SCOTT KENDALL VS THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Scott Kendall, Gov. Bill Walker’s chief of staff, knew he had done something wrong.
That’s why he changed his Facebook profile on Thursday and removed the reference to the Office of the Governor.
This author (Suzanne Downing) had told him the night before that he had abused the power of his office during one of his fits of pique, and upon reflection, and possible consultation with State attorneys, Kendall was trying to cover his tracks.
By mid-morning, his Facebook profile was just plain old “Scott Kendall.”
On Wednesday night, the chief to the governor was in high dudgeon. Kendall wrote a long a damning Facebook post about Must Read Alaska and the essay published earlier this week titled, “The War on Men.”
Kendall was incensed that Downing had the nerve to question the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He wrote that Downing diminished the stories and lives of victims.
And then encouraged his friends and followers in the Democratic circles he runs in to share his blistering criticism about Must Read Alaska. He did so as a top government official, attempting to silence a writer, and his progressive followers jumped at the opportunity.
OVER THE LINE
Kendall wrote how Downing had gone “over the line,” and he could no longer keep silent: “Despite my line of work, I try to avoid hard edged political posts. However, the Kavanaugh confirmation process has brought out behavior that makes silence start to feel like complicity,” he wrote.
By saying “Despite my line of work,” Kendall gave a dog whistle to readers that he is in a powerful position.
Of course, his silence is not the issue. Kendall has all the resources of the State behind him.
Kendall and his boss Walker are solidly on the side of not confirming Kavanaugh, and have sent a letter to the Senate delegation opposing his confirmation. This is part of the Walker campaign for re-election.
In that letter, Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott wrote that “violence against women in Alaska is an epidemic.” Referring to the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, they said they could not condone his confirmation “while so many questions remain unanswered.”
Kendall’s Wednesday night rant was an attempt to silence the opposition. It was about taking down an Alaskan political writer and analyst whom readers know as a critic of the Walker administration.
Then he went after Must Read Alaska’s base of support — donors and advertisers:
“At this point it’s difficult to believe that the individuals or organizations involved will disavow these posts or cease supporting this kind of garbage,” he wrote.
This, coming from the door keeper to the Administration, tells readers he has super powers: He can hurt his political opponents –and he will.
Kendall didn’t stop there. Kendall strongly advised that Must Read Alaska unpublish the entire “War on Men” essay.
In First Amendment terms, this is called prior restraint, when the government tries to suppress a publication.
After that, he advised that the author apologize to all victims and to human decency itself. We never once heard him condemn either Rep. Zach Fansler or Rep. Dean Westlake for sexual misconduct.
KENDALL FORGETS ONE THING…
Scott Kendall doesn’t know the personal history of this writer, but let’s clear that up for him and put that one to rest.
The first time she was subjected to a sexual impropriety — assault, if you will — is when she was 10, a most typical age for such events.
The second time, when she was 12. After that, it wasn’t until she was roughly 22.
This author witnessed domestic violence in her own family. She has seen it, lived it, remembers it. Nearly every woman in Alaska has.
Kendall doesn’t care about that, or that someone who has experienced life might still want to uphold the constitutional “burden of proof.” He presumes only his views matter on the Supreme Court nominee. And only he gets to say who is to be believed in the world of he-said, she-said.
For Kendall, this is naked political ambition: He and his boss Walker are applying for a job. In 40 days, they’ll know whether or not they have passed the job interview. Things don’t look so good in that department, but Kendall is doing the cornered animal defense — hissing and snapping at anything he perceives is a threat.
Until then, dear reader, stay strong, keep the faith, and don’t let them beat you down.