Dunleavy apologizes to Fish Board nominee for 'appalling' behavior of lawmaker - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 24, 2019
HomePoliticsDunleavy apologizes to Fish Board nominee for ‘appalling’ behavior of lawmaker

Dunleavy apologizes to Fish Board nominee for ‘appalling’ behavior of lawmaker

Gov. Michael Dunleavy on Tuesday sent a letter to retired Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone, expressing his regret that the Legislature didn’t confirm his nomination to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, and thanking him for having gone through the process.
But then, Dunleavy went further:
“I am dismayed by the way our elected officials behaved during your confirmation,” he wrote.
“Sadly, we watched our elected officials forsake decorum and a fair process. In doing so, they trampled on your Constitutional rights and disenfranchised real victims of serious crimes,” Dunleavy wrote.
The governor was referring to a ruthless power play by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz and Rep. Louise Stutes to block the nomination of the judge, by accusing the judge on the floor of the House of sexual harassment of unknown persons described as “more than two women,” at unknown times, in an unknown place. Even the nature of the alleged harassment is still unknown. The accusation came just as the vote was about to be taken last week in a joint House/Senate session.
Johnstone had no opportunity to defend himself, and Spohnholz has, a week later, not revealed the secret accusers, whom she said wanted to remain anonymous, nor has she responded to reporters’ requests for even the slightest documentation. She has only stated that in the future, such allegations should be done in secret committee meetings.
Or, as some observers called it, Joseph McCarthy style.
“This is a disturbing example where politicians abandoned our sacred values and resorted to theatrics and character assassination,” Dunleavy wrote to Johnstone. “They left you without a voice, due process, the presumption of innocence, or the right to face an accuser and review evidence. It was appalling.”
“I pray that what you have gone through will be used as a wakeup call for our legislators and they will again take up the torch of vigorously defending all Alaskans’ rights,” he wrote.
Johnstone served two full terms on the Fish Board after retiring from the bench. He served as chairman and received a legislative citation that described him as the “Gold Standard” of board service.
But after being waived off the board by the Walker Administration, and then renominated by Gov. Dunleavy, Johnstone ran into heavy artillery fire from the powerful commercial fleet, which sees him as favoring sports fishing interests in Cook Inlet.
Johnstone has vigorously denied the allegations made against him by Spohnholz. In the contentious public hearing and committee process leading up to the floor vote, the commercial fishing community opposed him for policy, and no inference had ever been made that he had behaved inappropriately, until Ivy Spohnholz took the floor and made vague and unsubstantiated allegations.
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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

  • Governor Dunleavy is a true Alaskan. A man’s man. A man with a calling. To save Alaska. I support him with every thread of my being. I will continue to support him, to the best of my ability. What the two women, mainly spohnholz, was a disgrace to their position. Their true character is a disgrace to Alaska and all Alaskans. Remember this wench, Alaskans. She will most likely act like everyone is wrong but her and run for a re-up. Deny her and all like her the opportunity to shame Alaska more than she already has and will continue to do, until she’s shown the door. Back door, that is. To nowhere, where she came from.

  • The truly specious allegations levied by spohnholz are a shame and embarrassment for Alaska. No way should she “skate” on this issue. If you don’t have the truth, lie like a rug and pretend it’s the truth. To deny Judge Johnstone any chance to rebut and/or clear his good name is a disgrace. Then, conduct a “vote”, completely against all things decent and proper is to deny an Alaskan, American, honorable man due process. Liberal politics at their worst. I hope the people that put her in the Alaskan legislature get a taste of her “politics” for themselves. I’ll wager they won’t send her back next term. She and stutes are likely good buddies. Same bullying, disgraceful modus operandi. Peas in a pod. Birds of a feather. Liberal, sleazy, “like minds”.

  • Has anyone else noticed how much Representative Poison Ivy Sponholtz looks like Alexandria Occasio-Cortez of Congressional fame? I do NOT think that this is accidental and may reveal just about all we need to know about Ms. Sponholtz.

    • They all look the same – the nuevo McCarthyites, that it. I am sure she considers your observation a compliment.

  • Evil Poison Ivy is a menace to any private citizen who wishes to Volunteer To Serve the SOA as a board or commission member. She should and MUST BE severely censured or out right removed from her office. Wondering how much the UFA deposited into her campaign account?

  • What would people think if I stated that Poison Ivy sexually harassed me in the Capitol elevator in February? Do I need photos taken from my cellphone to prove it, or should I just wait until the next election cycle and then bring up the issue? I knew this was going to cause a huge disturbance if I raised the matter during the judge’s confirmation hearing, but I have to get an outside opinion first from smart readers at MRAK.

  • I just hope our governor knows by now we are at war with the Juneau liberals.

    They long for a socialist Alaska with every fiber of their beings.

    • Are you daft?
      What does this have to do with Juneau liberals? Next you’ll be telling us that those Republicans who voted Johnstone down are RINOs.

    • Oh, he is very aware. Sadly, we have several in the House and Senate whom will vote Socialist in the coming election!

      • Sorry, I thought the conversation was about Johnstone.
        I’m thinking you both have bathrooms breeding Bolsheviks here.

  • “such allegations should be done in secret committee meetings.” Well, as of this moment, they’re on double secret probation! And what did Byron do?

  • Why does everyone feel the need to smear the name of the good Senator from Wisconsin. History has confirmed all his accusations as true but these lying scum Democrats continue the progressive tradition of falsehood of the last hundred years. Would that we had more politicians with the fortitude of Joe McCarthy, who are unafraid of defending the truth. Why didn’t any other House members call her out as the liar she is to her face in front of the whole joint session?

  • Governor Dunleavy came through Tok this last Tuesday, the 23rd of April and clearly explained his “Statewide Discussion for a Permanent Fiscal Plan.” I was extremely proud of how he made his case and even more amazed at how he handled the dozen or so questions asked of him. What stood out was his calm demeanor and cool head when asked some difficult questions. One in particular was how he was dealing with a cutthroat House of Representatives (Republicans in Liberal Clothing). He said he would use all of the tools he had in his administrative toolbox (RED PEN) and would not shirk his duties as a Governor that pertained to keeping ALL Alaskans working and keeping them safe. I love this guy and I’m proud to have voted for him. Those turncoat Republicans in the House will soon see why 145,000+ Alaskans voted for him. What goes around, comes around!!!
    The Governor has yet begun to fight!

  • Nice to know that Alaska has its own Kelly Anne Conway…

  • Right on Dave!

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