‘Crock of Shit Gate’ Latest Developments
The legislature is in full swing, things are heating up in Juneau, and the emails are flying. But one recent email in particular has painted the office of boorish lout, Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, in a particularly boorish, loutish, light. Go figure.
Picture if you will, the lovely and hard-working Sheri Pierce, City Clerk for Valdez ,Alaska, sitting in her office one morning. She’s clerking away for her fine city, fires up the computer, takes a sip of coffee, and sees something in the in-box. Look, it’s an email from Rep. Mike Chenault!
She clicks on the email, and behold! A reply to an email that she had sent on behalf of Valdez Mayor Dave Cobb to all state legislators and Governor Parnell. The email was regarding the All-Alaska Gasline Project, which would run a gasline from the North Slope of Alaska to the terminus in Valdez. The email from the Speaker of the House said in its entirety, and I quote:
Now, you can imagine that Ms. Pierce must have been quite shocked and offended, so it will come as no surprise to you that she told the Valdez Star that she was, in fact, “shocked” and “offended.”
But here’s the best part. The Valdez Star decided to cover this little incident, and sent an email to Chenault’s address asking:
“Is this the House Speakers official position regarding exporting Alaska’s natural gas from the North Slope through Port Valdez?”
By the time Chenault’s office responded to the Valdez Star, the incident had been hung around the neck of Rep. Chenault’s Chief of Staff, Tom Wright, who explained in an emailed apology to our hapless Clerk that he actually thought he was calling Mayor Cobb’s letter a “crock of shit” to other legislators and meant to forward it to these other unnamed recipients, but accidentally just hit reply by accident. He went on to explain that the email he sent from the Speaker’s account did not at all reflect the opinion of the Speaker himself, but was solely his own… that he didn’t sign with his name. See? He was just calling your efforts to reach out a “crock of shit” behind your back, not actually to your face. So, it’s all good.
This means one of two things. Either the Speaker has turned over his personal email address to a Chief of Staff who thinks nothing of throwing around this type of assessment to other legislators using the email belonging to his Speaker of the Hous boss – or Mr. Wright has found that his job duties involve sacrificial lamb-hood so the Big Man doesn’t have to suffer the repercussions of his own unfortunate and large mouth.
At a work session of the Valdez City Council, it was clear that the Mayor was not amused.
“I’m not going to stoop to his level,” Cobb said. “but I’d like to.”
Chenault, who hails from Nikiski, is the sponsor of the recently introduced House Bill 4,which would authorize the construction of a natural gas pipeline which would terminate in his district. That idea is opposed by those who would prefer the route that terminates in Valdez.
But Wright’s email apology wasn’t the end of the story. And if you’re thinking that Mike “the buck stops with my Chief-of-Staff” Chenault actually stepped up and apologized for the actions of his office, think again. No such humility or manners were forthcoming.
But Mayor Cobb did have a thing or two to say in a letter to Rep. Chenault, which he copied to Governor Parnell, Lt. Governor Treadwell, and every last member of the legislature. Get ready to love this, especially the last page.
Oh. Snap. Everyone, please rise and let’s have a standing slow-clap for the Mayor of Valdez. Well done, Sir. Well done.
If we all have to suffer through the next two years with this pack of yahoos running the show, at least we can enjoy ourselves as they collapse before us under the weight of their own arrogance, and ineptitude.