THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
Once in a while, we are completely flabbergasted at what some of our elected representatives have the chutzpah to say aloud.
Take, for instance, Senate President Cathy Giessel. She went on Facebook yesterday to engage in vague character assassination of Rep. Laddie Shaw. Giessel was one of six Republican senators who voted not to confirm Shaw to replace late Sen. Chris Birch in Senate Seat M.
Giessel and the others are determined to slash the Permanent Fund from the statutorily required $3,000 to about $1,600 to provide government more money to spend. Shaw told them he believed in following the law. They did not like that.
Shaw, a two-tour Vietnam war veteran and a Navy SEAL, was one of the three District M choices Gov. Mike Dunleavy was sent by Republicans after Birch’s death. He tapped Shaw. During questioning prior to Shaw’s rejection, Giessel incredibly asked asked Shaw – a guy who has risked his life to protect the likes of her – if he looks down on those who have not served in the military.
In her Facebook shot at Shaw on Thursday, Giessel lamely defended Shaw’s rejection in a back-handed way. “Many times we know these individuals in a way that perhaps you don’t,” she said.
“In a way that perhaps you don’t,” she said. Really. She actually said that about a fellow member of the Legislature and a guy who does not have to stand aside for anybody.
It was a cheap shot. It is, in fact, among the most cowardly, cheesy, undignified remarks we have ever heard from a politician, and we have heard a lot of cowardly, cheesy, undignified remarks from politicians over the years. How dare she impugn Shaw’s integrity with such a quietly pernicious statement. It is the verbal equivalent of a nudge-nudge, wink-wink, and, frankly it is unbefitting a street punk much less a sitting senator and president of the Alaska Senate.
She owes Shaw and every Alaskan an apology. Voters in her district should take note.
By the way, the rest of the senators who joined Giessel in denying one of the state’s ablest legislators a seat in the Senate include: Sens. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, Bert Stedman, R-Ketchikan, John Coghill, R-North Pole, and Natasha von Imhoff, R-Anchorage. All support the smaller dividend.
So, here is our question to Giessel: What is it that you know that we do not? Let’s hear it. In public. Lay it out. We have a right to know what you know. If you have nothing, do Alaska a favor: Sit down and shut up.