Evans: Anchorage perfects the art of money laundering - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Evans: Anchorage perfects the art of money laundering

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By BILL EVANS

J. Bruce Ismay was the chair and managing director of White Star Line, owners of luxury passenger ships, including the Titanic.  

As such, Ismay was the highest-ranking person from White Star Line on-board Titanic as she steamed across the North Atlantic into her destiny….and a rather large iceberg.  

Bill Evans

            Mindful of the woefully limited capacity of Titanic’s lifeboats and unconcerned about the chivalric code of “women and children first,” Ismay used his authority to secure a place for himself in one of Titanic’s too few lifeboats.  

While many of his customers and passengers were consigned to the icy depths of the North Atlantic, Ismay ensured that he escaped the tragedy without even getting wet.

            Taking a page from Ismay, the Municipality of Anchorage is taking steps to ensure that its budget remains unharmed by the fiscal tragedy wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and government shutdowns, while many of its businesses and citizens founder.  

Earlier this week, Anchorage’s Chief Fiscal Officer, Alex Slivka, reported that the Municipality plans to reroute federal Cares Act money to fill a $17 million shortfall anticipated in the Municipal Budget.  That shortfall represents approximately 3 percent of the general government operating budget for the city.  The shortfall is caused by a reduction in tax revenues from businesses that have been decimated by the pandemic and associated restrictions.  

            The method by which the Municipality plans on securing its fiscal lifeboat is by using $61 million of CARES Act funding to pay for “first responders.”  

In other words, the Municipality will use the CARES funding to pay the normal costs of Anchorage’s Police and Fire Departments.  This will, in turn, free up the general tax funds that would otherwise have been used to fund the police and fire.  

In a scheme that would make Tony Soprano blush, the Municipality will essentially launder the federal money by simply using it to replace Muni funds, thereby washing the CARES Act money free from any pesky spending limitations.   

            Remarkably, federal funding — which the government does not even really have — and is simply an IOU from future generations — is to be used to ensure that the debilitating economic effects of the pandemic do not inconvenience Municipal government and its priorities.  

While Anchorage residents and businesses are tightening their budgets and cutting their costs in an effort to simply survive the economic devastation stemming from the pandemic, they will surely be heartened to know that their Municipal government will be made whole.  

Sitting safely and securely in its own federally funded fiscal lifeboat, the Municipality can look out upon the sea of businesses and citizens struggling to keep their head’s above water.  J. Bruce Ismay would be proud.

Bill Evans is a candidate for Anchorage mayor.

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Latest comments

  • Isn’t Dunleavy trying to do the same thing, substitute CARES money for stuff cut from the budget before the coronavirus hit?

  • So appreciate this well written historic perspective. We need more of this. I’m a “Bronson Guy,” but it sure is great to see we have a strong lineup of conservative choices for Mayor come April.

    • Pete, I appreciate your support of Bronson, he is a good man but I think Evans appeals to more voters and has a better understanding of the process of Anchorage city government. Robins is also a good conservative candidate who is well liked.
      Now the point of my reply to your comment is that we as conservatives are making a huge mistake by running 3 three well liked candidates for mayor. They will split the conservative vote and we will get an mayor that we don’t want. It has happened before. 2 Two of these candidates must drop out. If it can’t be negotiated…then a coin toss or draw straws.

      • I agree…. Too many times in the past conservative
        .candidates lost because they split the vote! Please
        get together , make the decision to assure a conservative win. There are too many lefties on
        our Assembly…how about 2 of you replacing 2 of
        them. The new Mayor will need help. There will
        be other years to become Mayor of Anchorage.

        Anyone know how we can eliminate the exclusive
        mail in voting we somehow have in Anchorage?

        • We have exclusive mail in voting? Is that true?

          Your point about splitting the “conservative” vote is well taken. It’s going to take a very strong candidate that also isn’t squishy on the right to life and willing to mix it up with other “conservatives” to win. Voters need to have a clear choice – if we don’t it won’t matter anyways. Watching Dave Bronson closely – looks as if he fits the bill.

  • You forgot to mention that Berkowitz’s luxury accommodations for the homeless are getting their funds the same way.

  • I have noticed that no municipal employees have been laid off during this crisis, but instead are “working from home “. Has anyone tried to contact anyone in the local government? Evidently, they can’t be bothered by even telephone calls while working from home. I had to lay off 3/4 of my restaurant staff, while government workers have not even been affected. Where is the fairness there? I try to call the municipality for clarification of mandates and get zilch. I too would like to work from home, if I could only be paid for it.

  • Good Morning Mr. Evans,

    Thank you for your insight to helping others see the corruption that is currently going on in this
    otherwise phenomenal city. Please continue your march forward and we hope to soon call you Mr. Mayor.

  • And this kind of thinking is why I support Bill Evans for mayor. He is less about the politics and more about what is right for our city, state, and country.

  • Surely productive Anchorage residents will see what happens after Bill Evans called l-800-359-3898, the Treasury’s Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline and reported the money laundering.
    .
    Bill might have reported money laundering allegations directly to Brian D. Miller, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), United States Treasury, Office of Inspector General 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Room 4436, Washington, DC 20220.
    .
    Bill may have started a qui tam lawsuit intending to return damages to property-tax payers.
    .
    Or somebody’s just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    .
    Bill?

    • I have repeatedly emailed Justice regarding the lack of proper use of the CARES funds and Treasury is the branch of government that gave this option to the city when they had the discussion with the criminals running our town. Funny, Treasury gives advice to city that would violate RICO laws in private business. Pretty damning.

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