House members launch inquiry into Human Rights Commission - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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House members launch inquiry into Human Rights Commission

Four members of the Alaska House of Representatives have sent a public records request asking for records from the Alaska Human Rights Commission, following a Department of Law inquiry into the behavior of the agency’s executive director Marti Buscaglia.

Buscaglia was recently investigated because she put her business card on a vehicle parked in the agency’s parking lot, instructing the owner of the vehicle to remove it due to what she felt was an offensive decal. She then mocked the owner of the vehicle by posting her comments about the truck decal on the agency’s Facebook page.

The commission of the agency is taking up the matter in executive session today, and Buscaglia’s job hangs in the balance as the commission must decide if she has irreparably damaged the reputation of the agency.

Black Rifles Matter: Human Rights Commission to meet in executive session

The records request is for all electronic and written communications between Buscaglia and her staff from Jan. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019.

Signing the letter were Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage), House Minority Leader; Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy); Rep. Josh Revak (R-Anchorage); and Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski). All are members of the Republican minority caucus.

The four want to know if this is a one-off situation or a pattern of behavior at the agency.

“Obviously, we’ve seen the details of the story play out a little bit in the press, but I’m more interested in seeing if this is a consistent pattern of behavior inside the agency,” said Pruitt. “We simply cannot have government agencies and officials clearly and intentionally violating the rights of Alaskans in order to promote a political ideology.”

“If a state agency is found to have intentionally violated the civil rights of Alaskans, they have no business continuing to receive state funding, no matter how pure their mission may appear,” Talerico said. “Free speech is guaranteed by the constitution, and to see a public official using her official state business card and social media accounts to make a statement suppressing free speech is, I would argue, at minimum, grounds for dismissal.”

“Whether we agree with someone’s speech is irrelevant. Free speech is a guaranteed right that has been paid for time and again by our honorable veterans and active duty service members and their families,” Revak said. “To see an unelected government bureaucrat with the audacity to tell a private citizen what he can or cannot say is so deeply offensive to me. I’m not going to stand for it.”

The letter can be read here.

The Agency has 10 business days to respond to the legislators’ request.

Black Rifles Matter stickers are sold at Amazon.com as Second Amendment decals. Find them here.

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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

  • The only damage to the “Agency” is if she does not lose her position. Keeping her on would completely destroy any supposed image the agency might have.

    • Agree 100%

  • This inquiry is likely the reason the commission, following a closed door executive session, returned to on the record status and announced: No decision … proposed recess… until later later this week. Motion to recess. Approved.

  • I was a little surprised that they came to no decision today. Maybe SMYTT is correct that it is a result of the legislative inquiry. It is a no brainer. A person at her level, and as the ED of the HRC should damn well know better. I wonder why only back to January 2019? Because that is when they were sworn into the House? I think they should look at every case that has crossed this woman’s desk and also scrutinize those that the agency didn’t pursue further. I’d really like to know what they decide to cherry pick.

  • I love your link to Black stifles Matter stickers at Amazon…. perfect ending to this story!!

  • Great job ruining someone’s career, everyone! Who’s the snowflake now? The bumper sticker under discussion has no purpose except to incite, and, I guess in this case, entrap.

    • Entrap? Yes, the person had no choice but to respond inappropriately to a sticker. Moron.

    • When Pres. Obama says get in someone’s face when disagreeing, ‘Bring a gun to a knife fight”, or “Philadelphians love a brawl”… that is non-confrontational? When “direct action” is the call to take confrontation to the physical and is applauded , how is a bumper sticker even close to any of the above? The sad question being asked today , “is the Human Rights Commission bigoted?”

    • It takes a very easy and quick internet search to find the organization behind the sticker. I would think any thinking, moderately intelligent government official would know how to do that. Pleading ignorance is not a defense. There was no entrapment.

    • She ruined her own career snowflake…when you exercise your position of authority over other people you disagree with you have put your job into jeopardy. Who died and made her king? How does she get to tell ANYONE to not park in a parking lot owned by the People? Good job though, standing with your liberal cohort

    • Dog, you make First Amendment Regulators proud.
      .
      Ought to be a badge, a secret decoder ring for free-speech cops, no?
      .
      Can’t let Americans go around inciting anything…

    • Mr./Mrs. TheDog: Her willingness to use the resources of the State of Alaska and contact the owner of the building using her position of authority in an attempt to destroy this man and his business is hardly entrapment. When she is fired, take her to lunch.

    • This person admitted to what she did and she didn’t just ask nicely. She used STATE resources, abused her position of power, libeled the man and his business, and tried to have him fired and banned from the building. All of that is a huge no-no. What part of that is entrapment? Deflecting and entrapping are lefty MOs.

    • She ruined her own career trying to use her position to push a political agenda.

  • That FOIA request is not going to produce anything of value. The agency will have state attorneys review the content, and then claim confidentiality on all communications. It means nothing to the Director herself, I am sure.

    FOIAs are ineffective tools to attain information from the State of Alaska.

    • You have no idea what you’re talking about. As usual.

  • While I enjoy seeing Marti get what she deserves, the commission needs to be defunded and dissolved. As far as I’m concerned it is a double up on an already present federal agency and the bell has been rung. You can’t unring it. But, this is very important. Let’s not forget or let slide the lead probation officer that was the one to actually place the cards and left his own so he could further bolster her authority. He also should suffer the same fate.

    • right on. great comment

  • So this executive director makes judgments on human rights? She just nullified herself and is evidently a partisan hack. Make her go away please.

    • They have failed to show how she is even minimally qualified for the post as well.

  • “No Decision”?? Really?

    The woman tried to use her government position to punish someone over his personal opinions – THREE TIMES. (1) She left a government business card on the car ordering him to not park there, (2) then bashed him on FB using the government account, and (3) then tried to get his company’s contract with the building owner revoked.

    What is there to decide? Are they trying to find some way to spin this to make it look like it was just an “oopsie”? Or hoping that everyone will just forget about it if they wait long enough.

    The longer they wait the more I wonder if they support her actions.

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