The Daily Tweets, 2010-03-23: Livetweeting Assembly meeting w/ Sullygate resolutions

I've been Sullied!

I’ve been Sullied! — a pin made by my friend Stef, who also made the Equality Works pins worn by me & lots of others last summer during public testimony on the Anchorage equal rights ordinance, which passed but was vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan.

Most of today’s tweets came from my livetweeting at the Anchorage Assembly meeting, where two resolutions related to Sullygate — the payout of $193,000 to the George M. Sullivan Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust of which Mayor Dan Sullivan is trustee — were introduced.  My March 20 post “Sullygate: Two resolutions to be introduced at Anchorage Assembly on March 23″ has the full text of both resolutions, one from Assemblymember Harriet Drummond and the other by Assemblymember Matt Claman.

Three events closely preceded the Assembly meeting, two of which I discussed in my post just before this one: (1) Deputy Municipal Attorney Rhonda Westover completed & distributed a memorandum which reviewed the history & legal aspect of the Sullivan “insurance” matter; & (2) the Muni Board of Ethics issued a ruling which found against Mayor Dan Sullivan, stating that he should have disclosed his potential conflict of interest with regard to his dual role as mayor and as trustee of the George M. Sullivan Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.  I haven’t seen the actual Board of Ethics decision yet; I have seen (& posted) the Westover memorandum, & will be writing about that sometime in the next few days.

Event (3) was a rumor posted at a blog called Alaska WTF and discussed also at Immoral Minority alleging an extramarital affair between Mayor Dan Sullivan & a young woman named Bernadette Wilson who had apparently been hired by the Municipality as a party planner, and whose marriage to Chris Fournier had allegedly been wrecked as a result of the alleged affair.  The event Wilson apparently planned for the Muni was the last of several budget issues brought up (though without mentioning Wilson’s name or any monetary amounts) by Dianne Holmes at about 6:00 PM (after discussion of the two resolutions was over),  prompting a lengthy and detailed defense by Assemblymember Dan Coffey of MOA contracting practices in general and  event planning in particular under Mayor Sullivan as opposed to in the prior administration; Coffey by his own statement had “heard that there might be a comment like this” prior to the meeting. (So had I.)  I think we’re likely to be hearing more about the alleged affair in the next few days.

Update 3/24/2010: See the detailed account at The Mudflats of this incident at the Assembly, “The Strange Tale of the Mayor and the Party Planner”. As I commented there, Dianne Holmes had a 3-minute opportunity to comment, mentioned several budget issues, & only at the very tail end of it had one sentence in which she questioned contracting out for event planning — to wit, “That is my fourth question—why are we paying for event planners when the past administration seemed to do that in-house? “ She mentioned no names, no amounts. And then out came Coffey comes with a lengthy, detailed reply to that once sentence (ignoring the three other substantive budget issues Homes had mentioned) that was all outsize to the single sentence of her her “event planner” question — which was clearly prepared ahead of time — & which he even prefaced by saying he’d been warned she might say something about that.  Per the Mudflats post,

Interestingly, Mr. Coffey said he had heard “something like this” might be coming, and he was armed with a giant list of every sole source contractor that the previous administration had hired – speech writers, pollsters, the whole enchilada.  Then he tallied up the entire amount that the LAST administration paid out to all these wildly different positions.

As I commented at Mudflats, “The Coffey doth protest too much.”

The Mudflats post goes into background explaining who Bernadette Wilson is. Amongst other things, she worked on Dan Sullivan’s mayoral campaign and was the event coordinator for the Mayor’s Unity Dinner last September.

My summary of discussion on the resolutions

Drummond’s resolution: it was moved & seconded to postpone it indefinitely on the grounds that the memo from the deputy municipal attorney (in combination with the Ethics Board ruling today) had answered all questions — which it hadn’t. But — that motion failed along fairly predictable liberal v. conservative lines. Another motion postponed it to the April 13 meeting, after the municipal election.

Motion defeatedMotion to indefinitely table Drummond resolution was defeated.

Claman’s resolution: also moved & seconded, by the same people (Birch/Ossiander) to postpone indefinitely. This motion succeeded with a vote of all except Claman, mainly because his resolution called on the Sullivan “insurance” matter to be sent to the Ethics Board; but now the Ethics Board has already ruled.  Claman had written the resolution before knowing that Mayor Sullivan had apparently taken the matter to the Ethics Board himself.  (I heard some speculation that Mayor Sullivan had done so in an attempt to “pull a Palin” — that is, to bring a complaint against himself in hopes they’d let him off the hook, much as Sarah Palin when governor had filed an ethics complaint against herself with the Alaska Personnel Board in the Troopergate matter in an attempt to forestall the Alaska legislative investigation on Troopergate.)

My earlier tweets of the day

(The Assembly livetweet is below.)

Anchorage Assembly meeting

  • I’ll be livetweeting the Anchorage Assembly meeting tonight, at least the Sullygate(s) portions. Heading down to the Assembly chambers now. #
  • Livetweeting Assembly meeting on #sullygate Early stages of agenda right now. #fb #
  • Consent agenda – Drummond’s is item B2 #fb #
  • I see John Aronno of Alaska Commons over there, my old pal from last year’s AO-64 meetings, which were lots mote crowded. #fb #
  • RT @crossedgenres: Terrific review of ” @crossedgenres Year One” at Tangent Online! incl my story! #fb #
  • Birch on Drummond’s resolution. He moves to postpone indef, Ossiander seconds. Based on Westover’s memo (asst muni atty) #fb #
  • Claman asking Westover abt today’s Ethics Board decision #fb #
  • Here’s AK Muckraker (Mudflats) sitting next row up from me. #fb #
  • I didn’t find copies of the resolution on the wall coming in, so I’m going from memory. #fb #
  • Drummond: Dept of Law & ethics stuff shd have been before Feb 2. There are still ?s that aren’t purview of Bd of Ethics #fb #
  • Drummond also gives h/t to ADN for its story – good on ya Sean Cockerham #fb #
  • Sorry for my typos using my iPod touch #fb #
  • Coffey says nothing more to examine. I disagree there are still big ?s abt why the “premiums” went down, how Lindemuth screwed up #fb #
  • Gutierrez: why was this check booked on 2009? #fb #
  • Starr (like other conservatives here) think We know enough #fb #
  • Motion to postpone indefinitely failed now talking abt until next mtg on Apr 13 – approved #fb #
  • Claman’s resolution 2010-105 – put $19300 in escrow #fb #
  • Birch moves to postpone indef Ossiander seconds #fb #
  • Cons feel this res already answered by Ethics board determination. This res written before Claman knew Dan Sullivan went to EB himself #fb #
  • Ossiander sounds very irritable tonight #fb #
  • Everybody’s ignoring why check was booked last year long before Assembly even heard of this issue. #fb #
  • Everybody also ignoring why did the “premiums” go down – possible misconduct by MOA employees #fb #
  • Coffey: “Its politics not substance” #fb #
  • Flynn supports indef postponement of this (but not Drummond res) #fb #
  • Gray-Jackson: we’re still discussing b/c public is outraged #fb #
  • Claman’s res postponed indef by vote of all except Claman #fb #
  • There’s another item of Sullygatish interest I believe w/ in next hour, stay tuned #fb #
  • Chambers filling up maybe on bike plan? Nice to be here w/out a lot of redshirts #Fb #
  • Not sure if the other Sullygatish item I thought might be coming up will come up after all. #fb #
  • But Drummond resolution will come up again Apr 13 – guess I’ll have to write letter abt probs w/ “insurance” still outstanding…. #fb #
  • …b/c MOA Dept of Law memo from Westover didn’t cover all ?s #fb #
  • @celticdiva I uploaded MOA Dept of Law memo today — see my most recent blog post. in reply to celticdiva #
  • Leaving Assembly meeting shortly — gotta get home & let the dog pee. Outside. #fb #
  • @celticdiva “I’ve been Sullied!” buttons made by buttonmaker extraordinaire Stef G. who also made Equality Works buttons last summer. in reply to celticdiva #
  • Packing up & heading home to take care of dog, cat, & writing. #fb #

Mayor Dan Sullivan

And lastly…

… a post-Assembly retweet of one of my favorite Twitterers, Jane Espenson of Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, & Caprica writing & producing fame.

  • RT: @CapricaSeven: This is my tweet number 1066. Commonly known as the “Battle of Hastings” tweet. // I love tweeple w/ a sense of history #
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