Walker's latest campaign ad? Not football after all - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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Walker’s latest campaign ad? Not football after all

Beat-up jerseys. Battered football helmets and cleats. Black-and-white images, and the sound of a tough game and then static for seconds on end. The ads for Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott continue to baffle viewers.

Only it’s not football. The fast-paced footage is of a rugby game in Anchorage. But back in the locker room, the ad producer, John-Henry Heckendorn, set it up as though it had been a football game.

He was hoping you wouldn’t notice.

One has to slow the video down — way down — to see the striped socks and uniforms, the shirts and logos that are clearly part of the Anchorage Rugby League’s summer season filmed at the Anchorage Park Strip.

After the Walker campaign posted it on Facebook three days ago, the public has not been kind:

“Not feeling it. My gas is more expensive, crime is at an all time high, services are lacking, and my property taxes are expanding faster than the bloated budget. Where is accountability and having a state government which lives within their means? You have lost my vote!” said one viewer.

The campaign for Walker-Mallott has had to remove as many as a third of the comments under the video, deeming them too negative or too crude. Or may they are simply too true: Did others notice it was recreational rugby, not the NFL?

View the video here:


The first video that the Walker-Mallott team placed on social media in April featured his critics as clowns, criticizing Walker of shoveling snow.

Highest unemployment in the nation? Not Walker’s fault. Biggest busted budget? Not his fault. Took the Permanent Fund dividend? Not his fault. Crime astronomical in your neighborhood due to his pushing SB 91? Not his fault. Critics were cheap suits, while Walker continued to shovel show.

Here’s the link to the Walker campaign’s first 2018 campaign video: “Walker digs out.”

Walker’s second campaign video went to the dark side — stark black-and-white images with shadowy figures, still photos, and mournful music. It has a mafioso feel to it.

Here’s the link to Walker’s second campaign video: “Walker’s noir vision for Alaska.”

But in his third video, the message seems to be: “Vote for me because I’m trying.”

Filmed at a rugby game, and then faked out in a locker room? This campaign video is rich in metaphor.

Whether Alaskans think their quarterback should remain on the field or, like Colin Kaepernick, be benched for taking a knee instead of standing with the team, will be a question for the Big Game on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

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Written by

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.

Latest comment

  • What a joke as usual playing the wrong game with different rules…He’s a complete failure!

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