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Nick Moe launches a write-in campaign for Ernie Hall's Assembly seat

Rosemary Shinohara

Nick Moe has launched a write-in campaign for the West Anchorage Assembly seat held by Ernie Hall.

Hall, running for re-election, is unopposed on the ballot.

Moe, 26, said he was outraged that Hall, who is Assembly chairman, ended a public hearing on Mayor Dan Sullivan's proposal to rewrite the city's labor law while there were still many people waiting to testify.

The law as rewritten would take power away from city unions. It would limit raises and eliminate the power to strike or have binding arbitration, and it would expand the city's ability to contract out work that city employees now do.

"My main issue is the fact that Ernie Hall just doesn't seem to listen to the people he represents," Moe said.

"People have to understand the chair himself can't necessarily cut off testimony," Hall said Friday. A majority on the Assembly voted to end testimony after 20 hours of hearing, he said. Some Assembly members proposed continuing the hearing, and the Assembly as a whole voted it down, Hall said.

Hall said he intends to talk next week to ACLU director Jeff Mittman about protocol for public testimony. "We're going to talk about how we don't ever end up in a situation like this again."

Mittman sent a letter to Hall on March 8, before the final public hearing March 11, saying that it would not be legal under the municipal charter for the Assembly to cut off public testimony if people were still waiting to speak.

Moe is Southcentral organizer for the Alaska Center for the Environment.

Moe said he has raised $3,000 in the last couple of weeks to support his campaign and will have scores of volunteers going door to door this weekend.

He ran for mayor against Mark Begich when was 19 and was subsequently hired by Begich to work on projects such as recycling.

"He's a young man. I'm sure that at some time in the future he will be a player in this community," Hall said.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or 257-4340.


By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
rshinohara@adn.com