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.

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13 thoughts on “Mayor Dan calls Beltrami APOC complaint ‘de minimis’

  1. John Smith

    APOC requires that the party lodging the complaint deliver it to the candidate. However, you do raise an interesting point that you probably don’t realize. Why would Mr. Beltrami lodge a complaint concerning the Mayor’s use of city resources for his Lt. Gov. campaign, and then deliver the complaint to the Mayor while he is performing mayoral duties? Seems he was trying to put the mayor in a trap. If he were to accept the paperwork during the Assembly meeting, he could just lodge another complaint. A bit crooked if you ask me.

  2. Anonymous

    Quick note of clarification Friedman: APOC REQUIRES the complainant to serve the complaint to the party receiving the complaint. Only after it has been received by the party can the complainant turn it into APOC. Hope that helps.

  3. Milton Friedman

    He has a campaign office and staff. What the hell are you talking about? He even has an address. By the way, why did you try to take it upon yourself to deliver a copy of your complaint to the Mayor himself at the last assembly meeting? Who empowered you to do that on behalf of APOC? Do you normally serve paperwork to those in political office with whom you disagree in order to intimidate them? That alone is proof to me that you are more interested in making this into a mudslinging PR move than anything else.

    What is laughable is the idea that you have the ability to have a thoughtful and reasonable discussion concerning labor relations with anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100%. So why even try? Your statement that the mayor is trying to “destroy labor relations” is a perfect example of this. You are acting like an overly emotional alarmist child with no ability to discuss issues logically and in a calm and professional fashion. So why make the effort Vince?

    You are cherrie picking one liners from a political candidate that you hate in order to paint a picture that you desperately want voters to believe. You are the Michael Moore of Alaska organized labor and it is insulting to a lot of voters that you actually believe we are dumb enough to buy your snake oil. You are a special interest with millions of dollars and a lot of power, and you look terrified right now.

    If you don’t know why anonymity is so valuable on blogs like this, particularly when speaking on issues in which you have personally threatened bodily harm to those who don’t like forced union membership, then you are not a very intelligent human being.

  4. Shame on you

    Lesil should be re-christened “weasel.” I even like the sound of it. This woman is one of the most manipulative, smooth talking weasels around. So what’s the deal here folks? I bet you most of you “weasel” supporters are supporting her for her looks (which aren’t much), as she has no ethical standards, morality or any integrity to speak of, and she’s a prima donna and a raging alcoholic to boot. The perfect politician to represent Alaska’s interests.

  5. Vince Beltrami

    So, it’s ridiculous to expect the mayor to actually run a campaign from a campaign office, with actual campaign staff, and to avoid the appearance of conflict with his mayoral duties?

    Yes, I’m unhappy with the mayor. So are lots of people. Whitt’s comment in the article that labor relations is an important priority for the administration is laughable, unless she means it is a priority of Sullivan’s to destroy labor relations.

    And finally, my complaint you characterize as “diminishing the quality of civil discourse.” What do you call insulting teachers, comparing unions to slavery, and threatening to invade ANWR?

    The other thing I find comical is that all these defenders of the mayor won’t put their real or full names here on this blog and stand behind them. Par for the course I suppose.

    As a property tax payer, you’re fine with his wanton waste of money on trying to shove his “labor relations” down the throat of the city’s workers, and toying with elections at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) to us tax paying citizens? I’m sure you loved the campaign piece he included with every tax bill this week too, right?

  6. Anonymous

    Would you consider the mayors original comparison of unions and slavery comment civil?
    Our mayor needs to grow up.
    And why does Lesil have to even comment on the middle school antics of Bartender Dan?

  7. Government Watcher

    This is all pure politics at iits worst.
    AFL – CIO hates Mayor Sullivan
    AFL-CIO has Lesil McGuire in their pockets.
    Time to stand behind the mayor.

  8. Birchwood neighbor

    Never have been much of a fan of either the mayor’s or of Lesil McGuire’s. Both have a history of drinking too much and poor judgement. Neither of those traits appear to be a problem or concern of organized labor. All that labor seems to care about is labor’s willingness to carry their water. I appreciate Sullivan’s determination to stand up to them. McGuire wants to give them what they want in exchage for their support. McGuire needs to lknow that her trade with labor doesn’t get her much in the Republican primary.

  9. Linda Kellen Biegel

    If Sen Begich would have made this obvious error, RW radio would be screaming from the rooftops. We either have rules or we don’t.

  10. Conservative voter

    I’m not sure what Beltrami’s intent is except to drag Sullivan thru the mud. Many conservative voters wiill be forced to come to the mayor’s defense. In a Republican primary, I brlirvr that organized labor’s voice will rally conservative voters to the mayor’s campaign.

  11. Corrections Department

    Fourth paragraph down. Affected, not effected. On another note, Sullivan screwed up.

  12. Thomas P.

    This complaint borders on the ridiculous. Come on Vince, we all know the game. The complaint has little merit. It simply is an attack designed to provide some potential political humiliation. Everyone knows you are unhappy with the mayor because he stood up to you and your unions. As a property tax payer, I thank you Mr. Mayor. As a voter, I am disappointed in Mr. Beltrami’s actions to diminish the quality of civil discourse this election cycle. Rather than discussing real issues and qualifications, we’ve lowered ourselves to political gamesmanship. Lesil McGuire’s silence makes her as culpable as you. At the Repuublican convention, she indicated that she would run a clean and positive campaign. Unless she speaks out, I will have to call her a liar. The mayor’s description of the complaint is both clever and accurate.

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