Eastman in time-out corner - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Eastman in time-out corner

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VALLEY LEGISLATOR REMOVED FROM COMMITTEES

The House Republicans, a 16-member minority, may get smaller still. The team of conservative rivals appear ready to put one of their more difficult members into the time-out corner.

Rep. David Eastman, who is an “in-name-only” member of the Republican Minority, is a conservative lawmaker from Wasilla who goes his own way more often than not, and is also full of surprises. He tends to vote no when his fellow Republicans vote yes, and often votes yes when they vote no.

But it’s not his votes that have gotten him cross-threaded with the Republican Minority.

When the Republicans organized in late 2018, they were a fragile majority of 21. During the announcement of their organization, Eastman sat it out in an adjacent room, refusing to join the rest of the Republicans. That left 20 in front of the microphone.

That fragile majority with Eastman led to the House being taken over by a Democrat-led coalition, which has ruled the roost ever since. It was a coup orchestrated by Republican Reps. Gary Knopp, Louise Stutes, Tammie Wilson, Gabrielle LeDoux, Jennifer Johnston, and Chuck Kopp, all who decided that Eastman would end up with too much power and would always destroy the bare Republican Majority because of that number: 21.

The defectors joined with the Democrats and were rewarded with powerful seats. That bipartisan group has held together, even after two Republicans defected.

House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt has been in the role of trying to keep the minority together with Eastman. Pruitt’s”big tent” strategy was to not alienate the most argumentative member of the minority, but to try to work with him and keep him on the team.

Until last week, that is. Eastman was on the nerves of every member of the House, it appeared, and was on the verge of being removed from the House Chambers after refusing to sit down during a floor session, a violation of decorum.

He had further alienated members of his minority caucus by bringing forth an “ambush” bill that forced everyone to take a surprise vote on an abortion issue.

That lack of consultation with his fellow Republican team members has been part of the problem between him and the rest of the caucus, which typically has stuck together as a solid conservative bloc.

Committee on Committees met on Wednesday evening and removed Eastman from his seats on Judiciary and Rules committees. That reorganization will be up for approval on the floor today. The vote will likely be close to unanimous, Must Read Alaska has learned.

Pruitt has dealt with other rogue members before. When former Rep. Tammie Wilson left the minority caucus and joined the Democrat-led majority, Pruitt kept the door kicked open for her eventual return last year. She finally did split from the Democrat-led caucus and returned to the Republicans before resigning from the Legislature this year.

Pruitt also left the door open for rogue member Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, who joined with the Democrats to flip the House in 2018, and eventually left that group. She did not return to the Republican minority.

“The door is still open for David. It’s on David to establish the relationships and show that he wants to be a willing member of a team,” Pruitt said.

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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

  • He gets in trouble because he is the most conservative member of the caucus; he is the conscience of the caucus. Not just on conservative political principles but in following the law and rules that they are supposed to uphold. Bryce Edgmon keeps breaking the rules and Eastman is one of the few with the guts to call him on it.

    • Good on Eastman. Our kind of Alaskan. The Democrats have Chuck Schumer who publicly threatens US Supreme Court justices.

    • What was the “ambush” vote on abortion all about. Is Eastman for or against abortion on demand?

      • He’s against it and he sponsored HB178 that would abolish abortion. The bill has been stuck in the health committee, which is controlled by abortion lovers. He asked for a vote that the Bill could be brought out of that committee and discussed. The vote revealed a number of prolifers were only prolifey and not actually interested in abolishing abortion or even discussing it. Naturally they felt called out and annoyed as their prolife constituents called them upset about their vote to keep the bill under the control of the abortion lovers.

      • Against. I encouraged them to vote for life. Unfortunately, some of them voted with the Democrats.

        • As they (democrats/Rinos) continue, to do. Stand Tall , Mr. Eastman- we will keep voting you back in (as long as you want to do this thankless job). Someone needs to stand for conservative values, and we are counting on you & Mike Shower to do so. Thank you.

        • Give em hell, Eastman. Most of these legislators are feckless when it comes to taking a big stand. As for Edgemon, ……what a coward.

        • Neuman is my rep and I wish he would back you up. Maybe I should call again

    • A divided party can never stand and never win and the ones that suffer are the people. Say good by to the PFD as these snakes all have wanted nothing more than to cut the people off!!!

      • Eastman for Speaker!!!

    • I actually find his stubbornness refreshing but also can see how it can get in the way of productivity. Many in the house share the same conservative convictions but just a different perspective and there is a willingness to give and take in order to achieve a few steps forward in furthering their goals. Perhaps a time and purpose for both?

      It took 18 years for British politician William Wilburforce to see his goal of abolishment of slavery achieved in the late 18th early 19th century. He employed both tactics, dogged singleminded stubbornness that infuriated his colleagues as well as the the ‘give and take’ team player strategy, over those years. He was very often NOT beloved by his fellow parliament, but slavery was, thankfully, successfully eradicated. Sometimes it takes the very tenacious to push through what is important.

      • Elizabeth, no productivity in this second half of the session. Just more govt, more regs, and less PFD. We might as well have Eastman doing what Democrats would otherwise do and blame it on the other party. I find Eastman rather refreshing. Edgmon is pos.

        • Eastman will get more savvy as he matures, but for now he’s about the only one in the legislature with a spine. He will make his mark and people will remember him. It’s admirable that such a young man feels a dedicated calling to stand up to the corrupt elements of this Legislature.

    • Lance, didn’t a national media outlet attempt to single you out for being a conservative anachronism while on the FNSB Assembly? And while I’m at it, I previously mentioned travelling to Juneau many times in the 1980s and 1990s and witnessing the same thing with Terry Martin. You all remember Terry Martin, don’t you? He actually worked for his constituents and not for whatever power structure was in place at the moment. Could this be the same deal here?

  • I’m for anyone who can call out the thief of the PFD Bryce Edgemon from Dillingham. I so can’t wait until he gets up for re-election. I think he’s going to be in for a big surprise from the members of the villages around the area. Taking people’s PFD when they need it so badly. I saw an elder the other day dragging a little plastic toboggan out of the woods with a load of firewood on it. He was having difficulty because the snow was so deep. I asked where his sno-go was then he said he didn’t have one. He was half frozen and had been out all day only to get enough firewood for probably three or four days and nights. I can’t help think that somehow a full PFD would help someone like that to stay warm. So Bryce Edgmon, the cold elders and myself are calling you out for stealing our PFD.

    • Bravo!!

    • “I think he’s going to be in for a big surprise from the members of the villages around the area.”

      Sadly, I don’t think they’ll really care. As long as they use some of that money to pay for Power Cost Equalization, they’ll be happy.

    • No one will intimidate or shame David Eastman away from his principles.

  • David Eastman is a man of integrity. One who actually understands what liberty actually means. As for the rest of those yoyo’s in Juneau, your time is coming.

  • The binding caucus has to go.
    I disagree with Eastman on his pronatalism because I don’t think he understands how it will increase Medicaid spending and other social welfare. We should not force socialism on families. But I respect Eastman’s right to speak up on this issue, and he should not be punished for it.

    • Pregnancy can indeed be avoided. Abortion should not be birth control.

      • Sure we can start with healthcare and access to birth control. Glad we can agree on that.

  • Rep. Eastman is performing the duty which the rest of the of the minority members lack the courage to perform. They should all have been on their feet last week demanding budget cuts by offering amendment after amendment to achieve a balanced budget. But no, they sat on their Republican go along to get along rears and said nothing. Adherence to “decorum” is not an excuse for cowardly behavior.

    • I
      Bravo

  • Representative David Eastman stands for liberty. He is singular in his faith, integrity and courage. The remainder of the Republican minority who voted to sanction him are the problem. Voters pay attention.

    • Where was he in July when the governor called for the session to be held in Wasilla?

      • Wasilla. Every single day until the governor sent us back to Juneau.

        • Outstanding!! I am from Anchorage so not well informed of the makeup of the Wasilla legislators.

  • I think everyone stuck in the chamber down in Juneau would do better with a few “recesses” to get outside and enjoy the spring sun as it returns.
    It would be hard for me to sit inside and argue all day after a long dark winter…seems unproductive to human nature.

    • But they do it rain or shine all year long. That’s not a valid excuse.

    • Let’s do this. Leave all the government offices in Juneau- but move all these turkeys up to Anc, for the session, so ALL Alaskan’s, left and right, cab hold them accountable easier. Then they can fly out easier for weekends and get sun if they need to, and we can shine more sunlight on them as well!

  • Hang in there Dave, you’re doing what we voted you in to do. Honesty and integrity are virtues the rest of the caucus are allergic to. The battle is not yours alone.

  • Yes, Eastman can be a pain in the butt. However, the seat represents a reliable conservative voting block that is being cast aside by the minority caucus because they don’t like his methods.

    Minority can put all the spin on they want but ultimately this voter has received the message loud and clear. Send us people who will follow the orders of caucus leadership or we will punish you.

    Pains me to say it….Pruitt = Giessel

  • Keep giving them RINOs Hell. They were afraid to come to the valley last year, so our Rep Eastman is bringing my voice to their house. That is why I voted for him and will again!

  • I agree with Eastman on principle often, but on methods, he is a fool. He is performing political gamesmanship, not leadership.

  • Eastman: stick to your guns. And if you choose not to walk softly, switch from big sticks to big guns.

  • If only Pruitt had the spine that Eastman does, perhaps that is why he hasn’t filed to run yet.

    We need more scorched earth Republicans like Eastman in the Legislature.

    • Or the Bolskeviks.

  • I agree with Care Clift, the Biding Caucus must go away. It is what has led us to this point I feel. It has done nothing but hurt the Peoples voice being heard. Seems like the Republicans need to remember that they represent their constituents & not a Caucus

  • I’d like to know more about the bills where he’s voted counter to the other conservatives. I would then like to hear why.

    The ‘why’ can reveal the difference between a contrarian or obstructionist and an ideologue.

  • Eastman acts on principles the other legislators act on interests.

  • The house surely doesn’t like conservatives.

    “My rep” Knopp the knothead is an embarrassment.

  • It’s about time this nitwit got put into the dunce corner by his handlers. This is just one more example of him having an infantile temper tantrum, but now he is finally being held “accountable” for it. I’ve got no objection to him speaking his mind, but if he refuses to sit down when told he is out of order, and continues with his little tantrum, someone has to tug on his leash.
    It’s time to stop putting these babies in the legislature thinking they can solve our problems. It’s time for the adults to start doing their jobs. If there are any adults.

    • Greg,

      I can only hope you are saying the exact same thing about Chuck Schumer.

      • Actually, what I’m really hoping for is POTUS. But it isn’t looking good with the spineless GOP in control.

  • I personally like having a chucker inside the glass kingdom of King Edgmon.

  • Ya know, reading the comments here is like being at Zerohedge. Lunatics that just want to burn it down. Your fan-boy has the intelligence of a mollusk.

    • And you are simply a name-calling boor.

      • Please read your comment and amend..

        • You should practice what you preach. Hypocrisy seems to be your specialty. Typical Leftist behavior.

  • Monk e felon
    Sir, but I stand in awe before your cerebral utterances . Your use of invective is masterful and your avoidance of any meaningful logical debate is astounding!

    • As is yours.

      • Pot to kettle… Pot to kettle… Come in kettle…

    • OLDER THAN DIRT, thanks for the compliment! Otherwise, what’s to debate? Let’s set aside your reply has nothing to do with logic or debate. All I know is a ducks quacks has nothing to do with governing. If your really older than AK, and have been actually around that long, you might know that a guy like Tillion would have done more than parked him in the corner. You know Tillion? A conservative republican, who actually led….

  • I’m taking a timeout myself. Keep up the fight.

  • Beam me up, Mr. Speaker!

  • I wish more Republicans stuck to conservative beliefs.
    Why won’t any of them call out the biggest socialist program in Alaska? The PFD!

  • Keep sending Eastman to Juneau, his constituents deserve everything they voted for and then some. Maybe a Netflix show. Every new session a new season!

  • Being a resident of the Valley what I see happening is this: Dunleavy was our Senator and they are trying to recall him. Shower is our current Senator and they have taken him off committees, reducing his ability to be effective. Eastman is my representative and now they have done the same to him. The Valley is the fastest growing conservative population area of the state. Why are they so committed to silencing the Valley? These men are doing exactly what we elected them to do and the only push back is from our own government. They need to stop stealing from and consider what this largely conservative population is saying. I will vote for all three of these men again if they choose to run and my prayers are that they continue to stand strong. They are doing the will of their constituents.

  • Libs and Leftists only dream they had a guy like this on THEIR side!

    • That’s the most hilariously wrong thing I’ve read today on the internet.

      You keep all your Eastmans.

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