Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recommendation For West Anchorage 2010 Assembly Race: Ernie Hall A Slam Dunk Over Matt Claman And Bill Sigler

The Assembly seat for West Anchorage (Section 3, Seat D) is one of the five Assembly seats up for grabs in the 2010 Anchorage municipal election to be held on April 6th, 2010, and there is a clear cut-choice which will not only benefit West Anchorage, but also the entire Municipality.

The candidates are Matt Claman, Ernie Hall, and Bill Sigler. The MOA Election Page provides additional necessary information about the upcoming election. Personal character is not the issue in this campaign; there's been no hint of personal scandal attached to these candidates. All can be presumed to be as clean as a hound's tooth. But there are other real differences; read the Anchorage Daily News cover story HERE.

Pertinent References:

-- Static page on 2010 municipal election HERE
-- Anchorage Press March 10th final profile of Assembly races HERE

(1). Matt Claman. Official campaign website HERE, Anchorage Daily News candidate profile HERE. APOC list of contributors HERE. Claman first ran unsuccessfully against then-Assemblyman Dan Sullivan in 2005. He was then elected to the other West Anchorage seat in 2007, prevailing by a razor-thin margin over Sherry Jackson. Many believe that if Jim Bailey had not also been in that race, Jackson would have prevailed. When Mayor Mark Begich resigned to take over his new job as U.S. Senator, Claman, who by then had become Assembly Chair, inherited the position and became Acting Mayor until the election of Dan Sullivan in April 2009, an election in which Claman ran in his own right and finished as an also-ran. Claman's priorities are public safety and fiscal responsibility. He believes that working together within the tax cap, Anchorage can become an even better place to live, work, and raise our families. Claman has been awarded the Anchorage Education Association (AEA) endorsement, normally given primarily to those candidates who will treat the AEA as a preferred constituency rather than just one of many constituencies.

However, Matt Claman has not always effectively backed up his rhetoric. As Assemblyman, he helped approved a budget that, as Acting Mayor, subsequently required him to chop city spending by $17 million after the 2008 stock market crash dramatically shrank city investments and revenue. He was also required to ask public employee unions to forego raises that he as an Assemblyman had approved. Furthermore, Claman has persistently obstructed any progress towards building the Knik Arm Bridge, which would help alleviate the traffic crunch between Anchorage and the Valley. Matt Claman also spearheaded an effort to overturn a previous Assembly's decision to scrap the IM emission inspection program. Claman also came under fire for taking three out-of-state trips at public expense while Acting Mayor, although one of those trips was to a national mayor's conference warranting Anchorage's representation. And while Matt Claman wants to resume police and fire academies, as Acting Mayor, he instituted rolling shutdowns of Anchorage fire stations, although he explained that he did so to cut excessive overtime. If the trumpet giveth an uncertain sound, who shall join the battle?

(2). Ernie Hall. Official campaign website HERE, Facebook page HERE. Anchorage Daily News candidate profile HERE. APOC list of contributors HERE. Was considered one of the 25 most powerful Alaskans in 2000 and 2001. Hall, who has previously run for elective office as a Democrat as Fran Ulmer's running mate in 2002, is officially non-partisan in this race. He wants to end the partisanship on the Assembly, based upon the belief that partisan bickering has kept us from focusing on Anchorage’s number one need: economic development. The steady decline in oil production, combined with the uncertainty of a natural gas pipeline, requires us to attract sustainable businesses to create good jobs. Economic growth will support the basic services of government: public safety, education and maintaining our facilities - without raising taxes. As a result, Hall has earned the endorsement of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, although Hall is not a Republican.

(3). Bill Sigler. Facebook page HERE, YouTube channel HERE, Anchorage Daily News candidate profile HERE. Sigler has an engineering background. He characterizes his competition as overpriced, unhealthy, like expensive breakfasts (or perhaps like one of Nancy Dahlstrom's $50 appetizers in Juneau). His simple three-point platform: A hiring freeze, moratorium on bonds, and an audit of both administrations. Sigler offers additional details about his campaign on this YouTube video:

Recommendation: Matt Claman may be a decent upstanding citizen, but being decent isn't enough to get the city solvent, reduce the burden of government, and grow business. Alaska must send a message to the world that we are OPEN for business; one cannot tax one's way to prosperity. Ernie Hall has spent much of his Alaska life attempting to attract business. It's a slam dunk for Ernie Hall in this election.

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