A Must Read Alaska story about the Anchorage Assembly majority tabling an ordinance so it would not have to listen to public testimony has irritated Assemblyman Chris Constant greatly. If Must Read Alaska had not done the story, he would not have gotten a certain email that he feels is anti-semitic.
In a message on Twitter, Constant says that the email sent to the Assembly about the Assembly’s refusal to listen to public testimony is anti-semitic.
In polite terms and without name-calling, the writer warned the Assembly to not to prohibit public testimony just because the Assembly thinks it knows better than the public. “Why are you so afraid to hear public testimony,” the Anchorage constituent asked the Assembly.
The writer made a special mention of Forrest Dunbar, who is the assemblyman who said that the public’s testimony is always filled with misinformation, reminding him of what happens when people are oppressed, as had been done in Germany under the Third Reich. “Do you not know your own history?” the constituent wrote.
Constant has described the letter to the Assembly as anti-semitic. He also published the author’s email address to his followers on Twitter, a practice known as doxxing (inviting harassment of someone). And he attributed the letter to someone he associated in the Save Anchorage Facebook group.
When Constant learned he had just shared misinformation, he walked back his statement about Save Anchorage.
Constant, who was a top lieutenant for Forrest Dunbar’s mayoral campaign, could not drop the anti-semitic theme, however. In a case of political blame-shifting, he said that the person was motivated by a story in Must Read Alaska:
The story at Must Read Alaska, linked here, relays what happened during the Aug. 23 Assembly meeting, when the Assembly tabled an ordinance that would have asked voters whether they want to elect the Municipal Clerk should be placed on the ballot.
The ordinance, AO 2022-13, was offered by Mayor Dave Bronson in response to the discontent among many Anchorage voters about how elections are managed in Anchorage. The Clerk, who oversees Anchorage’s controversial elections, is beholden to a highly partisan Assembly. If elected, she would be responsible to the people.
The Assembly voted to table the ordinance indefinitely, 9-3, because to allow it to be considered by the Assembly would mean the Assembly would have to hear public testimony on their views of Anchorage elections. Dunbar said that would invite misinformation to be spewed.
Assemblyman Constant has a reputation of calling for members of the public to be silenced during their testimony, for having people thrown out of Assembly meetings, and for even flashing the “Loser” sign at people who attend the meetings.