Monday, October 2, 2023
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Too effective? Bernadette Wilson is out at Americans for Prosperity

Bernadette Wilson, lifelong Alaskan and well-known conservative political activist, has been fired by Americans for Prosperity, which hired her in September of 2021 as Alaska’s state director. She said she was not told why she was suddenly let go, and the change came as a surprise. But she’s taking it in stride. After all, there’s a lot of politics in politics.

“I was involved long before AFP, and I will be involved after AFP. That was just part of the chapter in the book. Conservatives should know I’m not going anywhere, and I’m not backing down. We are up against people who do not want to hear a conservative voice and we have got to keep going,” she said.

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“I genuinely enjoyed the position and I have such admiration for the dozens upon dozens volunteers and other community leaders who have given so much of their precious time, not just to AFP, but to this conservative movement,” she said.

Wilson has been leading the charge against an increase of the defined benefits program for state workers, and has worked on education reform, health care reform through ending the certificate of need program, and on the direct primary care bill.

It appears that political forces were a factor in her termination, as she was seen as a rising star in AFP on the national level. AFP is a libertarian-focused organization with chapters in over 30 states.

Just weeks ago, she and dozens of Alaska grassroots activists flew to Juneau and talked to legislators about conservative priorities relevant in this legislative session. Wilson has held grassroots academy trainings across the state, attended by hundreds of conservatives, and some consider her as a possible candidate for governor at some point in the future.

“Ahead of us, we have a sales tax issue, and we need to keep pressure on the Legislature to get the budget under control, but we’ll just do it through a different avenue, and I will still be a part of this conservative movement and conversation,” she said.

Wilson owns her own company, Denali Disposal, and she will have time to focus on growing the business, and will be working on campaigns and for conservative causes, as she did long before AFP hired her.

Wilson got her start in politics on issues such as being the campaign director for the parental notification ballot initiative, which passed in 2010. She has since worked on dozens of campaigns, including Joe Miller for Senate, and most recently she and AFP’s campaign division backed Nick Begich for Congress.

AFP is a grassroots organization whose mission is to create change, and says on its website that its grassroots, policy, government affairs, communications, political, and education and training capabilities “make us the best organization to change the policy landscape in America.”

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. AFP is tied directly to money from the Koch brothers. I hope she moves on and finds a local group in Alaska, not one dependent on big money from billionaire Koch brothers.

    • Stacey, brothers? David Koch passed away in 2019, leaving only Charles. Sometimes I wish you haters would actually do some research into what your supposed to be hating.

      But if you are caught up in Mass Psychosis, well it’s not important…

  2. She is exactly the only credible conservative leader in this state. What a blunder of not keeping her as state director.

    • Sarge, I thought you were a big S.P. fan. What gives, you seen the light about that little State wrecker? If so, good on you brother.

      BTW, I thought she was “Leading the Charge” on repealing RCV, stange, I’ve not heard a peep from Sarah. Also she sure is quiet about her Pally Peltola and her fiasco’s. ?

      • Howdy Bob. If Sarah wanted to run again I would support her as much as I did last time. I think that Sarah and Nick will not run again. The Congressional Seat would be a Good fit for either Sarah or Bernedette.. The Rank Choice Repeal Initiative got certified and is collecting signitures l posted about it, but my post got deleted. Good to see your still in the saddle, even though it hurts your hemroids. Oooh Pancho,. Oooh Cisco.

  3. Americans for Prosperity is a national front who came into Alaska and sent teenagers out house tohouse in Anchorage. To sign them up.

    Then they interferred as a private political entity somehow given the gatekeeper role to public events of the Governor. One had to join an activist organisation to redress government.

    I believe they know they have signed-up all those they can here and have seen politics in our biggest city, and know the governor gets 2 terms, and it has been a huge struggle not the easy winthey thought Alaska would be.

    • We need equalization between private sector small business and state employees on retirement which gives unfair defined benefits to state employees past and perhaps present plus healthcare benefits which small business does not for the most part receive to the extent state employees receive.
      Either we all get free benefits or none should get free benefits. Thats what Americans for Prosperity’s been advertising.
      Social security retirement benefits are good enough for both sectors.

  4. Always a big fan of Bernadett and participated as Joe on her radio talk show called the Bernadette and Berkowitze Show which was very popular.
    Bernadette and the Alaskan Republican Party need to not dwell on scrutinizing personal and social left wing idea’s, but focus on more of a Fiscal Conservancy platform and what’s best for small business which is an endangered species.
    On social conservatism, be the champion of Law and Order, for without law and order we have no civilization and use law and order to stifle Democrats idea of convicted criminals punishment leniency’s.
    If she can grasp that concept, she will someday become Alaska Governor Bernadette Wilson 😉

  5. We in Alaska, need a strong, conservative voice to pull us all together as one. Americans for prosperity was not the voice to do that. I went to a few of their meetings and was not overly impressed. I did not get to feel they were truly a conservative oriented organization. They definitely had their own agenda that was not necessary one that could bring Alaskans conservatives together. There was no progress made in changing our assembly or the politics around Anchorage over the last couple of years since they have been organizing in Anchorage and the State. Bernadette Wilson is a wonderful energetic person and I think fairly conservative. I like both our mayor and our governor, but neither seems to be very good at using the bully pulpit to bring the people of Alaska together. We need a leader, or we will continue to lose elections in Anchorage, and possibly in other parts of the state as well. The Anchorage assembly is a mess and the people on it or a mess. They do not respect other peoples point of view, nor the laws that govern us.

  6. I remember her radio show with Ethan Berkowitz. She always had intelligent comments and answers where as the Berkowitz always had something dumb to say.

  7. Bernadette gave credibility to AFP when she started leading the Alaska chapter. For years I have thought of them as a convenience conservative organization that shies away from fights that are important. Yes, there appears to be a very close parallel with Fox News and Tucker Carlson!

  8. This era is getting truly dangerous. First Tucker, then Bernadette. Who is next? Jesse Waters? And is Alaska capable of electing another Republican governor? Alaskans should take a good look at what is transpiring in the lower 48. It is truly insane! The country I was born into is gone and the one rising in its place is trampling the Bill of Rights. Suzanne you are truly needed more than ever.

  9. AFP has always been a Trojan Horse inside the conservative movement. The Koch brothers are globalist tools. Don’t forget they not only opposed Joe Miller in Alaska, but also Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on the national level. Get smart people. This is not an organization you can count on.

  10. I guess the legislators (and their union handlers) didn’t like coming face to face with actual constituents from THEIR district, instead of the echo-chamber lobbyists and Juneauites, who keep them insulated. Move the legislature and we will get better representation. Three cheers for Bernadette!

  11. She’s done a good job with the exception of the misinformation campaign against defined benefits. I wonder if her employees will feel safe out in the community with understaffed and inexperienced law enforcement? Will her equipment get stolen and vandalized? It’s a reality.

    • Jim, your last two sentences could be construed as a inciting mischief. Tread carefully. After the defund the police debacle and the catch-and-release attitude of many district attorneys, most of the country’s law-enforcement agencies have trouble recruiting and it has nothing to do with the retirement plan. It has way more to do with the toxic rhetoric coming out of the same quarters, vilifying police officers as a group. Who wants to sign up do that? Defined benefits will bankrupt the state, especially since our esteemed lawmakers are not willing to cut spending to pay for it. Defined benefits in my opinion is an end-run around the residents to require an income and sales tax as well as confiscate the entire PFD for the sole benefit of government and their minions.

      • Wrong, I’ve witnessed first hand the exodus of quality, experienced officers leave with them muttering, I’ve hit the 5 year mark. Do you know what the costs are for continued recruiting, screening, academies, gear, field training, etc. Neither do I but it’s in the millions. One or two large lawsuits will end in the multimillions as well. Food for thought, I’m a taxpayer too!

  12. As your great grandad used to say Bern…”Don’t let the bastards get you down!” Doors are opening up. Big doors! Every state legislator knows you aren’t going anywhere and your tenacity is a force they have a hard time ignoring. Keep being that voice of clear reasoning. You have a gift of cutting through the weeds and articulating the heart of the matter every time.
    I’ve loved getting to know many of the folks at AFP in and outside the state and they are wonderful people but something higher up seems amiss…perhaps they’re changing more than direction and “color”. We shall see. That new AFP green didn’t look as good on you anyway.

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