Alex Gimarc: Putting Alaskans First wants to keep the clown car running the Assembly

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By ALEX GIMARC

What does it say about the state of Big Labor in Anchorage when one of the most well-funded political committees, Putting Alaskans First, is running attack ads in a local Assembly race? Worse, the committee is relying on Outside money for most of its campaign donations.  

The race in question is for West Anchorage, an attempt to replace Austin Quinn-Davidson with someone more rational, in this case Brian Flynn running against Anna Brawley.  Perennial candidate Dustin Darden also on the ballot. Quinn-Davidson decided not to run again.

Over the last couple weeks, the Putting Alaskans First Committee singled out Flynn in an attack ad running on local radio stations. The ad takes Flynn to task for not being sufficiently virulent in his opposition to Mayor Bronson, specifically going after Bronson for issuing sole source contracts.  That charge is laughable, as unions have demanded for decades things called project labor agreements, which bind contractors to union-supplied labor.  Apparently, Bronson is not giving the AFL/CIO exclusive contracts like the previous Democrat administrations (Quinn-Davidson and Berkowitz) did. And the union leadership doesn’t like that a lot.

This was the only substantive criticism of Flynn, and it is entirely mind reading, based on what they believe he will do if elected.  

A closer look at Putting Alaskans First is instructive, starting with its location at 3333 Denali here in Anchorage.  That is the same address as the AFL/CIO and IBEW are located.  We saw with our discussion of Scott Kendall’s proximity to Lisa Murkowski’s Anchorage Office that location is just as important in the political wars as it is in real estate.

APOC carries both Kim Hayes and Joelle Hall on their documents.  Both women are listed with AFL/CIO e-mail addresses.  Note that Hall is listed as the contact for the Putting Alaskans First Committee while Hays is listed as the contact for the PAC.

The committee looks to be the centerpiece of AFL/CIO political spending here in Alaska over the last couple years, reporting nearly 40 contributions with $646,500 in 2022 alone. They reported three checks for $40,000 for 2023. Note that reporting to APOC is always behind what the actual money flow is doing.  

The radio ad ends with the following disclaimer:

Paid for by the Putting Alaskans First Committee, 3333 Denali St. Ste. 125 Anchorage, AK 99503. I, Kim Hays, Chair approved this message. Top three contributors are UNITE AMERICA PAC of Denver, CO, LIUNA Political Fund of Washington, DC and NEA-Alaska PACE of Juneau, AK. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. I certify that this advertisement is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate. A majority of contributions to Putting Alaskans First Committee came from outside the State of Alaska.

I highlighted the most important part of the disclaimer, their claim that the majority of funding for this campaign are from out of state. Why is Denver and Washington DC getting themselves involved in our local Assembly race?

Why, indeed? Two possibilities occur to me. The first is that Putting Alaskans First has money left over from the 2022 campaign season, and like a hammer looking for a nail to drive, protecting the Insane Clown Posse they helped install as the majority in the Anchorage Assembly is important, as they want to keep the good times rolling along. A second reason would be that the Insane Clown Posse routine played by the current majority no longer inspires the union membership to donate to elect people who consistently war against them, their jobs, property, schools and checkbooks, while funding the local Homeless Industrial Complex. If the second is true, even in part, we have a significant disconnect between union membership and its leadership.   

Make no mistake, it was the unions that converted the Anchorage Assembly into the clown car we have all come to know and love.  Like all good ringmasters, the leadership wants to keep the show going.  Union leadership is very good at telling us what they don’t like, what scares them. 

Apparently, Brian Flynn does, which is all we need to know to support him.  

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.

20 COMMENTS

  1. A shout out to Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope . I C P, juggalos fo ever. Come on don’t disparage this group lol.

  2. The assembly have gone far beyond being clowns. The majority of the assembly receives the majority of their incomes from non profit organizations, ALL of which were recipients of MILLIONS of $ in appropriations during the COVID money blizzard. Additionally, the assembly majority has colluded, outside the public view, to appropriate hundreds of millions of $ to certain non profit organizations that have resulted in a HUGE increase to the income of those leaders. One assembly member voted to appropriate millions to the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, only to become director at a salary of AT LEAST $150K a year. Coupled with her assembly pay, she is now fleecing property tax payers for over $230K a year to steal their money and spend it to increase her personal wealth. The assembly is obviously involved in racketeering and money laundering and fraud but not one State or local attorney has made a peep. This is what you get when the legislative body is devoid of ethics and writes ordinances willy nilly to circumvent the MOA Charter. I am voting for Brian but it will take at least 2 more to flip seats in order to get past the rest of the cabal with some sense of responsibility.

  3. Transparency in political contributions and lobbying is a cornerstone in maintaining a democracy. AG is great at research, I am curious where Alaska Policy Forum gets there contributions? APF’s 2019 Tax filing was signed by some dude in Pennsylvania

  4. Hand picked by the leftists, Anna Brawley is registered as an Independent, however, states she leans progressive.What I find interesting is that the Assembly will never allow any Mayor except their elected chosen person to solve the Homeless problem. Here goes Rivera listening to his constituents (when he is running for reelection) to stop Homeless permanent low barrier shelters in his district. Rivera and company( which may include Mark Begich ) will come up with a Homeless solution which will continue to cost taxpayers millions.. If Anchorage taxpayers don’t want to drown in taxes, I say vote for Brian Flynn, Leigh Sloan, Rachel Ries and by all means in district 4 Travis Santo Let’s bring Anchorage back from the clown circus. People please pay attention.

    • The Unions run this state along with the entire country. If you don’t like it they have ways of busting our knee caps. That’s the way they roll. Scoundrels!

  5. We need to outlaw non profits as they are nothing more that the lefts money laundering service. They use the taxpayers system against the poor taxpayer.

  6. Appreciate the warning, Alex.
    .
    In other words, the Peoples Putting Alaskans First organization provided names of baby-killing, child-grooming, deviant, corrupt, dictatorial, woke, spendthrift bas… candidates for whom decent, productive residents should never, ever vote.
    .
    Seems reasonable to expect the PPAF and ballot proposition sponsors are nonetheless confident of the outcome because Anchorage’s voter-registration, vote-collection, and vote-counting processes are so easily corruptible.
    .
    Good news is the corruption can’t last forever. A successful Eaglexit, plus a 1980’s style exodus, might be just what stay-behinds need to topple the regime and organize a populist, user friendly replacement.

  7. I think the same old regular people will return their ballot. But anchorage will ignore another opportunity to send the liberals home. The eligible non voters are either plain-ol-stupid, or this is a jehovah witness town,
    or not desperate enough. The outside democrats are wasting money when there are more important states and its voters aren’t has predictable as alaska.

    • But! I keep trying to encourage neighbors (whoever) to take an interest in anchorage however they refuse to see the world goes beyond their own little world- what the town and alaska need is the plain-ol-‘ nondenominational Word of God . So i’d
      start there. But! I do want to continue see flynn, spencer, leigh, rachel, travis stay working behind-the-stage-please, if they lose, cause it takes more turning around or reviving anchorage than winning a few races.

  8. Where are the groups on the right side of the political aisle?
    Why is it I hear plenty from the leftists pushing their agenda, which from the ads appears to be “whatever is conservative must be squashed.” But, nothing from the conservatives?
    .
    Where are the groups in the lower 48 that are willing to work to keep Alaska Red? Plenty of money is flowing to turn red states blue, but nothing seems to flow to keep red states red. Or even purple states purple.
    .
    The advertising and money all seem to be coming in one direction.

    • The money and ideas of the left are all part of the Democrat laundering scheme. All nonprofits are fronts for money laundering done by the Democrats. The right or conservative side doesn’t have as much money laundering as the Democrats. I believe that there should be no nonprofits allowed and they should be taxed and treated as a business. Look at the volume of money that they spend in the wages their leaders get. They do nothing for the economy or the country, except for stir the pot and create problems.

      • I semi agree with you re: non-profits.
        There should be no non-profits donating money to politicians. If they are making enough profit to donate to political causes, they are not really a non-profit now, are they?
        .
        The issue is not really the non-profits, it is the ease at which they can abuse the laws/regulations that allow them to be non-profits.

    • Because the left has found an unlimited source of money; our own taxes. 501s can send money to a different type of 501, who can then legally contribute unregulated amounts to political organizations and advertising. In another way, the assembly just recently “bailed out “ a union’s pension account with a million dollars of taxpayer money. So, unfortunately, we are all unknowingly paying to keep these people in office. What a sweet operation. And that just the tip of it. Big pharmaceutical companies and food corporations are major players in the national scene. So how can a candidate of good character compete with honest money?

      • Which begs the question.
        Why don’t the people on the right side of the political aisle do the same thing?

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