Alex Gimarc: LaFrance and the big union label

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Suzanne LaFrance endorsements from her campaign website

By ALEX GIMARC

Former Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance is in a runoff with Mayor Dave Bronson. This is the Assembly’s second attempt to defeat Bronson. They were unsuccessful the last time around with Forrest Dunbar. It’s our job to ensure they are unsuccessful this time around too.

LaFrance has been carpet bombing local media with ads. She talks a good game but makes claims just as specious as Forest did three years ago. The difference is that she sounds almost reasonable, almost rational, something Forest couldn’t pull off.

The problem is her backers.  If you take a look at her campaign web site, toward the bottom of the page is a list of 17 organizations under the “Proudly endorsed by” heading.  15 of them are unions, including one umbrella union located in Seattle (why is Seattle interested in Anchorage Muni elections?). The other two endorsements are Planned Parenthood and the Alaska Center (for the Environment).

LaFrance claims that she will be bringing people together to solve problems. Yet, her union backers, the same list of malcontents that installed the current Assembly majority, demanded, and supported the Assembly as they go scorched earth on all things Bronson over the last three years.  

Remember LaFrance’s reaction to outraged homeowners who summarily rejected multiple homeless shelters in their neighborhoods?  Essentially, it was sit down and shut up. 

As Assembly Chair, she obstructed their testimony, used Covid as an excuse to shut down testimony, diddled the meeting schedule to actively ensure the Assembly heard no dissenting voice. 

To LaFrance, the Assembly, and their leash holders among the unions, Planned Parenthood and the Alaska Center, bringing people together means agree with me and we will get along. Anything else, and you are roadkill.

LaFrance carps incessantly about crony contracts to the Mayor’s friends.  Apparently, any contract that doesn’t go to anything other than a union in this town is a crony contract. Elect LaFrance and it will be a cold day in a very hot place before any contract is let for any other criteria than how much it will benefit a union.

Suzanne LaFrance complains about millions of dollars spent on lawsuits during the last three years.  Yet she is silent when the very Assembly majority she was a part of overrides two vetoes in an attempt to release confidential information on Eklutna, an act that will put the Muni at risk of yet another lawsuit. 

I get it. When her cronies on the Assembly put Muni taxpayers on the hook for a possible lawsuit over Bronson’s objections, override his veto, and it is his fault. Nice game, that.  

She is attempting to reprise Jane Byrne’s 1979 rise to Chicago Mayor following a disastrous failure to remove snow in Chicago by the incumbent. From here, with two record snow years (Dec 2022 and the winter of 2023 -2024), Bronson has done pretty good. Reaction to the initial large snowfall was a bit slow in both years, like it is every single winter.  Once they got through it, snow removal was about normal, even pretty good given the amount on the ground. The Muni even came up with some innovation in clearing snow piled on the sides of the streets, something never done before.  Why did this happen under Bronson? Unions don’t innovate. Conservatives do.  

Finally, we have her faux concern with the “expensive homelessness crisis,” a crisis that has five solid years of her fingerprints all over it.  Not only does LaFrance give fellow Assembly member Meg Zaletel, a woman whose six-figure paycheck depends on growing the problem, a pass from conflict-of-interest complaints, but she has been completely silent when the Assembly refuses to abide by agreements made with Mayor Bronson. The Navigation Center is the latest of several bait and switch deals by the Assembly. Somehow, bad faith negotiations and failure to abide by agreements by the Assembly are Bronson’s fault. LaFrance’s response? Crickets.  

Elect LaFrance and we will get more of what we saw on the Assembly when she was Chair.  We will get a woman with a remarkably thin skin who responds poorly to criticism, any criticism. We will get Chris Constant’s mini-me routine, with LaFrance as someone who will rubber stamp and bury whatever foolishness the Assembly decides to do next (removal of the Eklutna dam is in the on-deck circle). And we will get a Muni government owned, operated and controlled by the unions and the political left. The government will only listen to their concerns and needs, ignoring everyone and everything else.  So much for bringing people together.  

If you think Ethan Berkowitz’ time as mayor was a disaster, elect LaFrance and you ain’t seen nothing yet. Be warned.  

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.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Alex,
    Spot on! LaFrance is a walking, talking disaster for los Anchorage.
    She and the left on the Assembly have made our town much worse off.
    Vote Bronson!!!

  2. I am doing my part and letting everyone know she is bought and paid for by the unions.
    Just watch when she elected the unions will get more money and the taxpayers get the bill.
    Must be nice to buy votes with tax money.

  3. AMEN – The essential notion of a capitalist society is voluntary cooperation in voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force. Milton Friedman

  4. I had dinner last night with a very good friend that is also very liberal. Although we stayed largely out of politics, it did boil over once and watching the thought process was fascinating. The sheer venom and lack of compassion for what the friend termed as “red necked right wingers” was stunning as this person is typically very level headed. The only thing that resonated in this discussion was the fact that, as long as the “IGM” philosophy (I got mine) was in play, a politicians PERSONALITY mattered more than policy. Even to the point of making excuses for why the left wing liberal agenda always fails, blaming everything on the previous administration while accepting zero accountability for the current state of things. A small amount of discussion led to the view that Bronson and Trump are viewed the same. When asked about the assembly’s counter stance on everything Bronson, cognitive dissonance kicked in hard. When asked about the inevitable increase of taxes, which was whined loudly about earlier, again cognitive dissonance. The same when I asked about Biden’s border and runaway inflation. Deflect and deny. This left me thinking that, although incredibly intelligent, these leftist liberals believe what they believe simply because that is what they want to believe and no reasoning is possible once you hit the cognitive dissonance wall. Truly eye opening.
    .
    All this to say that LaFrance is Biden on a small scale. The assembly is the house and senate on a small scale. And all problems are the fault of others.

    .

    Those who are well off (even though they worked hard for what they have) commonly forget that they truly are the top 5% of society and that society in general are not in that mindset and will do whatever they can to keep their elitist standing. Thus the spending of everyone else’s money on social engineering is logical to them because they can easily afford their share now where they are at in life and they literally don’t care about any other point of view.

    .

    Still a friend, but opened my eyes.

  5. Having lived in Anchorage for almost 15 years, Alex is right on all posted. Since the outside money has been allowed to influence our elections more and more, the people representing Anchorage keep pushing ideas of the people paying for their minds.

  6. Everyone please sign your ballot and get it in early or be at the voting booth early Election Day. Get out and vote!

  7. I want a Mayor that competent people want to work for and understands that wind turbines and solar panels work in Alaska in wintertime.

    • More sarcasm, “frank”?

      Please explain how solar panels, which are virtually always a boondoggle under the best of circumstances, are able to work when covered by snow for half the year. Just go up to Hawk Lane in Houston and go see this for yourself.

      Were you born this much of an idiot, or did you need to get a university education in it?

  8. Suzanne is horrible. If Anchorage is so stupid to elect her, then they deserve her. Just remembering the sour looks on her face at the assembly meetings and the way she treated people who were trying testify and she didn’t like what they were saying. Her ad on radio & TV is a nothing-burger-liberal-speak pap to appeal to everybody. Yeah she’s gonna bring people together and “get to work.” I don’t even live in Anchorage and i can see right through that BS. she’s a communist

  9. If we don’t reelect Mayor Bronson, the assembly will have no checks and balances and if there should be another covid or similar event, they will have no problem shutting this city down again. So business owners or anyone that works for a business, should be supporting Mayor Bronson. Anchorage can’t afford to lose any more businesses or workers. When LaFrance was on the assembly she had no problem shutting down and fining any business that did not comply. She is anti freedom.

  10. Bronson should of spent 4 million on improving trailheads instead of a navigation center to nowhere. He could of won the election outright. Instead he surrounds himself with dinosaurs and and shuts off the fluoride.

    • The Great Fluoride Caper was another union setup. Bronson acted responsibly. The media, the union and the Assembly didn’t. Thanks for playing, though. Cheers –

      ‘https://www.apeonline.org/2021/12/22/the-great-fluoride-caper/

        • Everything I conclude in it is linked, backed with facts, with conclusions based on those facts. Whether or not you agree, your comment is a simple personal attack, a usual response from someone out of airspeed and ideas. Thanks for playing, though. Cheers –

  11. God I so hope she wins so I can watch what used to be a nice, tolerable city burn to the ground. Fun fact: Anchorage bowl census shows that the population has basically been stagnant for 20 years. High turnover but stagnant. If memory serves me right, there might have been a gain of about 1,000 people. You know why I’m saying this? People would rather make that stupid commute from the Valley than live in Anchorage. So, they show up and within a few years, out to the Valley they go.

    • I think she will. I Don’t want to say I know she will cause that makes me sound like I know the future and I don’t. I under strong assumption Lafrance will be next mayor. I don’t like it. If it’ll take Anchorage heading through the progressivism that took San Francisco to the sewage before its people still there passed a few anti progressive laws related to crime, then living under the hard lessons by Anchorage progressives may be just what the Good Doctor prescribed for here. Hardened hearts are prescribed hard lessons.

  12. Some of those labels are Non profits. Know who you are donating to, their cause, and who they even employ from the lesser known to the executive directors. Money shouldn’t just be thrown around because you want to be considered a Kind hearted person. I don’t doubt there are conservatives and republicans supporting Lafrance and her Democrat type and they don’t even know their donations are supporting what’s against their conservative principles, values, culture, and even faith. Cause they didn’t research, they just gave.

  13. I’m willing to loiter around Anchorage post office garbage cans looking for discarded mail-in ballots and I don’t even live there! WHATEVER IT TAKES!

  14. Way to go, Alex.
    .
    Who in his right mind risks vexing the Honorable Suzanne LaFrance, former District 5 Director of the Alaska Municipal League, arguably one of the biggest unions in recorded history?
    (akml.org/about/board-of-directors/)
    .
    The Alaska Municipal League exists for one reason: “…to strengthen Alaska’s local governments”
    (akml.org/)
    .
    …all 165 of them.
    (akml.org/member-services/municipalities/)
    .
    The Alaska Municipal League has $788,405,223.87, of taxpayers’ money safely stashed out of taxpayers’ reach to “…to strengthen Alaska’s local governments.”
    (amlip.org/)
    .
    Think of AML like a Really Big Union just for governments with money enough to buy and sell, through its very own taxpayer-paid lobbyists, Dianne Blumer and Nils Andreassen, anyone it wishes in order to “strengthen Alaska’s local governments.”
    (aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/Lobbying/LobbyistDirectory.aspx)
    .
    Okay, maybe Alaska Municipal League member-governments can’t (legally) cheer their girl, the Right Honorable Former District 5 Director LaFrance, over the finish line
    .
    … but, one member-government, Anchorage, employs the Municipal Clerk who counts her votes.
    .
    That Municipal Clerk is Secretary of the Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks.
    (https://www.alaskaclerks.org/general/page/executive-board)
    .
    The Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks is an affiliate of the Alaska Municipal League.
    .
    The Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks “…work(s) closely with the Alaska Municipal League and conduct(s) Annual Meetings in conjunction with the Alaska Municipal League’s Annual Conference each December.”
    (https://www.akml.org/about/affiliates/)
    .
    The Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks corporate sponsors include Dominion Voting “(which) has been supporting Alaska’s clerks and election officials since 1998” and Election Systems & Software “the most experienced provider of total election solutions. For almost 40 years the most experienced provider of total election solutions…”
    (https://www.alaskaclerks.org/general/page/sponsors)
    .
    Of coure, we’re not accusing anyone of anything.
    .
    We merely regard with appropriate shock and awe, in this discussion of unions, what appears to be a magnificently organized and funded organization of like-minded public servants, unsung heroes, working steadfastly to install one of their own into the mayor’s office of one of their government members.
    .
    One Big Happy Family or the Mother of All Unions… what say you, Alex?

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