Monday, December 14, 2009

Sneak Preview Of Anchorage 2010 Assembly Races: Market Conservative Adam Trombley To Challenge Socialist Sheila Selkregg For East Anchorage Seat

Update February 12th, 2009: List of all Assembly and School Board candidates now final; updated post HERE.

Anchorage's next municipal election takes place on April 6th, 2010. While there are no propositions put forward at this time, there are five seats on the Municipal Assembly up for grabs. I just discovered that in October 2009, Downtown Assemblyman Patrick Flynn, who's not up for re-election, provided his own sneak preview on the upcoming election, which whetted my own appetite. So I thought I'd follow up.

Of the five Assembly races, the one which has captured my attention is the race for the Section 5, East Anchorage seat. Incumbent Sheila Selkregg, considered by some to be the Nancy Pelosi of Anchorage, has already attracted a serious opponent in the person of Adam Trombley. According to his official website, Trombley's running because he believes Anchorage needs a city government that reduces the tax structure which tends to punish improvement and promotes stagnation. Anchorage is a city where business should flourish and home ownership remains a reality. He doesn't believe our city needs more revenue, but instead be governed by individuals who will be good stewards of existing funds.

Trombley believes that government can and must provide opportunity and foster productivity, but he also insists that those in power must support policies that promote a vigorous and growing economy while reversing the growth of a government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

Trombley has already amassed some important qualifications. Most recently, he served on the Anchorage Municipal Budget Advisory Commission, giving him a front-row seat to the budget battles being waged between the mayor and the assembly. He currently is the Account Manager of Champion Technologies, which indicates experience in monitoring the bottom line. He understands the pressures of meeting a payroll.

In contrast, although Sheila Selkregg has extensive academic and practical credentials in city planning, her presence on the Assembly has been divisive and polarizing on occasion. When former Assemblyman Paul Bauer proposed an immigration ordinance back in 2007, Selkregg quickly played the race card, yowling about racial profiling. This not only threatened to set different sub-communities against one another, but served to resurrect the stereotype that Latinos should be considered illegal immigrants until they prove otherwise. Selkregg is an example of a college-educated social engineer who promotes diversity at the expense of unity. Her removal from the Assembly should be the HIGHEST priority of the upcoming election cycle. Update December 21st: The Anchorage Press is hinting that Selkregg may choose not to run for re-election, so the problem may solve itself. There's also no APOC listing for Selkregg.

Here are brief snapshots of the other Assembly races:

-- Section 2, Eagle River: it looks like Debbie Ossiander will be seeking a third term. There is no declared opposition at this time. Ossiander definitely deserves a third term for her skillful and sensitive handling of the Ordinance 64 controversy, in which she ensured that all community members who wanted to testify got the opportunity. Her regard for the First Amendment will not soon be forgotten.

-- Section 3, West Anchorage: Matt Claman is the incumbent, and is running for re-election. However, it looks like he'll be challenged by Ernie Hall, who was Fran Ulmer's running mate in the 2002 gubernatorial election. In addition, prominent electric consumer advocate Elizabeth Vazquez is running for this seat as a conservative; she wants to give West Anchorage the conservative voice it needs on the Assembly to confront the fiscal crisis that has been mostly hidden from the public until now. While Matt Claman is not nearly the polarizing, divisive figure that Sheila Selkregg is, he's looked upon as a lightweight who rubber-stamped Mark Begich's bogus budget (although he ended up having to clean up the mess when he became acting mayor), and may be vulnerable.

-- Section 4, Midtown: Incumbent Dan Coffey is not running for re-election. Andy Clary has launched a campaign for the seat as a conservative, and his official campaign website is now HERE. In addition, former Assemblyman Dick Traini appears to be interested as he's filed a letter of intent with APOC.

-- Section 6, South Anchorage: Incumbent Jennifer Johnston is leaning towards running for re-election. There are no other declared candidates yet.

The APOC 2010 Municipal Candidates list indicates four others who've expressed interest in running, but they have not specified their targeted seats. They include Brendan Carpenter, William Johnson Jr., Christopher Mosely, and Paul Honeman. The latter is of particular interest since he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2009 and ultimately endorsed Eric Croft. While Honeman has not yet specified which office he's running for, it's more likely he'd run for the assembly rather than the school board.

Two Anchorage School Board seats will be up for grabs also:

-- Seat A: Incumbent Tim Steele is concluding his third term and bumps up against term limits; he cannot run for re-election this year.

-- Seat B: Incumbent Jeannie Mackie was elected in 2009 to fill out Chris Tuck's unfinished term, is running for election in her own right in 2010.


  1. Beg to differ re Trobley who has little to offer regarding much of anything and simply argues for less taxeds while most residents of Anchorage pay nothing for MOA and State services when the PFD is factored in. Like many purported "conservatives" he harks back to imaginary times and insists he can do more with less, but as we have seen with "conservative" Mayor after Mayor, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

    Fact of the matter is that Anchorage is fractured and polarized not by people like Selkregg but by the lack of a common sense of social space, joined to a celebration of ignorance and an unbelievable lack of civility. Anchorage DOES harbor a significant population of latter day klansmen.

    Additionally, parsing folk as market conservative vs socialist I think does everyone a disservice in this era of sound bite take no prisoner politics. Trombley is no more a market conservative than Selkregg is a "socialist". What we do know as we were warned by Adam Smith all those years ago is that markets run amok without social controls. The answer, as always, is the golden path.... Here Trombley is at a loss as he appears clueless about the very community he lives in while Selkregg actually compromises WAY too much for progressives living on the East side.

    On the other hand, the price of a School Board seat now apparently set at $32K, I think the opportunity to make the School District responsive to the community has passed us by, along with such concepts as the budget review team.

  2. Like most, Net-buoy has a total lack of understanding of what the PFD is . It is not free money. Alaskans don't not retain the individual right of resource development on private property. That right is held in common by our "owner state". The PFD is a share of the return on the investment of our commonly held resource. It does not come close to paying Alaskans back for what was taken from us, our right to own and develop property for economic benefit.
    Don't steal a dollar , give me back a dime , take it away from me in property taxes and tell me I should be grateful for getting free money.
    Sheesh what are you a government employee?