Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Unions have emergency meeting in Anchorage


Alaska’s biggest union bosses have called an emergency meeting in Anchorage today to discuss the mess they have with the governor’s race.

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They’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy and supporting Gov. Bill Walker, only to find Walker’s campaign in a complete tailspin.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott set off the crisis by resigning in disgrace on Tuesday.

[Read: Plot thickens on Mallott resignation]

The Walker-Mallott ticket was the one unions created in 2014, when AFL-CIO boss Vince Beltrami told Bill Walker and Byron Mallott that unions wouldn’t support either of them, but only support them if they combined their tickets.

The two did as they were told and went on to victory against the incumbent governor, Sean Parnell.

Now, in 2018, Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott’s top contributors include Robin Brena, the Sealaska Corporation (where Byron Mallott’s son is CEO), and labor unions.

With Mark Begich ascending and Walker in crisis, what do the unions do?

Do they stick with Walker and his new Acting Lieutenant Governor Val Davidson? Or do they jump to Begich?

“The unions are going to stab Walker in the back,” said Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. “Vince Beltrami is a fair-weather friend and in his lust for power he’ll sacrifice just about anything or anyone.”

At this point, Walker has a tough time pulling out of the race, since the ballots are printed. Even if he pulls out, he’ll get 15 percent of the vote, simply because his name is on the ballot.

But the union-backed Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott has been working on a huge smear campaign on Dunleavy. The unions have to decide now if they want to smear Dunleavy on behalf of Walker or pull their support and do so on behalf of Begich.

The union’s smear campaign is looking like it is on increasingly shaky grounds, something Beltrami cooked up months ago. The details of their smear campaign have been leaked along with the word “Prometheus,” which is the apparent code name he has devised.

Meanwhile, the Walker-Davidson campaign has cancelled its booth at the Alaska Federation of Natives and has refocused a major fundraiser planned for tonight. It is now just a reception.

“Join the Walker team at the Downtown Anchorage Historic Hotel for a Walker informational reception. We have taken down the fundraising component for this event, but the Governor and Lt. Gov. Val Davidson, and our team, will be here to answer questions and listen. We will continue to show up and be here for Alaska,” his campaign wrote.

Polling shows Begich and Walker about even with each taking 25 percent of the vote as of last week.

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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. Prometheus? Really? So Vinny the union boss is chained to a rock (Alaska) and has his liver eaten by an eagle (freedom, liberty) every day? Paging Dr. Freud.

    • Uh huh, they want to chain Sen Dunleavy to a rock and watch while his liver is eaten out everyday until the election. Looks like dehumanization and disinhibition are ruling the opposition. Surely the ARP can highlight this type of torture/murder ideation.

    • Seems that Vinny the union boss was alluding to Prometheus because he was the one who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. I think that is the part of the they myth that is useful to them for whatever reason. However, the gods caught Prometheus in the act and were not pleased with him. His sentence was to be chained to a Rockford eternity and an eagle would eat his liver daily which would grow back at night. This is the part of the myth that does not cast a favorable light on Vinny’s plot. But I think the truth is that Vinny liked the fancy sounding name and is ignorant of the myth.

  2. If the legislature hasn’t confirmed Davidson as Lt. Governor how can she be billed as such?
    Alaska politics smells!

  3. “Kavanaughing” Dunleavy won’t work, and will likely boomerang on the dirty little red diaper doper babies.

    • It won’t work because the bush vote is so critical – Walker is following the bush desire for peaceful, respectful, consensus – in a culturally-sensitive attempt to wrap up the bush vote. Walker won’t agree to any Kavanaughing. Begich might – to get the union vote and try to reduce Standing Tall’s advantage.

  4. So is union mafia boss Vinny channeling Dianne Feinstein? Whatever he does, it will only make those Alaskans with any intelligence hate public unions even more (if that is possible).

  5. Who is surprised the unions are being hoisted by their own petard?

    This ain’t Hamlet, folks, but the political slime merchants are gathering to pick their new victim.

    MARK BEGICH is begging like a cur at the dinner table…

  6. Each day that passes with the continuation of the campaigns of both Mr. Walker and Mr. Begich brings each of them closer to defeat. Even the current Attorney General and the Alaska Supreme Court will have enormous difficulty sanctioning any kind of “unity” ticket. Ballots have been printed and thousands have ALREADY voted.

    Even then, Alaskans should not count on the Courts to honestly apply the law. I hope and pray that a clear majority of Alaskans will see the plots, maneuvering and smear campaigns for what they are: A naked effort to retain power by any means necessary.

  7. Walker and the unions are on a fast track of being flushed down the crapper and it makes no difference who they back other than Dunleavy !!! The Big itch was a failed tail spin in the making with union contracts and Sullivan finished it!!!

  8. Let’s sit back in our chair and ponder why the unions are so heavily invested in controlling State government:
    1. Money. The D’s are always willing to buy union votes and support with extravagant public employee contracts. The taxpayer is the sheep and Vince Beltrami holds the shears.
    2. Money. The unions need a fat State Government in order to siphon from the public larder.
    3. Ego. Losing candidate Vince Beltrami discovered its more fun to use his union members money to promote his self-promoting schemes.

  9. And remember the success of the Democratic Federal Prosecutors that ended Senator Stevens career for Begich’s election, then were later sanctioned.

  10. Vince B has always had a stone deaf political ear. We now have yet another example of how this man has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars union due money on Walker. Will he learn from his latest mistake. My view is there is no chance of that.

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