You’ll have to excuse ultra-conservatives for their recent behavior, they’ve had a pretty bad month.
After living in a social media echo chamber for the past five months, supporters of the Recall Rivera effort learned that District 4 residents overwhelmingly rejected the legal but misguided recall effort. Some have blamed outside money for the epic fail, but it’s more likely voters saw through the inane notion that Assemblyman Rivera (allegedly) intentionally let a few more people into the Assembly chambers last year than was permitted. Official results from the Municipal Clerks’ Office show that the recall effort tanked 56.53%-43.47%. Ouch, that has to hurt.
School Board Candidates Schooled
Progressives swept every seat in the Anchorage school board races, although social media star Judy Eledge came close to defeating Dr. Kelly Lessens. That particular race will be recounted by the Municipal Clerks Office, but the recount is unlikely to change the outcome. I suspect Eledge will run against Dr. Lessens in a year and that next year’s race will be a two-way race in the hopes that conservatives can flip the seat without splitting the vote. I can’t be certain though…conservatives never seem to learn.
Carl Jacobs ran a strong campaign against school board president Elisa Vakalis, who didn’t appear to do much campaigning at all and perhaps rested too strongly on the support of certain social media groups. Many teachers and ASD support staff don’t seem to be sad about the results of this race. Jacobs, who was once referred to as a baby-faced hipster by a member of a certain super-secret Facebook group during the campaign, is likely to be a great advocate for students.
Pat Higgins unseated Alisha Hilde and defeated his closest rival Sami Graham in a 6 way race for Seat E. Higgins defeated Graham by a slim margin. The most horrifying part of this race is that Nial Sherwood Williams received 2,653 votes (4.08%). 5/5 Yikes!
Dora Wilson trounced Kim Paulson in the four-way race for Seat F by 11.21%. Wilson ran a great social media campaign which likely boosted her profile. She’s just so darn nice and likable! I hope she does another BBQ fundraiser if she runs again.
Campaign of Hate
Forrest Dunbar has seen his campaign signs vandalized all over the city and cameras appear to have captured images of one alleged sign wrecker.
Some Anchorage residents have said they think people aligned with the Bronson campaign and/or Save Anchorage are responsible for “this new style of un-Alaskan and illegal politics.”
No matter who’s responsible, it’s more bad news for ultra-conservatives this month, especially when the Bronson for Mayor campaign claims not to like criminals very much. One might expect Bronson to denounce such acts, but it seems the Bronson campaign is okay with crime unless it’s happening to them.
ABC, APOC & Anchorage Rotary
Anchorage mayoral candidate Dave Bronson has had a pretty rough go of things lately. The Save Anchorage-backed fringe candidate, who refers to the homeless population as vagrants, is anti-abortion and staunchly anti-equality — appears to have created some self-imposed drama over the weekend when the Alaska Black Caucus (ABC) received word that Bronson wouldn’t be attending the BIPOC Mayoral Candidate’s Forum this past Sunday. You can read more about the drama here. ABC says they’ve sent numerous emails to the Bronson campaign in an attempt to schedule an event Bronson could attend. ABC has reportedly received cricket chirps in response to their numerous emails.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Dunbar campaign filed a complaint with APOC last week, alleging that the Bronson for Mayor campaign has engaged in “voluminous and serious alleged violations” of campaign finance regulations. APOC has given the Bronson campaign until May 3, 2021 to respond to the complaint. I’m sure the outside political consulting firm Axiom Strategies can help explain to APOC what’s going on. At a recent Bronson fundraiser, Bronson said he heard “everything was fine.” What a relief!
Speaking of APOC, earlier this week a group calling itself Open for Business with Bronson, was filed with APOC and just received a $10,000 contribution from the owner of La Mex.
Open for Business with Bronson is a “Controlled Group” which is organized specifically to support only one candidate or which plans to spend more than 50% of its funds to support a single candidate. It shouldn’t be surprising then to learn that the listed address for the group is the Carousel Lounge or that the listed Treasurer is Rebecca Logan, who ran unsuccessfully against former mayor Ethan Berkowitz in 2018.
Anchorage’s largest Rotary Club, Anchorage Rotary, hosted a mayoral debate yesterday. During the debate, Forrest Dunbar asked Dave Bronson whether he was going to cut ties with extreme elements in politics such as Eagle River Assembly Person Jamie Allard, Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold and the Save Anchorage group. Bronson’s response didn’t sound like a no to me.
Also during yesterday’s debate, Dunbar made mention of a chat message which we now know is a Facebook Messenger chat between Bronson and someone who appears to consider Bronson a friend. The exchange appears to have occurred on December 7 & December 9, 2020 according to the now public message. In the message Bronson appears to affirm that he believes or that he once believed…Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Recently Bronson told a reporter who referred to me as a “liberal blog,” that “the thing to consider here, which is important, Joe Biden is my president — I respect that decision.”
It’s not super clear what “decision” Bronson is speaking of here. Hopefully he’s talking about the decision made by Americans to elect President Biden in a free, fair and not even close election.