An Eagle River ‘Who done it?’



Eagle River Republicans are considering draft resolutions that resulted from workshops held with precinct leaders.

The resolutions, having to do with education reform and right-to-work, quickly made their way into the hands of AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami.

Michael Tavoliero, Republican district chairman for Districts 13 and 14, wondered how Beltrami had copies of the district’s draft resolutions.

“What I also want all of you to know is that these resolutions were only sent to members of the District Committee and the newly elected state legislators for Eagle River and Chugiak,” Tavoliero wrote on the District’s Facebook page.

The newly elected state legislators were Reps.-elect Kelly Merrick, District 14, and Nancy Dahlstrom, who has since resigned to become commissioner of Corrections in the Dunleavy Administration.

Beltrami, still smarting from losses in the 2018 elections, put out an action alert to have people march on the district meeting that is being held on Tuesday at Piccolino’s Restaurant, starting at 7 pm.

[Read the AFL-CIO action alert here]

Tavoliero said that it’s an odd way to have a conversation with Republican Party officers.

“Our precinct leadership’s intention was to develop a discussion regarding these items and other important points affecting our state. It is tremendously interesting that one day before the meeting the AFL-CIO is condemning our efforts without even beginning a rationale discussion. Are these the politics that Eagle River and Chugiak truly want?” he wrote.

The Tuesday meeting may be a waste of time for the AFL-CIO, because it will likely only be related to replacing Rep.-elect Dahlstrom, which has become the District’s priority. Dahlstrom had won the seat that was formerly held by Rep. Dan Saddler.


The list of people wanting to be appointed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to serve District 13, includes two new names: Bill Cook and Clayton Trotter.

Earlier, Ken McCarty, Craig Christianson, and Sharon Jackson had already applied.

[Read: Who wil replace Dahlstrom?]

This makes five to vote on, and no others may apply as the deadline has passed.

The voting members are officers and precinct leaders of Districts 13 and 14, which operate jointly.


  1. Hmmmm, I really am not stunned at all that union heads would find an inroad to gather internal district documents from District 13 and 14. What’s more upsetting is the blatant misrepresentation that AFL-CIO does with information of any kind. I welcome anybody who is a District Republican to come and be part of the discussions in the monthly meetings. We need more input from the community. We arent hiding anything. And discussions on issues is how you make INFORMED decisions. Rational. Thought out and researched decisions.
    But Beltrami and union leaders have only one tactic- smear and distort. But yes, do come to the meeting and get involved!


    This is not an informercial Vince.

    And when voters connect the dots on the possible avenues and potential people that could have circulated them ?? A person that distributed internal items from the District and got them in the hands of union bosses.
    Our voters and community deserve better than being betrayed.

  2. Who is the husband of Kelly Merrick ? Who funded her campaign ? Who didn’t see this coming ? Connect the dots indeed…

  3. A virulent little disease can arise in Humanus Republicus in which some with strongly conservative views on social issues are given a pass on fundamental economic issues. I have seen this at least twice in my involvement with Alaska politics. The reverse can also be true.

    I do not like witch hunts and litmus tests. Nevertheless, Republicans are famous for those corrosive activities. Short of that, and more constructively, it is worth having a full discussion amongst elected officials and party officials on both social and economic principles before anointing those to carry the party banner. Seek balance. Pick folks that may not be “perfect” on all issues but are thoughtful, well-informed and honest. That is one way to end the leakage seen in Eagle River.

    • Actually, what we found in the last US congress and here in Alaska is that it’s the social conservatives who are the most fiscally responsible. Probably because they have principles and are committed to them.

    • Right to Work, catchy phrase, reminds me of another catchy phrase, Stand for Salmon.
      As a life long republican and union worker I wonder when we will get someone high enough up the food chain in the party that realizes how much this fractures our vote.
      I realize there is big money behind Right to Work, but as far as I can tell it does nothing but cost us votes. Some platforms are worth abandoning for the bigger picture.

  4. I wouldn’t expect any different behavior from union “leaders”. This is their modus operandi. Regular folks need to get involved and “resist” these bully tactics. Saul Alinsky at its best. Question: Is this who union members really want to represent them?

  5. Given the union boss corruption that originated the Walker-Mallott ticket back in 2014, and the fact that unions have not ousted everyone involved in that it’s not surprising at all that every Republican, Libertarian and independent political discussion would include pushing back against organized labor. Organized labor needs to clean the skeletons out of its closets, every skeleton and every closet. What their paid bosses did in 2014 and since then has materially damaged Alaska and all Alaskans, and we know it. Allowing those same people to speak for organized labor every day will continually widen the gap between organized labor and all other Alaskans until the rank and file takes back the microphones. Moreover it splits organized labor between public employee unions, who support the greenies in efforts like the defeated Ballot Measure 1, and trade union workers who rely upon roads, oil and further resource development for jobs.

  6. I’m not sure if all unions are bad. We’ve got a very pro-union guy running the Troopers now who was instrumental convincing the legislature to give them that 15 % or and in some cases more pay raise.

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