Anchorage Mayor David Bronson saw two of his election commission appointees walk away empty handed last night after the Assembly refused to confirm Cecelia Donelson and Heather Clopton to the Commission.
Both Donelson and Clopton were identified as being associated with the far-right Save Anchorage political operation whose members have perpetuated (among other things) baseless election fraud conspiracy theories.
During last evening’s Assembly meeting, Bronson sycophant Jamie Allard immediately moved to approve the confirmation of Mayor Bronson’s appointees, somehow arriving at the conclusion that both Donelson and Clopton were “very qualified” after Allard said she had reviewed their resumes.
“…I have to say that anyone who votes in some way is partisan whether they belong to the Republican Party,” said Allard, who often struggles with forming complete sentences.
“Both-sides” Assembly Member John Weddleton suggested that having individuals on the commission who were “antagonistic” could be “beneficial” to the process with open and honest discussions.
“I actually support people who will challenge the system in there,” Weddleton said of the two.
East Anchorage Assembly Member Forrest Dunbar, seemingly concerned about the power both Donelson and Clopton would have on the Commission, asked Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones whether those who served on the Election Commission would be involved in adjudicating ballots.
“The easy answer is yes,” said Jones, who explained that the Election Commission does adjudicate both envelopes and ballots.
As debate over Mayor Bronson’s appointees continued, the Bronson administration, with Allard towing their messaging, tried to paint a narrative that should Donelson and Clopton not be confirmed, it was because of their party affiliation. Unspoken by members of the administration and the Assembly was any mention of Clopton’s name appearing on a “Ban Dominion Now” petition or Donelson’s public social media posts.
In the end, and after much discussion, the Assembly voted 4-7 against confirming Mayor Bronson’s appointees.
Worth noting is that Mayor Bronson previously alleged, at an October 2020 Trump rally held in Anchorage, that the “deep state” was attacking former President Donald Trump. On January 6, as insurrectionists were violently taking Capitol Hill, the Facebook account for Bronson’s mayoral campaign shared a debunked tweet made by Donald Trump that alleged 4,000 ballots from Georgia had been found.
The Anchorage Assembly’s refusal to confirm both of Mayor Bronson’s appointees last evening could be interpreted as a succinct message to Anchorage’s mayor that putting forth similar nominees in the future might result in the confirmation of those appointees meeting a similar fate. After all, every healthy democracy relies on free and fair elections to ensure that government authority is derived from the people’s will.