When a public official fails to drain the bureaucratic swamp he inherits, it is only a matter of time before he begins to capitulate to its creatures.

We see this most clearly in executive offices such as presidents, governors, mayors and school superintendents. If an executive wishes to enact policies, programs and initiatives in line with his vision and that of the voters who placed him in office, he must take a careful – department-by-department – assessment of those working in the administrative offices. Underlings who actively thwart or hinder the executive’s vision must be relieved of duty, and quickly. To do otherwise results in embarrassing and ineffectual governance, not to mention anger and frustration from voters.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s failure to drain his swamp, whether it be in the departments of health, education or division of elections, has resulted in messaging, policies, programming that have alienated a large swath of his base.

By contrast, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has chosen the far more difficult path of draining the swamp he inherited from predecessors Ethan Berkowitz and acting-mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. It has not come without lawsuits, threats, media attacks and much more, but Bronson has proven up to the challenge, and his base is stronger than ever.

Wading into a bureaucratic swamp is not for the faint of heart. Those who lack the will and courage to drain it are eventually covered in its slime.

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The Swamp: Drain it or become its creature

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Yes, Vote out these slimy creatures
    Before it’s to late and we’re all locked down, for wearing a cross.

  • Ralph says:

    But the toad likes it how it is… everyone else just needs to bend over a little further.. for the greater agenda..
    “Lte’s Go Borndan”

  • A. N. Gottschalk says:

    Total political patronage! Oh, what “candle power” there is in that idea! Such brilliance!

  • A. N. Gottschalk says:

    This can now be referred to as the “Davidson Doctrine!”

  • Rep. David Eastman says:

    If the swamp has deemed you acceptable, it’s a sign that it no longer considers you a threat. And if the swamp no longer considers you a threat, that’s your queue to let someone else step up who is, not announce you will be running for another term.

    • A. N. Gottschalk says:

      Jive-talk! Radical-Eastman moonwalk! Here Eastman comes across as just another hack out to wow his base as if they were nothing but fools! Does he or does he not support a governmental administrative system based upon the “Davidson Doctrine”–governmental executive branches totally predicted on political patronage. Here, Eastman’s rhetoric is simply more razzle-dazzle!