CYA? Spohnholz attacks character of citizen Karl Johnstone - again - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, December 15, 2019
HomePoliticsCYA? Spohnholz attacks character of citizen Karl Johnstone — again

CYA? Spohnholz attacks character of citizen Karl Johnstone — again

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz doubled down today. She attacked the reputation of former Board of Fish Chairman Karl Johnstone, saying he “does not have the character” to serve on the Board of Fish.

Her comments came on the floor of the House on Wednesday, as she admitted that she had heard a lot of feedback about the shocking and unsourced accusations she had made against Johnstone in joint session with the Senate last week.

Just before the vote on his confirmation to the Board of Fish, Spohnholz had risen to speak last week and said that “more than two” women had sent her notes about his behavior, which she described vaguely as making them uncomfortable. When the vote was taken, Johnstone lost.

The point she was discussing today, a full week later after her first character attack on Johnstone, was under the topic she described as “Due Process.”

She said she supports a process for executive sessions in legislative committees, using Uniform Rule 22(b)2, so people would be able to make private attacks against others without revealing their names.

“People who have concerns could maintain confidentiality,” she said. Spohnholz also said she stood by her actions, but she wants to be “part of the solution.”

“We have to make decisions based on the best available information at the time. I stand  by  the actions I did,” Spohnholz said, referring to her unfounded accusation last week.

“Legitimate concerns about due process have been raised,” she said. “I share those concerns.”

She then proposed a working group to create a process for what effectively would be secret sessions in the Legislature.

“We don’t have that process currently,” she said.

Alaskans who serve on boards and commissions do so as volunteers. They may receive modest per diems to cover meeting days in some circumstances, but their service is unpaid.

[Read: What Ivy Spohnholz did to me, she can do to anyone]

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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

  • Ok. Why? What makes him “not have the character”? Crikey Ivy! Enough already! Don’t you know when to stop?

  • Not no but HELL NO! This woman has no clue about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rights of all specifically under the God given rights put down in the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments!

  • POISON IVY sprouts out again. Yuck!

  • What was the real reason Ivy trashed the guy? Was he pro-mine or something?

  • So is she bought and paid for by the commercial fishing Industry?

  • Stunning cowardice and expected after the face crawfishing from Rep. Spohnholz. If this is a HR / ER matter, it is handled privately. OTOH, the instant, INSTANT you bring it into the legislative process is the instant that everyone involved goes on record, and that includes you, sweetheart (condescension intentional). She has even played the victimhood card for herself claiming threats called into her office. No public proof of those either. Rep. Ivy Spohnholz is quickly and intentionally giving spoiled brat 3-year old little girls a bad name. Hard to do that. Democrats statewide must be very proud.

    Personal note to Cook Inlet commercial fishermen who orchestrated this little Passion Play: If this is the best you girls (intentional insult) can do, you are roadkill. Enjoy playing the Great Game under your new rules. Cheers –

  • The corrective action here is to have the House reprimand or censure Rep. Ivy for violating House Rules. Karl Johnstone was politically the equivalent of being raped.

    • Come On! She makes a baseless allegation bordering on slander, then they suspend and then quickly re-vote? That is the very definition of fascism!

      • Do you think her spiel changed that many votes, Chris? It takes 31 votes to confirm and the final vote was 33-24 which means that 7 votes needed to have been changed for things to have tipped on Sponholz’s talk. So far the only legislator who’s said he changed his vote was Wielechowski which leaves six more (Vance thought he wasn’t going to make it).
        My guess is that after the tabling, folks realized that Johnstone wasn’t going to make it anyway and removed the table to do the voting (not re-voting).
        Just my opinion.

  • Duh, Ivy, it is called personnel law!

    • She’s in a POISON IVY league of her own. Low IQ person.

  • People accused of something, at some point in the process, must be able to confront their accuser if the subject of the complaint denies the allegation. Initial complaints could be made anonymously but upon a hearing anonimity cannot be maintained. And if the accuser refuses to participate in that process the matter should immeadiately be dropped with no record kept that it ever happened. What poison ivy did was worse than all that though, publicly accusing someone in an arena where undocumented accusations could destroy someone’s career opportunities as well as their personal reputation and their private family life as well. All without an opportunity of rebuttal. Personally I think she needs to reveal the identity of these accusers or be forced to pay Mr. Johnstone’s family a million dollars in damages. Out of her own pocket…not the state’s.

  • So her response to her own activities that brought the due process questions up is to have closed door private meetings that violate even more laws???

    When will the House “leadership” speak up? Never mind after the last couple years with the same guy in charge we know what we have, a guy who covers for abusers and falsely claims innocent people are guilty of harassment all to serve his political whims. Why would or could anyone vote for the current House “leadership”?

    • Steve-O, violate more laws? Have you read AS 44.62.310? You can find it easily at http://w3.akleg.gov/index.php . Just put AS 44.62.310 in the search panel.

      • Jere,

        That was my point, she violated this man’s Constitutional rights and now she thinks the way to right that wrong is to violate even more laws. Thanks for citing the statute she is proposing to violate.

        • Steve-O, I think you are confused.

          She is not proposing a violation of the statute I cited. It allows for Executive Session wherein the sensitive subjects may be discussed in private and the person(s) affected by such discussion may be present and take part in the discussion. The Legislature has similar rules, apparently, which she proposed be implemented.

          In addition she did not mention the name of the person she first talked about in the previous joint session dealing with confirmation in her address on the House floor on the subject of “Due process.”

          • Jere,

            I’m not sure you understand the meaning of the open meetings act, the statute you linked to. It means that public actions are not secret. https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Open_Meetings_Act

            What does mentioning “the name of the person she first talked about” have to do with due process? Ask Ivy about what she did being wrong, she has already admitted it was wrong.

          • Au Contraire. I have been in many city council meetings which “went to” executive session. Read the statute. There has to be a motion to adjourn to ES (made and passed) which specifies the purpose for ES. The purpose has to be one specified in the statute. The ES is NOT open to the public and no action may be taken in the ES. If the matter concerns a person or person, same may be present and participate in the ES. Read the statute, or maybe better yet read the applicable legislature rule. There is no public record of the proceedings during ES published in the minutes of the meeting or anywhere else I am aware of.

            What she did (past tense) in the joint session has nothing to do with this subject aside from precipitating the possible discussion of ES in legislative body conduct of business which she proposed in the house and Sen Micciche spoke to in the Senate.

          • Jere,

            I’m guessing that when you saw your local city council go into executive session they did so with the executive (mayor) there. Is the legislature going to call the executive (governor) to take part in their executive meetings? No, there is a separation between executive and legislative branches for a reason. Changing the law to allow legislators to blacklist people behind closed doors is a bad idea, almost as bad of an idea as slinging around accusations on the floor after hearings and before votes are held.

          • Steve-O,

            Grasping at straws are you?

            You are correct about ES and City Council meetings being chaired by the body’s executive – the Mayor.

            In a recent Service Area Board meeting an ES was called. The Borough Mayor was not called in to preside. The Chair of the Board rightfully assumed that duty.

            But to extend the concept of “executive” to mean the Governor in the event the AK Senate or House or any committee were to move/2 nd and ratify by vote of the body to adjourn from public open meeting to executive session is a wild stretch at best. In the case of the House, ordinarily, the “executive” charged with chairing an ES would be the presiding officer at the time – generally the Speaker of the House. In the Senate it would generally be the Senate President. Of course, in the case of absence of the top dog there is a chain of command which could put some other person in the position of presiding officer at the time of the call to ES. Each committee also has a presiding officer who would be the “executive” presiding.

            The Legislature’s “Uniform Rule” are here: http://akleg.gov/docs/pdf/uniform_rules.pdf

  • It doesn’t make any difference what the “final vote” was. The point is, the legitimate process has been bastardized by her deliberate BS accusations, with no chance for Johnstone to rebut. That is truly not the American, let alone the Alaskan way. Is it? Sounds like something from a communist/socialist “leadership” position. Dim central. She could be the “wingman” for any number of dim candidates for potus. Maybe that’s what she wants. Make her name here and move there. One can only hope.

  • If Tammie Wilson or any other “Repub” remains in that caucus there will be serious thoughts whether they deserve a future vote. Enabling Ivy and her ilk is inexcusable. This woman needs to be censured.

  • What bothers me as much as the irresponsible actions of Representative Spohnholz, is the amount of legislators who jumped on the band wagon, believed these unproven allegations without giving Mr. Johnstone a chance to refute the allegations and then promptly voted against him.

    What a bunch of blind and deaf sheep. Then, remember that these legislators who act like this are making laws that we all have to live by. If these legislators make decisions about a person’s character without any substantiated proof, what criteria are they using to make laws?

    • Do you know how many “jumped on the band wagon” here Randall?
      This appointee was opposed by almost every legislator (D & R) from a coastal community because of his supposed bias against commercial fishermen and so far, the only one to come forward saying he was swayed by this information was Sen. Weilechowski. Further, Sarah Vance felt that Johnstone would not have been confirmed even before this information.

      • Then that is fine Bill. That is what should have been discussed. That is the entire point. If there are real reasons, rather than unsubstantiated, last minute accusations, that is perfect! If that is why he wasn’t voted onto the board, perfect! I don’t think anyone has a problem with that. The problem here is what Ivy did. And what she did is what anyone could do to you, or to me, or to anyone. Grill me on on my qualifications to do the job. Do not come at me with an accusation from an anonymous, unsubstantiated source, without my ability to defend myself. You continue to support the idea that it is ok that we are all suppose to be guilty until we prove ourselves innocent. That is BS.

        • Your comment is pretty much gibberish here, Garnet.
          Did you have something to contribute about whom jumped on this band wagon?

      • BY – I am hearing that his backers believe he had enough to pass the nomination, which was what the opposition was afraid of and why they kept this in their back pocket. The allegation allowed perhaps 7 wavering votes to flip; one of them forced to flip. Sounds like Ivy knew of this for at least a week before the floor session. So did Louise, which is why she was coordinating the festivities on cell phone on the floor of the legislature during the session. The only reason Weilechowski was forced to flip is because he is a labor lawyer. Otherwise, he was backing and did try to save, the nomination.

        Looks like Phase 2 of the scheme was to hold an immediate vote on the nomination rather than bounce the whole mess back to committee for further action.

        Happily, Bill Walker set a precedent to reappoint a rejected nomination with Ruffner. Dunleavy can reappoint Johnstone to the BoF the day the legislature gavels out and he will serve at least 6 months until they reconvene in January. This one isn’t over. Cheers –

        • Just speculation here IMO. We know that Vance and Carpenter did not change their votes by their own admission but as I said before, Vance felt that Johnstone was not going to be confirmed before this incident. Whom are these other 6 that “jumped on the band wagon?”

      • So now we have two Alaska’s over “fishing issues.” Commercial fishermen= Democrats. Sports fishermen= Republicans. Is that what this has devolved into? I’ll eat moose. What does that make me?

        • What made you think this is D or R, Joker??
          For example, look at Vance, Carpenter, Steadman, Giesel and Micceche-do they seem like Democrats, to you?

      • Bill,

        Where did you hear that he didn’t have the numbers for confirmation? Every where I read before Ivy make these accusations said the numbers were in favor of confirmation.

        • Steve-O, that came from rep. Vance.

          • Bill,

            Was that directly from her or from a news article? I know I’m getting older, but it seems to me like I remember reading he was expected to have enough votes for confirmation before Ivy decided that she wanted to drop a bomb.

          • Steve-O, it came in a news article. Also, another article referred to UFA’s keeping track of these votes and Frances Leach saying it didn’t change the outcome.

  • Establish a working group to develop a process? How about just acting like a civilized adult.

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