House speaker calls a recess after three members refuse to wear face masks

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The House floor session on Monday came to an abrupt end after Speaker Louise Stutes, who arrived late, gaveled in and then immediately called for a recess. Stutes said that the memo she had sent to legislative offices earlier in the day was clear: All members and staff must wear face masks in the House Chambers. There were members in the room who were unmasked, and therefore she was calling a recess until they comply.

The KTOO camera that films and broadcasts proceedings inside the chamber avoided panning to one side, where three members — Reps. Ben Carpenter, David Eastman, and Chris Kurka — were defying the mask mandate. Other Republican members present were also wearing their masks on their chins or barely covering their noses.

The Speaker has ordered the sergeant at arms to prevent anyone from entering the chamber who is unmasked. The three legislators remained in the room; if they leave, they won’t be allowed to return without a properly masked face.

Eastman then posted his point of view on Facebook:

“The Speaker has made it clear that she considers me a threat to her health based on the personal medical interventions I choose to take or not take. She is incorrect. I am not a threat. I am not sick. Unlike the Speaker, I did not attend a floor session while sick last week (with COVID, if reports are to be believed). I do have a documented, non-contagious respiratory condition from my time in the military. Even so, I have sacrificed my personal health repeatedly by wearing a mask. In fact, I was the first member of the legislature to wear a mask during legislative business. However, I will not sit by while a fellow member of the legislature is threatened with not being permitted to fulfill their constitutional duty to cast a vote in the legislature because they are not wearing a mask while doing so. There is no constitutional requirement to wear a mask or constitutional authority to prevent a fellow legislator from voting. There is a constitutional requirement that a legislator “faithfully discharge [their] duties as a state legislator”. Those duties obviously include the ability to vote. That requirement is found in Art. XII, Sec. 5 of the Alaska Constitution.”

An outbreak of Covid-19 was identified by Beacon, the company contracted to do testing for legislators and staff. Beacon said that the spread was due to a large number of staffers attending Sham Jam, the fundraiser held at the Red Dog Saloon, where proceeds are given to a local nonprofit. Mostly Democrats attended Sham Jam this year, which was held on March 26.

One Republican in the building commented, “People are allowed to not wear masks in halls, offices, everywhere but on the floor. The majority wants to slow roll the budget to get extra days of per diem. So they make silly rules to blame the Republicans for the budget not moving.”

60 COMMENTS

  1. Corona-Commies in Alaska just won’t go away.
    A legislature fool of fools and idiots, making themselves the objects of jokes and satire. Politicians in Alaska are of the dumbest residents around. No wonder we laugh loudly AT them.

  2. Ukraine just outlawed 11 political parties, including the second largest political party in the Ukrainian Parliament, effectively making Ukraine a one-party state for the time being. When you grant autocratic leaders the power to prevent even one legislator from voting, you set the stage for what we just saw happen in Ukraine.

    You have to draw the line somewhere. The Constitution is a good place.

    ‘https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/zelensky-bans-11-opposition-parties-labeled-pro-russian-seizes-media

    • Ukraine is now esentially a one party state and bans the primary language of 50% of its’ citizens.
      Banning all opposition gives Zelensky complete control of conditions for cease fire negotiations. Most Americans are not aware that Ukraine is a dictatorship for the interests of a handful of oligarchs. It is always the powerless who pay for the blunders of their leaders.

    • Thank you Rep. Eastman for standing up to the “Big Lie” that cloth masks do anything to stop a virus particle and are actually bad for your health due to bacteria buildup and reduced oxygen in the blood. Stutes is just following her handlers orders to continue the great lie. Tell Chris Kurka, we need to get that RINO Dunleavy out of the Governors House. Dunleavy is allowing an election debacle to occur by not standing up to illegal mail-in ballot harvesting with no signature verification and allowing the vote changing Dominion Machines to be used in our elections. Alaskans are being setup for election fraud!

  3. That Wicked Witch of the Southeast, the execrable Louise Stutes, is really a statist and authoritarian piece of work.
    .
    Just WHERE are all these evil and insane people coming from in Alaska? And why does ANYONE not only elect them to public office, but keep reelecting them? Has the entire state, and country, gone crazy?

        • Jeff,
          The legislative building is in Juneau and Juneau is in Southeast, the legislature typically convenes in the legislative building. The legislature is made up of people from all around the state. Louise Stutes of Kodiak is the Speaker of the House which isn’t in Southeast.
          .
          Louise Stutes doesn’t represent Southeast Alaska, she represents Kodiak.

          • Steve, as is so often the case, you are missing the point.
            .
            It matters not where Stutes is from, what matters here is WHERE she is exercising her power. And that is in the legislature in Juneau, in Southeastern Alaska.
            .
            Now, are you going to continue to foolishly try to nitpick the obvious point to death?

  4. This another example of how illiteracy effects house members, if they’d party less and read more books they’d accept peoples different characters. If they God loves us, they’d make less of a stink about matters. You know! I can see private enterprises refuse service for not complying with an employer . This right to refuse doesn’t apply to a government, which is open to all residents within law. There is no law that you shall wear a mask. When did government think its a private business? It doesn’t have the right to kick residents out. You know! I am remembering something the peratrovichs they weren’t kicked out of the capital bldg for being native, while at the store fronts displayed discrimination signs including realty determing where non approved whites can buy a home. Cause! Government buildings are not private, so it can’t invoke the private business ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to
    anyone’ action.
    Government
    buildings weren’t practicing refusal of service in 1920 and should not be practicing it today in
    2022. Speaker stutes is out of order.

    • Gosh Jen: I could not follow a single thought that you tried to communicate. Maybe try again but sit on it a few hours before sending.

  5. The state vegetable is the speaker of the AK house.

    It’s sad that’s the best Kodiak can do.

  6. So proud of my representative – Rep. Ben Carpenter! So proud of Rep. Eastman and Rep. Kurka! Thank you for joining Senator Reinbold in pointing out how ridiculous these people are. On Halloween, people where masks on their eyes. I’d love to see someone walk onto the House floor with their mask over their eyes like a blindfold and someone leading them to their seat

  7. Laddie? Laddie Shaw? I can’t see you behind that mask?

    Your silence on fascistic covidianism has been deafening.

    Why is a courageous man like yourself bending the knee to the covid fascists?

    This is it. Time to make the stand.

    • Shaw isn’t what he allows others to claim he is. He’s as swampy as any of them. Honorable service to America doesn’t translate to local service.

      Just ask Sec Transportation Pete

  8. I bet Stutes doesn’t know what a woman is. Somebody should ask her. If she says she can’t or won’t answer that question, that should ensure she and her people won’t get re-elected. Ask them the question and get them on the record.

  9. Heck, they weren’t getting anything useful done anyway. Stay on recess until the cows come home and spare us all the lip service.

  10. We have been on the house floor since 11am this morning. The Speaker just walked in and moments later declared the vote to adjourn the legislature to have passed, while ignoring objections from the Republican legislators in the room. Alaska Democrats at work.

    There are some events they leave the cameras off for. This was one.

    They said you would be able to see every vote that happens in Juneau. They said that all votes would be televised. They lied.

    • Rep. Eastman, who are you endorsing for Governor? Kurka or Pierce? We need to consolidate the conservative vote around one candidate

    • Continue to do what you’re doing, and do not let the tyrannical, anti-science Covidiots run over your rights.
      We are done with their B.S.

    • Representative Eastman, are you saying that Public Broadcasting is filtering which votes and debates get air time? Are you inferring that KTOO has a leftist Democrat Party bias? I cannot believe what I am hearing. Surely sir, you must be peddling ” misinformation ” and dare I say, hairy tic views! Recant immediately Mr. Eastman, or you shall soon face your trial of purification! Speaker most High Stutes will be forced to turn you over to the Grand Inquisitor , Representative Tuck so that proper dogma, err, I mean Uniparty Doctrine will prevail and your soul might be saved.

    • Join reality Eastman, put on a mask and get back to work. BFD that you object to a strategy that might prevent others from getting sick. Grow a pair and get along with people for once!

  11. The clown show continues. I wonder how many walked out, took their cloth face coverings off and then proceeded to go to the local watering hole without ever wearing an actual mask? The unnamed Republican got it right when they said “People are allowed to not wear masks in halls, offices, everywhere but on the floor. The majority wants to slow roll the budget to get extra days of per diem. So they make silly rules to blame the Republicans for the budget not moving.” Clown show.

  12. It is clear who are the commy covidiots. These diaper wearers clearly would not know science if they were born in a test tube. The only reason I hope the idiots keep the diapers on their face is to hide their ugly faces which seem to be two faced. Talk about scamdemic paranoia. I hope all those who refuse to wear the star of David diapers on their faces stand strong against those with a backward mentality.

  13. 57 complete idiots in Juneau telling us how to live our own lives. Can’t wait for Donald Trump to show up in Alaska for his Big Rally and let us out of the cages we’ve been put into.

    • If anyone is truly waiting for Donald Trump to come save us then we’re in serious trouble. We are the change in our government we are seeking. Talk to your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family. Get them out to vote the right way. Remember all politics are local. And your local government have more power over you daily lives than any national politicians does.

    • Unfortunately it looks like no one is stepping up. This shouldn’t be hard — her district voter for Trump in a landslide!

  14. Dave, you guys should file suit against her for practicing medicine without a license. Mandating medical devices is not something she should be able to do no more than you or I could prescribe Ivermectin.

  15. Thank you, Sir for taking a stand once again. I agree that the Constitution is an excellent place to draw that line to stand upon. I assume the speaker claims the declared “emergency” grants her extra-constitutional powers. There are currently so many declared emergencies, most people can’t say where the emergency ends and the Constitution begins. I would argue that it is PRECISELY during an emergency that the Constitution must be most fiercly guarded and strictly adhered to. Well done.

  16. These three little boys need to obey the rules. They pass laws for us to follow. They should as well.

    We are all tired of division and this weak tantrum only adds to it.

    • First, these are representatives, who speak for their constituents.
      Second, arbitrary rules are not laws.
      Third, Louise Stutes demands masks in the house chamber only? No germs in the halls and offices? How is that scientific?
      Finally you are correct. We are all tired of the division and tantrums. If speaker Stutes wishes to wear a mask, that is up to her, but her “my way or the highway” theater has to end! NOW!

    • There is no mask law? These are real men and not some collegiate swimmer.
      Imagine if someone came into your house and told you that you HAD to wear a mask because THEY were sick?
      And then walk the same halls and stores as you without a mask! Its just a game!

  17. New Speak:

    treatments are vaccines

    only factory food is healthy

    men are women

    printing money doesn’t devalue currency

    natural immunity doesn’t exist

    porous fabrics will filter tiny viruses

    celebrities are scientists

    carbon is bad for carbon based life

    Brawndo’s got what plants crave

  18. Stutes is a flat Earther, anti science Covidiot. There is NO definitive science that supports her position on masks, in fact, there are numerous studies that show just the opposite. What else has this fool gotten wrong in her life?

  19. Once again we see the evidence that we are no longer a nation of laws but of men, a blatant contradiction to the system of governance our Founders gave us with the Constitution. If we are to revive this once great nation this must end!

  20. Thank you, Ben Carpenter, David Eastman, and Chris Kurka!
    .
    Whatever it takes to defy, defeat, and overcome The Stutes, we thank you for doing it, please keep doing it.
    .
    We’re very surprised, very disappointed that Shaw and Kaufman didn’t have the bal(oops!) courage to join you.

  21. There is a simple scientific explanation on the House mask mandate. Voters will decide this fall if they agree.

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