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Monday, September 28, 2020
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Faces of betrayal

By MATT STEELE

Benedict Arnold was a general officer in the Continental Army best known for his treasonous betrayal of George Washington and the American Revolution.

In 1780, he defected from the Continental Army to the British, handing West Point to them and eventually fighting against the very Americans he previously commanded.

Today, his name is synonymous with treason and has become a byword. But why did he do this?

Pride, certainly, and more than just a touch of narcissism. 

Arnold often complained he was unfairly passed over for promotion. He also lived a lavish lifestyle, spending official money to feed his desires, and he was accused of corruption and malfeasance. Essentially, Arnold was on “Team Arnold,” and anyone with the temerity to stand in his way be damned.

Betrayal against a cause almost always comes down to pride. Somehow, the betrayer knows better, thinks his or her opinion is worth more, or he’s simply more valuable than the unwashed rubes he or she used to stand with.

Add a little narcissism and the path gets even more dangerous. Not satisfied by a simple turn-coat operation, a narcissist will actively destroy those they betray. To stand against a narcissist is to bring his wrath. 

In the Alaska Republican Party, we have several Benedict Arnolds. 

State Rep. David Eastman

In the Valley, Representative David Eastman is a conservative who has actively recruited and is coaching people to run against his fellow Valley conservatives. In fact, one of the candidates he is supporting is a member of another party.

Why is he doing this? Only God knows the man’s heart, but we do know this self-proclaimed abortion abolitionist actually withheld support, effectively acting in agreement with Planned Parenthood’s wishes, on every House bill that would shackle abortion.

Especially noteworthy is the “Heartbeat Bill.” It had 19 supporters and only needed 20 to go to a vote. Eastman could have been the 20th name, but he didn’t do it.

The stated reason?  It wasn’t a total ban.

This short-sighted tactic is akin to General Eisenhower voting down the Normandy invasion because it didn’t land at Hitler’s front door in Berlin. Eastman could have voted to save five babies’ lives today, and another 10 tomorrow, but he laid them at the altar of his own ego on the premise of an all-or-nothing ideal.

He has also withheld support to place conservatives in various positions in the House, all in the name of “Make Eastman the Center of Attention Again.”

When the tough bills go forward and are in need of support, he’s nowhere to be seen. When it’s time to vote on a conservative piece of legislation, he votes like a pigeon trained to peck the red button – always “no.”

Some Democrats actually vote more conservatively than Eastman.

He has also deliberately obstructed other business on the floor, attacked fellow conservatives on social media, and has started a shadow campaign against the rest of the Valley delegation.

Eastman’s strategy is effectively draining Valley resources that could otherwise go to help conservative candidates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai. His antics are aiding the other side and helping create a Sen. Natasha von Imhoff Juneau Show sequel. He is no ally to conservative values.

State Sen. Cathy Giessel

Perhaps no other politician in Juneau deserves more ire than Sen. Cathy Giessel.  Not satisfied to debate, vote, and disagree, she subjugates other voting districts into vassal states.

Few things could be more disagreeable to our founding fathers than how Giessel has treated other duly-elected representatives, particularly the Valley delegation.

In her mind, the Valley conservative is an obstacle — an unwelcome speed bump on her freeway to power. 

To the Valley voter, her message should be clear.  Never you mind her broken promises to preserve the PFD. Never mind her lawless gathering in Juneau when the Governor called a legally binding session in Wasilla.  And you serfs need not worry about how she vindictively flogged your Valley representation and removed your influence from every aspect of lawmaking simply because they represented your wishes. Your ideas and ideals are irrelevant.

To her, the Valley shall submit or suffer the consequences.

She has taken Alaska state politics and given it a Chicago makeover, with just a touch of feudalism.

State Rep. Gary Knopp

Benedict Arnold handed the keys for West Point to the British, and Rep. Gary Knopp handed the keys for Juneau to the Democrats.

Why? Knopp wanted to be Rules Committee chair, where he could effectively block anything the governor does.

Knopp advocated for and got a bipartisan majority caucus using the time-honored parliamentary tactic of ‘temper tantrum’.  If you remember, he held up the Legislature by preventing caucus formation and the resulting agenda votes.  Committees couldn’t stand up, and work couldn’t start.  Alaskan’s were paying millions in perdiem and salaries just watching Knopp whine and hold his breath for weeks. Not a great representation of the good folks on the Kenai Peninsula, to be sure.

The results are disheartening. While republicans hold the majority of the seats in the House, the agenda is now run by a Democrat because of Knopp (although he was spurred by Rep. Eastman’s constantly disruptive antics).

Alaska is in a war for its fiscal survival, but Knopp’s tantrum in early 2019 virtually guaranteed any cuts made by the duly elected Governor would not stay in place.

Needless to say, this betrayal of his constituents (among others) resulted in District 30 republicans actively recruiting his replacement.  

Maybe they’ll erect a riderless horse statue in Knopp’s honor, just like Arnold’s statue (the boot monument).

If they make the monument large enough, it might have room for a few more names.

Matt Steele is a certified flight instructor and real estate associate broker in Wasilla.

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  • Anyone who comes against Eastman like that ain’t really conservative. Just playing the conservative game. We had a house full of RINOs and Eastman stood for our values all the way with integrity.

    • Did you read what Eastman has done? Is that really the work of a conservative, or an egotist?

      He has worked against other pro-life legislators when they tried to save babies’ lives. How on God’s green creation is that remotely conservative?

      Nice work, Steele. Thanks for expanding the discussion going into the primaries!

      • No, you don’t understand the pro-life legislation that is out there and what is going on. A few Valley legislators voted no on the real pro-life bill. The heartbeat bill saves no lives, it is only virtue signaling.

        As the President of Right to Life, Interior Alaska (we don’t have an official position, this is just me speaking) and a board member of the Alaska Right to Life (which does have an official position on the bills though I don’t speak for them), I know just how the situation played out. Do your research, don’t let some moderate fool you.

      • Eastman is first and foremost a Ron Paul disciple and as such is perfectly willing to destructively let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I’m a proponent of making alliance with libertarians where we can, Republicans have more in common with libertarians than not, at least with real libertarians. But there are limits; it isn’t like the Pauls, father and son and their adherents, have been an unalloyed asset to Republicanism.

  • I was raised Republican, and when Obama got into office, I became a Democrat.

    I never really cared for politics. Because if their mouths are moving, 5 out of 10 times they are lying.

    I have realized my beliefs are of a Independent.

    Living in a predominant Democratic state, I have tried to change with my voter registry to Independent. They mailed me several times telling me that I can’t. Their excuse was that I cannot use a P.O. box as my address. So put a label on me for anyone doing research . I look at all candidates and see who is the most honest and best qualities.

    Gas fracking is horrible. I care about our planet. The Amazon — we need the Amazon. Women’s rights, equal rights, treatment of animals.

    The media is paid off . Fake News — now i finally understand. Just because they want to keep a label on me. Does not mean they get my vote. Please ask for the president’s help to save Alaska from the mayhem.

  • There is no compromise on the butchering of babies. Truly, where has the compassion of the soul gone in humanity? Thank you, David Eastman.. As for the tyrant section of the Benedict Arnold fan club betrayers to the state’s Constitution and their Constituents. we must mention the ringleaders: Giessel, Coghill, Stedman, Kopp, Knopp, and Von Imhoff. All have betrayed their oaths.

  • No different than any other double-talking Politician

  • Mr. Steele’s use of Benedict Arnold to describe the actions of some of our ‘legislative luminaries’ is a good one. I would only add that after Arnold’s treachery toward the revolution, he settled in England. There, to his surprise, he was shunned and despised by his neighbors. He had expected and, in his mind, deserved honor from the British people for helping their cause.

    The lesson to be learned by our legislative luminaries: NO ONE respects a traitor.

  • Eastman must being doing something right to have the favor of Ak Right to Life and the many conservatives who elected him or are they too ignorant to make a right choice. How about a word from those who had voted for him but now hate him?

  • The list of traitors that John J. above related in my opinion is without question guilty and I hope none of them ever get elected to any public office or appointed to ever a position in Animal Control. That would constitute Animal Cruelty and Abuse.

    As I remember Rep. Eastman Service the media and the Queen’s Court treated and tormented him every chance they got. Just my recollection and I don’t get to vote for him. I have an outstanding Sen. Lora Rienbold who stands up for her constituents even when she knows the tiny-minded, vindictive leadership (oops nothing reflecting leadership in that group — more like childish narcissism) will cost her their wrath. My Rep. stands with her as an outcast but I am proud of them both.

    Did Rep. Eastman go to Wasilla in the special session? Did he vote for a full PFD? Did he vote to overturn the governors vetoes? Did he vote to cut the bloated budget? Is he accepting his full per diem and salary while hiding at home as he believes he is not essential to the State while working Alaskans suffer without jobs?

    Those are the questions I will decide my votes on this year. I am not happy with the waste of time and money by the House or the deal giving the leadership to the Democrats. Why vote for any Republican who will concede your support to the very same people you would not vote for yourself.

    Maybe we should consider a much more efficient system other countries have. One house, no Senate or Representatives, only one party to vote on, no choice except selecting the person the party says will represent you! It is quick, efficient, you get representive government you voted for, and never any disagreements as to what comes up to vote and passes.

    That’s where you are heading, trust me!

    • Eastman did go to Wasilla. He always voted for the full PFD. He never voted to overturn the governors vetoes. He not only always voted to cut the budget, but he made many practical amendments to do so. He only took per diem after they went into recess for 4 days (probably moving days).

  • I didn’t see von Imhoffs name in the 3 listed. That’s missing a big aspect of this. She is driving a lot more of this than is mentioned very often in public.

  • It’s curious that Eastman was targeted here with Giessel and Knopp instead of some of the big spenders and those who denied us our PFDs in a time of crisis. Disturbingly, his good votes are ignored and he is targeted for not compromising on abortion. As someone who has been working to end abortion for 45 years and a former President of Alaska Right to Life, I’ve learned that ending abortion incrementally doesn’t work. Whenever we think we’ve obtained a victory, whether small or great, Planned Parenthood sues and judges overturn the law meant to protect women and babies. The answer has been in plain sight all along. The Supreme Court Justices when inventing a right to abortion in Roe v Wade, said that if personhood is ever established for the fetus, they would likely give them rights under the 14th amendment. Alaska in one of eight states where abortion is legal throughout all nine months, parental permission has been denied, right to know has been diluted by an actual abortionist helping to write warnings designed to minimize risk and Planned Parenthood has sued to get nurses directly killing when state law says it must be a physician. Planned Parenthood receives federal, state and municipal dollars for killing our most precious resource, Alaskan babies. The state of Alaska pays for more native and black babies to be killed than white babies relative to their numbers in the population. People who feign alarm over abortion but do little to stop it cannot be taken seriously. After 50 years, we now know that talk to do it in steps is disingenuous. Joining Rep. Eastman to call for/ vote for a personhood bill is how the bloodshed stops.

    • Typo: Should be “women and babies”, not “women babies”

  • It’s curious that Eastman was targeted here with Giessel and Knopp instead of some of the big spenders and those who denied us our PFDs in a time of crisis. Disturbingly, his good votes are ignored and he is targeted for not compromising on abortion. As someone who has been working to end abortion for 45 years and a former President of Alaska Right to Life, I’ve learned that ending abortion incrementally doesn’t work. Whenever we think we’ve obtained a victory, whether small or great, Planned Parenthood sues and judges overturn the law meant to protect women and babies. The answer has been in plain sight all along. The Supreme Court Justices when inventing a right to abortion in Roe v Wade, said that if personhood is ever established for the fetus, they would likely give them rights under the 14th amendment. Alaska in one of eight states where abortion is legal throughout all nine months, parental permission has been denied, right to know has been diluted by an actual abortionist helping to write warnings designed to minimize risk and Planned Parenthood has sued to get nurses directly killing when state law says it must be a physician. Planned Parenthood receives federal, state and municipal dollars for killing our most precious resource, Alaskan babies. The state of Alaska pays for more native and black babies to be killed than white babies relative to their numbers in the population. People who feign alarm over abortion but do little to stop it cannot be taken seriously. After 50 years, we now know that talk to do it in steps is disingenuous. Joining Rep. Eastman to call for/ vote for a personhood bill is how the bloodshed stops.

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