Paper asks candidates about Native 8(a) government contracts
The Anchorage Daily News asked the candidates for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House about the federal contracting program for tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Here are the responses from the major party candidates.

Senate candidate Scott McAdams (D): "I want to continue the 8(a) program largely as it is, though some reforms are necessary to ensure transparency and accountability, including increased documentation of shareholder benefits. It is an important program that has served to benefit Alaska Native corporations and their shareholders. These reforms will strengthen the program and protect it from erroneous attacks."

Senate candidate Joe Miller (R): "We should reform it. Section 8(a) under the Small Business Act (SBA) is intended to foster business ownership for "individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged." The program is also designed to "promote the competitive viability" of these firms by "providing contract, technical, and management assistance." But awarding "no bid" contracts is simply wrong, whether the recipient is Native or Non-Native. Instead, 8(a) contracts should be about promoting quality work, competitiveness, and shareholder employment."

Senate candidate Lisa MurkowskI (R): "I would oppose and fight any legislation that strips Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiians of the contracting preferences afforded to them. We must reform the program to ensure it works the way it was intended. Completely removing these contracting preferences would set back the progress we have made to address the poverty experienced by our nation's first peoples."

House candidate Harry Crawford (D): I think it should be continued with an eye towards eventual transition when the Native Corporations are able."

House candidate Don Young (R): It is my opinion that the 8(a) program should continue as is today. The program provides economic opportunity for Alaska Natives and is a major economic driver for the state as a whole."

Get the Story:
Congress candidate Q & A: 8(a) federal contracting (The Anchorage Daily News 10/22)