By CRAIG E. CAMPBELL
A few weeks ago I wrote a column asking where was the Anchorage Assembly at providing the checks and balances expected of a legislative body against a renegade mayor.
These past few weeks have answered the question. They are an out-of-control, liberal, rubber-stamp group of excessive progressives (excluding the Eagle River reps) in close cahoots with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to radically ruin our great city.
What better example of the total disregard to Anchorage residents need I produce than the Assembly actions to purchase four buildings for homeless shelters and rehabilitation?
With weeks of public testimony nearly 5 to 1 against the purchases, even while excluding the public from some meetings and incorrectly applying CARES Act funding for the purchase of three of the facilities, the Anchorage Assembly (again, except for the two Eagle River reps) pressed on to give Mayor Berkowitz the green light to disperse the homeless problem around the city, without presenting a comprehensive plan for resolving the problem.
Yes, they’re coming to your neighborhood soon. In fact, Assembly member Forrest Dunbar flat-out threatened that directly to Assembly member Jamie Allard.
If you can’t win the argument with facts, use threats and intimidation. It seems to be working in Seattle and Portland.
Assembly member Dunbar now wants to be mayor. You think Berkowitz is bad, wait till you see the full Dunbar circus in action. You might as well just annex us to Portland. After all, he is extremely proud of his sister and cousin actively participating in the Portland riots last month defending anarchists against the police.
Let’s be honest here: Anchorage Assembly members really think they are much smarter than you and me.
Take Meg Zaletel for example. Just elected in 2019 and having never served in the military or law enforcement, she is trying to regulate the cops, echoing other liberal cities actions to neuter police, because we have such a massive police abuse problem in Anchorage – not.
The junior Assembly member has the arrogance to craft legislation purporting to make actions of the APD “more transparent.” Please, Meg, explain to us the problem you are trying to fix!
While a lawyer by trade, and an apparent self-proclaimed expert on law enforcement, she then herself violates the Alaska Open Meetings law as presiding officer of the Anchorage Assembly, setting off a well-deserved recall effort.
Midtown would be better off, as would the rest of us, if she were just gone from the Assembly.
“In the township, as well as everywhere else, the people is the only source of power; but in no stage of government does the body of citizens exercise a more immediate influence. – Alexis de Tocqueville
Next year, no Assembly members are on the municipal ballot, unless we are fortunate enough to get the signatures for Zaletel’s recall and maybe a couple others. But the mayor’s seat is open. His honor is prohibited by law from running again in 2021.
It’s time to start the change back to rational, citizen-represented government by electing a mayor who will lead Anchorage from the brink of a socialistic society and permanent deterioration.
As you see candidates announce for mayor, such as Forrest Dunbar, Eric Croft, Bill Falsey, Bill Evans, Mike Robbins, maybe Chris Constant, and others, ask yourself which candidate will lead us away from this insane downward spiral into the abyss of despotic government overreach back to liberty. What is their plan? What is their commitment to you?
It is said that voters get the government they deserve based on their election choice. You’ve heard it before, “elections count.”
I am not convinced the majority of Anchorage residents believe democratic socialism is the right path for our city. Last week’s primaries demonstrated a rather pent-up frustration with liberal politics and elitist elected officials, but only the April 2021 municipal election will determine whether my assumption for Anchorage is correct or not.
Then in 2022, we can further return local government to the people when Kameron Perez-Verdia, Meg Zaletel (unless we are fortunate enough that she is recalled first), and John Weddleton face re-election and give us the opportunity to flip the Assembly away from socialistic destruction. It’s up to you Anchorage: Less nanny state government interference, more self-determination and freedom, or do we become Portland north?
Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly from 1986 to 1995 and as lieutenant governor in 2009-2010. He was chief executive officer of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation and achieved the rank of lieutenant general (Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs), major general (Air National Guard).