Alex Gimarc: Suzanne LaFrance is the Assembly’s favorite candidate for mayor

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By ALEX GIMARC

We are about five weeks from the Municipal Clerk (who works for the Assembly) mailing out ballots for the Anchorage Municipal Election in 2024.  Voters will have until April 2 to return them for tabulation, so it is time to start considering candidates for mayor this year.

Mayor Dave Bronson completes his first term in office. He has nine challengers as of this writing. While I don’t want to discuss the entire field, I do want to mention a couple Democrats running this time around.

The two democrats with the best name recognition are former legislator Chris Tuck and former Assembly Member Suzanne LaFrance (who is technically independent). Both have strong union support. Both present well and are not publicly the typical frothing at the mouth Democrat we’ve come to know and love in recent years (Forrest Dunbar, Zack Fields, Chris Constant, you know who you are).

But any time we elect a seemingly moderate Democrat, awful things seem to happen. Our last Democrat mayor, Ethan Berkowitz, was one such example, needlessly locking down Anchorage for over a year, forcing mask mandates, social distancing, presiding over the wanton, senseless destruction of small businesses across town during that time, creating the current Homeless Industrial Complex, and spending as much money as humanly possible, all before resigning in disgrace over a sexual peccadillo that went public.

What has Suzanne LaFrance done to demonstrate that she would be a decent mayor?  As with any political question, it all depends on which side of the political divide you are working. While on the Assembly, she did very little outside showing up for the meetings and being a reliable leftist vote until installed as Assembly chair in 2021.  

LaFrance distinguished herself three ways during her two years as Assembly chair. She presided over contentious public comments triggered by the shutdown and attempts to put homeless shelters in residential neighborhoods. She also spent a lot of time conferring with her vice chair at the time, Chris Constant.

Public pushback against the Berkowitz hunker-down and masking mandates was significant and grew over time, especially when it became apparent that the public was simply being told to sit down, shut up and color. 

Small businesses in town were particularly hard hit (Kriner’s Diner became a flashpoint), something of little matter to the union-backed Democrats supporting Berkowitz and his Assembly majority.

One of the few ways available to express that displeasure was public comments at Assembly meetings. The Assembly majority wasn’t much interested in public testimony that called them out and the Assembly took every avenue to limit or eliminate it. Assembly Chair LaFrance, in consultation with her vice chair, spent a lot of effort obstructing public testimony so they wouldn’t have to hear any or it.

The Berkowitz-Assembly effort to install a number of homeless shelters in various neighborhoods also triggered significant public pushback which expressed itself as very contentious comments by the public at numerous Assembly meetings, and two unsuccessful recall attempts for Assembly members. LaFrance and her majority weren’t much interested in this sort of feedback and did everything they could to make sure they didn’t have to hear it.

Somehow, it never occurred to LaFrance, her majority, or Mayor Berkowitz that if you don’t want the public to yell at you, don’t intentionally do what they don’t want you to do. What a concept.  

Most notable during her time as Assembly Chair was LaFrance’s endless consulting her Vice Chair during meetings, particularly before ruling on anything. It gave the impression that she was not Assembly Chair at all. Rather, she appeared to be a conduit, a “Mini Me,” for whatever Chris Constant wanted her to do at the time.

From here, it looks like the Assembly majority and the unions that installed it are attempting to use LaFrance as their vehicle to regain control of the Hill Building.  As her political career has paralleled that of Peter Sellers’ Chauncey Gardner character in Being There, I predict she would bring little to the office other than another compliant Democrat at the beck and call of the Assembly and the unions that put them in office.

If you want an actual mayor, there are a few good candidates this time around, starting with the current one, Dave Bronson.  If you want a potted plant in office, Suzanne LaFrance would be a good, albeit expensive, choice.  

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.A

26 COMMENTS

  1. As much as I support Dave Bronson and will continue supporting his re-election. Reality is revealing Anchorage will be swearing in Lafrance and company back into city hall.
    Either a family moves out of anchorage or a family household takes the steps to bettering their districts and reaching out to other families with kids to influence them develop more conservative thinking. After a Lafrance election complaining, protesting, griping will waste time and energy to more productive initiatives.

  2. She’s a Constant crony, immediate RED FLAG. She’s a democrat, another red flag. This day in age you cannot trust one of them not to turn and murder every civil agreement made in the chamber. Anyone keeping company with Constant is instantly and “constantly” suspect. Anyone that voted with Howie Berkoshitz is subject to question. Don’t let her fool anyone.

  3. After three years of on the job training Mayor Bronson can not get MOA vacancies filled and Contracts out basic services at higher costs. Time for a change

    • There would be no worse choice for mayor than the installation of another assembly puppet, such as we had with the previous illegally installed assembly appointee, for mayor. This assembly majority has continually ignored and bent the Municipal Charter to attain carte blanche to do as it chooses in order to increase it;s power to spend money and make decisions with zero regard to the effects on the property owner paying the taxes.

    • Frank Rast says: “After three years of on the job training Mayor Bronson can not get MOA vacancies filled…”

      As Gen Mattis reminded all of us, the enemy gets a vote. As long as the Assembly has adopted the no Bronson win on any issue at any time, this problem will persist. Perhaps you ought to talk this over with your peeps on the Assembly. Cheers –

  4. She is the worst. The worst choice by far, so she’ll probably win. This is Anchorage after all.
    Things will not improve in this town until the assembly is rebuilt.

  5. LaFrance is one of the key foundational members of the ass-embly’s Marxist Nine, which is automatically enough to disqualify her in the mind and heart of any self-respecting and decent Anchorage voter.

    • Is she gay enough to lead the Peoples Republic of Anchorage?

      It seems to be the only thing actual voters really care about.

  6. She is ignorant of the US Constitution. she is vengeful person who desires to harm those who are not on board with group think woke brainwashing. she has exchanged garden party mannerisms for US Constitutional Rights. she doesn’t believe in Constitutional rights and could not enunciate them, exercise them, claim them for herself or anyone else. She doesn’t know what form of government we are guaranteed. when she takes an oath of office to receive her stipend and benefits she will have no idea of what securing and defending all the liberties, rights looks like. shouldn’t imagine a time when these rights she and her cohorts ran over for the last several years would make her liable for treason. She and others on that assembly do not understand what an executive of the people’s is. She has no idea of the harm she championed earlier so as to repent of it. She doesn’t understand the limited role the Bar Card carriers have in their private club. She is merely covetous of: the generous stipend, taking property rights of those she disagrees with. Let her find some other way to privately harm others in Anchorage. Keep Bronson as your executor for your own safety sake.

  7. The only person who should be the executive for one half a f Alaska’s people in Anchorage is someone who knows and approves of your US Constitutional rights, civil rights and understands that one usurpation equals one police complaint filed against the usurper that night and the magistrate immediately and you personally will pay the remedy right out of your pocketbook ASAP. Rights have remedy when usurped. in the US remedy is money. You have only immunity we hen you are acting within your expressed delegation of authority. For instance much of what the “assembly of devotees to the WEF policies they have no authority to “execute”. No immunity for that.

  8. I had the pleasure of being represented by LaFrance when she was on the Assembly. And, by that, I mean the opposite. Oh… LaFrance was on the Assembly for my district, but I was never represented by her, nor was it a pleasure.
    .
    I gave up trying to contact her, because all of her e-mail responses were dismissive, and talking down. Almost to the point of disrespect. That behavior carried through when she was Assembly chair as well. (Technical problems only when she was hearing testimony that disagreed with what she wanted to do? How odd…) And, introducing the word ‘dilatory’ into the record. Sorry, Suzanne, but as a “representative” of the people, you are obligated to hear what they have to say, even if it disagrees with your opinion. Public testimony is NEVER delaying, unless you have already made up your mind before it started.
    .
    I am old enough to remember the days before Berkowitz and the marxist nine. Yeah, there were problems in Anchorage under Begich and Sullivan, but it was not until Berkie and the homeless adoration crew showed up that it literally ruined Anchorage. I remember C Street going days without a plow in it under Berkowitz, but why bring that up?

    Elect LaFrance and every little want of the homeless will be placed above the needs of the taxpayers. Like snowplowing, police, schools, and fire services? Yeah, they will be cut under a LaFrance administration.

    • I’m old enough to remember when Anchorage was one of the most livable cities in America. But I can also remember when (now) JBER was actually outside the city and when one could catch 50lbs plus Kings on the Kenai regularly.

      Times have changed, not for the better.

  9. I’m not sure how this will pan out but there are LaFrance signs all over the place. I think the Bonson supporters are ashamed to admit it anywhere but here and Save Anchorage.

  10. Let’s put behind us the last two and a half years of no snow plowing, homeless freezing to death, administration employees suing the city, hiring unqualified HR and medical directors and give Bonson (sic) another chance! He’s bound to do better the next time!

    • You are such a silly democrat.

      The last two years started with record breaking snowfall. First couple weeks, as usual were pretty rough. Rest of the winter worked pretty well despite what you and the 907 Initiative might think.

      Homeless freezing to death is entirely on the collective hands of the Assembly majority which refused to work with Bronson on any of his proposals.

      Not only did Amy sue the administration, she also actively campaigned against a Republican Assembly candidate in West ANC. She is hardly a dispassionate observer.

      Qualifications are entirely in the eyes of the beholder on this, as Bronson was of the opinion that his nominees were qualified (HR, Health, Library). Assembly majority, in their zeal to ensure Bronson never gets a win refused to approve the nominations. Qualifications were entirely irrelevant.

      Thanks for playing, though. Cheers –

    • Polls show Bronson making the runoff. The only reason he will make the runoff is because the anti-Bronson vote will be split among four serious candidates.

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