Two loyal readers–Lynn Willis and Jerry Hood–share their thoughts on how Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s veto of “A037 light” will impact the November race, Willis agrees with my analysis that it will. Hood not so much. Read on.
From Lynn Willis:
I agree that this is unintentional and unnecessary brinksmanship on the part of Mayor Sullivan. Unless the Assembly can override the veto, I agree with Amanda and Dan Coffey that this decision has repercussions beyond the Municipality of Anchorage. This veto action will draw the interest in November of single issue voters who might have been more than content to stay home and savor their increased PFD. Many of these voters are not inspired by issues relating to guns, abortions and federal overreach. Nor would they agree that public sector unions are a problem or oil tax reform was necessary and beneficial. They care about their paychecks and jobs and could well lash out at all those who appear to threaten them especially those with the name “Sullivan”.
I generally have been satisfied with the performance of Mayor Sullivan. He has a stubborn streak as was aptly demonstrated with the tennis court debacle; however, Mayor Sullivan has been exponentially more responsible with spending than was Mayor Begich. That said, Alaskan politicians understand that nobody wants to be among those pushed away from the trough even if it means deficit spending. The current crop of state politicians, despite claims of being fiscal conservatives, (especially Governor Parnell who has line item veto power), live by that understanding.
From Jerry Hood:
Amanda – your analysis appears to be on point. However, AO 37 is an Anchorage issue and will not appear on the statewide ballot. I think that minimizes impact on the Senate race either for Begich or against Sullivan. Observers of elections in Alaska will tell you we are much different than say Washington state where elections can be determined by King County alone. “So goes Anchorage” does not mean “so goes Alaska”. In general the areas outside Anchorage are much more conservative and are inclined to vote that way. It will be interesting to watch this play out.
As a former labor leader (yes, I’m a usedtowas) my advice to organized labor would be to campaign on the merits of the issue – not get into a name calling contest with the Mayor. We’ve seen too much of that already this campaign season.