Judge Confirms Lt. Gov’s Incompetence
The job of Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor really has only two duties to speak of.
1) Care and maintenance of the state seal.
Not the animal – that would be hard, and require lots of work.
I’m talking about the little round metal disc that turns stuff official. I don’t really know what care and maintenance that seal requires, but I’m guessing there might be buffing involved, or maybe some kind of chemical paste and a soft lint-free cloth. Perhaps it’s nestled in a velvet-lined wooden box, and needs to be checked on from time to time, to make sure nobody’s run off with it.
2) Overseeing the Division of Elections.
In addition to polishing duties, there’s also the not-so-small matter of supervising and preserving the hallmark of our democracy and the principles on which it was founded – the right without which all the other ones cannot stand. Democracy with a capital D.
Spit-shining, and preserving Democracy. Those are the two responsibilities.
Okay, wait. Three.
3) Take over the governorship if the current governor up and quits to go on a book-slash-Freedom tour all across this great nation there also too in a big bus, don’tcha know.
So, how has he handled these three duties?
Credit where credit is due. Under the watchful eye of Lt. Gov. Treadwell the state seal seems to be doing quite well. It’s all shiny, and it hasn’t gotten lost.
And there don’t appear to be any signs of Gov. Sean Parnell packing his bags to go promote his new memoir, “Captain Zero – an Oleaginous Life.”
Hang on… I’ll save you a click.
(You will totally use that again at some point, am I right?)
So that leaves one thing – the most important thing – elections, and overseeing them. And it is here Treadwell seems to have some problems, one of which is this…
Out in the Western hinterlands, four Native villages, and two elders are making trouble about their “right to vote.” They’ve gotten all uppity, and feel somehow entitled to their constitutional rights, so they filed a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act against Treadwell and three other election officials.
You see, contrary to what some of his critics on the left say, Treadwell didn’t spend his time in office ignoring his responsibility to oversee elections, he simply decided to use the power of his position to influence who could and could not vote, and how easy it was for them to do it. He’s one of those “change the system from the inside” guys – like a giant spruce bark beetle.
The lawsuit against Treadwell “seeks an order requiring more effective language assistance for Natives whose first language is Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Gwich’in. The case, brought by the Anchorage office of the Native American Rights Fund, a nonprofit law firm, is due to be tried in U.S. District Court here next month.”
Now listen here, Natives. If you’re gonna come over here to this country and get all up in our grill, can you at least try to fit in? The very least you could do is embrace the new culture you’ve chosen and learn English. Oh, wait. Nevermind… Back to the lawsuit.
So, the State of Alaska has decided to seek an order barring Treadwell from being a witness in the Voting Rights Act case. And the reason they want him barred, gentle reader, is that they say it would “waste time” and “be ineffective for determining the truth in this case,” because of the Lt. Governor’s limited knowledge of the Native language program.
Let that percolate for a minute. The State of Alaska tried to get Treadwell a “Get Out of Trial Free” card because of his own incompetence, and ignorance of the one important thing he was elected by the people to do.
The Daily News reports, “In arguing to keep Treadwell out of the courtroom, the state attorneys said ‘high officials’ like him should generally not be required to testify because they ‘have greater duties and time constraints than other witnesses.’”
That’s right. Greater duties. Greater time constraints. You regular “other witnesses” do not have state seals to breathe upon and rub against your shirts.
Friday, U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason listened to this rationale from the State, about how the Lt. Governor has no clue whats going on, thought it over, and basically said – yeah, you guys are right. Dude would be a total waste of time.
And so now Treadwell will not be called as a witness because he is, in fact, useless. And knows nothing.
Now that the state and the judge have verified Treadwell’s incompetence, he will have time to think about more important things than the sacrament of Democracy with which he was entrusted.
Yes, Treadwell (R) also happens to be running this cycle to replace Mark Begich (D) as one of Alaska’s two United States Senators. And he’s been very busy, indeed – clutching his pearls over the evils of federal overreach (like the Voting Rights Act), and pontificating about global warming. Unlike most of his ilk, he actually acknowledges climate change exists – and he’s totally stoked about it.
Wait, hear him out. Don’t think of it as planetary devastation, think of it as new shipping lanes over the pole! Turn that frown upside down, Earth! There’s always a silver lining if you just think about it the right way.
I went to UAA a while ago, to hear him talk about this at a lecture for something. I don’t remember now. And as controversial as the victory dance over the melting ice caps might sound, Treadwell somehow managed to convey his passion, and arctic expertise with all the ebullience of a lump of wet cardboard. I recollect the entire event as being shot through one of those gauzy filters that makes everything dream-like and vague. There was a voice… somewhere.
It’s hard to know whether it will be his lack of competence (One thing, Mead! It was one thing!), or his inspirational oratory that will assure his demise in the primary. But as it stands now he’s a Republican incumbent down by double digits, in a notoriously xenophobic state, to a guy who just claimed his swanky Maryland residence as his primary address, avowed Alaskan non-residency on a 2009 fishing license, and is backed by the Koch Brothers who just destroyed a bunch of jobs in Fairbanks.
You almost have to work for that kind of fail.
If you’re looking for something to keep yourself occupied and do some good while the corn is popping, and the Republican clown car is doing donuts in the parking lot, you could always do THIS.