Brat alert: Zaletel, Quinn-Davidson, Constant were willing to risk not having a lobbyist for Anchorage for special session


Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson, and Chris Constant were ready to spike the mayor’s wishes to hire Wendy Chamberlain as the municipality’s lobbyist, leaving 38 percent of the state’s population without a lobbyist in Juneau during the legislative special session that begins next week. Luckily, the rest of the Assembly thought otherwise.

The $80,000 contract for Chamberlain’s Legislative Consultants company is far less than what the company used to get for representing the city. Chamberlain has been lobbying for Anchorage for the better part of 20 years, often charging $150,000 a year for services.

But the leftists on the Assembly wanted the bid to be done competitively, so that Anchorage would be represented by the lowest bidder.

They fussed over the effective date, until it became apparent to them that Chamberlain had not yet been paid by the municipality, and that the contract could start on Wednesday and not retroactively. The contract had not been executed.

Municipal Manager Amy Demboski said that she has already cancelled two of the four lobbying contracts that the prior administrations had in place, and that “the concept here was to reduce the cost and consolidate.” She pointed out that Chamberlain’s firm was started by Joe Hayes, and had lobbied for the municipality for decades. Lobbying contracts rarely go to the lowest bidder, because it’s an area requiring special knowledge and skills.

Constant wanted to postpone the item and take it up in a work session, and then at the next Assembly meeting, while Zaletel and Quinn-Davidson wanted to spike it “indefinitely.”

For the majority of the Assembly, the “motion to postpone indefinitely” by Zaletel and Quinn-Davidson was found to be wanting, and ultimately the contract was approved 11-0.


  1. Not that I agree with the Anchorage troika, but why does the municipal government need to pay for lobbyists to the state and federal governments? Is the muni usable to mail out letters to the other legislative bodies detailing what they want or need?

    • The state and federal governments get a lot of letters and do not consider them as important as contact from a lobbyist. Lobbyists are worth it or there would not be sol many of them.

  2. 5 Minute Break: Knowing the “Who? What? When?Where? How?,” of dealing with the three branches of local, State, and Federal governments and their respective administrative agencies is a highly specialized profession.

    Anyway, if lawyers and scholars were necessary for producing the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the U.S. Constitution, then how the heck can anyone expect that some clerk with a high school education will possibly approximate the yearly legislative advocacy goals of the MOA before the State and Feds?

  3. They were not about to let us testify about their mask mandate either. They delayed and and delayed but we are undaunted and undefeated. We will be there tomorrow night and as long as it takes. They’re not half as clever as they think they are. Many of us stood in line from 4.30 pm to midnight. We’re tougher than they think. We are Alaskans and Americans and we run this place. They seem bent on finding that out the hard way. Foolish.

    • THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MASK MANDATE! Only all caps so others see. This is SO MUCH MORE this is a distraction like many politicians do. It’s a slide of hands. The mask mandate will pass. However, the real problem is items from last nights 9/28/21 Agenda items like 14.A. and 14.B. Those are to strip executive powers from the mayor. 14.A. is limiting his appointments. 14.B. is about them having “the keys” to the city. This will include, assembly chambers at the library, city hall and eventually their overreach will go to where votes are counted. Then your vote may not even matter any more. So please be vigilant against the real tyranny. It will only get worse!

  4. In short, they wanted to further undermine Bronson. Meg in particular seems to be offended Bronson exists.

    Lobbyists are vile things and part of the overall problem in government, but for now they are the way the game is played.

    It’s painfully obvious the Assembly would rather see Anchorage burn to the ground than give Bronson any victory of any kind.

  5. Wow, the Assembly actually listened to logic and reason from the Mayor’s office? Personally, I cannot believe it.

  6. “Socialism is the hatred of the other guy, having a better time in the world” (the bard of American Journalism – H.L. Mencken)

  7. Most likely, the Assembly trio was upset that the Muni’s lobbying plan did not include contracts for their preferred lobbyists – the ones that make sure that their other clients contribute to the campaigns of the trio.

  8. It’s increasingly clear that certain members of the Assembly cannot or will not put the best interests of Anchorage before their own petty grievances. It’s literally the only job they have. It’s time for them to go.
    I don’t remember this level of dispute when the lobbyist position came up for approval under Berkowitz. This is all a further attempt to undermine a duly elected mayor and punish those who voted for him.

    Vote YES on the Zaletel recall October 26th. Encourage family and friends who live in her district to do the same. We need a strong, affirmative showing.

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