by Rhonda McBride
6:39 PM AKDT, March 31, 2012
The last days of any campaign have a life of their own. And in the Anchorage mayoral race, the battle has become intensely personal for Paul Honeman. He’s taken some sharp jabs on the radio against the incumbent, Mayor Dan Sullivan.
The two ads, which began airing last week, attack Sullivan’s character.
“And there’s Sullivan who vetoed the equal rights ordinance in 2009, a vote of bigotry and intolerance that lead directly to this year’s Prop 5 vote,” intones a deep, gravely, older male voice on the radio commercial.
The ads take Sullivan to task for his position on Proposition 5, a ballot measure which seeks to add equal rights protections for gays, lesbians and transgenders to the city’s anti-discrimination laws.
One of the radio spots brings up an incident at McGinley’s Pub, a tavern and eatery that is partly owned by Sullivan.
“There’s Dan Sullivan, who once drank a pitcher of beer with a female employee at his bar -- then did nothing, as she got behind the wheel to go home, leading to a head-on collision and a DUI,” says the voice in the ad. “Or, there’s Paul Honeman, for whom law and order is a code you live by.”
The radio ads can be found on the Honeman campaign website:
The Sullivan campaign said it had instructions from Sullivan not to respond to questions about the ads. But volunteers, who were having a barbeque at Sullivan campaign headquarters on Saturday, said the ads upset them. One said he couldn’t remember any Anchorage mayoral candidate ever accusing an opponent of bigotry.
“It makes me sick,” says Linda Wood, a Sullivan campaign volunteer. “It really is sad that anyone would attack Dan Sullivan in that way.”
Wood believes the campaign ads will backfire and steer more voters Sullivan’s way.
Honeman says his campaign is picking up momentum and says exposing Sullivan’s character is fair game.
“The mayor needs to be held accountable for his words, action and conduct,” says Honeman. “And I think it’s just a matter of highlighting it.”
Honeman says the ads say nothing that isn’t factual or can’t be proven.
Mayor Dan Sullivan did not respond to KTUU phone calls for comment about the Honeman radio commercials.
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