By SUZANNE DOWNING / MUST READ AMERICA
In an editorial by the Anchorage Daily News on Saturday, the largest newspaper in Alaska sniffed and talked down its bespectacled nose to the winner-apparent of the mayoral election in Anchorage.
Although Dave Bronson has had the courtesy not to declare himself the winner prematurely, it’s evident that he has won that election and that the newspaper editorial board has lost. The writer of the ADN editorial is clearly grieving, just like the liberals on Twitter, where there is the expected wringing of hands, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
Mind you, we are talking about a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that did not have the courage to take a stand on who should be mayor of a city that represents over 38 percent of the state’s population. It remained neutral, after having endorsed Bill Evans in the April 6 election. Evans got less than 10 percent of the vote. For the runoff, the ADN played dead.
Now, ADN management has decided it better give Bronson a shot from its editorial bow: He will have to be the mayor for all of Anchorage, including those who didn’t vote for him.
Thanks, ADN, for stating the obvious. This is a slap at Bronson, rather than a handshake, from the ineffectual intellectuals.
The editorial might have been: “Congratulations, Anchorage. We have a new mayor. This city has been through a lot without even having an elected mayor for eight months, and for having a terrible disgrace of a mayor before that. Remember that Ethan guy who couldn’t keep his pants on? Let’s get behind the new mayor and help him be successful. The battle is over, so let’s move on to brighter days ahead.”
Here’s what the ADN said: “And for the past year, it has been some of Bronson’s most ardent supporters who have showed up en masse to Assembly meetings, delivering invective testimony, protesting and even burning a mask during the proceedings. As mayor, Bronson will have to balance the wishes of those supporters with those of the rest of the municipality — including the nearly 50% who supported a candidate Bronson and his supporters vilified.”
This is not the advice the newspaper gave former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who ran the city into ruin with the complete gutting of the downtown economy, and with the now-historic vacancy rates in Class A real estate. It’s also not likely that the editorial board would have lectured Forrest Dunbar, had he won. No, the writers would have popped the champagne and lauded Dunbar as the future of Anchorage.
Here’s what the ADN said: “It is that responsibility — to govern for all of the city, not just one’s own supporters — that makes holding the office so much more difficult than running for it. It’s possible to act as though those supporters are the only constituents who matter, and some politicians do. But the sharp ones realize that to move a city forward, that’s the wrong tack. And not just because being responsive to all residents is the right thing to do: The political reality is that Bronson will accomplish little if he isn’t willing to work with the Assembly. And the Assembly much more closely resembles the half of the municipality that voted for his opponent.”
Really. The newspaper is telling Bronson he’d better get on board the leftist agenda. He shouldn’t try to make good on his promise to voters.
The newspaper without the courage to take a stand now has shown its cards: It was always all-in for Dunbar.
The newspaper continued with its nose held high and its eyebrow raised, but we’ll summarize: Bronson has no experience. He had better lean on the experience of the extremists on the Assembly. This will be a steep learning curve for him. He should not settle scores with those who didn’t support him on the Assembly (Dunbar, Quinn-Davidson, Perez-Verdia, Peterson, Constant, Weddleton, Rivera, Zalatel, LaFrance).
What the newspaper could have said is it’s time for the Assembly members who didn’t support Bronson to drop their destructive plans for ruining Bronson before he is sworn in. They, too, need to act like leaders and not further damage the once-great city of Anchorage with their anti-business policies.
Those supporters of Bronson that the newspaper disparages? Those are business people. Showing up en masse? When was that ever a crime in America? Petitioning the “government for a redress of grievances,” as expressed in the First Amendment? How is it that the free press is now criticizing the people of the community and protecting the power of their lords?
This election was as much a referendum on the Assembly as anything else, which is why the Assembly quickly removed its mask mandate; they know that four seats are up next April, and that the citizens have been activated. They are already looking at those four assembly seats that will come up in 2022.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be Mayor Bronson will have to get used to the beatings from the ADN editorial board, which has now given a dog whistle to its writers that they can unleash the hounds of hell on Bronson and there will be nothing but support from the top. There will be no repercussions from management for unfair reporting.
The ADN had it right on one sentence of its diatribe against Bronson and those whom the newspaper finds to be his distasteful supporters, who comprise 50 percent of the Anchorage bowl: “In order for Anchorage to move forward, we’ll need a mayor and Assembly who can work with one another, regardless of ideological differences. That work should start today, because there’s plenty of ground to cover.”
We can agree on that much: Leaders need to work together for the common good. But politics is about ideology and elections have consequences. We’ve seen those consequences for the past six years. Anchorage is ready for a new direction.
Suzanne Downing writes for Must Read Alaska, Must Read America, and NewsMax.