs and I thought I got to get out of here.

Well they couldn’t – I couldn’t fly. I couldn’t fit in the front seat with the feet the way they were or I could fit but I didn’t think I could press on the rudder pedals, but I thought if I had to in an absolute emergency maybe I could do it, but Bob Jones who didn’t fly he got in the back seat of the airplane and I said you work the pedals and I’ll work the stick and throttle. Well let me tell you, two heads are not better than one when it comes to trying to fly an airplane. And we went racheting off the ice there and I thought oh my gosh we got aloft, how are we ever going to get down? Right, right, left, left, right, left, we’re going off like a busaded target gun over wipe berries. And we went over to Cold Bay and it was still blowing bad cross wind and I thought oh, my gosh, how are we ever going to get down? We came in for a landing and get the runway, came up in the air, up on one wheel, around, missing the runway lights and finally did a ground loop and knocked the (inaudible) off one, but got stopped. And didn’t do any damage to the airplane.

They packed me over to Jones’ hut. Fellow by the name of I think it was Cal Linsink and Ron Skube, but I’m not sure. Names that you may remember and while we were at Jones’ still they’re trying to get airplanes in. There was nobody at Cold Bay. This was before the Army, very few people there. It was before Reeve established a regular stop there and so forth. And I’m at Jones now for another three or four days and things are getting worse and worse and I thought I was going to lose my feet if I didn’t get out of there, but there was nobody, believe it or not, in Cold Bay who flew that could fly me north.

So I had them build me a couple of splint type things that went down below my foot so I could push on the rudder pedals, cause I couldn’t stand the pressure if my life had depended on it I couldn’t have pushed on those rudders. I found when I took off at King Cove. So anyhow some brave soul went along with me cause we had to have somebody to pour gas in the airplane and I put – I couldn’t sit in the front seat because of this splint type things. So I sat in the back seat where the rudder pedals that I could push but there wasn’t throttle or stick. The throttle had been removed. There was one up front but I attached a rod to it so I could use that and I had a big long screwdriver that went down through the floor into the slot where the stick belonged.

And we got off all right and went up to I don’t know whether it was Port Moller or some place, Port Heiden maybe and he fueled the airplane with gas. We had terrible weather. Blowing a gale. My wife meanwhile has heard I was coming up and waiting there at the airfield with an ambulance. She is there with some of the medics from the military. And it’s getting pretty dark about now and we’re coming in for a landing and all of a sudden this guy snatches the control. He panicked, snatched the controls away from me, and we go rocketing up like this. And I’m hollering at him. I got it. I got it. And the normal means of communicating with your co-pilot is to wiggle your stick, which I did and my screwdriver came out. And there we are fluttering along. Fortunately I was able to get it back in and made not a textbook landing, but they put me in the ambulance and finally then brought me into Anchorage a day or two later. They doped me up and hauled me into Anchorage.

They put me in the 5000 1st Hospital, which was an old Alvin hut is what it was, like a big Quonset hut. And they got me in traction because they had to let the blood blisters and swelling reduce somewhat before they could operate. And I’m hung up in this traction device one night and suddenly I heard shrieking and screaming and people come out of one of the sections of this thing. The doors open, smoke billowing down the hall and here’s the lame, the sick, and the whole going out on their crutches and canes and wheelchairs. Hey you guys I’m hung up in this traction device. And finally I had to unhook myself and slip over the side of the bed and go out in the snow on my butt. And it burned the whole place down. Two nurses were lost in it. Really a tragic event.

And that wasn’t the end of my humiliation however. They put me in the then new Native service hospital here in Anchorage. There was a picture in the Anchorage News or maybe it was the Times that was the ultimate. That picture on the front-page it says Native women from the villages arrive anticipating what was the headline? Native Women and Villages arrive to anticipate birth of their children or something like that. Here’s a picture of maybe 30 or 40 very obviously pregnant Native women and in the midst of this conglomeration is myself; the lone male on a hospital gurney looking like an oriental potentate this was his harem. That was the ultimate.

But it brings – anyhow I was laid up for a long time.

Terence: What year was that? What year do you think that happened do you think?

Hammond: Oh, my, 1950, must have been ’56.

Terence: And the hospital that burned down, was that in Anchorage?

Hammond: It was 5000 5th Hospital.

Terence: Out at Elmendorf?

Hammond: 5000 5th or 5000 1st. It is stilled called that, but it is not an elephant hut anymore, very elaborate. But then that finished my career with Fish and Wildlife, so.

Terence: Cause you couldn’t fly any more basically or –

Hammond: Well not – they put me in a oh I was long time in a cast. They fused my right ankle, not my left one, but they put me in a cast and when I was able to walk around at all. We bought the Model Café as a place to live and that was and I was stumping around on crutches, short order cooking and finally I had a couple of walking casts. She was making up the 30 pies a day or so and we were losing our shirts believe it or not. And we had charged I remember outrageous prices. A cup of coffee and potato salad and hamburger we were charging one dollar. And it seemed like a high price back then believe it or not. Anyhow that proved to be a very unsuccessful venture. When I was able to function again they offered me a job Fish and Wildlife. I could either go to Juneau in an office capacity or take what they call a reduced retirement. It was reduced by so many percent for every year you were less than 65. So being much less than 65 myself it ended up something like a negative percentage, very small, $100 or something like that. But it was getting out of an office job.

I never aspired to an office job and then I went into the guiding, flying and the commercial fishing business. And I worked with a fellow by the name of Dick Jenson, who had an operation called Alaska Aero Marine. And I remember we acquired our hangar from the military. I went and took a chain saw and literally cut a big building in half and we moved it across the runway at King Salmon and put it together and operated out of there. He guided for me in the spring and fall and I’d fly for him in the summer. He finally sold out to what ultimately became Penn Air to Oren Seabert and George Tibbets. And they were much more successful than we were obviously.

Then when I left that I – in 1959 I – couple of schoolteachers came to me one day. We just became a State. And they said you ought to run for State Legislature. By the time I stopped laughing I told them I had no interest whatsoever and that actually I had voted against statehood and for reasons that you are probably familiar with. And they said well and I said I’m not affiliated with either party, Republican or Democrat. And they came back a day or two later and they said well they named a fellow with most outrageous choices imaginable, pretty well inebriated type, which is one qualification I suspect with many politicians, but he exceeded the bounce and propriety when it came to that. And he – they said guy has filed. He’s going to win. The only other fellow that has filed is a Republican and doesn’t stand a chance to win and it was six to one Democrats in the villages back in those days. And they said well you could run as an Independent. And they said all you have to do is go out and get a petition with so many names that say they’ll support you. And I said forget it. And they said well would you consider it if we went out and go the petition. I said that’s the only way I would consider it and that’s what I thought would be the end of it.

The next day they came back with a petition. And in their minds consideration translated into commitment. I never said I would but I never had guts enough to tell folk who think I made a commitment that I really didn’t. And so I agreed to – I didn’t do any campaigning. Didn’t lift a finger. And to my dismay really I found I was elected.

But I enjoyed the legislature. I spent six years there and it was an entertaining time in Alaska’s history. We were setting up the whole state government and there was some very remarkable outstanding statesman like figures involved back then that – and we had the sort of legislature was truly citizen legislature. It wasn’t you had to get down there, do your work as rapidly as possible, and get out as soon as you could to make a living.

And I mentioned several times that there has only been one session which I served in the legislature that warranted more than 90 days and that was the first and we did that I believe in 67. And we set up the entire state government. I have since wondered what in the world did we overlook that obliges us to sit every year 120 days threshing out.

One of the problems I think is that people spend so much money and time and effort getting elected that they – that becomes the overriding consideration. What’s going to get me re-elected? And when I was Governor I used to have people come to me not infrequently and say you’re right I’d love to go beyond this but I wouldn’t dare I’d never get re-elected.

Problem is too few really can place the best interests of the State over the interests of their selective constituencies or provincial constituencies or special interests constituencies. And it’s a shame. I don’t know how you get around it, but I almost have reached the conclusion we’d be better off if they could vote secretly on issues. I’m not so sure we wouldn’t. Outrageous suggestion but so few (inaudible). I mentioned somebody the other day an issue that one of the prominent Republicans down there the – remember Fran Ulmer had proposed that so-called parachute plan that would turn – oh he said yeah the concepts great but Fran Ulmer proposed it, we couldn’t support that. I mean gosh. And I don’t know.

So I for a guy who is happy to be out of politics it seems like I’m sticking my nose into overly much, but with this fiscal gap issue. If that can once be resolved you’ll hear a lot less from Hammond on the political front. And we’re getting close. I believe it.

Terence: Jay, let’s go back to the statehood for a second. Let’s just sort of recap a little of your interests about why you thought it was a bad idea and the people who did. A lot of people felt that way.

Hammond: Yeah, well, yeah, I voted well let me go back a little bit. I was recently invited to the University of Alaska by President Hamilton. The invitation read rather whimsically I thought for – we’re inviting old or many of those who played significant roles in the establishment of the statehood. And they had apparently had forgotten that I voted against it. A fact I didn’t reveal until after they had fed me, feeling they would deny me nourishment, and confessed earlier but I knew somebody would confess for me if I didn’t, perhaps Terrence Cole.

But anyhow, my reasons were simply this that with our tiny population – I don’t know it was only about 70,000 people and we had no economic potential immediately on the horizon, fishery, timber, mining, trapping had all gone down hill. And I felt with our tiny population and first our ability to finance and administer were very dicey. And I said that with our small population virtually any idiot that aspired to public office is liable to achieve it. And a lot of folks subsequently have said yes and you proved (inaudible) on more than one occasion. I did not oppose it idealistic, but I also was affronted by the fact that you couldn’t even look at such things as commonwealth status, which seemed to have some interesting aspects worthy of examination, but the very suggestion of looking at alternatives branded you as a crackpot or communist or some sort of loathsome creature. And very few openly opposed statehood. It was kind of the kiss of death to do so.

But one time I had an interesting experience subsequent to my service in the legislature when a number of us were standing around some unanticipated expenditure had crawled out from the rocks and there were eight legislators there. And one guy said huh, we almost went bankrupt the first – more people left the State than arrived by any other means other than the birth canal and the economy was going downhill badly. We were on the edge of bankruptcy and something as I saw crawled out of the woodwork unanticipated and some guy said well I never really was too hot on this statehood business and the other guy says no neither was I and matter of fact I voted against it. Six out of the eight legislators voted against it. But I was the only one stupid enough to publicly announce it.

Now was it a mistake, no. I was wrong. We did have and do have the ability to finance and administer, but the jury is still out as to whether we’ve succeeded in doing so. Much will depend on how we resolve this fiscal gap issue. If it goes away, I and people like Tillion and Halford and numbers of others believe it should, man we’ve got a wonderful future in this State, but if they screw it up which I fear they may well do, we will do nothing but further encourage what I call uneconomic development. That is development does not pay its way. Why do we have a fiscal gap? Because we have not extracted enough from new development to generate revenues to offset the cost of service provider. Either that or we spent so much money that we can’t meet our obligations once they’re in place. To correct that there is a means of dealing with this fiscal gap, including this so-called endowment that could resolve that issue in a manner that two years from now in my view nobody will even be talking about it. But it is going to require massive change of thinking on the part of the politicians. The public is with us. The public is with us. They don’t realize it but the majority of the public will only support an endowment which one bulletproofs inflation proving and assures them that their dividend will be no less than it would have been under the existing status quo formula.

There is a way of doing that in a manner which can actually increase dividends for those folks who most need it, won’t take a penny of earned income from Alaskans, resolve the fiscal gap, re-establish a proper longevity bonus, reduce the magnetic attraction of those folks who come up here. Many people are opposed to the dividend because they think it attracts a number of freeloaders. It does literally 20 desirable things that I have bounced on people; the most recently Rick Halford said punch holes in it. Tell me one of those things this approach would not do. Rick is a very bright guy and if anybody can find holes in it he can do it, but while we went through it he didn’t. Clint is in accord. If I can only persuade the Governor to go this route, he will go down as a hero. He’ll go out in a blaze of glory. And if he goes the way I fear this conference they recommend, unless they’re persuaded otherwise he’ll go down in flames. And it’s an issue that I feel as you might suspect somewhat passionate about.

Terence: Oh this is fascinating Jay. What do you think in the sort of fears of bankruptcy like you say there really was no economic development on the horizon because fishing had collapsed, was doing down even worse, right? I mean terrible years I guess and that the pulp was maybe something, but that was not. So really did oil figure into any calculations at all and what did occur to you? What would you know –

Hammond: Not the first years of statehood. Oil hadn’t even peaked over the horizon. The – I –

Terence: Well then put it this way. Could you ever imagine something the size of Prudhoe Bay, I mean –

Hammond: No, no. Nobody even had that vision. And when the leases were sold in Prudhoe Bay, I remember there were all sort of speculation. I think they had a pool as I recall or maybe we just recorded our predictions as to how much the leases would bring in and I, following an old practice of mine to take the most outrageous extreme position knowing full well that if you’re in accord with the public presumption nobody is going to pay any attention, end up right, but certainly you go. For example, I predicted, believe it or not, Truman’s win over Dewey when everybody was saying that of course Truman – I said you watch. I predicted the Jets win when Joe Namath won and three or four things. Only because it was the most outrageous un-improbable presumption. I did the same thing in Prudhoe Bay prediction, the revenues we’d acquire and fell flat on my face. I predicted 900,000 or not 900,000, no nine million. That’s what it was and of course it was 900. So it doesn’t always work, but people – they pay attention when you come up with so what can I predict now that’s an improbable, but –

Terence: So resources of that size, which is what made a (inaudible) of a state, where it went and unpredictable, right? I mean well unforeseeable?

Hammond: Well they were and immediately my intent – one of the reasons that I was not totally unhappy or (inaudible) when I was elected Governor and you know history I won’t recount that, I had not any frankly any desire to become Governor at a time when the state was split on several issues along different fracture lines. The pro-development and the development, land claims issue, pipeline, so forth and so on, but I did see a potential for doing something that I failed to do in Bristol Pay and that is creating a stockholder owned if you will investment account that spun off dividends using as the basis our resource wealth that in my view belongs to the people.

And I tried to do in Bristol Bay, was successful in establishing quote what you might call a permanent fund but they didn’t append the dividend program to it. And as a consequence as I fear will happen to the State if they somehow damage the dividend program, which is the major protector against invasion and dissolution of that fund, it went out the window. They ultimately spent their $12M permanent fund on a swimming pool in Bristol Bay or Naknek and now they’re broke. They have 41 homes for sale and people are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship in many instances.

And the State I fear will experience exactly the same thing where a successful in requiring the vote of the people before they can expend any of the corpus of the fund. But whose going to care if there is no dividend that is impacted one way or the other by what they do and the question arises, all right now we need a billion dollars to balance the books. Shall we take it from that $27, $28 billion dollar fund or impose an income tax? You know what the people will say, of course not. So there has to be some means of stopping that and the people I think you know a lot of people say, huh, terrible the public has suddenly assumed that this is the permanent dividend fund, outrageous. They better recognize that’s exactly the way the public perceives it and play to that in this manner.

Okay, we’re going to give you your dividends, we’ll expand them but you got to understand we are going to take them back through various mechanisms, user fees, taxes and the best that I have been able to conjure up or perceive is a capped income tax that would never take a penny of your earned income, but capped income tax, capped removed only by a vote of the people. The big argument against an income tax of course it takes my hard-earned income and redistributes it. Doesn’t do it if it takes your –

Terence: Dividend.

Hammond: A bonus is given to you by your state for your ownership share. It does not penalize productivity in any way, shape, or form. And if we did that we might have on paper what appears to be one of the highest income taxes in the nature, most Alaskans would pay nothing. And it would – but you have to then do something to dissuade people from coming up here attracted by that big dividend. So it’s a three-part deal. You do an endowment that generates nothing the dividend dollars, you put in place a feature that would what I call demagnetize the attraction and also provide for a mechanism to call all those moneys back, which could span those things alone could span the entire fiscal gap right now, right now.

Man: We have to change tapes.

Terence: There’s a famous story of James Wickersham that he gave a speech that was eight hours long you know. I think you and he –

Hammond: Everywhere I go, yeah, that’s the way. Four or five years ago I first mentioned that and it was oh, hum, nobody ever picks up on it. Terrible. And I see people do such things as this limited entry, which they did all along in my view. They put it in the constitution. They have a little (inaudible), I’d never have the audacity to try to sell it, much less the capability of selling it. And other people will go out and sell something-outrageous package like that with no problem at all what – I don’t know. It’s not very encouraging.

Terence: But you know but you were successful in – maybe it was an easier sell back in ’76 with the amendment for the permanent fund because there was so much potential money on the table but still remember there was a lot of opposition to it nonetheless.

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: Of the people who wanted and the whole invest all that in Alaska, that kind and what a catastrophe that would have been you know.

Hammond: Oh, Sumner, Holman, one put out, no interest loans, spur development, create jobs, you talk about spurring the uneconomic development, anyhow.

Terence: That’s one thing too I always thought that it was Alner’s idea, he always said well look the whole thing is a permanent fund. It’s sort of what you said you got to think of all the 150 billion, all the oil money or 50 or whatever we get and we spent 75 percent of it. What do you mean we didn’t invest in Alaska? We spent –

Hammond: Hey, you know Roger Cremo, you know who he is? Roger Cremo was counseling Keith Miller when we got the 900 million to put – I think to put all of it in I think, yeah, put all of it the permanent – he didn’t call it the permanent fund. That word hadn’t even been bantered about. And a handful of us supported that concept – Tillion, myself, I don’t remember who. I think maybe CR Lewis even, I’m not sure. But Miller tried to put half of it, didn’t have any dividend – half of it went down in flames.

Then when the 900 million was in view of the public dissipated, it really wasn’t. What it went out in primarily is revenue sharing that reduced the local tax burden, but because people didn’t see concrete and steel they didn’t think they got anything out of it. And the assertion was made by many in the legislature well if we ever have another windfall we won’t blow that. We’ll put it into an investment account and live off the earnings.

And of course when we hit oil that all went out the window. I wanted to put literally four times as much money. I would have loved to put all of it in, but I realized we’d be lucky to get any of it into a permanent fund. So I proposed half (tape skip) bonuses, royalties, and severance taxes. The legislature cut out severance taxes and automatically reduced the input by half and cut the 50 percent to 25 percent, which cut it again. So one-quarter of what I proposed went in. And we did get something and we did get a dividend program but then it got what I call zovolized which totally distorted and abused it into the degree where I even thought about after the Supreme Court decision, I very briefly thought about vetoing the bill. But then I concluded it was far better than nothing and – but I refused to sign the – I’m the only governor that has never signed their permanent fund dividend check. I don’t know if you know that. I had my commissioner of administration sign them.

Governor Murkowski the other month or two ago said something about one thing Hammond and I both were delighted to do is sign permanent fund dividend checks. I didn’t sign them. I was that disgusted in the manner in which it went. So –

Terence: Well okay let’s talk a little bit about in those early years in the legislature. What were some of the – do you remember any of the financial problems that you faced, because that ’59 through ’65, is that what you were in, ’64?

Hammond: I thought you were going to say just major issues.

Terence: Oh, major issues, let’s talk about that, yeah.

Hammond: Well major issue and concern of mine was frankly the management of Fish and Game and I felt that so-called Section 26 board for both education and fish and game were appropriate. Section 26 board refers to an area of the constitution that says that the head of department may either be a commissioner or a board appointed by the governor, who in turn selects the commissioner. And I felt both Fish and Game and Education warranted continuity of program that would be disrupted through the normal process of political appointees. You get in place certain procedures and philosophies only to have it disrupted without giving them time to maturate and work or fail as the case may be. And I crossed swords with Bill Eagan on that issue several times during the first years in office.

And finally my major concern frankly was Fish and Game, but ended up we got the 26 board for education, which I think has worked quite well. And we got kind of a half-breed sort of thing for Fish and Game. So that was the big contention that I had with Governor Eagan, who prescribed to a so-called public administration service approach which had been recommended to the constitutional convention that had an idealistic situation where you would have in an area a single individual who would wear several hats. He’d be a game warden, a policeman, handling ombudsman, you name it. Well it was totally unworkable in my view and I think so concluded by the remainder of the legislature.

But as far as financial, just funding anything was a real, real problem. As it was when I first went into office a lot of people don’t realize that in my first four years in office we spent less money than Bill Sheffield’s first term all together my first five years in office. Now of course we had the money and in my last years of office we spent much, too much and the only reason why I didn’t veto more than I did out of some of the legislative proposals, which one year incidentally came – if all the legislation that had been introduced passed came according to Chuck Cleshoal. He was my walking computer, 18 billion dollars worth of appropriations. Now mercifully most of them never saw the light of day but of those which passed I vetoed a billion six million, which again according to Cleshoal is more than any probably all the other governors combined. And we still spent too much. Why – because we couldn’t put as much as I would have liked to put into the permanent fund. In order to get any permanent fund we had to let them spend some, save some, and invest some. If we tried to invest it all, we’d never have gotten anywhere.

Terence: But do you think what about the issue of the income tax back then, because I was reminding you when you were back in ’79 you had this proposal you called it an energy dividend at that time and it was called – you called it the Alaska – were you calling it Alaska, Inc., was that your opinion?

Hammond: Well Alaska, Inc. was – when I was campaigning for governor I tried to promote the idea of Alaska, Inc., which was a shareholder owned investment account and spun off dividends. Every Alaskan would receive a share – I wanted to actually issue shares of stock and each year you’d accumulate another share and you would earn more dividends. And when I became governor I formed what I called the Alaska Public Forum, primarily to showcase that throughout the state. And I went throughout the State arguing in behalf of that approach and the public response was a massive yawn. There was no interest in there at all. Crackpot idea, crazy.

Just got a letter from my ex-deputy commissioner who sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal advocating exactly what I was talking about earlier. We put all the money into investment account. It spins off only dividends. Man I wish that gentleman who wrote is a Nobel prize winning economist was around back in those days. It would have had a little more credibility in the concept.

Anyhow I got nowhere with it, but this fellow in my administration said when you proposed that I thought it was kind of whimsical, quaint, and so forth, but wow, see what involved into. That was one of the things I had hoped to do when I first got into office and I introduced Alaska, Inc., which was a bill that did precisely that. And it didn’t put all the money. It recommended as I say three times as much as and dividend appended to it.

Well there were a few people in the legislature that saw the wisdom of taking some of the money off the legislature smorgasbord and put it into an investment account. And among them primarily were people like Oral Freeman and of course Hugh Malone and Clark Gruening, and Terry Gardner and a number of people in the legislature, Chancey Croft. And they discarded the name Alaska, Inc. And put out their own deal, which they called the Alaska Permanent Fund, had no dividend appended to it.

And I remember Johnny Sackett came up to my office. He was not favorable disposed at that time to the whole concept I don’t believe, as many politicians are not because if they don’t have the money to spend they have to extract it back in some form or cut budgets. So naturally it is not very popular with those in the legislature. But he came up and he kind of growled in my ear and he said that’s nothing more than that permanent fund – that’s nothing more than your dam Alaska, Inc. I said on the contrary John it is nowhere near Alaska, Inc. It has no dividend and it by no means permanent in my view because statutorily constructed fund will be invaded the minute they need money. It has to go in the constitution.

So then we wrote a bill that put it in the constitution requiring a vote of the people before they could touch (inaudible). But I thought about trying to put dividends in the constitution, but I was biting off much to much. I knew it would never fly with that. Now we are back full circle though. And it should go in the constitution and it is one of the things this amendment PMOW amendment must incorporate in my view for it to pass public scrutiny, public muster.

Anyhow it did go on the ballot. The people to their great credit voted it in. Then we have to fight to get the dividend. And the dividend that first went into place unfortunately where I made my mistake was to presume that why shouldn’t the old-timers that have owned “those resources” since statehood in ’59 get one share of stock for each year their residency just like the new timers will get them for their share of ownership. That’s where it fell down. A couple of new comers came up here and concluded that they would not get as much as the old-timers would initially. Although in the long term ironically in the long term the old-timer for example we arbitrarily set the value of the dividend at $50. So 21 years before that bill went into affect would have accrued $1,150 to every old-timer the first year whereas the new comer would only get 50 bucks. Outrageously discriminatory was their conclusion.

And while I admire folk that have courage in their conviction to tackle an unpopular issue, it would have had a little bit nobility had there been equally – had they been equally distraught over the fact that they as federal employees received a 25 percent cost of living differential tax free not accorded to all other Alaskans, but somehow that was shuffled over.

Anyhow they failed in the State Supreme Court that supported our position and Justice Rabinowitz at the time said have you gone prospected. You should share as a thought earning dividends into the future rather than in retrospectively. No problem. That subsequently was repeated by other attorneys as recently as a couple of months ago. Chancey Croft told me that and Adam Grosch, both I think (inaudible) to be rather fine legal minds when it comes to things of that nature, constitutional law.

But there are other ways of doing clearly, clearly legally. I think I mentioned before what we could do and what we should do we announce this year this is the last time for the foreseeable future anybody can qualify for the permanent fund dividend. Let’s call it dividend A. Open the door everybody has to have the chance to come in and qualify. Then we close the door after next year and we don’t know when we’re going to issue dividend B. It may be when the permanent fund grows by a certain percentage, but –

Hammond: (Inaudible) permanent fund market value and that is dividend B. Old-timers get dividend A and B. New timers only B and so far into the future. You do that you have eliminated the magnetic attraction of many people think have lured a bunch of freeloaders up here. And embarked on a program that I think gets back to my original intent I hear people say well original intent of permanent funds rainy day account. Bull feathers. That word was never even mentioned back then to my knowledge. Why would we call it permanent fund? The CBR is what the rainy day account is. And look how it’s being treated. You’re obliged by law theoretically to repay any moneys loaned from the permanent fund. Since no dividend appends to it, who cares. Nobody pays any intention. It is going down and down and down, but if your dividend went down at the same time the way those people spent that money, the public would rise up in outrage. That’s why you have to have a dividend program to protect the permanent fund.

Terence: Now Jay let me interrupt you there. What about though the issue and this is the one thing where I think – this is the one thing where I think that it went all wrong was the repeal of income tax. And so let’s talk about that because the thing is you said in 1979, I remember by the way in 1976 I read one speech where you said you know I can give you 900 million reasons to vote for the permanent fund. That was one of your speeches. I was like great line. But that in ’79 you spoke to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and that was this energy credit. I forget now how you were phrasing it and the idea was.

Hammond: Okay.

Terence: That it is kind of you’re back to that idea. And that I think is important that it is the dividend is not just a one way street.

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: There has to be some you know like an air exchanger. You can’t just use up all the air inside you know. So let’s talk about that.

Hammond: I think I know what you’re –

Terence: You proposed an energy tax credit. You said somehow you get a cut off your income tax. I don’t know if you remember that.

Man: Do you want to divide it into the issue of income tax.

Hammond: I know what you’re talking about. The – I had pondered how to distribute benefits from the earnings of the permanent fund. And I thought what is it everybody needs, everybody has to have food, shelter, power generation, probably gasoline and so forth. Maybe we ought to parcel these dollars out in some form of health insurance or some universally required (inaudible). But then I thought wait a minute you know your needs are different than his, than hers, and so forth. The easiest way to do it is just give everybody the wherewithal to select for themselves how to do it.

What I think we had another incidence of a dividend program that many people forgot about. The permanent fund dividend program was not the first one. The first one related to something I don’t know if you remember? I think you do, but if you do, you’re probably one of no more than the fingers on one hand. It related to gas, a gas tax. We had a severance tax on gas that I think was half the national average on natural gas. And there were suggestions that the gas tax be raised to at least the national average because while some of the gas was being utilized here in Alaska, most of it went to Asia as I recall at that time. Why was the severance tax kept so low? It was to accommodate the prime users here in Anchorage. And when I suggested we double the gas price, the Anchorage legislators came out of the woodwork to say that is outrageous. We can’t support that it would affect our constituents.

What it would do according to the records was raise the average gas consuming family in Anchorage by $19. That was all. And in order to prevent that from impacting them, we were subsidizing in essence the Japanese as well.

So I drew up something that I called, it was kind of an offer they couldn’t refuse. I tried to do the same thing at Bristol Bay when they would not support the dividend concept. I said okay if you vote this tax in we’ll give you 100 percent residential property tax exemption. They had voted to tax it. Okay, so I thought well wait a minute why don’t we do this. Why don’t we raise the gas tax up to the national average, which I think was double, we will then give everybody in the state, not just the Anchorage gas user. Why shouldn’t the people in Fairbanks or Ketchikan, Juneau, Barrow get the same sort of benefit. We’ll give everybody a $150 credit against their income tax.

Now what happened is we raised the gas tax. We got seven million more dollars in revenue. Five million went out in the $150 credit. I found almost nobody ever heard of it. Had they received $150 check in the mail, yeah, what’s this for? They would have paid some attention.

That’s when I became determined rather than giving credits and all these types of things other than the direct distribution of cash is the way to go. So I abandoned the whole thought of health insurance or power deals, but that was our first – that was our very first dividend check. And that occurred, gosh I don’t remember, long before the permanent fund was created. But anyhow I think that’s what you’re talking about.

Terence: It is part of it and I think but this thing was that you see before the income tax went away, see this is –

Hammond: Oh, yeah –

Terence: The problem that I feel is that and maybe you should talk about that –

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: Because I really think that.

Hammond: I’d like to do that.

Terence: That’s the best – I think – wish you would have vetoed that income tax repeal. But let’s tell the story about that.

Hammond: The income – when it was proposed that the income tax be repealed, the legislature of course was almost unanimously aboard. I think only one other person than Clint Tillion. Clint Tillion opposed repeal, somebody else, who neither Clint nor I could remember who it was. But I remember arguing before the Chambers of Commerce at both in Anchorage and Fairbanks. I said you people condemn us for living beyond our means. Now how do you correct that? You either reduce your living or you increase your means. You repeal the income tax you’ll do just the opposite. You’ll not only reduce your means, but you’ll cut the major constraint on spending. You’ll severe the connection between the public’s purse and the politicians. And spending will soar into the stratosphere.

Oh, no, and somebody came to me – so we – I said suspend it, reduce it, but don’t eliminate it. So Michael Coletta, Clint Tillion, and I conjured up a bill that would have in essence suspended it in this manner. It said the first year you pay three-thirds of your income tax. The next year two-thirds, the next year one-third, and then it is suspended for you. So newcomers, pipeline transient workers, so forth would pay the full rate but then it would gradually decline. And some news reporter came to me and said well what will you do if the court strikes that down? Will you permit the income tax to become law? And I had said at the time repeatedly I thought repeal of income tax was downright stupid. Well it wasn’t a very popular (inaudible) as you may recall.

And I said suspend it, reduce it, but don’t take it off the books. Your spending will soar into the stratosphere. Anyhow they said well will you permit it to become law if it – your bill is struck down? I had no idea the court would strike ours down. I still don’t understand the rationale for it. Maybe if we’d had a simple suspension instead of this one, two, three, and out. But anyhow they did strike it down.

Well now mind you there was a petition overwhelmingly subscribed to by thousands of Alaskans to repeal the income tax. Legislature was all but two wanted to do so. And they asked me are you going to veto it now? And I said well, you know I’d like to but on the other hand nobody would delight more than jabbing that veto down my throat than the legislature and I’d probably be recalled by the public salivating over repeal of the income tax. And then they said – people said well now you said you’d let it become law if – well I didn’t really say that. I said I might as well because these other things would occur. Again I didn’t have guts enough to veto it anyhow, which I should have done. I’d probably never have served another four years, but I would have slept better. But I think many people recognized – well, most – probably most Alaskans now think it was a good idea to repeal the income tax. Terrible idea. We wouldn’t have the fiscal gap. We wouldn’t have spent anywhere near the amounts of money we had and no Alaskan would be paying any more than what he is getting in the dividend or almost none of it.

But the fat cats quite frankly who of course would pay a lot more unless that income tax were capped were delighted to see a repeal of it and will fight to the death to keep it off the books if possible. And in the process you know they would take from the destitute working welfare mother, they’d take their dividend check before they would pay a nickel in income tax. And brother it ain’t right. Anything I can do to avoid it and I think there area a lot of people are starting to recognize that. Again, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to bleed the fat cats white. If you put a cap on it, they’re not losing anything more than their dividends. They got no complaint.

Terence: Well you know I think that’s a good (inaudible), Jay. I agree with you, but at the time there was no doubt it would have been – you would have been buried in a tidal wave. I still wish you would have vetoed it because Butrovich is the one who said this even to he said you know this is the worse thing possible and I think that – I think the worst thing possible back then wasn’t so much the four billion dollar budget, it was that income tax.

Hammond: Oh, I agree with you.

Terence: That was the single one –

Hammond: I agree with you.

Terence: Terrible mistake because –

Hammond: I think Butrovich would probably over the guy and Tillion. Tillion said remember it was Butrovich.

Terence: But I don’t remember if he was still in by then. I can’t remember.

Hammond: I’m not so sure. I don’t think he was.

Terence: But he was definitely –

Hammond: He told me the same thing.

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond: He said the worst thing we could do is veto – or is to get rid of. We had a terrible time. Nobody was re-elected, but look what happened to the crew that suggested a modest income tax a few years ago. They (inaudible) all got wiped out.

Terence: Right, but you know.

Hammond: Or chose not to run.

Terence: Exactly, Jay, but I think that the thing is that from looking and I’ll send you this report I did on this. I looked a lot up in 1949 income tax passage because it took Gruening eight years to pass that and Butrovich would have been one of the only few guys still who had been – who had served that long and maybe the only one. And that was 40 percent of territorial revenue from 1950 and I don’t know when you came in what – do you remember what the percentage of income tax –

Hammond: I came in ’59.

Terence: No, no, but when you came into as governor, do you remember – I don’t remember what the income tax percentage was?

Hammond: Oh, percentage?

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond: I think it seemed – somehow 17 percent comes to my mind.

Terence: Is that right?

Hammond: Seventeen percent of – I don’t remember –

Terence: But there was a great deal – there was a great increase in oil lease stuff, but you said in one speech you know all of us are freeloaders in a way because of the ratio of what the state was spending. Maybe you want to say something about that.

Hammond: Well you know I find it a little ironic that those prime advocates of income tax repeal frequently are those most opposed to the dividend program asserting that it lures freeloaders up here and so forth. My heavens the freeloading we get because of repeal of the income tax outweighs the freeloading you get from dividends tenfold; 87-½ percent of our oil revenue goes out in what I call dove (?) government dividends, hidden dividends, hidden dividends that affect you differently than he, than she, than him. And I never hear them complaining about that being an attraction that brings folk up here. To me the best way to remedy that sort of thing not to take from the one program that equitably distributes our oil benefits to shift money from it as some of these people would do with the type of endowment they would have to ship money from the equitably distributed program into the inequitably distributed programs that affect different people different. We should do exactly the opposite as Vernon Smith suggested. Cremo suggested. I suggested. Tillion and Halford. Take the money out of the pot the legislature can spend – we should put the 87-½ percent into the permanent fund and the 12-½ percent instead of vice a versa if anything. But they are so, so scared of an income tax and so determined to not pay anything directly that they’ll kill the dividend. And in the process if they kill the dividend, even if they pass the 50/50 split of this endowment, five years from now everybody will receive roughly $600 less in dividend. Has exactly the same effect as imposing a flat income tax on every Alaskan and only Alaskan. The most outrageous income tax imaginable is the reversibly graduated income tax that takes more of these less money you make takes a greater percentage.

– Break –

Hammond: Mainly what you’re talking about led to the reasons why I felt some sort of a citizen owner investment account was necessary to address the very sorts of economic, social issues that go back to the genesis and think that covers what you’re talking about.

Hammond: There were 98 votes. I thought it was less than that. I thought it was 37.

Terence: No, I think 98 might, but you know Jay I remember that summer I was on the ferry and I had gone out when I had boarded the ferry you had lost and I think when I got to Seattle you had won. So it was really up and down kind of – oh, darn.

Hammond: I went home – the headlines in the paper Hickel – what was it said? Gosh, what was it? Hickel apparent winner or something like that and something and somebody – newsperson had asked me – oh Hickel says it is in the bag. That was it. Hickel says it is in the bag. And some news reporter said well what do you think of that? I said well I’m sure he is right. I’m just not sure who is holding back. And then he asked me further he said well what is your prediction? And I said I don’t know, but you know I’ve often said as Kongiganak goes, so goes the state, Kongiaganak, what are you talking about? Kongiganak.

Anyhow, I went home and it appeared Wally had won and I waited for the deep depression to settle on me and hey, it felt kind of good. I had a winter man taking of my place down there and I wasn’t even paying much attention to it. He come rushing in and boy he was listening to the radio. I was out doing something. He says hey, you’re only – I started several hundred votes behind him and then it started changing. And again, I really had tuned myself into thinking that gee now I could back to what I really wanted to be doing. And he came in and he said my God you’re – suddenly I was ahead. I couldn’t believe it. And I had to re-tune my thinking all over again. I got to go back to the grind and – but I’m glad I did now.

I tell you had I gone out in that first year, gone with a whimper. I had a 43% approval rating is all. Didn’t have a high disapproval rating, but I don’t know if you’re familiar with what happened during the interim so far as approval ratings. David Sawyer, is that name familiar to you – internationally famous pollster. He come up and he done a poll during the ’78 election. He said he came up with 43%, I had something like a 9 or 18% disapproval. He said your disapproval isn’t high, but your approval – you can win but it is going to be tough.

And anyhow we won it as you know and then he came back four years later to do a poll for Terry Miller, who was contemplating running. Same questions asked. He came into my office and he said I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of experience. You went from 43% approval rating to 82% in four years time. He said it almost doubled – your approval and I was doing the same thing, saying the same things, but I was saying it directly. Bob Clark got me on television. It was the first – we’re going to have you saying it in everybody’s living room directly so they hear it from you rather than the Anchorage Times likes to translate it and so forth. And I was doing the same thing, saying the same things, but the people were understanding it and apparently formed this disapproving.

I don’t know if you heard about my (inaudible) that I gave – I gave my (inaudible) versus my (inaudible) to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. I said I felt there was no group that would more prefer to hear from my very own lips that I was departing the political scene than the Anchorage Chamber. And I laid all this stuff out, but at the end of it Bob Atwood came up to me and he said you know I believe I’m finally beginning to understand where you’re coming from. But I’m kind of sorry about the 80 years of grief we’ve given you literally. This is exactly what he said.

Bob Clark, who is the guy that changed my approach to media that really was responsible for this increase in approval rating. Sat there doing my presentation to the Chamber of Commerce he is totally bewildered. I’m getting standing ovations for saying the same things that they were cussing me for. He said they understand what you were saying.

Anyhow Atwood a few days later there is an editorial in the Anchorage Times. The essence of it isn’t it great we’re rid of old zero growth Hammond and why don’t give a gun hoe pro-development ex-Chamber of Commerce president Bill Sheffield in there. He’ll get things moving. So I wrote a letter, an open letter, that I sent that went something like this. An open letter to Bob Atwood.

Dear Bob, I realize that modesty will prevent you from printing this in your own newspaper so I have taken the liberty of sending it to everyone else. You really didn’t have to come up and apologize for the eight years of grief that you have given me because I’ve always known that in your heart of hearts you were actually a closet Hammond supporter. In advocating one losing position after another in opposition of my stand on an issue so squandered your credibility while enhancing my own.

John (inaudible) drove me back. He said that’s the best letter I’ve ever read in my life. And anyhow as I say Atwood, I thought what am I doing wrong that Atwood supported me. Anyhow, let’s get back.

Terence: But Atwood I mean his – what about – yeah, how would you best describe your relationship? I mean he really took you on I mean didn’t he?

Hammond: He did, but it was interesting. It was very entertaining. I had two letters from Bob Atwood somewhere in my files. I wish I would resurrect them, would have ruined him. In the wake of my elections, both of them said in essence you know I’m kind of glad you were elected and they were rather supportive. Leading me to believe that much of what appeared in the Anchorage Times was not written by Bob Atwood. Upon more than one occasion I’d read some outrageous thing and as I say, I feared stoning in the streets coming into Anchorage after Anchorage editorial – Times editorial. And I’d confront Bob with it. I’d say Bob, why you know better than that? He didn’t seem to be aware of what had been said. I think it was Bill Tobin primarily and some of his other cohorts.

And we began actually on friendly terms toward the end and one of the reasons being you’ve heard about my alleged potential relationship to Bob Atwood, or had you? I was – when the King of Norway was over here, Bob Atwood held a reception for him and I was asked to share the podium with him. And at the podium I happened to have a little book somebody had sent me. It’s called Genealogy of the Town of Barton, Vermont. And my remarks were (inaudible) found them very appropriate audience in front of the King of Norway I guess, but I said you know Bob Atwood and I have been engaged in friendly dispute for a number of years now. But henceforth we’re going to have to watch or be careful of just whose blood we shred because it might very well be our very own. I have here in hand the Genealogy from the Town of Barton, Vermont that evidences that an antecedent of mine one Elizabeth Penn Hammond arrived in this area in 1632 aboard the – didn’t arrive there – on board the Bart de Griffin and with daughter and son. And her daughter Elizabeth Penn Junior or something or other married one Ebinezer Atwood. And his folks (inaudible), so I say Bob, let me tell you, I am now prepared to cry uncle. It may very well be that you are my uncle. He let me say that. Henceforth he always called me cousin. Anyhow let’s get back to the business at hand.

Terence: Well the thing that is important I guess because of the capitol move issue, what you know which of course he never let up on I mean probably from 1959 on.

Hammond: Never let up on me, but I –

Terence: Well you tried to set things a middle ground I mean –

Hammond: What’s that?

Terence: Well how did you have – deal with the –

Hammond: How did I deal with it?

Terence: Yeah, because remember the voting ’74 and go it and –

Hammond: The way I dealt with it – remember I had three major adversaries that really should have prevented me from getting to first base much less home when it came to running for office; Bob Atwood, Wally Hickel, and Jessie Carr. Guess what happened when they had an – I guess it was a state chamber convention here in Anchorage hosted by Atwood, Hickel, and Carr. Do you remember this story?

Anyhow I was invited to speak at the same presentation or shortly after they did. And I went to this big dinner they had and I knew what would be on the bill of fare – roast bull (inaudible). No question about it. And they got and Jessie Carr started out and he after enumerating my sins of omission and co-mission told a very crude ethnic joke. Wally Hickel got up and he said I, unlike some folk, am a practical environmentalist. This ring a bell?

Terence: I don’t –

Hammond: Oh, okay. And Bob Atwood got up and I thought he was pretty good. He told this joke. He said well you know there are two guys out on a camping trip. Let’s call one of them Av and the other one the Gov. The Gov looks up at the moon and says wistfully God it must have been pretty before they went and walked on it. Now I thought that was pretty – I viewed it as a flaming far out environmentalist. Anyhow, then they recessed for lunch and I was going to be able to respond after lunch. Well I’m frantically scribbling on a piece of napkin or something and while they were engaged in whatever it was, chocolate souffle or something, I got up and said well you know I don’t suspect that I’m going to get the majority of the Teamster’s vote, but I’ve no doubt that I will catch many from those of Polish extraction (inaudible) Polish joke. And as far as Wally Hickel’s practical environmentalist is concerned, I want you to know that I am a practical developer. A practical developer is one who advocates rational environmentally friendly resource development and if that sounds like plagiarism from the tax book of the practical environmentalist, so be it. Scratch one you got the other. And as far as Bob Atwood is concerned I really appreciate his comments, but I want to alleviate some of his apprehensions. And I can best do it verse form. I don’t know if I can remember it.

Bob Atwood says that Av and I once on a moonlight night gazed at that fat and full some moon and lamented its late plight. But Av says I, says Uncle Bob that moon sure once was pretty before they went and walked on it profanely what a pity. Well it is true that Av cried trespassage on some wild and scenic lands, Bob just hasn’t got the message and can’t seem to understand that I’d like for him to travel there. I’ve no intent to lock it up. In fact if it were possible I’d help him (inaudible) it up.

Anyhow that’s the way I dealt with Atwood. Every time I had a chance to do it and these guys were – Wally was a wonderful, wonderful opponent because he took himself so seriously. And of course viewed me as an irreverent clown of course and which I’m sure a lot of folk did. But most of us take us too seriously and pose tempting targets because there is nothing I prefer to do then prick pomposity’s including my own and they are in abundant array as you know out there on the political horizon.

Anyhow you want to get back.

Terence: We were also talking about the –

Hammond: Economy.

Terence: Economy, yeah and especially maybe in the idea of thing that ties into this of the resident versus the nonresident battle in Alaska, which as you know is the long historical – so you must have had some experience with that in the 50’s or in the whole idea of coming out, so what about that? What would you say?

Hammond: Well I had long been concerned with the impact of nonresident transients particularly in the fishery in Bristol Bay. And I believe 1962 or 3 a very good friend of mine since deceased, Bristol Bay fisherman, Native fellow by the name of Martin Seaverson. Was very good at figures and analyzing things and he showed me a study he had done that evidenced that 97% of the pay day made within the Bristol Bay area or confines of the Bristol Bay Borough as it turned out to be went elsewhere; 65% of it went outside the State. The rest of it elsewhere in the State only 3% stayed at home. And what did we have to show for these facts are that literally billions of dollars of resource while we’re a rural slum. We didn’t have any secondary education. We had no sewer and water system. We had no health care facility, no fire fighting capability. Our garbage disposal plant was throwing it over the bank into the river.

So that is what got me to start thinking about how can we remedy this situation and address some of our social needs by using some of this vast resource wealth which was hemorrhaging out – not only outside of the borough but outside of the State. Previously I and the legislature had tried to throw all sorts of curve balls at the nonresident fisherman, increasing the cost of gear licenses. And one of the most interesting ones was, if I can remember it, was called the PNA Bill after Pacific Northern Airlines. What it was I proposed a piece of legislation that would require people be come to Alaska in person to acquire their gear license by I don’t remember March 1 or something like that. And however you could buy it at any time during the year you could qualify. I don’t know if I can explain this carefully. To qualify for the gear license, your fishing license, but you had to get one of them by being physically present. Well nobody would come up normally until the fishing season, they’re on the grounds and then they would find out, oh, no, you don’t qualify because you had to be up here physically present back in March. So it compelled for them all to come up twice at least (inaudible).

And Bill Egan vetoed that bill. I remember his veto message clearly. It said I would have supported this bill if it did precisely what it contended it did three pages later. I don’t know who gave him counsel and vetoed it.

And then there were other unconstitutional things. But then in the wake of this evidence that so much of this money was leaving I thought if we could impose a small tax on the fish, say 3%, paid by the fisherman, not by the canneries, we would capture for every $3 we paid $97 and we can do some of these things, build some of these social vacuums. And I thought, hum, I was then in the legislature and I got a bill through that created a use tax. I remember Bill Borden, who was the speaker of the house at the time. What do you want that for? Well, don’t worry about it. We weren’t yet a borough. Then but I saw the potential I felt for doing something to remedy this and formed a borough.

I was talking to Clint Tillion just about this the other day. He didn’t know about it. And I’ve never announced it very widely, but I was on a committee then with some other locals, Kathryn Kastrosky. I don’t remember if you remember Hank Kastrosky. She was the president, not president, of the school board, very active. And Harry Shawback, another localite there, and five other people, five or seven people. They were studying whether we should become a borough. Now I was in the legislature at that time. I wrote a minority report that said well you know if we became a borough of course somebody might be inclined to impose a fish tax that would capture revenue from folks who live outside the borough but within Bristol Bay, which I represented. Therefore, I couldn’t support that, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Anyhow Harry Shawback, a very frank guy, told me later he said I was going to vote against the borough until I read your minority report, I’m all for it. They voted six to one for it. I’m the only guy opposed to it. Just exactly what I wanted them to do.

Then it was in ’65 that I ran against Joe McGill, lost to Joe McGill. I didn’t campaign at all or really wasn’t that unhappy about it. I had been in the legislature for six years, but it gave me a chance then I went in and we became a borough. And I took over the management of the borough and I saw a chance to impose this tax. So I proposed exactly the same thing as I said in Alaska, Inc., but I called it Bristol, Inc. To sell it I said we could form an investment corporation or investment account, give everybody a share of stock that would earn dividends for each year. We would raise enough money to give you back more than what the fisherman pay in their fish tax and do some of these other things – build – we didn’t have a high school then. Didn’t have any of these other services, social services. And all they could see is Hammond is proposing a tax. It is like the income tax. They are blind. We can create a tax and make people money. They turn it down and they did.

And I thought well I’ll have to give them an offer they can’t refuse. So I wrote two ordinances. One of them imposed the tax and the second one said yes and only if ordinance A passes will we then eliminate your residential property tax. Well the average local, of course locals owned the residential property and non-transients didn’t. They paid a full tax and locals would – the same thing as the capped income tax thing. And they looked at their hold card and they voted it in.

And beyond my wildest anticipation what it did. It translated that borough almost overnight into what Fortune Magazine termed in an article the richest municipality per capita in the nation. And we suddenly were engulfed with revenues that enabled us to build a high school, put in the finest sewer and water – not sewer and water, but sewer system, health care facility, ambulance services, fire fighting equipment, state of the art garbage disposal, you name it – overnight.

Let me tell you a little more directly what happened. When I was borough manager and mayor – no, I was manager first and then I became mayor when I was out of the legislature. Salary – my salary was $6,000 a year. My total budget was $35,000. I had a secretary for $12,000. We hired temporary for tax collection. $35,000 a year total budget. I had one full-time employee. Four years later I believe it was, I’m sure of the four, whether it was four or five or three, the borough budget was $4M. They had 21 people on the payroll. Borough manager salary went from $6,000 to $82 I think. They spent it all on government. And because Tom Fink came in, didn’t put a cap – didn’t put a lid on how much residential property tax exemption you could render totally blew out of the tub my tradeoff, the offer you can’t refuse. Made a liar out of me – we’re getting taxed both ways now.

Man, so then – so I failed. That was my first failure in doing it the way I wanted to. When the Native lands claim settlement came up, I proposed, wrote an article for the Tundra Times in the wake of my constituents coming to me and saying, hey, you know, what do you think we ought to do with that billion dollars and all this land we’re going to get? I said don’t ask me a gusset tell you folk what to do. No, you’re our representative. What do you think? Well you ought to consider instead of creating a multitude of many bureaucracies with the intended legal and administrative costs, why don’t you consider creating a – I didn’t call it a Permanent Fund, that word hadn’t been bandied about yet. An investment account, spin it off here as a stock equally to everyone and the corporate board would be comprised of people from throughout the State. And you ought to consider that.

Well Willie Hensley and John Shrively responded favorably to that as I recall, but about the only ones. Again, most of the (inaudible) nobody paid attention. Meanwhile of course the legal beagles and some others who feared I believe the enormous political clout and fine inter clout that they would have had under such an arrangement. Back then a billion dollars was a lot of money. (Inaudible) told the people in Bristol Bay, oh you don’t want people from Barrow and Ketchikan and Juneau telling you how to – you take your pot down there and do with it. You up there and of course the enormous intended legal and administrative costs of so splitting the pie, the end product, for some people of course made out like gangbusters and other little guy you were trying to help sitting there at the end of the tube waiting for it.

I submit that had they gone the route of the Permanent Fund dividend many would be far happier than what the end – still would have had the – now one of the benefits of the way they did go was the involvement of a number of powerful and experienced and knowledgeable Native leaders. But again did it benefit the overall people in a manner, which it could have?

Created another condition. Example: What happens when they start losing their money from the corporate and village entities? They are going to have to exploit or utilize or sell their resources and their lifeblood in many instances is their land. People in Nondalton for example were approached by somebody who said hey you ought to sell a big parcel of this land up there at Lake Clark (inaudible) make a great deal of money. A lot of people came and they said we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to do that. They wouldn’t have had to do it under the scenario I mentioned earlier, because they would have enough wherewithal to avoid having to sell their life blood, their lands and resources. A lot of people said can we go back to it. I don’t know how you go back to it. But I am so concerned about the State making the same mistake, which we have done in a large measure and if we revert back, we’ll end up in the same sort of scenario. According to the World Bank, every other state and nation, except Alaska, has made mistakes in handling their oil wealth. We have done the best job because of the dividend program largely.

And as Vernon Smith, economist, says it should be an example for the world to emulate and Alaskans ought to be extremely proud of it because it is a whole new concept of people owning the resources and government having to take the money back from the people instead of government getting the money and parceling it out in socialistic programs. It is exactly the opposite of what some people term the dividend be socialistic, it’s capitalistic in (inaudible). And of all people who want to be supporting it are the so-called conservative Republicans. Ironically, who do I find most supportive are the Democrats. These so-called tax and spend. It’s all screwed up in people’s minds.

Terence: Well, you know Jay I think that even though it is loss of resident and nonresident issue has lost some of its potency apparently in modern years, a little bit, and even though there is that lingering feeling, but do you think because I see in one thing your whole approach obviously with Bristol Bay and then obviously with the Permanent Fund as it was pre-(inaudible), was that resident, nonresident battle that so had this trouble with throughout your term, didn’t you, as governor, I mean both terms really, I mean the residency hire laws and all that stuff?

Hammond: Yeah, okay, well let also expand on that.

Terence: Sure.

Hammond: I think I know what you’re getting at. The situation with resident and nonresident right now is allegedly that roughly 25% of the payday made in Alaska is made by nonresident, fisherman – transient pipeline – construction works, and so forth. And they are of course paying anything for the price of admission. And to me that was one of the reasons for retention of an income tax if structured properly. An income tax could capture that. For example, what would you think of an income tax that took not one red cent from Alaskans’ earned incomes, only from those nonresident transients? We could do that. The capped income tax could do that. It wouldn’t take a nickel of their earned income. It would only draw down on depending on the side of the dividend of course the more you get in dividends the greater under capped tax would be the amounts of money gleaned from that capped tax.

Now why I included the capped tax might have some liability is when in 1999 when the question of whether or not the legislature should be allowed to use some of the Permanent Fund earnings went down by a smashing 84% or 83%. A number – I was at a Rotary Club meeting and some fellow stood up and he said I don’t mind losing my dividend but I’ll be darn if I want to pay an income tax in order that the great in Wash can get theirs. He didn’t put it quite that crudely, but that’s what he meant. And I said well how many agree with him? And almost every hand went up. And I said what we capped your income tax so you didn’t pay any more than your dividend. You’re willing to lose your dividend, but why take everybody else’s along with it who can’t afford to lose it. Well, he said I could live with that. How many agree? Virtually every hand went up.

Now here’s what would happen if you had the capped income tax you do several things regarding, see if I can remember them. A lot of this stuff I have to have my notes in front of me. But –

– Break –

Terence: Well, I’ll say it on the tape. Cause I think I never really knew about all that stuff in Bristol Bay about what you had tried to do down there you know. This is very informative to me. I didn’t know about that.

Hammond: You didn’t?

Terence: No, no. Well, if I did, I forgot.

Hammond: You haven’t read my book?

Terence: Well that’s right, I guess I don’t remember now.

Hammond: It is in that book.

Terence: The first one, right?

Man: Actually I want to move – that’s fine.

Hammond: Maybe it didn’t elaborate –

Terence: Well it has been –

Hammond: Yeah, extends beyond four-year tenure of a governor. You want to talk about local hire and the impact of how we address it or couldn’t address it. That’s another duty of this capped income tax. Think of what it would do in conjunction with an endowment program spun off an everly increasing dividends. That is one of the concerns of many people. Everything grows to thousands and thousands of dollars. No problem. We might have what on paper appeared to be the highest income tax in the nation, but no Alaskans would be paying a nickel of their earned income, but think of what the outsider. He could not compete with the Alaskan labor market who could work at a much lower rate than the outsider. Wait I’m not going to Alaska my gosh they are going to take 50% of my pay. He pays in spades. I think that would have an enormous impact on local hire. I don’t know, but that’s another spin off. But again you would – you have to let that dividend go upward and upward and upward, but a very substantial tax to bring it back.

If you had it, you could cure the whole fiscal gap right now. They tell me that something like Mike Hawker says it is something like $250M would be raised with the capped income tax, assuming the rates that they discuss which is 3% of what you pay or owe the feds, I don’t remember what it was. Okay, you need a billion, instead of 3% you put 12% tax on. Again, the Alaskan pays a nickel, what in the world could be easier for legislators to pass and painless. And yet what it does to the nonresident transient fisherman to both curb. Now if you’re going to do that, of course, have an enormous dividend, what do you do about the attraction that brings folks up here? That’s where the dividend A, dividend B got. So it is kind of a three-part package that all is contingent one piece on the other.

Terence: It seems Jay the key thing is they all have to be there.

Hammond: They all have to be –

Terence: Because if one is missing then it doesn’t –

Hammond: That’s right, they all have to merge. And the only way we can hope to have that happen is to have this group that is dealing with the PMOV or POMV is to understand as the governor does. He told me, as did Jim Clark, more than once, nothing is going to pass unless it has your support, Tillion, and Halford. And while I don’t know whether we can pass anything, I think he is absolutely correct. We could probably kill anything that we come up with and I already lament to say that if they come up with something that I fear and Tillion and Halford fear does not serve the best interests of the people, we will have no recourse but to kill it. So if they want anything, if they take an endowment that right now I wrote some language for one in an article and Tillion and Halford signed off on that would give them roughly $200M unless the people decided to the contrary.

I won’t bore you with the details of it, but if they want that they could get it, but it is going to have to of course have something else along with it and that is where the capped income tax comes into play. So I don’t know it is going to be a tough to do, but I know there is no question in my mind that if the public understood it, 90% would support even those who are fearful of an income tax because a capped tax how can you argue that it is taking stifling productivity and taking away my sweat of the brow income. If it doesn’t and it would not, but how do you get that across in the brief period of time we have.

Fortunately, the Democrats understand this clearly that I have spoken to and they will kill any – they have to have the Democrats get short a bill through and I’m convinced they will kill it. I don’t have to say a word or (inaudible) or Halford, they’ll kill it. So if they want something they almost have to go the route we’re recommending or they ain’t going to get nothing.

Terence: Well I think like I say this resident, nonresident thing is one of the great divides in Alaskan history throughout time you know. And so one thing I was thinking well when you were a young guy and you know there is the whole story of the fishing interests taking all the resources outside and you worked really hard about that against that as governor too. The whole idea we didn’t want Alaska just to be the oil barrel for the nation or something I think that maybe one time you said. So how about that – that idea of protecting Alaska’s interests against the corporate interests outside or the – I don’t know if any of that –

Hammond: Let’s relate it to oil, which is a bigger item on the horizon. I was asked one time how much do you think we should tax oil? For every penny that we can possible get. What do you mean? I said well just like the CEO of an oil company his obligation is to the best, get the best possible deal for his shareholders. I think the obligation of the CEO of the State of Alaska is to do the same for the citizens of the state. Are we doing that? I doubt it. I doubt it. I don’t think a reflection of the windfall profits that the oil companies have made are being reflected in the take that Alaska has made.

Now people will say but if we twink them upward insofar as taxes it will stifle development. There is a point beyond which that might occur. Right now we’re looking at a situation where ELF – you’re familiar with ELF – Economic Limit Factor. A little devil that emerged during my administration and which at the time I said I will support it only if it is demonstrated to me it will not reduce one nickel of our share of the wealth, the agreed upon wealth that the people of the state will receive.

And at the time it didn’t, but later on in the 80’s things changed to where now there are several fields that are not (inaudible) of yielding anything in severance tax. With oil prices at $35 a barrel that windfall should be reflecting the bid or bowing a little toward the State of Alaska and its citizens. The oil companies say well we have to have those windfalls of course to offset the poor years, the bad years when we’re losing money. And yet then why do we have this cents per barrel pipeline tariff. It should be a percentage pipeline tariff. When prices are high, they get more and vice a versa.

Why we do those things is beyond me. Same with the liquor tax. Cents per jug. As a consequence over the years I found when I was in office the price actually the tax on liquor went down, went down because of inflation. It was the same as it had been in ’65. I proposed a modest increase in liquor taxes, 50 cents a jug or something like that. Screams of anguish from the industry. Terrible. Because that 50 cents will actually translate into two bucks because of various arcane things I could never understand. And so I said, well, if that’s the case why don’t we reduce it 50 cents. You’ll save two dollars and give us one and you keep the other. Well it didn’t work that way when it went back down hill. But we are not extracting from our resources Alaskans fair share and personally one of the first things I would try to do is readjust ELF in a fair manner but in a manner that reflects windfall profits somehow spin off to a degree on the state. And they’re not doing it.

Right now Halford tells me that we’re losing something like five to six hundred million a year because we failed to readjust ELF. And at $35 a barrel I don’t think many of these – they tell me they can make money at $10 a barrel. Now I’m told that. I don’t know enough about it and I wouldn’t say automatically that we should do that, but unless I were convinced that it would devastate activities up here and incline them to pack their bags and pull their drill bits I would certainly pursue that first. But that’s not going to happen. So the only thing you’ve got to look for in addressing this fiscal gap thing in the near term is this endowment properly built.

– Break –

Hammond: Two or three structures that I had –

Man: We’re rolling again.

Terence: We were talking about – dam I forget?

Hammond: Local hire and nonresident –

Terence: No. Oh, no, no.

Hammond: Gas pipeline.

Terence: I just wanted to mention and maybe if you have comment on this. This is sort of a general thing that we’ll talk about maybe local hire. You know in territorial day’s look at the numbers and the fishing business paid about 3% of the gross value of the salmon pack in territorial taxes, that was it. Mining paid between 1 and 2%. So the state take, it sort of shows the power of the state, doesn’t it? That even if we were only getting 20 instead of 30, it is nothing like territorial days. That’s really sort of the power, I mean, cause you were very powerful in a way, right? I mean you had a lot of compared to what the territorial leader would.

Hammond: Well, that’s right. We were frankly being ripped off in the early days unmercifully by the fact that we received so little in our resource wealth. So much of it departed the state. Certainly improved upon that. Legislature, particularly in the wake of the 900 million and Prudhoe Bay realized that they could glean a great deal more from our resource wealth oil than had been the case in years past and as a consequence there were several changes in the taxation levels that occurred ever upward and yet I think the major reason for that was that they realized that hey, this is ridiculous.

What we have been doing is this. We put a very low severance tax or whatever taxes impacted resource development; we put it way down low to encourage development. We want to bring them up here. We had coal. We had a five, a nickel a ton or something like that by contrast to Montana’s 30%. And gold virtually nothing, almost nothing on fish until the fish tax went in, which was doubled incidentally through municipalities, through a bill I introduced years ago and there became an awareness that we were not getting our “fair share”. So what had happened because initially the idea was to attract more development, keeping those taxes way down in the basement.

We had a situation, which was exactly the opposite of what we should have done. With oil we had something like a 1% severance tax initially and the idea being we’ll get them up here and then we can crank it upward. Well once they’re entrenched of course they develop a powerful political lobby which resists any increments.

But fortunately legislature overcame that resistance and jacked it up to where we are today. Did they go far enough? No, not in my view. In my view what we should have done initially instead of a 1% severance tax, had a 99% severance tax, no interest; 98, no interest, 97, 96, 95. You get down to a point suddenly you get vibrations or some interest, probably would have been substantially above the 33 1/3% we’re getting now. Some people in some oil states they get 90%. This is the case made by Ray Metcalf and some others, Jim Sykes that document. I can’t refute them. I don’t know whether they’re right or not, but it ought to be looked at.

So we started out wrong. Then we changed the rules of the game repeatedly. And a lot of folk, I’ve been asked, do you think we’re taxing oil unfairly? Yes, indeed. We certainly are. We tax (inaudible) in a manner we don’t tax other resource development. But are we taxing them excessively. I don’t think so.

But so you develop, let’s say a coal facility that creates 10,000 jobs and exports to the orient and does all these wonderful things, tons and tons of coal a year, attracting probably 20,000 people to come here and compete for their jobs and with their families included, all paying nothing in the way of an income tax. All drawing down Permanent Fund dividends and services from the state.

That’s the sort of uneconomic development we have fostered by elimination of the income tax. The only way you can correct that is re-impose it. That’s the major reason for an income tax is the re-imposition of the awareness that these things cost money and that we have to pay for them from some mechanisms.

Now why have we not had that awareness cause we have been able to dip into this finite oil well, which is the same in magnitude when you got 400,000 or 4 million people up here. And until that CVR exhausts people will be happily satisfied with doing that. Therefore, you have to set a level and the governor has adopted this. Thank heaven. It should have been done five years but he has adopted a provision that $1M we’re not going to let it go beneath that. However, he hasn’t pronounced what we’re going to do if it hits that level. I say what we’re going to do is trigger whatever a suspended capped income tax would generate or what other mechanisms, perhaps budget cuts, would occur. What better constraint on spending than hanging over the heads of the legislative the threat. That is what the income tax would have done had we kept it in place. We wouldn’t have had to – we could have kept it suspended until we started going into the hole or spending like wild sailors.

Terence: You know Jay I always thought and I wrote this in this paper that I’m going to send you. You always said your middle name – you know what your middle name should be? I know it is S, what does the S stand for anyway?

Hammond: Sterner.

Terence: Sterner, okay.

Hammond: My grandmother.

Terence: I always wondered if you were like Harry S Truman, you know the S didn’t stand for anything. Actually I wrote a column in 1978 when you guys were all running for governor. This is just a slight aside. When you were running for governor and remember what Wally said, there is no shortage of whales, there is a shortage of leadership. I thought that was funny.

Hammond: What was that?

Terence: Wally said there was no shortage of whales. There was a big whale problem.

Hammond: Oh, yeah.

Terence: And he said it’s not a shortage of whales, it’s a shortage of leadership. I thought that struck as really amusing. You know, quite get it, but anyway this is what I was going to ask you. Your middle I thought and correct me if I’m wrong gentleman has he said his middle name yet? One time only. This is Jay, one time only, Hammond, right? I remember one time only oil revenue.

Hammond: Oh, yes, one time only oil bill.

Terence: And the thing is that was the issue. You said at the time we don’t want to use one time only oil dollars to pay for recurring costs of government, right? Wasn’t that – that was your –

Hammond: Absolutely.

Terence: That was your plan, right? And the income tax –

Hammond: Well, I –

Terence: Recycles the money in a way.

Hammond: (Inaudible) I say translate oil wells, pumping oil for finite periods into money wells pumping it for infinity. And that suggests we put all the oil wells. Instead we put only 12 ½% and so 87 ½% is out there providing all these –

Hammond: Had no problem with that at all. The freebies that were receiving – if I were an outsider I’d be far more interested in coming up here and receiving all these freebies than I would be to the dividend check yet somehow all they wanted to attack dividends. It’s ridiculous.

Terence: Because the dividend is quite – I mean the thousand dollars a person the state then spends far more than a thousand bucks a person.

Hammond: Six thousand.

Terence: Right, easily, easily, that’s right.

Hammond: Where’s the outrage on the voice of the times and some of these fiscal conservatives over that being that being the magnetic attraction? Gee – and if we have a pipeline, a gas pipeline without a – we’ll be digging a trench in which we’ll never get out of. If you think we have a fiscal gap now, you put another 20, 30,000 jobs up here and 50, 60,000 people all drawing down even further and again that pipeline isn’t going to generate any income for years and years to come but all these people will be receiving dividends and receiving all these resources and education for their kids. Without an income tax it will bankrupt us. But boy because people are so conditioned to thinking income tax is the worse possible thing that could ever happen. But again you cut the ground right out from under them when you put a cap on it.

Terence: Now Jay, do you think – you mentioned a point and I think people have often noted this. We do tax oil on a far heavier rate than fish, I mean the other taxes are virtually insignificant. Now Scott Goldsmith mentioned the other he said $5B – we produce $5B in zinc at Red Dog.

Hammond: What?

Terence: $5B in zinc at Red Dog, that has been the total.

Hammond: Is that right?

Terence: Yeah, and –

Hammond: What have we got – virtually nothing.

Terence: Right, I mean I don’t know what we.

Hammond: Well, okay, I’ll give you that since you mentioned it. When it came to severance taxes years ago I proposed something as simplistic as this. Why don’t we put a 12% severance tax on renewable resources and a 6% – no a 12% on nonrenewable resources like oil or whatever percentage and half of that on nonrenewable – or renewables.

Terence: Yeah. Why don’t we say that cause you’re saying 12% nonrenewable’s, 6 on renewals.

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: We should get you to say that.

Hammond: And.

Terence: Well go ahead Jay, just say that cause so we get it.

Hammond: Get it clear in my mind. I’m a little confused.

Terence: It’s 12% on nonrenewable probably and 6%, the lower rate would be on renewable to encourage renewable I think.

Hammond: Yeah. Yeah. I proposed at one time that we put a certain level of severance tax on nonrenewables and it was double of that of renewables because renewables of course were perpetuated year after year after year, where as of course nonrenewables were exhaustible. And to me we should have set those at a high enough level to say – assure that the state is getting their fair share and you announce that publicly and then you stick with it and if you can do it, fine. If you can’t, leave it in the ground, on the stump, or in the water. Now you can always re-tune those in such manner but instead we cut them down to a point oh, we wouldn’t have this production of this ore body if we charged anything like a severance tax comparable to what we are charging for oil.

So I don’t know what for example the Red Dog is bringing in. I understand $5B it has generated so far. What has been the state’s share? I suspect peanuts. The state’s involvement though in providing an infrastructure, roads, and some of these things all cost money and also provision of services for those working there. Is this good healthy development? For those who live there or work there or the area in which they live they may be prospering, but maybe at the expense of the rest of the state.

One of the things a lot of folks don’t understand are there two economies in the state? You have the public service economy, which is of course government and you have the private sector economy. The private sector economy will do wonderfully well if we promote development, generates jobs, and attracts people into the area. (Sneeze) You can cut that.

The private sector economy will do wonderfully well if you generate development that creates jobs and brings people into the area because their property taxes go up and businesses do well. You sell more goods and services and furniture and insurance and hotel rooms. They’ll think you’re doing wonders for the state if you promote that sort of thing.

But the public service economy that has to provide for the services like education and police power and so forth is going down hill. It hasn’t generated enough revenue at the local level to feed into the public sector economy to offset those costs, but people are blind when it comes to that. And they’ll think maybe a timber production thing that subsidizes and industry provides roads and services that generates enormous benefits for that community, yet at a terrible cost to the state. But try to once they’re implanted in place to do anything about remedying the situation and you run into a firestorm of opposition.

Give you another example of firestorm of opposition being run into that we should remedy that gets back to the capped income tax I talked about and dividends and that is simply this. The legislature very imprudent – one of the things I wanted to do with the dividend is take a lot of people off of welfare. So a lot of people receiving dividends no longer qualify. So what did they do, they exempt dividends as income. Now that might be fine we’re exempting a thousand dollars or so in a family of four, maybe four, but what if we send out dividends as we may well be doing if we adopt the sort of scenario I’m talking about of five and six thousand dollars, are we still going to exempt that as income.

But when the legislature realizing what a stupid thing that was to do tried to make an adjustment, they were charged with being cruel to poor people. And of course once you’ve given people an expectation of that sort of thing it is cruel. What we should do however instead of exempting it, we should raise the poverty level. And say hey, if you want to exempt say a thousand dollar for cap and so far as that, fine, but not just across the board no matter what they earn.

So those are the sorts of things that have to be done to make this thing work and it is going to be a tough sell. It takes smarts to understand it. And I’m glad to see I think you have.

Terence: Well, Jay, one of the things I’m real interested is in this you know I didn’t know that about the – I wonder what the fish pay – see I don’t know what percentage the fish pays in taxes. Took all the fish business and what they take out – obviously it is tiny compared to oil.

Hammond: The fish tax now it pays of course the local governments 3%. It pays the state I’m not sure what. It may be – I think it is under 10, but I’m not sure.

Incidentally again this shows you how difficult it is to deal with public and to alert them to things that particularly me, being the world’s worse soap salesman. When we had the experience in Bristol Bay of generating this enormous wealth almost overnight, I went to the Municipal League and spoke to other mayors and borough managers from throughout the state, Kodiak, Peninsula, southeastern and so forth and I said hey guys you’re missing a pretty good deal here. I told them exactly what our experience had been, suggesting they might want to impose a fish use tax in their locale. Nobody did it for years, for years and finally all of them have done it. But that’s a glacial slow public awareness of the difficulty in selling things that are not – you got to think outside the box a little bit to do some of these things and that is tough for us to do. Because we have been so conditioned again we’re so blind sided with taxes who can want a tax. It is either cut government or you know get their money from some other source. And that’s fine if you can cut government to stay within the bounds that’s fine, but everybody agrees you can’t do that and bridge this budget gap.

So what are the alternatives? Many would like to rob your dividends to do it.

Terence: Now do you said one thing for me from looking at the historical you know before 1940’s and earlier, like I said the fish – the salmon packers paid on average about 3% of the gross value and then the miners paid 1-½, maybe 2, sometimes it was 1% or less. That was Kennecott Copper Mine. They paid –

Hammond: One and a half.

Terence: Yeah, of their gross value. So Rickey’s, when Rickey was Secretary of Interior – Hal Rickey’s and he came up here in 1939 and said this is the- this problem that he called the whole syndrome of Alaska was wrong in which they were using a renewable resource – fish, to subsidize the nonrenewable. And he had it totally backwards. So we’re sort of got this sort of funny situation now. It’s not exactly the same, but it is similarly screwed up. Like you were saying. So that is sort of a historic constant I think.

Hammond: Absolutely.

Terence: About the problems of tax policy.

Hammond: I think you’re right. When you said I think a 3% severance tax was imposed on fish, the raw fish tax. I think it was 3%. I think it may have been doubled to six. I put a bill in that – well I won’t elaborate on that, but when I suggested the 6% for nonrenewables and – I mean vice a versa that the reason being but would have Red Dog for example got into production otherwise. I don’t know.

But again you can twink it downward but you’ll have a terrible time twinking it upward once it is in place. And you’ve got people now working there and that’s the problem with again many of the southeastern logging situations suggest the probability it didn’t generate enough new wealth to offset the cost of service, but the communities involved thought it was great. And the idea that you have come back in and I remember the argument being made why not get in get their feet wet and then we can twink it up. I said you’ll never twink it up once they’re in place. Of course now you’ve got Alaskans working there and you know they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their jobs and understandably so. Start out high and work your way down.

As I say I mentioned coal. At the time that I was talking about this Montana had 30% severance tax and we had a nickel a ton. I don’t know. Maybe if we were to impose a severance tax of proper magnitude it would stifle any sort of Korean export or all these things that have created jobs that are in place and they’ll scream in anguish and have all sorts of people protected. The problem is the people in the legislature cannot put the statewide interest paramount. They have to cater to their selective provincial constituents in order to get reelected.

And so don’t expect much in the way of change. That is why I so lamented when ELF was not immediately changed before the oil companies were conditioned to believe that this was their right to get a much bigger percentage and we get less. Cause now they’ve got so many people in the legislature are rather dependent upon the support of oil company and industry and there is nothing wrong with that as long as they’re able to vote the statewide interest and overcome their consideration, but the major consideration nowadays is reelection. And when you spend thousands and thousands and perhaps millions to win a public office, you’re going to cater a little more so than when it was like when I first went in you’re better off if you were not in the legislature.

– Break –

Terence: Oliver North before he was testifying for one of those Iran Contra Committees he said they did a Major David dump. I don’t know what that means exactly.

Hammond: A major what?

Terence: David dump, you know, sounds like using the outhouse but I don’t know. It’s like we giving an election or speech. Jay, do you go much in the economic, I mean the Chamber of Commerce, do you ever do that kind of stuff, I guess you probably don’t much around?

Hammond: Kodiak recently. I’ve been to a lot of speaking engagements, not the Chamber. The Chamber avoids me. They’re the ones that ought to be hearing some of this stuff perhaps more than anybody else.

Terence: You know I think, yeah, they ought to.

Hammond: If you can set it up the Fairbanks Chamber, I’ll go.

Terence: All right, all right I’ll do that.

Hammond: They’ll have to pay my way. It cost me 500 bucks every time I come to town.

Terence: I’ll do that, actually I will call them.

Hammond: If you want to I’d be glad to.

Terence: Yeah, yeah.

Hammond: Because whatever we do is going to require widespread education and so I’m accepting a lot more than I would normally do because I think this is an absolutely crucial point in the state’s history that can send us one way or the other. And I want to go down fighting at least.

Terence: Okay. All right. I will do that.

Hammond: If you want to do that.

Terence: Yeah cause you’d be back after the end of February?

Hammond: I’ll be back at the end of February.

Terence: Okay.

Hammond: About the 28th of February I’ll be back but maybe some time in March.

Terence: Okay, all right, all right. Because maybe if you come up if we think- cause we’re going to think of other stuff. We might even want to nab you and talk to a little bit in Fairbanks.

Hammond: Sure, sure.

Terence: So we might do that. What the hell did I – I want to ask you about 1974 and that campaign cause it is very improbable in a way isn’t it I mean you know Hickel.

Hammond: It was.

Terence: Running against Hickel and Egan, right? I mean the two.

Hammond: I was running against Hickel, Egan, and then Miller, all three of the governors and I had no business winning. I had no fear of winning. I frankly had no aspirations to win to be quite frank. I had a good life on the outside of politics and I recognized that whoever was governor in the coming years was going to be confronted with several major very divisive issues, but I was happy to have the opportunity to sound off on what I thought were key and important issues and since I didn’t really care whether I won I could say anything I wanted to and I very much liked that. And oddly enough as old Jake Kurtula, who was a constant politician who understands these things much better than I, he assumed somehow that I’m the most brilliant political mind he’d ever encounters said Hammond you do things that should be politically suicidal and they seem to turn around and accrue to your benefit. He was convinced that I carefully orchestrated and calculated what (inaudible). If he had any idea of what dumb luck went into everything I did. Nothing I planned to do in politics worked out. I really, as you are perhaps are one of the few who understand, I really didn’t want to win. And I have to confess election night was one of the most miserable nights of my life. It felt like prison doors were clanging shut behind me. And I had – I felt like a monstrous fraud because here my campaign people who were working so hard on my behalf, I’d surge ahead a little bit and I’d have to show elation when I ah no. Then I’d fall behind and I’d feel better about it, not a chance of winning and they’d be of course down in the dumps and I was just the opposite.

And I remember feeling – my first year or two in office I was a lousy governor. Lot of folk would say a lot more than that, but I felt sorry for myself and I was miserable in that job. To have to wear a necktie and go to the office every day and I had a very freewheeling lifestyle prior to that. And I knew what we were going to be confronted with, terrible controversy and certainly were. But the main thing was it was debilitating to – if you have the fire in the belly, the desire for the prominence and prestige and power and so forth, that’s one thing, but I didn’t have any of these things going for me, nothing that meant much to me. As a consequence taking all that guff and grief that went with it were pretty hard to do. But mainly because I felt sorry for myself – despicable. I had little respect, self-respect in life until I read an article – I felt like a monstrous fraud, perpetrated on the people of the state. And I remember reading something from one of the old philosophers, Aristotle or somebody, that said only he deserves to lead who just as soon would not. I thought well maybe it’s not a cardinal sin not to have that fire in the belly and not to aspire to the prominence, prestige, and power that go along with the trappings of office. And things started to get better. Then I – things started shaping up and shaking down and I got some awfully good people that I could turn most of the chores over with and was at least wise enough to go by their counsel and select people who could all do their thing better I could have ever done it. Probably my thing as well, but you know.

Terence: Who – let’s go – some of the – who would you pick out you know.

Hammond: John Katz would be one of the first. I said about John Katz if I would have had my druthers I would run him through a duplicating machine and put him into about six slots in government, including my own. But he is not alone.

I had some wonderful people working for me and they became like family. One of the reasons – I had not intended to run for more than one term. I almost announced I was only going to run for one term and even my wife said, nah, don’t do that because you never know. You may change your mind. And had I gone out in ’78 I would have gone out with a whimper. The permanent fund was shaped up right and the dividend program and a lot – the public perception was as I say 40 percent, 43 percent approval rating versus the two – four years later.

So I’m glad I stuck around for the second four years. And it became kind of fun, twisting the legislative tail and you can move and shake you know. They talk about lame duck being emasculated, you can move and shake in that second term so much better and without the distortions of what you’re up to that are now incumbent upon those who want to run against you, the newspapers may against you, why bother? They can afford to look at what you’re really up to and why, they don’t have to put their own spin on it to make you look bad you’re not going to be there anyhow. That’s where the big difference is and I started to enjoy the second term and maybe when you start enjoying it, it is the proper time to get out.

People ask me would you consider running again and I said only if I had total dictatorial powers. I don’t know if you ever saw the list of requirements that would be necessary for me to consider running again. An AP reporter asked me one time – would you ever consider running again? And I said, well, I suppose under certain conditions and he said what are those? And I said you got a pencil I said. Well, first I’d – Wally Hickel would have to agree to be my Lieutenant Governor. Bob Atfield or Bob Atwood would have to agree to be my Press Secretary. Jesse Carr would have to agree to be my Commissioner of Labor. Tom Fink would have to agree to donate a million dollars to my campaign. The polls would have to show I had 99.44 public support. Number five, the legislature would have to grant me total dictatorial powers on the passage of my programs. Let them counsel me, but for heavens sake not muck around with them. And number seven my wife would have to agree not to leave me. He writes all this stuff down. Lo and behold a few days later it’s in the paper. Hammond to consider running again. I got literally – I got checks in the mail and letters from people, man go I’m with you. And actually I did, I got two checks from people. They hadn’t read all this ridiculous stuff underneath. But I said thank heavens Tom Fink never came up with a million dollars so I’m not committed. I’m like some of these other things people say – you said.

Anyhow I got in – I had no business winning. I could run under today’s circumstances. People ask me what you spent on your campaign. What I contributed my own campaign. Nothing. I contributed a thousand dollars for one campaign and recouped it when I got – from return – I’m a little embarrassed and ashamed some of these people say well you do what your campaign was worth. You weren’t willing to contribute but still – you have probably heard this story about I went to a fundraiser or allegedly a fundraiser. I was sent to one and I was supposed to ask people for money. I said ah, the last thing in the world I could do is ask people for money. I’d rather wrestle naked on the courthouse lawn at high noon than ask anybody for money. And some guy in the audience says Hammond I wouldn’t give you a nickel to your campaign but I’ll pay fifty bucks for a ringside seat at the courthouse. Well I never found any worthy or willing opponent so fortunately I never had to fulfill that commitment.

But I’ve you know I’ve – when I ran the first time, I said I’m not spending a nickel of my own money, this is ridiculous not a chance of winning. And as you may or may not know I was conned into running because of a call from Ron Sommerville. Are you familiar with this story? Oh, you’re not.

Ron Sommerville was a biologist, Fish and Game Department. I didn’t know Ron very well, but I was weathered in down in Naknek with one of my clients fisherman. And I got this phone call and picked it up and Ron Sommerville. He said a few of us sitting around think you ought to run for governor. By the time I stopped laughing I said to him Ron, I’m not at all interested in bleeding myself white financially for the privilege of saying I ran unsuccessfully for governor. Forget it. And he said and he got to talking further and he said well would you consider if we put together a campaign organization and came up with some funding? I said well that’s the only way I’d ever consider it. He hung up.

I had a fisherman from California, very wealthy guy there. He said hey if you run you got a thousand-dollar check in the mail right now. I said forget it. That’s a check you’ll never have to write. Two weeks later Ron called me up and he said okay, we got an organization put together. We got some funds committed and you said – wait a minute. In his mind again consideration translated into commitment. And I argued against I said I never said I’d run if you’d do that. He said well will you come in and at least talk to us in town here.

So the next time I flew into town I met with my campaign organization, all six of them. I don’t even remember who they were. I think Ab Gross, Ron, maybe Terry Gardiner, Clint Tillion, about six people. And I could tell that all of them had been told by Ron that I would run if they’d do these things. And again being a sucker and not having guts enough to say, hey, I never promised and turning my back on it, I knew they’d all leave there thinking I had broken a commitment. So when I found what we had in the bank committed in the way of funds at that moment $800 I agreed to run. Thinking well I’ll run for a week and I’d go back to the hills where I belong.

And now they had said they would commit more money if I’d agree, but at that time I think it was $800 that was all that was in the kitty. And so I don’t remember what I did. I remember one thing I didn’t mind doing campaigning was going around beating on doors. Give me some exercise and I’ve always been kind of a physical fitness buff and that I didn’t mind doing.

But I had the briefest campaign pitch you can imagine. I’d go to the door, had a little flyer. I’d say hello I’m Jay Hammond I’m running for governor and I wonder if I could leave you this. That’s it. Usually they’d nod and say yes and I left on a positive note.

But where I thought – and I had no idea of winning this thing. This is ridiculous and the response of people when I’d go around the community. Who is this bearded yahoo that has the audacity to run against Wally Hickel and Bill Egan and then Terry Miller and so forth.

Terence: Was it Keith?

Hammond: Not Terry Miller, I mean Keith Miller.

Terence: Keith, yeah.

Hammond: But they were indulgent. Then it started to change. When Hickel and Atwood and Carr came up bombing me. I had more people tell me I don’t know anything about you but anybody that has got all those guys against him can’t be all bad. So I subsequently thanked them later when I became more comfortable with this for playing the key role in my election. But it was – you could sense the change. You could just feel it shifting. And I walked into a store one day and a guy looked up and he said, hey, you got my vote. I saw you on television. Let me tell you any guy that has got guts enough to wear a beard and run for governor has got to be different. Unlike these other guys who are clean shaven and try to convey the impression of honesty and integrity and we know they’re crooks.

Anyhow I sensed the change and I knew I was going to win the primary. A lot of people talk about Hickel, me beating Hickel by a very small margin, but they forget that in the primary I beat Hickel by a wholloping margin that time.

Then, but I still wasn’t fearful of winning, even though the polls initially, what happened is when I came out of the primary with a potential winner the pools showed that very close Bill Egan who I thought, shoot, I’ve no chance of bearing Bill Egan. But then – and then they came out with he and Red Bolcher came out with a charge that I was zero growth. Hammond will throw you all out of work and make the state into one huge national park, build a fence around it, throw away the key and zero growth clung out at me like a leech and phew – I plummeted in the polls.

Of course I didn’t help the cause any. I went before the Chamber of Commerce one time. You may probably heard this story, maybe it’s in my book, which I said – actually when I elected Senate President I had said I know there’s some apprehension on the part of the business community of Hammond and now assuming the position of obvious degree of power in a conservation orientation the rumor is that Hammond if he had his druthers would put the whole state into a huge national park, build a fence around it and throw away the key. Absolutely ridiculous. You people in Anchorage have nothing whatsoever to worry about. In the first place your community is degenerated beneath acceptable eligibility requirements. Wow, you could imagine what they thought when I was selected governor.

Anyhow, so you know I did a lot that caused that attitude to prevail. But then I won just barely. You know they had three recounts. The first recount had Egan very substantially ahead or was it vice a versa. No, I think I was ahead. And then they had recount to cut my lead in half. Then they had another recount and cut it in half again and then they had the third recount where I won by only 227 votes. That was it. Yeah.

And there I am and I’ll tell you I heard those prison doors clang. I was miserable the first two years. I hated it. I hated it. And worked like a dog. Kind of like Jimmy Carter. I tried to keep on top of everything and I burned the midnight oil, never took any time off. Worked weekends and Sundays and I hated it. And of course those first four years were tough.

You talk about fiscal gap. A lot of people don’t understand that. The governor made reference to it in his state of the state speech. He didn’t attribute to which governor he was referring but if you recall he said something to the effect that he had implied he had hired an agency to look at every state agency and counsel them on how to save money and how to cut costs and how to provide efficiencies. Says it hasn’t happened in 27 years, first time in 27 years. We did it. I hired an outfit to do that and we cut millions and millions out of the state budget. And millions back then were a lot of money. But and my first four years we – I got Chuck Hawley to agree to a severance tax on minerals. He was at that time – you know who Chuck Hawley is of course. And they agreed that they were going to have to pay a little bit more and fisheries I wanted – I doubled the fish tax on fisheries and proposed some other revenue generating devices and massive budget cuts. And then of course when oil came in that all went out the window. But oil didn’t come in – wasn’t even on the horizon until you know 1970 gave us the big 900 million but that was dissipated and many people think blown – it went in revenue sharing. So the people were benefited to the extent they didn’t pay high local government taxes but they didn’t see anything. And we didn’t get the big windfall until after that.

Terence: Do you think and also you had D2.

Hammond: D-2.

Terence: D-2 issue. You had the capitol move, well maybe the capitol move – okay.

Hammond: Capitol move, D-2.

– Break –

Terence: We were talking about –

Man: Chuck Hawley and taxes.

Hammond: Powers in the constitution.

Terence: Oh, yeah powers of the constitution and particularly because of the fact that Egan was a mean after all hell he was president of the convention so you know I don’t know if that played into this, but how do you figure out how the constitution is served Alaska and for your roles as former chief executive.

Hammond: When it comes to the constitution like statehood I voted against the constitution for various reasons, one of them being it didn’t clearly establish the sort of Fish and Game and educational hierarchy that I thought appropriate, although they go – they did make a provision for it but it wasn’t stipulated. That was one of the reasons.

There were some others, but by and large I think the constitution was an excellent document. I find a little bemusing however when I was in the legislature I used to lament all the enormous powers accorded the governor. When I became governor I wondered where they had all gone. Somehow it didn’t seem to be quite as adequate as I thought it might be and I would have preferred a benign dictatorship. Of course we all think we – for example, I am convinced that if you could do some of the things that we have been talking about by executive fiat without the impediment of running it through the legislative process the state would be ever so much better off. And when you start thinking like that you better get out of public office.

But nevertheless the document does provide very significant powers and it does one other thing that’s unique. Wally Hickel calls it the ownership state. I call it the ownership people. Not a great deal of distinction, except the manner in which we’d implement that. The constitution says in blessed it for – it says you shall manage your resources for the maximum benefit of its people. That means all its people. And my contention is there is only one program that meets that mandate with absolute equity and that’s the dividend program. All the other state programs inequitably do not manage in the maximum benefit of all the people. They may maximum benefit for this group or that group or some other. The only one that gives us a hat to hang on to create a dividend program and a permanent fund is that provision in the constitution. Article VIII, Section 8A.

Terence: Jay, would you see – cause it seems to me anyway that the constitution has implicit in the natural resources article the idea of keeping for the residents, doesn’t it? I mean it’s the idea that we’re not going to be exploited by outsiders, isn’t that one of the big themes?

Hammond: Absolutely. When it says you develop them for the maximum benefit of the people, that doesn’t mean that we make sanctioned to oil or timber or coal or zinc or whatever. We get every penny we can possibly get. Are we getting it? No. And because of political constraints we won’t get them, but we can move toward that by again creating this investment account spinning off dividends that will compel the legislature to look at these proposals and development projects and extract because the public will demand it. They’ll extract from that greater amounts of wealth than they otherwise would do. To put it crudely as I did initially I wanted the dividend program to pick selectively, collectively against selective. The people that want to get maximized of course their particular interests will bleed off through various programs and subsidiaries, benefits from the state that adversely impact the collective interests of Alaskans. The only way you can counter that is to give Alaskans a collective interest that demands that we encourage only healthy development. And what is healthy development? That which is environmentally sound. You got enough laws on the books already and that can pay its own way plus a premium to all the citizens of the state. And until we get back on that track we’re being shortchanged. And I see no better way of doing it than this POMV with a dividend attached to it and these other elements that I mentioned before. That will virtually demand that any new development we have pays its way. If it doesn’t, people will turn their thumbs down on it.

Let me give you an example of how I – a lot of people think it was a failure on the part of the Hammond Administration, but it was one thing that clearly demonstrated what I’m talking about. Several environmentalists or not several but a few told me one time why are you talking economics now, economics of your vision for the future and all these quality of life things that we were so inspired by? I said because people who could care less about the dickey birds will sit up and take notice if you tap their wallets. Prime example – Petco, remember that, Petco – Petco was a petrochemical proposal that would utilize, create a number of jobs but required according to those who evaluated it the companies that made proposals to use some of our royalty oil needed a discounted price in order to make it economically feasible.

And I said no, no, we’re not going to sell our resources in any bargain basement. Oh, but it will create jobs and do all sorts of things. It will cost us money unless we extracting enough money to offset the cost of the services provided. One company came to us and said we can do it without any subsidiary. And I remember Mark Nalberry (?) who was representing another group and Bob Ward representing a third group, said they can’t possibly do it without a subsidiary. I said but they say they can. So we’ll commit only on the condition that they pay the market rate and if they can do it, fine. Well as I expected, in fact predicted, I didn’t do it publicly except to a very few people. I said you watch in a year from now they’ll come back to say well now we’ve got Alaskans working putting this thing together and we find we really can’t do it without X dollars discount on the price of oil. Exactly what they did (break in sound) forget it and they folded. To me that was a perfect demonstration of what I talk about. Hold their feet to the fire and if they can meet the obligations to meet that constitutional mandate for the maximum benefit of the people so be it.

Another example, there is a proposal on the Kenai Peninsula to utilize some of our royalty oil, but it had to be discounted a dollar and a quarter a barrel, but it would provide jobs for I don’t remember how many people. I don’t remember what it was, but the number of jobs versus the discounting price for oil accounted for $240,000 in state subsidiary per job. This is an issue that Wally Hickel and I were at opposite ends. He was all for it. Create jobs. That’s a mantra of so many in politics. Man creates jobs for Alaskans. At what cost? They never bothered to figure the cost and with the income tax it can’t be. Gone – there can’t be anything other than cost under those conditions.

And of course I opposed it and it went down in flames. And those are but two examples of what I call unhealthy economic development proposals that probably would have flown had I not objected to them.

Terence: Like you call them uneconomic development, that’s a good phrase.

Hammond: Uneconomic development.

Terence: Yeah, yeah. Do you think then that you know looking – well I’ll ask one more question.

Terence: I was going to ask you – the other – one other big mandatory borough act when that came in from the legislators. So was yours the first borough is that right?

Hammond: First one.

Terence: Yes, so maybe we should talk about that cause that you saw clearly the –

Terence: Okay, Jay we’re talking about the local governance, the borough, the whole thing about. Now you told us that story already about in your minority report but what did you see in the fact that the borough, we should articulate that a little bit, cause that’s – I think in retrospect one of the most controversial articles of the convention. Maybe one of the most bitterly divisive.

Hammond: Well it certainly the borough act was one of the most controversial aspects of the constitution and it was sorely resisted by those in the legislature for a number of years after we became a state. And only when the mandatory borough act was passed that obligated people to assume certain functions and authorities and responsibilities and powers did it have any legs at all. I recognized in the borough the possibility to impose a sort of tax regimen that ultimately in the final end product yielded the permanent fund dividend program at the local level in Naknek using fish as the source of wealth and therefore supported the act.

But one of the provisions was that the legislature would act as the unorganized borough assembly therefore exercising the powers to extract taxes and revenues and things of that nature normally accorded to a local government. And of course the legislature has never and will never do that because it will affront whomever they impose their tax regimen on.

So that was one of the major deficiencies. I think again if we were to do something as Governor Hickel has suggested. One of the things this approach to resolving the fiscal gap might provide is that a portion of the moneys gleaned from taxing back your dividends be disbursed in Wally Hickel’s community dividend approach. Now why that approach is better in my view to let the locals determine how to spend their money than having central government do it but there is another factor. If communities that are not now organized without any taxing authority are denied a community dividend because they have no governing entity, they are going to be much more inclined to see the wisdom of so organizing and acquiring those powers, which they then would have the wherewithal to exercise. Now you can’t expect the community in rural area to organize or tax themselves. They don’t have the wherewithal, but if they get the money through that process, the community dividend I think it would spur that.

Now of the problems with manner in which we handled the funding for that I wanted to promote to I think encourage the formulation of boroughs would work thusly. You’re dredging all sorts of stuff out of the past that I haven’t thought about for a long time, but one of the arguments against organizing the rural areas is they didn’t have sufficient property tax base to generate the wealth. And it’s certainly true. Other places like the North Slope Borough would have substantial properties but say a Bethel Borough would not. So my suggestion was this. Why don’t we impose a say a three-percent property tax across the board? However, if you had property values in excess, if that three percent – boy – of your property values generated much less than required to fund your schools, the state would shell out the difference, but you have to impose it. Similarly if it generated much more the state would back off of its participation and let the locals do it. In order words, the North Slope Borough would get far less assistance from the state than would the Bethel borough. It is a little vague in my mind. I thought that way they would not have the argument that well we don’t have enough property values to accord it. If you don’t have it, then the state comes in and helps out more. In other words, a varicated system.

Well, like most of my proposals it didn’t fly and of course as a consequence, not necessarily as a consequent, but we made it much more difficult for those people to see the desirability of organizing. I still think going back to something like that makes some sense, but I’ve got other things on my mind and they’re too confused on issues before them to accept anything else on their platter.

Terence: I think that’s right. Jay, do you – what about Gruening, how did you run crosswise with – how did you cross swords with Gruening?

Hammond: Well I crossed swords with Ernest Gruening when I was Chairman of the Resource Committee in the House and a bill that he had introduced in the State Senate vicarious, I mean not vicariously but by request had passed the Senate unanimously I believe advocating appropriations of money to build Rampart Dam. And it read something like this – Whereas, the benefit to Rampart would do all these wonderful things and Whereas, these interminable studies had gone on and on should be terminated instead of appropriating more money for them – appropriate money to start the initial construction. Well it came into my committee and of course it was virtually unanimously supported by – I think unanimously in the Senate – came over to the house and I got it in my clutches in the Resource Committee. And I hung onto it and I hung onto, and hung onto it. The heat started building. The newspapers were thumping on me to bring it out and I remember Bogg and Baker and Binkley, the three B boys from – great guys and they came to me and said hey look we’re getting killed because they don’t understand you don’t bolt bills out of the committee and would you please bring it out and let us vote on it or against it if you want to. I said well there’s some errors in it. They said well correct them as you sit fit, but please at least get it out of your committee.

So I agreed to do that. I said I’ll let the committee decide and I kind of rewrote – they said rewrite it and I rewrote it. And I think the original language says the development and resources agency has issued a comprehensive study demonstrating the marketable of Rampart power, now therefore be it resolved terminate these ridiculous ongoing studies and appropriate moneys for construction. So I changed it slightly. I left the boilerplate in but it said whereas the development resources corporation David Lillenthal outfit has suggested the marketability of Rampart, now therefore be it resolved we appropriate more money to complete these studies. Slightly different, but it was all in the tension span of the legislature about 30 seconds and then the (inaudible) dropped down or off into space some place else.

Anyhow John Reger, who is an ardent of Rampart, had a crewcut back then. And I remember this had to be read because it was changed and the Senate or the secretary or the clerk of the house reading – Warren Taylor is speaker. And droning away and as I say I left a lot of the – said whereas if this would be a wonderful project if the advocates are correct in their assertions and if the opponents are wrong in theirs and so forth, blah, blah, blah. And John Reger is listening a little more closely than others and I would swear his crewcut started to rise up like the bristles on a porcupine. And he stood up and he said now wait a minute, then the speaker, old Warren Taylor who was getting a little senile or over the hill at that time rapped his gavel and said sit down John I’ve read it, it’s okay. And John sat down and I had counseled Tinney (?) beforehand. I said now look when we let it out of committee he read it and his eyes boggled when he understood it very quickly. And I said but you and I voted against bringing it out of committee, the rest of them – I think John Holm voted against it bringing it out too. Anyhow it passed out of committee and then Tillion and Hammond those flaming environmentalists opposed to it, it has got to be all right. Went up for floor vote and the House passed – only ones opposed were Tillion, Hammond, and I think Art Arnetz from the Aleutians. I think only three of us. Passed unanimously.

Gordy Watson, who worked for Riverbanks and Fish and Wildlife Service was back in Washington at the time. He was an ardent opponent of Rampart and Gruening hated it. He came back up here and he told me he said you know I was back in Washington when your resolution hit back there because the Senate concurred with our amendments. He said you could hear – what was the other Udall – Stuart Udall scream from two blocks away. You mean to tell me the Alaska State Legislature passed this. It is the first intelligent thing they’ve had to say about Rampart. And of course Gruening was (inaudible), but of course Tillion and I are on the side of the angels we voted against Ernest, but he knew full well what had happened. Well he subsequently I don’t know – well then I got off on the – I proposed the resolution that would rename the proposed Devil Canyon project the Ernest Craig Gruening Memorial Dam. Ernie wanted to leave some monument in his wake, but oh he was infuriated. And he focused in on me and big ad in the paper – the only – Jay Hammond opposed Rampart Dam. Of course the fisherman I could do these things and take much guts down home, the fisherman weren’t that entranced with a big dam that would stifle salmon development in the Yukon River.

But he and Bartlett I remember had campaign signs in Naknek when I was running one year for office and I cut one in half. It was vote for Bartlett, vote for Gruening. I cut one in half and pasted both in half and pasted them together. Vote for Gruenlatt. Oh dear. Anyhow that’s getting –

Terence: Well did he ever forgive you?

Hammond: Oh, no I don’t think he ever did.

Terence: Cause that’s right, he died in April of ’74, so he died before you got elected governor I think.

Hammond: No I don’t think he did. I had great admiration for Ernest Gruening, but he you know it would have been a horrendous boondoggle.

Terence: Well he I think Rampart Dam was Ernest Gruening’s capitol move. You know what I mean – the capitol move –

Hammond: But I’ve always been on the wrong side of the popular political issue of the moment. Statehood, the constitution, Rampart Dam, you name it. I don’t know.

Terence: Well Jay I think there was something right because when you got elected in ’74 cause maybe it was only that time because the people started coming in you know and I just think that had something to do with it you know.

Hammond: Yeah it was a certain point in history that the only time that I could have snuck in. A few years before – what had happened it was in the wake of Watergate. People were really turned off on traditional politicians for one thing. They were very apprehensive about what the pipeline was going to do and the Native land claims were going to do. There was a lot more environmental concern than ever had been evidenced up here and I of course again suggested we should buy back the Kachemak Bay leases because there was in improper process in my view of public input and so forth. And of course that was terribly controversial and when I bought them back I was dammed as the prince of darkness by many folk, but have you ever heard a subsequent candidate say if elected I shall reissue leases in Kachemak bay – no. And even Don Young and Stevens and Kopenne(?) ardently supported to buy back in Bristol Bay at one time. Now that’s kind of quiet but – so things have changed.

But I’m always out of cycle and it is kind of – be awfully nice to be – the same thing with the income tax. I was the only political voice that I heard in opposition to it.

Terence: Opposition to the repeal you mean – to the repeal?

Hammond: Repeal.

Terence: Repeal, yeah. And of course you became a Republican at a time when Alaska was pretty much Democratic?

Hammond: I ran as an Independent initially and there was a certain wooing from both sides of the aisle. When they changed the election code to make it almost impossible for an Independent to win. And I remember being counseled by some of the Democrat – (inaudible) Louie Dishner (?), some of the other guys there, but hey you know you’re reasonably smart guy. If you want to get elected without having to worry about it too much, get that magic D behind your name. And I must confess there was a certain attraction to that. I hadn’t had any party affiliation and I realized you could probably have – join either party and vote pretty much the way you wanted to. But on the other hand I made this comment.

Down in Bristol Bay it seemed like every stumblebum and nare-do-well and freeloader was a Democrat. I didn’t realize that was because they were only Democrats down there at the time. I subsequently learned that nobody has got the market cornered down to that quality of people. And I thought about you know, not very seriously, about declaring as a Democrat because it would have been so much easier. But then I thought hey you know my folks are Republican. I kind of was inculcated with what was then the Republican philosophy. And I’m at odds very much many times with Republicans today, but not all. And one of them being the fact that they seem to be totally opposed to anything that smacks of environmental constraints and on par with being branded the child molester to be termed an environmentalist, I say I’m an environmentalist but I’m equally concerned about the social and economic environment. Many so-called physical environmentalists are not or not to the extent they should be, but – and to me I – the old Republican conservation mode of Teddy Roosevelt represented is the sort of – but these people seem to think there’s nothing to some of these concerns and others. And that troubles me, but be that as it may that was the – one of the reasons I knew that I would always – the only reason I really –

Hammond: – time around you got screened so much more closely because you never won because you were a Republican back in those days. It was in spite of the fact. And I think that’s a healthy condition.

Terence: What was your relationship like with Stevens over the year when you came in?

Hammond: Stevens, that’s interesting you ask that. Stevens was ardently opposed to me the first time around, yet supported me the second time around. It was quite helpful. Yeah, and I have great admiration for Ted Stevens. A lot of folks say you know there was a suggestion one time that I might want to go back to Washington and run for either Congress. In fact Mike Coletta came to me one time after a meeting with Republican chair in Anchorage and said we’ve got 250,000 if you’ll file for a seat against Begech. And forget it. I’ve got no interest going back to Washington. I refused to move backward to anything that would take me out of Alaska and bring me to Washington is retrogression. Forget it. Don Young, who had an apartment next to us there in what they call the mink pens I think it was in Juneau was over visiting me that evening a night or two later. And I told Don about Coletta’s overtures and I said Don, you ought to check that out. Don did so and see what happened. I don’t think he got the 250,000 but the spark was ignited, probably there all the time smoldering but he did and Don – but anyhow I couldn’t go back there. Stevens has done a masterful job of course of acquiring benefits for the state. Has it been at expense of the nation? I don’t know. Certainly that’s the way the game is played and he has done it in spades masterfully. I don’t know if I could – I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. I wouldn’t have been as nearly successful. And while he could have done anything I had done. I couldn’t begin to do many of the things Ted has done. And he justly deserves the appellation as Alaskan of the century. And I disagree with naming the airport after him, not that he doesn’t warrant it, but I don’t like the renaming of things that people are conditioned to accept. At one time Steve Cooper of all people proposed renaming the Titchek State Park, the Hammond State Park. Why I attended I don’t know. Somebody asked me about it, I said forget it. It will incur a firestorm of resentment and opposition and people are conditioned to accept. I don’t believe in renaming things that are – and the irony of it was that person who expressed the only outrage that I heard was in a letter to the editor from the then mayor of Dillingham said Hammond doesn’t deserve that he was the guy who repealed the income tax. This guy happened to oppose the repeal of the income tax not realizing that I thought it was the most (inaudible) thing we had ever done.

Then Halford suggested renaming the Spenard Lake Hood float plane base and the same thing – Commonwealth North Jeff Lowenfels got a hold of it and he said – I said don’t do it. And he said well is this something you’d like to have named after you? I said if there’s a new sewer lagoon or something maybe that would be appropriate. Well I just don’t believe in that, but again taking nothing from Ted if they’re going to name it after anybody, that’s the worthy monitor.

Terence: Well I always thought we should name a building at the University after you actually so that’s what I think that would be a nice thing.

Hammond: Well, somebody had suggested this new high school here, but they don’t name high schools and I – something in the academic educational realm I would not object to, but taking and renaming something no.

Terence: Because it’s asking for trouble. Do – so what about Bartlett, did you have any, ever run into him?

Hammond: I have an enormous respect for Bob Bartlett. I didn’t know him all that well, but I think he was a tremendous asset to the state and boy a monumental figure in Alaskan history, but I really back in those days I wasn’t interested in politics pre-statehood so I wasn’t paying the attention to the thing. And of course he didn’t survive too long after I got involved in politics. But what little I know about Bob Bartlett and Ernest Gruening, save for Rampart Dam, I had great admiration for Ernest.

Terence: Well what about with Egan? What was your – I mean –

Hammond: Bill Egan was a warm mamonkelar (?) figure who of course endeared himself to Alaskans by his recalling names as much as anything. And being the total opposite I stood in awe of his capabilities cause I forget names and faces, the whole smash. You probably have heard my story about during the campaign a fellow came up to me and stuck out his hand and he said, hi, Jay, how are you? No, he said, hi Jay and then noticed my black look of non-recognition. And he says you don’t remember my name do you? I said the heck I don’t I just can’t place your face. I’m sure Egan got another vote, but I was terrible at it, terrible at it. And he was superb. I had many people say I don’t know anything about Bill Egan but he never forgets my name. But Bill had enormous concern and passion for serving the state and did a magnificent job of it and warrants a huge niche in the history of Alaska.

And I had great admiration for Bill Egan and certainly I told him one time, oh my, one time in Fairbanks. I got cross (inaudible) with Bill on more than one occasion. One occasion happened to be when he had made a comment to the effect that Hammond professes to be a conservationist. Why look at here he voted against my bill to create a Department of Environmental Conservation. The reason I had done so it was an absolute toothless tiger. It didn’t do anything. I wanted something with a great deal more capability and force and prominence than what he had proposed. So I countered it by saying this is when we were running for governor – countered it by saying well Bill Egan assertion that I oppose his conservation department because I was really not an ardent conservationist would be as ludicrous as me saying that Bill Egan was opposed to higher education because he vetoed a portion of the budget destined to the University of Alaska. And oh I knew what the response would be, he was outraged, saying Hammond that I (inaudible).

We were scheduled to meet in Fairbanks at a PTA or something, there were hundreds of people there. And I knew exactly what Bill would do. He came armed to the teeth and prepared to really work me over. Do you remember this? So anyhow I got to speak first. He was going to be cleanup. And he’s sitting there just kind of glowering at me and I started off. The audience knowing there is going to be firestorm between us. So I started off by saying well you know I want to tell you of the enormous regard and respect I have for Governor Bill Egan. And if I have to be defeated by anybody, there is no one that I’d prefer to be and I outlined some of the things he had done for the state. I could see the audience visually warming up. This isn’t going to be a firestorm after all. And I kept plumping his cushions and saying all these kindly things about him and then I finally walked over to him, so all I can say Governor I want to wish you luck but not too much. So I sat – he got up and of course Bill had this prepared speech in hand. Got up and started reading this thing, lampacing (?) me, excoriated. The audience is sitting there aghast, how can this guy respond like that to this kindly – I bet he didn’t get a vote other than his own.

That’s the sort of thing that makes campaigning fun and I love it when that opportunity presents itself. But because – and Wally was a wonderful, wonderful opponent for the same reason. Took himself so seriously.

Terence: Did you have any – ever recall any events like that with Wally?

Hammond: Oh, one time I was at a press conference that asked all the governors about their qualifications and desires for running for governor. I was a tail end Charlie. And they go through – Wally Hickel, why he thought he was most qualified to be governor and he outlined the fact that he had been governor and Secretary of the Interior, successful businessman. And Tom Fink when through his drill. And I think Chancey Croft and Jay – there was a little black guy who was running, and I was the last guy. And they said why do you think you’re most qualified? And I don’t think for a moment I’m the most qualified Alaskan to be governor. I’m sure there’s a multitude out there more qualified than I. Isn’t it a shame none of them are running? Oh they had Wally and Ernalee on camera and he’s listening indulgently until that moment and they both (inaudible).

Then another time they asked the same question in another so-called press conference and it was why do you think you’re most qualified to administer the state? Here Governor Hickel has had enormous administrative capability or experience and all the rest of these people and you’ve run a little flying and guiding business and so forth. And I said yes, but I have an unfair advantage over those other fellows. Well what in the world is that? I said well the prime hallmark of run- of an administrator is capability of selecting persons of greater competence than themselves to fill positions of authority beneath him. And I have a much broader range to choose from than do those other – and you know it proved true in a way because they were kind of high bound to play to the partisan. I could pick anybody I wanted to. I wasn’t dependent on the Republicans for election. It was in spite of the Republicans that I was elected. It was dissident Democrats and the so-called, what do they call the young turks and a whole bunch of kind of oddballs that put me into office and the public apprehension over what was coming up. So I did have that advantage. I didn’t have to cater to anybody.

Terence: You had a lot of Democrats in your –

Hammond: Oh, I did, I did. And again I plowed trench when I went to the what do you call it – what is the – the Republican group –

Terence: The Lincoln Day thing or the –

Hammond: Well it was something – maybe it was the Lincoln Day thing. It was in Fairbanks again. And I was being castigated for having appointed Democrats – Ab Gross and two or three others to my – or some others to my administration. And I said well I wanted to bring disparity – not disparity, yeah –

Terence: Diversity.

Hammond: Diversity into my cabinet and so I calculated these – selected some developers and conservationists and developers and conservationists, Democrats and Republicans and I brought both of the latter here with me. I only had two Republicans in my entire cabinet. Rest of them were either Independents or Democrats.

Well that – but then a lot of folk cussed me out for appointing Ab Gross. And I said well I think it is the obligation to appoint the best legal talent available to fill position of attorney general. And to me Ab Gross is right up there at the top even as cohorts and colleagues agree. Oh well yeah he’s a brilliant attorney but he’s a Democrat. You know longhaired hippy type Democrat from New York. And but do you know this who the Republicans hired whenever they were in trouble during past years when Fritz Pettyjohn and some of these other folks they would hire Ab Gross. They all agreed he probably had the best mind available for that job. But I did not – both parties claimed me. They don’t either have much use for me and I don’t have much use for them. Party structures – I don’t know. I think they yield disservice more often than a service and they incline people to play to the gallery and their constituency at the expense of the state in many instances.

Terence: Okay you know that’s another thing though that you should.

Terence: And then Wally you know that’s all –

Hammond: Statehood, oh.

Terence: I think he would have been awful.

Hammond: They were totally. Tony opposed the Permanent Fund much less the dividend.

Terence: Yeah, he’s awful.

Hammond: Hated it.

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond: His idea you shouldn’t tax the oil companies any more than what you need for this year’s budget period.

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond:Oh, think of where we’d be.

Terence: I know.

Hammond: I would have hated seeing Wally with all that money. Frankly, we’d have bricks and concrete roads and stuff we couldn’t maintain.

Terence: We would have had a lot of bridges. No, it’s like that joke the guy in the Permanent Fund think –

Hammond: Walking down the road –

Terence: You want to say something else about Wally, you were thinking.

Hammond: Yeah, about the vision.

Terence: Oh, vision, that’s what we were saying, about the vision, sort of a vision.

Hammond: Yeah, well the problem is the vision for the future had been beclouded I think in recent years because of the desire to become re-elected. Most legislators’ concept of infinity is two or four years away at the next election, 20 years down the pike. They really could care less. A great exception of that and one reason I admire him immensely is Wally Hickel, had a long-term vision for the state. And while Wally and I cross swords on more than one occasion, we have ended up I think warm friends and are much more in accord I think than discord on a lot of issues, even the Permanent Fund.

I think he has recognized or understands and agrees with the creation of the fund was wisdom. Had some small departure as how we would dispose of the dividend. He would do it in a community dividend program. I would do it in an individual dividend program. But the basic essence meets that constitutional mandate what is in the best interests of the people. I feel the best interests of the people is decided by the individual not a political entity, even a local entity such as a borough or city, and certainly better than the state government. The state government already can determine how the great bulk of our oil wealth is distributed. Why should they distribute as well the – tiny – it isn’t even 12-½% that is distributed. It is only half of the earnings of that 12-½%. And they want to take that to reduce it and put into the 87-½%.

Anyhow is beclouded because again too many people are concerned about the immediate future and re-election. And if you take something again such as reinstitution of even a capped income tax, which may have initially – I don’t know who is going to impose that. What is the argument against it? I’ve asked people to punch holes and tell me what’s wrong, nobody has. But when you say income tax that is so inflammatory that – I read an editorial in the Anchorage Times the other day saying oh, we’ve got to do away with the Permanent Fund and dividend program is terrible because it might inclined to re-impose an income tax.

And Wally had that vision. Wally made his millions and stayed up here with them and again is dedicated to what he perceives as long-term interest of the state. And thank heaven for it and while my vision may be a little different than him, I think overall the final focus is almost precisely the same.

Terence: Yeah and I think it is, Jay. I mean the idea of there is sort of a local control or the resources for the benefit of the people of Alaska. In a way you guys sort of differ on tools. I mean your view of the tool is the dividend and his view of the tool you know dividend is a tool to achieve this end and he kind of sees it – I guess he has different views on it you know.

Hammond: Somebody told me the other day their disagreement with the dividend was their belief that government could deliver services more efficiently than could a collection of people having money in their pocket. And I said ah, maybe more efficiently but not more equitably. You can deliver efficiently with the 87-½% of the oil wealth you got now, why do you want to take one-half the earnings of the other 12-½%? And you may deliver them efficiently but it still will be inequitably. The dividend delivers equitably and that is my major reason for haranguing and harassing people and beating the drum. And thank heaven I’ve got stalwarts like Halford and Tillion that agree wholeheartedly and now with this Vernon Smith, who I think carries a lot of prestige among his cohorts. I talked to economists that virtually deify him. And if he could come up here and explain to this group that are dealing with the endowment language I think he will persuade a lot of folk that his approach and our approach advocated years ago makes a lot more sense than what not only what did happen but would have happened. It would have been horrendous by contrast.

Terence: Jay, let me ask you about Clem, because he is probably one of your oldest friends I mean. So what is your relation with him go back?

Hammond: Well Clem Tillion I recall well my first vision of Clem Tillion. I learned during the campaign that there was a fellow fisherman from Halibut Cove that was running for the state legislature. I’d never met him. He was known as Red Tillion by many folk back then. And when I came to Juneau after being elected for my – it was the third term in the house. Clem didn’t get in until the third state legislature I believe. Nobody would have had to told me who Clem Tillion was. I went into the floor of the house and there were six or eight legislators sitting around and here’s a guy in a dirty hat, shoes off, suspenders, 1927 model suit – tweed suit that belonged to his father. I swear it was – it had a bronze patina on it, it was so ancient and a big shock of hair like Brillo and a booming voice that I say enables Clem Tillion to communicate from Halibut Cover to Homer without aid of electronic devices. I mean nobody else could have been Clem Tillion but Clem Tillion.

And I’m almost alienated Clem badly the first time. We got to know each other a little bit, but during the early days of that session back then they didn’t have the push button voting devices. And they had instead where you actually took were asked to poll by the clerk. And I found that I could say things in verse form that you couldn’t say straight out and get away with it. And for some reason or other I was inspired by something that happened during roll call vote on a certain issue. Speaker Taylor was polling the group as to how they stood on various Kendall, I, so and so nay, all down the line. Got to Tillion – Mr. Tillion, Mr. Tillion – here. He had been snoozing. And Taylor said Mr. Tillion the vote is on whether or not you approve the measure, not establishing your absence of which we are already aware or something like that. And that prompted me to do something, poor guy, he sat right in front of me. And I said – I asked for privilege of the floor. And I said I want to make an observation. Mr. Tillion, please answer when your name is called. Could it be that you are sleeping or simply enthralled by the summer attire of those bits of fluff that pass by the window while you’re on your doff dealing with laws about cooth and decorum knowing full well you tend to ignore them or something like that. And old Tillion was sitting there like that. He came up to me later and he said, oh, you had to do that to me when the first time I’ve had a constituent in the gallery.

But Clem was wonderful and he saved my sanity on more than one occasion by permitting me to defuse or decamp my insane inspirations to Clem. He sat right in front of me. And I probably told you this. All I had to do was dream up some outrageous action and knuckle Clem would say why don’t you do this Clem. And he leaps up and do it. And of course everybody be shocked and dismayed, including me. How could he say that?

Wonderful release valve, but he was a tremendous friend and cohort and responsible in very large measure for the Permanent Fund dividend. He was – I had legislative delegations that came to my office and get off that kick. We’re not going to do it. It doesn’t stand a chance. And I said I don’t care how you vote for it. The final analysis was that if you lock it up in committee I kick you not I’m going to call you back into special session. The day after you adjourn you’re going to see everybody that votes to keep it in committee is going to see his goodies stripped out of the budget. And they went out of there grumbling, complaining, and Clem re-amplified that message with gusto as only Clem could do. So they very reluctantly put it out on the floor where it passed almost unanimously.

But the irony of it is many who opposed it at that time now speak with pride for the role they played in establishing the Permanent Fund Dividend. But without Clem I don’t know how far we’d have gotten on a lot of issues. He was what I call my strong right arm and my swift left foot.

Terence: Well Jay one thing you told me we were talking back in November about people mistaking you, remember that? When somebody thought you were Norman Vaughn and –

Hammond: Oh, yeah.

Terence: So why don’t we – remember you ran into somebody in the grocery store or something, right?

Hammond: Well, yeah, I first became aware of the fact that I had an identity crisis when somebody during the Exxon Valdez trial came up to me in the store, an elderly gentleman stuck out his hand and said compassionately good luck Captain Haselton. And I didn’t want to disabuse him this kindly gesture. So I never straightened him out.

Then not long after that I’m in a restaurant. A couple of women are sitting over at a table looking over at this suspicious looking bearded character. Finally one of them came over and said aren’t you Norman Vaughn? I said no, not yet but I’m working at it. Do I look like a 90 some years old? And neither does Norm and I’m flattered to be mistaken for Norman Vaughn.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Then I’m in a store here about three years ago and some young fellow comes up to me and he says oh, I’ve always wanted to shake your hand. Thank you for all the wonderful things you’ve done for the state and let me tell you I think you’re the finest governor we ever had. And I’m standing there trying to toe the ground, accept his accolades with appropriate humility. And finally gets through verbal and sticks out his hand again and says great to meet you Wally. And I didn’t straighten him out either.

That still wasn’t the end of it. I’ve been mistaken for Norman dozens of times, dozens of times literally. I was – Norman’s wife Caroline called me up here – called my daughter up Heidi up here and said it has come full circle. Somebody came up to Norman and said the other day aren’t you Jay Hickel?

I’ve been mistaken I went to Fairbanks Republican do here when Bill Hudson was there and I told that story and somebody said I thought you were Bill Hudson. And somebody else said I thought you were Herb Shalum. I said what next, Theresa Overmeyer. I said, no, I’m – but it’s kind of nice in a way because whenever I get into trouble I can always blame on either Joe, Norman, or Wally.

Terence: Everybody thinks you’re somebody. Everybody thinks you’re something, just not maybe – they don’t what they think that something is exactly or somebody. So that’s pretty wonderful. Jay, what would you think looking back what has been your biggest disappointment in sort of politics?

Hammond: Disappointment. One of my biggest disappointments was not forging the last link in the chain of the Delta Project, Delta Agricultural Project. Had we done that I suspect we might have had a flourishing barley project and a flourishing believe it or not McKenzie Point Dairy Project, which was contingent on the Delta Project. The McKenzie Point dairy thing was not my baby. It was (inaudible) to the Delta Project but it was contingent on cheap feed coming down the railroad from the Delta area. And when of course the Delta Project was torpedoed they did not complete the grain terminal in Seward, which could have been completed at less money that I found later than it cost to store it. Instead it was argued by the Teamsters and the mayor of Valdez and some legislators and Bill Sheffield. I can understand why he might have been persuaded to think hey this makes sense. We can build it in Valdez. It won’t cost the state a nickel. Everybody that knew anything about agriculture on the Agriculture Action Council said that can’t fly. It has to go to Seward. We had everything in shape. We had the holding facilities at Delta. We had the grounds available. We had the people willing to farm it. We had the method of transportation to a port on the seacoast at Seward. We had the hopper cars for hauling it. We had the actual grain terminal itself and the foundation built. Three million dollars would have completed it. It absolutely got torpedoed when they persuaded them to back off of funding it, built it at Valdez. It was predicted and proved to be true that not one bushel of barley would ever go through Valdez. It made no sense.

Now would it have flown? I don’t know. I used to accept it as a mea culpa when people would say your biggest lament, biggest mistake. Biggest mistake was not the Delta Project it was not completing every chain of the link or link in the chain. If you recall Steve Cooper went to the orient to – incidentally we had every bit of barley they were willing to buy. The Asian marketplace said it is the finest most high protein content barley that we’ve looked at. They’ll buy every bit of it we can get to them. The thing was all in place, except that terminal. What happened when Steve Cooper went to the orient to sell coal, timber, and wood – and fish, he came back saying the only thing they’re interested in is the Delta barley. The Koreans wanted to take over the whole project. So those people will tell you that was a fiasco and a big mistake, should focus on the big mistake of the fiasco was not completing it. It may have fallen and if it had fallen under the proper circumstances I’d accept full responsibility.

I was in Fairbanks not long ago. There had been a group of Russians that had been out there looking at the area. They had with them some people from the University. And I – this was some years ago before I knew all these factors. And they said – I started to go through my drill maybe it was a big mistake. We’d give anything to have the potential you people had there. People from the grain states and provinces of Canada said the same thing to me. That has wonderful potential. Now there are some folk up there that hung tough that have done quite well in agriculture. They can do a lot better and when it got torpedoed, it caused devastation. It cost – it bankrupted people. There were suicides committed. Tragic the way that thing was handled and torpedoed.

There are potentials in Delta of new product or to me anyhow. Hybrid called Sun Spuds. A gentleman presented me a very persuasive documentation of a product that Delta farmers are agitating to have permission to try on for size that would allegedly produce three times the amount of ethanol that would say corn or some other ethanol producing grain products at one-third the cost. And one of the unique features is that it requires two hard freezes to maturate or whatever is required and the feed stocks left over from the ethanol extraction is supposed to be wonderful high protein content, insulation.

It is something worth looking at. And I would urge the governor and have urged the governor to take a look at it. I don’t know if it makes sense or not but the gentleman that presented it to me was no kook. Chemical engineer that had done vast and extensive research into it, a fellow by the name of Harvey Prickett and obviously has done an awful lot of exploration of this. It got stifled when it was proposed some years ago because of a nematode into station in the type of – it’s a cross between a Jerusalem artichoke and a sunflower. Grows to enormous height and at that time was infested with nematodes, the type that they were utilizing. Subsequently I’m told they both Maine and then I think Idaho has developed a strain that is totally nematode free.

And it sure is – that’s the sort of development we ought to be generating, but again without an income tax who wants the 900 jobs and the families intended would go up there if it is going to cost the state money. But put a tax on of the nature I talked about (inaudible) dividend and that thing pays its way.

Terence: I think Jay there is one thing I just realized you may have some comments on this off the top of your head but what would sort of your review looking back on ANCSA and ANILCA, I mean you know that’s too complicated to go into your plan, but we’ll talk about that some other day, but what about – maybe let’s look at ANCSA first. What do you think that’s –

Hammond: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Terence: Yeah. Yeah.

Hammond: Well Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, some of my constituents I was in the legislature at the time when that was being bandied about. They came to me and said what do you think we ought to do with that perspective million dollars, lands that will be made available to us and I said hey, don’t ask me if (inaudible) tell you guys what to do with your assets. They said no, you’re our representative you ought to – did I tell you this?

Terence: Yeah, you told me just a little bit about that. But how about – how would your view be of say you know how it has worked out, you know.

Hammond: Okay.

Terence: That’s what I meant. But you told us a little bit about that similar to your last –

Hammond: I think that had they to do it over again and the Native people were polled on whether they should have created the 210, what I call mini-bureaucracies with the intended legal administrative costs or created a Permanent Fund spinning off dividends to each and every Native of an equal amount. They might have preferred to have gone Permanent Fund dividend concept. The problem you know while to its credit it has developed a number of very powerful and knowledgeable and very successful Native leaders and has accrued enormous benefits to certain select groups, the little guy you really try to help is still waiting at the end of the – watching for something to drop into his lap.

Had they done it in the manner of a Permanent Fund Dividend Program and experienced exactly the same results as the Permanent Fund has in spinning off revenues. According to Johnny Sackett, I could be wrong on these figures, Johnny Sackett did a study one time, but first initially we figured it would have yielded $1,154 dividend for each and every Alaska Native, right off the bat, if it had again experienced the same at that time with 10 or 12% earnings. Subsequently Johnny Sackett did a study that I think it was John, and I wouldn’t want to be held to this and I don’t know how accurate it is, but if some years later it would have been something like $5,400. What it would be now I don’t know. But you would have taken every Native off of welfare. You’d have given them the wherewithal to handle all your village programs, educational obligations and so forth. Sure some of them might have blown it but I suspect they would have recognized the potential and the majority view would have prevailed and that would be to manage their assets prudently.

The other thing that it would have avoided is the necessity to sell off these assets, sometimes at a loss or in a manner that is disturbing to a number of people because their land is their life and for them to have to dispose of it, which many of them are having to do now in order to sustain the many bureaucracies that were created. You could have avoided that. I don’t know whether it would have been better or not, but I wouldn’t want to prejudge for them. But to me it is a shame that they weren’t given the opportunity to look at one package versus another and things might have been different.

Now as far as the –

Terence: ANILCA you were thinking of.

Hammond: ANILCA. That, as you recall, was an extremely divisive issue. The idea of creating parks and refuges in the state and I got into big trouble there by being partially quoted. One of the most famous was when they were talking about parks and refuges locking up lands, I said, well of course the ultimate lockup is private land ownership. They forgot to put the additional language in there, which is as it of course should be. If you own a piece of property you ought to be able to keep people off of it and constrain certain activities thereon. Therefore, we should be very careful about taking lands upon which there are enormous public interests and dispose even to private ownership. Rick Halford talked about that the other day. He said man – where was he at? Where everything was, gosh where was that? Scotland I know – you got to pay enormous prices to go out trout fishing or doing whatever. And the same thing in Africa, South Africa and he said man, now I know exactly what you’re talking about – in South Africa.

Terence: And Jay –

Hammond: Well the irony of it is I was branded of course as anti-private ownership because of that statement, private ownership the ultimate lockup. And of course I tried to counter it in the most inappropriate manner possible. I said ah in the contrary I’m a great believer in private ownership. That is why I got a homestead and a cabin site or something of that nature. And of course that scored even greater contempt because Hammond’s got his, he doesn’t want us to have ours.

The irony was also if you remember Mike Burn put in a bill to dispose of all state lands and put them up for grabs, which would have been horrendous. The Arabs were already cocked and wired to come over here with helicopters and the little guy thinking he is going to get a trout stream and a moose pasture in his backyard would be the last guy to get it. But the irony was that I was being condemned for being opposed to private ownership.

Yet do you know I put more land under my administration into private ownership than all the prior governors combined? Same thing with highways. We made more miles of highway than all the other governors combined. Of course it was the Parks Highway, but nevertheless you know it is the way you look at things that distort the image. And my opponents were perfectly right to look at them in a manner. Of course I see them I’m sure distortedly to excuse my inappropriate actions or whatever.

Terence: Well and I think that you know it was such a struggle. How do you think now looking back on 20 some years does the ANILCA fare?
Because this is related to the question I have to ask you about subsistence. I’ve got to ask you about that.

Hammond: Fine.

Terence: Cause it resolved to that, okay.

Hammond: ANILCA I thought was done all wrong. The reason I felt that instead of parceling out areas that were selected parks and refuges that had certain varying degrees of protection for whatever resources were inherent therein could have been better handled by what I call a cooperative management system, creating again for lack of a better term co-mans, which would be ecosystem management. In other words, you would have lands which encompassed Native owned, federal owned, state owned, private owned lands agreeing hopefully to a plan that would elevate the protections to the degree necessary to assure the perpetuation of be it caribou or salmon that can’t read boundary signs. They don’t know when they’re crossing from a park to a refuge to private lands and so forth. In other words have instead of a park fence or boundary going up to here you’d lower it to there to allow activities that didn’t do violence to that basic resource value found within the park as long as the adjacent landowners elevated their protected devices to assure an overall plan provided that protection.

And all out congressional delegation, Gravel at the time, Stevens, and Young were all in accord with this. I went to every congressmen and senator back there, along with John Katz, trying to sell it. Mo Udall and John Sybrook, who were most ardent environmentalists back there at the time, they said hey that makes a lot of sense, but can you sell it to the conservation organizations. I couldn’t with the exception of Bob Wheaton. A few of them up here that saw the merits, but the outside conservation organizations. They were (inaudible) sighted and that has to be a park. This has to be a refuge. One of the reasons – if we had not called, well of course the refuge of ANWR was a refuge before this occurred. But once you put those polarizing terms out, I don’t think for example you should – we now modify actions.

Terence: And that’s amazing when you said about John Katz too, Jay, cause since he is still back there you know, isn’t it something I mean? Every governor since you – you were the guy that brought him thought, right? I think –

Hammond: Yeah.

Terence: Yeah, so –

Hammond: What I had him as my commissioner of natural resources. I wasn’t the first one appointed. He was in there for Egan.

Terence: Was he? Oh, okay.

Hammond: I think. Maybe – D2.

Terence: D2

Hammond: Subsistence.

Robert: ANILCA.

Terence: ANILCA and subsistence, yeah. Oh, that’s right, you couldn’t sell it –

Hammond: Well the co-mans concept again I had was unable to sell it so we came up with a proposal, my administration, that would have allocated to the federal government 40 million acres for parks and refuges and so forth. I preferred the cooperative management thing but you consisted upon creating parks and refuges here is what we thought appropriate. And what the state would be willing to consider and it involved 40 million acres. Oh, outrageous giveaway ranted. A group of folk went back to Washington that were shrieking in anguish over this suggestion.

And Tony Motley ironically turned the propeller heads. I termed them the secret weapon of the Sierra Club because no group did more to convince congress they had to protect Alaska from Alaskans and (inaudible). They went back there telling them to keep their nose out of our business. They had no business in telling us what to do with our lands and forgetting these were national lands in many instances. Torpedoed my 40 million acres and ended with 105.

But be that as it may Cec Andrus told me during the deliberations he says we’re going to do your cooperative management thing in Bristol Bay persuaded to make sense the ecosystem management concept. And he showed me his plan. Incidentally one of the plans you had the park boundaries running right through my living room practically down there at Lake Clark. And said this cooperative management all right Cec, but ain’t quite what I had in mind. You do all the managing. We do all the cooperating. And – but he tried to do something of that nature and set up a mechanism for doing it back in Bristol Bay.

Well Bruce Babbitt, when he got into office, if you recall he tried to do an ecosystem, but to go back to that after you’ve once established these things is virtually impossible. But I would much prefer rather than have a little enclave here in which there is 100% protection for caribou or salmon or whatever and right adjacent to it the degree of desecration’s left at the whims of the owner, have 70% protection over the whole thing.

And as I say, our congressional delegation all were in accord with it. It would have been a showcase for the country. And again the world’s worst soap salesman fellows. It didn’t happen.

Terence: Well now to what extent did the differences of opinion though between Gravel and Stevens you know in the final –

Hammond: They were if anything Gravel was more supportive of putting more lands under cooperative management concept than – now one of the things that –

Terence: You haven’t talked about Gravel. We should say something about him, you know just his –

Hammond: Gravel was a very interesting fellow and I used to shudder every time I’d be back in Washington and I’d get a call from Peggy Hackett or somebody who was running the office back there that Senator Gravel wished to speak with you because I would go up and he invariably would have some scheme, be it antigravitational transportation devices or domed Teflon tented city or something of that nature, which if only I would render my support would fly. And I’d listen to these – very imaginative guy I’ll hand that to him, but totally off the wall in regard to some of those things.

And but I will say on the cooperative management thing he was ardently supportive of that, saw the merits of an ecosystem management concept, which I think in retrospect many agree had it been done prior to establishment of refuge in the Arctic – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which was before all this of course came about. But had that been termed the (inaudible) for example and people say well we’re going to allow oil development only if it does not do violence to the Porcupine caribou as determined by the biologist, not the petroleum engineers I think people would have been acceptant.

It is when you start doing things in areas that are in people’s mind so pristine that you shouldn’t allow anything. And what we’ve tried to do subsequently we’ve modified what traditionally a park doesn’t allow hunting, ah, but we’re going to allow it. And by that action it permits me by virtue of my rural residency in Lake Clark. I can go sheep hunting in Lake Clark. Only wish I could, but I couldn’t do it anymore, but by virtue of my rural residence. Not that I need it, not that I’m any more (inaudible). Hey, there’s something wrong with that. I by virtue of my rural residency theoretically if there were a caribou subsistence use only season imposed on the North Slope, I could go up there and participate. A Barrow Native who has done it all his life now is living in Fairbanks couldn’t. There is something really wrong with that.

There are means of adjusting remedying that which I think – I don’t know whether a governor wants to resurrect it, but he when I was asked by him to meet with him here during the last legislative session and over which I expressed apprehension having not supported him in the campaign I thought there might be a little residual resentment but for my (inaudible) and so forth. And he was very convivial and much more open minded than I expected him to be.

In fact when we got through he said I’d like to hire you as a consultant. At no pay of course but transportation per diem. First thing I’d like you to do is give me a history of subsistence. So I ferreted out about a dozen articles I had done, filled in the blanks and so forth and he was very appreciative of that. I hope he’s not going to take that up I hope in the near future.

But there are ways of solving that rather simply that would accommodate the concerns of both the true subsistence needs and the legitimate concerns of the Dick Bishop’s and some of the outdoor council that again appreciate the outrageous disparity between letting someone like myself, not needful of going on the North Slope and they can’t. You know there are qualifications we can’t – Wally Hickel to credit him came very close. He had my idea the subsistence issue solved if the legislature had only gone along with his proposal and it did require however a small constitutional amendment.

He had appointed a subsistence task force of which sat heavy hitters from the Native community Mitch Demientieff, Mancy Etta (?), Byron Mallott; on the other side Dick Bishop, John Burns, Charlie Cole. We came up with a plan that a 100% support of everybody on that, unanimous. But it required a small constitutional amendment. The Natives, some of the more (inaudible) Natives frankly want federal management because the feds could say the Natives only. And if you think we got disruption in the ranks now, you do something like that and the cooler heads prevail.

Well these gentlemen on that task force recognized that. They were willing to support this thing but they said we still would like the constitutional amendment to amplify the subsistence uses or the prime use. And Wally said I’m going to hold that as a bargaining chip with Manuel Lujan, the then Secretary of Interior. I’m not sure what his motives were but he didn’t submit that amendment and the Natives backed off then in supporting the basic provision before the legislature and it went down hill. I think resurrecting Wally’s initial approach with some modifications could resolve this subsistence issue to the point you wouldn’t even be talking about five years.

Terence: Jay, so do you think that the – cause you had – what was your thing – eat it where you shoot it didn’t was that you?

Hammond: Eat it where you shoot it?

Terence: Yeah.

Hammond: That was – I had said that what we should do is not deny anybody from elsewhere the opportunity to come down say hunt and fish in the Lake Clark area, but you don’t haul it back to where you came from. You stay there and consume it. And that’s where the eat it where you shoot it or something came out, yeah.

But the last plan that I presented – I was back in Washington. My wife and I were walking past the Interior Department. Bella said why don’t you go up and see Babbitt. I had known Babbitt long before he was Secretary of – before he was governor. We were both governors at the same time. And I said you can’t just go off the street and see the Secretary of Interior. You got to get an appointment. If you know Bella, she said go ahead. So we went in, went through security and he called us to come on up. Gave us his whole lunch hour.

And while there I bounced off of him the proposed subsistence amendment. He said hey (inaudible) I can buy that but where are the Natives. I said I don’t know, but I’ll find out. I went to Julie Kitka and Byron Mallott. Byron was pretty receptive. It was along the lines of ecosystem management as I mentioned before. And Julie had been locked onto an AFN position, no amendments to ANILCA. This required a slight amendment to ANILCA, but now it is going to be that much tougher to solve because too many of the Native people are perfectly happy with federal management. They don’t want to go back to state management. I think I the long term that is a disservice to the state’s resources because it is a bifurcated management system that is going to get increasingly chaotic.

Terence: And I think Jay looking back I think that’s the biggest failure in (inaudible) statehood, losing the right to control you know I mean more than anything else, but that’s –

Hammond: And I would suggest this. Insofar as to adopt, incidentally the amendment I’m talking about (inaudible) off guys like Fred Dyson, who was all for it; Bishop who went back as I say to the ecosystem management thing didn’t preclude the possibility of people from elsewhere participating and that they could jump through certain hoops which was the basis of all of these proposals. And my counsel to the governor would be that put that out in the form of a constitutional amendment. Along with the legislature which would implement it.

See one of the problems; let me give you an example of the abuses that could occur if we don’t do this. We don’t want to say the only time that they can impose this subsistence use only (inaudible) is when the harvest, traditional harvest, over say the past five years cannot be met. If they do as the feds said, that you have to set aside the opportunity for every resident in one of these areas to harvest say a moose. In the Lake Clark, Iliamna area where there may be a thousand people and their average moose harvest over the year has been say 50, suddenly you have to reserve a thousand moose before everybody, including women and children, have an opportunity to harvest one. That way, before anybody else could come in and participate. Total abuse of the intent. That has to be structured into the implementing legislature. That is what is going to prevent abuses.

It can be done and almost everybody I’ve talked is pretty much in accord with it. But the Natives will never collectively support it. Individually I think those that recognize that bifurcated system and the hazards it poses for the future will, but I’d say governor put out the ecosystem management – not ecosystem management but the subsistence approach that I mentioned before, along with the implementing legislature. Let it stand or fall. If they vote it down, fine. If they vote it in, you’ve got in place a system that I think would take care of everybody’s legitimate concerns. Now those that want to grab it all for themselves aren’t going to be accommodated under that so they are going to fight it.

Terence: I think you’re right. The only way that most of the Native groups would give up the federal management is that they feel that that federal management is more of a threat than state management. You know, I mean who knows the federal could always change and they could change their policies and say no you know Friends of the Earth you know.

Hammond: One of the aggravations that led to the Natives’ position and I can understand this, I put in the bill that created the local Advisory Committees. The problem with the local Advisory Committees is they perceive in themselves as having virtually no meaningful input. We make our recommendations and the main board ignores us. Somehow we should upgrade the capability of local people making local decisions that don’t adversely impact the interests of statewide.

Give an example. Down in Bristol Bay one year there were five regulations dealing with such things as how far a set net should go out from the beach, whether they ought to be perpendicular to the beach. Things that nobody – who cares – Barrow and Fairbanks. The board deliberated these things for who knows how long. I have suggested and I demanded it when I was governor because I thought it might create too much of a bureaucratic structure, but if we had given these areas, say seven areas of the state regional boards comprised of seven – the chairman of seven Advisory Committees with powers to enact and actually implement legislation that had no adverse impact on folks from elsewhere. If it did, then it went to a master board comprised of the chairman of each of these groups.

Sounded like two ponderous political complex. But that I think would have alleviated much of the concern on the part of the Natives now because they would have a say as to how these things are managed to a much greater degree than they experienced in the past. The frustration is what has led them to believe we want state management. Too late to do anything about it? I don’t know. I think it is worth a try but let’s lay some of these other things to rest like fiscal gaps.

Terence: Oh, just two more things. One is I didn’t ask you about Joe Vogler.

Hammond:Joe Vogler.

Terence: We should say something about him. What – because he ran against you, did he run in ’74, did he? I don’t know if he ran in ’74.

Hammond: I think he – he may have run twice. Joe Vogler – my first encounter with Joe came at one of these so-called press conferences with – who was the little guy that had the newspaper in Fairbanks?

Terence: Or Tom Snap.

Hammond: Yeah, Tom, yeah, Tom Snap. And all the gubernatorial candidates were there. And I had read some of Joe’s Letters to the Editor and knew something about him but not very much. And old Joe got up and we all made our presentations and at the end of it Joe came past me and he says, Hammond, you know if I can’t win this thing, I kind of hope you do cause you the least worst of those other guys, least worst.

Then I said something to the effect later on – at some gathering other you know I’ve heard something that Joe had said about me that I was supposing he was posy-sniffing swine and I thought that was a colorful appellation. I kind of appreciated Joe’s use thereof. Maybe a Tom Snap thing and he came up later. But I found out only a short time before – I think it was after Joe’s death I saw a congressional – where that statement of his had originated was at a congressional hearing that Joe was attending. And what he had said in full context was this – though Hammond may be a posy-sniffing swine; he still was not in the hind pockets of the oil companies. And from Joe that was praise indeed, but how a little bit of shift and Joe and I really became quite good friends. I saw him about two weeks before he was murdered at some function up there and I admired the old guy – gutsy, cantankerous, and maybe off base –

– Break –

Hammond: Providing access to different locals but he had in his last campaign he was much more reasonable and he also – he and I shared another very significant interest and that was that of commonwealth status. Joe was an advocate, fervent advocate of commonwealth status. All I wanted to look at it. When I become suspicious when people won’t lift up the rocks and look at things and because they wouldn’t even let us talk about it virtually back then was another reason I voted against statehood. I did not idealistically, but I didn’t like what I felt was being obscured.

Terence: And right there’s no doubt that statehood was like a religious fervor wasn’t it I mean in the 50’s, wasn’t it I mean?

Hammond: Well yeah, it was the kiss of death to oppose statehood theoretically and you know again Rampart Dam was of the same magnitude and again I’ve always been on the opposing side of the issue of the moment.

Terence: Okay, I want to ask you now – this is one form of question, but how do you, you know, particular your kids and the people of Alaska because you know you’re really well so admired and you’re probably the most admired politician, you know against your better wishes, in Alaska, but probably in Alaska history, probably the most beloved I’d say. But how would you like to be remembered? What do you think that – how should Jay Hammond be remembered? What – because we’re talking to the teacher here now, so that is what this is supposed to be?

Hammond: Well I would hope that if I’m remembered at all that it be on the basis of having put the concerns, future concerns of the state ahead of either of my election or the short-term interests of the state and hopefully had persuaded us to adhere to that mandate in the constitution to develop our resources to the maximum benefit of all Alaskans and if we make a few small steps towards that objective that will be worth enough to me.

But I – you mentioned some time – one time somebody asked me – he said geez to what do you attribute your late found popularity? Polls seem to indicate that you’re much more popular than you were back in the days when the Anchorage Times and the Teamsters and all sorts of folk were bombing you. Clem Tillion said that he had the quick answer for that and that is that nobody knew exactly where Hammond stood. Everybody thinks you’re with them.

And Lee Jordan, the frontiersman had a newspaper up here in Palmer, wrote an editorial. I’ve got a framed copy of it and it is my wife’s favorite and it is along that same vein. He said I first went to hear Hammond speak I was fascinated. I sat there and I would write things down and I’d listen a little further and I’d cross them out and I’d listen further and I’d cross it out and I’d listen further and cross it out, but I came away bedazzled with what he had to say. And I’m riding back with Sam Cotten and Randy Phillips (doorbell).

– Break, doorbell –

Hammond: And Lee Jordan and Randy Phillips and Sam Cotten are riding back and talking about the presentation I’d made. And they all were very much impressed and favorably disposed of what I had to say. The only thing none of them could agree as to just what it was.

And perfect example of that is the Kanagan blast. I don’t do this calculatedly, but the Kanagan blast. Do you remember that? When they were going to detonate an atomic device in the Amchitka Island. Well I had spent some time years ago incidentally transplanting sea otter – capturing and transplanting sea otter. Anyhow, the legislature was being caught in a bind. Hey kids.

Terence: Wait.

Hammond: Kids.

– Break, kids arrive home –

Terence: So we were talking Kanagan blast, anyhow the legislature is being bombed by both newspapers for not taking a stance either in support of or opposition to. The development oriented Anchorage Times of course was of course demanding they come out with a resolution in support. The conservation oriented Anchorage News said they come up in opposition. And we’re doing our usual dithering dance not wanting to offend anybody and not coming down on either side and getting hammered unmercifully by both papers and all sorts of interests throughout the state.

So I wrote a resolution and I took it first developmental interests – Ron Redrick and Jack White and Carl Brady and what about this? And they looked at it, yeah, that’s fine. I can go with that. And then I took it to Lowell Thomas, who headed the conservation minded types, and said how about that, Lowell? Yeah, great, I can go with that. Passed unanimously. Passed unanimously.

The Anchorage Times, that of course came out in the afternoon, wrote their banner headline – Legislature Supports Kanagan. The Anchorage News that comes out in the morning – Legislature Opposes Kanagan. The Anchorage Times literally took their first edition off the shelves and restructured their headline – Legislature Didn’t Know What They Were Doing or something. Well they knew exactly what we were doing.

What I did I handled it the same way I did ANWR with the Audubon people. You lay out what everybody on each side subjectives are and cite instances that if they are accommodated of course and the essence of the Kanagan thing was if it didn’t do what the environmentalists were concerned about, which of course the developmental people were assured it did not and consequently if it showed or demonstrated the feasibility without doing environmental damage everybody – there was nothing in it you could attack piecemeal.

As a consequence that happened at that level. Then when I was back as a member of the National Audubon, another prime example of exactly the same thing. Audubon was being hammered on by Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society come out with an adamant opposition to ANWR.

And a fellow by the name of Scott Reed, an attorney from Idaho and myself who had kindred kind of perverse sense of humor, wrote a – mind you now on the Audubon Board there are two oil development – John Whitaker who worked for Wally Hickel was an interior one and I don’t remember the other one, we wrote a resolution which passed unanimously. These guys did essentially the same thing. Hey, if this occurs and that doesn’t and so forth who can object and so forth.

And they went back to their corporate board rooms and got thumped about the head and shoulders. That is like saying no to ANWR. Because while everybody agreed and individually each of these should be done, the likelihood of them being done was virtually nil. So it was conditional yes or conditional no, but it was defensible. I could come back to Alaska because everybody up here would agree that you should do these things, but the likelihood of them occurring frankly was not very great.

Anyhow they came back then these oil company guys determined to amend that resolution and change it around. We marched them through this drill again piecemeal, well don’t you agree? Well yeah. Well don’t you agree now? Well – passed unanimously again.

Liz Razback, who was a lobbyist for Audubon, wrote me a letter. She said would you write that up. I was really impressed with your arguments. Would you write them up in a form of a letter to every congressman? I’ll present each congressman and senator. I said Liz you remember what those arguments were. I don’t. I had too much on my platter t the moment, you write up what you think is an appropriate letter and I’ll review it and if it’s appropriate, sign it. And she did and did a pretty job. I edited it slightly and it went to every congressman and senator.

The first thing I heard when I thought boy I’m going to be in real big trouble. I get a letter from Mo Udall. Mo Udall, bring in this note and it said, hey, right on target as usual. Great idea. And I thought oh, wait a minute, what am I going to hear from Don Young. The next thing I heard was from Ed Weber, the president emeritus of the Sierra Club in San Francisco. Just saw your letter in the San Francisco Chronicle or whatever to Don Young. Wonderful.

Woo, I never heard a heard a word from anybody. I thought the congressional delegation or the Anchorage Times would thump or bang me about the head and shoulders, never did. But because you could piecemeal it and each individual item you couldn’t oppose.

Well subsequently the Sierra Club, I mean Audubon, after I left, they knuckled under. They came out with an ad, but no, the things I had in that resolution are things that all should be done. In other words whereas one of the things was a study by National Science Foundation verified the fact that ANWR oil was crucial to the nation’s energy needs and whereas congress was persuaded that it could be developed in such a way as not to endanger the Porcupine caribou herd and whereas which congress of course has been so – but who can object to that. And that’s the way you get things done of that nature rather than coming down adamantly on one side or another. And hopefully the same thing – I’ve developed 20, 20 positive actions that would occur in the wake of fiscal gap resolution that I proposed, that Halford most recently said tell me one of those things that wouldn’t occur or couldn’t occur under that rather than simplistically arguing pro or con you got to develop the pieces and put them together finally.

Terence: Well you know Jay that’s an interesting cause –

Terence: Okay. Why I think that we’re about done. But that is just skills of legislator though too and executive. You know your time in the legislature really –