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December 19, 2014

R’s with Cold Feet Avoid Constituents (PHOTOS)

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During a day of passionate activism, and constituent engagement, it was interesting to note which elected officials showed up to listen, and which did not.

At the Loussac Library in Anchorage, the troops were out in force. It was a rare moment. Because Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is not on the road system, it means to to look your elected officials in the eye during the legislative session requires a $400 plane ticket, and a day’s worth of travel time. Many are irked by this arrangement of geography and politics, so when Anchorage legislators come to town to hear testimony on the issues of the day, it’s a big deal.

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In the parking lot signs were handed out which proclaimed “We Proudly Support Anchorage City Workers,” whose collective bargaining rights stand to be gutted by a new ordinance. There are other goodies in there, like no raises for city workers, ever. Ordinance 37 is a shot across the bow to unions across the state, public or not, and the support for workers by their brothers and sisters in the labor movement, and by non-union allies was clear. Hundreds packed the lobby waiting to get in to testify.

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An aide to Republican Charisse Millett made a bellowing announcement that testimony was to only be heard on state issues, hopeful that those there to support workers in Anchorage would disperse. That didn’t happen.

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Stickers saying “No on 37″ and “No Vouchers – Support Our Public Schools” were the accessories du jour, and there were many there supporting teachers and public education against the onslaught of attacks from the Republican leadership in Juneau. There were also those who testified about the rights of same-sex couples to be legally recognized. This eventually prompted an apology from Charisse Millett (R) who said that the uproarious laughter from the Republican caucus at the idea of same-sex unions was inappropriate. Craig Johnson, (the one who threw his head back laughing at the question) was present, but didn’t comment.

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Meanwhile outside, tables were set up for the Recall Lindsey Holmes effort. Ever wonder what makes a great grassroots group of people who’ve never really been involved much in politics before step up and organize? You have your answer – a Democrat who sucked up Democratic donations and volunteers in a district that went 53% for Barack Obama, who suddenly decided she was going to flip and become a Republican before she’s even sworn in. Yeah. That. Nobody likes the bait and switch.

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According to organizer Wigi Tozzi, the group was able to garner 40-50 signatures from District 19 voters. They also handed out bunches of yard signs.

Back at the main doors, legislators began to arrive. Lindsey Holmes (D—>R) was shockingly not among them.

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Silly, silly old head cold.

More likely, cold feet.

Joining Holmes in conveniently-timed illness was Mayor Dan Sullivan who was not on hand to welcome the legislature to our fair city. He sent word he was suffering from “laryngitis,” which apparently rendered him unable to listen.

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A statement about Ordinance 37 and the “Right to Work” legislation on the horizon

It was interesting to note who was and was NOT there to listen to the concerns of their constituents.

Let’s take a roll call, shall we?

PRESENT TO HEAR CONCERNS:

Harriet Drummond – D
Charisse Millett – R
Mia Costello – R
Johnny Ellis – D
Chris Tuck – D
Andy Josephson – D
Gabrielle LeDoux – R
Berta Gardner – D
Hollis French – D
Les Gara – D
Craig Johnson – R
Kevin Meyer – R
Lance Pruitt – R
Bill Wielechowski – D
Max Gruenberg – D
Geran Tarr – D

Dems 10  Repubs 6

NOT PRESENT TO FACE CONSTITUENTS:
Cathy Geissel – R (South Anchorage)
Lesil McGuire – R (West Anchorage)
Fred Dyson – R (Eagle River)
Ana Fairclough – R (Eagle River)
Bill Stoltze – R (Eagle River)
Mike Hawker – R (South Anchorage)
Lindsey Holmes – R (West Anchorage)
Bob Lynn – R (South Anchorage)
Dan Saddler – R (phoned it in)

Mayor Dan Sullivan

Dems not present – 0 Repubs not present – 9 plus the mayor

Wow. The Dems really got their butts handed to them. A total shut-out in the “We’re blowing you off” department.

It’s pretty clear which party felt it was worth their time to listen to the people who got them elected, and to whom your opinion really doesn’t matter much. They already have their agenda. They don’t need to waste their time listening to the people.

For more on the public testimony, click HERE.

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Rep. Les Gara

 

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Senator Hollis French

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Freshman Democratic Senator, and rock star Berta Gardner

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Future voter, and most adorable activist of the day

 

 

Comments

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Comments
18 Responses to “R’s with Cold Feet Avoid Constituents (PHOTOS)”
  1. Alaska Cod Piece is Right... says:

    40% is the reason we are in the shape we are…VOTE…VOTE….VOTE….let’s pull a Power of the Peoples like on Election Day…stand in line…wait…be patient….and we will prevail and find a person that isn’t interested in selling Alaska to the highest bidder…like Palin did with the ACE ordeal…that basically drove away revenues…
    Now we got Captain Zero as Don Young nicknamed him…kind of like letting someone screw you in the azz…
    But I guess we are so complacent with this reality that we will elect another “CON MAN” like Parnell…oh well…
    UNLESS…you get off your asses and VOTE…VOTE…VOTE…best way to take your powers back as voters…

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    The horrible 1st 30 days of this session is wearing me out.

    I’m having a bit of a go with this post as regards the geography and politics of Juneau as state capital dealie and can’t seem to get past that to the larger point being made.
    I wondered how long it would take before a move-the-capital call was made and I see it below now.
    I won’t use AKM’s forum and place to go off on my tyranny-of-the-metropolitan-majority rant but I have to say
    AKKelly- moving the capital would devastate Juneau. Completely. For some time.
    The session boost in the winter to local businesses is a good thing but it is the well paying year round state jobs which are the true underpinning of our local economy.
    That aside, please consider that of 487,575 registered Alaskan voters in 2010, 257,087 of them were in Region 2 which encompasses ANC and the Mat-Su.
    The rest of us, across the whole state, cannot outvote Region 2 anymore.
    The majority decides to move the capital- I will fight tooth and toenail for anywhere except the main population center of Southcentral.
    Kotz… Kodiak… Kivalina , even. We do not need more influence from the road-railbelt – we need less. ( Sorry neighbors in Southcentral- I really believe that)

    I’m going to take a break for a bit from the “flats.
    Love this place and admire the work of AKM, Shannyn, and Linda- no one else in Alaska (and many other places) comes close to the scope of their work , in breadth or depth.

    Keep the lamps on ladies and keep the faith Pups!
    Back when I don’t feel like smashing my head against the wall to shake off the cooties this session is so full of.
    Best wishes ANC in the upcoming union fight.
    There’s fire in our hearts
    There’s fire in our soul!

  3. simple mind says:

    Ummmm…so Lindsey Holmes and Dan Sullivan BOTH have head colds that prevent them from meeting the voters. What a coincidence.

    • Alaska Cod Piece is Right... says:

      they haven’t taken the latest prescription of “reality pill” yet…so they are naturally congested…but I would gather they don’t want to deal with REALITY so they opted out…what’s new pussycat…oh ow wo wo…:0)

  4. Carol says:

    As to why some people keep getting relected, I was watching Bill Moyers over the weekend; his interview with Richard Wolf was informative and very thought provoking. http://rdwolff.com/ Wolf was asked a similar question, can’t recall it exactly, but he said he asked his psychologist wife why people cling to beliefs that are obviously harmul, not true – whatever. Her response was that the falsity is clung to because the reality is too hard to look at. (or something like that). I’m going to go look at that video again, but it does help explain why some ideas (Zombie ideas) and people continue to get traction in society. Also It’s called Epistemic Closure, when the only criteria you use to judge a source is if it agrees with you or not.

  5. AKKelly says:

    As a life long southeasterner who was raised in Juneau, I’ve always been anti capital move. This post changed my mind. Thank you Anchorage for standing up for all of us!

    I’ve always felt like having the legislators in Juneau kept them away from oil lobbyists, made them stay focused on the session, blah blah blah. Juneau does need the economic boost in the winter, but has all but sold the town to the cruise companies so moving the (insert expletive here) government to the population center might just be the ticket.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      It doesn’t matter where the capital is ……..

      It matters whether our representatives truly REPRESENT us. And the majority of them don’t.

      Let’s talk about being represented — not where the capital is.

      Arghhhh.

  6. Mo says:

    Somebody keeps voting these goons into office. Why?

    • AKblue says:

      Several of the worst ones come from Wasilla (need I say more?), several were elected because of gerrymandering. We also have a strong fundamentalist Christian presence in Alaska, many of whom are in Anchorage. And our proudly liberal West Anchorage just re-elected a Democratic who promptly changed parties!
      It is very discouraging. When we moved to Alaska (35 years or so ago) I admired the can-do spirit and the independent thinking (although I didn’t always agree with it). Now it is slavish, brainless adherence to ALEC and the Koch brothers’ bidding.

      • AKblue says:

        Oh, and it is a mystery why Ernie Hall is trying to take down the unions. He promised to be a good representative of our liberal West Anchorage, accepted union money for his campaign, and is now trying to destroy them….

    • Alaska Cod Piece says:

      The problem is too many somebodys don’t bother to vote. The Nov election –vwhich resulted in these losers who believe they don’t have to listen to Alaskans– had about 40% voter turn out. Pathetic.
      As the saying goes: They can’t do it to you without you.

  7. mike from iowa says:

    Too bad the rwnj cowards didn’t bother to show. I’m guessing there were plenty volunteers to hold their cold feet to the fire and roast them. In a day or two those that didn’t show will cackle to their supporters that their unmade comments were taken out of context by the liberal media.I’d love to be there agitating those maroons.

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      Aw, Mike,

      I’m an old midwesterner, and I sure can relate to your point of view. I love to read your comments. Thank you.

  8. AKMagpie says:

    I’d like one of each od the yard signs. Not in Lindsey Holmes’ district, but definitely support the recall. Also would be happy to pick up one supporting city workers. Sullivan needs to be voted out of office ASAP… In a well-run municipal election, please. Let’s keep city services run by public employees not by friends of the mayor or the assembly.

    • AKMagpie says:

      I was able to obtain a sign supporting city employees at Fire Station 12. I don’t think they have a large supply so call first to check.

  9. AKMagpie says:

    Thanks. Nice website!

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