• 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

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Suspect sought in connection with 1 of the overnight shootings in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 29, 8:03

    Anchorage police say two men were injured in shootings that happened in the overnight hours between Friday and Saturday. APD is now seeking a suspect, Michael Sharp, in connection with one of those shootings. On Friday, officers went to two homes in response to a verbal altercation between three people, a 23-year-old woman, her 23-year […]

  • Sports

    Friday’s high school football recap

    by KTVA Sports on Aug 28, 22:57

    The weekend is off to a rousing start. The top-ranked team in the state, West survived a late charge by #2 Dimond, winning on the road at Alumni Field 18-13. The Eagles took an 18-0 lead into the half as Julo Tagalu scored twice and PJ Seui added a touchdown run. At Palmer, the Moose got their first win of the […]

  • Sports

    Service H.S. quarterback suspended

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 28, 22:42

    Service High Football will have to regroup. Sophomore starting quarterback Xavier Harris has been suspended from school. He will not be in uniform for Saturday’s game with Soldotna. “All we can say is we have a young man that’s been suspended from school and he will not be on the roster tomorrow.” said Service Head Coach […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Aug. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 28, 22:26

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expect partly cloudy skies Saturday with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.   Southeast Showers will be likely as an area of low pressure continues to churn up gulf moisture into the Panhandle. Highs will be in the mid 50s.   Interior/North Slope For the Interior, expect a chance […]

  • News

    Eating Alaskan at the Alaska State Fair

    by Shannon Ballard on Aug 28, 22:06

    It’s not hard to find people who like to eat their way through the Alaska State Fair. Beth Foglesong is one of them. Every year she stops at the Pristine Products booth to slurp some fresh oysters from Prince William Sound. “The people that like them come every year,” said oyster farmer Dave Sczawiaski. Sczawiaski’s oysters […]

  • News

    Presidential visits to Alaska: Memorable, if not quirky

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 28, 21:55

    With all the buildup to President Barack Obama’s visit to the 49th state next week, it’s worth a look back at past presidential visits. They’re far and few between. Usually, Alaska is not the destination but rather a refueling stop for Air Force One. What’s significant about this trip is the length of stay. Obama […]

  • News

    President Obama to announce Denali Commission as lead agency on community relocation project

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on Aug 28, 18:05

    The U.S. Arctic Research Commission was in Nome this week discussing Arctic issues ranging from international shipping to climate change. One presenter in particular unveiled a key detail about an initiative President Obama is expected to announce during his visit to the state next week—involving relocation efforts for rural villages in the face of climate […]

  • News

    Governor issues state disaster declaration for Sitka landslides

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 28, 17:46

    Alaskans suffered the aftermath of several landslides in the Sitka area on Aug. 18, but a state disaster declaration from Gov. Bill Walker’s office on Thursday may help restoration within the community. The landslides claimed the lives of three Sitka men and caused significant damage to buildings, roads and other structures in the area. The […]