Radio spice: Assemblyman Cross on tape describing how to buy property with new zoning regs coming online


Anchorage Assemblyman Kevin Cross took heavy fire on two talk radio shows this week over his perceived ethical conflicts as a real estate broker leading the charge to change zoning codes.

On the Mike Porcaro Show on 650 KENI, host Porcaro played a recording of Cross explaining to a group of realtors that since he was going to change the zoning laws, now is the time to take advantage of what’s coming. The audio:

The audio that Porcaro played had Cross implying that the time is right to buy or hold onto large parcels of land because the zoning changes will be advantageous to developers. He then described how he had purchased a five-ace parcel in order to take advantage of the changes he is spearheading on the Anchorage Assembly.

He also described Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel as a fantastic person, who he agrees with on the need for zoning changes. Zaletel has a building and she wants to add units onto it so she can rent them out, he said.

Cross is one of the proponents of a radical zoning change to take Anchorage zoning to just two districts — one for housing and one for other uses. He says the Assembly is onboard.

While some praise the move to a one-residential zoning plan, others say it will create chaos and cost homeowners who have paid high property taxes for years, only to see their home values degraded. Some argue that density will lead to impassible streets during winter snowfalls, with no place to put the snow.

Then, on the Amy Demboski Show on Thursday morning, Demboski played more taped recordings of Cross, which she had received from a source.

On one of them, Cross was bragging that people would not recognize the land use process when he is done with them, and he is “nobody’s bitch” and he doesn’t care if he goes against his own community councils in Eagle River and Chugiak.

Demboski then played audio of Cross describing how to manipulate the Veterans Administration loan process. He said that a person can get loan for a four-plex, not move into it themselves for 90 days, collect the cash from renters of the units, then refurbish the basement and convert it into a five-plex.

The advantage for such a scheme would be to get the cheap VA loan rate with little or zero down payment. On the Amy Demboski Show, Cross said it was perfectly legal, while Demboski pushed back and said it sounded like loan fraud.

Cross was on the defense during both shows, saying that he has no professional conflicts.

Assemblyman Randy Sulte called into the Demboski Show and he had heard the fist clip and he that while he understand the challenges with Title 21, which is the zoning code, he doesn’t agree with the process or the current draft ordinance, because it doesn’t recognize the unique characteristics of Chugiak, Eagle River, Hillside, or Girdwood.

Demboski responded, “Why would we ever have one residential zoning for whole muni? Why would we want Girdwood to look like downtown Anchorage?”

When Demboski asked Assemblyman Cross if he had gone to any community councils to discuss the radical changes, the phone went awkwardly silent for several seconds. Later, Cross said maybe he would remove Chugiak, Eagle River, and maybe he would even take his name off the controversial ordinance as a sponsor.


  1. Mr Cross and Zele baby need to step down and go somewhere else. They should also be investigated for this scheme.

  2. That’s how the Democrats do it. Buy ahead of time then change the laws and zoning to cash in. Just like when they buy dilapidated hotels then get paid by the city to house the homeless. Make money then get reimbursed for damages for refurbishment. Ah, to be a privileged Democrat.

  3. I believe this definitely requires removal from that office if he ran for office to fill his own pockets. Might as well be in congress as they all do it too. Is this what all civic leaders aspire to nowadays, get elected to enrich themselves? Pitchforks and torches then tar and feather him immediately.

    • If Cross can be ditched for this, why can’t Zalatel? Doesn’t she have a conflict of interest in dealing with “homelessness,” as the director of the Coalition to End Homelessness?

      Nobody mentions Constant because he’s not a sponsor of the ordinance, but isn’t he a real estate broker as well?

      • I think Cross is the only one to say the quiet part this loudly. He seems to have openly implicated himself in a way Meg is too crafty to.

  4. Hmmmm. Seems like a clear conflict of interest to me. Meh, what do I know though. I’m just another serf.

  5. Eagleriver it needs to start going back to church and reading God’s word. It’s been HAD twice. “Fool me once shame on you (merrick), fool me twice shame on me (cross). I’m sure these two aren’t the only two democrats behind a Republican-conservative mask playing local Eagleriver-Chugiak community leaders waiting for their turn to get elected only to surprise those genuine Eagleriver Republican residents thinking they elected a real Republican. Is it sure it really want to exit? It’s proven twice to reveal ER-C lacks discernment in choosing leaders.

  6. I knew about the existence of this recording a week ago. I am glad that it found the sunlight to expose this carpet bagging fraud for exactly who and what he is. None of the community councils in the ER Chugiak boundaries supported this legislation, yet he pushed it ahead to line his own pockets. I believe the exact quote regarding his constituents was “I don’t give a d**n what my constituents want. Mr. Cross, if you read this, know that you will be harassed, heckled and jeered everywhere you go in the Chugiak and Eagle River areas. Recall petition is incoming. I miss Jaime.

  7. Blatant collusion to ruin my home value to enrich themselves. Passing laws to oppress people that just want to have a large private lot in the city, after bilking the same people out of millions of dollars in property taxes over the years. Criminal behavior by elected officials. Section 1983 provides an individual the right to sue state government employees and others acting “under color of state law” for civil rights violations. Section 1983 does not provide civil rights; it is a means to enforce civil rights that already exist. So one could argue their pursuit of the life they wanted to live is being obstructed by these criminals is a case.

  8. Thank you Kevin Cross for thinking out side the box! Anchorage has always had a shortage of affordable housing. Yet they continue to make it more difficult for investors to invest in their community. They would rather change laws in order to allow for select private investors group to build on the government owned military bases.

  9. Wow. Listened to the transcript. He is pretty gung-ho passionate. There were a few parts that actually made sense, like the ability to add a single rental unit to a house, build a duplex rather than single family and more opportunity for that, or allowing for more height albeit should not be where it will destroy the views of surrounding properties. Possibly Title 21 could use some tweaking but it sounds like Mr Cross wants virtually a free for all. Not a good idea in an already densely built city that does have very nice neighborhoods. Sacrificing the investments of Anchorage homeowners to line the pockets of developers and maybe himself. That is what it sounds like and also seems he should recuse himself from any vote or discussion given his very vested interested.

    • Shooting from the hip on this: Anchorage’s population density is probably the lowest of any city of its size.

      • And what’s wrong with that? Probably what helped make Anchorage an All-American City Award winner of the past. (1956, 1965, 1985, 2002) Alas it’s been too long recurring….

    • Or Biden, who got rich after getting elected, as opposed to Trump, who got poorer after getting elected.

  10. From Merrick to Cross was a good bet for not getting fooled again…ugh. Cross is no different than Merrick and the people of Eagle River/Chugiak will vote him back into office again.

  11. It’s time for Bob The Builder to resign from the Assembly. It always made me cringe when he’s approving items so closely related to benefit his day job.

  12. More lowlife scum added to the already elite democrat rulers hellbent on destroying the character of our once great city.
    From the marxist lockdowns destroying private businesses (except Berkowitz’s restaurant) then pissing away the feds covid relief funding on a small minority group which was designed to help businesses recover from having to pay full amounts of property tax to the already bloated city government.

    The corrupt self appointed mayor/assembly then hired Biden’s mentally deranged luggage thief to develop policy/regulations for the treatment of young children then destroys the documents (Hillary style) which used taxpayers dollars to fund with no transparency whatsoever. A Constant/Felix abortion of records.

    Now we have a Cross/Zaletel combo deleting years of expensive policy to prevent the rest of Anchorage from becoming Mountain View all in the effort to capitalize with their own private investments.

    Those two are nothing more than the corrupt duo of Paul and Nancy Pelosi investing in pharmaceutical companies then mandating the vaccine and transferring those profits to Raytheon right before Russia invades Ukraine using Raytheon to fight the war. For those two its all about getting filthy rich from war and drugs “Democrat style”.

  13. The bad news is Anchorage has corrupt, leftist scum on the Assembly. The good news? Anchorage voters have the ability to overturn what this corrupt Assembly is going to do. The founders ensured the Alaska Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to do referendum, (cancel a law), or initiative (write a law). So voters need to begin the process within 90 days of this law passing. With enough signatures the question to overturn this corrupt law will be before voters, where voters can overturn the Assembly. At the very least this process will put the hurt into the corrupt land deals some on the Assembly seem to be working on. They simply will not know the status of the zoning while the referendum process plays out.

    Good reporting SD. Thank you.

  14. What an idiot! Who would be so stupid to go on record bragging about how they’re planning to violate the code of ethics?

    Trouble is, he’s probably not going to be held to account.

  15. As Senator John Kennedy has commented : You can’t fix stupid but you can vote them out of office.

  16. I always had a problem with parts of our zoning laws. But they were created by a lot of hard work by the writers and extensive input of our local landowners. Many crowded community council meetings where the details were hashed out. The finished product took forever, but it had the support of the community. It was not perfect, but a compromise. But the main thing is that it was approved by our community council with a vote from everyone interested in participation. Personally I didn’t like a lot of it but will defend it because it was the will of the people. When you disregard the process and go against the will of the community you are not a representative. There’s many changes in the permitting process that would make life better without such a drastic change. Like the law that says you have to hire a licensed plumber and pull a permit to change your toilet. Many similar, and the community would support such changes. How about the ordinance that if you have a septic system that was put in before it was required to get a permit must be replaced in order to sell your property. Doesn’t matter how well it works. So, your house is effectively worth $50-70,000 less than your assessment. All of these ordinances were thrown in without proper process. So, if a representative really wanted to make housing more affordable then there’s many ways to make it happen. Like fix the permitting process that currently caters to the trade unions and big contractors.

  17. Someone needs to have a serious talk with the loan administrators over at the VA office with a copy of the recording Cross made and see what their opinion is on just how legal that shananigan rule bending loan scheme that really is and if it is completely legal taxpayers will be a bit angry I am guessing.

  18. If you try to flood the hillside and other areas removed from the water and sewer utilities you will crash into a brick wall. There is insufficient water (esp. on hillside) for the potential high density loads; there is FAR inadequate sewage treatment capacity (via a standard septic system) to accommodate high density. Separation distance minimums between wells and leach fields are a principal reason that lot sizes in many areas are limited to a minimum of 1-1/4 acres.

    These people are looking at their own bank accounts only. Yeah: get a court stay and sue the bastards.

  19. The moral rot & corruption that is rampant in Washington, DC is filtering down into everyday society. This is how once great empires spiral into extinction. When we allow scumbags in DC get away blatant crimes it inevitably spawns scumbags in local politics.

  20. Manipulating the VA and buying like described by Kevin Cross may be loan fraud. The FBI should start investigating all Cross’ clients to see if they did this. This is not unlike the 1990s when several Realtors went to jail for this kind of activity.

  21. The head of Anchorage’s non-profit housing entity says we need 2,000 more units. The population of Anchorage has dropper 2.57% since the last census in 2020. That’s 7,483 fewer people. Was our housing shortage even more acute in 2020? Seems like something isn’t quite right.

    • Thousands of “asylum” seekers have been flown in to line the pockets of non profits that exist to cater to the replacement population. Eternal growth regardless of the impact to everyone’s quality of life.

  22. Kevin Cross and Meg, need to resign from the assembly. This is so self-interest, it’s shameful. No way do this two have any credibility in future actions on the assembly.

    • Credibility was voted out. 9-2. Now the numbers are changed, but the results are the same. Did everyone forget their Covid response?

  23. Case law regarding bias and conflict proves that if a particular land-use decision will affect an elected assembly member’s financial condition in a specific, substantial, and readily identifiable way—those members would be well advised to refrain from any participation in zoning decisions.

    As stated: “This includes voting or even participating in the debate on a rezoning, an ordinance or rule amendment, a variance, a subdivision approval, or a special-use permit. With quasi-judicial decisions, even small or indirect financial conflicts should be avoided because these decisions do not involve the making of general public policy, where the broadest possible participation is desirable, but are the application of those policies to an individual situation, where complete impartiality is necessary. Although the law may not absolutely mandate nonparticipation in advisory decisions, full disclosure on the record in these situations is warranted, and nonparticipation is advisable.

    When quasi-judicial decisions are involved, such as a permit appeal or variance, additional protections against bias and conflicts of interest on other than financial grounds also must be observed. A personal bias, a predisposition on the merits of the matter, or a close personal association with any of the parties disqualifies that board member from any involvement with the decision. In such situations, the board member should refrain not only from voting but from any participation in the matter…
    If a citizen board member fails to follow these requirements, the courts may well invalidate the action taken and send the matter back to the board for a properly conducted reconsideration…”

    “Also, in some circumstances the board member who participates in spite of having a conflict of interest may be subject to individual sanctions, such as censure, removal from office, or even criminal prosecution.” Case law also exists suggesting guilty assembly members could lose the muni’s legal umbrella of protection and would have to fund their own legal defense if individual constituents decide to sue for damages.

  24. And everyone should note, we don’t just pick on a political party. Anyone who pulls this crap is treated equally. In fact maybe we are harder on those who claim one thing and do another. This is still America.

  25. Let’s give Mr. Cross credit for what looks like a sophisticated scheme, parts of which are legal.
    Part 1: You can use VA loans to buy investment property. If you meet VA qualifications, plan to buy a home, live in it, rent out part of it, you’re eligible for a VA loan for investment property, plus you’ll receive rental income.
    “…a VA loan can be used for more than single-family homes with one unit. You can use this financing to purchase a duplex or multiplex with up to four living units, (if) you live in one of the units as your primary residence. —(You may actually be allowed to purchase a home with more than four units if you apply for a joint VA loan with other applicants.)— You aren’t required to live in the home 365 days a year, but you must move into the home and use it as your primary residence within 60 days of closing on your VA loan. Also, the multifamily property must comply with VA loan requirements for location, foundation and building codes.” (emphasis added) (‘
    Part 2: The IRS allows a “1031 exchange”. If you own or manage investment or business property, you can exchange it for a similar property of equal or greater value and defer capital gains tax to some date in the distant future, or maybe never. By not having to pay capital gains tax on your property sale, you literally use taxpayers’ money to buy larger and larger properties. Want to cash out and pay taxes in the end? The rules still let you come out far better than you would if you paid the tax each time you sold a property.
    For a simple tutorial, read “What is a 1031 Exchange in Real Estate? How to Guide & Examples”. (
    The tutorial closes with: “A 1031 exchange may be slightly complicated, but the long-term benefits of using this tax loophole can pack a tremendous punch in future wealth creation and should be considered by all serious real estate investors who are in this game for the long haul.”
    What’s the goal here? The real-estate industry uniting with the homeless industry to buy control of the Assembly and make really serious money? One-stop shopping where Mr. Cross’s team make real-estate laws, zoning rules, set property values, set taxes based on property values, handle property owners’ tax appeals?
    Remember the “… exchange it for a similar property of equal or greater value”, essential for a 1031 exchange? How hard can finding “…equal or greater value” be if you’re the one making real-state law, controlling zoning, setting property values?
    Bottom line: Cross and cronies seem ready to join real-estate industry oligarchs, homeless industry magnates, and industry regulators into one big happy family, and make tons of money, at taxpayer expense, in the process.
    Seems reasonable to ask why they plan this scheme seemingly unconcerned about how irate voters/property owners would be expected to respond at the polls.

  26. All of these appointed and elected criminals need to be stopped in their tracks, highlighted, publicly announced and shamed, at the very least,. They shall be held accountable for their fraud. It is about time for all of us who pay the price of their negligence and obvious criminal dealings to stand up and let them know that we will not let it happen any longer.
    Thank you for reporting on this important topic.

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