The wisdom of the electorate: The Marxist vs. the marketplace



I, too, was surprised at the tone the Anchorage Daily News  took toward Mayor-elect Dave Bronson this weekend, telling him that he doesn’t have the support of half of the people of Anchorage, so he’d better learn to get along with the leftist Assembly.

A great city needs a great newspaper. The newspaper even in today’s world of declining readership and alternative sources of news is critical to a city’s sense of who it is. Clearly based on the writing this weekend, our local paper has decided to take the same approach as many of the national media: Caustic, divisive, and out of touch.

What ever happened to respecting the wisdom of the electorate? What ever happened to the idea that Anchorage residents really do wish success for their next mayor, because the success of the entire city depends on it? Regardless of party or beliefs we are all Alaskans. We have always prided ourselves on being able to have a good political dust-up, shake hands, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

My hope is that our Assembly will realize and understand that is their charge as leaders in our city, a fact that has obviously escaped the Anchorage Daily News.

The voters in Anchorage decided in April that they wanted a clear choice for the runoff, and they got one. They created a May election that posed two very different philosophies: 

  • Forrest Dunbar represents a Marxist vision for Anchorage, where work and self-reliance isn’t valued, and where critical race theory is the driving force. He represents a vision of a community where the Constitution is diminished because the founders of the nation were imperfect people. Most of the Anchorage Assembly represents this vision for Anchorage, and it’s terribly sad that they have been put in positions of power.
  • Dave Bronson brings a different vision and a new direction after six years of progressive politics: A return to personal freedom and responsibility, smaller government, getting and keeping this town open for business; no more hard-hearted shutdowns. Most importantly, a town that welcomes and supports its small businesses, and has an environment that encourages development and growth.

The voters – more than half of them – remember former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz standing with the protesters last June, declaring, “I look out and I see a crowd full of revolutionaries, and it makes my heart glad.”

They remember him as the bathroom nude-selfie mayor, and they remember his enabler Forrest Dunbar, who rose quickly to defend Berkowitz against the accusations of a television anchorwoman, whose accusations — some of them — were quickly proven. 

Anchorage has seen where so-called progressive policies have taken this community – empty storefronts, homeless cities within our city, with people literally defecating on our streets, a school district that’s not educating our children, and all of this causing more and more Anchorageites to migrate to the valley. Progressivism is, at least in Anchorage, regressivism.

The Anchorage Daily News clearly didn’t get the memo: Anchorage wanted to balance out the Assembly with a mayor who displays common sense and compassion. 

It’s telling that a person such as Dave Bronson, with literally no name ID among the people at this time last year, could overcome the household name of Forrest Dunbar: We want to go in a different direction. We expect better of our community.

What the editorial writers at the Anchorage Daily News also missed was the deep pain experienced by so many people in Anchorage, and how they felt dismissed by their local government this past year.

The ADN mentioned a woman who burned her mask at the Assembly, evidently missing the point she was making: The woman is deaf, and she was giving clueless Assembly members a real demonstration of the pain and isolation she experienced while unable to read lips, with everyone in the city forced behind a mask. 

People came and wept in front of the Assembly about their lives being ruined by the policies of the mayor, approved every other week for nearly a year by the Assembly.

The public spoke about businesses going under, children depressed and suicidal, and they rightfully objected to a wrongheaded policy to develop a poorly planned homeless industry in Anchorage.

What so many of them told me, while I was campaigning this winter for mayor, is that they want more certainty, less seesaw. I listened and I heard: They felt whiplashed by government telling them one thing one week, and going in a different direction the next.

Even now, restaurant owners are worried about ordering inventory, because they have been burned by government policies that led to spoilage and losses in 2020, which they hope and pray they can recover from. 

I wish this mayor-elect well. He has an enormous job turning our economy around and giving the business community confidence again.

Unlike the Daily News, I believe Dave Bronson gets it, he understands that he is Mayor elect of all of Anchorage, that he needs to listen to all voices and work to make life better for all of us. It will benefit the newspaper if he is able to do so. They ought to not only give him a chance, but they should give the voters a pat on the back for voting for change.

Mike Robbins is a businessman in Anchorage, owner of the Robbins Agency, who ran for mayor this year.


  1. A well-written piece. In my view, however, Mr. Robbins gives too much credit to Mr. Dunbar and the Assembly. I doubt that they think in philosophical terms. Rather, for them, it is about rewarding their friends and themselves and punishing anyone that dissents or even asks questions. It is about power – their power. Their ideas about cooperation and unity mirror those of Joe Biden. Cooperation means agreeing with them on everything. Unity means get in line or we will destroy you. Unfortunately, we now have a good idea how the failing ADN is going to come down on those matters.

  2. Thank you Mike Robbins! You fought the good fight and when your numbers indicated that your chances were diminished, you joined the candidate who could win and turn this town around. I for one respect you for that! I hope you will continue to help Dave Bronson to accomplish that. I am right behind you!!

  3. ADN needs to remember that most Conservatives don’t buy or read their newspaper. I certainly don’t and I’ve asked around… non of my friends or work colleagues do either. In fact the camp that I stay in on the North Slope, provides the Epoch Times for us to read. They used to provide ADN, but they were just getting thrown away. So… if ADN thinks that Anchorage is Liberal, it’s only because they are only hearing from their readers… and they don’t have very many.

  4. Absolutely, Bronson is here to try to get Anchorage back to working for the whole population instead of running money to special interests at the expense of property owners.

  5. “…a wrongheaded policy to develop a poorly planned homeless industry in Anchorage.”
    Homelessness as an industry? Never thought of it that way before … but that’s what it’s becoming.

  6. Sounds to me like the Anchorage Daily News (I use that term loosely) better get its stuff together or it is about to go the way of the rest of the left-headed rags in our country. We, the people are really tired of all the hoohah the leftists have to put out, not just in Anchorage, but Juneau, Fairbanks and elsewhere. If they actually decided to be investigative reporters instead of left-wing hacks, they actually might get some of their readership back. Imagine that!

  7. I had had enough of the Far Left reporting of the ADN last year and cancelled our subscription to the paper and last August we took our cable boxes back to GCI and disconnected to TV at our house…although I no longer read the ADN or hear KTUU. Dan Fagan, Must Read Alaska and the Alaska Watchman certainly keep me in the loop.

  8. I’ve heard it said that the ADN ownership has made a business decision to keep the Lefty bend from the Alaska Dispatch News / Rogoff fiasco. It’s said they think they‘ll lose their left leaning subscribers should they change the paper’s tone. If true, what a sad pandering position to take. I’m sure my liberal friends can read a straight forward news article without their hair bursting into flames.

    Perhaps the ADN can just print the news that’s fit to print and let the good people of Anchorage make decisions from there.

    “Mr. Bronson is currently ahead in the vote count.” That seems like news. It seems like good news to me.

  9. Or they could just report straight news. You know…the truth. Think how much easier their jobs would be. No twisting themselves into pretzels trying to make conservatives look bad.

  10. Wonder whether Robbins can be persuaded to run for Anchorage’s Assembly…
    “…respecting the wisdom of the electorate” what a concept! No telling what’ll happen if ideas like that take hold (again).
    Bronson in the mayor’s office, Robbins on the Assembly, this could be the start of something much better for Anchorage’s people.

  11. Only nit to pick with this opinion piece is that Dave Bronson is not the Mayor-elect. He is currently in the lead, and I hope he retains it, but he is not yet Mayor-elect. Appreciate the substance of Mr. Robbins’ opinion and appreciate the efforts he made on behalf of Dave Bronson.

  12. Every time I consider subscribing to ADN, they remind me of why I cancelled previously, The last thing we need is another outlet for the regressive message of the mainstream media.

  13. Its time for a Republican make their own newspaper. Of course its subscribers and distribution will start out small. But ADN used to be small until they gain name recognition. I don’t know anything about newspaper/magazine reporting and publishing. But I am sure some right thinking reporter and business man who does. I’ll be supportive having an Anchorage right-wing newspaper delivered to my door for advertisement, right news, and coupons, and kiddie comic like giving space to Tundra.

  14. Glad to see Robbins use the ‘Marxist’ word. I know he was afraid to use it in the campaign…it cost him. But I am glad to have him on our side. He seems like a nice guy. Despite the close numbers given the feat that was Bronson’s election, I’d say he has a MANDATE. I hope Robbins and Bronson can bring all the people, businessmen alike and form a political army to retake this town. It needs it badly. There is no more ‘I don’t pay attention to politics’ lazy excuse anymore. Sorry, you moved to AK to get away from all that but, it has found you. Now, Cowboy UP!

  15. Capitalism is not perfect, but more than any other system it has lifted billions of people from abject poverty to rising wealth. Marxism brings equality of misery to all (except the politicians). What kind of person would voluntarily surrender themselves from freedom to slavery except those who ultimately desire to lord over the masses?

  16. JEN, we had the Times. When progressive ADN bought the Times their subscription rate increased a whopping 3%.

  17. AK: That 3% was partly my bad. Not knowing better, at the time, I subscribed to ADN … myself, and two others. Ahahahahahaha!

  18. I believe Dave Bronson’s election is just the start. Conservatives have purposed to get better representation on the School Board and the Assembly. We have seen Anchorage deteriorate under leftist policies and know the way out. This is the beginning.

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