Mayor Dan apologizes for slavery comment

After initially refusing to do so, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan apologized on Wednesday for comparing union membership to slavery during a lieutenant governor’s forum on Monday. Read the backstory here and here. Here’s the apology in full that he wrote on his Facebook page:

At a recent candidate forum for Lt. Governor, I expressed my support for Alaska to be a “Right to Work” state, one of the key planks in the Alaska Republican Party Platform.

I am opposed to rules that compel mandatory union membership in order to perform certain work, which I referred to as a form of economic slavery. To me, the term has no racial connotations except that people of all races may be prohibited from holding certain jobs unless they pay tribute to an organization they may not support.

I do, however, understand the sensitivity that the term slavery connotes and I apologize if the use of the word offended anyone. I will remain; however, steadfast in my belief that government policies that discriminate against the American worker, regardless of race, and that create unnecessary economic barriers should be eliminated.


18 thoughts on “Mayor Dan apologizes for slavery comment

  1. Ben Gail

    I think most people should have been able to see the mayor’s point. And I think everyone at the debate got it, which is why as Amanda mentioned, no candidates questioned him on it there. It’s a live debate, not everything goes perfect. The mayor’s apology definitely shows that he’s willing to do what it takes to make things right though, even when he probably shouldn’t have to.

  2. Jmichaels

    You sure showed him! My vote is yours. Which Sullivan are you again? The Alaskan one, right?

  3. Mayor Dan

    They say ignorance is bliss. Since none of what you wrote makes any sense whatsoever I can only assume that you are very happy indeed!

  4. Bill

    Happy Mother’s Day, Your Honor.

    You have done a bad job as mayor.

    You’ve catered to the ‘Three Years and Through’ crowd –short-timers stationed here by their companies or regiments– at the expense of those of us who are raising families here beyond a single election cycle.

    You’ve asset-stripped the school system, created education insecurity and gutted the public library system.

    You have done nothing to address our city’s social problems other than to literally sweep them from view and dump the cost and responsibility onto Catholic Social Services and others. (By the way, I haven’t seen you at Mass recently.)

    Meanwhile, you’re the bland, ineffectual princeling of a less developed country, complete with needlessly aggressive security services producing a respectable body count of unarmed civilians.

    You’ve been great at pointing the finger of blame at the Assembly and the state, but never at yourself. Your slogan is “The buck stops over there.”

    I’ll vote for a mostly functional drunk over a malignant desk jockey any day. Plus, she’s smarter than you.

  5. Anonymous

    Typical liberal – resort to name calling when you don’t have a good argument. My administration has invested over $700 million in roads, parks, trails, and public facilities, by far the most in Anchorage history. All while creating budget surpluses and holding the line on property taxes. It’s called good management, something we could use more of in government. Mayor Dan

  6. Bill

    If Dan the Not A Racist would put his energy into improving our roads, schools, and libraries instead of looking to destroy those who can physically fix those problems, he would be a good Mayor. Instead, he’s a weasel-headed narcissist and an embarrassment to the political memory of his father.

  7. John Smith

    In 2014 it is unacceptable, but in 2012 and 2013 when unions did it, it was okay? Seems to me that you and others are more interested in making this a partisan political issue in order to get rid of a political rival. Keep up the inconsistency in your outrage, and you will continue to lose credibility.

  8. S Davis, Jr.

    Thank you for your question.

    It is unacceptable in 2014 for anyone to compare anything to slavery, except slavery. Because slavery was about, err, ENSLAVING PEOPLE. It was not about eating ice cream, nor was it about collective bargaining, nor skateboarding. Slavery was about enslaving human beings.

    I can’t quite decide who is grosser, Dan the Not A Racist™, or Dan the Not A War Criminal™. Their individual negatives combines with a common name will likely drag them both to electoral defeat.

  9. Milton Friedman

    Well, reading your idiotic post makes me want to walk into a gas chamber. So, there’s that I guess. Feel better? Also, any other insightful and riveting commentary you care to add?

  10. S Davis, Jr.

    So glad the Not A Racist™ crowd was able to chime-in along with Dan’s official praise singers. What Dan really meant to say was that joining a union was JUST LIKE the Holocaust.

  11. Garand Fellow

    I agree with the positive comments here thus far. Sullivan is entitled to his views, and what he said is not 1 percent as offensive as what you can hear any rap-rap singer (so-called) or basketball player say most any time on national television. The media are predisposed to say that Republican officials do not have the same rights of free speech as others have. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would be outraged if Sullivan had used the term colored people; how silly, one-sided and prejudiced is that?

  12. Denali

    I think Danny boy averted going off the cliff by reconsidering and apologizing. Glad he did so as I believe he will make an excellent No, 2 guy to Parnell. All in all, even with the occasional gaffes, the Mayor is the best choice on the Republican ticket.

  13. Kevin

    glad the mayor iissued a statement of apology. Never thought he was a racist. I think is statement speaks for itself and is fair and honest. By apologizing, he shows that he is caring and empathetiic to those who may have been put off by the characterization he used.

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