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Sunday, April 21, 2019
HomeThe SocialOMB Director to Ortiz: Stop mansplaining, please

OMB Director to Ortiz: Stop mansplaining, please

An information meeting called by Rep. Daniel Ortiz gave House members a chance to hear from the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday. The topic was the supplemental budget, SB 39.

Democratic lawmakers took over most of the seats before Republican lawmakers could get in the room, and when the presentation started, they peppered the director of OMB with questions.

Rep. Daniel Ortiz, OMB Director Donna Arduin

The questions all started with the phrase, “Do you understand…” They were trying to express their displeasure with the supplemental budget request that included a $20 million shift of funds from the Department of Education to the earthquake recovery fund, and they were trying to impress upon Budget Director Donna Arduin that she didn’t understand what an impact a $20 million cut would have to the $1.2 billion education budget.

Finally, the budget director had enough. Arduin said, “Rep. Ortiz, I would appreciate it if you would stop asking if I understand things. It is a little pejorative.”

Later in the hearing, when Ortiz was closing the meeting, he apologized.

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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

  • Democrats do this all the time. The irony is that THEY dont understand. It’s just a “talk down” point. We use it effectively during our interrogations. Especially when interrogating Democrats.

    • Good job, Tom at the Bureau!

  • Oh my God. This is incredible. Hmmm… Did they talk down to her with some fabricated, elevated arrogance because she is an “outsider” and couldn’t possibly understand the complex, budgeting strategies of us uppity Alaskans? No way she could understand the complicated mathematics of $1.2B minus $20M from the over-inflated education budget! The educated, experienced budget director ~ meet Rep. Ortiz, of Ketchikan ~ School teacher and Drama and Debate coach. Apparently, drama is still a passion for him. Embarrassing. Maybe he had to wait until the end of the meeting to apologize because he had to look up the word “pejorative”.

    • Garnet you are spot on!

  • Mr. Ortiz was wrong. She understands exactly what she’s doing. And when she leaves town in a few months for her next 6 figure “burn it all down and privatize” gig, , we’ll be stuck with the mess. You want less money to educate kids – fine, push it through the legislature. But taking away money that districts had already budgeted is short sighted and stupid.

    • Some are hired to come in and take care of business and get the job done. Some stay. Some leave. When the state has to cut, it has to cut. Maybe it is a good thing to have her – someone that doesn’t have a bunch of BS emotion wrapped into every single number that has a generational history of “that’s how we always did it” attached to every decimal point. Everyone has to feel the burn, even education, and sometimes things happen even when you don’t plan on it. Sometimes you have to shift your budget dollars when you least expect it. I do it at home all the time. Something budgeted for one thing and BAM – have to shift it to something else unexpectedly. No one is going to be exempt. Put whatever hashtag you want infront of the next social justice outrage, but that fact is Alaska has been soaking in it’s own excrement for a long, long, time. Time to clean up this mess, plug the leaks, tighten things up and right the ship.

      • Just my opinion but government services do not and should not be run like a private business. They are not designed to make a profit or be nimble. People that use those services deserve the ability to negotiate changes that occur as legislatures, budgets, and laws change. If I can’t afford a new truck, I don’t buy one, but if you promise me that you’ll pay me a wage that allows me to afford one, and then go back on that promise, you’ve kind of screwed me over, especially if I’ve already bought the truck. Not arguing that we spend too much or too little on education, just that the method Arduin proposes is short sight and will do damage. As for her tenure, she has an extreme vision of government budgets – her job is to implement a short term vision of how to cut jobs and services. She’ll be long gone when you and I are stuck trying to hold this place together for our kids.

        • I appreciate your viewpoint. But, I believe there are way too many Government services beyond what is necessary. We can all argue until the cows come home what each of us considers essential. And yes, she will be long gone when I’m still here holding it together – just like the multiple generations of my Alaska family did before me. They kept going and working hard and surviving but it gets a little harder when the darn Government keeps getting in the way!

      • Garnet thanks for staying on point the truth can’t be spoken to much! Thanks

    • Funny that a lot of earthquake repairs will be for Educational Facilities! Not more unionized teachers wages…. What you work for the Schools or receiving a retirement from past employment Doyhof ? Yes you are right about what she is doing!

      • Ed – is there something wrong with being a teacher, getting a fair wage, or getting retirement benefits? Those are all bad things in your opinion? Why?

  • Simple answer to ‘she didn’t understand what an impact a $20 million cut would have to the $1.2 billion education budget.” 1.7%

  • It should be a 17.0% in my balance of revenues and budget!

  • I am concerned with her past connections to The GEO Group. She does have experience in improving state budgets but wherever she goes nobid contracts to GEO Group follow.