Dispute: Speaker Stutes demands full compliance on masks, calls Rep. Carpenter on the carpet

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Rep. Ben Carpenter and House Speaker Louise Stutes got into a dispute in the hallway at the Capitol, as Stutes tried to force Carpenter to meet with her in her office to discuss his face mask refusal, and he simply refused to follow her. The issue was about the Stutes mask mandate in the House Chambers in Alaska’s Capitol.

Carpenter, sitting at his desk on Tuesday morning and ready to conduct business in the House Chambers, was notified that Speaker Stutes wanted to talk with him in the hallway. The Nikiski Republican left the floor and met Stutes in the hall. She then tried to get him to go into her office. He told her, “I think this conversation needs to happen in public.”

Neither raised their voices during the dispute, but Stutes told Carpenter that if he didn’t wear his mask, she would have to gavel out.

“You gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. She soon went back into the Chambers and gaveled out.

It’s unclear if Stutes has the votes to keep the mask mandate in effect. She would need her entire caucus to vote with her on it, if her ruling were challenged. Most of her caucus are Democrats who support the mask mandate, but not all do.

The mask mandate matter came up first on Monday, after a weekend in which several Democrat legislators and staff became infected with Covid at a fundraiser called Sham Jam. At last count, there were 15 cases of Covid among legislators or staff.

With three Republicans refusing to mask up on Monday, Stutes gaveled out of the regularly scheduled meeting, in which the budget bill was scheduled to be read across the floor. The budget bill is now being held up by the standoff between the mask mandate of Stutes and at least three members who will not comply, and maybe more by Wednesday, when Stutes will once again try to have a floor session.

47 COMMENTS

  1. I thought Covid took awhile to manifest itself after exposure. A weekend event and by Monday there are known infections? Something doesn’t seem right here.

    • It’s been a while [over two years], but I seem to remember that quarantining was 2-weeks after exposure, then 10 days, then a week. All to allow the virus to manifest and become contagious, or not, and then another week or two of being segregated to get over the ‘Vid19 if you actually developed symptoms or tested positive.

      With 15 out of … hundreds(?) of legislators and staff testing positive, I’m surprised they found enough space to stack the corpses.

      How many were asymptomatic positive test results (aka: not sick)? Asking for a friend.

  2. This is unconstitutional.
    This lady has zero medical expertise and she is holding the budgeting process hostage to her personal, stubborn, uneducated bias. The time has past by. The US Constitutiom takes precedence, and scour Mason’s Manual to remove for cause. Next?

  3. Stutes is an unhinged anti-science Covidiot, who wants to rule with an iron fist, and is happy to keep the House gaveled out, because she and her fellow Democrats can just sit in Juneau and happily slurp up per diem money, while blaming the few who have decided “enough” with this anti-science B.S., and decided to take a stand for sanity.
    I am on the side of those few who are finally taking a stand for bringing some pro science sanity to the Juneau clown show…..

    • Actually there are more than a few anonymous posters, appafrently you are shy about your pro science credentials.

      • Frank Rast (whether that is your real name is unknown and irrelevant), I condemn in the strongest terms your egregious contempt for the sacred concepts of privacy and anonymity. The truth or falsity of any statement or comment, here or elsewhere, is not contingent upon nor related in any way to the speaker or writer’s identity.

  4. Follow the science; masking makes little difference if any. The same is true for the “ vax” . Truth is, now the only people getting and spreading this new “variant” are the Vaxers . Sad, but true. The rest have natural immunity.

      • Sadly Lucinda, you are incorrect. There is ample data that shows populations who neither had mask mandates or shut-downs, had approximately the same rate of disease per population density as communities that implemented the above mention measures. Some data even suggests that mask free cities did better then their comparative brethren.
        Case counts, hospitalizations and deaths went up AFTER the introduction and dissemination of the vaccine. We had more deaths from Covid in 2021 then in 2020. To any scientist this is illogical. Vaccinated individuals can still get the virus, pass it on and get very sick, so I am not sure what was gained there, other than proving we the people allowed government to dictate whether or not we had a job and what to put in our bodies.
        Speaker Stutes is out of line. If she wishes to wear a mask, she can certainly do so. I never understood how anyone can force a mask on others to protect themselves. The only person you should have control over is you and wearing a mask on your face should be protection enough, if you really believe they actually work……

      • Yes, Lucinda, the faith-based mistaken belief in the efficacy of public mask wearing as effective in the prevention of the spread of a viral disease is indeed “nonsense”. But that will never stop the Branch Covidian true believers from parading their ignorance and demanding unscientific authoritarianism.

  5. Remember Stutes Is up for another term. Well, she needs to be replaced so she can stay in a covid safe place….not in office.

  6. Why do these clowns go through the effort to run for and campaign for elected office, presumably of their own free will, only to decide they don’t ever want to do the job they campaigned for? If you don’t want to do the job then resign and allow someone who is willing and capable.

  7. Only three? If they can’t stand against this nonsense, how can they fight when we need them to fight?!

  8. Ben Carpenter lost all credibility when he engaged in a ridiculous rant rant about Nazis (during session and broadcast on television) a few years ago. Can’t you do any better than this stooge, Nikiski?

  9. Don’t forget it is much easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Pride is a terrible tyrant. But it does precede a fall, so let’s hope we can get the fall sooner than later since some refuse to admit they were fooled and move on.

  10. So Stutes has no confidence in her vaccinations? I assume she is vaccinated if she is that uptight about Covid. I would suggest to her to just get it over with and like my parents did with chicken pox when we were kids, seek anyone that has Covid to get some good thorough exposure and get’r done. There are now early treatment choices that work well and then she can then breath easy and get over her mask obsession. Lastly I would suggest she change her affiliation to the the party that best matches her politics.

  11. ‘Come to my office so we can discuss your behavior?’ She thinks carpenter is a 7-year-old school boy? He is a grown man. The overlooked issue is how we think about and treat our men.

  12. Leg wrestling was too physical, this session is a mask off.
    Bring the legislative session to the road system!

  13. Well folks, now we know where this legislative session is heading (sound of toilet flushing). These idiot legislators are junior high grade. Even 7th graders have more common sense.

    • Really Frank?
      If I were you, I would not malign an entire group as neanderthals, considering that the other side of the isle thinks that science is whatever makes them get or keep power. If the good Dr. Fauci is any indication, science is malleable to the max. True science has no politics, can be reproduced independently and is based on all data and objective observations. In the case of Covid the flip-flopping, using old data and ignoring facts that don’t fit CDC has proven to be a political animal with “science” a very distant third. So you may disagree with these gentlemen, but it is time to stop the theater of measures that clearly have not stopped the virus. In my opinion the only request sensible enough is that if these infected staffers are sick, they need to stay home and anyone else coming down does the same. Stutes needs to get on with the business at hand and quit playing games.

  14. There needs to me a mechanism to require these elected “representatives” to NOT be constantly running their personal agendas in chambers and get the business done that they were sent there to accomplish. This has gotten so close to kindergarten behavior it is indistinguishable between the two.

  15. I totally support Representative Carpenters’s opposition to wearing a mask on the House floor. He is wise to request Speaker Stutes’ request to speak to him in private about the matter. There needs to be public scrutiny on the matter. Stutes should be able to point to a peer reviewed study that indicates that masks are effective against viruses before imposing this requirement on elected members. By all means, Speaker Stutes, wear your mask and get your fourth booster shot, but leave everyone else to make these decisions on their own. Focus on the business of the legislature. And why, as a “Republican” are you caucusing with the democrats? If you want to associate with the democrat caucus have the courage to run as a democrat. What you are doing now, is a fraud.

  16. Sonia Sotomayor recently attempted to influence the American taxpayers with false information about actual number hospitalizations of children in US with covid. The number was verifiably wrong. Who is Stutes relying upon for false guidance. She may have to answer to the highest echelon sooner rather than later.

  17. The entire Alaska legislative process should be run over zoom from individual reps’ homes; just think how much this obvious solution to this problem would save the state every year. No more expensive moves no more per diem and as they are the most nonessential members of society it would be very fitting for them to work this way

  18. Most Alaskan work an 8 hour day. If the legislature can gavel out when ever they want how do they get any work done?

    This is why we have so many special sessions costing millions because these clowns refuse to work. We would get fired if we pulled this s#!t

  19. Sec. 576 Refusal of Presiding Officer to Perform duties, Page 428 Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure.
    1. Whenever the presiding officer attempts to thwart the purpose of the office, the power resides in the the legislative body to pass the presiding offiicer and proceed to action otherwise…It is not their absence that justifies the exercise of the power, but the fact they are not performing duties to the proper fulfillment of the functions of the legislative body. Inability or refusal to perform those duties has the same effect as actions suspending the ordinary functions of the meeting and equally warrants the selection of the temporary presiding officer. The power is inherent or inseparable attached to the eight of the body to convene and act”.

  20. Shall I continue to Page 429?
    2. When the presiding officer refuses…the proper procedure is to select, at once, a temporary presiding officer….
    3. The presiding officer cannot prevent the transaction of business by leaving…

  21. In the Introduction to Mason’s Manual
    second paragraph says “Every legislative body is bound to comply with all constitutional mandates…Failure to conform to them may invalidate any action taken or decision made…”

  22. All group activity may not be legal. Something is illegal when it is unconstitutional or outside of legally delegated authority. Merely being willing to command another freeman to do something is not automatically a delegated authority to you. When one believes one has authority he should know exactly where that authority derives from and from whom.

  23. For instance Bill Barr said many of our agencies are acting outside of express and delegated Constitutionality. A review of all agencies for limitations and authorities by proper authorities will eventually occur. Until these corrections the public hopes the legislative actions give consideration to delegatable authorities and those that are not.

  24. So. Either Stutes truly misunderstands the efficacy of masks, especially if she herself is ‘vaccinated’, or she truly is a power-hungry tripe….

    Both mean the same, within the end….an individual that has no business representing anyone beyond their pathetic selves, let alone one within power within that same context….

    Moron, very pathetic tyrant, or perhaps both?

    Sigh….

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