Cliff Groh, Democrat, files for House for new District 23 – Government Hill, Eagle River


Cliff Groh, longtime political commentator, has filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for what is the new House District 23. It stretches from Government Hill, where he lives, wraps around JBER and encompasses part of Mountainview and a portion of Eagle River.

Groh is a big-government Democrat and proponent of taxing Alaskans’ incomes. On Twitter, he recently said, “Alaska needs more revenues. Some should come from a broad-based tax aimed particularly at high earners, including non-residents. This would help keep us out of a downward spiral…”

The area of town he lives in used to be in District 20, a liberal district that is now represented by Rep. Zack Fields. Groh ran for that district in 2018, but lost to Fields in the primary. His new district stretches north into conservative areas, rather than south into the heart of downtown Anchorage and the South Addition.

Groh worked as a legislative aide in the Alaska Legislature and worked for the Alaska Department of Revenue. He was a municipal attorney, a petroleum taxation attorney, a prosecutor, and a criminal defense attorney, according to his extensive bio. He writes frequent opinions that appear in the Anchorage Daily News on the topic of Alaska’s fiscal crisis and he is on the board of the progressive group “Alaska Common Ground.”

All House and Senate seats (except one) are up for election this year due to the redistricting process that redrew political boundaries in order to assign an even number of residents to each political district. The Redistricting Board shifted boundaries in Anchorage as a result, as Anchorage has been losing population, while the Mat-Su Valley has grown significantly.

The district now known as 23 is also the home of Rep. David Nelson (who represented District 15 under the old map.) Nelson is running for reelection.

House District 23 – Senate District L – Government Hill/JBER/Northeast Anchorage


  1. Alaska does not have a revenue crisis as much as a spending crisis. Forget taxes until you are willing to truly trim the state budget – and not just capital projects.

    In the Matsu valley, one only needs to go out on the state maintained roads on any given day to see the gross wanton waste by state DOT in their constant 24/7 sanding, at least 50% unnecessarily, squandering fuel, equipment wear, and resources. They plow and sand bone dry roads all winter. When it actually snows our roads are turned into mud troughs. I have watched them literally layer PW highway with belly dumps of sand when simply plowing and some scatter at intersections, hills and curves is all that is needed. Sure seems there is a lot of excess funds in just that department alone.

    • Well you must have a lot more state personnel in your area maintaining the roads so to speak.. In Anchorage they do a very poor job maintaining the state roadways. Not enough staff broken equipment, There’s always an excuse.The governor could fix DOT road maintenance but apparently he doesn’t care.

  2. I live in that district and have had one legislative term too many of do-nothing, know-nothing David Nelson. He needs to “hit the bricks”. He knows nothing, appears totally uninterested, and cannot think for himself on virtually any topic. He is also very creepy.

    On the other hand, Cliff Groh would drive our state budget into the ditch if he were able to debate and vote as a state legislator. State spending, and legislative salaries and per diem, are totally out of control.

    Let’s wait for the redistricting lawsuits to be resolved. And then let’s see who the candidates are. Surely there are better candidates to choose from.

  3. When one hears proposals for a “tax aimed particularly at high earners, including non-residents.” The non-residents they refer to are public retirees, specifically the 19,000 odd public retirees and survivors receiving checks mailed to outside addresses. (Roughly half of the approx total 38,000 govt. retirees are outside.)
    High earners? Yes, as public retirees, their monthly checks are set at their highest three wage years. And they no longer belong to a union, so Dems face no kick-back.
    Democrats talk about oil workers, but Dept of Labor only counts 13,500 total, a fraction of whom are based outside. The $$ is in the money Alaska sends to retired government workers.
    While common sense would find it pretty silly to propose funding government by taxing government employees (about 22,000 state, 40,000 local including most teachers, and 15,000 federal, plus retirees = almost half Alaska’s wage earners?). We are talking about socialist logic.
    The kind of thinking where it makes perfect sense to add a line to retirees monthly check, right after the deduction of federal payroll taxes, and take out 25% as a State tax.
    Why 25%? Well the pre-covid total for all wages in Alaska, public and private, was about 18 billion, and 25% gives you the 4.5 billion “needed” to cover the general fund (GF) spend.
    You and I know the problem is spending. Alas, Socialists are perfectly happy spending someone else’s money. Yours.
    I think the idea their enthusiasm for taxing public employees, the service sector, and the few remaining oil workers is based on the myth they can use these funds to continue to grow government. Tax proponents enthusiasm for taxing government employees pay, extends to taxing you as well.
    What, you were going to buy groceries, heating oil, repair your old car? How can that compare in importance to a new program serving the needy . . . . ?

  4. I have met and talked with Mr. Groh and I am not impressed. He truly believes in taking our money via a progressive income tax (as does Zack Fields), and he doesn’t understand the deep dark side to banking: deposits. Like Mr. Fields, Mr. Groh will increase spending if he has more money to do so, leaving the taxpayer with larger bills.

  5. In that district he’s a shoe in. The question becomes how much of that slice of Eagle River goes with him.

    That will tell you a lot about the future of Eagle River

  6. My favorite quote, and I can’t recall the author, says, “You can never make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.” We don’t have enough “rich” people to support our entire population. We need revenue and new money to keep our state alive.

  7. Groh is a throwback from the era of Hugh Malone, Steve Cowper, Clem Tillion, etc. That was the day of 2 million barrels a day. Everyone could go to Juneau and agree to spend money we had or were expected to have. Now, as Suzanne reliably reports, production is about 485,000 barrels a day, a 76 percent decline. The trouble is that we have more Alaskans today than we did then, and we actually have far fewer Alaskans working in the productive private sector now than we did back then. We do have lots more people working for government, state, local and federal, however. That arithmetic is impossible of course, and it could only work if working Alaskans could be prohibited from moving to places where wages are higher and the cost of living is lower. If taxes could fix this upside down situation then the solution would be easily agreed and implemented (forgetting that having so many people living off government brings social problems even when there’s ample money). Groh’s father was both smart and successful in his working life, but his son has always been a socialist and a grifter. On the other hand, the lovely Sara and stunning Kelly would be very unlikely to invite Cliff to go leg-wrestling.

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