Eagle River gives Merrick an earful, but she couldn't hear? - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
HomePoliticsEagle River gives Merrick an earful, but she couldn’t hear?

Eagle River gives Merrick an earful, but she couldn’t hear?

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The Eagle River town hall meeting with legislators was a technical challenge on Saturday for those tuning in, but the crowd that was present at the Lion’s Club had plenty to say to Rep. Kelly Merrick.

They pilloried Merrick for abandoning the Republican caucus to get the powerful seat co-chairing House Finance Committee, and membership in the Democrats’ binding caucus. They told her to resign.

Although Merrick appeared on a screen for the town hall, she said she could not hear the people in the room. It’s unclear if that was the case, because at one point, people in the room said they could not hear her, and she responded, “I’m sorry?” and “OK.” And she also paused reading her script while people booed her.

Merrick, in her statement to her constituents, said she joined the Democrat caucus because she felt it would best represent Eagle River, and not because she wanted a bigger office or more staff. She said she was representing Eagle River values, but that she was not sent to Juneau to just represent Republicans. She also said she hoped other conservatives would come over to join her, but unfortunately they did not. She said that Speaker Louise Stutes had offered the chairmanship of Rules Committee to four of the most conservative members of the House. They refused, and Dillingham’s Bryce Edgmon is now chair of Rules.

It was the first time Merrick has made public statement about her controversial move to join the Democrat-led caucus. She has kept radio silence and has not returned calls from constituents in her district or District 14 Republican Party officers.

“Thank you to the overwhelming number of people who supported my decision,” she said. She laughed off those who have been “concocting these conspiracy theories” as to why she jumped to the majority — that she plans to run for Congress or governor.

“I can assure you it’s not that glamorous,” Merrick said.

Rep. Kelly Merrick’s campaign photo from 2018.

Joelle Hall, the new head of AFL-CIO in Alaska, chimed in on Facebook, “We support you, Kelly!”

Others were not so kind, and she took no questions during the town hall.

Although since 2016, Republicans have held the majority of House seats, the House remains governed by a non-majority of Democrats. This session, it’s a governing body of 20 that includes two Republicans: Speaker Louise Stutes and Finance Co-Chair Merrick. Stutes has caucused with Democrats since 2016, but this is the first year that Merrick has jumped over.

Sen. Lora Reinbold spoke to the attendees about her dispute with the governor over emergency orders during the past year, and said he had overstepped his authority in writing a letter to her refusing to cooperate with her Judiciary Committee. She said she will be writing a letter back to him soon, and will be producing another video response.

Reinbold and Rep. Ken McCarty were present in the room, while Merrick toughed it out on screen, to the frustration of those attending. about 75 people showed up for the meeting.

The public had much on their minds — Permanent Fund dividends, school closures, critical race theory being taught in schools, election security, and the perceived treachery of Rep. Merrick.

At the end of the meeting, a recall petition application was passed around on a clipboard for those in District 14 to sign, starting the process for recalling Merrick. Over 50 people from the district signed the application for a recall petition.

“They couldn’t sign fast enough,” said one person in the room. “They were grabbing pens, saying where do I sign?”

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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

  • I was there. We should have all seen this coming. Once elected from District 14 Rep. Kelly Merrick went to Juneau, where she was born, and turned a deaf ear to those who elected her as their representative. To recall her is such an obviously necessary act that it must happen quickly and without ceremony. This is treachery.

  • The crowd was very much for Reinbold over the Governor, although some wanted to blame Ben Stevens for the letter. However, I think all Alaskans will actually benefit if state attorneys, no matter what department they work for, do not attend the Senate Judiciary Committee as the letter announces. No Alaska Governor has been so poorly served by state attorneys as Governor Dunleavy has (or one could blame his inability to judge character, again and again). As for Merrick, her response and her presence of mind were very weak. She had nothing to say. She is in very far over her head and House Democrats have taken advantage of that to take control, much to the detriment of all Alaskans. She is a creature of organized labor and the Democrats; Alaskans need to look at all options. I am beginning to wonder if the Legislature will meet during most of this calendar year even though we would all be best served if they quickly enacted a smaller budget and left Juneau.

  • Recall is not easy. But maybe there R enough people upset to provide the necessary motivation. Here’s an idea to help…find accessible spots (privately owned) on main roads where visibility is good and there is plenty of room to pull in safely & do drive through signature gathering. Have good signage. U can maximize ur volunteer time. It works, along with collecting thru the usual other means.

    • We can thank the Dunleavy recallers for selling the idea to the rest of us. For that, we should be ever grateful. The political left and unions aren’t gonna enjoy playing under their new rules. Cheers –

  • I’ve never understood the thought process that getting nothing done, as opposed to working with the “other” side is preferable.
    A Republican led house was always a long shot. There are too many conflicting beliefs and a refusal to bend mentality held in that group.
    I believe an R as a chair of finance is a good thing and I believe an R as Rules chair would have made it all that much sweeter. If Rules Chair was actually offered and turned down, that individual was far more worried about their political future than doing the work they were elected to do under the R banner. The power wielded in that seat is immense and can block almost any piece of legislation.
    In the end coalitions strip far to much of the power party chairs hold and as such will never be tolerated.
    Thoughts from an old Alaskan more interested in solving our problems than any allegiance to a party.

    • I suspect that the four turning down the rules chair, has more to do with the binding caucus, than with their political future. Louise tried to neuter her staunches opposition when it comes to the budget, by roping them into the binding caucus.

    • Thank you for a clear head, a reasonable approach and the thought that perhaps representation for all would be beneficial rather than just a party line that can’t get anything done except stalemate for days and weeks.

    • FR, you’re a 30,000-ft viewer, right on.That’s what it will take, look at the big picture. We have local issues, so stop wrapping whatever party you belong to around national clickbait/hot button drama issues.
      And I’m someone who considered themselves in republican recovery for about 20yrs.

    • I think the frustration is that Republicans seem to be doing all the reaching over to the other side. I’m all for working together. But American politicians are being asked to work with Socialist politicians. It’s not the D and R parties of old. RINOs say things like ‘I represent all the people in my district, not just Republicans’ while Democrats when elected never represent conservative values. That’s where we are at.

  • Yes another recall is need for theses swamp creatures

  • She is a prime example of what is wrong with the republican party of Alaska, they show no loyalty, are liars and have no ethics. I see no point in voting for the (R).

    • she obviously is not a republican nor a conservative. Voters should have looked no farther than her hubby and her roots………….

    • Exactly.

  • Welcome to the modern day politician…. Arrogant, Egotistical, and Narcissistic.
    Voters, congratulations, you’ve been duped!!! Maybe(?), next time you’ll do a more and better job of due diligence and, select a better candidate. Until then, you’re just along for the ride of: disappointment and disgust.

  • Interesting that you mention most of what was discussed but blatantly forgot to mention that 95% of the people in this room did NOT have masks on. Why is it OK for the Lora/Jamie Posse to continue to feel that they can make their own rules. Eagle River falls under the Muni and there is still a mask mandate to prevent the spread of COVID. Lora was hugging people, shaking hands, and the microphone was passed around to speakers without wearing masks. When asked why no one was wearing masks, I was attacked by a local businessman who actually rushed towards me like he was going to take me out and then made other racial comments. Jamie Allard yelled at me to allow the people to answer and Lora decided to cut me off and make a joke about the “Karen” on the plane that reported her cute fish mask. The people at this meeting were not the Majority or our community, they were merely the small group of followers of 2 people (Lora/Jamie) that are an embarrassment to represent our community.
    You are correct that nobody on the Zoom could hear anything but everyone is welcome to watch this entire video on FB Politidick page to witness this outrage for themselves.

    • Screw your Commie Mandates! FREE RANGE AMERICANS!!!

    • Oh my gosh, people shook hands and hugged, how vile and criminal, lock em up and throw away the key. ~Sarcasm~ It’s Good to hear that there are people rising up against and ignoring these ridiculous useless year long mandates. Margaret gets her brown star for reporting on her neighbours.

    • Well Margaret you and your scaredy-cat friends can dance on our graves when we all die of the 99.9% survivable cold I like to call Kung Flu or coVid
      I was at the townhall too Margaret and no one attacked you or any of the other people wearing masks. Yet you jumped up and lambasted the others for NOT wearing face diapers. Our bodies our choice!! Only a fool such as yourself believes that a piece of cloth covering ones nose and mouth is gonna save them from a virus. You and anyone that believes this is an absolute fool
      Further Lora needed to regain control of the meeting she did not cut you off ! Everyone who was there could see YOUR attack on the rest of us for choosing not to wear a mask caused the meeting to degrade into a yelling match. Reinbold needed to recover control of the meeting.

    • Margaret – I have been on this earth for 7 decades. In that time I have discovered how to make decisions to lead my life. The constitutions of the USA and Alaska guarantee basic human rights. I also received an education that taught me critical thinking. I make decisions for myself based on that critical thinking. I was also taught that mathematics is the language of science. The covid science does not rise to the level of emergency in my opinion. Less than 10% of the US population has been infected and way less that 1% have been listed as covid deaths. You asked the participants of the town hall if we believed in covid. Why would you insult me with such a question? I have done my own investigation instead of relying on the media to do my thinking for me. COVID-19 is a virus. However, the “Emergency” status is not significant enough for me to surrender my rights or ability to think for myself. As a point of reference, I am a Covid-19 survivor.

      • Nicely said Grumpy Old Man
        My response to mArgareT’s comments were deleted last night after only a few short minutes
        I guess my choice of words and phrases didn’t fit within parameters allowed for comments here
        BTW I’m pretty sure I was sitting next to you at the town hall meeting

    • Reading between the lines, you are upset that the article was not about you and your grievances.
      Sounds like you created a scene and but it failed to be the headline. Now you double down with the usual liberal talking points: Covid (always popular); evil capitalist attack; throw in some non-specified “racial comments” for good measure.
      Kudos to Suzanne for not giving you any space in her article!
      I suppose you are the “Eagle River values” Kelly Merrick is representing in Juneau.

    • You sound fun…

    • Only REALLY ignorant people, and dupes, wear that ineffective mask.

    • I have been in ER for several years & I have never worn a mask.

      Just more commie utter nonsense wearing masks.

  • I just don’t get the junior high mentality. Since 2016 we’ve had a majority and the only thing we did is get rid of sb91 which should have never been signed if we had listened to the subject matter experts. Everyone, grow up.

  • She couldn’t hear! Sounds pretty normal for a politician especially one who jumped ship. But what can you expect she’s married to the union. What did she say to convince y’all? Sounds like she talks a good game but forgot about loyalty to her constituents.

  • Reinbold is a great Senator – she represents the district well.

    Merrick is horrible – she represents herself and the values of the liberal ADN.

  • She really suits short hair………….. #vapidotherwise

  • These treasonous turncoats are always afraid to face their constituents while simultaneously claiming their support. Pathetic and laughable.

  • Republicans are tired of killing our babies. No more back slidding compromising Republicans voting with the baby killin’ Baal worshipping child sacrificing Democrats

  • If you don’t stand for something; you’ll fall for anything.

  • Merrick to run for Congress or governor? Where will Zack Fields go?

    • In her duffle bag with her. It’s a thingie!

  • She could not hear, how convenient. Well she’s going to very soon. Game over for you. Back to wherever you came from. It certainly is not Eagle River. You betrayed everyone here. Go back to wherever you crawled out of. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Politically, this woman is through. Maybe flea catcher in 2022?

  • So based on the State Constitution, what are the legal merits for the recall. All for the folks in 14 to do so, but it has to have legal status.

    • Mike, you are correct. In order for the district to recall their elected official, they will need to justify with more that a sudden lack of popularity or a case of liar, liar pants on fire. One or more of the following are grounds for recall: (1) lack of fitness, (2) incompetence, (3) neglect of duties, or (4) corruption. You also cannot submit a recall application during the first 120 days of the term of office. As I am not a District 14 constituent, the only dog I have in this hunt is that another RINO has left the reservation and is effecting any ability to accomplish meaningful, fiscal legislation during this term. For the time being, saturate her email, staff and phone with your desired wishes for her term and watch her struggle. When one jumps ship, they either sink or swim.

  • One of the things Merrick reportedly told the meeting was that she wasn’t elected to only represent Republicans. Obvious response is that she wasn’t elected to represent the Laborer’s Union either. Cheers –

  • We must make sure this is her last public office.

  • Okay let’s forget Republican or Democrat for a minute. What are we really talking about? This is the age old fight in this country of small government, the constitution as a solid foundation, personal responsibility, the freedom and liberty to make individual choices vs “the constitution is a racist document” Orwellian Big Brother “we are from the government and we know best what is good for you”.
    The latter we have seen recently with Covid mandates and the devastation it has brought. Kelly Merrick presented herself to be a small government person and claimed to represent that in Juneau. She did not, instead throwing her lot in with the “we like big brother” crowd. She made a choice, now the folks in Eagle River will make theirs.

  • Mob mentality of threats, name calling, trash talk gets nothing done. It certainly does not contribute
    solutions to the problems we face. Effective leadership requires corporation and compromise from
    both sides of the aisle.

    • “Corporation” (assuming that meant “cooperation”) and compromise from both sides of the aisle.” Why should voters capitulate to an agenda they didn’t vote for? Bait and switch – No thanks! I’m angry about this rep’s actions and I don’t even live in her district. Many of my friends do, however.

  • She needs to be recalled; what a disgrace to Eagle River.

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