Giessel pulls pin out of grenade on Laddie Shaw


Senate President Cathy Giessel took to Facebook on Thursday to make a veiled character assassination against Rep. Laddie Shaw, who did not get confirmed by the Senate for Senate Seat M last week. Giessel was defending her opposition to Shaw, but being guarded about her reasons:

“Many times we know these individuals in a way that perhaps you don’t,” she said in her video, linked below.

The subtext was “If you knew what we know about Laddie, you wouldn’t vote for him either.”

Shaw, a veteran of the Vietnam war (two tours) and a Navy SEAL, was one of the District M choices for replacing the late Sen. Chris Birch, who died this summer.

The others were Dave Donley and Al Fogle, and all three were interviewed by the governor, who chose Laddie Shaw for Senate Seat M.

Giessel was opposed to Shaw from the start because of his stance on the Permanent Fund dividend, but during his interview with Senate Republicans, Giessel asked Shaw if he thought he was better than others because he had served our country in the military.

Must Read Alaska has learned how that odd question came to be asked.

During the special session this summer, when most of the Legislature was in Juneau but a large number of legislators had convened in Wasilla, (where the governor had called the session,) Sen. Birch was sending Rep. Shaw notes saying were still seats on upcoming Alaska Airlines jets heading to Juneau, and asking why didn’t Shaw just pick himself up and come on down to join those who were refusing to meet in Wasilla.

Shaw, at the time of the text exchange, was at a funeral in Metlakatka for one of his fellow Navy SEALS, who had died at age 89. Shaw is one of the original members of the Navy SEALS, as was the deceased veteran.

Birch wrote, to the effect, “Laddie other people are missing weddings and funerals and they’re here. You should be too.”

Shaw texted back from the funeral something to the effect that Birch didn’t know the meaning of honor in the way Shaw did.

It was a heat-of-the-moment exchange, but Birch showed that text to his fellow senators in Juneau, who were in a heated battle with the governor over where the special session would be held.

Now, Giessel is using that exchange against Shaw, hinting she has something “on him” that the public can’t know about.

In the video, Giessel acknowledges that she’s gotten a lot of pressure to confirm Shaw, but showed no indication she’ll ever do so.

The real problem for Shaw in the confirmation process is that he is pro-Permanent Fund dividend, and Giessel is among those in the Legislature who feel more needs to go to government, and less to individual Alaskans.

Her remarks about Shaw come shortly after the 5 minute mark in this video:

The governor will offer another name to the Senate Republicans on Friday, hoping they will find the next person more acceptable than Rep. Shaw.

In the interest of transparency, Shaw said to Must Read Alaska that Giessel should release the entire transcript of the text exchange between Birch and Shaw, so the public can judge for itself.


    • Make one.
      “Giessel’s Gotta Go” has a nice ring to it.
      Imagine T-shirts, sweat shirts, ball caps, tote bags, even iron-on patches emblazoned with “Giessel’s Gotta Go”.
      T-shirts and winter coming on? For this we can be tough, no?

      • Giessel is going, going… gone.

        Maybe she will switch parties and run as a Democrat, who knows.

        Either way, I will be voting against her… Bye bye Giessel.

  1. Giessel stayed in Juneau to stay away from the peoples voice that she is supposed to be representing. Please replace her.

  2. Veiled character assassinations are cowardly. If there were anything truthful, Giessel shouldn’t play the coward and speak up. I believe that Giessel is the one with the flawed character…that’s what she’s showing anyway.

  3. When you can’t come up with something objective and solid to tar an opponent with, you “act” like you know something but are “just too professional” to go public. Hogwash! She’ll be hardpressed to convince anyone who knows Laddie how unqualified and perhaps evil he is. But somehow, the left side of the aisle, including a few Republicans, are convinced…yet won’t give anything concrete either. Transparency? Not on their watch!
    It IS in vogue today to hate a man more than you love your state or country and act accordingly. So I don’t see much change on the horizon.

  4. Actually Birch did not understand Honor twice over. . Both for not understanding about the funeral of a Comrade in Arms and his motive to have Shaw appear in Juneau as an anti-Dunleavy gesture.
    The answer to serial liar Giessel’s question is Yes.
    We really need term limits.

  5. Ms Kirkpatrick’s earlier comment regarding Giessel ‘s cowardly veiled character assassination is absolutely correct. To cast aspersions on Mr Laddie Shaw in such a manner is despicable and perhaps illustrates her and other Legislature colleagues’ lack of knowledge about America’s Navy Seals. I suspect his honor and integrity may be alarming to them as well.
    Shame on Giessel!

  6. The district Giessel is in would like to recall her. And, this next legislative session may tell a lot about her problems. She has become quite a liar. My federal club meeting was very telling for her. The description, to be nice, was, “well that was interesting but we have some thoughts on that…..” after she had her small talk. Some of the constituents were there at the federal retiree meeting. Reminds me of the RNC Women’s Club meeting Giesel attended. She couldn’t talk about anything but opioid problems. When the SB91 was mentioned, she turned her head in another direction and avoided any comment. So, out the door she needs to go. Her district should make that effort to get the signature paperwork together for a recall and get it done. The Shaw rejection and the ignoring the legislative call to Wasilla is telling about her. She needs to go!! And, go she will!!

  7. Even if Cathy is correct about alleged character flaws, one never makes a public statement about “special knowledge ” without first sharing that knowledge. Her statements about Shaw are asinine and ridiculous. Laddie Shaw is right, release the full transcript of the texts.
    This woman is Senate President? We are so screwed!

  8.  Want some names of the public-labor union bought and paid for ingrained Alaska Deep Staters, then read the list of so-called Republican Senators (RINO PFD STEALING) who voted against retired Navy SEAL and Alaska State Trooper trainer Laddie Shaw.
    Remember these traitors next Alaska election. The Republican Party needs to rid the party of these Deranged Democrats RINOs operating as Republicans who voted against Shaw:

    Here are the RINO traitors, Senators Giessel, John Coghill, Gary Stevens, Bert Stedman, Click Bishop, and Natasha Von Imhof.
    What was Shaw thinking when asked where he would have gone if the session was called anywhere but Juneau. The RINOs didn’t like Shaw’s answer, “I would follow the law.” The RINOs don’t care about the law if they don’t like it.

    Remember these bastards and DO NOT RE-ELECT THEM.

  9. Can’t wait for the next Statewide Rep and Senate elections. It will be most interesting to hear some of these folks try to put a positive spin on their actions. Especially, those Republicans who crossed the aisle to create a lot of the problems we saw.

  10. You have something to hide . Your face and honesty. You are a real piece of work and I am happy to point this out to everybody I talk to until the next election.

  11. She must be a Graduate of the Nancy Pelosi Shool of Dirty Politics. She’s a disgusting POS, and as a retired Military Veteran I’ll say it: Any Honorably Discharged Veteran of the US Armed Forces is BETTER THAN GIESSEL THE WEASEL!

  12. It certainly seems to me it is Giesel and Birch whom are the ones dealing with a bit of pride and arrogance. Birch’s prodding of and snarky remark to Shaw via text was grossly insensitive and even rude. Shaw likely in irritation replied, putting Birch in his place, and wounding his arrogance, as obviously humility does not seem to come easy to the Senator. Giesel, Birch’s sidekick (?), has taken offense for Birch. How dare Mr. Shaw give such a retort!? Of course than there is the fierce determination to keep a bloated stare budget and take the pfd to help with that effort. Please voters, remember this behavior when it is time to vote. Such pettiness does not belong in state leadership.

  13. Yeah well we know Cathy don’t we, and she will be replaced as soon as possible. She’s perpetrated one of the biggest lies to her party and voted against 75% of the Alaskan people on the PFD so yeah she’s so yesterday.

  14. Wow really. She used a personal text that he had to another person unrelated to judge him. Unbelievable and very unprofessional. Yank her out of office, she is acting just like the liberals.. This is exactly what Alaska does not need nor want. People like this tearing down good American Veterans who actually did something for this country. Shame on her.

  15. His honor to a passing military member of his SEAL team meets my criteria of what honor represents, more so for the caliber and charater of the deceased veteran, a well known and respected member of the Metlakatla community and all surrounding area aware of who SEAL Soliman Guthrie was. My hat off to Swaw for his stance

  16. That question about military experience should have been the first clue that she was looking for something with which to bludgeon Shaw. That is nothing but a gotcha question designed to somehow trip him up, no matter which way he answers. I would love to see a transcript of THAT question-and-answer session. How did the man answer? Was it haughty and derisive, which would prove her point, I guess. But if it wasn’t, then I assume this was just about his PFD stance all along. Which was it, Ms. Giessel? Let’s see that transcript as well.

  17. She lied to my face about conservative values and support for the PFD, so I voted for her. Now she has the GALL to point out perceived character defects in Laddie Shaw?

    That takes the meaning of “chutzpah” to a whole ‘nother level. I can’t WAIT to vote her out of office.

  18. I have known Laddie Shaw for a very long time. As a fellow Vietnam vet I can certainly identify with his obligation to attend a fallen comrades funeral. To somehow call him out on that is despicable. If you guys want to get rid of these RINOS you need someone to step up to run against them. Who is going to recruit candidates? talking about it is fun, doing something about it is work.

  19. The legislature violated existing law on the PFD and by not following the call of the governor and goin to Wasilla. There is no excuse for this. I get this and understand it. When I served in the House I stood my ground on the POMV in 2004 and defied the governors call for special session in order to kill it then. I fully understood the ramifications and when I announced my decision publicly I also said I was not running again. In order to get me to Juneau leadership agreed to bury the legislation for my coming to Juneau so the governor could save face. I did and voted against the cigarette tax and we adjourned. Lawmakers shall not be law breakers. This lawbreaker group all started with Gary Knopp!

  20. @ Fred Flinstone: I feel your pain. I let Gabrielle LaDoux into my home where she lied to my face about conservative values and support for the PFD, and I voted for her. Then two months later I got a phone call about Gabby joining in with the DEMS (forming the Muskox coalition). I found myself trying to get her sign OUT of my yard in January. Not an easy thing to do, but with my husbands help (and his sledge hammer) we did it. As for Chris Birch showing up in Juneau and trying to get Mr. Shaw to break the law and join him SHAME on him. He showed no character there. And then insulting a SEALS loyalty to a fallen brother? 2nd strike in my book. Giesel is so self absorbed and busy showing her true colors. She is toast. I hope and pray. I thought Gabrielle was too. These people have Union money and therefore use the Clinton playbook. Who knows WHAT will happen next. The whole vote by mail thing swings in their favor. Let’s all pray for Alaska and the swamp in Juneau. God help us.

  21. I cannot believe Giessel’s conduct.
    This conduct is out of control.
    Giessel is for ignoring the law, disrespecting those she represents, and putting gov’t and the growth of gov’t first.
    Evidently she has never read the Alaska Republican Party Platform.
    May God Bless Shaw and those who have served, especially those who’ve served in harm’s way.

  22. I agree with Bob Bell – Who is going to step up, organize, and run against Cathy? All the backstabbing and divisiveness will do is hand her seat to the other party. Cathy, you have made a serious mistake with this one: Laddie Shaw isn’t Jesus Christ and neither are you. You are feeding the unnatural inclination of the lefty media to slam Republicans. Laddie is well respected and the Governor should resubmit his name for consideration for Senate M – and you, Cathy, should vote to confirm his appointment. The lack of respect and the ability to forge consensus and get the State’s work done is killing the possibility of bringing the peoples of this State together for our common future. BTW Cathy, STOP TRYING TO STEAL THE PEOPLE’S MONEY – bring the statutory PFD back, you are not above the law, and it’s not your money to spend – period.

  23. If “soon-to-be former” Senator Giessel thinks she has any standing to criticize Laddie Shaw for saying that he preferred to be present for the funeral of a fellow Navy Seal, she clearly has a much distorted self-perception of her own importance. If she thinks that being a legislator is “serving” your State or Country, she is delusional. Laddie Shaw, most likely with the person’s whose funeral he was attending, have gone places, seen things, and done things on behalf of our country that most people will never see or experience and have little desire to see or experience. Soon-to-be former (and soon forgotten) Senator Giessel owes Laddie Shaw a big apology and she needs to ask for forgiveness for being so arrogant and condescending towards a highly accomplished veteran. And the truth be told, veterans do have a high regard for other veterans, especially combat veterans who have put their own well-being on the line at the request of their country.

  24. Giessel wanted Birch’s daughter picked as the dead senator’s replacement. Birch and Giessel are RINO, establishment Republicans. Giessel’s orchestrated rejection of Shaw was a “stick it” to the governor.

  25. I’m not so sure that the comment Sen. Giessel made implies that “If you knew what we know about Laddie, you wouldn’t vote for him either.” That’s putting words into her mouth. To summarize what she does say, to those who continue to listen to the video, is that each person knows someone in his or her own way which influences the way they make decisions about that person.

    Based on most of the comments here, Senator Giessel is dilusional, arrogant, condescending, disrespectful, self absorbed, despicable, and so on. I certainly don’t get that from her video, but it’s coming on strong from some of the people sending in comments.

    Of course, they are entitled to their opinions.

  26. Why didn’t Giessel hang on to the gernade after pulling the pin? It would have solved most of Dunleavy’s problems.

  27. Interesting twist — Midnight Sun Republican Women’s Club posted a fundraiser on Facebook coming up on Oct 7 for Giessel co-hosted by a bunch of folks, including the late Birch’s daughter. Tali Birch-Kindred was part of the nomination process for the open senate seat as she put in a bid but didn’t make Dunleavy’s cut. Hmmm, sounds to me Giessel wants Birch-Kindred in that seat and in exchange for help, Giessel will collect dollars toward her re-election campaign. That really stinks of something fishy.

    • I too find it very interesting that Giessel witholds her approval of a very competent replacement for Chris Birch and is now having a fundraiser hosted by the late Chris Birch’s daughter. Definitely some game playing going on by Giessel. Time for this non-Republican to be booted out of office

  28. ” Giessel asked Shaw if he thought he was better than others because he had served our country in the military.”

    The answer is yes. “Ms.” Giessel has never been in a position where a decision can have a immediate bad outcome (death) for her co-workers. Mr. Shaw had been in the “hot seat” for 20+ years of his life. A bad decision on his part could have put the lives of his team mates in jeopardy. “Ms.” Giessel has never signed a blank check to this country that included the phrase “to include your life if needed”. When a person signs such a check, it’s not words; it’s a moral bond. Most politicians work in shades of gray (lies). Military members, it’s black and white, right or wrong.

    So the short of the story- I would trust Mr. Shaw’s word over “Ms” Giessel’s any day of the week.

  29. Even though I don’t live in her district, I will work tirelessly to get this woman voted out of office. She is a disgrace to the Republican Party, and a disgrace to all Alaskans who have lived and worked here their entire life.

  30. My Goodness! Methinks the vituperators doth protest too much.

    Is this the same Republican party that fought to free the slaves. Methinks, perhaps not.

    But they definitely have a RINO pointy thing going on…to exaggerate the honking.

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