|Our local government has become repulsive; all the more reason why we must vote!
In about one month the good people of Anchorage will be again asked to support local government by voting for candidates professing to represent us. Our leaders say this is a cornerstone of “Democracy.” They don’t want you to know the truth—that the entire system of Rule by Bureaucracy and spending beyond our means—results from election of mostly mediocre candidates who seem to think they have a higher calling than Limited
Government Representation. As the result of a pandemic, we have all witnessed how once elected some local government representatives on the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage School District Board of Education become petty tyrants.
eanwhile the bureaucracy keeps chugging along raising our taxes and doing what special interests direct it to do.
Local elections aren’t held in November through traditional voting methods because inconvenience is a form of voter suppression.
April 5 local elections will again be opportunities for organized special interests to deliver candidates bought and paid for to elected offices. When organized public sector unions endorse and fund campaigns of candidates who are beholding to them once elected, they are financing negotiations of represented employee’s wage and benefit packages from both sides of the bargaining table. This isn’t the same as private enterprise-union relationships where both sides have something to lose; public sector unions exist to raise the cost of government services.
When Anchorage teachers who choose to be members of AEA contribute with money and work to campaigns for school board candidates they are trying to indenture elected officials who will be voting on their contract. Public employee unions are a powerful special interest.
Candidates for the Anchorage Assembly
Let’s look at who is on the next ballot with an eye to the options for regular tax-paying locals who reside in the area from Girdwood to Eklutna. Watch for a theme among non-incumbents.
District 2 – Seat A – Eagle River/Chugiak
♦ Kevin Cross – Filed 01/21/2022
From his filing information, Mr. Cross and his spouse appear to be in real estate and commercial business with some rental apartments.
Representative Statement: I spent the last few years watching the Anchorage Assembly crush the rights of individuals and small business owners. This injustice compels me to act and run to make a difference in our community.
♦ Gretchen Wehmhoff – Filed 01/28/2022
A Chugiak resident, this candidate has in recent years served as a Teacher Expert in the Anchorage School District and as adjunct professor at the University of Alaska. During 2021 she worked in at the Skagway News where she is co-owner. I have met her as a community activist but her positions mostly require a moistened finger in the wind to be formulated.
Representative Statement: Chugiak- Eagle River is a community rich with diverse views and lifestyles. This is my community and I plan to continue my service as an advocate for all of us. We cannot be defined
by the voices of a few. We are 40,000 strong in 40,000 ways. It’s important to make sure all of Anchorage sees Chugiak- Eagle River in it’s true light.
♦ Vanessa Stephens – Filed 01/27/2022
This candidate is on disability retirement and also receives income from an Anchorage Police Department Retirement.
Read about MatSu Food Bank here:
District 3 – Seat D – West Anchorage
♦ Kameron Perez-Verdia, – Filed 01/24/2022
Any voter who is concerned about the direction the Municipality of Anchorage is going should know Mr. Perez-Verdia is part of the problem. A former nurse practitioner, this westside candidate is President/CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum and earns somewhere in the range of $100,000-$200,000 annually. Your problems with local government are not likely his lofty problems.
Representative Statement: I am running to make West Anchorage a safe and economically strong place for my daughters to grow up and seek out opportunity. West Anchorage is my home, and I am proud to raise my
family here. Our city faces some tough challenges, but I’m running because I don’t back away from hard-to-solve problems. You can count on me to be a leader that listens closely and makes good decisions for a better future.
Read this story here: https://donnliston.co/2021/08/arrogance-of-entitlement.html
♦ Nial Sherwood Williams, – Filed 01/14/2022
Not much is listed in the disclosure statement of this candidate except that he lives in a two-bedroom, 1100-sq ft apartment on 42nd Ave. He reports no income on his APOC filing.
♦ Liz Vazquez – Filed 01/27/2022
This candidate has already served Alaska considerably. I first got to know her as a legislator who worked tirelessly for rollback of the devastating SB-91 crime reform bill that took Alaska back to the criminal enterprise days of the 1970s. She is an attorney who worked during 2021 in salaried positions for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (https://www.aidea.org) and the State Violent Crimes Compensation Board (https://dps.alaska.gov/VCCB/Home)
Candidate Video: https://youtu.be/lQTrS3pv-TQ
Read Alaska Chalet BNB story here: https://donnliston.co/2021/02/the-best-thing-about-being-in-anchorage.html
District 4 – Seat F – Midtown Anchorage
♦ Meg Zaletel, – Filed 01/26/2022
This incumbent survived a recall effort but shouldn’t be re-elected. She has strong union backing. Her husband works for Conoco Phillips at a salary in the range of $200,000-$500,000.
A disability attorney, Zaletel has done much to promote our booming Homeless Problem, throwing good money after bad for a crisis resulting form individuals making bad choices, or suffering from drug addiction, mental illness and dependency. The Anchorage Coalition to end Homelessness in November announced Zaletel was named interim director (3/4-time). We may never see our parks, bike trails, or the Sullivan Arena returned to safe public use facilities again if people like Zaletel are not removed form public policy-making bodies. 
Representative Statement: I ran for office on a platform of putting people before politics. During my time in office that is exactly what I have done. I have consistently brought forward policies that benefit the residents of Anchorage.
♦ Kathy Henslee – Filed 01/18/2022
Real estate sales and rental properties form the financial base of this candidate and her spouse who is on disability retirement.
Representative Statement: As I have watched the public servants in my beloved city ignore the citizen’s needs and make everyday life more and more difficult with restrictive regulations, out of control spending,
and harmful social ideas, as they have closed our schools, churches, and small businesses, and then ignored us and treated us with contempt, I have become more and more convinced that I, as an average member of this community, could and would do a better job at bringing reasonable leadership.
Read this story here: https://donnliston.co/2022/02/bumpkins-rule.html
District 5 – Seat H – East Anchorage
♦ Stephanie Taylor, – Filed 01/14/2022
Since 1993 this candidate has worked for the State of Alaska as a Data Processing Manager and her income is listed as $100,000-$200,000 annually.
Representative Statement: After watching the quality of life in Anchorage decline dramatically over the last few years, I realized it was time to “step out of the boat” and declare my candidacy for Assembly. The Anchorage Assembly has lost its way and forgotten who they are there to serve; their constituents and not each other. So often, they appear to have an agenda and end goal that will not be thwarted, regardless of information presented and overwhelming numbers in opposition. I want to be both a new voice for East Anchorage and an attentive ear for all of Anchorage.
♦ Forrest Dunbar, – Filed 01/18/2022
Another candidate who has been in the forefront of driving the quality of life in Anchorage down and the cost to live here up, Dunbar was beat in his effort to become mayor by Dave Bronson. He is now leader of the
coalition to block anything the mayor wants to do, and is paid more for serving on the Anchorage Assembly than either his gig as a staff attorney at Chugach Government Solutions or as an officer in the Alaska Army National Guard. He has some other business interests and needs to devote more time to them.
Representative Statement: It has been a tremendous honor to serve East Anchorage. I intend to continue fighting for our district this year and into the future should I again earn the trust and support of my neighbors.
♦ Christopher Hall – Filed 01/19/2022
This vanity candidate is the HVAC/r lead instructor for Charter College and earns between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. Maybe somebody will ask him why he is running for public office but who cares?
Read Nail Time & Spa and Kim’s Cuisine Story Here: https://donnliston.co/2021/12/another-local-business-pandemic-survivor.html
District 6 – Seat J – South Anchorage
♦ Darin Colbry – Filed 01/24/2022
On Social Security disability this candidate is married with three dependent children and needs a job.
♦ John Weddleton – Filed 01/25/2022
Some of us had high hopes for this incumbent in the past but he has performed like a dishrag–lots of bubbles but not much to offer beyond soft soap. He owns BOSCOs comic book store, has some other commercial interests, and floated along with promoting homelessness, imposition of mandates and lockdowns along with other majority assembly members and disgraced former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, to devastate the Anchorage economy.
Representative Statement: Despite the challenges of the last couple years, I’m confident that by turning down the volume and genuinely digging into the problems, we are poised to make significant progress in Anchorage. I will continue to work diligently and cooperatively to make Anchorage a safe, clean, and happy place to raise a family.
♦ Randy Sulte (updated) – Filed 01/20/2022
A salaried employee of Kakivik Asset Management, LLD this candidate last year made between $200,000 and $500,000 performing the role of Chief Operating Officer. His spouse is a dental endodontist specialist and also earns between $200,000 and $500,000 annually.
Representative Statement: I am a Conservative Candidate running for Anchorage Assembly to bring balance back to a deeply polarized assembly. The polarization of the Assembly has produced unproductive contention, hindering its ability to serve and represent the people of Anchorage effectively. With my Conservative Navigation, I plan to bring much needed balance and direction to this Assembly.
The Anchorage Daily News earlier this month reviewed spending in the Assembly races to handicap the candidates who are bought, mostly incumbents. In the last election ADN endorsed Forrest Dunbar over Bronson and can be expected to throw it’s editorial support for more of the same as has failed this community over the last decade. Let’s hope this election is decided by candidates who want to return to civility at City Hall and meaningful solutions to the many problems we face as a community.
Mayor Dave Bronson is helping campaign for several of this year’s candidates, including Taylor, Cross, Henslee and Sulte. State records show he and/or his wife Debra have donated to several campaigns, including those for Taylor, Henslee and Sulte.
Imagine the possibilities of a mayor and assembly who find ways to reach consensus on difficult problems in the interest of the people who elected them to do that over the special interests who they are beholding to.
It’s time to throw all incumbents out.
Read AK Roundtable story here: https://donnliston.co/2021/12/what-is-ak-roundtable.html
One of the truisms of bureaucracies, be they government or private sector, is that if left to their own devices, they will grow bigger, bolder, and less manageable over time.
Rules of Bureaucracy
Rule #1: Maintain the problem at all costs! The problem is the basis of power, perks, privileges, and security.
Rule #2: Use crisis and perceived crisis to increase your power and control.
Rule 2a. Force 11th-hour decisions, threaten the loss of options and opportunities, and limit the opposition’s opportunity to review and critique.
Rule #3: If there are not enough crises, manufacture them, even from nature, where none exist.
Rule #4: Control the flow and release of information while feigning openness.
Rule #5: Maximize public-relations exposure by creating a cover story that appeals to the universal need to help people.
Rule #6: Create vested support groups by distributing concentrated benefits and/or entitlements to these special interests, while distributing the costs broadly to one’s political opponents.
Rule #7: Demonize the truth tellers who have the temerity to say, “The emperor has no clothes.”
Rule 7a: Accuse the truth teller of one’s own defects, deficiencies, crimes, and misdemeanors.
Alaska Humanities Forum (akhf.org)
The Alaska Humanities Forum provides resources, training, and brave spaces that foster connection, build capacity, and deepen understanding among Alaskans.
We design and facilitate experiences that bridge distance and difference, share and preserve the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explore what it means to be Alaskan.
We’re optimistic about Alaska’s future and the potential of our communities. We’re making progress but there’s more work to be done.
Let’s do it together.
 Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (https://aceh.org)
The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) began in 2004 as a grassroots collaboration between homeless service providers who recognized the need for a community strategy and response to end homelessness in Anchorage.
Kakivik Critical Infrastructure & Integrity Management (https://kavivik.com)
We are a full-service critical infrastructure and integrity management company that specializes in developing and executing structural tests, investigating for corrosion, and devising new solutions for quality program management. Our work and innovations are present throughout our state’s major industries and extend across international borders. As a certified MBE backed by the Bristol Bay Industrial family of companies, Kakivik strives to operate with strength, ingenuity, and excellence.
Anchorage Daily News, Money pours into Anchorage Assembly and School Board Races, February 16, 2022
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