Tag Archives: Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan

Mayor Dan calls Beltrami APOC complaint ‘de minimis’

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.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


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.


Mayor Dan Sullivan refuses to apologize for ‘slavery’ comparison

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has refused to apologize for comparing union membership to slavery at a lieutenant governors candidate forum in Anchorage on Monday.

When answering an audience question about right-to-work legislation, Sullivan said, “Nobody should ever have to basically pay a fee to someone else to get a job in this state…we ended slavery a long time ago.”

He later clarified his remark and said he was referring to “economic slavery.”

Sullivan was one of four candidates at the forum. None of the others took issue with his remark.

On Wednesday, the Anchorage chapter of the NAACP issued a release demanding an apology. “Slavery was about race, human degradation and America’s ‘greatest sin’. To compare it to today’s political issues of the moment diminishes how horrible and tragic it truly was,” said Wanda Laws, President of the Anchorage NAACP.

“I don’t think an apology is necessary,” Sullivan told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “I think that maybe people just need to discuss and clarify what it means to be forced to do something you don’t want to do to get a job. And by various definitions, that’s a form of economic slavery.”

In the past few years, conservatives have likened slavery from everything to affirmative action, to abortion to social security. And they often get reminded that it’s an offensive comparison. Most recently Sarah Palin made headlines for comparing the national debt to slavery.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Fundraising numbers for statewide candidates dribbling in

Because it’s a holiday, official financial fundraising reports for candidates aren’t due to the Alaska Public Offices Commission until Tuesday. However, as of Monday afternoon, some numbers were dribbling in.

Alaska state Sen. Hollis French, who’s running for lieutenant governor and has already filed with APOC, reported raising $51,328 from Oct. 30, 2014 through Feb. 1, 2014. French brought $22,605 into the campaign, and spent $12,233, leaving him $61,700 cash on hand.

French’s fundraising total isn’t likely going to match the GOP lieutenant governor candidates. Both Sen. Lesil McGuire and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan have said that they raised in the ballpark of $100,000 apiece. However, $61,700 on hand is a pretty good number for French.

As reported earlier, Gov. Sean Parnell raised $407,253, and had over $330,000 on hand.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott beat expectations by raising more than $230,000. However, he hasn’t filed his report yet and it’s unclear how much money he spent raising that amount.

Finally, independent candidate for governor Bill Walker hasn’t released his official report, but he did send out a release on Monday saying that he raised more than $200,000, also beating expectations. According to the release, that number includes $29,000 of his own money.

Walker said that unlike Parnell, he has to pay for his own travel.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Mayor Dan responds to $214 payback

Below is comment left on this site by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan in response to a story about a trip that he took to D.C., which included a fundraiser for his lieutenant governor’s race. He recently reimbursed the city $214 for the cost of travel to that event, as well as another event in the Kenai:

“Out of an 84 hour trip, 3 hours were spent at the fundraiser in D.C., including travel time to and from the event. Costs are allocated accordingly. This is the appropriate method for calculating personal time on government trips.”


Mayor Dan goes ‘extra mile’ by paying city $214 for fundraisers

15868858_lThe Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan “has paid the city $214 as reimbursement for time he spent at a pair of political fundraisers while on publicly funded trips.”

In early December, a firm that has a contract to lobby for the city held a fundraiser for Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor. Sullivan was in D.C. to meet with the congressional delegation. The fundraiser took place in the evening. Another fundraiser took place in the Kenai, after Sullivan addressed the chamber of commerce.

The fundraisers didn’t violate city code, but Sullivan said that APOC advised him to “go the extra mile.”

According to the ADN, the total costs of the trips are unknown. The airfare and the hotel for Sullivan and two aides to travel to D.C. was $3270, which was paid for by the city. The $214 comes out of a calculation that Sullivan devised based on how much time he spent at the events.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com