Saturday, February 13, 2010

Former Anchorage Assemblyman Paul Bauer An Unexpected Last Minute Entrant Into The Eastside Assembly Race; Two Conservatives Now In The Race

Update February 18th: The Municipality of Anchorage Candidates Page now reveals that Paul Bauer has withdrawn from the Assembly race.

After it appeared that the race to succeed Sheila Selkregg for her East Anchorage Assembly seat was set between a conservative (Adam Trombley), an independent (Paul Honeman), and a wild card (Thomas Purcell), an unexpected entrant jumped in at the last moment. Former Assemblyman Paul Bauer, who provided conservative representation for the Eastside from 2005-2008, decided to join the fray. More information about the April 6th, 2010 Anchorage municipal election available HERE.

Bauer has not yet revealed why he decided to jump into the race, although I expect that he'll do so within the next few days, particularly after he gets up a campaign website. It will be interesting to find out the differences between him and the other conservative, Adam Trombley. By the way, Trombley has the official "nod" from conservative Mayor Dan Sullivan, which gives him the inside track to mainstream (business) conservative support.

During his tenure on the Assembly, Bauer frequently confronted Democratic Mayor Mark Begich’s administration on sharply rising budgets, potential ethics and conflict of interest issues. But what he became best known for was his efforts to address illegal immigration in Anchorage. Concerned about Anchorage's designation as a sanctuary city for illegals, Bauer drafted an ordinance, AO 2007-125, that would have required Anchorage police officers to question the immigration status of people pulled over during routine traffic stops. The proposed ordinance was first presented on September 11th, 2007. However, Bauer's intent was not "profiling"; in this previous post, I outlined Bauer's real goals:

(1). Require all officials, agencies, and personnel of the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) to comply with and support federal immigration law.

(2). Prevent the Municipality from prohibiting exchange of information between MOA personnel and the feds regarding anyone's immigration status.

(3). Require APD to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Department of Homeland Security within 90 days of the ordinance's adoption.

But when Bauer's proposal first became public, the late Assemblyman Allan Tesche threw a hissy fit and, playing the "Nazi" card, said the plan would only stir up paranoia and hatred of immigrants. "Why doesn't Mr. Bauer help us all and pin yellow stars on these immigrants?" he asked in a sarcastic reference to the marking of Jews in Nazi Germany. Then-Mayor Mark Begich disingenuously denied that Anchorage was a sanctuary city despite its inclusion on a list of sanctuary cities maintained by Ohio Jobs & Justice Political Action Committee (OJJPAC). Another Assembly Member, Sheila Selkregg, started hysterically yowling about "profiling". Mortally afraid of being associated with "profiling", the Assembly voted 8-3 on November 27th, 2007 to "indefinitely postpone" AO 2007-125 despite the fact that a September 10th KTUU Channel 2 poll showed that 73 percent of respondents supported Bauer's ordinance.

But Bauer did not give up. On January 29th, 2008, he floated AO 2008-23, which would have created a ballot measure for an advisory vote. The measure would have presented two questions to the voters; first, should Anchorage police question the immigration status of people they pull over or investigate, and second, should police be trained to uphold federal immigration laws. Unfortunately, he could never get the third vote necessary to introduce the ordinance in the first place. It is believed that Paul Bauer's immigration reform efforts were successfully exploited by opponent Mike Gutierrez in the 2008 municipal election, leading to Bauer's decisive defeat for re-election.

More recently, it was revealed that Paul Bauer is now associated with an immigration reform group known as Alaskans for Legal Presence (ALP). ALP is an ally of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). After the Anchorage Press published a hit piece about FAIR on December 2nd, 2009, which basically regurgitated SPLC propaganda about FAIR, Bauer wrote an LTE to the Press published on December 23rd, 2009, expressing his objections and clarifying the record.

Prognosis: While I appreciate Paul Bauer's determination to protect our borders and our sovereignty, the presence of two conservatives in the same Assembly race raises the spectre of the two cutting into each other's support and handing the election to Paul Honeman. Honeman wouldn't be a bad choice; it appears he is a genuine independent despite the fact that Sheila Selkregg has endorsed him. But if Eastside voters want conservative representation to offset a liberal Assembly majority, the job has just become harder.

Nevertheless, don't take Paul Bauer lightly. He's a fighter.

1 comment:

  1. Well friends, in addition to calling most of east Anchorage to drum up support for his avatar (Trombley) Mayor Dan likely called Bauer, as he quickly withdrew from the race.

    But as we have seen in the past you often confuse political puffing with promoting practical policy. Trombley is a lightweight who thinks the Anchorage budget is sufficient to meet the needs of his proposed constituency. No matter how many "cons" make such claims they are all inevitably proven wrong, and our community bounces back and forth between political poles.

    On the otherhand, the only progressive credential honeman offers is Sheila's endorsement. Roads are NOT the primary concern of the majority of voters in this district.

    The east side is one of the most progressive constituencies in town (and yes, there are lots of progressive east side republicans). People here admit that when the PFD is added to the computation, most folk in town pay NOTHING for state and local services, so tax relief IS NOT and issue. What is important is public transit, pedestrian safety, fully staffed fire and police departments, libraries, parks and schools, not to mention livable wages and respect for working people.

    The terms conservative and liberal long ago lost there meaning save as code words for nitwits like 'lil eddy who advises "cons" not to engage "libs" in dialog as all libs are 'confusers'.... Let's talk policy. You are simply not going to provide the level of fire and police protection demanded by this community playing budget games like Mayor Dan. And calling members of the Assembly "socialists" is pathetically trite. Yes, some may be clueless in some regards, but let's stop with the labels; wanting a budget that provides adequate fire & police protection at a competitive cost is what most in Anchorage want - it's just that some use hollow promises of monster savings to delude the unwary.

    Right now east side folks don't have much to choose from. On the one hand we have a Sullivan puppet who mouths Dan's divisive rants while on the other hand we have a cop who is apparently afraid to say much more than, "I care..." (and a third candidate who has apparently had even
    more trouble than Honeman getting a campaign going.) Anchorage politics as usual...