Fagan: Governor breaks silence on ballot measures, Ethan Berkowitz - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 20, 2021
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Fagan: Governor breaks silence on ballot measures, Ethan Berkowitz

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After months of virtual silence over major controversial issues facing Alaska, Gov. Michael Dunleavy finally came out from his basement. Dunleavy had put away and stored for safe keeping his bully pulpit, coincidently, at about the same time the recall effort targeting him surfaced.   

Yet the pressure on the absent governor must have grown so intense he decided to come out of hiding. 

What might have been the final straw is when Elizabeth Welsh, the founder of the widely popular and formidable Facebook group, Open Alaska, posted this on Wednesday: 

“Where is Dunleavy? Wake up! Anchorage is in turmoil and he is silent? Write him and call him today. Tell him to end emergency powers. And travel restrictions. Speak to Anchorage. Stand up for them. Keep the assembly accountable for the CARES act money. This hands-off approach is not standing tall for half of Alaska. The travel restrictions are crippling 1/3 of our industry. Villages in long term care facilities are prisons. He likes to say we’re open, but we are not open. “

Open Alaska’s 7,000 plus members are the heart and soul of Dunleavy’s base. They frequently post their frustration over Dunleavy’s sheepishness and reluctance to take on Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and his hard Left, rubber-stamp majority enablers on the Assembly. Welsh’s grass roots post must have scared the fear out of Dunleavy and pushed him to act. 

Dunleavy was wise to heed the call of a homeschool mom with no experience in politics who has galvanized, energized, and motivated 7,000 plus people around an issue. 

Back in August, Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard, who is always courageous and Trump-like, also called out Dunleavy for remaining silent on the tyranny run rampant in Alaska’s most populated city. 

“Some folks believe you can lead from the rear which we know is not true. I prefer to lead from the front,” Allard said in August. “I can’t speak for the governor, I can only say what I would do and yeah, I wish he would have taken action a lot sooner.”   

Conservative firebrand Bernadette Wilson has been very outspoken on the governor’s silence. She, too, would like to see Dunleavy do more.

“Thousands of Alaskans have been left to battle their government on their own. They’ve sent hundreds of emails and spent thousands of hours attempting to educate themselves regarding the truth about COVID,” said Wilson. “They’ve testified on numerous occasions and have been left out in the cold for countless hours outside Assembly chambers with no one but themselves because Gov. Dunleavy refuses to take a hard line with the municipality of Anchorage and stand with the citizens. I would argue there are things the governor could do to help. At the bare minimum he needs to speak up and be just as vocal as the rest of us have and from the position of someone that has far more influence and reach. We have been standing tall. It’s time for the governor to stand with us.”   

I, too, have been hounding the governor over his silence on Berkowitz’s tyranny and Dunleavy’s refusal to take a stand on Ballot Measure 1 & 2.

Dunleavy advisor Dave Stieren and I got in a rather heated exchange on the radio recently over the governor’s reluctance to take on controversial issues. Stieren claimed it was his job, not the governor’s to take on controversies.  

Wednesday evening, I received a request from Stieren asking if the governor could appear on my show Thursday morning. Stieren added via Facebook message: “He’s breaking news on your show regarding the ballot measures. He’s coming out as a no on both. So, you win.”

You can hear my conversation with the governor regarding Ballot Measures 1 & 2 by clicking on the links below. 

Podcast: Dan Fagan Show/Dunleavy takes stand on Ballot Measure 1

Podcast: Dan Fagan Show/Dunleavy takes a stand on Ballot Measure 2

I also confronted Dunleavy on why he’s remained silent as Berkowitz has destroyed Anchorage’s private sector. 

You can hear that conversation by clicking here.

Some argue there’s nothing the governor could do about Berkowitz’s tyranny, at least not legally. Therefore, Dunleavy would be wasting his time calling the mayor out for ruining the city’s economy using COVID-19 as an excuse. 

But President Trump has been very vocal in calling out Democrat-run cities where mayors have allowed rioting and looting to go unchallenged. 

This is a new age where Leftists like Berkowitz and the majority on the Anchorage Assembly are so radical, dangerous, and destructive, it’s incumbent on all of us to call them out.

Whether it be Welsh, Allard, Wilson, or even “Big Mike.” 

Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive radio show in Alaska on Newsradio 650 KENI. He splits his time between Anchorage and New Orleans. 

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Latest comments

  • It is about time the governor stood up and spoke. He has pretty much been silent to anything Anchorage. Now that the Berkowitz is ousted, Dunleavy will probably still not do anything for Anchorage. He does need to open the state back up 100%. The CDC has admitted that 85% of positive cases came from people wearing masks all the time or most the time. Stop the tyranny on the people of Alaska.

  • Excellent. Let’s keep up the pressure. We can rest when we win our government back.

  • Good article. Thank You.

  • Dunleavy needs to open Anchorage so they can begin to restore. So disappointed in him.

    OR Alaskans, especially Anchorage Alaskans need to join arms and open up their businesses at the same time. It’s not a law. Dunleavy is not going to put his big pants on , do we the people need to take a stand against the government.

  • AWOL Mike came out of his bunker, saw his shadow, readjusted his face diaper and went back into the bunker.

  • We had better put our big pants on, or it won’t be long before we don’t have any to put on.

  • The people of Anchorage voted for the leaders they have. They need to take their city back.

  • Hello! Dunleavy! Good men who remain silent and idly stand by will watch the destruction of their state. Get your 6’8″ frame in gear and go to battle

  • Gov. Dunleavy has whatever power he is willing to take. Under the aggregate demand ruling of Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), the principle laid out is rather simple.

    Aggregate demand and the power that gives Dunleavy under Wickard v. Filburn is nearly limitless on economic issues. There is no such thing as intrastate, or intracity commerce. Almost all commerce within the smaller body affects the aggregate demand of the larger body.

    Let me make it simple. Berkowitz shuts down dining in Anchorage. As a result, farmers in the Valley see the demand for their products plummet. Is this an intracity issue or an intrastate issue?

    The order might be intracity but it is affecting intrastate commerce to a large degree. That legally gives Dunleavy jurisdiction to overrule Berkowitz under Wickard v. Filburn.

  • Honestly, I have plenty of time to read MustReadAK but I do not have time to listen to a radio talk show, and I am voting against the ballot measures. And this is the first time I have ever heard of Open Alaska. So far as the Covid and Berkowitz, the Anchorage economy was in big trouble before these two plagues came. Office and retail space has been vacant for years, and the die was cast when oil production began to fall decades ago. The mid-town Walmart changed to a scene from a dystopian view of the future quite a while ago. Stores like Nordstrom did not leave because of Covid or Berkowitz. Government can do what it wants about Covid; our complete lack of a push-back against what Red China has done to us gives me a very pessimistic view of how we will respond when Red China makes its move (or the next disease they launch). BUT if someone gives me the disease through maliciousness or carelessness, and absent any carelessness on my part, then I won’t look to government; POW – 230 grains of lead right between their eyes! That is the conservative response (not debating what government did or didn’t do, should or shouldn’t do). I am glad to see Berkowitz crash and burn. I have never met Ms. Athens, nor spoken with her, but she is a victim here, and had she been a reporter from Public Broadcasting or the Daily News there would be people marching in pink hats singing her praises.

  • If you don’t point out that the wealthiest and was powerful Republicans like Natasha Von Imhoff and the Rasmuson Foundation Are the ones behind stealing the PFD and allocating it to themselves and other nonprofits, you are misdirecting the people of Alaska towards red herring issues… Natasha Von Imhoff is just as much a threat to everyday Alaskans as Ethan Berkowitz.
    If the governor and other top republicans are not calling out Berkowitz and Edgemon… Perhaps you need to look at the money behind them.

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