Mat-Su chapter of AMAC votes to dissolve after national headquarters fires its volunteer president

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The first Alaska chapter of Association of Mature American Conservatives has voted to dissolve after the national office dismissed the chapter’s leader, volunteer President Mike Coons, who was the person who started AMAC in Alaska.

The Mat-Su chapter met on Saturday and voted 30-2 to dissolve. The chapter, which formed up several years ago under Coons’ leadership, has over 400 members.

AMAC is the conservative alternative to to AARP, which tends to be a liberal, entitlement-oriented organization. AMAC represents Americans older than 50 and is centered on American values, freedom of the individual, free speech, and exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, rule of law, and love of family, with benefits at all levels. AMAC Action, a 501 (c)(4), advocates for issues important to AMAC’s membership on Capitol Hill and locally through grassroots activism. 

Coons said he started an AMAC chapter after getting tired of receiving material from AARP. There were no chapters in Alaska at the time, and through a phone call with AMAC headquarters in Florida, he volunteered to get the organization active in Alaska.

The organization does not endorse candidates but is active in politics on issues and initiatives. Coons became cross-threaded with the national organization this year when his chapter planned to endorse Ballot Measure 1, the Constitutional Convention question on November’s general election ballot. National leaders fired him over that, Coons said, in a phone call he received while he was out hunting.

Another chapter of AMAC started two years ago in Anchorage, and there’s also a chapter in Fairbanks that was initiated by Coons. But the Mat-Su organization was the biggest in the state and was active in bringing in speakers monthly to its meetings, and promoting legislation that would have a positive impact on senior citizens, working on topics such as education and taxation. The Permanent Fund dividend, as determined by its original statutory formula, was a big topic for the Mat-Su chapter.

The group brought in many speakers, among them Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowki, Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka, congressional candidate Nick Begich, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Must Read Alaska publisher Suzanne Downing, state senators and representatives, such as Sen. Shelley Hughes, Sen. Mike Shower, and Reps. Cathy Tilton, DeLena Johnson, and Sharon Jackson.

At Saturday’s meeting, Coons was a participant but not the meeting leader. Coons made the motion to dissolve the chapter, and after a robust discussion for an hour, the group voted overwhelmingly to do so, even though headquarters in Florida had told the group it was not permitted to dissolve.

41 COMMENTS

  1. As I’ve said……AARP sucks. The Florida AMAC HQ can go suck eggs. Everyone want’s to rule the world. I would join an unassociated, Alaska AMAC.

    • Wish I could do so. However, keep tuned, hopefully by end of next week we will have a better alternative!

    • You always have the Anchorage group to join, yes, it’s not in your own backyard and will need to travel to south Anchorage Sentry Dr. is just behind the Abbott Rd Fred Meyers. I am just an average memeber and attend when I can..I am not in the leadership.

      • not an unassociated, they are AMAC Action.
        Sadly, this story evolves. This morning, my wife and I decided to drop being AMAC members, turns out the CEO of AMAC and AMAC Action cancelled my subscription at 9:30 EST today. Nuff said

    • Will be interesting to see what happens when they read the end of meeting report that states the membership dissolve the chapter! Not to mention the e-mail that is going out to my 400 plus folks!

  2. Somewhat perplexed by this development. I know Mike and am a member at large and attend the Anchorage group occasionally. The ConCon is a no brainer for conservative Alaskans who want the state to have a meaningful future!! Is this a control issue national vs state or is their some underlying battle that Is hidden from most of us?

    • This is a long term problem I have had as to micromanagement. Plus, I asked about the abillity to endorse the measure since that does not fall into the 501 c(4), which is candidates. The answer was yes. Then they changed their mind and said we never had the conversation.
      This is all about control 4,000 miles away. They are afraid of their own shadow and unwilling go fight back to the libs. Hell AARP, in my opinion most likely violates the 501 c(3) rules daily! Yet these guys have a bunch of chicken shit lawyers that run scared!

      • Sir I have been an Amac member for many years. Have you read the magazine or website. Far cry from being afraid. I have found them to very aggressive in fighting progressive ideology.

        • From a national stance, yes, I agree. As to State issue that the chapters are most aware of pretty much zip. They are the only ones that can speak out or support or oppose legislation, not the chapters.

      • You are suggesting that AMAC should violate 501c rules because aarp does!!! Really?!?! And they are chicken because they follow the law!!! WOW.

        • No, I am not. We do not, nor can endorse a candidate. However we can do so legally as to ballot measures and legislation.

    • exactly john… more to this story for sure. did this site contact the organization for their side of the story? Alaskans deserve to hear both sides of this story before passing judgement.

        • no need to call them now… I just got an email explanation from their president… I encourage all of you to read it as i am sure i am not the only one to receive. Clearly mr. coons, the rules were not followed. you nor a handful of chapter members DID NOT have the authority to cancel the Chapter and you had to know that! Folks, the Chapter is not disbanded! they are just looking for new leadership. ps the email also include many “Alaska state” issues they have been working on. not just national!!! As I suspected… just sour grapes.

  3. So the organization fired Coons because his branch intended to endorse a political proposition. However, if the MatSu branch made that decision collectively, it seems the national organization should have severed its relationship with the MatSu branch entirely rather than merely firing Coons.

    As an aside, why would Coons and AMAC of MatSu believe a constitutional convention would be in their best interest? The political elites will control the convention and will likely make things worse rather than better. Voting for the convention is a hard call.

    • See above responses. They are the ones that say what can and can’t be OK. Micromanagement at it’s worse.
      As to the ballot measure, we have studied it extensively, we have had outstanding presentations by Senator Mike Shower and Jim Crawford. We know that your views are incorrect as to control, because the elected delegates will control the convention and outcome.

        • OK, you have a point that I had not considered. The 1630 i.e. George Soros, the NEA, IBEW, etc. may well spend big bucks to fight the final votes, not the plural. We, the delegates (I am running and hope to be the “we”) will have several amendments, each a separate vote. Thus the Dark Side will have to fight each and every on and that will get very expensive for them.
          So, it will be very apparent to the voters whom these are and since We the People do not like Dark Money ads, this will help get the YES votes.
          How many amendments can we expect? That depends on the delegates and what they put forward and how many get through the committee process and a floor vote. I can bet on five making it to the vote. I have more that as a delegate I will be putting forward. How many can I get to a yes on the floor? Depends on several factors.

    • Wayne Douglas Coogan.
      Sir you appear to hold to the old ” better the Devil we know argument”. I get it, people want continuity and don’t like change, thankfully our Founding Fathers back in 1776 were cut from a different cloth and willing to throw the dice.
      I too was opposed to a Convention until I began to look at specific issues, like, how we select our Judiciary. Power corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, like gravity it’s an unwritten law of the Universe. Seems to me that a bunch of Lawyers pretty much have a stranglehold on who get appointed to the bench. Are you satisfied with how Judges are appointed?
      Most votes we cast are a hard call Wayne, that is if we are paying attention, I ask that you and others reconsider your sentiments about the Convention.
      Oh, who the hell is funding this big Vote No Campaign anyway? Is it all outside $, like Lisa’s support base?
      Do you like living in a Colony?
      Your Father left Ireland seeking a better life once upon a time, a life where the Gentry didn’t have control over the basic building blocks of Government and Justice. It was a gamble for him Wayne, but I’ll bet you are happy that he did. A convention isn’t a sure bet, but it might be better than the Tyranny of the Bar Association and who dishes out Justice. I thought you were opposed to Tyranny?

  4. “even though headquarters in Florida had told the group it was not permitted to dissolve.”
    Really? Not permitted? I guess no one told Florida that we don’t often ask for permission.

    • imagine if this was a boy scout troop… and the boy scouts removed a troop leader. do you think that troop leader would then have the authority to cancel the troop? I think not! so silly

      • BCA: Thats is all good imagining.

        However, in reality, after considerable debate the members of this chapter of AMAC decided to dissolve the group.

        • it says the vote was 30 to dissolve and 2 no votes… if there are 400 members in this group, how do 30 people make that decision? what about the other 368 members???

          • We can only work and decide at meetings and the people whom attend.
            BTW, since our e-mail went out to all on our e-mail listing, not one negative.

        • same boy scout analogy… the boys and/or boy’s parents do not determine the existence of a troop. the boy scout organization does. if there are only 2 then it is a troop of 2. Anyone not wishing to be a part of it can certainly leave if they like, but I am an AMAC member and want the Chapter!

  5. The Conservatives in the Mat-Su are shining brightly thanks to these vital efforts that have been made! Good job!

  6. There is the Greater Anchorage AMAC that is active and useful. They meet on third Thursday eve monthly.

  7. Sadly, this story evolves. Monday morning in response to Saturday’s decision, my wife and I decided to drop being AMAC members, turns out the CEO of AMAC and AMAC Action cancelled my subscription at 9:30 EST today. The letter was e-mailed to AMAC and our now former members between 9 AM and 9:15 AM EST. Cancelation at 9:30 AM. This per AMAC themselves.

  8. Does anyone stop to think there might be more to this story than we know. looking at all the nasty comments by Mike leads me to think maybe it was the right choice to remove him. there seems to be a lot of assumption here that mr. coonts is an angel… being picked on… maybe, just maybe, he did it to himself??? People aren’t usually fired unless there was something significant.

  9. Those who oppose the convention claim that the political selection process of delegates will flush out the angry vocal fringe. Coons proves the point.

  10. to be clear i actually support the convention. this article is bashing a good organization from the perspective of 1 person. sounds like sour grapes to me. how does anyone know the truth here??? there are 2 sides to every story

    • I just found out there are almost 9000 AMAC members in Alaska. Not 4000 miles away. I am sorry but there are many of us that DO NOT agree with mr Coons. Why do you think he and a handful of his friends get do decide? Do not the rest of us have a voice too? Dana can speak for self but not all 9000 on what is good for our state.

  11. All I know about the matter is that I asked the national AMAC why they removed Coons and got a reply setting out their abstract standards and saying they take a long time before terminating someone. No mention of what the matter might be in this case. Arguably the persons who voted to disband the MatSu chapter actually voted to leave it and it still exists. I’m sure I have seen Mr. Coons but I doubt I could pick him out in an elevator. In other words, I am a random member.

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