Democrats weaponize anonymous allegations against Fish Board nominee



In a joint session of the House and Senate this evening, House members opposing the nomination of Karl Johnstone for the Fisheries Board pulled the pin out of their grenade.

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz rose to claim she had been contacted by “more than two women” who said Johnstone had made inappropriate comments that were sexual in nature and that made the women feel uncomfortable. The allegations she made were from anonymous sources.

They were allegations that came after the committee process was completed, they never brought up before, and they were so outrageous that Sen. John Coghill, who serves as Senate Rules Chair, quickly stood up and called for a point of order before Spohnholz could continue.

“This is an accusation that has not been leveled in this building to my knowledge in any credible way” he said. “I would ask that we not go down that road,” he said. “This innuendo and accusation is out of line.”

But the damage was already done. Sen. Bill Wielechowski stood and asked that the nomination of Johnstone be tabled, and that vote to table passed closely, 28-27.

But before it was tabled, Rep. Sara Rasmussen rose to decry the injustice of bringing allegations forward that cannot be defended by the person being accused. There was no due process, she said, and as a mom of a young son, she worried about people making allegations like this against her own son in the future.

Moments before, Rep. Geran Tarr had plainly insinuated that the governor’s nominee to the Board of Education, Bob Griffin, acted like a “pedophile or kidnapper.”

Griffin had been doing a study on school bus routes, and someone called the police concerned about him following school buses.

Rasmussen also rose to object to that unfounded character assassination, and Tarr later apologized for besmirching Griffin’s character. His nomination passed.

Long-time observers say that in the past decade they can never remember the attacks against nominees being so personal, so nasty, so anonymous, and so unfounded. Republicans never made such unfounded and unsavory allegations about nominees of Gov. Bill Walker.


  1. Rep. Ivy Spohnholz should be punished at whatever level is allowed. I am no expert in how this system works, but this has got to stop and whatever methods can be employed to address the seriousness of what she has just done should happen and should happen NOW. I am horrified to read this. Be careful what you sow Ivy…very, very careful. You described this very well Suzanne. They have just pulled the pin out of the grenade. If you sleep tonight Ivy, you are not human.

    • She is not human. She is a political animal with no sense of ethics. And her colleagues who voted to table are worse – they are cowards!

      And notice, legislators – I signed my comment.

      • Larry,
        I am glad you can put your name next to your comments, but I feel your anger distorts the facts of the matter.
        Rep. Ivy Spohnholz is just doing her job that she was elected to do.
        This is the whole object of these committee hearings.
        Do you feel she is lying that multiple women have contacted her?
        It is these women’s rights to remain anonymous if they so choose.
        I fully understand that allegations can be totally “trumped up” and used against us, but to attack the messenger for doing her job does not seem fair.
        I am certain that she was placed in an awkward position when the “anonymous sources” contacted her and made their accusations.
        This does not seem like an attack by “Democrats” to me, but more like skeletons in the closet that will probably have not much evidence to back up their case.

        • Steve, Why do you think it’s okay for an anonymous person to make accusations when the accused has no way to defend themselves? How do you know it’s not just another stunt? Do you not realize how dangerous this could be? It is incredibly easy to destroy someone’s career these days. That should be terrifying to any man.

    • Spohnholz will not be punished, she will be honored. What we saw from Spohnholz and the others is the face of the union/Democrat/left in our country. I had about a twenty year head start in seeing it over the rest of you, since its first open expression was in the big wall-to-wall public employee unions that in the big Blue places were becoming open socialist workers parties and were dominating governments. We’d escaped that here, one of the few union states that had, until the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO showed up here in late ’87 seeking to organize around a bunch of malcontents left over from the Sixties called the Juneau Chapter of the General Government unit of State employees, then represented by the independent employee association, Alaska Public Employees Association.

      They formed the Alaska State Employees Association, AFSCME, AFL-CIO and on September 17, 1988, a day that should live in infamy, became the certified representative of the 8,000-odd member GGU, and thus the largest single voting block in Alaska. (There are more unionized teachers, but they’re in a bunch of independent “education associations” and the NEA doesn’t have the lockstep control that AFSCME does.

      They brought in National staff to deal with the rubes in Alaska and it was the first time we’d seen the leftist, sometimes communist face of the big-time unions. We’d dealt with AFL-CIO trade unions, and they could be avaricious thugs, but they didn’t fancy themselves heroes of the proletariat fomenting revolution.

      We quickly learned that all our leather-bound hornbooks were obsolete and all we really needed to understand was Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” We were no longer engaged in collective bargaining; we were engaged in politics by other means. It was a world of mau-mauing supervisors and guerilla theater. Fix the issue to a person and vilify that person.

      As the ’80s became the ’90s it appeared openly at the National level as Bill Clinton was joined at the hip with Gerald McEntee of AFSCME and if Newt Gringrich hadn’t defeated them in ’94, the “revolution” would have come then. Overplaying their hand cost them over a decade at the National level. Over playing their hand here in Alaska during Knowles brought them 12 years of Republican governance.

      Then they installed Comrade Obama and really convinced themselves that leftist rule was now permanent. Here in Alaska they pulled off the coup d’état with the fake National Guard scandal removing Parnell and installed an AFL-CIO lackey in Walker. They thought that would go on forever as they always do; the left never believes they’ll lose an election.

      They lost and Dunleavy and the people around him, or at least the left’s vision of the people around him, are anathema to the left, so they’re on the same playlist as the National Democrats; RESIST. No holds barred. Unfortunately, Republicans don’t understand the adversary.

    • Ivy Sponholtz, please leave Alaska. You are not us. You have no concept of what an Alaskan is. Just leave. Go suck up to AOC or something. Get out of here!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Here we go again! Democrats are DESPERATE. In fact, they are always desperate. So, they make up falsehoods and untruths. Prosecutors need to go after the false accusers. This is not Chicago.

  3. I am one of many really pissed off Alaskans! I called all Republican House members (of course 3 of them not on that list!) to fully sanction Spohnholz and to come down here like a ton of bricks, like I would like to!

    This is as bad as DiFi, and in some cases worse!

    I also called the RINO Senators that voted to table, Bishop, Stevens and Stedman and gave them a piece of my mind, that they are just as culpable as Spohnholz!

    I do hope the Republican House members make life hell for Ivy!

  4. These demos need to do the “People’s work” and quit their partisan grandstanding. They only have a slim majority in the House Hanks to the slimy Rino’s that slid over thinking they would get some favor. If they continue their partisan assaults, we, the people of the State of Alaska will open a can of whoopass on them!

  5. You can always find some skanky lefty woman to make vague accusations that only the accuser and the accused are witnesses to and which are nothing but a he said – she said. They’re careful not to let the accusations verge into actual crime and prefer things that if arguable criminal or actionable are beyond the statute of limitations. You can pretty much write the lefty skank playbook from Ford’s performance. The skanks know that even if they are identified nothing will happen to them and if there is rebuttal evidence, the accused has to fight past the public figure libel standard.

    The only things lefties respect are fear and pain; if you can’t make them afraid and feel pain they will continue to do this sort of thing as long as it works.

    • Art very true. I have yet to see them instill pain or fear. Republicans are always playing defense and don’t have a winning playbook move to cover these scenarios. While Republicans tend to take the high road they fail to realize that Democrats are playing a completely different game. This is akin to Republicans sticking to “football” rules when the Left is practicing Kendo with real swords.

  6. The loss of decorum under the current House leadership should not be taken lightly. Under the current leadership going back only a few years the cover ups, the abuse, womanizing, and one sided petty partisanship has made the peoples house a sad shell of what it should be. All Alaskans should demand more of those we elect to represent us.

  7. If you like where all of this is going folks, vote for Leftist “identity politics” candidates. I think this will lead to a public life that is detached from facts or law, as more conservatives decline to participate. Does it bother anyone on the Left that the accusations are brought by anonymous individuals?

  8. The lack of decorum here and in the confirmation process of the commissioners has been absolutely appalling. The House Pages are getting their government lesson with this huh? It is disgusting. I posted in another article this: is someone responsible for smacking these folks around? I.e., the Speaker? The Majority Leader? Is someone responsible for pulling these clowns aside (Fields, Kreiss-Tompkins, and giving them a manners lesson and a spanking? This is getting bat sh*t crazy and totally out of control. Ivy should damn know better and this was a punk move and she knows it. This was calculated drama. I would like to think that even the libs are sick of this crap. You can only play this card so many times Ivy. Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy. It really starts to itch when you say and type it enough times.
    Time for me to get out my Commander Cody decoder watch because I’m missing something. Johnstone is some kind of kryptonite to those commercial guys and the Dems are bought and paid for if she’s pulling this crap.

  9. To think that good Alaskans are leaving lucrative careers to face this sort of mudslinging and accusations, wanting only to serve their fellow Alaskans. Truly sad.

  10. Anonymous accusations should be forbidden – only credible allegations with author attached should be allowed on the floor. No anonymous trash talk allowed!

    • Amen Larry. To smear a mans character and reputation, you had better be able to back it up. Name of accuser, date, time, and location of offense with the accused present. Not only that, this should have been done WAY sooner – but since it was complete BS it wasn’t.

  11. I watched a Maryland committee hearing a few years back re to gun control. The chair yelled at a rep that introduced an amendment that he refused to take, much less debate and vote on. I was appalled at the yelling and discord that I saw. About that time, I went to Juneau to push for a couple bills that I had introduced. I thanked Sen Wielechowski and Rep Edgmond for their decorum and demeanor on the floor and in committees. I stated then that the Alaska Legislature was heads and shoulders above Maryland and others. Sure, we disagreed on policy, but then, they were civil.
    Now? Fields, Stutes, Wool, Spohnholz, Edgemond, and even Wielechowski are all over the edge! The Dem-Socialist here are now taking the direction of the Dem-Socialists in the US House and Senate and weaponizing to the point that this legislature is almost a 180 from the past!
    The only way to fix this, is the people in those districts must vote them out and replace with civil, reasonable and responsible people, be they Republicans (ideal) or Democrats (not Dem-Socialists).
    This is a very sad time for our State!

  12. I thought for sure that TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) had infected mostly Lower 48 politicians. How wrong I was!!! It seems that some in our State Legislature have fully come down with it and could be highly infectious. They need to be quarantined immediately, with plans to fully remove them from the premises.

  13. I personally don’t think this was a Republican or Democrat issue. I don’t think we should muddy the waters with labels. At the end of the day it’s about managing the resource. I’m a life long commercial fisherman born in Ketchikan Alaska and from what I read and heard Mr Johnstone did not seem like the person for the job. I’m hoping the next appointee brings balance to board and gives consideration to all user groups. In regards to party affiliation I could care less.

      • No, they convened later and voted him down with several cowardly Republicans in addition to the usual quislings joining in defeating him. When will the stupid Republicans learn that Democrats don’t play by Marquis of Queensbury rules?

        • After I wrote that comment I saw the results. I had vomit in my mouth. Just like every time I re-read this story. All I have to do is say I feel sexually uncomfortable when I get in an elevator with any member of the House of Representatives? How about that.

    • Mike, no news that I’m aware of that he has dropped from consideration. What the tabling did was set aside until investigation into the accusations.

      Stutes did a hatchet job, but understandable since she is all commercial fishery, much less part of the hate aspects sadly going on.

      Hell, with all the crap being thrown around, see the article by Suzanne on the committee hearing, who knows if he is qualified? They are muddying the waters on purpose. Yet, those on the floor that did get to talk before the vicious attack showed he had a long solid history in the topic and as a past board member with positive results.

      If you want to disregard party affiliation, go ahead, the Dem-Socialist are glad to make this about their party and against the Governor!

  14. Perhaps Rep. Geran Tarr has a tendency to leap to stereotypical conclusions? Witness her reaction to the Covington Catholic High School boy a few months back. I seem to recall she commented, quite publicly, that the young man in the photo was wearing a smirk showing how really dangerous he was as he was confronted by the Native American drummer. And the CovCath families endured hatred and death threats as a result of people, like Rep. Tarr, who jumped to conclusions and voiced their hatred. Do I have this story correct?

  15. I note that the story in the Anchorage Daily News this morning on the allegations against Mr. Johnstone during the confirmation process failed to mention that the allegations came from anonymous individuals. This tells everyone a lot about the journalistic integrity of the reporter and the newspaper. If the allegations had been come from little green people with six arms, seven eyes and standing seventeen inches tall, would the ADN consider that to be a relevant fact? For me, an allegation from an anonymous person has no merit, absent some extraordinary circumstances. The weaponization of sexual harassment must either end or be subject to control based on common decency. Representative Sponholtz should be censured for her behavior.

    • You might want to read that ADN story again, JMARK. Here is the crux of what you need to look for: Spohnholz said the women “were not willing to testify on the record because of the fear of retribution.”

      • I call BS on the “fear of retribution” excuse. I think this is just a new way of packaging it, Bill. Yes, I am sure there are people afraid of retribution in the real world but stop and think about this situation for a minute. This was an 11th hour hit job for a fish board appointee for crying out loud. They can package it any way they want. It was wrong.

        • Pretty hard for me to know of this “fear of retribution” thing but this is politics and that game is always “hardball.” The knives were out for this individual long before this 11th hour and it was significant enough that numerous Republicans distanced themselves from him.
          I’m a former commercial fisherman and I had no problems with Johnstone as a board member but I won’t deny that many other fishermen had problems with him.

          • Perfect! If there was a problem with him that if fine. I have no issue with that whatsoever. Matters not to what side of the aisle. What matters to me is the hit job. Sure, “Politics and hardball” that is one thing. But this crosses the line. There has to be a line Bill.

          • Oh for Pete’s sake give it a break-where were you when the former Juneau Rep. Justin Parish was accused one year ago for something not as serious but clearly a political hit-job. I just don’t recall you beating a drum for poor Parish-did you use a different handle then? Heheh!

      • While the two might be interrelated, I see all kinds of differences between someone who does not want to testify to facts and someone who does not want to even be identified. To me, and likely to others, the ADN obscured an essential, if not the critical fact. If it were up to me, I would amend the Uniform Rules of the Legislature to prohibit anonymous allegations of all kinds in the legislative process.

          • Ran out of thread up there Bill. It got too skinny. No, not a different handle and don’t recall a conversation or thread about Parrish at the time. If he chose not to run then that was his choice. Also, I don’t recall an 11th hour hit job on the house floor against him either during a confirmation process. Apples and Oranges here my friend. Drop it.

          • The only real difference here is party affiliation. Now Johnstone can certainly file suit against whomever he feels is causing him grief, here. Are you going to hold your breath till that happens? Johnstone knows the score and it’s up to him-I’m not holding my breath. My prediction here is Johnstone moves on.

  16. Open question to IVY: Would you be willing to make a statement to the press about the despicable behavior of Byron Mallott, and, support an investigation of Mallott by AST for pedophilia and abuse of women?

  17. IVY creeps and twists around like an poison ivy bush strangling anything that gets in HER way. She is an invasive species and will do anything to survive.

Comments are closed.