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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Out-of-control Assembly of excessive progressives

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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).

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  • You nailed it Craig! Hope you toss your hat into the upcoming Mayorial race. We need a good Conservative candidate to save our town.

  • Bless you Craig Campbell. You’re voice of reason and the privilege of working with you many years ago in a dicey reorganization were a blessing. Thank you. May others who know you take heed of your wisdom. Our beautiful city needs someone with your leadership to pull itself out of this current morass.

    • Auto correct – I have tried to disable it on this device.You’re = Your. I sincerely hope we elect a mayor of your character and integrity to replace the one we have now.

  • Dunbar wants to threaten Jamie Allard he better not come near ER and Chugiak.

  • I couldn’t agree more. One has to remember they were elected by like minded voters. Good luck getting rid of them any time soon.

  • I know the midtown assembly people do not care at all what their constituents think and apparently the City Clerk is doing what the mayor wants in holding back our recall effort.

  • Me thinks Mr. Campbell wants to run for mayor.

    • Please God – let it be

    • I will confirm that I am not and will not be running for Mayor. My contribution is to put a spotlight on this runaway progressive destruction of Anchorage by our current uber-liberal Administration and Assembly majority. It’s up to the voters of Anchorage to turn this direction around, starting next April with the Mayors race!

      • Thank you

      • Thank you for your input, something I knew, but do should all our citizens.

  • It’s vital that we recall as many of these progressive assembly members as possible. They are committing illegal acts, malfeasance and are NOT representing the desires of the majority. Somebody needs to shut down the municipal clerk with these delays to filing recall petitions.

    • Municipal Clerk needs to go with the next conservative vote and/or recall of the Assembly members who are not representing the taxpayers of Anchorage. The taxpayers of Anchorage are being scr*wed on a grand scale. Wake up hard-working voters! And that comment goes for the ASD as well. How much money can the earners of this city be expected to throw at this failing school system. We need to fire the school board as well. They sit on their tuffets and demand more money from the taxpayers to support their failing agendas!.And they are perpetuating their failures year after year. Voters need to research the school board candidates as well as the higher profile candidates for public office. After all, these cute little kids in elementary school may be voters in the next 10 – 12 years or so, assuming they made it to sixth grade. What the hell are they being taught?

  • Well said, and fully supported from this reader.

    In my opinion, the Assembly is the real problem here. They are the ones that should be putting a check on our Mayor, but instead of doing so, they continue to greenlight every one of his proposals. Plastic bag ban, check (despite the fact that the US contributes almost none of the plastic floating in the oceans.) Emergency because of a virus…. well, that one should be going on for the rest of our lives. (Bet that emergency declaration disappears as soon as a Republican gets elected mayor.) Ignoring history regarding the homeless, got it. (So far, adding more shelters has only made the problem worse, but don’t worry, Anchorage will make it work this time.)

    The Assembly, well most of the Assembly has ceased to represent the people. It is long past time to get them out.

  • Anchorage’s Assembly forced an easily corruptible mail-in vote system on residents intended, we believe, to assure permanently that no tax, bond, or incumbent gets left behind.
    .
    What’s becoming obvious is Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote system makes “runaway progressive destruction of Anchorage” possible –inevitable– because it removes the last vestiges of accountability from city government, i.e. the sanctity of the voting booth.
    .
    But look at the bright side…
    .
    Bum housing should be an enormous boost to Anchorage’s moribund economy. Our Madam Editor reported bum housing could cost taxpayers $7 million annually to operate. So… it seems reasonable to expect city officials will farm out bum housing operation to a non-profit organization or a semi-autonomous “Authority” for, say, twice as much including kickbacks. Nobody’ll know the difference, nobody can or willl audit anything to figure out if there is a difference, and voters can’t do anything about it.
    .
    City officials could squeeze a ten or twelve percent sales tax out of productive residents because naturally it’ll help reduce the cost of bum housing, and –you guessed it– voters can’t do anything about that either.
    .
    Best of all, bum housing forced on different neighborhoods means a lot of brand-new physical addresses will be available so helpful folks can help bums register to vote, help them vote, and mail their ballots for them
    .
    thus assuring Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote system stays that way “permanently” and “runaway progressive destruction of Anchorage” metastasizes unchecked.
    .
    This debacle seems unlikely to disappear simply because Anchorage’s mayor can’t be re-elected.
    .
    Wonder what would happen to the bum housing project if: (a) Eaglexit occurs sooner rather than later, and (b) Anchorage’s economic downturn causes a 1980’s-style exodus of productive residents.
    .
    Nobody’d be around to pay for it… then what?
    .
    Rats desert the sinking ship, who knows, maybe survivors’ll salvage what’s left, make something decent, honest, affordable out of it.
    .
    Could happen.

    • Yep – couldn’t have said it better! The Municipal internal audit staff are employed by the Municipality and are definitely subject to internal pressures. Not so much in my day, but I’m very suspicious some 20 years later with the downward spiral of progressivism and the push to bypass the “rules” that seems so common now. By the way, the $82 million school bond that passed in the last election was pushed on the premise that the ASD would not be asking for more $$ for two years. I recently saw an ADN piece that seems to be whining for another $30 million to support ASD revenues because of lower enrollment figures. The thought just hit me – tax us out of our homes so the MOA can seize them and house the homeless – more votes by mail ya know (facetious but scary) Great post, Morrigan.

  • Thanks for some sanity. The liberals have learned to get elected they need to lie. Almost all the dems say they support the AK Dividend, but then vote against it. Look at Galvin, running as an independent. She is a Polosi lover and will side with the dems in a heart beat. For one thing, we need to push the criminals that came to Alaska, back out to the lower 48. That includes hundreds of sex offenders that come here to hide. We need to get tough on crime, some how.

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