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.