Sunday, July 01, 2012

If Pat Higgins Can Serve On The Anchorage School Board From Kwajalein, Why Can't Mayor Dan Sullivan Take The Oath Of Office In Hawaii?

The revelation that Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan will be taking the oath of office for his second term while on vacation in Hawaii has triggered the typical twitters of faux outrage from the usual suspects, mostly those who swing from the left side of the plate politically. According to the original story, Sullivan and his family are taking their annual Hawaii vacation, which was delayed because Sullivan's wife Lynnette is a teacher and was busy with summer school. Anchorage District Court Judge Brian Clark will officiate the ceremony from Anchorage City Hall, communicating with Sullivan via Skype online video.

But if you read the ADN comments, a lot of people have their panties in a twist. Jeanne Devon threw a predictable fit on Mudflats. And now the latest to join the orgy of public breast-beating is Sheila Toomey. In her July 1st Alaska Ear column, she writes, in part:

Wow. How tone deaf is this guy? If the rumor mill is right, he's planning to run for governor. Maybe his staff should clue him in to the fact that Alaskans are kind of state-proud, as in, you should actually be in the state when you take the oath of office as mayor of the largest city in the state. This is one of those things that nobody cares about unless you do it wrong.

Missing from the column was any reference to the fact that Anchorage School Board Member Pat Higgins continues to serve on the board although he's taken a job 4,000 miles away in Kwajalein. The excerpt above could easily be re-worded to apply to Higgins:

Maybe his staff should clue him in to the fact that Alaskans are kind of state-proud, as in, you should actually be in the state when you serve on the school board of the largest city in the state.

So I decided to check through the previous Alaska Ear columns dating back to June 3rd, since that was after Alaska Policy Forum first broke the story on May 30th. And guess what? Not a single peep out of Toomey over the Higgins story. While I recognize that Alaska Ear is designed for gossip and entertainment rather than hard news, it does show how the media proposes a lower standard of accountability for Higgins, a Democrat, and a higher standard of accountability for Sullivan, a Republican.

At least Sullivan doesn't plan to actually govern Anchorage from Hawaii. Higgins has participated in school board meetings telephonically from Kwajalein.

If it is not a problem for Pat Higgins to serve on the Anchorage School Board from Kwajalein, then how can it be a problem for Dan Sullivan to take the mayoral oath of office from Hawaii?

1 comment:

  1. , "then how can it be a problem for Dan Sullivan to take the mayoral oath of office from Hawaii?"
    No problem,he can.Hell he can move to the Planet Mongo if he so desires.The oath does not mean a damn thing any ways.Right Dan?

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