AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami filed a complaint against Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Beltrami alleges that Sullivan violated campaigns laws.
In the complaint, Beltrami details how the municipal spokesperson, Lindsey Whitt, responded to comments Sullivan made at a candidates forum. He says that’s illegal.
Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor, compared being in a union to slavery earlier this month. Shortly thereafter, the NAACP demanded an apology, which Sullivan initially refused. Later that day, he capitulated, through Whitt, who issued a statement with that apology. Hence the complaint.
In an interview, Whitt said that she contacted city attorney Dennis Wheeler before responding, who gave her the go-ahead. It was an issue that affected the whole city she said. For that reason, she also responded to a comment that Sullivan made about college education programs.
“Education and labor relations are two important priorities for the administration,” Whitt said.
Further, the NAACP request for an apology was written to the mayor at the mayor’s office.
Part of the issue is that until recently, Sullivan didn’t have a campaign office and hadn’t hired campaign staff. In the last few days, he’s hired his brother Tim and has opened up an office in Midtown Anchorage.
When reached by phone, Sullivan called the complaint “de minimis.” He plans to make his case to APOC next week.
He said that these complaints will continue as the campaign heats up. “This is going to be a pattern. They’re trying to be irritating.”
He said that he’s run six campaigns and hasn’t once paid an APOC fine.
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