Public corruption: Did Dunbar and Constant break Alaska law against coercion? - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Public corruption: Did Dunbar and Constant break Alaska law against coercion?

An email thread between two progressive Assemblymen in Anchorage indicate that they were coordinating with each other to coerce pastors into supporting a massive, controversial, and costly homeless services plan last summer.

The emails came to light as part of a public records request. The two men, using their personal emails but using the municipality’s server, carried on an exchange during which Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar congratulated himself and Assemblyman Chris Constant because “our shame/prodding campaign worked!”

Dunbar is running for mayor of Anchorage.

Constant wrote that some of the pastors were unhappy with the pressure, and “they came at me hard pissed telling me they were going to comment already (When?) and that I was the bad one. Haha. Whatever it takes to make you do your part.”

Alaska Statute forbids such coercion by people in positions of government power. Title 11.41.530 addresses it:

“A person commits the crime of coercion if the person compels another to engage in conduct from which there is a legal right to abstain or abstain from conduct in which there is a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in the person who is compelled a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the person who makes the demand or another may

(4) take or withhold action as a public servant or cause a public servant to take or withhold action;

Coercion is a Class C felony. In this case, churches were under the threat of being shut down again by the mayor. A couple of weeks later, they were ordered shut down by Emergency Order 15, which was in effect Aug. 3-30. The shutdown had followed other emergency orders that had closed or greatly limited church gatherings.

Some churches did not comply, while others did. Anecdotally, pastors who spoke with Must Read Alaska say they know of many churches in Anchorage that will never reopen because of the financial crisis caused by the Emergency Order.

Both Constant and Dunbar repeatedly voted on the various powers granted to the mayor to shut down the churches, bingo halls, bars, restaurants, and other establishments.

In another era, the public might expect the ACLU-Alaska to take up the cause of the rights of individuals and the COVID-19 constitutional infringements, or to defend churches who were “shamed” and “prodded” by public officials into writing letters in support of legislation, knowing that the officials could make their churches pay a heavy price if they did not comply. But in this era, the ACLU has remained silent.

The only organization in Alaska that would investigate this as public corruption would likely be the Department of Law’s civil division, which also handles matters of public corruption.

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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

  • Note my expression of surprise! Corruption? Nothing to see here, just divert your eyes to Ethan’s hairy butt. After all, the highly ethical public employees unions anointed these fools. Why do Anchorage residents tolerate such criminal (felonious) behavior from ‘public’ servants?

    • Start getting involved!! start a recall partition . File a complaint with
      The U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska is Bryan Schroder, 222 West 7th Avenue, Room 253, #9, Anchorage, Alaska 99513, Telephone: (907) 271-5071
      Start community watchdog groups
      Use social media to communicate your concerns Organize Organize Organize
      Get these socialists traitors out of public service before they turn this state into another California socialist republic!!!

      • Sadly I have a life. I need to work to support my family (without the government dole), and any precious spare time goes to my kids. I just want to live my life, not spend it trying to control every other life. Perhaps if these people had to work for a living they might have less time to spend interfering with every other life in the community.

  • Of course these guy clearly broke the law but it makes not difference to either of them as they believe they are above the law….

    • There is a statute of limitations as to when felonies of the sort being talked of., However that limit is sufficiently long that a new city administration might undertake prosecution. Of course that would depend on the voters of Anchorage making the overdue change so I wouldn’t put big bets on it happening.

      Take that as a challenge!

      • Prosecution, if it were to occur, would come from the State through the District Attorney. Municipal ordinances do not cover this offense. It is to be found in the Alaska Statutes, Title 11.

        • With a ‘conservative’ governor, I would like to think that equal justice will be served. But they are progressives and need follow no laws nor even common sense. Laws are only for the ‘little’ people.

  • Since when did any democrat care about the laws? They believe laws are written to keep the masses in line and they are exempt. Prove me wrong!

  • This should be on every news media. Thank god we have your platform Suzanne. How can anybody support this kind of government? Watch your back, everybody, the mob is here.

  • Yeah, where is the ACLU on these Church closures? Very interesting. But hey, the Pot Shops remained open!

    • Of course they did, along with liquor stores, as there are taxes to be had!

  • Did they break the law? Probably.
    Do they care? Not at all.
    Will anything happen to them? Nope.

    • Unfortunately you are probably correct. Lets hope not though. People really need to wake up. These politicians are doing these things because they know the majority of people don’t care. In this instance they need to be prosecuted and guess what they are STILL in office!

  • Do you think Berkowitz had an influence on Dunbar to be this deceitful to help the mayor? I can’t see quiet and old Berkowitz strong arming church pastors, but i can see him finding others to do the dirty job. I can’t see Dunbar and Constant this ruthless doing this on their own without following elders feeding them instructions.

  • Were any pastors contacted, or did any come forward that have made an accusation of coercion? A lot of innuendo, not a lot of substance. But hey, there appears to be at least five people in the comments above me that believe there is enough evidence contained in this piece to pass judgment, so what do I know.

  • Readers could be forgiven for having no confidence in their state law department whose culture is arguably well defined by the fact that two (2) Attorneys General were forced out, only because allegations of their inappropriate activity against women and children were too credible to ignore.
    .
    What’s Plan B?
    .
    File a complaint with the U.S. Attorney:
    .
    18 U.S. Code § 1951 Interference with commerce by threats or violence
    .
    (a) Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
    .
    It’s worth repeating: “…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”
    .
    (b) As used in this section—
    (1) The term “robbery” means the unlawful taking or obtaining of personal property from the person or in the presence of another, against his will, by means of actual or threatened force, or violence, or fear of injury, immediate or future, to his person or property, or property in his custody or possession, or the person or property of a relative or member of his family or of anyone in his company at the time of the taking or obtaining.
    (2) The term “extortion” means the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, —-or under color of official right—-.
    .
    This too is worth repeating: “…or under color of official right”.
    .
    The U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska is Bryan Schroder, 222 West 7th Avenue, Room 253, #9, Anchorage, Alaska 99513, Telephone: (907) 271-5071.

    • Did you notice who just took over the US Government? I’m sure every USA that has ever had a conservative thought has was dismissed as China Joe took his hand off the Bible other than maybe a few who traitored for the communists, excuse me, Democrats in some way. Nobody is going to get any justice in anything involving a leftist for the next four years.

      • Sadly, you’re right.
        .
        Getting justice in the traditional sense wasn’t the objective.
        .
        The idea was to escalate the situation beyond the ability of Dunbar, Constant, and sponsors to contain it, create two politically unattractive tar babies even Leftists hesitate to cuddle, at least publicly.
        .
        Nothing lost if it doesn’t work… “Justice” in a brand-new sense if it does…

  • Dear Mr Dunbar. Lets cut to the chase shall we. Do you hate half the population of Anchorage? Do you hate our country? Our Republic? Our flag? GOD? Who is your master??? Go on. Man up. What do you believe in?

    • It is more than half the population, but never mind, those peoples’ votes don’t count.

  • This appears to be a Federal Violation and should be turned into the US Attorney Office in Anchorage for their investigation of these actions against the Churches.

  • If your cause is so righteous, why lie? Why coerce?

  • There absolutely was coercion, there are over 100 email testimonies with exactly the same subject line including the punctuation from the above email. There were also a corresponding spike in email testimony on the 14th and 15th of July. I review all testimony from the entire week of testimonies including the in-person testimonies. It was very evident that many of the email had the exact same subject line and very similar verbiage in the body.

    Constant and Dunbar strong armed Rev. Jacob L. Poindexter at First Congregational Church of Anchorage to use his congregation for support. At the time of the email between Constant and Dunbar it was obvious that public testimony was strongly opposed to the ordnances. The two days following their email correspondence between each other yielded 295 email testimonies. Many of which had the exact subject heading as in Constant and Dunbar’s email.

    The Anchorage Assembly passed AO 58 and 66 on the basis that there was broad support of this ordnance. This was in fact not the case, there were 191 in-person testimonies with 75% opposing the ordnance. The email testimony campaign that the assembly implemented yielded 516 testimonies with 40% opposing.

    21% of these email testimonies had the exact same subject line heading as the one in Constant and Dunbar’s email correspondence with each other.

  • “Whatever it takes to make you do your part.”- Pol Pot

  • Church attenders: Ask your pastor if they were contacted by the assembly. Report back. If we do not do just a little of the footwork of an investigation, we have no room to throw stones at this reporter doing often solo work.

  • Free pass. As always. two sets of laws.

  • Mr. Dunbar is accused of coercion which is a Class C felony in the State of Alaska. Pending the outcome of this accusation, Mr. Dunbar should be suspended and removed from all assembly duties. His $29,000 stipend and benefits should be suspended pending the outcome of this accuation

    • As shocking as it is, Forrest Dunbar is a commissioned junior officer in the Alaska Army National Guard. His only active duty assignment was for a very short introductory JAG course at Charlottesville, VA. He hasn’t served any real tours at duty stations where many of us have served (Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) and he has not developed any leadership skills to speak of. He seems oblivious to the code of conduct and other time-honored traditions and behavioral expectations. His time in the Guard, starting from when he first finagled a commission and until now, has been neither selfless nor honorable. He routinely sets a very bad example.

      .

      Yesterday I called the Alaska Adjutant General, Major General Terrence Saxe, to request an investigation into Dunbar’s involvement in what Dunbar proudly proclaims as his “shame/prodding campaign” and other topics. At the end of the investigation and when all the facts are clear, Dunbar should be unceremoniously removed from the Alaska National Guard (and the assembly). He has shown clearly that he is not suited to a position of trust and responsibility in the Alaska National Guard and/or over our municipality. The Guard and Anchorage deserve much better!

  • Laws aren’t for Demonrats!

  • It’s ok. They have a D after their name.

    NOT GUILTY!

  • These two people are thugs. But then we already knew that. Since they are of the Left, they will never be held accountable. That is how our world works and they can continue their important work to turn Anchortown into Mogadishu.

  • Big deal. Does ANYBODY actually think that charges will be levied against Dunbar or Constant? Our court system and DA has been clearly corrupted for decades. They’re all probably exchanging emails right now laughing about this article.

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