Saturday, April 07, 2007

Analysis Of 2007 Anchorage Municipal Election - Assembly Races

The 2007 Anchorage Municipal Election was noteworthy for the lack of rancour and dirty campaigning on the part of candidates. Some candidates like Matt Claman hit their opponents with hard but clean shots. The most controversial issues were the statewide advisory vote on same-sex benefits, the proposed Jewish Historical Museum (which was abandoned by the Lubavitch Center at the last moment), and repeal of the anti-smoking ordinance.

Here are the results for the Assembly races, along with a short analysis on causative factors. Even though only 95.5% of precincts have reported and absentee and question ballots are yet to be counted, the results can be considered final. Totals displayed don't add up to 100% because of write-in votes. Click HERE to view original results as well as results for propositions.


OSSIANDER, Debbie (INCUMBENT): 5921 votes, 75.15%
BYRNES, Jim: 1883 votes, 23.90%

No surprise. Debbie Ossiander has a solid reputation as a right-of-center conservative who strives for fiscal accountability and who believes that cities must be effective to be attractive. She's consistently played this role for 15 years of elective service, first as a School Board member, then as an Assembly Member. Jim Byrnes ran primarily because he had a property-rights axe to grind against the city and wanted to air it publicly. He offered no genuine alternative to Ossiander's vision.


STARR, Bill (INCUMBENT): 3835 votes, 48.90%
BRAND, Janet E: 3358 votes, 42.82%
LUPO, Bob: 591 votes, 7.54%

I wasn't particularly surprised by Starr's victory, although it seems like both Bill Starr and Janet Brand are equally esteemed throughout the community. Starr's incumbency and his prior service as a community council president may have been just enough to push him over the edge. Lupo was an alternative candidate who marketed his image as "Joker" initially to get attention, although to his credit, he supported Proposition 1 to repeal Anchorage's anti-smoking ordinance.


JACKSON, Sherri R: 3681 votes, 37.54%
CLAMAN, Matt: 3872 votes, 39.49%
CLENDANIEL, Zareena: 731 votes, 7.45%
BAILEY, Jim: 1458 votes, 14.87%

Incumbent Pamela Jennings chose to retire after one term, desiring to spend more time with her family, so there was no incumbent in this race. Matt Claman's victory is unfortunately not a surprise. I was concerned that Jim Bailey might take enough votes from Sherri Jackson to hand the election to Matt Claman, and the numbers tend to validate this conclusion. This is why Jackson actually asked Bailey to bow out of the race early. The fact that Jackson finished so close behind the better-publicized and funded Claman shows that she has become a viable political force. Bailey's phlegmatic personality and disproportionate experience in the public education sector far offset official Assembly support and sponsorship of his candidacy, and would have better supported a school board candidacy. However, Claman, although an Allan Tesche-type liberal, is knowledgeable on the issues and his background as a lawyer will help him ensure that legislation is as litigation-resistant as possible. West Anchorage voters may also prefer the contrast of having a liberal like Claman to offset their other Assembly member, respected conservative Dan Sullivan. As expected, the self-professed "diversity" candidate Zeena Clendaniel proved to be an also-ran.


DOWELL, Jason: 1041 votes, 11.45%
COFFEY, Dan (INCUMBENT): 4135 votes, 45.50%
GRAY-JACKSON, Elvi: 3839 votes, 42.24%

The re-election of Dan Coffey is also not much of a surprise, although the narrow margin shows that libertarian Jason Dowell may have taken more votes from him than from Elvi Gray-Jackson. Coffey is a hard-headed businessman who meticulously and preemptively avoids conflict-of-interest situations during Assembly meetings, but his equivocal commitment to private property rights, as evinced by his co-sponsorship of Anchorage's latest anti-smoking ordinance, almost cost him the seat. Elvi Gray-Jackson ran a classy and dignified campaign but could not completely dispel the impression that she was also running to pay back Coffey for having joined with former Assembly Member Anna Fairclough from firing her from her Assembly staff position for engaging in partisan political activity while in that position. I figured Jason Dowell might get as much as 15% of the vote, and I wasn't far off. Dowell proved himself the most electable libertarian yet, focusing on mainstream issues and pushing repeal of the anti-smoking ordinance rather than boxing himself into dead-end issues such as teenage curfews, draft registration, "bong hits 4 jesus", and other such irrelevant nonsense. In addition, Dowell sensibly eschewed other forms of populist theatrics such as posting pictures of an assault rifle on a personal website.


CRAWFORD, Alex: 595 votes, 6.39%
SELKREGG, Sheila: 4713 votes, 50.61%
STOUT, Ken (INCUMBENT): 3967 votes, 42.60%

I was concerned that Ken Stout might prove vulnerable to the educated and energetic Sheila Selkregg, and my concerns proved justified. Selkregg brought impressive public administration and urban planning credentials to the table; by combining them with a "law-and-order" emphasis, she was able to co-opt one of Stout's pet issues. But here's an interesting theory I'll put forth: I believe one other reason Stout lost was because he never developed the unique "singular" identity portrayed by other Assembly members such as Dick Traini (considered the Dick Cheney of the Assembly, possibly superseding the more mellowed-out Allan Tesche as its most polarizing member ) and Dan Coffey. I believe many Eastside voters perceived Stout as a mere "paasenger" on the Assembly rather than as an initiator. People may not have been aware of Stout's accomplishments while on the Assembly. His failure to develop and deploy a candidate website during the age of the Internet may have also hurt. Although a strong supporter of the effort to repeal Anchorage's anti-smoking ordinance, Alex Crawford's impact on this campaign proved otherwise anecdotal; he was the libertarian who chose to post a picture of an assault weapon on his campaign website.

ASSEMBLY SECT 6, SEAT J: South Anchorage

JOHNSTON, Jennifer: 5679 votes, 44.87%
HOVANEC, Gary: 1261 votes, 9.96%
STENCEL, Ryan: 459 votes, 3.63%
BAFFONE, Val: 5186 votes, 40.98%

Another race lacking an incumbent, as Janice Shamberg (thankfully) decided to retire from her seat after two terms. Shamberg was a big-government enthusiast who displayed a cold and imperious manner to the public. The winner, Jennifer Johnston, was a virtual non-entity outside of South Anchorage but apparently enough district residents knew and approved of her to send her to the Assembly. Two factors aided her cause. First, Ryan Stencel, knowing that Johnston was in better position to win and not much different from her (Stencel) politically, decided to bow out of the race and place her support behind Johnston. This prevented the more liberal second-place finisher, Val Baffone, from capitalizing on multiple vote-splitting conservatives to propel her to victory. Second, while Baffone was actually a good candidate, with in-depth knowledge of labor issues, her ties with organized labor were considered too close for comfort. Considering the SDS-type militancy displayed by many Anchorage schoolteachers during the recent contract negotiations, combined with ridiculous sweetheart deals scarfed up by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW - their workers get paid TRIPLE TIME if asked to work on their birthdays), organized labor's stock in Anchorage is not exactly on the ascendancy. An endorsement by the departing Shamberg was not enough to help Baffone. Gary Hovanec was a reasonable candidate who was simply overmatched.

Most observers don't believe the elections of Matt Claman and Sheila Selkregg will fundamentally change the makeup of the Anchorage Assembly. According to an Anchorage Daily News article published on April 4th, 2007, Selkregg proclaimed her role on the Assembly as nonpartisan and doesn't have time for party politics. "We've exhausted this conservative-liberal business," she said as her victory became apparent. "They need to knock it off. We just need to get down to the business of building a good community." Of course, much of her statement will revolve around what she defines as a "good" community, how intrusive she wants to make Title 21, and whether or not the limited economic capabilities of working families will be a factor in her urban renewal concept.

Successful Midtown incumbent Dan Coffey also weighed in. "The moderate to conservative majority will still be in charge," Coffey said of the apparent new lineup. "The people who are on the more liberal side of the bench will be included because we need their service, and their perspective, and their work."

There were also two school board races.


STEELE, Tim (INCUMBENT): 38787 votes, 97.22%
Write-in Votes: 1108 votes, 2.78%

The lack of a challenger is a tribute to the quality of Tim Steele's stewardship. Steele is an independent moderate who tends to vote on what he perceives to be the public interest at any given time. Unlike the departing Seat B incumbent Jake Metcalfe, Steele is not perceived to be in anybody's pocket. However, 1,108 voters chose to write in someone else's name.


TUCK, Chris: 26959 votes, 65.39%
SHARRATT, Ryan B: 13608 votes, 33.01%
Write-in Votes: 661 votes, 1.60%

After initially entering the race, incumbent Jake Metcalfe chose to pull out and throw his support behind Chris Tuck after Metcalfe finally realized that wearing both hats of a School Board member and Chairman of the Alaska State Democratic Party was casting aspersions upon his political integrity. Tuck previously lost a House race to acknowledged oil and gas legislative expert Ralph Samuels in 2006. The support received from the Democratic Party establishment propelled him to a decisive victory over Ryan Sharratt. Tuck's main issue was vocational education, while Sharratt, who served on a recent Anchorage School District budget review committee, emphasized reducing overhead, including terminating one assistant principal per school to save money.


  1. Carl, I know you would like to think the Lubavitch have "abandoned" the museum, it's just on hold for the moment.
    So dream on Mr. Jew hater.....

  2. Anchorage Activist,

    Keep up the good work. It was nice to meet you in person at our last uber super-duper, top secret White Nationalist meeting. My offer still stands to assist in the Anchorage projects. Give me a call if you need a hand.

  3. Kewl! Secret? "white" nationalist meetings and projects.
    A banjo and drool bib in every house....*laughing*!

    Yes, Carl you get those "projects" started and the rest of the town will be breathing down your neck.

    Did you ever check into your family history, Carl? Old Granny what's her face.....the one with the name that you "white" boys consider to be a Jewish sounding!

  4. Judith,

    Speaking of the importance of ancestry, it wasn't too long ago I reported on my blog that Israel changed its "Law of Return" to exclude converts.

    What that means is that only those who are jews by "race" can be a citizen of Israel. Converts aren't allowed anymore. A secular, porn-peddling member of The Chosen Tribe, with good ole jewy last names like Katz or Cohen, can be an Israeli citizen, while a Gentile convert to the jewish faith, who doesn't peddle porn or sell drugs like ecstasy is barred under the Law of Return.

    It was easier for a man with partial jewish ancestry to serve in Hitler's SS than it is for a non-jew to become a citizen of Israel.

    I wonder how many of the jews in favor of this law are descendants of converts?

    I wonder whether you, Judith, are jewish enough to get citizenship in Israel.

    Regardless, race is---and always has been---important to jews. The Tribe with whom you identify, Judith, just doesn't want the world to know it. After all, attaching any importance to race is a politically incorrect thought crime nowadays and synonymous with "hate."

    Authors like Robert Conquest and Aleksandr Stolzhenitsyn have told the world about jews like Genrikh Yagoda and Lazar Kaganovich, both Big Yids in the Soviet Union's GPU/NKVD, who arrested tens of millions of Gentiles for "thought crimes" and had them killed in jewish run concentration camps.

    But only Gentiles can be haters, right? (Jews are merely poor, poyyysecuted victims 100% of the time, and never did anything wrong in the history of the whole wide woyyylt...)

    I can't speak for Carl, but if I were to discover that a distant relative---say a great, great, great, great, great grand parent, had a name that sounds jewish---it wouldn't shake or alter my perception about the obvious facts of race, facts which are reflected by mean IQ test scores, criminal justice statistics, GNP and different levels of civilization.

    If anything, such a revelation would only accentuate racial consciousness. What if such an ancestor turned out to be someone like Judah Benjamin or Simon Baruch? The vast majority of American jews during the time of European colonialism and throughout the civil war, supported slavery, which really isn't a big surprise, considering that jews dominated the slave trade, like any other profitable market. Who knows, Judith, maybe one of your ancestors was a Hebrew with the morals of an Egyptian?

    It's almost amusing to watch you pray that White people abandon the whole idea of racial survival, simply because you've slung some far-fetched allegation of slight ancestral contamination, while your own people practice racial survival
    vigorously, despite so much intermarriage with the "goyim."

    Absolutely amusing in deed. One of the common practices of Jewish slave traders was copulating with their negro slaves. Perhaps you have some monkey in your family tree? That might explain your buffoonery.

  5. Jack, you like to talk to hear your head rattle don't you?
    If you found your grandmother was a Jew they would find you dead within a week's time by your own hand. What a thought! I'll have to look into your family history.
    At least the dominate personality, Carl, has some balls when it comes to the fact his family tree has Jews in it. If his beloved ideal of a "day of the rope" ever comes to be he won't be very happy finding his neck being stretched by his Jew hating buddies though. It would happen and he knows it, huh, Carl!

    I read your babble about Israel and you misquoted the whole thing. They haven't changed any law but since like Carl, Bill White and the child porn king, Strom you can't get your facts straight. You read every third line and make up the rest. You need to go back and reread what the article actually said, dumb-ass.

    It also has nothing to do with race that is your problem not the Jews. Your "white" race would eventually be killing each other over religion, eye color, hair color and whether or not weak chins like Gliebe's or Carl's drinking problem showed signs of less than pure bloodlines.

    Now, get back into the inner reaches of Carl's mind with his other personality insane-Sam.