Special Update: This post updated on March 29th at 11:00 A.M. to include additional information from two newly-published Anchorage Daily News articles. Updates posted in green.
After several weeks of the 2007 Anchorage Municipal Election campaign, East Anchorage Libertarian Assembly candidate Alex Crawford (pictured at left) has finally started a campaign website, where he sets forth his agenda should he be elected. Crawford's campaign website can be found at the following link:
Crawford was already well-known not only for his oppposition to the Anchorage anti-smoking ordinance, but also for having actively participated in the Stomp The Ban campaign which led to the collection of sufficient signatures to place Proposition 1 on the municipal election ballot. Proposition 1, if passed, would repeal the current anti-smoking ordinance passed by the Anchorage Municipal Assembly in July 2006.
Here are Alex Crawford's five campaign "promises" from his website;
1. I will NOT accept “DONATIONS” from ANY SOURCE, during or after my campaign.
2. If elected I will refuse any compensation offered by the municipality for my assembly service.
3. The ONLY “special interest group” I will represent are the individual taxpayers of my district.
4. I will do everything within my power to reduce the municipal bureaucracy as well as the property taxes that support it.
5. I will consistently defend the right of every individual to own and control their own lives and property to the extent that they do not infringe upon the lives or property of others.
Crawford also filed a suit against the municipality claiming the use of biased language in describing Proposition 1. In their background description, the municipality was considered excessively supportive of the opposing point of view. Crawford also wanted the supportive view represented, and the municipality has now settled the issue by changing the description to include the points of view put forth by Stomp The Ban. Here is a summary of the changes:
The city will delete a line that said the smoking ban "would reduce state and federal government costs for Medicare and Medicaid payments associated with smoking-related diseases."
The city will add the following lines:
- "There are no direct measures of the expected economic benefits of expanding the Anchorage smoking ban."
- "Some local business owners, including non-profits, bingo halls, bars and tobacco shops, testified before the Anchorage Assembly that they believed the expanded smoking ban would have a negative economic impact on them."
Crawford's two opponents are incumbent Ken Stout (who is the father of famed Alaska Iditarod musher Dee Dee Jonrowe), and Sheila Selkregg. Stout is a retired lieutenant colonel who ran unsuccessfully for both the State House and for Lieutenant Governor in the past. While Stout has no campaign website, a review of the PDF transcript of the Success By Six debate he had with Bill Wielechowski back in 2004 (scroll down to page 95 after clicking the link) indicates that Stout is a proponent of smaller, less intrusive, and more market-oriented government. At the March 5th "Make It Monday" Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Forum, he expressed support for the proposed Knik Arm Bridge, while Sheila Selkregg opposes it.
Sheila Selkregg, based upon information from her campaign website, appears to hold a larger and more intrusive vision of government. She wields some imposing academic credentials, to include a Masters in Urban Planning and a PhD in Urban Studies, She's currently a Professor in Public Administration at the University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA). However, many people with a similar combination of credentials, once they've achieved political power, have a penchant for "New Urbanism". New Urbanism is actually a radical urban renewal philosophy at its core which virtually reinvents cities, promoting "walkability" at the expense of "driveability". The resultant gentrification squeezes out the working class, which in turn promotes even more suburban sprawl. While Selkregg does not appear to be radical just yet, her attitude and opinion of the controversial Title 21 rewrite must be scrutinized closely. But public service is a multi-generation tradition in her family. Her mother is a former Assembly member, and one of her daughter, Julia O'Malley, is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News.
While Alex Crawford is to be commended for putting forth a libertarian presence for East Anchorage, he did not show up for the March 5th Make It Monday forum, which is considered one of several "flagship" candidate forums. It appears he is not as electable as Jason Dowell is in Midtown Anchorage. Eastsiders concerned about increasingly intrusive and invasive government need to keep Sheila Selkregg off the Assembly. The most foolproof way to do this is by voting for Ken Stout on April 3rd.