Political kill shot? Assembly to grill Health Department appointee David Morgan - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Political kill shot? Assembly to grill Health Department appointee David Morgan

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The Anchorage Assembly has scheduled a work session on Tuesday, Aug. 3 to continue the confirmation hearings for some of Mayor Dave Bronson’s department head nominees.

The session is scheduled from 10 am to 1 pm, and it’s clear that the liberal Assembly is saving the last person, to dedicate an hour for David Morgan, which the majority of the Assembly has zeroed in on, with an eye for turning down the nomination. They’ve allowed one half hour for all other hearings, but a full hour for Morgan.

The Assembly moved up Morgan’s hearing; it was originally scheduled for late August. He is the first appointee to have an hour set aside for him.

The hearings can be observed on YouTube at the following times and links:

Adam Trombley as Director of Office of Economic & Community 8/3/2021 10 AM  View on YouTube 
Saxton Shearer as Director of Maintenance 8/3/2021 10:30 AM  View on YouTube 
Lance Wilber as Director of Public Works 8/3/2021 11 AM  View on YouTube 
Christina Hendrickson as Director of Real Estate 8/3/2021 11:30 AM  View on YouTube 
David Morgan as Director of Health Department8/3/2021 12 PM  View on YouTube 

Vice Chair of the Assembly Chris Constant has been quoted saying he is concerned about remarks Morgan has made about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Morgan, on a television news show, said, “Pandemic is an adjective that describes a situation.”

Morgan later clarified that, “I was concentrating on the concept of an emergency and, because we were talking about policy stuff. It is, it is a pandemic, if you’re unvaccinated. I will, I feel that way — my understanding of my experience in health care. If you’re unvaccinated … you are in a pandemic.”

Those are the words also used by President Joe Biden last month, when he said, “Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”

Morgan has a vast resume of managing health bureaucracies, such as Native health organizations; he has also served as a consultant nationally to governments. He worked at Southcentral Foundation for decades. He was a founder of the Alaska Center for Sustainable Healthcare Spending and Policy, which opposed Medicaid expansion in Alaska during the Walker Administration.

The most recent Health Department director, hired by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz last August, had served as the executive director for Boys and Girls Club in Anchorage. Heather Harris slipped into that job without a single question from the media about her qualifications and had been advising the mayor (and then interim Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, after Berkowitz’ hasty and embarrassing departure in October), and the Anchorage School District on matters relating to business openings and closures, schools, masks, distancing, testing, and more. Although she had no background, she was excellent at repeating the CDC advisories as they came down.

Harris took over the health department in the middle of the pandemic after the previous director quit.

Read: Anchorage Health Dept. director has no background in health

It appears Morgan was placed last in the hearing queue so the Assembly can wear him out, go over time, and give Morgan a chance to say something they don’t like that can give the Assembly an excuse to not vote for him at their regular meeting next week.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Hope Bronson’s people prep him accordingly.

    • The candidates will say: “We take guidance from the US Constitution. We support the US Constitution; we don’t interpret it. Period. It was written exactly for times like this”.

  • I’m tired of this Assembly and Dunbar, Constant and Rivera especially. Their tired old rethoric is inconsistent with Alaska values and as far as I’m concerned they can leave Alaska for good.

    • Is it? Is it really?

      Then how do they keep getting re-elected? Why does the Assembly swing further and further left?

      Seems to me the Assembly is a EXACT replica of Anchorage values.

      • I can’t help but note that Anchorage had a much more politically (and mentally) balanced Assembly until mail-in voting was instituted. But that is just a coincidence, I’m sure.

        • It has more to to with 18-24% voter participation.

          This is exactly what you get when most of the Muni can’t be bothered to vote.

          • Spot on, this is squarely on Anchorage voters or lack thereof.

  • Not many people use YouTube, Zoom, and Facebook anymore. It would be best for the community if they had in-person gathering.

  • If they hate him that much he must be good.

    • Right you are Pepe – David Morgan is a good man and excellent choice for this slot. These commies won’t concede any power at all – their entire focus is on frustrating Mayor Bronson and deposing him at the first chance they get, voters be damned. Lefties, please migrate to Cuba – they could use your expertise in how to do “socialism correctly”, oh wait… Cuba is how they learned how to ruin Anchorage…

  • I’ve watched him and got the impression that the city could do better.

  • This assembly isn’t even trying to hide their bias and hate for conservatives and the grilling of this nominee proves it. This assembly, save for a few, is an embarrassment to Anchorage and Alaska, they clearly care only about their party and not their constituents.

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