As I write today, there are at least three conservative candidates running for Anchorage Mayor in April. They are Bill Evans, Mike Robbins, and Dave Bronson. As of today, there are at least 10 candidates, most of them on the left, most of them pretending to be something other than what they are (Forrest Dunbar and Bill Falsey, this means you).
I have met two of the gentlemen and believe either would be a vast improvement over what we have gone through for the last 6 years. Have not yet had the pleasure to meet the third, though as the campaign season progresses, expect that to change.
Two thoughts occur to me regarding this election that I would like to discuss this morning:
- Conservative fratricide. Splitting the conservative vote among at least 3 conservatives and another 2-3 pretend conservatives, thus splitting the vote and propelling the designated lefty to a commanding position in any runoff or even an outright win.
- The Anchorage Assembly.
Somewhere along the line, the three conservatives need to put their heads together and two of them agree to drop out of the race. As of today, all three are raising money and putting campaign signs up across Anchorage. The end of January might be too late for reasons stated above.
The second issue lurking out there is the Anchorage Assembly, with its veto-proof 9-2 majority. This majority was installed over the course of the last decade mostly by public employee unions (Police, Fire, Teachers) and the actions of our old friends in the IBEW and Vince Beltrami’s AFL/CIO. Whomever gets elected will have to deal with both the current Assembly and the unions that installed them
How to do this? One way would be to remove existing speed bumps to recall of 1 – 5 current Assembly members by Mayor Berkowitz’ (and Quinn-Davidson’s) Municipal Attorney and the Municipal Clerk and let the voters have their say. Removal of those speed bumps ought to be a Day 1 in office task.
Day 2 task ought to be to start working on the union members who installed and currently maintain that majority. Argument? Wanton theft of at least 60% of $157 million in CARES Act funds for government, leaving businesses who pay the tax burden in this town to twist slowly, slowly in the wind, strangled by endless lockdown and masking orders. A second argument would be the burgeoning homeless problem, created by the last two Mayors and their Assembly over the course of the last half decade in office.
If it were me (and it clearly isn’t), I would put the Assembly into play this election cycle, forcing them and their members running for Mayor along with anybody who worked in the Berkowitz administration to defend their sorry record in public. They have thin skins, are prone to name calling, and have redefined a new level of arrogance, privilege, and entitlement for elected people in this town.
Finally, I would present a future, a plausible future, one that is possible if and when we get the Assembly and the current infestation in the Hill Building out of office.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He was a small business owner and Information Technology professional.