Thursday, April 04, 2013

Anchorage Assemblyman Dick Traini Claims Facebook Death Threat Was Fueled By "Right Wing Talk Radio"

Leading the pack of a host of post-election stories is a claim by newly-reelected Midtown Assemblyman Dick Traini that right-wing talk radio fueled a death threat against him posted on Facebook the weekend before the election.

On Saturday March 30th, an individual alleged to be Shane Kidd Borowski (case no. 3AN-13-03567CR) posted the statement "you are going to be assassinated" on Traini's Facebook page. Hours later, Borowski was arrested and has been slapped with a felony charge of making a terroristic threat. Borowski claims he was just joking. So on April 3rd, Traini, not satisfied with having defeated his opponent, Andy Clary, by 16 percentage points, decided to complain about local right-wing talk radio, which has been critical of Traini's pandering to public sector unions. Traini said "Well, I take it seriously when the police tell me; if you want we'll post an armed guard out in front of your house all night, I'm concerned about it. But I can take care of myself. But you know, it's one of these things when people listen to hours of hate radio, and there's at least one radio station I know that about six hours a day they say how much they hate Dick Traini -- it gets people like this guy riled up."

There's only one local station that produces six hours of conservative talk radio per day -- KFQD AM 750. Casey Reynolds airs from 8-11 A.M., and Dave "Super Dave" Stieren airs from 2-5 P.M. Stieren immediately reacted, posting the following comment to the KTVA story: "Hey Bill, it's 522-0750, if you wish to balance your story and talk to 'hate radio'" (in reference to KTVA reporter Bill McAllister). Stieren also addressed the issue on The Dave Stieren Show Facebook page, where in response, Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Mark Fish wrote "Traini can't get elected in his own house district but that’s ok the union can buy him a seat on the assembly. When he expires they will probably have him stuffed and prop him up in his seat like Lenin".

Of course, neither Dick Traini nor KTVA raised the "hate alarm" when Bettye Davis made that anti-white racist remark at the March 18th Make It Monday candidate forum about how an all-white school board couldn't represent a diverse city. Nor did they raise objection to Shannyn Moore's successful campaign to bully Thomas Corkwan off the school board because he worked for VECO, thus blaming everyone who ever worked for VECO for the sins of Bill Allen and Rick Smith. The lefties are starting to get the kid-gloves treatment in Anchorage.

In other significant post-election news:

-- Unhappy that they only put five of their seven endorsees on the Anchorage Assembly and the School Board, organized labor is launching a referendum drive to overturn the new labor law, AO 2013-37(S). They want to give voters the opportunity to weigh in on it in a future election. But just filing the roughly 7,200 required signatures for the referendum with the city clerk's office within 60 days of the law's enactment would require the city to suspend implementation of the ordinance, according to Anchorage police Sgt. Gerard Asselin, head of the coalition of labor unions involved. Teamsters Local 959 endorsed Pete Mulcahy, Dick Traini, Paul Honeman, Nick Moe, Tim Steele, Bettye Davis, and Eric Croft in the April 2nd election; all won except for Mulcahy, who lost, and Moe, whose status is still unsettled.

-- In more post-election reaction, Democrats and other critics of Mayor Dan Sullivan said on Wednesday April 3rd that the city election results represent a strong rebuke of his agenda on labor unions and a loss of power for the mayor. Charles Wohlforth, a lifelong Democrat and former Assembly member who works as a writer, had a particularly thoughtful response, saying "I thought it was shocking, really. I don't think I've ever seen a local election turn that strongly in one direction from an ideological standpoint. This is big and I think it definitely has repercussions for the mayor and repercussions for Ernie Hall and for how the Assembly does their business. This has to be a wakeup call for them, if they are smart."

In contrast, Sullivan and his supporters contend that special interests commandeered a low-turnout election and that they don't see a bigger message from residents looming. They point out that, assuming Ernie Hall retains his seat, Sullivan supporters would still control six of the 11 Assembly seats. On Tuesday night, Sullivan said "We've re-established the fiscal stability of the city. We've got our bond rating upgraded. We've been leaders in education reform, been leaders in energy issues in Southcentral. I don't think it's push-back over the overall agenda. I think it's all centered on the one issue."

But Dan Sullivan clearly burned up some political capital on the labor issue, and he will have to find a way to re-grow that capital, particularly if he has any thoughts of challenging Mark Begich for his Senate seat in 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Hate talk that incites someone to threats of violence and death threats are a significant notch above spouting racist comments. But those nuances must be above your pay grade.