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Tuesday, May 21, 2019
HomePolitics and PolicyTwo legislators apologize for their colleagues’ behavior

Two legislators apologize for their colleagues’ behavior

CONFIRMATION PROCESS SLANDERED ALASKANS DURING JOINT SESSION

Two members of the Alaska House of Representatives are offering apologies on behalf of the body for the inappropriate nature of accusations levied against them during confirmation hearings.

Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski) and Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) issued apologies to the several appointees who faced offensive insinuations on the House floor.

None of the accusations, including ones made against Bob Griffin, whom a member baselessly insinuated was a pedophile, and Karl Johnstone, whom a member claimed had sexually harassed “more than” two anonymous women, had been brought up in the vetting process previously.

Several other appointees also had their characters impugned on the House floor.

[Read: Democrats weaponize anonymous accusations]

“We extend our sincerest apologies to those who were slandered by our colleagues,” they said in a statement on Friday. “What we saw on Wednesday was not the level of decorum that we expect to see in the legislature.”

Rep. Ben Carpenter

“This was one of the most unstatesmanlike things I’ve ever seen anywhere, let alone in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Carpenter. “I am gravely concerned about the chilling effect this behavior might have on future board nominees if we have a body that is allowed to engage in this manner. What sort of decent person will want to serve their state if they have to deal with nonsense like this?”

Rep. Sarah Vance

“Neither Rep. Carpenter nor I voted to confirm Mr. Johnstone to the Board of Fish, but our decisions had nothing to do with the unfair accusations levied against him on the floor,” said Rep. Vance. “To wildly throw out such offensive accusations with a clear intent to derail someone’s nomination is a sick political stunt, and I hope Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Griffin will accept our apologies on behalf of the body.”

[Read: Rumors, and rumors of rumors]

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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

  • Nice gesture from Reps. Vance and Carpenter, however, the real apology should come from Poison Ivy. It never will, but it should. I hope they are having a pow wow and regroup and all think about their behavior over this Easter weekend.

  • Hold the phone! Those apologies should be coming from the leadership. Speaker Edgmon. Or is he a big part of the problem? He is supposed to be the prime leader of the House. A supposed Independent. Neutral. In reality, he us the instigator of all of the fierce partisanship and nastiness. Edgmon is a fraud. And if the House wants to talk about pedophilia, let’s have an honest discussion about Byron Mallott.
    Now there is real pedophilia.

  • I’m not sure how I’d react to having two Representatives apologize for the behavior of the ones who were hell-bent on wrecking a confirmation process and destroying the nominee’s reputation. I’d probably tell the two Representatives thanks, but … NO THANKS! The ones slinging the mud should apologize … but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting.

  • Every single one of us needs to write our Republican representatives and ask them where their spine is? Any are they not signed on to the letter written by Carpenter and Vance?

    This is what I sent this morning.

    Dear Representative,

    I was shocked and dismayed to see the treatment afforded to volunteers for boards and commissions appointments by some representatives this past week. The questions, innuendo, and apparent rumor acceptance, by some in your group, have permanently damaged your already questionable reputation.

    The fact that the Speaker even allowed this reprehensible line of discussion and questioning is emblematic of the problems you have under his leadership. I appreciate the letter from Representative’s Vance and Carpenter, but it does not go far enough. Why only two of you deigned to apologize to the people you represent, for the abhorrent, Kavanaugh-esque treatment of volunteers, demonstrates the true character of the entire body of Republicans in the House.

    At least Judge Kavanaugh had a chance to face his accuser. In Judge Johnstone’s case he was torpedoed by Sponholz and Stutes from alleged and anonymous allegations from women whom may or may not have spoken the truth. The fact that one of the two women, who it may have been, is now the Executive Director of the UFA; and Stute’s has stated that she and the UFA vehemently opposed Judge Johnstone’s appointment, is dirty politics of the highest order.

    What a shame that you have sunk to this level. And what a shame that the rest of you Republicans are not signed on to Vance and Carpenter’s letter. And truthfully, what a shame that Bryce Edgmon has so little control over the house and so little respect for the Alaskan people that he would even allow this to happen.

    Perhaps Bryce would consider holding the hearings again and ask Sponholz and Stutes to put-up-or-shut-up. Either withdraw their statements or put the complainants forth by name and enter their testimony into the record.

    • Good letter, Kevin.

    • Boy Kevin, the way you throw around facts takes much away from your argument IMO. Here you say: “The fact that one of the two women, who it may have been, is now the Executive Director of the UFA; and Stute’s has stated that she and the UFA vehemently opposed Judge Johnstone’s appointment, is dirty politics of the highest order.”
      Evidently you think your “who it may have been” somehow excuses your liberties here with your “alternative fact?”

  • Do these lefties get a copy of the national Democrats “play book” before each session? Nothing real to be accomplished except dirty politics? And where the hell are the Republican stalwarts who quietly sidestep their obligations allowing this nonsense to get so out of hand?

    • Why is TAMMIE WILSON so silent? Chairwoman of Finance Committee? The good people of North Pole elected her to be a stalwart Republican and Conservative voice for Alaskans, and all she has to say is that transexual men should kick real men in the balls if confronted. We elected her to do better than that. And we will hold her accountable and keep her feet to the fire. She is getting too soft and comfortable in her new position with the Democrats.

      • The more it goes and she enthusiastically supports Crats I’m finding it difficult to support Tammie.

  • Seems like a great steaming load of (expl del)…
    .
    Ben and Sarah, your empty “apologies” mean nothing, are nothing, except fatuous attempts to capitalize on your colleagues’ juvenile tantrums.
    .
    Your “apologies” are empty because you could have introduced a resolution to censure your colleagues’ juvenile tantrums, but you dared not because they might get really mad and cut you off from the public trough.
    .
    Now you kids have a nice day, obey your bosses, listen to your lobbyists, and try not to screw things up things beyond all hope of repair while occupying the Holy City of Juneau.

  • A very sad day for the reputation of the Alaskan government!

  • WHERE IS DEMOCRAT BYRON MALLOTT? Why aren’t the nasty Democrats calling him out.? Why aren’t the mainstream dailies calling for an investigation? Amanda Price, are you listening? Governor Dunleavy? PLEASE START AN INVESTIGATION INTO PEDOPHILIA AND ABUSE OF WOMEN IN THE WALKER ADMINISTRATION!

  • Guilty until proven innocent. All you have to do is say something and it is true. Proof, who needs it? Our Legislature is in a bad way–like Congress–they just want to fight and not get anything done!

    • Agreed but with one aspect. Like the Democrat-Socialists and RINO’s in Congress our Democrat-Socialist House members and RINO’s want a fight, without any attempt at compromise or putting together a real balance budget or Constitutional protections!
      Sadly this letter did not come from Lance Pruitt and the entire 15 member minority, which is where it should have come from to begin with.

  • Both sides have plenty to apologize for depending on what side, what topic you’re on and how you individually see it. All the name calling in these comments provide plenty to be offended by. It’s not party or person specific. Its the wild political divide that we can’t seem to bridge.

    • Whatever separates those whose purpose is destroying our country and way of life from the rest of us might be a blessing.
      .
      Seems a lot safer to let the first lot erupt, eat their own… from a distance.