A first time for everything in Juneau: Alaska Senate minority members are shut out of all committees


Of the three senators who were banished from the Alaska Senate majority caucus, only one of them was assigned to any Senate committee. Sen. Robert Myers of North Pole was assigned just to Transportation.

Neither Sen. Mike Shower or Sen. Shelley Hughes, both representing the Mat-Su Valley, were given committee assignments, although between Shower and Hughes, they represent over 70,000 people in Alaska who have no representation in the Senate, due to their lawmakers being banished. Adding in Sen. Myers, the number is over 110,000 Alaskans without a senator on committees.

The Senate majority is made up of nine Democrats and eight Republicans, with Shower, Hughes, and Myers not invited during organizational talks this fall. There is no actual minority in the Senate, since it takes five to make up a minority. Therefore the three who have been politically excommunicated have little to say about their exclusion.

The Senate leadership and committee assignments are:

Community & Regional Affairs: Sen. Forrest Dunbar (D-Anchorage)
Education: Sen. Löki Tobin (D-Anchorage)
Health & Social Services: Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla)
Judiciary: Sen. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage)
Labor & Commerce: Sen. Jesse Bjorkman (R-Nikiski)
Resources: Co-Chairs – Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks) and Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage)
State Affairs: Sen. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)
Transportation: Sen. James Kaufman (R-Anchorage)
Legislative Budget & Audit: Vice Chair – Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka)
Joint Armed Services: Co-Chair – Sen. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks)

Committee assignments:

Community and Regional Affairs: Dunbar, Olson, Gray-Jackson, Bjorkman, Giessel

Education: Tobin, Stevens, Bjorkman, Kiehl, Gray-Jackson

Finance: Stedman, Hoffman, Olson, Bishop, Merrick, Kiehl, Wilson

Health and Social Services: Wilson, Kaufman, Tobin, Dunbar, Giessel

Judiciary: Claman, Kiehl, Kaufman, Giessel, Olson

Labor and Commerce: Bjorkman, Bishop, Gray-Jackson, Merrick, Dunbar

Resources: Bishop, Giessel, Wielechowski, Kawasaki, Kaufman, Dunbar, Claman

Rules: Wielechowski, Stedman, Stevens, Giessel, Hoffman

State Affairs: Kawasaki, Claman, Bjorkman, Wielechowski, Merrick

Transportation: Kaufman, Wilson, Tobin, Kiehl, Myers


  1. Alaskan Republicans not only shot themselves in the foot last year, they have shot their feet cleanly off. Eagle River Republicans talked big about getting rid of Merrick for being a turncoat: Now she is on Senate Finance! Senate Finance has a majority of Democrats, and not a real Republican to be found there. And the chairs of the most powerful committees are Democrats even though Republicans won a majority of the senate seats!

    Shower, Hughes and Meyer are completely sidelined. Not sure why they would show up, ever.

    And the rank choice voting machine continues to run campaign ads every day. I would not be at all surprised to see many Alaska Republicans switch to a different party or eschew parties altogether.

  2. Bend over and brace yourselves, Alaska.
    They aren’t even gonna kiss us and tell us we’re pretty.

    But don’t forget. We voted these losers back into office. This is on us.

    • You enjoy repeating the same ignorant remark. “We” didn’t vote these losers back into office. If you’re going to repeat a comment ad nauseum you should choose one that makes sense.

      • One time on 5th street in Anchorage I watched a pour soul stand in the street yelling no no no. Was that you TB? Seems about your level of intelligence.

        I’m sorry you’re incapacitated by reality.

        Perhaps you might seek out Prince Harry’s therapist so you can monetize stupidity. It worked for him.

        As I have said, and will continue to say-just for you, kissy kissy, is reality. We, the people of Alaska, voted had an election

        I know this is hard for you, but try to follow.

        The election results reflect the overall will of the people of Alaska.

        Am I going too fast for you?

        The left won. Some had Ds, done have Rs, but children of the left all.

        Take a deep breath now, this will rock your world.

        The fact your side lost, big, does not suddenly make your vote -did you vote?- go away.

        So unless you’ve got the Infinity Gauntlet -which is not real, BTW- we, the collective voters of Alaska, voted them into office.

        You will so far better in life if you accept things as they are.

      • BTW TB, I’m still your daddy.
        I did a bad job, true, but I’m so your daddy.

        I’ll be telling you that, as nauseam, too.

    • I voted for Mike Showers. One of the few in the Senate with integrity. We can thank both the myriad of low info voters as well as bald faced lying candidates pretending to be republicans just to get into office.

  3. Has there still been ANY official statement by the eight RINOs as to why they decided to join with the Democrats rather than with the other three Republicans who they have rebuffed, with extreme prejudice, instead? ANY excuses, any rationalizations, any feeble justifications, at all?

  4. I have now lived here long enough to recognize what a true joke our legislature is.
    Cant wait for the next election, cause, till then, every Alaskan is [email protected]#$ed by all but these three legislative representatives (true conservatives). Lets just say that Alaskans are now “paying” the price for their “feelings”, cause you know how important those are… wake up Alaska. You see dunbar, giesel, claman, et all on a ballot——JUST SAY NO to all demoncrats and RINOS (who just showed you who they were, by name too).
    How convenient.

  5. 110,000 +/- Alaskans voted to send three elected officials to Juneau to represent them; the legislature kicks them to the curb, puts them back on the plane and sends them home until the next election cycle. How about sending the three back to Juneau and all of the rest be fired and reimburse us for time wasted? I am sure that things would run just fine with three legislators.

      • What an erudite, intelligent and insightful comment, Bill.
        You are once again posting to your usual standards, I see.
        And just to (rhetorically) ask the obvious question: what makes the three sidelined Republican senators “clowns”? Is it holding to principles of limited government? Or is refusing to cave into the eternal demands of the radical left for ‘bipartisan’ surrender?

        • They were not team players and this majority is interested in teamwork to get the people’s work done. And these Republicans in the majority are hardly caving to any radical left demands IMO.

          • “Not team players” = unwilling to automatically surrender to the far leftists in the legislature, and actually at least half-willing to stand for their principles, and the principles under which they were elected by the voters. Got it.

  6. This is a product of the standing rules of the Senate. Those rules provide for the recognition of a minority if the minority consists of four or more senators. These rules have been around for a long time. This time, the majority has taken things further by not even appointing the three senators to committees. It is an ugly look. Shame on Senators Kaufman and Giessel. At a minimum, objection will be heard to any motion requesting unanimous consent. The Governor could get involved – on a political level – if he wants to.

  7. Whoops, they outfoxed themselves, but it’s not as if they’re the first in the land to do so! What are they going to do–sit around and whimper?

  8. As far as I’m concerned the republican party is dead. We have leftist democrats and back stabbing rinos. There’s only a couple real Republicans.

  9. What if the republicans in the majority caucus started demanding their caucus put up rules that are more fair? Would they be ejected from the caucus? Then would there be a minority? If enough are ejected then could their be vote to replace the majority caucus?

    I don’t know the rules here, but is there any way for those who sided with the democrats to redeem themselves with their constituents who voted REPUBLICAN?

  10. Dems can call in each one of their teammates, including Independents, to stand and coalesce as the Dem caucus. Republicans take freedom to the limit and exclude each other based on perceptions and upholding different slices of liberty, like all star players trying to hog the ball. Please, Republicans unite.

    Politics means communicating. Adjusting. Listening. Appreciating the other ideas, though they are not yours. This we Alaskan people are good at but, in this political season, miss. Real sausage making tosses in some peppers.


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