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Thursday, April 26, 2018
HomePolitics and PolicyFansler: Marching for women by day, smacking them around by night

Fansler: Marching for women by day, smacking them around by night

Another one of the Alaska Democratic Party and Gov. Bill Walker’s handpicked legislators is in a world of trouble. This time it’s Rep. Zach Fansler of Bethel.

Reporter James Brooks of the Juneau Empire broke the story today.

But the rumors have swirled around the Capitol for three days and Democrats have been huddling after Fansler was the subject of a police report about a violent attack that ruptured the eardrum of a woman, after the two had spent an evening drinking in a bar in downtown Juneau.

Hawkins

The story involves a text message from Fansler that refers to “BDSM,” which stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadomasochism, a sexual lifestyle.

Fansler has denied the attack and has a lawyer speaking for him. He is said to have returned to Bethel for the weekend and is not taking calls.

In happier times, Gov. Bill Walker poses with Reps. Zach Fansler and Dean Westlake. Walker and his henchman John-Henry Heckendorn and associates Jim Lottsfeldt and Robin Brena worked to replace two solid family men with the “swinging singles” of Fansler and Westlake, both who have been found to have serious behavior problems toward women.

FORCED TO ACT

The Democrats have huddled for days on this crisis, missing important meetings. Speaker Bryce Edgmon finally today asked for Fansler’s resignation.

“Credible information came to my attention yesterday afternoon that Representative Fansler had possibly behaved in a manner unbecoming of a legislator. Upon seeking out and verifying further information of the incident and meeting with caucus leadership, I have requested his resignation,” said Edgmon in a statement.

“Zach Fansler is someone I and many others respected and trusted, and who worked hard for his district. His behavior is a betrayal of trust which has created feelings of shock and deep sadness among everyone I have spoken to.

“Along with other members of House Leadership, I am overcome with sympathy and respect for the victim. It takes immense bravery to bring these matters forward. I honor and am deeply grateful for her strength and courage and want to make clear our caucus will not tolerate this behavior,” Edgmon said.

“I understand the matter is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation and do not feel further comment is appropriate at this time,” Edgmon said.

In 2016, the Democrats sought to remove two stable family men — Rep. Bob Herron of Bethel and Rep. Benny Nageak of Barrow. To take them out, they hired John-Henry Heckendorn. Heckendorn is now the governor’s campaign manager who is being paid with State funds as a “top aide” — one whose only real job is to get Walker re-elected.

John-Henry Heckendorn and Gov. Bill Walker participate in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in Anchorage last April, shortly after Heckendorn joined the governor’s official staff to work on his re-election campaign. The event was to bring awareness to rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.

Heckendorn and his Ship Creek Group in Anchorage savaged Herron and Nageak for caucusing with the majority Republicans, as rural Democrats quite often do.

Even former Sen. Mark Begich threw his support to Fansler:

By replacing them with “swinging singles” Fansler and Westlake, and with three turncoat Republicans (Gabrielle LeDoux, Paul Seaton, and Louise Stutes), the Democrats were able to take over control of the House of Representatives.

But in December, things began to unravel. Westlake was forced to resign after he sexually harassed numerous women, and was discovered to have fathered a child with an underage girl.

[Read: The election of a predator]

Now, Fansler is accused of a violent attack against a woman. It appears the attack took place on Jan. 13, before the legislature gaveled into session. He was photographed marching in the women’s march seven days later.

Rep. Charisse Millett, House Minority leader said, “I’m sickened. My heart breaks at the news that another woman has been victimized. The details of the report were graphic, unsettling and difficult to read. Reports of dating violence, sexual assault and harassment must not be tolerated anytime, anyplace and by any person, no matter their position or title. While I do not know who this victim is, I commend her for not remaining silent. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim recovering from her attack.”

Millett described her heart as heavy. “We are living in a critical time during history, the culture of harassment and assault needs to end. We respect this victim, and all victims, for having fortitude, strength and courage to report abuse.  House Republicans look forward to the day when this type of action is no longer occurring.”

Last May, Fansler scolded Rep. David Eastman for remarks he had made about rural Alaska women and abortion:

It appears that Gov. Walker will have another Democratic vacancy to fill in the House. We can only hope that his candidate vetting process has improved.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • No boundaries, no moral compasses, no honor, falsity, in the place of honesty – these are the ethics of totalitarians . Man or woman, if we cannot turn back to Christ’s ethical boundaries, we are lost.

  • There is so much that is wrong in these 3 photographs! Will these people keep blaming President Trump and at the same time continue perpetrating these crimes? Will the Democrats continue pretending they somehow have the high ground as they promote and put forward people of such flawed character? How does a guy come to bush Alaska as a Jesuit missionary and just a relatively short time later turn into a woman-beating beast? Is the big untold story about this women’s human rights matter that women in leftward-spinning circles have no men who will go beat the crap out of the men who are guilty of this sort of behavior? Is the real story that men like Westlake and Fansler have no fear because the leaders in their ranks are poltroons like Seaton, Edgmon and Tuck? After all, tell me what you think would happen to a scumbag like Westlake or Fansler if they did something like this to a young woman related to, working for, or even known to say Dunleavy, Chenault or Saddler? I’ll tell you what, the perp would by now have been beaten to a pulp. If their men cannot or will not defend them then someone has to tell the women of the Alaska Democratic Party that Sam Colt made all men and women equal.

  • Strange on the first day of the session he was praised for his birthday and being such a good guy with his parents there in the House chambers Shame. shame , shame off to jail for another one..

  • Idea!..Send Every member of the House home and let the Senate legislate this year. The House is a MESS, Edgmon is not a leader, Tarr is a bully toward staff ,Ledoux is batsh*t crazy for power, Westlake and now Fansler..Who did I miss?.

    • Walker?…

  • Walker loves to see images of himself with legislators out and about Alaska. Too bad he’s so closely associated himself with a sexual predator and now a woman beater. https://www.flickr.com/photos/akgovbillwalker/albums/72157685493400945

  • You do see the irony of supporting rural Democrats who caucused with Republicans and then calling Republicans who did the same “turncoats,” don’t you?

    • You do see the difference between rural Democrats who acted in the best interest of their constituents by caucusing with the Republicans versus Republicans who acted in their own best interest by caucusing with the Democrats, don’t you?

    • No, I do not see an irony in supporting rural Democrats who joined Republicans and then calling Seaton, Stutze, and LeDon’t turncoats. For one thing all or some of those 3 Republicans took Republican Party $ and then turned tail. But more importantly there has long been a tradition of rural Democrats like Richard Foster and Al Adams forthrightly telling constituents/voters that for rural areas to leverage stroke against the huge population in the Railbelt they had to join with Republicans. No one questioned that as it is entirely understandable. Seaton, Stutze and LeDon’t are from the organized and roaded boroughs, cities really, and they formed an alliance in order to put an income tax around the necks of working Alaskans instead of reducing the operating budget even a little. Alaskans, especially the Alaskans who would pay the tax, don’t want that. Finally, as we now must all acknowledge, this House Majority and especially Walker -and his minions and advisers drawn from the Juneau elite – put their social values of tax and spend above character. Bennie Nageak and Bob Herron are men of character. Obviously, character means squat to Walker, Edgmon, Seaton, Tuck, Stutze, LeDon’t and the Alaska Democratic Party machine. Because the Juneau liberal elite are Walker’s closest advisers Juneau taxpayers will be very lucky is this Westlake and Fansler mess does not bring a big capital move effort from the entire Railbelt as in Juneau this MeToo movement is so shallow that it cannot recognize that wearing a Kuspuk on Friday and a pink hat on Saturday is much more likely to reveal an abhorrent lack of character than anything else..

    • Very observant. However, you cannot reach these people with reason. How do you reach people who believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago? Such people are capable of believing anything.

      • I did not know that of these Democrats but nothing surprises me now. At the same time I would have an easier time believing the earth is only 6,000 years old than I do believing in the ideas of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. You can put a pair of White Ox gloves and a pair of cork shoes on a Democrat but there is no way to make him set his own choker! He will want the government to set his choker and your choker too.

  • You do see the difference between rural Democrats who acted in the best interest of their constituents by caucusing with the Republicans versus Republicans who acted in their own best interest by caucusing with the Democrats, don’t you?

  • There was a native legislator, from Teller I think, who years ago in Juneau tried to break into a female aides hotel room while he was drunk. Anybody else remember this incident? Can’t remember the name.

    • George Jacko. He was from Pedro Bay

  • The current House “Leadership” as it is doesn’t know what leadership is or what it means to lead, the mess they made of things last year and over the recess further proves that. All of the “leadership” in the House should stepdown if they care for this State and if they care for their party.

    • Exactly!

  • All the guys in red heels…
    Some kind of clan costume?
    Kinda cute!

    • You might find it cute but anyone with sheep would find it downright scary.

      • Or anyone with daughters who are not MMA trained…
        Imagine how that might have turned out…
        One can only hope, since it doesn’t look like the situation will get fixed any other way.

      • I think red hip boots might be scarier to those with “cute” sheep.

  • Love your writing Suzanne!