Connect with:
Sunday, April 21, 2019
HomePolitics and PolicyDocument circulates: Knopp was a Democrat for decades … until he ran for office

Document circulates: Knopp was a Democrat for decades … until he ran for office

(2-minute read) HE’S THE 21ST VOTE NEEDED FOR A REPUBLICAN CAUCUS IN THE HOUSE

Rep. Gary Knopp, the self-appointed negotiator between the Alaska House as Republicans and Democrats try to determine a power structure, has a leg in both camps.

He was a registered Democrat when he came to Alaska in 1984, and didn’t register to be a Republican until 2010, the same time he got involved in running for office in a strong Republican district.

Documents acquired from the Division of Elections show that he registered on April 20, 1984 as a Democrat, and remained one for 24 years, until March of 2010. This document is making its way across the Kenai Peninsula and appeared in the emails of legislators as early as yesterday:

Knopp began his switch-hitting political career on the Kenai Peninsula Borough, elected first in 2006. He rose to become borough Assembly president, and at that time changed his registration to Republican.

Knopp ran as a Republican for the House of Representatives in 2014 against fellow Republican Kurt Olson, but lost.

When Olson retired, Knopp won the seat in 2016, and again in 2018. He ran unopposed last year because in this strongly Republican district, his conservative voters knew him as a Republican incumbent, and the Democrats didn’t want to waste their money in the General Election — they had other fights to join around the state.

The record shows Knopp didn’t start voting until 2014, but the report from the Elections Division only goes back five years. Other sources show Knopp voted as early as 2010, 26 years after he had moved to Alaska.

Knopp was initially a member of the Republican majority when it formed the day after the November General Election, with Dave Talerico as Speaker.

But the caucus dropped to 20, splitting evenly with the Democrats, when Knopp surprised his Republican colleagues by divorcing himself from the caucus.

Since then, as the 21st vote needed to own the majority, he has instead worked to form a bipartisan working group that would have him in some kind of leadership role under Bryce Edgmon as speaker.

He has alternately worked to create a 50-50 power-sharing agreement between the Democrats at one end of the hall, and Republicans at the other end. As of this writing, no majority has been formed, even though there are 23 elected Republicans.

REPUBLICAN REGISTRATION: PARTY OF CONVENIENCE?

Another political switch hitter is Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, the representative for Muldoon and JBER who has been elected as a Republican but organized with the Democrats in 2016 in order to help them enact an income tax.

But 19 years ago, LeDoux ran for State House as a Democrat in Kodiak in 2000, losing in the general election to Republican Gary Stevens. She changed her party registration in 2004, ran again, and then moved to District 15, where the turnout is low and her odds of winning were better.

Louise Stutes of Kodiak is the third Republican who caucuses with the Democrats.

On Tuesday evening, the House was still split, 20-20, and Knopp has now voted twice against Republican Dave Talerico as Speaker. LeDoux and Stutes did the same.

[Read: Eastman pulls a surprise, but Knopp votes against Talerico as Speaker]

Donations Welcome
Written by

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

  • Interesting & Disturbing! Obviously, these three (Knopp, LeDoux, and Stutes) have misrepresented themselves to their constituents and are effectively parked on the other side of the fence. A classic ‘Bait-N-Switch’ maneuver. Moving forward, maybe a more extensive and thorough vetting of candidates by the AK Republican Party would help alleviate another of these ‘Trojan Horse’ scenarios.

  • His past affiliation makes no difference to me. Some of the strongest Conservatives were disillusioned/fed up Democrats at some points in their life. But Rob B. you make a great point about the state party administrators bearing some responsibility in this. Of course they were pretty tied up and busy with the governors race, but it’s hard to imagine that SOMEONE didn’t sit down with this guy and test his bona fides!

  • So who’s to blame for this mess? Here’s my opinion: TUCKERMAN BABCOCK. Mr. Babcock did not do his due diligence as leader of the Republican Party. Opposition research should not be just for opponents of the other party. It should be used to vet the moles within. Babcock has been in state party politics for his entire professional life. He should have taken the steps necessary to vet out these characters, then inform the electorate. Babcock’s role in the Dunleavy campaign obviously took precedence over working the lesser campaigns. But Babcock failed as the party leader. Now, as the Chief of Staff for Dunleavy, Babcock has the headache of trying to achieve anything of value for the governor regarding the politics in the House of Representatives. This is my opinion, of course, but I would love to see an article by Babcock printed here in MRAK defending himself, or admitting to allowing this one to get away from him.

  • Good Lord. You’re right Dennis. There are many a good “R” that that were former disgruntled “D’s”, but this guy isn’t it. What dip stick are they using to test bona fides? I think they need a new one. We have these three clowns plus Lisa Murkowski. God help us.

  • Kenai Peninsula Republicans need to start a recall effort to remove Gary Knopp.

    He clearly violated the trust of the majority of voters in his district using fraudulent means to circumvent our new Governor.

    Gary Knopp scammed the Kenai electorate by deception.

    We need to look very closely at Gary Knopp’s finances.

    I would not be surprised to find large deposits from out-of-state Democrats. Perhaps from Soros related entities?

    Knopp is a con man. Knopp is a grift. Knopp is a fraud.

  • He is the personification of deception in order to achieve personal gain !!!

  • I lay the responsibility of these fake republicans at the feet of the past party chairs and/or the current party chair., plain and simple. It is absolutely poor leadership for the party. A state Republican party that is this small should be easy to manage and it should be fairly easy to make sure the elected members are following the platform. In addition, if the chairs were or are not wise enough to see what has been going on, then should consider a new gig, and an entirely new leadership team should be in place. When the elected members will not even vote for a republican for speaker, then something is rotten in Kenai, Juneau, and Anchorage.

  • Wonder whether Alaska’s Republican Establishment were as thorough as our Esteemed Editor in vetting Gary, but kind of forgot to mention what they found…
    .
    Maybe Gary and the Great Alaska LeDoux Vote Experiment symbolize Alaska’s Republican Establishment and the Party of Hillary Clinton and Baby Butchery finally finding common ground…

    which is creating a “power structure” to neutralize Governor Dunleavy so the orderly transfer of money to sponsors and buyers can continue uninterrupted.

  • Another viper slithering around the swamp.

  • Earl, you are right. We aren’t dealing with the old game “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” here in Alaska. We are all about one degree from one another. We all know each other if we aren’t actually related. If we all pull off the mask and put us in a room, it takes about 5 mintus and we are all connected in some way, shape or form. For the leaders of the Republican party to not do their due diligence on this, or if they did, turn a blind eye on this out of laziness, they should be ashamed but they won’t be. They have moved on. Whoever is in control now better tighten it up. Former D turned fake R aside, it seems they wouldn’t have need a Freud to vet this clown if they would have spent some real, quality time with him in advance.

    .

    And, why is LeDoux even still walking the halls in Juneau? Does anyone know? Is this like maternal amnesia for everyone? An entire crooked election with her figurative prints (perhaps literal) all over it, and there she is like nothing happened. At a minimum, she should have holes burned through her from all the stink eye she should be getting.

  • Similar to Pocahontas, another ambitious opportunist masquerading as something they are not.

  • I do fault the Chair of the party. I fault the party for not raising enough money to fund a proper staff. This has been going on for years.

  • He isnt a Republican as far as I can see. If he was a Democrat for over 20 years. We keep going down the same road with Rinos in our state legislature. Knopp has decided to play the Democrat game of I don’t like the governor so I am gonna hold the process up.

  • From what I have read on this forum, Knopp cannot be recalled (or recall cannot be started) until 120 days. Is that from the start of the session? (chime in please those in the know) If that is the case, that puts the 120 day mark at May 14. We have 68 more days left in this session and are currently 98 days from the 120 day mark. Ladies and Gentleman, start your engines….

    • Yes, we can begin the recall now. Let us get the signatures ready by May 14th! Where do we meet to organize the recall? Let us begin!

  • The current administration is rife with questionable goals,tactics & appointments. A stated goal of this Governor; is to totally dismantle out state government! With this circus of ineptitude foaming at the mouth, in anticipation of the vacuum of decorum & procedure; I thank God for a man with the strength of his convictions to our form of representative government. It takes fearless, selfless, leadership, to stand in the breach, at the cost of great, known, personal risk. If not for the integrity of Rep. Gary Knopp, a majority of Alaskans would be subject to a government that cares little or nothing for any resident that isn’t under the wing of the minority in charge. 21 out of 40 dictating law, is not representative government. This is Alaska, the largest, most diverse state in the Union. When we have a government that is just, equitable and transparent, it will be because a courageous Alaskan, Representative Gary Knopp, stood in the breach to guarantee it, for all Alaskans.

    • Thank you Mr. DEMOCRAT Jonathan, for your see-through speech. Republicans are finally growing some testicles and we are going to give Knopp a working over. When we’re done, even you sappy Democrats won’t want him.
      And quit using my name. Find your own damn name.

  • Jonathan: I have to bite. “Just, equitable and transparent” are not words to be used in a paragraph defending the actions of Gary Knopp. I will say he is fearless and is most certainly taking personal risk. I will give you that. He is guaranteeing NOTHING for all Alaskans. He has done nothing but stymie the legislative process for the last 24 days. So, basically 1/3 of the session “poof” gone. Why? Because if it isn’t Knopp’s way, it’s the highway. Don’t fool yourself by thinking it is “for all Alaskan’s”. What he is doing is for Gary Knopp and for Gary Knopp only.

    • By definition Gary is what he is

      ” A turncoat is a person who shifts allegiance from one loyalty or ideal to another, betraying or deserting an original cause by switching to the opposing side or party. In political and social history, this is distinct from being a traitor, as the switch mostly takes place under the following circumstances:

      In groups, often driven by one or more leaders.
      When the goal that formerly motivated and benefited the person becomes (or is perceived as having become) either no longer feasible or too costly even if success is achieved.
      From a military perspective, opposing armies generally wear uniforms of contrasting colors to prevent incidents of Friendly fire. Thus the term “turn-coat” indicates that an individual has changed sides and his uniform coat to one matching the color of his former enemy. For example, in the English Civil War during the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers turned their coats inside out to match the colours of the Royal army!

      Gary please it’s even a honorable act to declare who you really ARE! Be honest for the truth will set you free…..

  • Gary Knopp will be forever labeled the “Benedict Arnold” of district 30 !

  • As with BA Knopp will bare the same fate
    ” Benedict Arnold’s name became synonymous with traitor soon after his betrayal became public. Biblical themes were often invoked; Benjamin Franklin wrote that “Judas sold only one man, Arnold three millions”

    If Knopp shows any future reconciliation with himself it most likely resemble AB ‘s
    ” Legend has it that, when he was on his deathbed, he said, “Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another,” Strange as it maybe What Uniform is that!