Big Lie believer Anchorage Mayor Bronson has been working diligently to get election fraud conspiracy theorists onto the Anchorage Election Commission, but thankfully this evening, the Assembly rebuffed another of his appointees.
In December, Bronson appointed Save Anchorage members Heather Clopton and Cecilia Donelson to the commission. Mysteriously, Clopton’s Facebook account was deactivated around the time she was appointed, but miraculously reappeared after the Assembly put its foot down and refused to confirm either of Bronson’s appointees.
Last Friday (very last minute) Mayor Bronson appointed three more individuals to the election commission: former Lt. Governors Mead Treadwell, Loren Leman and former Bronson campaign election observer Bee Hanson.
Both Treadwell and Leman (quite a show of force) were confirmed to the commission by the Assembly. I’ll spare the masses my opinion on why having two influential Conservative former Lt. Governors on the commission could come back to bite the Assembly and voters in the ass down the road, but will say I’d be more comfortable if a relative of Treadwell wasn’t a member of the Save Anchorage operation whose members have asserted the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump and that the attack on Capitol Hill was a necessary evil.
Last night’s Assembly meeting took an interesting turn, however, when Bee Hanson’s appointment to the commission was being debated. Hanson’s name had been bifurcated from the names of the former Lt. Governors and acted on separately.
East Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar said the Assembly had received emails and testimony from the public concerned that Hanson believed there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“There is an unfortunate trend in the United States today that I believe causes great concern and is disqualifying for election commissions, and that is this pervasive myth of widespread electoral or voter fraud — and we received a number of emails today that indicated, unfortunately, that this nominee made some statements to that effect,” Dunbar said.
“I believe that just cannot be permitted on the election commission when they are going to be adjudicating ballots,” he added, explaining that on that basis, he believed Hanson was not qualified to serve on the commission.
Cheerleader and member of the Save Anchorage operation, Jamie Allard, opined that it was “a good thing” Hanson was an election fraud conspiracy theorist because it meant she would be “like a hawk watching everything that happens.”
Save Anchorage member and Bronson chief of staff Sami Graham told the Assembly that all board and commission appointees had been “fully vetted” and had “expertise” that would benefit the board/commission they were appointed to.
Graham’s assertion that Hanson possessed “expertise” would later come back to haunt the Bronson administration when, in an exchange between Assembly member John Weddleton and Hanson, he pointed out that Hanson wrongfully believed that the Municipality would be participating in ranked choice voting.
“Oh,” Hanson responded, surprised by Weddleton’s clarification.
Hanson’s response arguably demonstrated to a majority of the Assembly that she did not possess the “expertise” Graham claimed she did and after roughly 40 minutes of debate, the Assembly rejected Hanson’s appointment by a vote of 4-7.
Incredibly, both Weddleton and LaFrance voted to confirm Hanson, who, minutes earlier, had just demonstrated she had no idea it was the state and not the Municipality that would participate in ranked choice voting in the next election.
One can only speculate about why Weddleton and LaFrance voted to confirm Hanson in light of reports that so-called Republicans are working to place Trump conspiracy theorists onto election commissions across the country.
One notable example is Cleta Mitchell, who pushed unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. Last November she was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the federal Election Assistance Commission. The EAC certifies voting machines and advises local election officials on compliance with federal regulations.
Any individual who believes there was widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election should be automatically disqualified from serving on an election commission. To give such individuals air is to endanger American citizens’ faith that our elections are conducted freely and fairly.
It’s not clear who Mayor Bronson might appoint next to the election commission, but one thing is clear — make no mistake — Save Anchorage backed candidates who believe Trump’s election fraud conspiracy theories are coming for the Assembly in April.