Time for ridiculous election, round…?

Didn’t we just have an election? Well, believe it or not, it’s time for us all to grudgingly do our civic duty yet again, and this time it’s Sen. Mark Begich’s previous Anchorage mayor’s seat at stake. Who will be the next king of the Muni?
With two weeks remaining, and fifteen candidates listed as certified on the municipal Web site, I wanted to know-before April 7-just what each of these unique members of our community would bring to the table as our city’s chief executive.
So, in the random alphabetical order drawn by the municipal clerk’s office, I present the first installment of my review of the candidates for Anchorage mayor.
ominic S.F. Lee
Lee lives in the Oceanview area, and is President and CEO of Little Susita Construction Company. Lee’s company was among the unsuccessful bidders for an all-Alaska gas line, and has openly criticized the TransCanada Corporation’s AGIA proposal in the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Lee would obviously fight tooth and nail for Anchorage’s fair share of resource revenues. However-after ensuring said revenues-I’m sure Lee knows a few people in the resource development field, if you know what I mean. Lee also has a crazy amazing plan to combat rising global sea levels by turning the Sahara into a new sea.
Bob “Joker” Lupo
Lupo, of Eagle River, is apparently upset that the Municipal clerk disallowed him the opportunity to use his nickname on the official ballot. If you’ve seen Lupo and you’re not sure what to make of his appearance, you’re not alone. After first spotting his look-wearing a denim jacket with a headband holding back his shoulder-length hair-I was less than surprised to discover he was a Vietnam Veteran and motorcycle enthusiast. Far from a stereotype, however, Lupo also taught electronics classes at the University of Alaska for nine years. Suddenly, I found myself quite apt to believe Lupo’s statement to the Alaska Star that “it’s almost like they are doing this [not allowing his nickname on the ballot] because they’re afraid I might get more votes than somebody wants.” After all, who wouldn’t be tempted to vote “Joker” for mayor?
Paul D. Kendall
From the Spenard area, Kendall is an enigma. Apparently, he is aware that people think he’s crazy, but has never been informed that self-awareness does not necessarily mean you’re sane. Further scrutiny on my part turned up the personal experience of a female reporter who related that Kendall believes women should not work because it emasculates men. Kendall also keeps a cryptic, rambling blog in which he states many goals, one of which is to “limit Anchorage growth by citizenship certificates, natives of Anchorage, and assigning your homes to future generations of your children for us to trust manage.”
Jacob Seth Kern
Kern, who lives in the Tudor area, makes “top secret machines”-according to his official campaign website. Kern rocks a freestyle rap about free electricity, free food and free city money on his voice mail, and has an obviously optimistic attitude-his email, for instance, is [email protected] Most importantly, I think it would be regrettable to overlook the fact that Kern is the only candidate promising hovering/flying cars and a “new mayor’s city hall space station.” Kern’s candidacy has raised questions about the process of running for office. As Erick Cordero Giorgana stated on the Think Alaska blog, “I’ve heard two theories, Jacob is either mentally ill, or he’s pretending just for the fun of it.” You can’t make this stuff up.
Merica Hlatcu
Romanian born engineer and National Geographic photojournalist who lives on Government Hill, Hlatcu suggested in an interview with the Anchorage Press that disabled veterans and seniors be given 20 day per year state-funded retreats to Chena Hot Springs. As Hlatcu put it, “If in poor countries they have this right, we cannot have it in the richest state, Alaska?” Indeed, we cannot? Hlatcu is running as a registered Republican, as he did in the 2006 gubernatorial race, when he garnered less than a quarter of one percent of the vote.
Paul Honeman
Honeman is one of two former peace officers vying for the mayor’s seat. He is also the first candidate on the ballot to have his own official, registered domain name: www.honemanformayor.com. On his Web site, former spokesperson and Director of Public Affairs of the Anchorage Police Department, Honeman, describes government as “numerous buildings that house the various departments. Additionally, there are many roads, schools, parks and vehicle or machinery that must be maintained.” That’s precisely the kind of understanding of infrastructure I demand in a candidate. Honeman is an active blogger, and has been responding at length to any mention of the mayoral race on the internets.
Matt Claman
Claman lives near the South Addition area of Anchorage, and is the currently seated acting mayor. Claman seems to be running on the fact that he must know how to do the job, because he’s doing it right now. Also, he has pictures with Sen. Begich! Claman sports a much more versatile domain name for his Web site, www.mattclaman.com, which-referring only to him and not the office he seeks-could easily be used for any possible future endeavors.
This list, consisting of the first half of the ballot of candidates squaring off for Anchorage Mayor, may include some interesting characters-but it takes all types to seek the public spotlight so eagerly. Nowhere do I see so evident an indication of Anchorage’s absolutely mind-blowing variety of people as in such a ridiculous scramble for a vacant seat at the head of the city.
Keep your options open, the best may be yet to come!