Alaska Family Action issues a big endorsement: Jesse Sumner for District 10 - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, August 7, 2020
HomePoliticsAlaska Family Action issues a big endorsement: Jesse Sumner for District 10

Alaska Family Action issues a big endorsement: Jesse Sumner for District 10

Alaska Family Action issued its first candidate endorsement of the Primary Election, and it’s a big surprise: Republican Jesse Sumner for House District 10.

Sumner is challenging incumbent David Eastman in the Mat Su Valley, who is a lightning rod conservative that many lawmakers say is the reason Republicans are not in control of the House, in spite of their majority numbers.

“Regardless of your views on Representative Eastman, it is clear he isn’t an effective policy maker and legislator. He hasn’t delivered for his constituents and he certainly hasn’t advanced our conservative values,” wrote the group in its endorsement.

“There’s a hard truth about conservative politics: it’s easy to make a statement, but very difficult to make a real difference. Rep. Eastman excels at talking in a way that draws attention to himself, but he utterly fails at moving forward conservative policies. To actually achieve pro-family, pro-life victories, you must be able to work with other conservative legislators to get the job done. Unfortunately for all of us, Rep. Eastman has proven incapable of doing that.” 

The pro-family group said that Jesse Sumner is a pro-life, pro-family Republican.

“As a life-long Mat Su resident with a growing family, Sumner builds houses for a living and serves on the local Borough Assembly where he has consistently fought for lower taxes and conservative policies in line with family values. Sumner will build relationships in the legislature rather than build walls that alienate everybody and prevent good things from happening,” the organization wrote.

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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

  • It’s just the opposite. Most of the Legislators are more liberal and rinos. The reason Rep. Eastman seems to be out of touch, is because the legislature is center left. Rep. Eastman is in concert with his district, not those who are running the legislature. Getting along is very easy if one moves their values to the left, but are criticized if one doesn’t “go along to get along”. Changing Legislators may calm the division some, but how many conservative votes will be left? Getting along and “working with others” sounds good, but that misses the mark when it comes to the values of Rep. Eastmans district. I always hear, we need someone who stands up and says what he believes and stick to his principles”. Only if everyone agrees with him. Hahaha it’s a hypocrisy that continues to chase it tail.

    Eddie Burke.

    • David Eastman has been in the legislature for four years and he has passed no bills, no resolutions. Tell me what about that is effective in any way?

      He had four years to get inside the system and fix it. Now he’s on the outside looking in.

      • Kind of hard to pass bills when the Dems/RINOs kill them in committees.

        • Dems/RINOS wouldn’t have control of the committees if David had just committed to join the Republican majority.

          He tells you what you want to hear and kills every pro life bill offered in Juneau. Watch Gavel. Your support for Eastman is delusional.

          • I can’t tell if you’re for abortion and using this to try to get rid of Eastman or if you’re just new to the movement & inexperienced. The pseudo-pro-life bills are meant to placate, not end abortion. I have more than 45 yrs experience volunteering in the pro-life movement & Eastman has the only method which will restore rights to the pre-born child, establishing personhood. After 50 yrs of 2 ft. forward & 2 ft. back, anyone who has actually expended a lot of effort knows we need more to join Eastman, vilify him.

          • *not vilify him.

      • Steve,

        obviously you are not informed about the workings of the legislature. RINOS left the Republican majority to join with Democrats and conservatives were forced into the minority. The RINOS will not pass any bills from the minority. That’s the way it works.

        Especially bills like abortion and others. You must kiss the ring of the Democrat speaker and not submit controversial legislation. So are we going to elect this other guy so we can continue with the status-quo?
        You must be a leftist. Because conservatives wouldn’t say what you state.

        Eddie Burke.

        • You’re missing my point. If Eastman had not acted like a self righteous Switzerland during organization, Republicans would have had the majority and they could have passed whatever pro life bills they wanted. Dave Talerico would have been the speaker if David had just for once chosen to be a team player.

          Instead, they got Edgmon. The fact that good conservatives like most of you commenting in defense of Eastman don’t see this disturbs me. He wouldn’t commit to the caucus and that gave Knopp, Kopp, and Johnston a reason to bail.

      • David Eastman refuses to compromise his integrity and values for the sake of “just getting along” or “compromising.” If the people who think he does nothing actually researched, they would get it. No compromises with the enemy. Period. We need more of him, not less, and not some watered down version. He has my utmost support from District 7, and is the one easy choice TRUE conservatives have.

    • You can be a political activist all you want but if you’re a party of one you can’t get anything done. Eastman unfortunately is toxic and has stabbed good conservative MatSu Republicans one too many times. And MatSu Reps are not rinos!

      • Well said, and amen.

  • Good policy move and perhaps David should strongly consider with drawing from the race and support this move…

    • One could argue that Eastman is a union stooge. His unwillingness to participate in the legislative process put the Republicans in the minority and delivered the Dems and Unions everything they want.

      Chuck Kopp and the rest of his RINO/Dem thugs want David to get re-elected because they know they’ll get to control the majority again. Think with your heads people.

    • I agree Charlie. All the people defending Eastman have no idea how much damage he and pat Martin do to the pro life movement.

    • Ed, do you have any evidence, or is this a smear?

      We have TONS of evidence of Eastman’s treachery and his ineffectiveness.

  • Totally unfair to Eastman is how the Republican light RINOs act and vote more like the liberal dems. David Eastman did not defect. The pathetic majority of repugnants did the defecting. Eastman is a stalwart in his morals and the weak knees know this… Cowardice has become the new morality. They lie and promise to get elected then they turn on their fellows that have courage to stand for what they made in their campaign promises… Reaching across the aisle has only been a badge of dishonor when it comes to bowing to the dems….We need men and women of firm backbones not whining sniveling tail tuckers… That mode has led to this Lawless looting and burning of our cities… I know very little of Jesse Sumner and I wish him well in all he does but the one thing I do know is that this mess is not Eastmans doing, It is those that were elected and did not have the fortitude and courage to stand like the Eastmans in our Legislature.

    • Eastman is the reason the Republicans don’t have a majority. He could have been a team player and advanced conservative causes but instead chose to use his time attacking other good conservatives like Cathy Tilton and Mike Dunleavy. He is a phony.

      • No, Knopp is the reason that we didn’t get a republican majority. Don’t pin his problems on Eastman who voted for the republican majority each and every time.

        • Eastman set up the environment and offered an excuse on a silver platter. He dropped the grenade, blue-on-blue action, and walked away smiling.

    • Eastman is a RINO! He has no credibility to speak on pro life issues after opposing the heartbeat bill and ultrasound law. How could you oppose laws like those and call yourself pro life?!

      • Because heartbeat bills don’t save lives. He brought forward the only true pro-life bill. You can tell the real pro-life people because they co-sponsored it.

        • Heartbeat bills don’t save lives?! Are you listening to yourself?

          • You don’t know much about abortion. They are injecting potassium chloride or digoxin directly into babies hearts. There. Heartbeat problem solved. Also, it’s the abortionist who has a profit motive who decides if this fluttering qualifies as a heartbeat. Eastman’s proposal is what the Supreme Court justices said to do in 1973. Establish personhood for the fetus and they will give them human rights under the 14th Amendment.

  • Sure, more about his “conservative values” but tell me how you feel about the unconstitutional “lockdowns” and government ordered health mandates?
    How about the fact that our Governor has extended his “Emergency Powers” until November even though the hospitals are empty and we have never seen a spike in Covid deaths across Alaska?
    Every Republican running for office can take the typical stand of: “I support the 2nd amendment and I am pro life” but who has the knowledge and fortitude to persist in a 21st century environment in which the private sector and our civil liberties are under a constant attack from the growing massive “Big Brother is watching you” campaign?

    • What’s that got to do with Eastman?

    • Steve,

      You must have forgotten that the legislature granted the Governor the emergency power and that he didn’t grant them to himself, right? You do understand that, right? I know, I know you would much rather stir the pot than add anything to it.

    • I thought compromise was considered to be the heart of politics, not pigheaded allegiance to some arbitrary doctrine.

  • I support Mr Eastman 100% he is my legislature rep and he is the only one who actually lives the true conservative life I will continue to vote for Mr Eastman because I’m a constatutionalist and he is as well this Jessie is on the assembly which has been screwing us in Eastman’s district and will keep doing it if In the legislature give me a constatutionalist for all of our representatives in the valley and we get our state back to its original purpose. Vote for Eastman!

    • 100% agree.

      REELECT EASTMAN…..

      Sumner and his wife are big donors to ARP, otherwise known as the CBC of Alaska.

      Wonder how much they donated to Minnery??

      • Did you check to see how much Sumner donated to Eastman for his past races? Maybe check that out before you run your mouth, Karen.

  • I am disappointed in Alaska Family Action. Rep. Eastman has done his homework and knows the only way to stop the wholesale slaughter of tiny humans is to legally acknowledge their personhood. Seven of nine men on the Supreme Court in the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, said they didn’t know when life begins (which has now been proven scientifically) but if personhood is ever established for the fetus, they would likely go back and give them rights under the 14th Amendment. Abortion is one of the main roots of racism too. Justice Bader-Ginsburg acknowledged this when she said that when Roe was passed, she believed it was to get rid of “populations that we don’t want too much of”. It had become illegal to sterilize people against their will so the government started funding Planned Parenthood which was started by Margaret Sanger who started The Negro Project, wanted to get rid of people she considered “human weeds” and was once a speaker for the KKK. Planned Parenthood, true to their racist beginnings, has placed 79% of their abortion centers in minority neighborhoods. Genocide has been rampant on Indian Reservations and even the state of Alaska pays to kill more Native babies than White ones, relative to their numbers in the population. After working in the pro-life movement for more than 45 years, I know that incrementalism has never worked and never will. Abortion is anti woman, anti-child, anti-family and anti-minority. It’s not surprising that there is so much opposition to Rep. Eastman and the personhood bill but calling yourself pro-life while refusing to do what will end it is disingenuous or misguided.

    • Jan,
      All this may be true but unless he is effective in convincing his peers in the House to support his legislation, he will remain on the fringe.
      I have worked with Mr. Eastman; he has a way that seems to naturally antagonize many who try to work with him. You can’t do that and be an effective legislator.

      • You’ve obviously never worked much for the pro-life effort and experienced the ire of those who want to maintain the status quo. Abortion is big business and on top of that, it has racist roots. After sterilizing minorities against their will became illegal, government funding has gone to Planned Parenthood which has placed 79% of their abortion centers in minority neighborhoods. The state of Alaska pays for killing more black and especially native babies than white, proportionate to their numbers in the population.

  • Candidate Jesse Sumner is drawing attention to himself and desiring to make a difference by wanting increased taxes by promoting an Education Head Tax. That means more money out of our families’ pockets. Apparently this is what Sumner wants to deliver to his constituents and thinks that standing up a new tax will somehow advance conservative values.

  • “Sumner will build relationships in the legislature rather than build walls that alienate everybody…”

    Giessel does the same thing while sticking to her “conservative” values.

    Sorry Jesse…this voter knows exactly what “building relationships” means.

  • This hardly seems like an endorsement of Jesse Sumner.

    An endorsement is an act of giving public support or approval, in this case, for Jesse Sumner.

    If I were Jesse Sumner, I wouldn’t feel too happy with this endorsement, since it seems Minnery & Co at Alaska Family Council’s endorsement limited Sumner’s qualifications to his place of birth and occupation.

    But you’ve got to ask, why would Jim Minnery and his board of directors at Alaska Family Council try to sway our support and votes based on unsupported accusations against Eastman and some ambiguous value in Sumner’s birthplace and occupation?

    Perhaps some facts could be provided.

  • This actually seems more like an attack on David Eastman than an endorsement of Jesse Sumner.

    So why don’t we balance the scales and see if this is an endorsement of Jesse Sumner, or an attack on David Eastman. We’ll start with the attacks on Eastman.

    ATTACK: Minnery & Co imply that Eastman is the reason the Republicans lost control of the House despite their significant majority.

    Minnery & Co gives Eastman A LOT of power here. Think about it: Eastman refuses to participate in what would have been a binding caucus, and that causes a turnover of the House to the Democrats? That’s not just laughable, it’s idiotic.

    If you follow the facts – or at least the logic, you’ll see Eastman neither has such power, nor is he responsible for the Democrats controlling the House.

    If Minnery & Co at Alaska Family Council were actually concerned with who flipped sides and joined the Democrats, they’d look no further than AFC endorsed Chuck Kopp, who holds the second most powerful seat in the House – the Rules Committee Chairmanship.

    But if you search the pages of Must Read Alaska, the only critique of Mr. Kopp comes from Ms. Downing and other outside authors.

    If Minnery & Co has done justice to Mr. Kopp, shouldn’t we have seen a similar attack on Kopp and endorsement on his opponent?

    And since Kopp holds far more power and influence than Eastman, shouldn’t we be working against his re-election instead of Eastman’s?

    It seems Mr. Minnery’s priorities and strategies may be a bit skewed as he enthusiastically the “privilege” of endorsing Jesse Sumner.

    • Isn’t right to life the same organization that ran attack ads against Governor Dunleavy during session? And the one that attacked good conservatives like George Rauscher?

      You don’t care about protecting life. You only care about being jerks to good conservatives while worshipping your god, David Eastman. Pat Martin your legacy is that you got Right to Life kicked out of national affiliation because you were attacking good conservative pro lifers. That’s why pro life Alaska org exists now.

      You and all your followers have blood on your hands for blocking and opposing good pro life bills for the last 4 years. Can’t wait to see you answer for that one day

      • You are truly a fool, and we can tell by the name you’re using to make fun of another conservative. AKRTL has always put out the truth, some politicians just don’t like that. If you think National Right-to-Life is a good pro-life organization, then you aren’t really pro-life. We at Right-to-Life, Interior Alaska disaffiliated with them long ago.

      • Alaska Right to Life decided to leave National and work with a personhood movement and that was not Pat Martin’s decision. You have your facts and your timeline wrong. You use a fake name while referencing an org which is curious indeed. National has compromised for more than 50 years and as a result, we are further behind where we were 50 years ago.

  • Alaska Family Action, unfortunately, has no credibility whatsoever. This organization arbitrarily “picks” their favorite based on what I’m not sure. And then demonizes the opposition with BLATANT LIES. This organization who supposedly stands on Christian principles and values does not walk their own talk and does a discredit to the faith by their actions.

    I have absolutely no problem with whom they choose to support, that is their call. I have a problem with them stating blatant lies about the other candidate’s character to do so.
    Mr. Sumner is an asset to the Mat-Su Valley Assembly which is in desperate need of more like him. The Conservative Mat-Su should have a conservative assembly and conservative school board, they do not. However, they do hold the only legislative Champion, Rep Eastman. He has a proven voting record that is unmatched by any other legislator for upholding their oath of office. Mat-Su also has the best Senator, Mike Shower.

    • Pam, as your brother in Messiah, I offer this with all respect and love. David Eastman has deceived you. What you are engaging in is a cult of personality. The legislators I speak to are conservative Christians, not just political conservatives, and to a person they have said Eastman is allied (through his actions) with the left. He has aided the enemy, and he knows it. Not that he agrees with them ideologically, mind you, but that he hates conservatives who don’t follow him so badly, he’d prefer the state be reduced to ashes. That’s narcissism.

      Satan divides and conquers and uses pride to do so. Eastman is an ego with a christian theme. Although I don’t doubt his salvation, I do doubt his actions are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  • Minnery has done nothing to abolish abortion in Alaska….guess he doesn’t want to work himself out of a job!

    Rep Eastman is the only champion legislator Alaska has. He has stood up for constitutionally and the rights of Alaska consistently when all the others have not (consistently). He does not vote along to get along and I would hope that most would not want their Reps to do it either.

    A champion score is a tough score to achieve and Rep Eastman has done it 4 years in a row. We need more principled legislators not less.

    • And what exactly has Eastman done to further the pro life cause? Funny part is we actually have a pro life majority in the legislature so it could have been done.

      David spent the last four years sniping at people on his own team instead of building the support needed to win on an issue as important as life. He never even asked for a hearing on his bills

      The Dems want him to stay – he’s their biggest weapon to keep control.

      I’m a Republican voter and I’ll proudly support Jesse Summer

    • This is what happens with good organizations. They start off doing good work, but the longer they are in business, the more fishy they become. They forget their roots. The reason Minnery is pushing another candidate, is because, he’s been told by the rinos, leadership, you need to replace Eastman so we can have someone we can work with. I know what that means. Conservatives are screwed with Jessie. I can’t believe Minnery would be a fool for this crap.

    • Sadly, we saw the same phenomenon with Nat. Right to Life in the many years I was on the Alaska Right to Life board. Most of us, including me, were volunteers and we wanted to be successful and work ourselves right out of a job. National compromised to the point of making one wonder if they liked their paid jobs too much to do the same. Alaska Right to Life decided to work with the personhood movement since that is what the Supreme Court said in 1973, that if personhood is established, they would give human rights to the “fetus” under the 14th Amendment.

  • I suggest that those of you supporting Eastman in comments take a screenshot, Downing is deleting comments….now why would she be doing that unless she FEARS TRUTH!?

      • Then where are my posts? I’ve posted three times in response, but they’re not here.

        Here’s the first comment:

        “This hardly seems like an endorsement of Jesse Sumner.

        An endorsement is an act of giving public support or approval, in this case, for Jesse Sumner.

        If I were Jesse Sumner, I wouldn’t feel too happy with this endorsement, since it seems Minnery & Co at Alaska Family Council’s endorsement limited Sumner’s qualifications to his place of birth and occupation.

        But you’ve got to ask, why would Jim Minnery and his board of directors at Alaska Family Council try to sway our support and votes based on unsupported accusations against Eastman and some ambiguous value in Sumner’s birthplace and occupation?

        Perhaps some facts could be provided.”

          • Thank you Suzanne,

            There must be a glitch somewhere, since several of us experienced the same problem.

  • My comment was removed. I was exposing Alaska Family Action’s lack of principles and values they claim to uphold.

  • Regarding this endorsement: For Jesse Sumner’s homebuilding experience to be relevant, he’d have to demonstrate that he were able to convince his most aggressive competitor to buy houses from him at his asking price, and then convince others to do the same.

    Because in the legislature, that’s what our elected representatives are doing – especially in the context of prohibiting abortion. Many Republicans, and all on the left will defend abortion to the very end.

    But Minnery & Co’s pitch to us is that Sumner will be able to get his ideological opponents to be so enamored with him and his ideas that they’ll willingly lay down their own ideologies (abortion for any reason, in any stage, at any age) in exchange for a complete and total prohibition of abortion. And then they’ll somehow be so happy with that idea that they’ll enlist leftist pro-abortion democrats to do the same, all at great risk to their incomes and careers.

    The idea that we can go along and get along with pro-abortion democrats and pro-choice republicans – and slowly work them towards the end of abortion is just silly. No, it’s dangerous.

    The most notable time somebody implemented this strategy on a large scale led the world into war when Neville Chamberlain sold the Sudetenland to the Nazis in 1939. He tried to appease them into peace and MILLIONS of people died because he lacked the courage to confront the great evil of his time.

    We don’t need to build bridges with people that advocate for truly evil things like killing babies, destroying families and enslaving children into sexual immorality.

    We cannot appease people that are no more interested in peace with us than Hitler was.

    No, when we look for an endorsement from a pro-family, pro-life group, we need an endorsement that shows the willingness and ability to confront evil and drive it into non-existence.

    Instead, Minnery & Co at Alaska Family Council gave us place of birth and occupation. Those are irrelevant to the job in Juneau.

    When looking for an endorsement for somebody that is going to lead the effort to end abortion in Alaska, we cannot afford another Neville Chamberlain.

    And here’s the thing about the endorsement issue with Jesse Sumner: we don’t need to attack Sumner with ambiguous innuendo, lies and deceit.

    But Minnery & Co at Alaska Family Council sure owe us – and Sumner – a better endorsement than telling us where he was born and what he does for a living.

    Being born in Palmer isn’t a qualification for building homes in Wasilla any more than it is to run for office

    And homebuilding isn’t abortion abolishing.

    The babies being murdered deserve better than this.

  • David Eastman is exactly the principled conservative that conservatives always say they want. You never have to worry about him being a RINO. He has introduced the most important pro-life bill in the Legislature and is willing to take flak from those who just want a do-nothing legislature. I think his district knows this and we don’t have to worry about someone who doesn’t want to take stands beating him.

    • Representative government requires cooperation. Eastman doesn’t cooperate. At all.

      Four years, no bills. Not even a lousy resolution. No one can say with a straight face that he’s accomplished one thing for our movement. We are in the exact same spot as we were four years ago.

      Eastman may say all the right things but he hasn’t delivered a single thing except talk talk talk. And frankly he’s made us the laughing stock of the whole state.

  • I’m for Eastman, this Sumner fellow on the assembly has been a compromiser which is a nice way of saying he’s moves Left of Center when it suits him politically. Eastman stay the course despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth by RINOs. Eastman isn’t the problem in Juneau but all the RINOs are.

  • Boy there is a lot of emotion on this page for Eastman so let’s look at facts folks. Did Eastman pass any legislation to help the pro-life movement, NO! Did Eastman reduce the state budget, NO! Did Eastman pass any meaningful legislation in the past four years, NO! I would compare Jesse Sumners record any day against Eastmans. It’s one thing to be a political activist, it’s another to be a public servant like Assemblyman Sumner. We need him in Juneau.

    • Reading the comments above reminds me why the evil party has been able to seize power, despite not having a majority. Sadly, Conservatives , like Religious Zealots have created purity tests which supersedes logic. This fellow Eastman is a contrarian, a thought provoking kind of fellow however incapable of leading or working within an imperfect system to bring about realistic change or results.
      In Alaska we have the Evil party and the Stupid Party, the Democrats are the Evil Party.

    • Fact: Rep. Eastman is the first person to introduce a pro-life bill that has the potential to end wholesale abortion. The Supreme Court told us in 1975, along with their convoluted Roe v Wade decision, (modified and expanded by the companion case, Doe v Bolton and expanded again under Casey) that if personhood is established for the fetus, they would likely go back and give them human rights under the 14th Amendment. You claim he didn’t help the pro-life movement but this is not true. Eastman has exposed the pseudo pro-life bills for what they are, a means to continue harvesting fetal tissue by placating those who can clear their consciences with a minimum amount of effort. I’ve been working for more than 45 yrs to end abortion and every attempt at compromise has failed because Planned Parenthood sues and judges capitulate to the status quo. Why? It’s because we haven’t done what the Supreme Court told us and established personhood by legislation for the tiny humans. Those who vilify Eastman INSTEAD OF JOINING HIM are not seeing the bigger picture.

  • Jesse Sumner is far from being a RINO. I support Jesse because he will promote Governor Dunleavys agenda instead of his own.

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