Black Rifles Matter: Human Rights Commission to meet in executive session - Must Read Alaska
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Black Rifles Matter: Human Rights Commission to meet in executive session

PERSONNEL ‘MATTER’

The Alaska Human Rights Commission has an executive session meeting scheduled for Monday, April 1 to take up the matter of its top manager: Can Marti Buscaglia be salvaged or has she so damaged the reputation of the commission that she must be shown the door?

Buscaglia, the executive director of the Commission, earlier this month instructed a state worker to put a note on a contractor’s truck, telling him to get out of the parking lot with his offensive “Black Rifles Matter” truck decal. She thought it was racist. She thought it was “hate speech.”

The truck belonged to a local plumbing company that was doing work on the downtown building where the Human Rights Commission has its offices.

The commission has a reputation for investigating hardworking business owners for all kinds of infractions, such as firing people wrongly or not allowing service animals on premises. The businesses often have to pay fines to a charity, such as an animal shelter, as part of their penance.

But by putting a note on the back of her business card telling the contractor to remove his vehicle,  Buscaglia took her authority a step further.: She may have violated the constitutional rights of the plumber who owns the truck.

She also took her vengeance to Facebook, mocking the owner of the vehicle for his decal, all under the name of the Human Rights Commission, and the State of Alaska seal.

The plumber went on social media to describe what happened. Read Must Read Alaska reports on the incident here:

[Read: Human Rights director thought she was regulating ‘hate speech’]

[Read: Human Rights Commission vs. First, Second Amendment]

Gov. Michael Dunleavy asked the Department of Law to conduct an investigation, and that investigation has been wrapped up and delivered to the Commission’s volunteer board, whose chairman is Brandon H. Nakasato.

The “personnel matter” on the calendar could mean Buscaglia’s possible removal. She is not a classified employee and can be dismissed by the commission for cause.

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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

  • I believe the Commission has no choice. If they don’t the backlash will be fierce. I for one will have plenty to discuss with them on this issue. She can in no way be fair in her dealings as the ED of this body. I even suggest (again) that every case that has been decided under her tenure (or not considered for that matter) be investigated. In addition to what is mentioned she suggested the building owner cease doing business with this gentleman. An assault on his rights and his small business. Bye bye Ms. Buscaglia. You should have resigned but then I suppose that would have delayed your unemployment benefits ….. ?

    • She either resigns, gets fired, or this Governor will shut down the entire commission. In the prophetic words of Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles, they need to save their phony baloney jobs. Cheers –

      • I’m sure the commissioners know that they too can be replaced at the drop of a hat too. I’m holding faith they will do the right thing. Once they do, I hope the entire, worthless HRC is dissolved. Every administration puts “their people” in place to move an agenda forward, but there is no need for a body that is supposed to aid in protecting our human rights, to be biased by their own political leanings. Sick.

  • Is it possible that Marti is professional enough to resign and admit she abused her position?

    • For a true believer (per Eric Hoffer)? Not in this lifetime.

    • About as likely as deciding the best course of action to protest her eminent dismissal is to light herself up like a Buddhist Candle in front of the state capitol building….

  • Just for the record, the confidentiality protections at AS 39.25.080 only apply to classified and partially exempt employees. I think Buscaglia is exempt from the State Personnel Act so any personnel matters involving her are public record; no place to hide.

  • Let her go, she was a “bad actor” and overly zealous for the position.

  • Such poor judgement especially being in that position. No possible excuse. Completely ineligible for being retained.

  • The conduct exhibited was reactionary, unprofessional and illustrates poor judgment.
    Given the position held by this individual and the disenguous and dissembling statements made when confronted with the behavior the appropriate course is resignation or firing.

  • Thank you for the follow-up.

  • If the governors legal department has concluded their investigation, and determined that the states best interests are served without her as an employee, as she has had a week or so, to contemplate her actions, and has not yet resigned, she should be fired without the option to resign, provided it is done legally and without the bias she was not able to contain. OMG! What a run-on sentence!!!

  • Why does the state of Alaska have a human rights commission?

  • Has there been discussion or reports on the Dept. of Corrections Chief Probation Officer Kendall Rhyne’s repercussions? She was a willing participant or possibly the gofer in this incident.

    • Carl, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Did this person’s card get grabbed and put on the windshield for extra dramatic effect or was the PO actually a conspirator? Inquiring minds want to know…..

  • I’m with Leslie T Wilson. I have suggested to the Governor to get rid of the Human Rights commission, that that money and use it to keep the Senior Benefits program which would remove SB 58. At least Senior Benefits has a real positive purpose. This commission and it’s employees do what? If my rights are violated, I have recourse through criminal actions both Federal or State. I don’t need a biased bunch of state employees to tell me my rights were violated!

    • Bodies like the HRC were a very fashionable Great Society thing. It was important enough to Democrats that the ’64 Legislature took time from dealing with the Good Friday Earthquake to enact the enabling legislation for it. It basically serves to provide sinecures for friends of Governors, often minorities. It along with EEO are often instruments of shakedowns of businesses, especially in Democrat administrations. Some poverty pimp advocate makes a complaint. If the “facts” as asserted the agency makes a finding of probable cause with little or investigation into whether the asserted “facts” have any basis. After the probable cause finding is served and the respondent is facing a hearing, the agency generously offers a consent decree; if you just give the complainant some money and then hire some Democrat to train your employees for a few thousand bucks, and give a few thousand more to some poverty pimp group, we can make this go away.

      • Art, “poverty pimp” is priceless! I love it. Can I use that in a sentence publicly sometime? Please? “Facts” are clearly overlooked with the HRC. No such thing. Her reactionary response to a frigging bumper sticker was enough for me.

  • She is the Executive Director of the Commission! There is no way anyone should remain in that position after such inappropriateness. Her actions go well beyond poor judgement.

  • Not only was Marti Buscaglia using her (very powerful) position to bully one Alaskan who pays her salary, but she doesn’t know how to write proper English. Ms. Buscaglia, it is “In WHICH world is this OK?” And to answer you, “In a free United States of America that is founded on the Constitution. Perhaps you didn’t read it when you were in high school.

    On that note, how does one get to be executive director of the Human Rights Commission without a college education? She clearly skipped kindergarten, too, where she would have been taught to treat others with kindness and not throw temper tantrums when you don’t get your way.

  • The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that hate speech is protected speech. The last time was in 2017, when the Federal Government wouldn’t was regulating trademarks, and they didn’t like a trademark. The Supreme Court unanimously sided against the Feds and again reminded everyone that there is no hate speech in America under the First Amendment.
    This begs the question: if the Human Rights Commission (HRC) does little other than protect us all of supposed hate speech, and the Supreme Court continually reaffirms that there is no such thing as hate speech in America, then why do we need a HRC? It seems to me that what constitutes hate speech is subjective anyway.
    I’m in agreement with the other people here who call for the dismantling of the HRC.

  • How come no one asked her at her job interview if her personal beliefs would interfere with her job?

    • Haha! Good one. Rep. Fields wasn’t around when she was hired I’m guessing. Oh, that’s right – he wouldn’t have asked her a thing because she’s a lib.

  • Another leftover from the Walker regime.

    Found the following on the net:

    Disappointing mistake
    JUNE 28, 2007 BY VERONICA VILLAFAÑE
    There was much excitement and praise for Marti Buscaglia, when it was announced that the publisher of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune had landed the same job at the Orange County Register in early June. A Latina would become the top decision-maker at a big California daily. But today, it all had to be taken back. She apparently didn’t tell the whole truth about her educational background and had to quit the new job before she even started.
    Although she apologizes and takes full responsibility for what happened in an article published today, it’s amazing that a woman with 30 years in the business had never been previously questioned about her credentials. The saddest thing about it is that she had built a respected career and now who knows where she’ll go next.
    What’s most disappointing is a missed opportunity for diversity to reach the top management levels of a major newspaper.
    From: https://www.mediamoves.com/2007/06/disappointing-mistake.html

    • Oops! I guess someone in some administration failed to vet Ms. Buscaglia. Did the Walker administration hire her or has she been there longer than that? This is the third article I have seen regarding her little fib on the old resume from back in the day.
      .
      I find it interesting that the person who wrote this article thinks the most disappointing part of the entire situation is that there was “a missed opportunity for diversity to reach the top management levels of a major newspaper”. Really? That’s what is most disappointing?

  • Has Ms Buscaglia humbly apologized? I haven’t heard. Is she my chance now aware that she over reacted and was a bit too hypersensitive? If she is contrite snd apologetic she should not lose her job. We all make mistakes and her apparent cluelessness in the moment might be a really good learning experience if those she unjustly accused forgive her and extend olive branch. If though she has a chip on her shoulder and is an unyielding angry at conservatives no matter what kind of person – well then she has dug her hole. Hence not enough info.

    • Elizabeth, while I do agree that we all make mistakes and deserve our opportunity for redemption, I submit this was not a mistake at all. Ms. Buscaglia didn’t have a sudden outburst of rage. She didn’t accidentally say a naughty word into a hot mic. This isn’t a case of intermittent explosive disorder.
      .
      What she did was very thought out and calculated. First, it appears she had the time to leave her job duties and peruse the parking lot to determine what she sees fit to be on bumper stickers (let me remind you: not her private parking lot). Once determined it was against her “beliefs”, she then had the time to write a note on one of her business cards, corral another to partake in her antics, place said note on the windshield of the vehicle, post it all on the State of Alaska’s (HRC) Facebook page, and finally call the owner of the building to insist he/she not hire this plumber again. A saboteur if you ask me.
      .
      Only in the public outrage that has resulted from her actions has she remotely reflected on what she did. I’m sure she is aware now of what she has done, but I hardly believe she feels she overreacted. It is only now that she has regurgitated the classic excuses (not apologies) one does when their BS gets publicly displayed. She has a long history of hiding the truth as well as one of bashing conservative leaning people and causes on social media. Some posted in this blog. Some in others.
      .
      A humble apology doesn’t cut it for these kinds of actions at her level. She is the executive director of the Human Rights Commission! Let that soak in just for a bit. May she could humbly apologize for getting a speeding ticket in the company car, but she violated the human rights of a citizen, publicly outed him and his small business on a State of Alaska Facebook page, attempted to damage his current work and future work…. all while being the head of the Human Rights Commission!! “Oops…Sorry” doesn’t cut it here. By the time you have lied on your resume enough to reach the pinnacle of the HRC, you should know better.

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