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June 13, 2021

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Once Again, the Assembly is Sullied by Dan

Back when the Anchorage Assembly Chair was Dan Sullivan, he presided over a “meeting-before-the-meeting” of the Assembly. This is a meeting they have before their regular Tuesday Assembly meeting to basically get the organizational flotsam and jetsam out of the way…present amendments, new ordinances, etc…so that time isn’t eaten up on Tuesdays with “making the sausage.” Though the “open meeting laws” in Alaska ensure that anyone can sit in on these, at this particular meeting more members of the public were present than usual. You see, the debate over the ordinance that would halt smoking in the hospitality workplaces was raging on and the pro-ordinance side, led by the American Cancer Society among other organizations, heard there might be some hanky-panky going on.

They were right.

Assembly Chair and bar-owner Sullivan invited up several folks to “speak” (provide testimony) to the Assembly members present. He introduced these speakers with much defensiveness behind his words, stating how these speakers needed to be heard because the ordinance could hurt their business and as Chair, he could invite anyone to speak that he wanted to.

One of the Cancer Society folks sitting next to me in the audience said “will any of us get a chance?” Sullivan turned to all of us and snapped, “NO!”

The speakers?

— Then-president of Anchorage CHARR (Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association) John Pattee charged with four counts of felony sexual assault in 2009 and recently pled guilty to lesser charges.

— Also speaking on behalf of CHARR, then Legislator Tom Anderson, later convicted and jailed for extortion, conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. At one point during his talk, he made a giggly little comment about how even though he was here speaking against the ordinance, he didn’t want anyone to think he was speaking as a state legislator, because that would be wrong (unethical) for the State to dictate to the Municipality what it should do.

He and a few folks yucked it up over that one. Most sitting in my area didn’t find it funny at all. If only I’d known how much irony was dripping from the rafters at that moment.

Fast-forward to this year’s Assembly race.

Mayor Dan Sullivan made it perfectly clear in multiple interviews with the media including at his official press conferences, that he was making it his personal crusade to get rid of Harriet Drummond, Elvi Gray-Jackson and Mike Guttierez. He even guest hosted the Dave Stieren Show, campaigning for 3 hours. It was also 3 hours in the middle of a work day…kinda questionable when it comes to a municipal employee campaigning on municipal time.

So what exactly is the hysteria over a video of Dick Traini, the second in three generations of union members, at the Anchorage “We Are One” rally held in conjunction with hundreds of rallies across the country in rememberence of Reverend Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination? (Psssst…it was after working hours.)

Part of the reason folks are up in arms was that the contents of this video was recounted (incorrectly) by Assembly Member Ernie Hall:

Assembly member Ernie Hall, who saw a video of the speech, said, “Dick did get a bit carried away.”

Hall reported that Traini said at the rally, “Maybe we can even take him (Sullivan) out in this next election.”

The actual phrase, “send him packing” doesn’t have the same threatening overtone. (…and should be corrected by author of the article, Rosemary Shinohara, but I digress.)

Some questions need to be asked:

— Where exactly did Chairman Traini say ANYTHING about the Mayor that wasn’t absolutely true?

— Why were Chris Birch, Jennifer Johnston, Ernie Hall and Sullivan watching a video on Traini at the April 4th rally when they were supposed to be having a “budget work session?” What was the real purpose of that meeting?

— Why does the Mayor think he can be so self-indulgent as to pick and choose who he works with when Harriet Drummond and Elvi Gray-Jackson are expected to work with the mayor in spite of being his targets? This doesn’t even count their last-minute drubbing at the hands of mayoral puppeteer Dan Coffey and his PAC of real estate businesses who would prefer Anchorage to be one big strip mall.

— And the big question…who is providing the biggest push for the Assembly to select another Chairperson tonight at their meeting?

Debbie Ossiander, another Sullivan lackey, has stated that she would like the job…again…(Pssssst…politics aside, Debbie Ossiander was the worst…chair…ever. She is unable to keep up with the pace of the meeting much less lead it.)

As to the “real purpose” of that meeting with the Mayor and the three Assembly members, credible Muni sources won’t give me on-the-record confirmation, but they report that Mayor Sullivan may be playing the blackmail game by allegedly threatening to deny access to anyone who votes for Traini instead of Ossiander. It’s not a coincidence that Traini has made some comments causing folks to believe he’s planning to run for mayor and that folks give him a really good shot at being able to “take Sullivan down” in the next election.

Threatening to interfere with the workings of the Municipal government to get his way…if true, that’s a serious ethical breach by Mayor Sullivan. But if true, given Sullivan’s completely ethics-free history, I don’t think he cares.

Comments

comments

Comments
21 Responses to “Once Again, the Assembly is Sullied by Dan”
  1. Rita J says:

    Linda, Thank you for putting this up. Creepy/crafty Mayor D.S.,with his open mike on right wing am radio is so busy w/his agenda and thinks he willpull it off . Let us prove him wrong!

  2. A. Caleb Pritt says:

    I think what we need to do here is a challenge I am laying before Eric Croft, Dick Traini, etc.

    We need to set a date, preferably one year out from the Mayoral election. All the progressive and honestly all the pro-Anchorage candidates for Mayor come together. Whomever has the combination of the most ACTIVE volunteers signed up, money raised, and has the strongest organization in place becomes the candidate to run and ALL OTHERS withdraw and give a joint endorsement.

    Polls can be construed to say anything you want, so I don’t feel they are a good barometer of support.

    We need a Mayoral candidate who can raise money, who has volunteers willing to beat the street, but also who has a cohesive, effective winning message that will move Anchorage residents to vote for them.

    I issue this challenge and ask others to join me in issueing this challenge to all the prohibitive Mayoral candidates, albeit it Traini, Drummond, Gray-Jackson, Croft, or whomever.

  3. AKNSusan says:

    “his PAC of real estate businesses who would prefer Anchorage to be one big strip mall.”

    Honey, Anchorage is a strip mall in search of a city.

  4. GoI3ig says:

    It’s kind of ironic that the administration didn’t like being slammed, yet Sully can’t open his mouth without complaining about Mark Begich. Now we have his troll Debbie back with her rubber stamp. Remember how she held the anti-discrimination of gays ordinance until her secret crush Dan was in office with his veto pen? These people are revolting.

  5. Writing from Alaska says:

    He not only doesn’t care, I am convinced that he is incapable of understanding the significance of his actions.

  6. akbooklover says:

    I was wondering why in the world it mattered that Traini said that comment when Sullivan was clearly campaigning and pushing for uber-partisan Assembly members. How is it not worse that Sullivan was so vocal about ‘his’ candidates…doesn’t *that* make for a much more divisive working relationship than speaking the truth at a rally? Sigh.

  7. mike from iowa says:

    No offense,but, with a bit of elbow grease and some open,creative minded persons you have the makings of a pretty fair soap opera. You could entertain Alaskans and dish dirt at the same time because you can’t rilly make this stuff up. On daytime tv you would probably reach more voters.

  8. AKjah says:

    We are hoping you all in Anch can dispose of your slime. And not pollute the waters.

  9. slipstream says:

    Always nice to see the party planner!

  10. Pinwheel says:

    Alaska Pi:

    First, we need an electorate willing to learn the alternatives. Second, on until dawn.

    For me it’s huge quandry. Voters in Anchorage and the State of Alaska want to allow rapists and violent offenders to go to school. Representatives of voters in Alaska want all of those offenders to go somewhere else. Alaska voters don’t care what happens to sexual abusers, violent offenders, murderers. Alaska is happy to pay for violent offenders to be taken care of by someone else.

    Me, I’d rather be in charge of the problem.

    Now that is a real digression. Until the Alaska electorate changes, we get what ‘they’ pay for. And don’t forget all that real estate that is not collecting taxes. Those matchbook ministries deserve IRS scrutinity.

  11. Alaska Pi says:

    oh. ANC- I’m so sorry for you all .
    Is there ever talk about changing your charter and dumping the strong mayor form you use? It works well when you have a decent mayor and totally stinks when you don’t.
    Works well for us here in JNU with city mgr form…
    just wondering…

  12. Thomas says:

    I removed the original of the video from my Mudflats piece—not because Mr. Traini said anything remotely offensive, inaccurate or libelous, but because I thought it unfair that it caused him problems.

    @Metanoia: I couldn’t agree more with your final point, and will refuse to support any of the geniuses who ran last time and gave us the present administration. Which *particular* progressive or center-left candidate runs is far less important than coalescing around one candidate and preventing political egos repeating such damaging clusterf***. Sheila Selkregg & Co: don’t even THINK about it. Seriously. The well-being of this city and saving it from Sully 2.0 are lightyears more important than your sense of electoral entitlement.

  13. metanoia2k says:

    Dick Traini was great on KTUU last night. He said he hadn’t seen the video (which for some reason, Rosemary Shinohara didn’t link the story to) so Jason Lamb handed Dick his iPhone with the video and filmed him as he watched it. “Yes”…uh-huh…yep…IT’S TRUE…Sullivan is Anti-Union…yep…” and then hands the iPhone back to Jason and says..”Nothing wrong with that…it’s all true–This is news?”

    And that is the REAL story here: The story behind the story. Who provided the video. Who tipped off the Mayor. Who came up with this scheme to topple traini. Rosemary Shinohara lost her credibility long ago after two puff pieces on Sully and an attack piece on Public Salaries.

    Traini showed himself to be definitely up to the task of kicking Danny-boy’s ass with his final comment: “The Mayor picked a Rubber Stamp–that’ why he chose Debbie Ossiander”

    So listen up all you progressive Mayoral wanna beez–When Traini starts gaining traction and Sullivan starts going to Chinatown, DON’T START CLAMOURING TO RUN FOR MAYOR BECAUSE YOU SMELL BLOOD IN THE WATER!!!! You had plently of time and cause to take on this douchebag of a mayor. Your chicken-sh*t silence now should NOT be rewarded by support later. The last time too many progressive cooks spoiled the godd@mned broth! Traini is the candidate if he wants it and he has proven that he has the chutzpuh to carry it off!

    • fishingmamma says:

      I e-mailed him this morning and asked him to run.

    • Kelly says:

      Sorry. You’re smoking crack. I like Traini but he is so not mayoral material. Period. Why not promote Eric Croft who would have won were it not for Sheila and Matt…

      • fishingmamma says:

        Smokin crack? That’s the best you got?

        I want to hear a reasoned argument. based on fact. Why do you support one candidate over another? Come at me with a reason, not a drug reference.

        Grow up.

  14. fishingmamma says:

    Now is the time to figure out who is for mayor as a dem and get started on fundraising and organizing. Sullivan has got to go.

    • WinBeach says:

      If only it were that simple. I’m afraid the handwriting is on the wall and we will be stuck with Danny again. BUT the only thing we can do is to ensure we have an Assembly who won’t do his bidding. But again, the voters put in a tall drink of water who doesn’t know the purpose of our adopted codes/plans and only goes by what Debbie O tells him–not an original idea in his mind and unable to do his own research–seems like a clone of a few others on the Assembly.

      It is understandable that sensible, logical people won’t run for public office when they have to mix with the likes of the others . It is simply too frustrating. But this also makes a a poor example for our children.

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