Alaska election certification is Tuesday, but questions remain in a Wasilla House district that judge has frozen

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The Alaska Division of Elections is set to certify the Nov. 8 election on Tuesday. Barring challenges for recounts, that’s the final word about who won in all races — except one unusual race, in which the winner prevailed by over 50%.

The State Review Board, made up of bipartisan teams of voters, has been working today in preparation for tomorrow’s official certification.

There are a couple of close races to watch: In Anchorage House District 11, Julie Coloumbe won 3,671 to Walter Featherly’s 3561 — it’s a 110-vote difference. While it is doubtful that Featherly will ask for a recount, he’s entitled to ask for one. In Anchorage House District 15, Rep. Tom McKay won re-election by four votes — 3,472 to Denny Wells’ 3,468 votes, which may trigger a recount after certification.

Then there’s Rep. David Eastman, who won with over 51.3% of his Wasilla District 27. It would appear certification would be a breeze for a candidate who won outright, without having to go through ranked-choice voting, but it’s not that easy.

A judge in Anchorage has ordered the Division of Elections to not certify Eastman’s win until the trial involving his eligibility to serve, brought by Randall Kowalke and the Northern Justice Project, is settled. That could take weeks and it may bollux the process by which the Alaska House of Representatives organizes with a speaker and committee chairs.

The Republicans have a majority with 21 elected, but if Eastman is unable to be certified as a winner for weeks, and if House Speaker Louise defects again to the Democrats, then House organization appears to rest mainly with a Superior Court judge.

That Eastman trial doesn’t start until Dec. 12 in Palmer, with Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna presiding.

The case is whether Eastman’s membership in a group called Oath Keepers, made up of Americans who pledge to defend the constitution to which they have, at some point in their military or law careers sworn an oath, disqualifies Eastman from serving as a legislator. The litigants, who are partisans led by a political activists, say that the Oath Keeper membership is a violation of the Alaska’ Constitution’s “disloyalty clause.”

Oath Keepers as a group have been implicated in the Jan. 6, 2021 disruption of the certification of the Electoral College for the 2020 presidential election. Although Eastman was in Washington, D.C. for the events that included a speech by former President Donald Trump, he never entered the Capitol, as some did.

Resolution: Alaska Republicans in House District 27 call on Anchorage judge to end interference in House election

Suzanne Downing – November 5, 2022

Alaska Republicans in District 27 are telling an Anchorage Superior Court judge to step away and quit interfering in the District 27 House race….

Judge says Rep. Eastman’s eligibility to serve in Legislature will be on trial due to membership in Oath Keepers

Suzanne Downing – September 23, 2022

On Thursday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna said the trial against Rep. David Eastman’s eligibility to hold office must go on. The judge…

‘Election by ballot’ supporters turn out for Rep. Eastman hearing

Suzanne Downing – October 28, 2022

A Nesbett Courthouse hearing room was filled Tuesday with Alaska supporters of Rep. David Eastman, who is defending his right to be a member…

Court: Eastman back in Anchorage Superior Court for more hearings on his membership in Oath Keepers

Suzanne Downing – October 25, 2022

Another day in court for Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla, who is defending himself against a “lawfare” (legal political warfare) attack by the Left,…

Alaska House Democrats are trying to take away First Amendment rights of Republican members, starting with Rep. David Eastman

Suzanne Downing – February 1, 2022

The group known as Oath Keepers is a loose network of organizations made up of former military, police, fire, and first responders — people…

Judge Jack McKenna’s rogue ruling on political eligibility is now Exhibit A for a constitutional convention

Suzanne Downing – September 24, 2022

How does one explain Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna’s outlandish decision against Rep. David Eastman, saying he may not be sworn…

24 COMMENTS

  1. I’m no fan of Eastman, but recognize naked political harassment when I see it.

    Just think, Alaska. You could have been a part in elimination of a wildly partisan judiciary. But the mean old Constitutional Convention scared you. Means you might have to do…something.

    So you did like Dunleavy in Wasilla and wet yourselves. You gave a corrupt State permission to be as corrupt as it wants be be.

    Smooth. Elections have consequences and you’re gonna love this bill.

  2. One more straw on that poor camels back. One more item in a long train of abuses and usurpations. I never make idle threats, but I always live up to my oaths. Who could ever take issue with that, except for despots, criminals, degenerates or tyrants?

  3. What the heck?! Isn’t that a bit of legislating from the bench? Maybe that is not the correct terminology but whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Eastman has not been convicted of anything and his constituents elected him. So now because of the egregious political whims of a judge, the district that elected Eastman gets no representation basically indefinitely as a trial has not even begun. How in the world is that legal?

  4. Hmm, His Honor seems to be forgetting a thing called the separation of powers, but when the same people who are suing Eastman control the Judiciary, well… it all makes perfect sense!

  5. Also not an Eastman fan, but this trial is a terrible thing. No evidence ties him to the insurrection, just a membership acquired years ago. He’s being stubborn, of course; this whole affair would go away if he simply denounced the Oath Keepers. Eschewing the practical for the theatrical is his thing, though, and apparently his constituents love it. So we’ll have a trial and a modicum of suspense until we arrive at the obvious conclusion that he can serve. He’ll no doubt milk every possible drop of PR from this circus, but in that regard he’s no different than any other politician.

    • Another person that equates Oath Keepers to a terrorist organization I would assume from your comments. Oath Keepers are defending the Constitution unlike most members of Congress who regularly throw it in the trash. Oath Keepers are made up of Police, Military Active and Retired as well as Firefighters all who take their Oath very seriously. His constituents understand the difference unlike others who do not understand anything in front of their face unless told too. I’m sure you will respond in typical effort that they were involved in an insurrection. If you do an insurrection with no weapons then you are just protesting peacefully. Many of them actively assisted the police on J6 but you don’t hear that on any MSM.

    • All he has to do is denounce the Oath Keepers, you say. I suppose we’ve forgotten that once upon a time in Alaska, someone was a state senator for eight years and a party nominee for statewide office while also serving as a national-level figure in the John Birch Society. The same hard-left crowd that goes around creating boogeymen out of everything they don’t like are still crowing about JBS, decades after it was last relevant. Substitute JBS for Oath Keepers or any number of present-day organizations and there’s really nothing different about their argument.

      • Read my comment again – I just said membership in the OKs should not disqualify him. I’d have the same opinion about JBS. Membership alone is irrelevant. Words and actions are how we should evaluate candidates.

    • And we see yet more insidious pro-establishment talking points and disinformation from the WEF troll known as “Reliable Voter”.
      .
      Firstly, there was NO so-called “insurrection” at the US Capitol on 1/6/21, and all attempts to paint it as such mark one as a shill for the anti-American, degenerate, destructionist, pro-globalist Democrats.
      .
      Secondly, Oath Keepers is one of the MOST honorable associations in the USA today. To try to impugn them in ANY way as a terrorist organization is to turn truth and honesty on its head, which unfortunately is par for the course with establishment politics in this sadly corrupted and morally decaying world. More than that, all attacks on Oath Keepers are explicit repudiations of the right to free speech, which again have become part and parcel of the Democratic and globalist technocratic, Orwellian agenda and program.

      • Two OKs just got convicted of sedition, and ll were convicted of lesser crimes today. I’d say this is prima facie evidence of insurrection, but you draw the conclusion you want. Consider Occam’s razor in the process.

        I question your reading comprehension – my point was that membership in the Oath Keepers should not be held against Eastman. An opinion we share, except that you want to beat me up for not stating it in a more extreme fashion.

        It’s my observation that many who proclaim love of country the loudest actually hate America and her values. They abhor democracy, as evidenced by their support of those who clearly intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power to a duly elected president. They support gerrymandering when it benefits them, but scream bloody murder when the opposition party does it. They encourage and glorify violence when it’s against political opponents, but play victim at at even imaginary slights.

        Unlike that fragile patriotism, I love this country even when someone I didn’t support is elected. Even when policies I don’t support are pursued or legislated (although I will work within the system to change them). I support freedom of speech even when I think the source is dead wrong. I think everyone should be able to vote – even if we disagree politically. Despite our political differences, I don’t forget that family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers are good people – they are loving parents, dedicated spouses, and generally doing the best they can during their time on our planet.

        The basic problem is that a “corrupted and morally decaying world” paradigm needs bad guys – people to demonize – which is basically everyone that has even a slightly different opinion. In my “everyone is doing the best they can” paradigm, I can see good in everyone. I know that opinions change as maturity and life experiences inform them. I don’t have to run everything through a binary filter, so I can nearly always find points of agreement. That lets me socialize with good friends regardless of their partisan lean. And since we actually like each other, we can debate these issues without debasing the other.

  6. Is it possible that this lawsuit just might be the thing that allows the house to form a Republican led majority? Not likely with the big government crowd, but imagine if Republicans were able to swing some independents and a few moderate Democrats…nah, won’t happen. One way or another Representative Eastman will do his part and drive the house into the arms of a big government Democrat led majority, he’s the the most effective leftist legislator on accident.

  7. If refusing to compromise his principles for the sake of leftist “pragmatism” earns him the label “ineffective” then I believe we need a lot more ineffective Congressmen. David’s voice is vital to this State.

  8. Per the US Constitution. Courts are able to remove cases or not hear them for a myriad of reasons if they don’t want to hear them. In President 45 election fraud claims cases they said they would hear them when a case is brought over which the court as “jurisdiction”. The media reported that the President 45 did not have persuasive evidence that the election was not manipulated. The legislative branch according to the US Constitution and parliamentary procedures act says elections are political activities with jurisdiction exclusively in the legislative branch. If for some reason they can’t act (undereducated) the executive must Act. The Governor Executive has jurisdiction to act until the legislative acts which may or may not find the political will to act in the idyll of Juneau to remedy for the will OF THE PEOPLE and BY THE PEOPLE. The meritorious cases are very often refused for lack of jurisdiction. In political election cases I believe the court of first jurisdiction is US Federal Court Of Appeals. Is that where this cases US filed? Perhaps a motion to remove to the US Court of Appeal. Then a motion to move it to the Legislative Alaska Secretary of State (Alaska Constitution writers have chosen to omit this tier of responsibility in their mistaken inexplicably for the people of Alaska). Thus, the US Secret Service must protect the guaranteed republic and forward to the Commander in Chief of the loyal US military to act immediately and Constitutionally to preserve the union and nation.

  9. Interesting dichotomy, we have the political left and a leftist judge committing lawfare on Eastman, claiming he is not qualified for office for being a member of Oath Keepers. OTOH, we have a democrat in W ANC elected to the House who clearly doesn’t meet the residency requirements, yet her judge is allowing her to join the legislature.

    Worse, we also know that the Jan 6 protests were riddled with FBI and other federal informants. One of the things we learned from the Whitmer kidnap plot in 2020 is that FBI informants not only outnumbered the idiot plotters but planned and led the scheme. The FBI leader was promoted and moved to DC where he was in charge of FBI response to Jan 6. I wonder what he did next (/sarc)?

    The FBI and other agencies refuse to tell us how many informants were involved and what they did. As such, our only conclusion is to assume they orchestrated the festivities and force them to prove otherwise. In short, Eastman is being sued for being a member of an organization the FBI infiltrated and used to perpetrate a riot.

    Regardless how this turns out, the lawfare is bleeding Eastman and he needs help paying his lawyers. He has a GoFundMe page. Use it. Cheers –

    • Apples and cantaloupes, but I agree with your general point. Eastman’s trial is clearly political, and therefore I’d be against it regardless of his political beliefs. The W ANC lawmaker is a bit different, in that she might be a few days shy of the eligibility requirement. I’m indifferent to that, just as I would be if an R were in the same situation. She’s going to argue that her residency began when she visited in May, and a lot of money and effort will be spent by partisans that are less interested in the truth than gaining an advantage – exactly what I hate about politics. I also agree that the FBI should tell someone (certainly not everyone – that would surely compromise other efforts) if they had agents and/or CIs in the crowd on 1/6, their identities, and what their roles were. I’m not disturbed that they were there – I’d argue the FBI wasn’t doing their jobs if they weren’t. The issue is whether they played a role in inciting the crowd. If so, lock them up with their handlers. But we’ve had dozens (hundreds?) of trials, and none of the defendants have alleged that they were duped by an agent/CI. That convinces me that most acted of their own volition, but I’d still like to verify.

  10. First, Alaskan’s blew it by voting no on the Con-Con. Big Mistake!

    Second, the Oath Keepers are a group of ex-military, Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders that continue to swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Anyone serving in the military takes this oath as does members of Congress and the President.

    Third, it is already known that FBI informants and Federal Agent provocateurs infiltrated the Oath Keepers and Trump supporters to instigate trouble and allow them access to the halls of the Capitol. Can you say entrapment?

    Fourth, what has been done to January 6th American’s that have been indefinitely held in the D.C. gulags is a crime. Their due process rights have been denied, they have been held in filthy and unsanitary conditions and denied proper medical attention. One gentleman has cancer and was denied his usual medical treatments for it.

    Now, you have an activist judge in Alaska working with a nut named Kowalke who thinks he has a right to deny a good man from taking his proper duly elected office for defending the Constitution? If you think for a second, we live in a free nation guided by the principles laid out in the Constitution, think again. The takeover of the USA started years ago as they infiltrated every corner of our 3 branches of government and Trump exposed them. The insurrection was Nov. 3rd, 2020, when they stole an election from the American people. They did it again this mid-term and are laughing at all of us. Treason and sedition are being carried out right before your eyes Alaska. We had a chance to fix our elections with the Con-Con and you rejected it due to dark money ads that lied to you. You allowed Measure 2 (again, dark money) that is now nullifying your votes by allowing Democrats to help elect allied Republicans like Murkowski. If you don’t want to be the next California, you better wake up and get involved or Alaska is doomed. Don’t think RINO Dunleavy will save you, he has ignored the election integrity problems we have here and hasn’t lifted a finger to clean our voter rolls.

  11. From my perspective it is quite simple. Oath Keepers is not the problem. Oath breakers is very much a problem.

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