Pub rebellion: Bars say they're done with Dunbar - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Pub rebellion: Bars say they’re done with Dunbar

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A cardboard cutout greets customers at the Matanuska Brew Pub in downtown Anchorage, with the face of Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar and a reminder that the 5 percent tax on the beer customers are about to consume is thanks to the man now running for mayor. Evidently the cardboard cutout is set to appear in other locations this week.

That may not be entirely fair. Dunbar introduced the beverage tax, got the Assembly to approve it for the ballot, but Anchorage voters approved it in April of 2020, through Proposition 13, authorizing a 5% sales tax on the retail.

The revenue is to pay for police, first responders, and criminal justice personnel, addressing child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence, and programs related to substance misuse treatment and prevention, mental and behavioral health, and homelessness. The proposition passed 51-49.

Just one year earlier, a similar measure had failed with voters.  Proposition 9 would have levied a 5 percent tax on alcoholic beverage retail sales. It would have dedicated the tax revenue to substance misuse prevention and treatment, behavioral health, homelessness services, and vagrant campsite removal. 

The difference between the two measures was small, but the marketing effort to get Prop. 13 passed was based on extensive voter research by proponents of the tax, to dial in the message for Anchorage likely voters.

The tax goes into effect on Feb. 1, 2021.

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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

  • Did the residents of Anchorage really vote for this tax? Mail in ballots were used so you’ll never know.

    • Ohh you do know the answer to that question…. it was narrowly passed by Ballots counted … these should not be confused with votes counted as many were simply added from “absentee voters” that didn’t return their ballots or people registered to vote that no longer live in the Muni … I uncovered all this shit in November 2019. they have been cheating at this mail in system since it ws introduced…. that is also how BM2 was narrowly defeated and how Liz Snyder narrowly beat Lance Pruitt the emphasis is always on “narrowly” to make people believe the results … however more people allegedly voted on BM2 than voted for Trump & Biden combined! Suspicious?

      • What can we do to stop voter fraud in Alaska?

        • Kathy…….call Senator Shower in Juneau and give him your support.

  • I sure hope the voting citizens of Anchorage are done with Dunbar in this election as well and it is the last we ever hear from this guy and we all get about cleaning up the mess he and his ilk have made of our city..

    • Isn’t he running for Mayor? Might want to tell your friends………….

  • Some vendors of adult beverages also supported the measure, Brown Jug for one.

  • After February 1st when I’m at Legion Post 15, that Heineken is going to taste at least 5% better than it would taste in Anchorage.

  • Suzanne, please in all fairness I cannot see how this cut out of Dunbar is the least bit unfair.

    • In all fairness, let’s see if he supports the anal swab test that is being used in China to combat the spread of their virus.

  • How do we REALLY know those residents who did vote during that election were not out numbered by fraudulent mail in ballots? I mean where do these mail-in-ballots Really come from? How did it Really pass when it failed overwhelmingly the first time? I was surprised it narrowly passed after everyone i talked to that year were voting No again.
    Mail in ballots and rank choice voting are poor mans way to victory. A candidate to win this way is too dumb and lazy to win the correct way. Hahahaha

  • Bethel passed sin taxes on alcohol and pot. They gave the same reasons and uses for the tax revenue. Some of the money actually got used for what they said it was for.

    Reality is, no City Council can earmark tax revenue, by state law. These taxes have to go to the General Fund.

    For all you know, your Assembly will appropriate it for lawyers to defend transgenders in your daughters bathroom.

    It’s a matter of trusting Council Members to actually using the money to use it for what it was advertised to do.

    Good luck trusting the Majority on Anchorage Assembly, or getting them to do what’s intended.

    My money says they put lipstick on a pig.

  • My generation is such a sorry lot of people. The apple doesn’t fall very far from its tree, does it though. In fairness, the baby boomers didn’t set anymore of an exemplary example. My generation under 50 should either abstain or be barred from public service until they understand what being public servant means.

  • Yes and in april 2020 we also voted on a property tax increase? The pandemic and hunker down orders were in place in march. Im with Jim. Did we really vote yes on all the bonds and tax increases? I think not!

  • Yes, mail in voting is so wrong in many ways

    Vote out Rivera and this yo-yo Too

  • Anchorage voters have no idea whether the Proposition 13 sales tax passed because a majority voted for it or because Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote scheme was corrupted to guarantee its passage.
    .
    Anchorage voters have no idea where their tax money is actually going.
    .
    If the successes of police, first responders, criminal-justice personnel, child abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, domestic violence, substance-misuse programs, and mental and behavioral health programs, and homelessness programs are any indication,
    .
    … Anchorage voters may be sure where their money is -not- going.
    .
    Remember, Anchorage’s Assembly forced their easily corruptible mail-in voting scheme on voters to assure no tax, bond, or incumbent gets left behind.
    .
    Peoples Assemblyman and Constitution-Hater Dunbar was a key figure in the forcing mail-in voting on Anchorage voters. His part in “explaining” the scheme to Federation of Community Council members left no doubt about his position.
    .
    Yes, in all fairness to Dunbar, the cardboard cut-out should include an image of America’s Constitution trampled underfoot, with “racist” scribbled on it, broken piggybank pieces, broken ballot boxes… and, lest we forget, captain’s bars.
    .
    Quite the eye catcher, that would be, yes?

  • But wait a minute. Mail in ballots go to voters with addresses. If they go to Alaska addresses, no problem, those people are probably legit AK voters, and, if not, that will be discovered when their ballots are checked in by election officials.
    If it goes out of state, that too will be discovered when the vote is returned. It will be even easier to purge the roles of moribund voters because there will be a mail trail.
    I do not understand the push against mail in voting. We do mail in with our taxes, our utilities, license plates, all without difficulty. The only thing that is surfacing with regard to mail in voting is that it subverts voter suppression. I guess if you don’t want fellow citizens to vote, then it’s a good idea.

    • Greg, just because a ballot goes to an Alaskan address doesn’t mean it is voted by a registered voter who is only casting one ballot. Do you suppose at a house, 10 ballots for 10 different people could arrive because they have all lived there some time in the past? I am still getting mail for people who lived here 10 years ago. Should a person living there then choose to fill them out, you have 10 votes from one person. Where do the undelivered ballots go? How do you know they aren’t being given out at the post office which happed (on video) in the lower 48? How do you verify ballots are voted legally? Mail in ballots should only be delivered to people who request them for that election. Sending out mass mail in ballots is rife with fraud and the left knows it. That is why they want it. It allows for 10,000 small frauds that you can’t pin on any politician or single person.

    • Fair question…
      .
      The push is against mail-in voting as the main means of voting.
      .
      In Anchorage, nothing prevents ballot harvesting.
      .
      Nothing prevents ballots from being altered by anybody other than the voter.
      .
      Nothing prevents others from voting for the voter or coercing the voter to vote “correctly”.
      .
      Ballots have no chain of custody, meaning they can be altered, corrupted, thrown out, or “lost” at any point between vote casting and vote counting.
      .
      Ballots can’t be connected to envelopes from which they were taken meaning nobody knows who mailed what.
      .
      Anchorage employs amateur handwriting “experts” to evaluate signatures, whose testimony, unlike forensic graphologists or independent certified document examiners, means little in court.
      .
      Anchorage’s amateur handwriting experts may throw out ballots for any or no reason, they’re not accountable to anyone, they don’t know, and can’t credibly testify, how handwriting might change due to age or illness.
      .
      Nobody outside Bell and Howell knows how Anchorage’s Bell and Howell Envelope Intake and Signature Verification System actually works. Proprietary hardware and software and a $56,790 contract for installation and support keep it that way.
      .
      But the machine is trusted to verify your signature… how, to what detail, to what variations, you don’t know.
      .
      So… if the machine doesn’t like your signature, if amateur handwriting analysts don’t like your zip code, signature, or anything else, your vote gets tossed, you get disenfranchised, and you won’t know it.
      .
      Voters don’t know whether machine controls can be set for detailed analysis of some signatures and less-detailed analysis of others, possibly from different zip codes.
      .
      Voters don’t know if or when, or how the machine may be connected to the internet, or if machine operation can be internet-controlled, monitored, adjusted… or hacked.
      .
      Computer savvy voters aren’t fooled into believing election machinery can’t be hacked because it’s air-gapped.
      .
      Our firm belief is that Anchorage’s Assembly forced mail-in voting on residents to assure no tax, bond, or incumbent accidentally gets voted down or out. Seems to have worked well so far…
      .
      Bottom line is a nearly complete loss of confidence in the integrity of Anchorage’s elections.
      .
      If that’s not a brilliant, cynical form of voter suppression, it’s hard to imagine what is.

  • That’s actually not that suspicious.

    A lot of people in Alaska know our vote for president means nothings, so they write in shit like Kanye or Chuck Norris, and vote on state issues.

    I know probably 50-100 people that do that.

    • If you know 50-100 people that do such a thing then you should seriously filter your friends. This kind of foolery is usually confined to a few people per 1,000 so you probably know maybe 50 to 100,000 people… That makes you a very popular guy !

  • So the US military let a guy serve, who hates his country, hates its founding, hates the founders, and hates the founding documents and the law of the land…

    And yet, if you went to a Trump rally they want to drum you out of the service…

    Riiiiggghhhhtt.

    The new normal.

  • Anchorage has voted for the kind of government it wants. Yes, if you don’t like it you can move. And then? Vote to bring to your home the same sort of government you just fled. But keep trying the same thing over and over and over in hope of a different result.
    Of course you could try going something differently – next chance comes in April.

    But you won’t. It’s yours; it owns you. Now submit peacefully and maybe you’ll be OK.

    Or not.

    • You do not seem capable of understanding that the assembly that is in place did not get there simply due to Liberals voting and Conservatives being too lazy to vote. That is a popular yet inaccurate assessment. In District 28 Suzanne La France first got in after her opponent was subject to a campaign of Robocalls alleging that he was facing or about to face Federal charges relating to pedophilia … These calls were made from DNC organisation in California and could not be linked back to SuLaFra…. She then ran against Rick Castillo, an honored Veteran who ran on a conservative platform and was “narrowly beaten” in a large voter “Turnout” (They all voted by mail but there was a huge increase in “voting” The Muni is now using Dominion Software and the same counting machines as the SOS DOE. I have uncovered absentee voter fraud in the Federal Election 11/3 and it is no stretch of the imagination to see how the same thing is being done at MOA level. Open your mind and you will see how easy it is…. Anchorage did not vote in 9/11 members with liberal views….. and 3/9 of Anchorage population is not homosexual, so the Assembly as it stands is not representative of the people of Anchorage. Sexuality should not play any part in a person’s ability to serve in Public Office and as an example I believe that AQD is serving to the best of her limited ability, Constant & Rivera are not and need to be removed. They are both incompetent and in Constant’s case he is just a downright nasty excuse for a human being.

  • How much will this tax bring in? That’s a very long laundry list of things to accomplish, expensive ones at that. Add to this reduced tourism taking a bite and I think a lot of the listed items won’t get addressed. My guess? Most of the revenue will go to homeless endeavors. This is where Hotel Begich really gets to cash in.

  • Anchorage residents need to run forest the freak out of Anchorage at the end of a sharp stick. He is scum.

    • Could not agree more Doug… Everything he has done from using the Federal Government to pay for his law degree, to his actions as an assembly member and his endorsement of his family members “Peacefully rioting” in Portland tell me that he is a steaming liberal of the worst kind. One who wants to enrich himself at the taxpayers expense. He will never win a fair election in a conservative City. I can only hope that the Muni employees that work in the MOA DOE don’t fiddle yet another mail in ballot process, just like they did with the Alcohol tax…. they certainly don’t want a Conservative Mayor that holds them accountable… they all want a “Soft touch” like AQD that gives them another 1/2 days pay at taxpayers expense to “soften the blow of working from home during COVID” … Dunbar will do whatever he can to continue to win their support…..

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