• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 18s

Sullivan apologizes for slavery comment

By Bonney Bowman 8:08 PM May 7, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Mayor Dan Sullivan issued an apology Wednesday after comparing union dues to slavery.

Sullivan made the remark during the Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum on Monday.

He issued the apology after community groups called the remark grossly out of touch, insensitive and sarcastic.

KTVA asked Sullivan to clarify his comment.

He said he was referring to economic slavery, saying when someone is required to pay union dues as a condition of having a job, he thinks it qualifies as a form of slavery.

The NAACP doesn’t agree. President Wanda Laws says no political issue compares to the period in American history when hundreds of thousands of people suffered in humiliation and degradation.

“That’s America’s greatest sin. That’s what people relate slavery to. Not with money, not with housing, not with social security, not with health care, not with any other issue that it is compared to in our political discourse today,” Laws said.

Sullivan says he realizes it’s a hot-button term, but thinks it has meaning beyond the historical context.

“I appreciate their sensitivity on that and I’m sensitive to it too, but again, I think the term can be used in terms of economic restriction on freedom, which is what, when you’re required to pay somebody else to get a job, your freedom is restricted economically,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said Wednesday morning he didn’t think the comment warranted an apology. Later that afternoon, however, he did apologize if the comparison offended anyone.

The Anchorage Central Labor Council joined the NAACP in demanding an apology, calling the comment inflammatory rhetoric.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    South defeats West for state football title

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 25, 12:34

    Five weeks ago, the South High Wolverines and the West High Eagles met for a matchup, in which the Wolverines won 55-9. A month later, the two teams met for a chance at the state title on Oct. 24. South’s head coach John Lewis warned his team that a blowout like the first may not be […]

  • News

    Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Day 2: Courting the Native vote

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 24, 23:31

    Candidates have traditionally courted the Alaska Native vote at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. But this election-season ritual has reached a fever pitch this year. Some of that could be due to the formation of the Unity ticket; the merged campaigns of Bill Walker, who was running as an independent candidate for governor, and […]

  • News

    Steese Highway collision kills 1

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 23:00

    One person is dead and another injured following a head-on crash outside Fairbanks Friday night, Alaska State Troopers said. The collision on the Steese Highway near Hagelbarger Avenue was reported to troopers in Fairbanks just before 7:15 p.m., according to an AST dispatch. One person was seriously injured and later succumbed to their injuries, troopers […]

  • News

    South Anchorage crash injures 1, temporarily closes highway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 22:15

    Both lanes of the Seward Highway were closed for more than two hours Friday evening following a two-vehicle collision that left one person hospitalized. According to the Anchorage Police Department, the crash happened just after 5:30 p.m. near the highway’s intersection with O’Malley Road. A vehicle heading north crossed the median and hit another vehicle […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 24

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 24, 19:58

     

  • News

    Dam expansion increases Sitka’s power production

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 24, 19:44

    The Blue Lake Project in Sitka is set to dramatically increase the production of hydroelectricity for the city. Five miles out of town, up a one-lane dirt road, tucked into the mountains, construction crews work on the expansion in the windy canyon. The project is so massive it takes Alaska’s largest, 600-ton crane to make […]

  • News

    Anchorage mom loses boxing match, still wins big

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 24, 19:18

    Maria Edwards had never boxed before she got in the ring Thursday night at the Egan Center. But she had a good reason for taking part in Anchorage’s Thursday Night Fights: She was trying to earn enough cash to afford gymnastic lessons for her 3-year-old son. Edwards had her eye on the prize money, $50 […]

  • News

    Complaints lead to towing ordinance update

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 24, 18:46

    Anchorage residents who are angry over inconsistent and often exorbitant towing fees may soon see some relief. The Anchorage Assembly discussed a proposed amendment to the municipal towing ordinance Friday. The amendment would cap the price of non-consensual tows, such as when cars are towed from private lots, at $225. It also prevents towing companies from […]