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Thursday, April 26, 2018
HomeTop NewsBerkowitz trots out governor, police chief, in last-minute campaign event

Berkowitz trots out governor, police chief, in last-minute campaign event

CAMPAIGNING ABOUT CRIME NOW?

A mayor’s press conference using both Gov. Bill Walker and Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll as campaign surrogates was staged in the Governor’s Office on Friday morning.

Some saw it as a last-minute campaign stop for Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who is being challenged by a law-and-order candidate, Rebecca Logan.

Hawkins

Berkowitz and Walker announced a partnership between the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office, the Municipal Prosecutor’s Office, and the Anchorage Police Department that involves moving employees around. Two APD officers will be reassigned from stopping crime to helping prosecutors with investigations.

“Public safety is our top priority, and we are finding new ways to cooperate across state and municipal lines for the benefit of all Anchorage residents,” Berkowitz said. “This effort is made possible by the growth of the Anchorage Police Department, and the willingness of the prosecuting agencies to adopt innovative solutions in the face of the state fiscal crisis.”

With both the governor and police chief as props, the focus was actually on prosecutions, rather than arrests.

“It’s a good day to sign an agreement like that,” Walker said, “and advance our mutual goals of protecting Alaskans, so thank you very much, Mayor Berkowitz.”

“These positions will improve the quality and efficiency of our investigations, making Anchorage safer,” said Chief Doll.

A state-funded municipal prosecutor will also be made a special assistant district attorney for these prosecutions. “

Expanding the capacity of the state’s prosecutors in Anchorage is a good step to hold bad actors accountable, protect survivors, and use our resources efficiently — a mutually beneficial plan to reinforce the strength of our justice system and build a safer Alaska,” said Attorney General Lindemuth.

[Watch the press conference here and decide for yourself if it is a campaign event]

WILL IT WORK?

Berkowitz may have a clear shot at re-election, which is why he seemed unconcerned about appearing with a governor whose re-election prospects are less than certain. But it was clear to radio talk show host Dave Stieren that this was all about the Tuesday election deadline.

“They start the fire in your home, watch it burn, then try to put it out, and tell you they’re doing you a favor. I call BS,” Stieren wrote on Facebook. Others agreed, with most comments on Berkowitz’s Facebook page saying that it was “too little, too late.”

“They had to televise the fact that all of these public paid offices charged with protecting citizens and ‘keeping the peace’ are suddenly going to actually do the jobs they were ALL hired to do? What’s next, cake, ice cream and balloons for these buffoons?” said one commenter.

“You have done a great job….giving criminals rights and not protecting the law abiding citizens. Raising taxes, stealing the PFD, growing government I can’t wait till you are GONE! You have served yourselves well!” another offered.

Even the ACLU’s communication director and former Alaska Republican Party communication director Casey Reynolds agreed with Stieren:

“Justin Doll says APD doesn’t get involved in campaigns? This is clearly a campaign event to help Ethan get re-elected Tuesday. There are plenty of examples from Berkowitz’ campaign Facebook page of Doll politically schilling for the Mayor. Like this one:” – Casey Reynolds

Reynolds provided other examples of blatant use of Anchorage’s top lawman in the mayor’s reelection:

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Talk to the hand, Walker! You refused to veto SB91, after you were warned this rise in crime would happen. Public safety has never been your goal. You cut Choose Respect and signed SB91 into law without reservation – knowing the implications. Nothing you say now matters. You will be out in 8 glorious months.

    • Crime was rising before SB 91 passed.

  • And Stieren is correct! Of course they started the fire and this little backscratching show is an insult to all of us who see it. It’s all about getting re-elected. “Don’t go out after midnight and you’ll be ok,” Berkowitz said. In other words, “Stay locked in your homes and ignore the shootings.” Brilliant. Thank you to our governor and mayor for keeping us unsafe, not doing their jobs, insulting us and putting us dead last in the country for public safety! And they try to spin us with this little frat boy show.

  • I agree with Michele regarding SB91. We are seeing too many criminals with multiple felonies roaming the streets or being sent to Cordova house where it seems they can just walk out at their leisure. What good is prosecuting those violent criminals if they get to walk with a slap in the wrist?

    • Some respond to your complaint by saying: “Well, there isn’t much Mayor Berkowitz can do about that…”. But the rub is in that the current Mayor has said or done VERY LITTLE about the deficiencies in SB 91. Apparently, to him, it is best that the Mayor of this community stand by, do NOTHING and not even speak out on this issue. Meanwhile, we have record rates of homicide, auto theft and dangerous criminals are simply released. He is an embarrassment to the community.

    • Legislators failed to fund the positions required to implement SB 91 including more prosecutors and public defenders.

      • That is a smokescreen. SB 91 was based on the flawed premise that crime was declining. In fact, crime rates were increasing when SB 91 was passed. SB 91 is flawed public policy. Releasing dangerous offenders and imposing light sentences in the middle of an opioid epidemic will not deter crime. Mayor Berkowitz refuses to acknowledge the problems and thereby has made matters much worse.

  • This is nothing more than a protection racket: The police and firefighters look out for Berkowitz; Berkowitz looks out for the police and firefighters; they use your money to pay everyone off and tell you that they care about public safety.

    Guiding principle of the Left: Acquire and retain power BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

    • Mayor Sullivan cut the police department to the bone, Berkowitz is cleaning up Sullivan’s mess.

      • Hiring more police will not solve problems when many of those arrested are simply released without bail. That is one of principal problems with SB 91.

      • When you inherit multi- million dollar deficits, you have to work smarter with the personnel you have. As the UAA Justice Institute study confirmed, it’s not how many officers you have, it’s how they are deployed. We reduced crime every year I served as mayor. Public safety is about one thing – results. By the way, the APD budget grew by 10 million dollars during my tenure. How is that cutting to the bone? Another false narrative. Berkowitz has made his own mess.

  • Does any resident of ANY city feel safer when their police are political operatives?

  • Suzanne, keep it up. More people need to know the true facts. I watched channel 7 ladt night and saw a young Berkowitz and a chancy croft. Move forward 25 years and I still saw a 25 year older croft and Berkowitz. WTH?
    Both these guys made their retirement on the public dole. What the f__k?

  • What wasn’t mentioned in this arcticle; as I understand this joint venture on crime, this team will specifically be targeting domestic violence issues. In the KTVA reporting of this joint venture on crime, their report specifically spells the domestic violence crimes.

  • Good luck berk and walker no chance in hell we would vote for u again…

  • Berky will never get my vote. Gives the city employees the kitchen sink with “Your” money! Take a good look at city retirements, pay medical/dental, then look at yours! Wake up People!

  • Public safety is our top priority? Just read paper or watch the news. “Nothing at this time Chair.”

    • It’s true he does have a lot to say about crime, but it’s usually only during an election. Maybe we need an election everyday because thats when he has all the answers. be honest Ethen, getting elected is out top priority.

  • People it’s call wag the dog..what a failure both B and Walker are!

  • Spendowitz is so dumb that he doesn’t realize that bringing the biggest thief and failure of a Police Department in the State Dooms his chances..

  • Two Washed up Ambulance Chasers running our Government and largest city. Really?
    What could possibly go wrong?

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