Two days after Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson officially filed with the Municipal Clerk’s Office, his name still does not appear on the website for the official list of candidates, a website managed by the Clerk, who runs Anchorage Elections.
Others who filed for the March-April ballot for various seats, however, are listed on the website.
For instance, Jennifer Wingard filed for Girdwood Valley Service Area – Seat A on Jan. 24. She appears on the candidate list. Joseph Connolly filed for Glen Alps Service Area – Seat E on Jan. 23, and his name appears on the list.
Frank Angela filed for School Board – Seat F on Jan. 23. He’s listed. So is Patrice Higgins, who filed for a road service board on Jan. 24, and Kristy Hoffman, who also filed on Jan. 24 for a road service seat.
In fact, none of the other candidates who have filed seem to have been lost in the shuffle at the Municipal Clerk’s Office; Must Read Alaska checks the filings daily and has spotted no other irregularities.
In Anchorage, the City Clerk reports to the Assembly, and the Assembly is headed by Chairman Chris Constant, who is a foe of Bronson. That may be the reason that Municipal Clerk Jamie Heinz is taking the slow lane on Bronson — Constant and several other members of the Democrat-majority Assembly have backed former Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance. LaFrance filed for office on Jan. 19 and her name appeared within a few hours on the list the clerk posts for the public on the Election website.
Bronson filed in the middle of the day on Tuesday, Jan. 23. As of Thursday morning, he does not appear as a candidate. Friday is the last day to file for Anchorage offices that will appear on the ballot being mailed to voters on March 13.
This comes at a time when the Anchorage Assembly has recently passed two ordinances aimed at putting a chill on election observers.
One ordinance, passed in December, makes the creation of a fraudulent public record a Class A misdemeanor. It’s aimed at election workers and volunteers. But there is no mention of not making a public record at all, such as appears to be the case in the Clerk’s Office when it comes to not letting the public know the mayor is a candidate.
The other ordinance, passed by the Assembly this month, sends a chill down the spine of volunteer election observers, who will now be subjected to vast subpoena powers that the Assembly just granted itself with the intent of forcing election observers, who are often present on behalf of a candidate or campaign to ensure fairness, to come before them and undergo an inquisition.
The two ordinances were designed to suppress oversight of the election process in Anchorage.
The oversight for elections will now primarily be the Assembly, with volunteers expressing fear that they might have to hire lawyers should they be subpoenaed.
And the Assembly chair, who is the direct supervisor for the Election Office, has endorsed Bronson’s leading opponent.
The mayor is on his way to Juneau on Thursday morning making the case to the Legislature for the need for funding for infrastructure like the port, and additional funding for homeless services. Must Read Alaska was unable to reach Bronson for comment.