Alaska top Democrats oppose Kroger-Albertsons merger

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Led by Anchorage Republican Sen. Cathy Giessel, more than one quarter of the members of the Alaska State Legislature wrote to the Federal Trade Commission, urging the government to block the Kroger-Albertsons grocery store merger.

Nearly all of the signers are Democrats or lawmakers who can’t get elected if they are listed as Republican, so choose to list themselves as Undeclared.

The letter was signed by Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski, Sen. Loki Tobin, Sen. Matt Claman, Sen. Jesse Kiehl, Sen. Scott Kawasaki, Sen. Forrest Dunbar, sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson. Republicans senator who signed the letter included Sen. Rob Myers, Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, and Sen. Click Bishop.

It’s unusual that Sen. Rob Myers of Fairbanks signed the letter since he was banished from the Senate’s Democrat-dominated majority.

From the House, Democrat Rep. Genevieve Mina, Rep. Alyse Galvin, Rep. Ashley Carrick, Rep. Zack Fields, Rep. Donna Mears, Rep. Cliff Groh, Rep. Jennie Armstrong, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, Rep. Calvin Schrage, Rep. Andi Story, Rep. Sara Hannan, Andy Josephson and Republican-in-name-only Rep. Louise Stutes, who caucuses with Democrats.

The group falsely claimed to the FTC that Kroger would close 14 stores throughout Alaska, when in actuality the plan is to sell the stores. But according to these lawmakers this would leave “thousands of Alaskans unsure about the future of their employment, access to food supplies, and overall competitiveness to keep prices reasonable and low.

“Alaska is facing major uphill battles in recruiting and retaining skilled workers in all industries, while also struggling to keep residents in the state,” said Giessel who was once a conservative but now caucuses with the Democrats. “When you add on major store closures, decrease grocery options, and set the stage for antitrust practices in this state, it puts an additional strain on an economy that we are striving to improve for working Alaska families.”

Rep. Mary Peltola, along with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have also gone on record opposing the merger.

“One of the basic functions of government is to provide opportunities and paths for success. We hope that Chair Khan and the Commission will embrace this fundamental value while considering the proposed merger and think about the impact to the Alaska economy and its citizens – from food security to quality employment where Alaskans can earn a living wage,” said Sen. Wielechowski. “We see no benefit to the residents of the state of Alaska with this merger, only increased hurdles.”

According to news reports, sources claim the FTC is not satisfied with the $24.6 billion deal, even if Kroger and Albertsons divest over 400 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers.

The Federal Trade Commission may be preparing to legally challenge the merger in court, and representatives on both sides are meeting this week to talk about the deal.

In Supermarket News, sources said the FTC will probably take Kroger and Albertsons to court over the sale of the stores to C&S.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Food is too cheap in Alaska. True capitalists and conservatives (who own stock in this company) should hold the line, until the price of groceries increases by 500%. At which pont, conservatives should then demand that all Fred Meyer and Carr’s stores close until such time that all employees are fired and only minimum wage workers are hired to replace them.

    Starving poor people and lowering wages are the key to liberty.

    • You joke, but this is largely true. It’s going to take a rude wakeup call to the tune of ridiculous prices at the store in the range of 10-20x normal for people to realize we need to reduce the minimum wage for these kinds of jobs. People aren’t supposed to make a living flipping burgers or bagging groceries. These jobs are unskilled labor for kids to get introduced to the workforce.

      • Yet there are solicitors out there wanting us to sign a petition to raise the minimum wage. They do not realize how many will lose a job as a result.

        • I always tell them it’s basic elementary economics. You have to pay the working class less so that goods and services cost less. For some reason leftists can’t understand that concept and demand a living wage for everyone everywhere they see doing any kind of task that even marginally benefits society.

  2. I wonder which labor union wrote the letter? With a few exceptions, most of the signatories had probably never heard of the Federal Trade Commission or have any idea about the agency’s responsibilities.

  3. Dems just want a fallback grocery store to shop at when their next protest for more degeneracy kicks off.

  4. Fred Meyers/Albertsons merger has nothing to do with “Alaska is facing major uphill battles in recruiting and retaining skilled workers in all industries, while also struggling to keep residents in the state.” Even having all their stores here they are still understaffed. I see we do have the right amount of Alaskans who can find a job (any job) if they wanted to work and work longer than one year not quitting in less than six months. If the same legislators opposing the merger held educators accountable and did something about drugs and crime we could turn the tide away from churning out more illiterate and or criminal or lazy Alaskans from Alaska schools not seeing the benefits about employment even the jobs as being a grocer associate.

  5. I was just having this conversations with my child about if I had a better education including not stop attending high school at ninth grade, I am capable enough I should been promoted by now into my workplace’s assistant manager being trained to one day take over as the GM. But I had’nt so the Lord got me in one place learning contentment and developing the skills I hadn’t learned by my constant job hopping during my younger years. There is too many Alaskans like me we ain’t made ready for such responsibilities to be made ready for doing service work of a variety of jobs. Including some Alaskans who were promoted to managers because of our lacking good k-12 education that was poorly delivered by poor educators and staff. Let the merger happen until the Alaskan legislature holds Alaska schools accountable for failing four generations (boomers, genX, millennials, and now GenZ). It’s not like Alaskans who need to be working today are running to a Fred Meyers or Safeway store for a job it has. Besides if Alaskans wanted to work one day later just as the Waltons script line had the grandma say “there is always a paid job for the one who is seeking.” This legislature’s priority should be holding educators and staff accountable. If you don’t know how to think, you can’t work well let alone you can’t be made ready for managerial responsibilities managing team and work.

      • This person is making a concerted effort in life – seemingly doing the best they can and having the wherewithal to contribute to a conservative site and here you are trying to ding them? What is wrong with you?

  6. On more thing The prices began going up long before the merger to which I hate shopping because of the intense inflation, which I am needing to move from paying a private school to online private school/homeschool K-12 Liberty university Academy just to save more money. The higher prices is because of Biden and his DC democrats and Republicans such as the ones in this list decisions to shut down America and lock up resources. I think our local leadership as these legislators are just as dumb and illiterate as me. They are quick to blaming or gas lighting what is the real problem to labor shortage and high prices.

  7. I cannot say that I know anything about the ins and outs of this highly complex proposed merger, but when I read the list of people that voted against it, it is like a list of people that I have absolutely no trust in. Murkowski? Forrest Dunbar? Dan Sullivan? Cathy Geisel? Bill Weilechowski? And the rest, here on Gilligans island. What a collection of slime bags!

    • Agree with you 100% on your thoughts and persons. None of them amount to a “hill of beans” in what they do for this state and the citizens of the state. Always the emotional scare tactics.
      The merger is good business and should be moved ahead. The political persons in the list only hope for bigger donations to their war chests.

  8. I like how the headline references Alaska top Democrats then the story immediately name checks Cathy Giessel.

  9. Meanwhile while Three Bears continues to gain footing in south central and beyond. While Costco and a third store in Anchorage and Amazon builds a large sorting facility in Midtown as competitors heats up. While rail links and real economic development is being delayed in the fastest growing part of south central…

  10. Our congressional delegation including Senator Sullivan oppose the merger. Does MRAK need to make every issue divisive? There are plenty of issues that all Alaskans can get behind without negatives press

  11. If the leftists are opposed to it, it must be something that will help the population as a whole.
    Therefore, I support it.

    • Except that Kroger is woke beyond belief. Watch the Facebook video of Senator Josh Hawley ripping into the CEO of Kroger for firing people of faith. The CEO claims he doesn’t know anything. Republicans should not help any big companies that go against people of faith because of wokeness.

      Kroger should not control our grocery’s in Alaska. A company from back east will not be able to take care of Alaska in the long term. Safeway is terrible but they both have to compete. Check Safeway’s prices in Hawaii compared to Alaska with no major competition. Shipping costs are the same, and yet Safeway Hawaii has milk at $7.59 gallon, (was there last week). Here it is on sale for $2.99 at Fred Meyer this week. No to the merger.

      This is not a Republican issue. Wokeness is a Republican issue.

      • Every corporation is woke.
        Seriously, if you are not paying lip service to the wokester, social justice warrior types, you might as well just close up and go home. (See My Pillow, Scott Adams, and now Alice Cooper)
        .
        There is still plenty of competition in AK. Last time I checked, Costo is still in business, WalMart is not going anywhere, and Three Bears seems to be expanding.
        .
        And, Republicans are just as left as Democrats are. There is a reason why I use the terms leftist and conservative.

  12. My opposition is related to Fred Meyers refusing VA, Tricare/Tricare for life/Express Scripts insurance for active duty and their dependents as wells as all the Vets and Retired military that used Fred Meyers and now have to rely on Carrs, Walgreens and CVS. Here in the Valley, that means all Pharmacies are in Wasilla. Add to the cost of gas, just one more trip to Wasilla when it could be done in Palmer!

    • Does Palmer Carrs no longer have a pharmacy? I have had prescriptions filled there in the past.

    • In Juneau we don’t have those options. Take Freddy out of the mix (assuming the merger goes through) the only two realistic options are Ron’s and Costco.

      This isn’t good for consumers, only for wold profits.

  13. All this means is that Korgers or Albertsons or both have not lined the pockets of these commies enough to change their minds.

  14. Normal logic doesn’t seem to apply here. Why Kroger would even disclose their plans following the merger seems strange. And the real reasons for the group, with a few exceptions, who owe their only allegiance to the labor unions, to oppose this merger, seems to be a secret. They claim it to be in our best interests that they are opposed but this group of lawmakers doesn’t exactly have a history of representing anything but special interest groups. The question becomes one of control of private enterprise by the government. They have done little in the past to stop sole-sourcing of many services and products in our state, so why the change? As always, it comes down to money coming their way, and nothing to do with the price of groceries to the consumers. We should be so lucky to have representatives that were actually looking out for their constituents, but not in this group.

  15. Alaska is facing major uphill battles in recruiting and retaining skilled workers in all industries, while also struggling to keep residents in the state,”

    Most stores have 1-2 checkers, zero help out, do it yourself because the garbage kids coming out of schools these days, tells them they are too good for that kind of work! Businesses can barely function if they have no one to take the jobs. People today are lazy, getting hand outs from welfare, not getting a job because they don’t have any gumption to do better.
    Shut off the welfare checks… Let’s see how fast those positions are filled! I’m sick of paying for these trolls to have a free ride!

    • After 18 when schools are rid of the kids they said they owned. Getting and or Encouraging the young young young adult child (GenZ) to work falls on the parent.

    • Be Best if the parent had their teen working at age 15 at a fast food franchise as Subway or McDonald’s, and encourage them not to see work, the uniforms, and the schedule, the service as a drag. For the parent encouraging them telling them how proud they are being employed at such and such business and No matter how customers may mistreat them make them feel inferior or loser but to learning how to serve others is a privilege.

  16. In my opinion this merger is bad. Think about it. It’s a monopoly all day long like Alaska Airlines is in Southeast Alaska. One game in town, you will be played!

  17. after decades of lowering bond yields, leading to disinflation we had covid as an “event”. corporations used the opprotunity to raise prices, even after federal government intervention to support the economy, both corps and individuals.

    corp mergers and decades of consolidation allowed price hikes beyond market forces. lack of viable competition allowed “sticky prices” to remain as supply chain issues removed themselves.

    in the last 20 years the number of listing on the NYSE has collapsed in half. wasn’t hard to see this coming

    federal, ie, elected officials, have gotten rich in DC allowing this concentration to happen. think this is tin foil hat stuff? think Don Young asset gathering while in DC, he didn’t 55 million on the Yukon.

    we’re being robbed by both parties, BOTH PARTIES!! the grift continues in DC

    return capitalism to Adam smith, screw Larry Summers

  18. I watched a Senate hearing on this issue with the CEO’s of Kroger & Albertson’s on the hot seats. Also, there was a man from Consumer Reports and another consumer watch representative (missed his group name).
    The Senator (lady I didn’t know) asked a bunch of pointed questions- seems in many cases when Kroger bought out Fred Meyer and the two stores were close enough to be competitive with each other, Kroger sold the less desirable store to an independent grocery store and touted that proved they weren’t being a monopoly. However, in many cases, the independent store failed and then Kroger bought back the store they sold for about half the price. I know in Ketchikan we had Sea Mart, bought then by Carrs, then by Albertson’s. Our prices did not go down and there is less of a selection–more and more Signature brand products which are sold for as much or more as the name brand they replace. The Consumer Report man testified that these mergers seldom benefitted the employees or the customers. For what it’s worth….

  19. Another thing what if Kroger-Albertsons is attempting to secure its companies for protecting jobs while most of us consumers snd businesses are using internet giants as Amazon. It seems Kroger-Albertson executives are merging not because of monopoly purpose, to do it for future staying in business longer for continuing providing for its retired and current and future employees. I remember even Safeway had to let go of some Carrs stores during its merger.

  20. When is Governor Dunleavy and the AG Trig, going to weigh in on this merger? There’s no benefit for Alaskans.

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