Arsonists? AFL-CIO bosses burn bridges with Vietnam vet and Navy SEAL Rep. Laddie Shaw by calling him a coward


The AFL-CIO put out a statement today that called war veteran Rep. Laddie Shaw a coward. His offense? Putting House Bill 22, a return to defined benefits for some state workers, into a subcommittee for a full vetting.

Shaw, a retired Navy SEAL, was assigned to Vietnam, not once, but twice, during the Vietnam War, as a member of the Underwater Demolition Team 13 and SEAL Team 1.

He served in the Naval Reserve and the Alaska Army National Guard, and was an emergency response specialist for the Alaska State Troopers. He also served as the Alaska director of veterans affairs from 1999 to 2003. He has been an advocate for military members and veterans.

Why would the AFL-CIO call such a hero a coward? The union bosses are unhappy that the bill they want will be delayed. Of concern for many in the House majority is that the bill was raced through its first committee of referral and was voted out of committee without so much as the required fiscal note.

In the same statement, the union called House Speaker Cathy Tilton and Rules Chair Craig Johnson cowards. In fact, the AFL-CIO called the entire House Majority cowards.

Here is the statement:


  1. I shall email them within full support of their stance!

    Look into the mirror, AFL-CIO, should you wish to observe true cowardice, as you obviously have no idea of bravery.

    That said opponents are not kowtowing unto your baseless and unrelenting charge of benefiting your own ill-gotten financial gains, at the cost of your membership, is a breathtakingly display of cowardice, as all you care about is your own financial windfall, year after year.

    They identify themselves by name.

    You identify yourself as an organization, rather than as an individual.

    Who is the coward, AFL-CIO?

    The individual that identifies themselves, or the organization that refuses to identify themselves individually that attacks said individuals?

    They are standing within their own identities.

    You are hiding yourselves under an organization.

    Who, or what, is the true coward within this scenario?


    Every single time.

  2. Sod the sissy that called Shaw a coward. What is reprehensible is that the slob that wrote such a derogatory reference about an American hero can hide behind the anonymity of her typewriter and a union banner. What the hell does that person have against decorated war veterans anyway? That AFL sissy needs to shut his/her mouth.

    • MRAK did not identify anyone calling Laddie a coward, did you read the article, or just the headline?

      • With some effort and professional help, I bet you can overcome your deficit in reading comprehension.

  3. Where in the statement is anyone being called a coward? Is that the entire statement? Somehow, I don’t see it.

  4. Composing my email of adulation now. Seems that my Rep. Laddie did exactly what I’d hope he’d do: stand in the face of the Public Trough Sows saying “Not on my watch!” Well done, Laddie! Well Done!

  5. The union big wigs just want their 10%. Union members just pay them to sit on their backside and cry when they don’t get their way. It feels nice to win one from public unions.

  6. Was Andy Josephson then a hero for bullying a rookie legislator into ramming through the same legislation without the required documentation? Sometimes it’s clear who the heroes and the cowards are, this is one of those times.

    Well done Representative Shaw!

  7. What’s the chance that said mafia/ union boss and company fully endorsed Brandon and his bosses………
    How many state representatives in D.C. (that fight tooth and nail to make AK a park) had previously referenced tool’s backing?

  8. Anything public sector Unions want is bad for Alaska and Alaskans. The AFL-CIO and ASEA are full of self-serving Union fatcats who make bank by fleecing the State. Bravo Laddie! Semper Fi. Cut the pigs off at the trough.

  9. AFL- CIO you just demonstrated your intelligence level. It’s right below the moron mark on the scale. Call an American decorated combat vet a coward let alone my representatives that I support. Very insulting. I’m not anti union either. It takes a delicate balance to make everything work if it gets too heavy either way it’s no good for anyone. I would suggest an apology to Mr Shaw and our other representatives and make it soon.

  10. Union bosses hide behind their membership, letting them do their strong arm bidding for them. Then they steal from the members and rig their internal union elections to keep themselves in power. Union bosses are the real cowards! It’s easy for the union bosses to call tough men like Laddie Shaw a coward. But get a union boss one on one in a blind alley and they’ll squeal like a little piggy begging for mercy. Thank you for your brave military service, Representative Shaw.

  11. I have my issues with Shaw, but would never call him a coward.

    The unions really want this. I wonder what lengths they are willing to go to get it.

  12. Thank you Cathy Tilton, Craig Johnson, and Laddie Shaw. We need to generously donate to your campaigns and help you get re-elected.. Their opposition is going to have huge amounts of money and manpower to use against them.. We have to protect and defend and financially support these BRAVE REPRESENTATIVE’S..

  13. Totally inappropriate. I saw too much of this language during the election also. Stick to the issues and appreciate that others think differently. Govern, quit filling positions or side contracts with political supporters. Try hiring someone who actually knows how to do the job.

  14. I wouldn’t have a problem with public service employees having a defined benefit pension plan if it is run the same way as other private pension plans such as the construction trades where a sum of money is invested in the stock and bond markets and actuaries determine the defined benefit based on the projected performance of those markets. Taxpayers are never expected to bail out those plans if and when markets go sour, unlike the teachers’ union plan in Alaska where the State stepped in to bail them out to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars from the State treasury. The Devil is in the details.

  15. Shaw is a former emergency response specialist for the State Troopers. If he was still connected with the Troopers, he would see how the force is being decimated by the 5 and out policy that now exists. If this keeps up, we won’t need emergency responses because we won’t have anyone to respond. Just saying.

    • Law enforcement has trouble recruiting across the country and the “Defund the police” chant hasn’t helped that either. Would you want to do a job where every other person you encounter thinks you are the enemy? Alaska with its remote locations and poor infrastructure (roads etc) has a double challenge here.
      Considering that we as a state are #1 on the DC hit list and so our fiscal future already looks interesting, having a good grasp on the fiscal commitment this bill represents, makes perfect sense. Whose going to pay all that retirement money if there is only very limited oil production and a decline in tax revenue from that?? The small population of this state? Good luck with that! Public employees should be offered the same option as their private counterparts. Let them control where they wish to put their money and take it out of the union bosses hands

    • Lefties and union goons just can’t help but lie. There is no “5 and out policy.” The PERS vesting period has ALWAYS been five years. With 5 years service you can leave State service and take both your own and the State’s retirement contribution with you. I did it when I left the ASD with a little over 5 years in ’81; cost me a fortune to pay it back in the ’90s.

      Not everyone is cut out to be an Alaska State Trooper; even fewer are cut out to be a Trooper in a rural Alaska post. Once a recruit has completed the Academy and field training, pretty much the first year, s/he is susceptible
      to forced transfer to any post, which means usually to a rural post. The junior Trooper remains susceptible to forced transfer until his/her 5th anniversary, though it may take awhile longer since there has to be an opening to bid out to.

      If you don’t like living and working in rural Alaska, and many don’t, the only way out is to quit. If you have the stomach for it, you can hang on until that 5th Anniversary and take the State’s money as well as your own contributions with you. I answered a lot of complaints and grievances about rural assignments, the the way DPS works, a lot of them never made it to Administration or the Governor’s Office. A lot of them didn’t have happy resolutions and some had very bad endings.

      DPS doesn’t like to make news regarding personnel matters, so unless somebody is dead, the public rarely hears about what happened. The incident with the school principal in Palmer a few weeks ago dead-ended and may outright end some careers. The standard is simple; you don’t cause trouble and you don’t screw up. The reality is that bringing attention to yourself in the Capital or on the 10th Floor of the Juneau SOB is considered both causing trouble and screwing up by much of DPS’ management. Complaining about your rural posting may not end your career, people who can pass a background check and pee in a bottle are hard to find, but it will certainly dampen your promotion potential.

      • You have a good sophmoric grasp of the inner workings of DPS. However I emphasize sophmoric though maybe I should state “well-educated outsider.”

        Actual forced transfers are very, very rare. Generally DPS pulls many shenanigans to avoid it since there is a flip side to it after two years that is detrimental to DPS administration.

        “Hardship” transfers are far more common and DPS is rather generous with the definition.

        Being forced somewhere is not a career ender, never has been. Avoiding transfer is also not a career ender, not at all. Generally, finding a way to avoid a transfer is often beneficial to a career. You’ll find that few administrating DPS members have done any real “bush” time. Usually they do one stint in a place like Kodiak or a road “rural” like Ninilchik or Girdwood (back in the day) that’s what gets a politco-cop ahead; not a few years in Galena, Selawik, or St. Mary’s. Very few Colonels or Commissioners have ever done any real time out West. The way to success in DPS is access to Anchorage HQ. Face time matters.

        There is no hard and fast five year limit. Technically, DPS can transfer any personnel at any time to anywhere, though it’s incredibly unusual. There are times when a Trooper’s personal issues becomes a personnel issue and the “needs of the department” is applied.

        Transferring is not an issue to at least 75% of the Troopers out there. It’s not until or if they get ten or twelve years in, get a mortgage, wife, and become comfortable somewhere that most of them are done moving.

        As for career-ending decisions as a Trooper, those are few and far between. DPS is actually pretty forgiving of individual error as long as the Trooper “owns it” and as long as there is no criminality behind the Trooper’s actions. Lying to DPS during an internal investigation will have you out the door almost instantly (unless you’re politically connected or an important number) even if there is no unlawfullness involved.

        It’s incorrect to consider absence of promotion as a career ender. Troops with time on learn that a Troop’s base rate is very close to a Sgt.’s, that it’s easier to change assignments, put in for transfer as a Troop instead of a Sgt., and that being is Troop is far less stressful and more fun than handling administrative or political tasks. The essential mindset of “a drunk with a gun is more fun than dealing with HQ or politicians”

        Also, as soon as you step into the Lt. ranks, you actually take an effective paycut…promoting to safety.

        There are many other factors ar play in retention, but under the old PERS system you could depend upon a third to a half of any recruit class finishing at career at 20+ years. Current classes are much larger (standards have dropped) and the current rate is about 25% gets past ten years.

        Simple fact is, the market is nationwide and quality is scarce. Many other states offer defined benefit to LEOs and we don’t. Candidates who seek Careers (defined benefits) are several notches above folks who look for Jobs offering 401k. AST is far more demanding than the Washington State Patrol, but offers less of a “career” and more of a “job” to candidates.

        • Our free PFD check is more important to us than seeking qualified applicants who want to serve their community for a full 20+ years.

        • The two most valuable skills in Alaska are the ability to pee in a bottle and pass a background check. And that isn’t new; it was a problem in my last years and I retired in ’06.

      • Art, have you considered the other possible reason for the low amount of applicants; an increased rate of drug use? Many cannot pass the screening required for many jobs that we now have shortages in. The pandemic didn’t help. Applicants are not holding out for benefits like we are being forced to believe.

  16. What’s next, showing up at their homes and threatening family members? To put out public statements of that caliber has always led to bad results. How dare anyone challenge the all powerful unions. Encouraging public to “ contact “ these representatives on a public forum is irresponsible and threatening because they know that there are wackos out there that will take it to extremes. The unions are pissed because despite their efforts they could not buy the entire house. Strangely enough, some representatives are of moral character and can’t be bought. For a list, refer to the campaign contributions and draw your own opinions.

  17. A gang calling an Individual Soldier a coward???

    Thank You for Your Service Representative Shaw.

    Marlin (Sgt ’66-’68)

  18. I’m surprised the union took time out from their boondoggles in Las Vegas to even notice this.

    The basic premise of a union is to have someone else do your thinking for you and to march in lockstep with all the other sheep. Oh wait, that’s called communism.

      • Pardon please an impertinent question: any parallel to the Alaskan life experiences of “native” people living well-meaning lives in AK from birth to death in the “Last Frontier” and life trajectory of US warriors of ’68 era? Let’s see: we have prep years, primo years where everything and everyone is angling for ya unrelentingly and following that; the downward spiral years, following that grief years and after that the vultures and predators period. The antipathy never goes away and one is “home”. Thank you warriors for defending our way of life seriously.

        This is a challenge to anyone seeking Masters thesis. Flesh this out; get a Masters and add possibly to the body of historical archives. It might help the OCS answering the question: should warriors have their children removed interminably? What is the answer? Who, for instance, knows?

    • JH, the main purpose of a union is collective bargaining – resulting in fair wages and benefits, and structured grievance and discipline. Strong arm tactics and political “muscle” shouldn’t be part of this. And by “fair” I mean fair to both the employee and the employer – not included is a fat portion for union goons. Unions were set up historically as a check against employment slavery – which still goes on today, even in the U.S. (look up the laws regarding “contract employees”!). Having said this, Rep Shaw please keep standing strong – this defined benefit program would bankrupt the State in short order and keep the goons laughing at us for another generation.
      Myself no fan of either union thuggery or communism, I suggest you keep your criticism accurate.

  19. I am a union member ( IBEW 1547 ) and enjoying a defined benefit pension plan in my retirement and grateful for it. I believe a defined benefit plan will work but only if the employer ( the government in this case) is willing to consistently fund the plan starting from day 1 of a new employees hiring. Then they must safeguard that money and not allow it to be used for any other purpose. No doubt in lean times this is hard to do. The return on mutual funds over 10 years averages 12 % annually. Over 30 years the growth should be enough for a comfortable retirement!!

    • Let the employee invest it themselves and not cost the State to administer it. A simple pay raise should do the trick, but State employees already make pretty good pay…

    • I,m retired union also John.
      Our trade unions negotiate pay & bennies from capitalists who make profit.
      Public ‘service’ unions are negotiating pay & benifits from regular citizens & our children.
      The benifit of government work is good pay & stability.
      As trade unionists we were laid off when jobs finished or the economy stalled (ESPECIALLY the early 80’s)

      Our public servants are NEVER laid off, they have stability.
      If they want better union pay/bennies let them enter the ‘dog eat dog’ world of capitalism.

    • John, you worked for an Electrical Contractor who paid your benefit to your Union Trust. The Contractor after a period of time has immunity from paying any further sums into your retirement. This system is common throughout the Construction Trades. The public employee unions as far as I know want the State to be responsible for an employees retirement into perpetuity.
      See the difference? Some have called the Public Employee system, PLUNDER!

  20. Legislators were named. Why not publish the names of the AFL-CIO individuals making the claim? I’m betting a lot of people would like to know who they are?

  21. Biden Shoveled $36 Billion In Taxpayer Funds To Bail Out Teamsters For Mismanaged Pensions
    FEBRUARY 23, 2023

    ‘The largest private pension bailout in American history’ gave each beneficiary of the Central States Pension Fund nearly $100,000.


    • Heard the Anchorage assembly did something similar at the local level in order get school bus drivers. With our tax money.

      • Sounds like the leftest, liberal commies in the Assembly..They change the rules whenever to benefit their pockets.

  22. The smallest of actions may indeed change the world, Loren, within support of the just, and allowing them to continue within their just actions exponentially.

    One supportive action leads unto two, two leads unto four, four leads unto eight, and so on.

    That said, one negative comment means simply that. ONE negative comment, which goes no further than that, as it holds no merit, such as yours does.

    But you be you, Loren, as that is all that you possess.

    Negativity, and declination.

    Mock me all you like, should that make you feel better, as I have absolutely no concern as to your opinion of me, as you are not one that I respect enough to care of your opinion.

  23. I am altogether for returning a version of defined benefits to the retirements of Troopers, we spend far too much money recruiting and training new Troopers to replace those that leave every year for greener pastures. I’m confident that no one in DPS administration will agree, but losing PERS seriously degraded the quality of AST personnel.

    I absolutely promise you that Laddie Shaw does not have one cowardly atom in his body or soul. Not even a hint of one.

  24. At one point, in his youth, he was probably cool under fire. He experienced fear, and worked through it. That is courage, not cowardice.

    Today, he’s probably still not a coward, he’s just a calculated politician. He understands that his voting base is most concerned about free PFD money every year. This is more important than retaining qualified law enforcement, more important than actually backing the blue and not just saying it. He understands who his voters are, and what their priorities are. And, he wants to stay employed as a politician.

    He used to be dangerous. Now he’s just a politician.

      • Doing right by First Responders isn’t a special interest, but apparently it is also a unique concept.

    • Howdy Art,.you speak of All The Citizens in this State as though they are Free-Loaders. The legislature is padding ALL the Unions Pockets, not just DPS. but I Education. Labor, Electrical, Heavy Equipment, Boiler Makers, Pile Drivers, all demanding more,. and getting it because they have Union Lobbiest promising Money and Manpower to re-elect their politicians. Who stands up for ALL ALASKANS—-LADDIE, CATHY, and Craig. The PFD belongs to ALL ALASKANS. Like firearms —- It should not be INFRINGED.

      • Lol. Please don’t compare our free check we get every fall with the Second Amendment. That’s cooky talk.

        Still chuckling…”outa my cold dead hands” he says

  25. Rep. Shaw is and always has been a good man. He’s neither a coward nor a typical “politician”.

    Wanting to look at the effects of a long term commitment like a defined benefit program rather than ram it through the legislature isn’t cowardice, politics or anything other than responsible governance, which we need more of.

    Keep doing what you do, Laddie.

  26. It’s minor issues like these that bring The Republic to mind. Plato was right and his work is timeless, he’s been proven correct time and time again.

    Essentially, the rule of the rabble doesn’t create freedom, it creates despotism.

  27. This really doesn’t have anything to do with PFDs or appreciation of first responders. It has everything to do with the union strong arming for benefits that may or not be fiscally responsible. And attacking anyone who wants to use due and required procedure to consider the bill. That much hasn’t changed since the 1970s when the teamsters were lobbing bricks from highway overpasses to make their point. They brainwashed their members to think that this was a good practice. Now the its the government employees who are represented by unions and the games continue. At taxpayer expense.

  28. Listen!…. the little piggies are squealing for our “free” PFD again! Don’t get in their way or they will knock you down on their way to the trough!

  29. Remember when the PFD check would pay most of your property taxes? Not enough to put a dent in it now. Could care less about it anymore, but it has become a matter of principle. Our government needs to downsize and the PFD is the parakeet in the mine shaft. When it goes away, more taxes come next. There’s no end to it,until the bloated beast explodes. No more private enterprise to exploit, the government must feed off its own feecies. There’s many states that have nothing close to our revenue and do fine with the small taxes that they charge. But they don’t have special interest groups lobbying for their pittance in an isolated area of the state. What a system we have here. And to use first responders as an excuse for bloat. When in fact, during the epidemic, government employees in general were at home getting paid while the private sector was getting screwed. Now their unions are demanding more money in order to create retention. I say, get rid of them all. I couldn’t care less. They didn’t have to experience hunger at the least, while many of us did. They didn’t have to rob their life’s savings to pay their property taxes and utilities while the rest of us who didn’t ask for a handout did. I’m at the point that government or any other services would not be solicited even if they were helpful. Except for the volunteer fire department of course. They don’t have their hands out. But if I were to have a heart attack, I would not call them either, because they would have to transfer my dying butt to a hospital that would soon own what is left of my property. At 40,000 a day for their services, I would be gone as soon as they figured out what my worth was. Fancy health insurance goes away soon after you have an event that stops you from being employed. If you are private sector. And the VA denies you because they think that drawing from your retirement is income. Just the facts, folks. Maybe it would be nice to retire from a state job with half of my useful life left to making the same wages I enjoyed while working and medical benefits as well. I could even find another equally useless job and double my previous income. And a second retirement as well.You just don’t find these opportunities in private sector. So excuse my reluctance to approve of benefits that can only be achieved by government employment. I gave my time in the service, and didn’t do it for the benefits that I never received, and yet I don’t have any complaints. What makes anyone else so special. If our government would just realize that it is not their place to help every hopeless case and vagrant by choice and give their employees much more than they could ever achieve in the private sector at our expense then there would be no complaints. And if their labor unions, which they shouldn’t need, could keep out of the political business then that would also be great. You can’t pay a job by what its worth and some of our first responders are priceless. But most of those types are not into it for the pay, any more than the GI fighting our enemies in a foreign country. We all need to eat, but maybe not steak every night. That GI, after 20 years of service, gets less benefits than a city worker after twenty years. And the private sector, whatever you stashed away in your working years. There’s just as many everyday heroes in the private sector that deserve much more than money can provide. They are just like our public servants, wanting a cold beer and a warm bed at the end of the day. They don’t do it for the benefits, it’s a calling. Let’s not insult their honesty. Really don’t think labor unions will ever be able to represent people like these. The rest of them are into it for the money, using this group to better their goals. Sorry I wrote so much, but my time is short and cannot just be still while I watch history repeat. I was in the truck that received the teamster brick through the windshield 50 years ago, nearly killing us. We were not doing revenue, just moving a tractor privately owned during a union strike.Just taking it to the shop for repairs. Nearly killed us, and the union never even sent flowers. Our truck was never recovered. And the paramedics that treated us, I remember them asking, what are you, nuts? Driving a truck during a union strike? Fifty some years later, I have his answer. Because this is the United States of America.

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