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May 15, 2021

FACE it – Time for Don Young to go.

TOTALLY NOT WORRIED. NOPE, NOT WORRIED AT ALL…

 

The beleaguered governor who said he “wasn’t worried at all” about the recall effort has spent the last week being “not worried” on national TV and in the White House. The guy who spent most of his political life grousing about “federal overreach” and how those darn DC bureaucrats need to stay out of Alaska’s business is now begging for dollars in the Oval Office. Literally. The schmoozing has resulted an extended meeting in the White House on “personal business” which basically means who knows what the governor has promised or what he’s angling for. It also resulted in a presidential tweet linking to a bank account that can raise unlimited funds to fight the recall effort. And apparently our governor has learned talking points at the knee of the master and is now blaming Democrats (yes really) for the recall – never mind all those pesky Republicans and Independents whose names are all over the thing. Bottom line is that he won’t own up to the abuse of power that got him into this mess, and is instead whining about how Democrats are trying to overturn his election and it’s all a partisan witch hunt. Sound familiar?

 

JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION

Speaking of holding Republicans to account, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump continues to steam down the tracks. Witness after credible witness has corroborated the narrative that the President withheld funding from a struggling fledgling democracy to extort political favors that would help his reelection bid. But it’s the weirdest thing – neither Sen. Dan Sullivan nor Rep. Don Young seems to be able to acknowledge that this is wrong, even hypothetically.

When asked about using the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to interfere in our elections for his own personal political gain, Sen. Sullivan said that he “hasn’t been paying attention.” Most of his colleagues have gotten out of answering the question by saying that they may be jurors in an upcoming impeachment trial, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment. Not Dan Sullivan. Nope, he hasn’t been paying attention to the most historical moment since he became a senator.

When asked the same question, Rep. Young actually head-butted a camera and said, “there you go.” And what are Republicans quibbling about? Not that our lone Congressman is acting like a 5 year old and is an embarrassment to the office. Nope. They’re quibbling about calling what he did a “head-butt.” It’s really more of a “head nudge” they say. Or a slight bump. Whatever you want to call Don Young pushing his face against a camera instead of answering whether he thinks a crime is illegal, you can watch it HERE [Washington Post] and HERE [The Midnight Sun] or any of another hundred places on the internet.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that Al Gross for Senate, and Alyse Galvin for Congress will 1) pay attention to historic happenings in the Congress and 2) not face plant into other people’s cameras like a 5-year old instead of answering simple questions.

 

THINGS TO DO TODAY

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson continues his shenanigans. This time he’s attempting to change ethics rules to benefit himself, Gov. Dunleavy, and Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer by proposing new regulations that would allow the three of them to use the Department of Law as their personal lawyers if an ethics complaint is filed against them.  You read that right. Sound like it might run afoul of the constitution and create a gigantic conflict of interest? Well, it does. According to Legislative Legal Services (state attorneys whose job it is to offer non-partisan legal advice to all legislators) issued a memo stating why. You can read the whole thing at THIS LINK, but here’s the gist:

This new self-serving proposal provides an unlawful public benefit to Dunleavy, Meyer, and Clarkson which is in direct violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act. Remember that an Attorney General is chosen by, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. So if the governor does something legitimately unethical, the AG’s job hangs in the balance too, because their continued employment depends on the governor’s good will. This creates personal incentive for the AG to do things that may not benefit the public interest. Cue red flags!

What about frivolous complaints? There are already contingencies in place to handle that. If a complaint is considered frivolous, the object of the complaint can actually have their legal fees recouped.

Here’s where you come in. The comment period on these new regulations ends Monday, November 4 – that means it’s extremely important to convey that you think these rules violate the constitution and statute, and that you don’t support them. Because the last thing we need is for stuff like this to get pushed through because they can say “nobody complained.” So, go do that now. just send an email with your comments to: law.regulations.comments@alaska.govand you can cross that last item off your to do list and enjoy your day.

 

Guess what, South Anchorage – you’re now represented by #TeamWasilla

Nobody was surprised that the hard-right Tea Party/Dunleavy wing of the Republicans in the legislature defied their own legislative leadership and pledged fealty to the Executive Branch by showing up at the Wasilla Middle School – “waiting” for everyone else to hold their own special session of the legislature. But Anchorage residents were surprised when their freshman legislators showed up next to them while the rest of their colleagues were in Juneau trying to vote to overturn the governor’s draconian budget vetoes. Case in point Rep. Josh Revak (R-Anchorage).

Rep. Josh Revak, chatting with supporters outside Wasilla Middle School
and not being in Juneau voting to override the budget cuts.

Josh Revak, you may also remember, was the one who proudly Facebook Live broadcasted the #FakeSwearingIn of Rep. Sharon Jackson (R-Eagle River) who grew impatient with the process to install her as Gov. Dunleavy’s replacement pick for a vacated seat. They went across the street to the courthouse and got a clerk to do the honors. None of her colleagues knew it was happening, and it wasn’t legally binding but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rep. Sharon Jackson gets “sworn in” (not really). Cameraman, Josh Revak

This is all a lead up to say that this freshman legislator who not only doesn’t understand or doesn’t care how government works, who has in is short time shown really bad judgment, and who is clearly out of touch with his moderate South Anchorage constituents has now been approved for a promotion to the Senate, and was sworn in today in an actual real ceremony that counted.

Senate Republicans gave Revak the big thumbs up and handed over the seat which until recently was held by Chris Birch – who had served in the Senate, the House, and termed out on the Anchorage Assembly. Agree with Birch or not, his district knew what they were getting. The same can’t be said of Revak.

This may be good news for Democrats who now get to field a candidate that more closely aligns with the values of the District than Revak. #CallUs

 

 

*This article is re-posted with permission from the Alaska Democratic Party

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