Money plays a roll in most elections, and Anchorage’s municipal election is no exception. But as it turns out, those who spent the most, didn’t necessarily win, especially when it came to two ballot propositions.


The Anchorage Taxi Permit Holders Association and their supporters were the biggest spenders in Tuesday’s election, with their “Say YES to 8 campaign.” The group said they spent $107,000 on a series of ads asking voters to repeal a recent assembly ordinance which would make over 100 new taxi permits available, putting more cabs on Anchorage streets over the next five years.


But, despite a sophisticated marketing campaign coordinated by longtime pollster Ivan Moore, Anchorage voters still said no to the measure.


The other issue was proposition 2, which included new ambulances for the city and the crews to maintain and operate them. The Anchorage Firefighters Union said it spent about $20,000 on a series of radio ads in support of the proposition. But they couldn’t top a last-minute radio campaign by a group opposed to the measure.


Dan Coffey, who helped create the ads against prop 2, said the group spent less, $14,500 and ran ads in the last six days before the election. The measure failed by about 3000 votes. Coffee said four former Anchorage mayors who were featured in the ad appealed to conservative voters.


“When Werch, Mystrom, Fink and Sullivan all line up, where do you think the right side of the aisle goes,” said Coffee. “They say ‘hey, those guys know what they’re doing,’ cause they were voted by the right side of the aisle when they were elected and served.”


Coffee said the group’s message was what really resonated with many Anchorage property owners. He said many had concerns about the $2 million operating and maintenance costs associated with the bond.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.


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