Blowout in Midtown: Voters keep Zaletel - Must Read Alaska
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Blowout in Midtown: Voters keep Zaletel

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Early returns in the recall election in Midtown Anchorage show voters are choosing to retain Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel by a margin of 61.2% to 38.8%.

Ballots will continue to come in for several days in this mail-in only election; the deadline was 8 pm on Tuesday, but it’s unlikely the results will be reversed with such a large margin.

9,320 votes were counted Tuesday night out of the approximately 36,000 ballots that were mailed to voters in the Midtown district — and across the country. 5,702 votes were counted to retain Zaletel, while 3,618 voters want her gone. Sources say that at least another 4,000 ballots may come in.

Zaletel is the second Assembly member from midtown to survive a recall election in seven months. Felix Rivera faced a recall election in April during the regular municipal election, and survived it 56.5% to 43.5%.

Zaletel’s defense received enormous financial support from a New York union fund called UNITE HERE, which provided $70,000 to a local independent expenditure group called Stand Up for Meg Zaletel. That group was led by AFL-CIO President Joelle Hall. Another group led by Zaletel herself had raised about $60,000 to defend the assemblywoman, for a total of more than $130,000.

That historic spending to retain a member of the Assembly worked for her. The group that launched the recall had local donations, including a $75,000 contribution from Mark McKenna, of McKenna Brothers Paving in Anchorage and $15,000 from James Protzman, of Pacific Properties of Anchorage.

The challenge for those mounting recall elections in Anchorage is clear — getting signatures on a petition is one thing, but getting a win is of an entirely different order. Even an assemblywoman who rarely shows up to in-person meetings, who authored a punishing mask ordinance with draconian penalties (amended out by others in the final version), and who consistently votes to shut down the public process was able to survive being recalled.

The District 4 area of Anchorage stretches from the Rogers Park neighborhood south to Abbott Road, west to C Street, with parts of Spenard. That portion of Anchorage also majority voted for President Joe Biden in last year’s presidential election.

The group trying to boot Zaletel from the Assembly was comprised of those who were angry with the Assembly for using CARES Act funds to build out a homeless network of housing and drug abuse services. It was a plan that Zaletel had her fingerprints on with former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who left office early one year ago on Oct. 23, after scandalous allegations.

The homeless plan never came to fruition, although the Assembly approved purchasing the Golden Lion hotel using proceeds from the sale of Municipal Light and Power to Chugach Electric, with some members of the public saw as a misuse of the funds from the sale.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Anchorage is dead, it’s now SanFransicko, Portland, Seattle all rolled up into on big stinky piece of ……….

    • Move. Please.

    • Anchorage had room for differences until the ATAP buildout years began. Then, the population influx from the Gulf and Southwest oil-producing states brought a new, distinct, yet subtle level of cultural prejudice and intolerance. This underlying current of
      intolerance slowly built into acts of overt, outright racism and antisemitism over the past four decades. I’m glad my parents didn’t live to see what this city has become. Craig Campbell can give all the excuses here and elsewhere that he wants for abruptly leaving his position. The truth is plain: the Bronson administration has made Anchorage an absolute national, political, communal and public health hellhole.

  • The MLP sale to Chugach Electric will reveal 3 distinct problems

    1) Bill Falsey & Anna Henderson colluded with other members of Assembly and former administrations (Berkowitz and Quinn-Davidson) to launder money through the sale.

    2) The sale included state and federal collusion and relinquishing of Alaskans distinct ownership of their own natural resource rights to foreign nations such as China and Russia. Many elected officials will become implicated in this conspiracy to deprive natural resource access and revenue.

    3) This relinquishing of the power rights to non jurisdictional anti American terrorists will lead to exorbitantly higher rates followed by and coupled with unwarranted power shut offs and failures. The media will try and sell you it is because of weather. (HAARP & DARPA)

    Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

  • With opponents like the pro-recall conservatives, the Lefts don’t even need friends.

    • “……..the Lefts don’t even need friends.”
      That’s very convenient for them, because they don’t have any.

  • Hope that this journalist will apply exactly the same « objective » research methods and vocabulary when presenting the current and future conservative assembly members.

  • Eaglexit please hurry up, tired of been handcuffed by a bunch of loonie tune leftists!

    • Hoping poll watchers are auditing the recall ballots. Dead people and those that have left Alaska or moved out of Anchorage or not legal votes. Too much dark money coming into certain campaigns. Just like the mailing from the Executive Committee at Providence.

  • Two thoughts here regarding this recall attempt. First, Eagle River better get very busy with their plans to exit. Secondly, given the publics apparent hesitancy to leave a dysfunctional relationship with their elected representative, why has Dunleavy acted so damn insecure and wishy washy these last couple of years?

  • I swear these people are so stupid! Yes I’ll say stupid because they wouldn’t understand another description. They reap what they sow!!

    Unbelievable!!

  • While I voted against her I knew that this was a long shot. In a certain respect I wish the energy and money that was behind this recall effort was saved for the Spring when we need to take back the Assemblyin elections. Right now is when groups need to come together looking for candidates, planning strategy and tactics to flip the Assembly.

  • Voter fraud?
    Rigged machines and wacky counting?
    Fake mail-in ballots from dead union members?
    Hmmm … i think that’s how elections are won nowadays.
    At some point in time, hopefully soon, the cancer must be cut-out before it kills the patient.

    • You lost! There was no voter fraud.

      • Remember November of 1982? No “voter fraud” then, either.
        Don’t remember November of 1982? Ah, well, you aren’t as knowledgable as you think, are you?

      • If the media complicity & bias (NPR, KTUU et al.) was taken into account, there’s plenty evidence of voter manipulation and fraud.

      • Please do tell us how you know that for a fact, considering the fraud in the previous elections. Show your work. We’ll wait.

    • Do you feel like you’ve been eating crazy pills?

    • Quite the list of bogus excuses for why your side lost.

  • Gee, imagine.

    She reflects her district. Those of you who keep saying Alaska is conservative are deluded.

    And outside Union help. Imagine. This is why the left wins. They work while the right whines.

    • “……Those of you who keep saying Alaska is conservative are deluded…….”
      Those of you who insist on believing that Anchorage is Alaska or the center of the universe might be the deluded ones.

    • Yes, Alaska is Pot Shop Party Time Central with a rock and roll schlock rock flavor. Not Social conservative. And that is the problem.

  • You see, there’s proof in the pudding. Most progressives believe and act (even in secret) just like those that have survived the recall vote. This same mentality is what gets them elected in the first place. Progressives will and are succeeding in bringing this country to its knees.

  • Smells like something fishy coming out of the Ship creek area

  • Anchorage makes my eyes rain.

  • Fools.

  • Landslide more like it! I guess science does matter.

    • Uhhh…. what?
      What does science have to do with this?

  • This will only empower the communist. It is time to leave that crap hole called Anchorage. Since the people of Anchorage are now mostly leftists, I will never drop another dime there.

    • Anchorage will be a better place

    • Hey, Hey, Hey — Goodbye!

  • With Bab Jones in charge of the vote count, I trust this recall election results about as much as I trust almost anything originating from our institutions of power nowadays, which is to say, not at all.

    • I trust her about as much as I trust pResident Biden in a pre-school.

  • Well, you get what you vote for. Why any business owner in their right mind would vote for a leftist/socialist/communist is beyond me. It’s no secret what midtown looks like. It’s no secret who we see standing on the street corners defecating, begging, passed out, barfing, fighting, sexing, etc., yet mid-town voters continue with the status quo. Incredible actually. I guess the more things get destroyed the more work the unions get to “fix” it. Thanks for calling out her big spenders. I’ll be sure to never do business with them.

  • No conservative/Republican cause or candidate will ever win another MOA election outside of Eagle River (maybe), so long as we have a mail ballot election. Conservative/Republican causes and candidates have to buy turnout at retail with very inefficient mass media, signs, and shoe leather. The unions have membership lists with up to date contact information handed to them by the employers and in the case of the public sector unions at public expense. Conservatives/Republicans have to use either the wildly inaccurate State voter rolls which do not have contact information or spend large amounts of money to try to add contact information and determine if addresses are current or if the voter even exists.

    The unions and leftist interest groups don’t even have to resort to fraud, though I believe they do in some cases, all they have to do is set up boiler rooms for phone contact and set up vote harvesting crews, which many of them can do with members who are on paid release time from their employer – at public expense. The unions and leftist interest groups armed with huge amounts of cash from dues already have a tremendous advantage even without mail ballot voting. With mail ballot voting their advantage is almost insurmountable. One may be permitted to wonder why no public employer in Alaska has taken any meaningful steps to implement the Janus decision and try to limit the impact of union dues on Alaska elections.

    • What? No big push to recount the votes??

      • Recounts are meaningless.
        Recounts have just as high of a likelihood of miscounting a ballot as the original count did. The odds of a machine or a person misreading a ballot remain the same regardless of how many times you count the ballots.
        .
        What is needed is full forensic audits. An audit will determine if the ballot was valid, not just if it was cast.
        .
        Done pushing for recounts. That box of ballots that shows up “just in time” gets counted in the recount as well.

        • You make this up as you go CB?
          I think what you are wanting is an “internal” audit with you on board. You thinking a forensic audit might remove that box of ballots that shows up just in time here??
          Would have to be a pretty large box too. Heheh!

      • Recounts can’t distinguish between valid votes and fraudulently cast votes. They’re pointless. There should be comprehensive audits but the systems in place don’t produce an auditable record; wonder why.

        • Our election system goes to great lengths to keep out fraudulently cast votes because, as you say, once they are cast, they can’t be recovered.
          Why, I’ll bet Don Trump didn’t give a whit where Sec. of State of Georgia was going to find the votes he needed to win there, just that he do something like “say you recalculated.” Raffensperger evidently felt his “systems in place” were such that this was not possible or legal. Tough noogies, I guess eh?

    • Thanks, Art. I specifically searched for your response and it accurately reflects my view. With the built in union margin (paid largely by public dollars), conservative victories become most difficult.

    • Alaska will most likely be a great destination to come hunt and fish. AND, I’m counting on one of those high roller Socialist – Marxist Guv’ment workers to buy my house at an inflated price. As far as living here and contributing something meaningful – significant, well it’s time to find someplace else that will appreciate and show gratitude, someplace other than Alaska.

      • You would love it in North Idaho Rob. Heheh!

      • “…….it’s time to find someplace else that will appreciate and show gratitude, someplace other than Alaska.”
        I can’t imagine anywhere on Earth where that might be.

    • Ever wonder why the left almost always wins these things?

      Simple. They outwork conservatives at every turn. Conservatives whine, leftists hustle.

      The only thing that prevents conservatives from organizing, getting out of state help, ect are lazy conservatives.

      • Middle class, middle aged conservatives/Republicans have families, jobs, and businesses that they must leave to work as unpaid volunteers on campaigns. The left has college students who often get class credit from their communist professors for working on campaigns. The left has throngs of union members, many with employer paid release time for “union business.” The unions have apprentices that they can send out to do campaign work; who do you think puts up the signs for union-endorsed candidates?

        • Sadly, Art, .there is the huge built in margin for leftists. Too many union members are mindless zombies, deluded into acting only on behalf of the union masters sitting high on their thrones. But what can be done to temper them? Remember, even FDR opposed allowing public employees to unionize, and today the inmates run the asylum.

        • Geoff Montgomery: It’s worse than horrible because a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring.
          Larry Lawrence: You mean like Democrats?
          The Ghost Breakers

    • I do believe the Leftist assembly, as obviously ‘non-partisan’ as they have demonstrated, while selling lofty claims of ‘benefitting’ the people of Anchorage, purposefully (cleverly) had candidates party affiliation removed from ballots on the very premise that people vote along party lines – if given the chance. OR, if not given the chance, will vote ‘familiar’ (incumbent or perceived public presence). Educated, thoughtful voting is the extreme minority. Sure, this election may have resulted the same, given the demographic. Regardless, I believe that taking that option away from voter was and is election meddling.

    • True.
      We need to get rid of mail in voting.
      And Barbara Jones is just as slimy as her bosses.

    • For Pete’s sake, just say “so long as everyone has easy access to voting conservatives are doomed,” Art. California, Oregon and Colorado prove that.

      • You forgot the word ‘honest’, which is lacking from the progressive vocabulary.

  • Two more years of living in what is fast becoming a Liberal cesspool. Can’t wait to get to small town America and a real RED town!

    • Try North Idaho AK!

      • You seem stuck on north Idaho but I’d bet a dollar to a donut that you’ve never been there.

        • You’d lose-I grew up in Spokane and North Idaho was home to a lot of racists then (likely still) until those Aryan nations folks were run out.
          You’d love it there.

          • That certainly explains your intolerance, and leftist racist leanings and rants!

          • Try pointing out any of my racist leanings AK-you can’t because there aren’t any. I will say I’m fairly intolerant of racists and that may have come from seeing those around Hayden Lake, ID-Spokane was mostly caucasian when I was in High School and College and North Idaho still is.
            That area is full of racists and Trumpers but I repeat myself. Heheh! You’d like it there too AK.

          • Oh, so white, too. Hmm. And from Spokane, near Northern Idaho. Hmm. Do you own white sheets too? Cut your hair close? Looking pretty bad there, but these things do explain your extremist posts.

          • You make up a bunch of concocted assumptions and then run with a conclusion that they explain my “extreme posts.”
            And when did I say I was white? Perhaps you consider my comment that you’d like it in N-Idaho “extreme?”
            You are left with just babble AK-need to change your meds IMO.

          • Bill Yankee… heh heh heh.
            Don’t get too temperamental, your true self comes out.

  • Why am I not surprised? It almost seems like the result was calculated ahead of time

  • Anchorage… you’re screwed.
    If I was a conservative living in that city, I’d get out while I could and leave it to the lefties.
    Imagine, having neighbors who WANT to live under the iron hand of tyranny!

  • LOL
    Talk about a silent majority. Yikes.

  • Apparently, we Anchorage residents are just not that smart. How can we consistently miss on these recalls? Do we even have a plan for the upcoming election next spring? How can the common resident miss the fact that the deviant left continue to, at any cost and with any out of state donors, oppress the freedoms and oppose our local businesses? We all need to better organize and mobilize like we did in the Mayoral election, or… be assimilated into the deviant left, or…

    • Anyone who runs against one of them should continually question their incumbent opponent, where exactly did the Covid relief funds go? As well a publicly and in advertisements remind everyone what the current assembly members did to small business and the public at large during the scamdemic.

    • Because the left is ascendant in Anchorage.

      It’s just that simple

  • Remember when Seattle went left and turned into the cesspool it is now? Yup.

    • Seattle didn’t “go” left. The Leftists invaded and drove it there, just like everywhere else. And now they’re importing more by the millions from abroad. So pray for brutal, savage winters, no more free money, and horrible services and product availability like we used to have. That will keep them away, and it will be a good trade.

      • You are correct, they did invade. Such a good city it once was, I enjoyed spending time there but haven’t in a while, everything smells like urine and feces.

      • Seattle has always had a strong leftist/communist element. Harry Bridges’ West Coast Longshoremen’s union was a major influence. When the US government tried to run Harry to ground he disappeared and was next seen on the balcony of The Kremlin.

        The International Workers of the World, or Wobblies, were a major presence in Washington and the Left Coast generally. Seattle has long been heavily unionized and until the anti-communist drive after WWII, the unions were heavily communist influenced and some were communist dominated.

        Anchorage and Alaska didn’t escape this influence except the heavy military presence kept the communist dominated Longshoremen out of the Port of Anchorage. Alaska was so heavily Democrat at Statehood that it was only admitted to the Union concurrently with, then, heavily Republican Hawaii in order to maintain party balance in the US Senate.

        When I first got here in the mid-70s, Alaska politics was dominated by the Ad Hoc Democrat Coalition, a far-left splinter off the traditional center-left Democrat Party. Many of the leaders of the Ad Hoc Democrats were open communists. They bolted the Democrat Party’s nomination of Gov. Egan and were instrumental in electing Jay Hammond. While Hammond was nominally a Republican his administration was predominantly leftist and established the State’s organizational culture that exists to this day.

        The oil industry and associated growth and development began to change the political complexion of Railbelt Alaska in the late ’70s and by the mid-80s Republicans had control of one or both bodies of the Legislature. They maintained that control for almost 40 years but it has slipped away since Walker’s defeat of Parnell.

        There are still only a handful of districts in Alaska where a Democrat who acted and talked like a National Democrat could get elected, but the Democrats have used their money and organization, bulwarked by organized labor, to recruit and elect false flag and quisling candidates who will organize with the Democrats. Consequently, the Democrats have reassumed effective control of the State.

  • Less than 10,000 out of 36,000 ballots Midtown(votes) returned, that should tell you what the people think about our ‘elected’ officials and the Anchorage Municipality corruption….we’ve surpassed CA.

    • That is the real story here.
      .
      How many people just did not bother voting because they felt it just did not matter to them? How many conservatives did not bother sending in a ballot because they thought it was not worth the time?
      .
      The “mail in voting” scheme was supposed to increase voter responses, but the percentages of returned ballots seem to get lower every election.

      • How many conservatives in that voting district didn’t actually receive their ballot? Inquiring minds would like to know!!

    • I will guarantee you that the unions got every one of their identified supporters’ votes cast – whether the voter knew it or not. They poured over $100K into Zalatel’s campaign while the pro-recall ran on peanuts. They don’t even have to be corrupt to win.

  • Evil, dark money came in, evil won. Again.
    I am not surprised, just pissed off at the midtown voters that were swayed by evil.
    Or were they? Where is the oversight on Babs, who stumps for Zaletel?
    wake up Anchoragites, this will make the Assembly Commie 9 work even harder to crush us and our city.

    • You lost. Get over it.

  • We should always look out for the unintended consequences. If she had been recalled, the Assembly would have appointed her replacement. So this was a very bad move by the recallers.

  • This recall effort was yet again, a big waste of time and resources. You can’t just recall people you don’t like. How many times do you have to hear that YOU LOST?

    • Oh, would that be how you characterize the democrats’ response when Trump was elected? It was four years of screaming at the sky, burning and looting, impeachment after impeachment. You mean all we had to tell them was “YOU LOST” and they’d settle down and be good little citizens?
      .
      Yeahright. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

  • Thankfully this waste of time and money fiasco is over so we can focus on real issues. This recall was a very very longshot from the start and the results show it wasn’t even close. We can now as a community refocus and get ready for upcoming elections.

  • Stupid voters! Not the ones who voted. The ones who didn’t vote.

  • Something I have noticed about many folks of this city. They are depressed. They are nihilistic. They don’t believe in their own potential. Easy to be fooled by politicians promising a better tomorrow.
    This system is not for the free and the healthy, it is for the sick and hopeless.
    I have choice. I choose to divorce from this sick society and live for myself.
    The people want to live in fear and be ruled over? Fine, they can go right ahead. I will not be participating in their delusion. There are better things in life than to continue humoring the ignorant and blind.

  • What I see is a disheartened community who have given up out of their own self pity while they wait for their own death.

    How many Midtown Churches are inside this district? Their involvement to regularly walk the surrounding neighborhoods doing what they are supposed to and commanded to do (Matt 28:16-20). The midtown churches outreach service of demonstrating the faith, love, patience, and responsibility they profess they possess would make a difference lifting neighbors out of their despondency to where they see we are heading. The 20,000 residents who did not return their ballots need more hope than just replacing candidates, I guess.

  • Furthermore! In the meantime Congratulations Meg Zalatel! As well as the volunteers on both sides who didn’t lose their hope and they chose action over despondency.

  • Sad, just sad.
    Wondering if Kenai is far enough away from Anchorage.

  • Remember those who out voted the recall are also those who believe in masking, the medical industry hospital procedures and likely voted for Biden. They are living in fear of those who value our freedoms. They are the sheeple!

    • They are also in control.

  • Is there any way to break the leftist-union grip on the city? They are too organized and well financed.

  • Anchorage is 55/45 left leaning, but when you take into account the folks in ER and up on the hillside, obviously it’s even more left that it appears in the heart of the city and even out into some of the burbs.

    Even though it leans left, the voters had had enough anti business and anti freedom totalitarian policies and put Bronson in, but just because a center left town came to its senses, doesn’t mean a far left district ever will.

    The nice thing about Anchorage, is that you can drive out of it. The market of ideas should dictate. If the authoritarian left keeps control of the assembly, then I suspect people who like totalitarian policy will move into the city proper, and those who don’t will move to the valley or ER (should they successfully break away).

    • A plague of mental illness is upon us. Vote the nine out! They do not know nor believe in the US Constitution. We cannot live in the US with a squelched US Constitution.

    • If you think the same sickness isn’t spreading to ER and the valley, you’re mistaken.

      • Right, that’s why Jamie Allard, 1 of only 2 Conservative members of the assembly, was voted in by the people of Eagle River. Eagle River is a conservative town and always will be, especially when EaglExit comes to fruition.

  • A plague of mental illness is upon us. Vote the nine out! They do not know nor believe in the US Constitution. We cannot live in the US with a squelched US Constitution.

  • Juneau is in the same boat. Go to Seattle and see our future.

  • Anchorage deserves to suffer with it’s socialist assembly. We quit shopping, eating and staying in your shithole city.

  • I’m thinking that there was a lot of bark and no bite as it pertains to people complaining about Meg. Believe me, I want her out of there as much as the next conservative but, if people don’t vote… you do the math. It’s possible that her district really likes her and you’re seeing a further bluing of Anchorage. I doubt all of what’s been transpiring is due to fraud. My sixth grade teacher said one of the few things that stuck with me from elementary school: “Poor officials are elected by people who don’t vote.” That was in the 60s and, in many cases, still holds true today.

  • Can you say “Dominion” & “mail in voting”? No surprises here!

  • Don’t forget the 🤑 from New York

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