Me, Sunday afternoon.
This week’s Blue Alaska is over 2,100 words long and was fueled by 2 sugar-free energy drinks and a double-sized cup of Earl Grey tea. Buckle up!
A year and a half into Trump’s “presidency,” such as it was, his administration had more or less blacklisted reputable news outlets like CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, NBC and others. The administration regularly denied requests for comment, refused to appear on the outlets’ cable news shows and opted to favor right-wing media that graced Trump with undeserved yet overwhelmingly positive coverage.
That Trump’s presidency ended in an attempted coup is perhaps a testament to what’s possible (and I mean that in a bad way) when an aspiring dictator identifies and utilizes a “news source” willing to spread their propaganda—made easier when said “news source” espouses about as much journalistic integrity as a state-sanctioned right-wing propaganda blog.
Last week, Alaskans learned that MAGA Mike Dunleavy’s campaign had refused to answer a written questionnaire from the Alaska Beacon and the Anchorage Daily News…a questionnaire that was intended to increase the public’s understanding of candidates’ positions ahead of the upcoming November election.
As it turns out, Democratic candidate for Governor Les Gara was initially the only gubernatorial candidate to have completed the survey, as the Beacon reported Walker’s campaign had also balked at answering questions put to them by the press after Dunleavy’s decision not to participate. A day later, Walker appeared to have backpedaled on that decision and wrote to Twitter that his campaign had answered the questions. (it’s all very confusing).
Anyway, Les rightly pointed out that MAGA Mike, just as he did during his last campaign, plans to skip debates and effectively hide like the coward he is, hoping to once again coast to re-election.
I can’t speak to why the MAGA Alaska Republican opted not to complete the candidate survey, but I did identify several potentially problematic questions he may have wanted to avoid answering:
- Do you support a constitutional convention?
- Would you allow a bill limiting transgender athletes to become law with or without your signature?
- What policies and laws should Alaska follow with regard to abortion?
- How should the state reduce the threat of gun violence and mass shootings?
- How much should a governor’s faith or religion determine state law and policy?
- What should the state do to improve retention of public employees, including teachers?
- What does an ideal state ferry system look like?
- What, if any, changes does the state need to make to ensure voting is equitable and secure?
- What do you intend to do about the poor returns of salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim drainages, and what are the main causes of the problems?
- What, if any, changes should be made to Alaska’s school funding system?
Oh well, I’m sure Dunleavy’s non-participation means nothing at all but remember, Democracy dies in darkness. 🤷♀️
Bronson and Bears and Bloviating, oh my!
When he ran for Anchorage Mayor, Bronson, another Alaska MAGA Republican extremist, with help from his Save Anchorage supporters, made the topic of homelessness a divisive one.
Bronson’s campaign platform included a desire to extensively monitor the city’s homeless population, and even increasing drug arrests around Anchorage to crack down on those who sleep on the streets. He posted photos of homeless encampments while pledging to sweep “vagrants” out of Anchorage’s business districts.
His campaign website, which is no longer available, stated that those who “chose” to live a homeless lifestyle would not be allowed to ruin Anchorage’s businesses and neighborhoods.
“They will be removed from our parks, public streets, and our business and residential areas.”
Bronson won the mayorship by only 1,193 votes and then hired right-wing former Trump appointee Robert Marbut to consult on homelessness. Marbut had been removed from his position as executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) in February 2021.
The Bronson administration paid Marbut well for his questionable advice, to the tune of $10k.
Marbut builds jail-styled “homeless shelters” and “treatment facilities” where people experiencing homelessness must “earn” their right to sleep in a bed. In his role as a “homelessness consultant” to cities, Marbut has advocated against providing free food and other “enabling“ services to the homeless and has discouraged allowing people to sleep in public spaces.
He has endorsed expanding law enforcement’s authority to arrest people experiencing homelessness for violating minor ordinances—just as Bronson has—listen. ⬇️
It all sounds very familiar right? Well, it should, because Bronson, under pressure from a group NIMBY’s, has been working to rid Anchorage of the less-fortunate for quite some time and appears to have found the “final solution” (his words) to solving the homelessness crisis…a campground where a woman has died, a large fight broke out, the Anchorage Police Department was involved in a shooting, and where a bear reportedly pinned down a person.
This camp is where Bronson bussed families to.
If you’re shocked…don’t be because Bronson’s actions are right in line with the Republican mindset of Robert Marbut and Donald Trump, who shortly after the Anchorage rally said that his plan to address homelessness was to…wait for it…put our unhoused neighbors into tent cities on the outskirts of town.
⬇️ You mean like this? ⬇️
What’s my point? My point is that this year, as you consider candidates running for elected office, you should scrutinize them closely and flatly reject any candidate (like Kathy Henslee) who aligns themselves with Donald Trump and his dangerous MAGA party. Anchorage is a prime example of what happens when you give a deeply embarrassing extremist like David Bronson power.
As Democrats, we believe that housing should be stable, accessible, safe, healthy, energy efficient, and, above all, affordable. We believe government should take aggressive steps to increase the housing supply especially affordable housing—and the Alaska Democratic Party remains committed to electing candidates who support this vision.
We are the Party of inclusion, not the Party that believes in hiding the unhoused and criminalizing homelessness.
Birds of a feather…
House District 9 candidate David Schaff is taking on representative Laddie Shaw who, in apparent recognition that he is in danger of being ousted from the seat he has occupied since 2019, has done the predictable thing and thrown in with dangerous the far-right!
With many frequent Anchorage Assembly testifiers and Save Anchorage members on-hand, it takes a lot of courage to wear a socialism is communism for “slow learners” shirt considering the copious amounts of COVID-19 related misinformation and election fraud conspiracy theories Jamie Allard’s supporters espoused over the past two years!
It probably plays well with your base if your event is advertised as being hosted by the “former” 🙄 communications director for the Alaska Republican Party and if you’re pictured with the Alaska Republican Party’s Patron Defender of Nazi Terminology.
Imagine Shaw aligning himself with the person Alaska MAGA Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy threw off the Alaska Human Rights Commission! I must say, I sure did Nazi see this coming!
Someone should probably ask Shaw about his views on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election because his pal State House candidate Jamie Allard has some views on that subject too…oof.
Noteworthy is that Republican Mia Costello likes to put her money where her political views are…in the pockets of MAGA Republicans.
While Shaw is busily rubbing elbows with Republican extremists, his opponent David Schaff is ramping up his campaign and has secured numerous endorsements that include:
Anchorage Central Labor Council
Alaska March On
Laborers Local 341
Teamsters Local 959
IUOE Local 302
If you’re wondering, yes, Schaff is pro-choice and opposes any effort intended to strip women of their right to reproductive freedom. David is an excellent candidate, willing to work hard for all Alaskans and will be a fierce public education advocate when he’s in Juneau.
Give him a follow on Facebook and Twitter!
House District 15 candidate Denny Wells is also taking on an extreme member of the Alaska Republican party—Save Anchorage member Tom McKay, who appears to spend a considerable amount of time on social media sharing rather ick content.
Truth be told, I’d hoped to never write another word about Jamie Allard when I came aboard as Communications Director, but who knew she was tied to so many sitting legislators like McKay, Mia Costello and Mike Cronk?!
Allard is truly the gift that keeps on giving if you consider Christmas coal to be a gift.
Unlike McKay, Wells doesn’t sit around posting gobbledygook to his Facebook account all day and is instead focused on ousting McKay from his seat.
Wells decided to take on McKay after growing concerned with cuts to education, the squandering of state savings, and the rancorous public discourse of the past few years.
Denny is also concerned his children will not have the same opportunities and freedoms as he did growing up in Alaska, so he’s running to bring rationality and compassion to Juneau, where he will work to ensure a bright future for our state.
Follow his campaign on Facebook and Twitter and let’s send Denny to the legislature!
Löki Tobin is running a strong campaign in her bid to become the next State Senator for District I. Tobin is facing off against Heather Herndon, who, as you may recall, ran for Anchorage Mayor last year.
Take a deep breath for what comes next because it’s 10/10 yikes material.
Now look, the Alaska Democratic Party has taken no position on allegations Herndon is a fascist antisemite, but I’ll just leave some of her Facebook posts and comments here for you to mull over as you decide whether to show up and vote in this race. 👀
Moving on…I found this October 2020 Nick Begich Facebook post. The “far-left?” Noteworthy is that just a few months after Nick’s post, Donald Trump would incite his followers to attack the U.S. Capitol. Whoops!
Nick was also quite proud to show off this endorsement from Save Anchorage member Sen. Shelley Hughes, who tried to pass the discriminatory, grotesque and hateful transgender school athlete ban.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it…when candidates like Nick Begich tell you who they are, LISTEN.
Remember the time Sarah Palin attended that pro-Trump rally Jamie Allard spoke at while she was standing next to a Donald Trump cardboard cutout? No? Well here’s a little something to share around social media! Yikes.
U.S. Senate candidate Pat Chesbro’s signs are going up! Contact the campaign if you’d like to feature a sign showing your support for the only true pro-choice candidate running in this race!
Pat was in Haines over the weekend where she met with supporters including Senator Jesse Kiehl. Look at that view! 💙
Ranking Pat first means you support a lifelong Democrat who won’t vote for pro-forced birth nominees like Lisa Murkowski did, and then act all shocked when those same justices vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Both Pat and Mary Peltola received the coveted Alaska Center endorsement this week as well! We love to see it!! 💙
The Alaska Center also endorsed a slew of other candidates. 🥰
We also can’t leave out the Alaska Center’s endorsement of the only pro-choice gubernatorial ticket. I should point out that the Gara-Cook ticket has received more than 4000 donations from Alaskans—more than any other campaign in this race.
Everybody’s favorite candidate Mary Peltola was in Kodiak making the rounds. She stopped in and spoke at the pro-choice forum where she was greeted with a warm welcome and had great conversations. Mary is the 1 vote folks.
As you cast your ballots in the upcoming elections, remember, there’s much at stake this year. Vote wisely.
Vote Blue, Vote Choice
To receive a ballot in the mail for the August 16th election, the #Alaska Division of Elections must receive your application request by August 6, 2022. Click here to apply online!
Help us hit it out of the park!
On August 25, the Alaska Democratic Party is hosting a fundraiser as we work to secure candidate victories up and down the ticket in November.
In 2020, ADP made more than a $300,000 investment in state legislative races and flipped two House seats. This year, ADP is supporting more than 36 candidates across the state and we are focused on growing the Democratic majority in the State House and State Senate.
If you’d like to RSVP for the event, you can do so here!
If you can’t attend but want to donate and help us make gains in November, use this link!
Every dollar donated to ADP goes to electing candidates that share our values. With your help, we will elect Democrats up and down the ticket in 2022!
Save the date! On August 18th, Les Gara and Jessica Cook will be at the home of Anchorage Assembly candidate George Martinez for a diversity meet & greet event. RSVP here!
Work for the greater good!
The Alaska Democratic Party is seeking an Organizing Director for this year’s campaign cycle. This position will collaborate with other staff and party leaders in creating and implementing a strategic plan that helps elect Democrats at all levels.
Download the full job description and apply!
That’s it for now! Remember, to help us do what we do at a time when it’s very clear that it needs to be done, click HERE to support ADP once, or become a monthly donor!
Keep an eye on our website events calendar and the events tab on our Facebook page for the latest upcoming candidate events. Make sure and follow our social media accounts as well. You can find us on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
And as always, thank you for doing what you do to make Alaska a little (or a lot) more blue.