http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/02/12/alaska_moves_to_repair_image/ "It's known as The Last Frontier. But lately, Alaska is worried the rest of America sees it as the Freeloading Frontier. "Governor Frank Murkowski says it is time for an image makeover. He wants the state to hire a public relations firm to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal dollars and all too willing to plunder the environment for profit. ... "Alaska suffered another setback a few months ago during the furor over $450 million Congress appropriated for two ''Bridges to Nowhere" that became symbols of wasteful spending. Late-night comics mocked Alaska, and a columnist at the Washington Post jokingly recommended the United States sell Alaska back to Russia. "In reaction, Murkowski announced during his State of the State Address in January a plan to counter misperceptions about Alaska. 'Alaska does not just take. We give, and we have the capacity to give much, much more -- if permitted to do so,' he said. "Alaska is one of the top recipients of federal largesse. In 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, Alaska received $1.89 in federal spending for every $1 the state paid in taxes to Washington, according to the Tax Foundation. "At the same time, Alaska residents pay no state income tax, and only a few cities have a sales tax." * * * It's sure no surprise that a Republican stronghold would just take, take, take, and then hire a PR firm rather than look in the mirror. It affirms my belief that Republicans more than Democrats are self-serving opportunists.