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September 19, 2021

New Assemblyman Trombley Guilty of Lying and Being a Whippersnapper

The thing that consoles me when I write about local issues, is that our characters here in Alaska (even though many of you are from elsewhere) are so incredibly over-the-top and ridiculous that they can be appreciated in their own right, just for the entertainment value. It’s like writing a book full of short stories about some mythical crazy dysfunctional municipal government, only it’s not mythical.

Today, we’ll revisit one of the larger yet lesser characters in our serial drama, and one of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s henchpeople. Remember Adam Trombley, former local basketball star and up-and-coming conservative mayoral toady? You can click HERE for a refresher.

I know you may find this hard to believe, but  it looks like Trombley, who has managed to become the newest member of the Anchorage Assembly and was endorsed and actively promoted by Mayor Sullivan, may be… a truth-bender, a reality-alterer, a veracity-violater… Oh, heck. He’s just a big fat fibber.

And before you think I’m getting all politically partisan on you, it’s not just me saying that. It’s the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Looks like the young Mr. Trombley, who successfully ousted progressive Mike Guttierez and fellow conservative Paul Bauer last month, said some things on his public disclosure forms that simply weren’t true, and now that truth is coming to light, as truth is wont to do.

The interesting part about all this? It’s not the progressives that are fanning the flames of this Trombleylicious smack down. It’s his former conservative rival, the aforementioned Paul Bauer. Yes, folks… what we have here is some good old Right on Right violence.

To truly appreciate this delightful scenario, you’ll need a little background, and here’s where our short story begins. Paul Bauer used to represent the ethnically diverse east side of Anchorage on the Assembly.  To illustrate his complete absence of political acumen, I can tell you that one of his proudest moments was putting forth the notion that Anchorage Police officers, during routine traffic stops, could and should ask members of the public to show paper proof of their United States citizenship. As one might imagine, his obsessive need to focus on immigration issues in this manner did not go over well with his district which is not populated exclusively by people of Mr. Bauer’s pallor nor northern European heritage. And it didn’t go over well with anyone for whom the notion of “Show me your papers!” conjures up scenes like this:

Subsequently, Paul “Show me Your Papers” Bauer had his backside unceremoniously handed to him in his re-election bid, and Mike Guttierez was installed in his place.

And we thought, for a time, that our xenophobic little friend had slunk away into the shrubbery. But, alas….

Bauer would not go quietly into that good night, and wanted to win the other east side Assembly seat  in the next election. But there was something large in his way… one Adam Trombley.  Trombley was the Mayor’s chosen one, even back then. Sullivan had even appointed him to a committee so the candidate could have at least one line on his resume that might remotely sound like something one would do if one were qualified to hold public office. His committee assignment was to the Municipal Budget Advisory Committee. You remember the Anchorage municipal budget, right? The one that cuts library hours, and municipal workers, and haz-mat teams, and backcountry rescue, and police and fire protection, but somehow manages to find money for new Zambonis, and big payouts to the Mayor’s family, and suing the feds to remove protections from endangered whales, and thousands of dollars to pay the Mayor’s “party planner” who worked diligently day and night on the Mayor’s campaign, yet had no party planning credentials, to do a job that former administrations had done in-house for free. It’s safe to say that Mr. Trombley shared the mayor’s budgetary interests.

Adam Trombley and the Party Planner at a party

So what did Mayor Sullivan do with two conservatives in the race? He did what any horrible mayor concerned with covering his own political ineptitude with an equally inept rubber stamp Assembly member would have done. He called Bauer and begged him to drop out. Sully didn’t want to split the conservative vote and let a moderate in the door, and Trombley was his guy.  Bauer stepped down, with what he thought were assurances from Sully that he would receive the mayor’s support next time around.

Shockingly, despite Trombley’s extensive “experience” listed on his campaign site – like following the Mayor’s orders as a political appointee, playing basketball, and… being an Anchorage resident, Trombley was defeated. Paul Honeman won the seat.

While all this was going on, in a political landscape not so far far away, while Paul “Papers” Bauer was biding his time, he landed a gig as a campaign manager for none other than Republican/Tea Party candidate Joe Miller.


It was quite a time, and with Bauer at the helm, the ship of Miller’s candidacy saw those dangerous rocks ahead, charted a careful course and plowed right into them. He decided to publicly eviscerate none other than the College Republicans at UAA calling them “puppets” for Lisa Murkowski, Miller’s write-in rival.  Publicly berating young supporters in your own party – that’s always a good plan.

Then there was the small matter of Mrs. Bauer, who spotted some of those same College Republicans having drinks with a local conservative talk show host. The “profanity-laced tirade” that ensued was caught on tape, and resulted in a story in the conservative Alaska Standard brilliantly titled – Wife of Miller’s Campaign Manager Threatens to Bury Talk Show Host Alive.

Bauer was let go just before the Senate primary.

You see why this whole confluence of Trombley/Bauer/Sullivan is so delightful, and why it’s so easy to go down rabbit holes. But, stay with me, we’re almost there. This brings us to the most recent Assembly election just last month. Mike Guttierez was up for reelection, and Paul Bauer was ready to take the mayor up on his promise of help and support after he’d backed off the last time.  But guess who wanted to run again? Adam Trombley. Ruh-roh…  You see where this is going.

Bauer, who for some reason clung to the expectation that he would still receive the coveted Sully endorsement received instead a not-so-cordial invitation to throw himself once more under the bus, and abandon his run for the seat.  Trombley, it seems, was still the golden boy. He was just as eager and willing to rubber stamp, and carry water as he had been last time around, and he wasn’t screaming at fresh-faced college kids, nor was his wife threatening to go all Edgar Alan Poe on local media types.  So, did Trombley win the endorsement again? (…where’s that rubber stamp? Ah!)


Grace not being in his repertoire, Bauer took off the gloves.  On his website he threatened to release evidence of Sullivan’s promise of support but gave the mayor a final “chance” to give the endorsement. It never came. And so, he released tapes of Mayor Sullivan leaving messages on his answering machine asking him to withdraw from the race, saying “… I’m hoping you’ll do that (withdraw from the race) and consider it a personal favor. You know I can’t um…I can’t ask anything other than, you know, to help me on this. So… and again, you’ll have my help in return. You know, had I known you were running we could have done something different, but it didn’t work out that way. So… please… I’m begging you – one candidate. Bye.”

The bold passages above were my emphasis, just because I felt like it.

To fast forward to the end, Paul Bauer stayed in the three-way race and lost dismally. Unfortunately, so did Mike Guttierez, and Adam Trombley now sits on the Anchorage Assembly.

But as you can imagine, our dogged friend Paul Bauer did not rest. We can imagine him pacing the floorboards at night, back and forth, wringing his hands, with furrowed brow, muttering, “mumble mumble Adam Trombley mumble Sullivan mumble mumble they’ll pay for this…”  So imagine his delight, when the ruling came from APOC (after a 70-page complaint was filed by Mrs. Bauer) saying that Mr. Trombley had lied on his forms.    His campaign materials proudly proclaimed him as having owned not one but two small businesses.

But his 2011 financial disclosure forms for his candidacy shows he was not a business owner.  Adam Trombley can now be added to the large and ever-growing list in the Alaska chapter of the group Politicos of the Flaming Pants.

Mr. Bauer, of course, has taken great joy in pointing this out to the public on his website. But a good part of my own joy in the matter came from Mr. Bauer’s speculation as to why Mr. Trombley might have not told the truth to win votes.  In a statement released on “The Bauer Report” that urged Mayor Sullivan, Governor Parnell and the construction industry that had backed Trombley’s candidacy to pull their support, he began with a legitimate point that we shouldn’t lose sight of in all this:

Adam Trombley deceived the public by falsifying his public disclosure record, inflating his resume, and lying to get on the Anchorage Assembly… The Alaska Public Offices Commission upheld a complaint that Adam Trombley was not a business owner. “Staff found no record indicating that Adam Trombley is a business owner,” stated the summary of APOC staff’s investigation… Yet in both campaigns, in his campaign materials, he advertised he was a “business owner.” Remember Trombley’s campaign was all based on his experience, and being the “best qualified.” Either Mr. Trombley is incompetent and bungling or he is a complete fraud.

No arguments here.

But then Bauer added some interesting speculation about Trombley’s particular psychological pathology, and why it is that he might have engaged in this deceitful and unethical behavior. Enjoy…

It appears that Adam Trombley falls right in with the materialistic Generation-X crowd, or commonly called the MTV crowd, those born in the 70’s and early 80’s, if I cannot have it, I can make it up. Unlike their parents who challenged leaders with intent to replace them, Generation X tends to ignore leaders, that is to say Trombley showed no gratitude when I pulled out of his first campaign in 2010. He continued to show no respect for me in the 2011 campaign.

Oh, the horror! That MTV watchin’, Generation Xer, bratty, entitled little punk has no respect for his elders. Yeah, that’s it!  Just look! Paul Bauer has even amassed photographic evidence of Trombley’s whippersnapperishness.

Not convinced? Just wait… there’s more.

Note the mysterious hand signal, the dual straws, the plastic drink monkey, and the beer keg in the background. I think Mr. Bauer has proven his point. Sure, Trombley is unethical, but it’s only because he doesn’t respect Paul Bauer his elders.

I can confidently say – Stay tuned for the next episode.



41 Responses to “New Assemblyman Trombley Guilty of Lying and Being a Whippersnapper”
  1. Hugh Wade says:

    Terrific article. Very Royko-esque. Luv it.

  2. Pat in MA says:

    wow, cue the soap opera music…’ like sands through the hourglass….’ Entertaining read and have to say Flaming pants is my all time favorite graphic!

  3. Man_from_Unk says:

    Lying and getting away with it seems to be a common trait all over Alaska these days. It’s as if nobody cares to find out the truth anymore – to much work.

  4. Kath the Scrappy says:

    Even reading from the ‘Outside’, NOBODY can set the stage and tell the story like AKM! Yes, as the story unfolded & pictures commenced, I remembered all these nefarious critters. As usual, UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!

    Still, worth trying to educate your determined-to-be-un-educated citizens. Keep trying AKM, even though it might seem an unachievable goal! Someday, should ‘the Rapture’ occur, maybe you folks might be actually able to save the beautiful State of Alaska.

  5. Waay Out West says:

    Glad to see you back and in top form, great piece of writing.

  6. Baker's Dozen says:

    Well, Trombley is truly pathetic. He can’t even do a good shaka sign! Has he ever seen any surf? Possibly a board, any kind of board? Oh, that’s right. He’s now on the board. Guess that’s what the shaka is for.

    I can see from those pics that, like Miss Piggy, he is able to play 800 different emotions. All of them boring. I dearly hope those are bad pics because in them, because in them he looks about as scintillating as a glass of 3 day old coke.

    Did you say he graduated from high school? How? Did someone load him in a wheelbarrow and push him over the finish line? Did he get extra credit for having two straws? Did they give him credit when he thought he was making a Texas Longhorns hand sign?

    I’m very sorry, AKM, but I regularly make vegetarian soup from ingredients with more brains than most Anchorage politicians, and I have no qualms about cutting them up and eviscerating them. This guy looks like he’d bypass the stew pot, and go directly to the compost heap. And I’m against the death penalty.

  7. physicsmom says:

    Holy crap! I just came from Andrew Halcro’s blog thinking that I’d get some more dirt on Sully based on the title of the post. Andrew is saying that Sully will be re-elected easily and that there have been no Dems willing to step forward an challenge him. In addition, AH thinks he’s doing a good job (I understand that AH is a Repub, but I thought he had more sense). I guess that proves that it’s important to read differing points of view. Here I had been sitting, feeling pretty good that Sully would be thrown out come next election given the egregious way he has governed. Apparently, that’s only true if you live in this little liberal bubble (which, as an out-of-stater I do). Sh!t.

  8. physicsmom says:

    Help me out here, guys, this seems like a tempest in a chamber pot. So, yeah, the guy lied on his campaign literature – he’s a douche. And these Bauer people clearly went to the Sarah Palin School of Politics. Vengence is mine sayeth the loser! Plus a 70 page complaint over this. I’ll bet Andree McLeod is pissed! Apparently the way to APOC’s heart is through page count. But really, since when is being a business owner a qualification for public office? If that’s the bar for dismissing someone’s credibility for padding their resume, how do you explain Palin whose resume is so deeply padded it’s obese (or obscene). And this guy won in a three-way race? Jeez, 2010 was a landslide for Repubs who didn’t deserve it, but this surely scrapes the bottom of the barrel. (Sorry for all the cliches – it’s late). I don’t know why Gutierrez didn’t wipe the floor with this jerk (sorry again). Anchorage is always good for a laugh or a cringe.

    BTW AKM, I concur – it’s great to have you back. Love your writing and the elephant graphic is perfect!

    • luckycharms says:

      I think the reason that business ownership was a big deal for Trombley is basically because that’s the only thing he had to claim that showed any level of competency at doing something responsible. Pretty depressing.

      • Millie says:

        I recall Trombley lauding the fact he was a star basketball player in high school. He didn’t seem to have much to promote about himself is my take.

  9. Riverwoman says:

    That first photo reminds me of a saying I heard once:

    “When Elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers”

    Seems appropriate when discussing politics, somehow.

  10. Jag27 says:

    Trombley needs to get Tom Anderson’s pr firm to help him get out of this one!

  11. mike from iowa says:

    Are rethugs in Anchorage so sure they can win these elections that they don’t even have to pretend to be decent and/or honorable? Their base doesn’t seem to be concerned about character as long as the lord’s will be done. I don’t feel quite so bad being a lone voice in a sea of RWNJ Red in Northwest by god Ioway. I know there are good folks around me,I just don’t know them by name.

  12. Writing from Alaska says:

    “the ship of Miller’s candidacy saw those dangerous rocks ahead, charted a careful course and plowed right into them”

    I think this is one of your most delightfully funny posts – I am not quite lol but am clearly ‘sfete’ – a french word meaning “smiling from ear to ear” with crinkly happy eyes, I might add.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Thanks Writing from Alaska for teaching me a new and very useful word/concept — ” ‘sfete,’ ” for describing that very common condition when reading posts (and comments) here at themudflats – “smiling from ear to ear” with crinkly happy eyes. I shall remember that (if only I knew how to pronounce it I would share it with my family) and smile in remembrance of your sharing it with us,

  13. Zyxomma says:

    I would say I’m shocked, or gobsmacked, or some such, but after a couple of years at The Mudflats, I am none of the above. Sad to say, this is what I expect of Alaska pols. Sad, sad, sad.

  14. barbara says:

    lol great to have you back AKM! no disrespect to anyone else, but you are the one who can always keep me reading to the end, even though i live thousands of miles away.

    • Terise says:

      @barbara…I know exactly what you mean. I love all the contributors here, but AKM’s writing is something special 🙂 And I am so glad she is feeling better!!!

  15. Millie says:

    I’m so sick and tired of the unethical/corrupt Republicans we have in Alaska. They are a disgrace and we look like idiots to America.

    • Cassie Jeep says:

      Take heart, Millie, that caliber of Republican is absolutely everywhere, sad to say.

      • seattlefan says:

        Exactly. Alaska does not have the monopoly on whacky RWNJs. They are absolutely everywhere and in every nook and corner of our political system. Look at our current House of Representatives… is being held hostage by a bunch of freshman Tea Baggers and the Establishment Republicans who don’t want to work on anything in the interest of our country.

        I would take your sentiment and expand it to they are a disgrace and we look like idiots to the whole world.

  16. Bigtoe says:

    So why does Anchorage keep voting these children in? Sounds like voters need to get up of their a$$es and do something,

    • benlomond2 says:

      From the outside looking in…it appears that the “Christian Right” is highly motivated to vote their candidates in…and they REALLY don’t care if the candidates have issues with things like telling the truth, infidelity, embezzelment, removing safety nets for people, or inserting themselves into people;s bedrooms or utereuses.. Why is this ? 1) The candidates are from their own churches and must be “FORGIVEN” their transgressions so that they (the voting “Christians” ) will be able to demonstrate their Faith… and 2) They are voting for “Their Own”… Heaven forbid they vote for someone who is NOT of their Faith , even tho’ that person is more honest, thruthful, and actually has compassion for those less fortunate. unless you are of THEIR Church; you are NOT to be considered worth of their vote- you are AN OUTSIDER and are not “SAVED BY GOD”. or at least, not by THEIR God….
      It’s reverse religous persecution, and Christianity has been practicing it for hundreds of years…

      • Bigtoe says:

        Full disclosure; I live in N.P. just outside Fairbanks. Not quite the bed of liberlism one will never see here. Just thought Anchorage had a “purple” hue to it.

        I agree with everything you say Ben. Just gets a little frustrating to see people voting against their own interest time and time again for such obnoxious reasons.

        O/T but I just learned that Sen Begich sides with the republicans on this tax subsidy for the oil companies. He’s in their back pocket to the tune of $139,805.00 in bribes—I mean campaign contributions.

  17. slipstream says:

    Always nice to see the party planner! 8)

  18. Jaime from Wasilla says:

    That is some delicious snark, AKM! Don’t ya just love it when the Magog start to eat each other?

  19. I See Villages From My House says:

    Who needs enemies when all these guys are in bed together. Fighting. All the time.

    “Sullivan had even appointed him to a committee so the candidate could have at least one line on his resume that might remotely sound like something one would do if one were qualified to hold public office.”

    Not a business owner, also.

    And in his mind he is Most Qualified?

    Crap, you see the bar Sarah Palin set? Mayor with a newly created City Manager position tucked under her (because apparently, it turns out it was Rocket Science to her) and an Oil & Gas job for a quitting minute and she’s an energy expert. All this allows her to say she’s been a public servant for nearly a decade before running for Lt. Governor, expecting a U.S. Senate appointment, a Governorship and the second highest office in the land? The woman couldn’t even be bothered to take her shift with the kids carpool. . .

    Sully, Trombley, Bauer and the Party Planner can all go take a hike in bear country (as long as public safety is strapped because of their cost cutting measures.)

  20. mike from iowa says:

    So….uh……Lynn Swann doesn’t strike me as being a typical Alaskan……..uh…….Rethuglican,for some reason. I can’t quite……uh……put my finger on it. Let’s just……uh…..say…..for the record that he has a much darker tan than say……..uh…..Polar Bear. Coincidence? I think not. I think he’s a plant.

    • Was Swann a football player?? I used to go to football games at MU in Columbia, Mo. with my parents, and it sounds like the same guy we used to see (I’m not a football person, or I’d remember!) but I remember this guy and Gale Sayers(sp?) I do remember they were very exciting to see.! But what the heck, I loved the halftime show……hot stuff..and a marching band is wonderful.!

      • Bigtoe says:

        Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. Four superbowl rings, hall of famer, iconic. Seemed to be at his best in all the ig games. Yeah— a football player.

        I can almost see the corner of your mouth turning up in a sheepish grin?

    • mike from iowa says:

      You guys nailed it,the reason Swann looks so out of place in Alasks was because he played professional football. I knew there was something about him.

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