Breaking: Tammie Wilson walks out on Democrat caucus - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, September 23, 2021
HomeTop NewsBreaking: Tammie Wilson walks out on Democrat caucus

Breaking: Tammie Wilson walks out on Democrat caucus

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[Editor’s note: Rep. Tammie Wilson is back as House Finance co-chair as of 9 am on Wednesday morning. Observers in the Capitol say she made up with the Democratic leadership and she is back in the chair in House Finance.] Three independent sources confirmed Tuesday that Rep. Tammie Wilson, a North Pole Republican, has left the Democrat-led caucus that she joined earlier this year, when they offered her the plum position of co-chair of House Finance. But it’s unclear if her differences with the caucus led her to walk out on her own accord, or if she was pushed to the side.

Speaker Bryce Edgmon is said to be trying to coax her out of her office at this hour. Earlier she was packing boxes, evidently preparing to move out of the spacious Finance co-chair suite.

Wilson got sideways with the Democrats when she was standing in defense of the Gov. Dunleavy crime bills, which roll back the leniencies of SB-91 legislation from two years ago. Rep. Matt Claman, chair of Judiciary, has been trying to kill the bills offered by the governor.

Jennifer Johnston, who was vice chair of House Finance, becomes co-chair with Neal Foster. She is from South Anchorage.

So now the question becomes: Where are Bart LeBon and Steve Thompson, the other Fairbanks Republicans who joined the Democrat-led caucus? Will they stay or will they go? And who will be the new person on Finance to take Wilson’s place?

As far as the Democrats go, they haven’t wanted Wilson to serve on the budget conference committee because she is far too conservative for their tastes. She and Rep. Cathy Tilton could negotiate down the larger budget that the House has offered.

And now that the House budget has passed, the Democrats don’t need Wilson.

At this point, Wilson appears to be a caucus of one. Check back, this a developing story.

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Written by

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

  • A lonely place to be. The Democrats baited her, used her, then spit her out. For Tammie, an illusion of power. She abandoned her friends in the Republican minority. Even if they took her back, she would become only a bit player. They will no longer trust Tammie. She screwed herself. Anyone could see this coming. But the illusion of power can be difficult to avoid.

  • Couldn’t have said it better Naomi. I have scratched my head on what Tammie was doing until awhile back a wise MRAK reader smacked me aside the head (figuratively) and pointed out her power grab. It’s a shame. I thought she was better than that. Perhaps she will try to package this differently, but it is clear. She turned.
    This kumbaya caucus thing just doesn’t work and this is another illustration of that. She’s done. She’s shown her true colors. If that is all it takes to sway her away from the team, she needs to be permanently benched. Now by both sides. Good bye Tammie.
    Remember: KNOPP

  • Happens every time you lay down with democrats. The turncoat ends up with a political social disease after being used and abused. I will be crying some big ole crocodile tears. On the bright side I would venture we can count on her for veto sustaining vote.

    • Wonder if Gary Knopp goes to the nurse for weekly shots of penicillin?

  • Tammie is supposed to have a seat at the conference table. This is more than enough to justify her joining the Dem led majority. As Suzanne explains above. It would have put her at the table to accept the Senate’s much more frugal budget, and to help grant Alaskans a full pfd. Not a direct vote on the PFD, but by accepting the Senate version of the budget, the House would have little or no choice but to fund the PFD. It was great strategic thinking by Tammie. As I would expect.
    That the Dem led majority only just now figured it out, well that is what we’ve come to expect after two years of Edgmon’s “Lost in Space” leadership. “Danger Mr. Robinson.”
    But I date myself! Ha!

    • Interesting. If true, then a hero’s role at the buzzer? Not really tuned into this kind of strategy though, because you are viewed as bucking your own party right to the end. People will be forever cautious of her… both parties….and the governor. When you break ranks, even to penetrate the enemy lines, your soul is spoiled. And you really haven’t got a friend.

  • Between protecting poison Ivy and covering for crime squish Claman, I’m surprised more Republicans haven’t fled sooner.
    Welcome home Tammie, and good luck!

  • Tammie stands by her convictions and choices. Am sure there is a backstory we have not heard yet. She is and will always be a local hero.

  • Yes, where are Bart LeBon and Steve Thompson?

    • Try the Elks at Happy Hour.

  • Nothing to see here.

  • House Finance on now HB131, Tammie is chair. Any ideas what is going on?

  • “As far as the Democrats go, they haven’t wanted Wilson to serve on the budget conference committee because she is far too conservative for their tastes. She and Rep. Cathy Tilton could negotiate down the larger budget that the House has offered.

    And now that the House budget has passed, the Democrats don’t need Wilson.” SD

    There is no much misinformation in this news release. Suzanne-How about releasing a correction and retraction?

    The House majority needs as many members as can muster to help create Club 45-a Governor veto block.

    A big part of the difference between the Senate and House budget is the cut to the Alaska Marine system: $45 million (Seante-or was it $40 million) vs $10 million (House). Tammie was a strong advocate-force for the smaller House cut.

    The Senate came our with $322 million for the University, the House? Under Tammie: $317 million.

    The simple claim the Senate is for this, the House for this and Tammie for that is so wrong on so many levels.

    please provide a retraction and a correction and maybe some real numbers-background on the budget discussions?

    Benjamins don’t fall out of the sky everyday.


  • I thought she was sexist??? sexist against men…. look at the comments she makes in public and to the press
    I thought thats why some people do not like her, especially parents who have sons.

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