This week I interviewed Paul Honeman, a candidate for the Anchorage Assembly in East Anchorage. Paul is a 33 year resident of East Anchorage, and served for over 23 years on the Anchorage Police Department. The Anchorage Assembly was established to be a non-partisan body, and nobody that I have met lives up to that like Paul Honeman.
With the Anchorage Assembly elections coming up on April 6, we wanted to take some time and talk about issues that are a little more Anchorage centric than what we normally do. We realize that many of our viewers are not in Anchorage, but what happens here has a real effect on the rest of the state. While the specific issues we address in this show are in Anchorage, communities across the country are going through the same battles.
We were pleased to be able to have a panel of Union leaders on the show this week:
– Tom Wescott, President of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1264
– Derek Hsieh, President of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association
– Vince Beltrami, President of the Alaska AFL-CIO.
These men represent hundreds of Anchorage Municipal employees who work hard and put their lives on the line every day to make our city a community. For the past year they have been attacked by Mayor Sullivan and the right wing talk shows on a regular basis as the reason for Anchorage’s budget deficit, which we learned last week is actually a $10 million budget surplus.
Mayor Sullivan has cut funding for important, life saving special teams at the Anchorage Fire Department and has cut positions from the Anchorage Police Department. At the same time he has spent city funds on a witch hunt against Senator Mark Begich and drags “the unions” through the mud as often as he can in the process.