Retired airline pilot Mike Koskovich is on a one-man mission to get Donald Trump and Dan Sullivan reelected. He does what he can, when he can between flying to his cabin at Trapper Lake and maintaining his expansive Flysafe Bed-and-Breakfast that he runs with his wife Jayne.
With his bright red 1986 GMC three-quarter-ton pickup loaded with Trump and Sullivan signs, Koskovich rolls through Wasilla on a circuit that he calls his “trap line.”
Through the parking lots of major commercial centers in Wasilla such as AIH, Walmart, and Fred Meyer, and ending up at Wasilla Lake near the Parks Highway, Koskovich ends his route positioning his truck during rush-hour traffic and waves at people driving home.
“I’ve done this for a number of years,” Koskovich told Must Read Alaska, while he was on his route. He rolled with signage for Dunleavy for State Senate, and he rolled with signs for Sen. Dan Sullivan during the 2014 election. Now it’s all about Trump on one side of the truck and Sullivan on the other.
According to Koskovich, the reaction he is getting this year is more positive than ever. He gets plenty of honks and waves and only occasionally a middle-finger salute.
“I blow kisses at them,” he said. Generally, people are more excited this year than they have been ever before.
In Anchorage, it’s a different story for Trump supporters. They don’t put bumper stickers on their cars. They don’t put Trump signs in their yards. They don’t want their cars vandalized or their homes burned down.
The Trump support in Alaska’s largest city comes out in the manner of flags hoisted on trucks during rallies for the president — flags that can be rolled up and put away.
Joy Latham-Hahn was one of the brave ones. She and her husband are “undeclared” voters — they don’t belong to a party, but they’re strong constitutionalists who care about the country and do their homework before every election before voting.
Two weeks ago, Hahn’s husband was chased by a “very aggressive, angry, out of control angry man,” in Anchorage. “At a stop light, the driver (in a U-Haul van) blocked by husband … and went crazy because of the Trump/Pence sticker on his window.”
Then, at their College Village home, they discovered their Trump/Pence signs had been stomped on and stolen. After they repaired one sign and replaced it, it was shredded and the other Trump/Pence sign was gone.
“I will not let him replace it because I know the next step will be property damage,” she said.
Such is the response of many who spoke with Must Read Alaska about their qualms about putting up a Trump yard sign.
“We don’t want our house burned down,” said one Trump voter, a sentiment expressed by others.
Their fears are not unfounded. Longtime radial political pundit Keith Olbermann said this week on YouTube that Trump supporters were “maggots” that, along with the president, must be prosecuted and removed fro society.
“So, let us brace ourselves,” Olbermann continued. “The task is two-fold: the terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box, and then he, and his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators, and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs, and Sean Hannitys, and the Mike Pences, and the Rudy Gullianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try to rebuild it and to rebuild the world Trump has destroyed by turning it over to a virus.”
“Remember it, even as we dream for a return to reality and safety and the country for which our forefathers died, that the fight is not just to win the election, but to win it by enough to chase — at least for a moment — Trump and the maggots off the stage and then try to clean up what they left,” Olbermann said.
Koskovich has seen such hatred and has responded by wearing his MAGA hat everywhere he goes. It all started with the media witch-hunt against teenager Nicholas Sandmann, who went to Washington, D.C. with classmates to participate in a pro-life rally, only to find himself the object of a vitriolic media campaign led by the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN because of his MAGA hat.
After seeing what the media did to a teenager, Koskovich went online and ordered dozens of MAGA hats, and he gives them away wherever he goes. Most of the time, he receives a positive response for his hat, but at an airshow in San Bernardino, California, he was hassled by a Trump-hater. That was the only incident he could think of where someone was actually rude to him. Most folks compliment him by saying, “Nice hat!”
Koskovich, who is a Vietnam veteran, said that his family is spread far and wide across the United States, and is comprised of artists, oil workers, and people who work in agriculture from Florida to Oklahoma, and from Minnesota to Alaska. Between his siblings and his wife’s siblings, they all are supporters of the conservative movement — all 18 of them.
“I consider that a bellwether,” he said. “But we have numerous relatives in the Minneapolis area, and when we sent them photos of the truck, they told us ‘We don’t dare put up a yard sign.'”
For Koskovich, it’s a matter of taking a stand for his right to free speech.
“I believe so strongly in this constitutional republic, and you have to be proactive to ensure that we are able to retain it,” he said.