Johnstone: What Spohnholz did to me, she can do to anyone


Readers: This statement by retired Judge Karl Johnstone was provided to members of the media. Must Read Alaska is printing it in full. Johnstone was the subject of a #metoo political attack by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, shown above on the floor of the House and Senate joint session, when Spohnholz gave anonymous account of vague sexual harassment reports she had received from “more than two women.” Johnstone was not provided the opportunity to clear his name before a vote was taken on his appointment to the Board of Fisheries.


Women have endured for too long various forms of sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. I believe that legitimate claims should be taken seriously and investigated.

But let me be clear, I never made inappropriate sexual comments as stated by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz.

During the two weeks before my confirmation vote I appeared before the House and Senate Resource Committees for nearly 8 hours and answered many questions. Approximately 200 people testified in support and in opposition. Several hundred written comments were made in support and opposition.  More comments were made on social media in support and in opposition, many anonymously.  At no time did any of this information contain a claim or an inference that I engaged in the conduct stated by Rep. Spohnholz.

It was not until the very last minutes before a vote was taken that Rep. Spohnholz stated that within the last 24 hours she had been contacted by more than 2 women who worked for the Board of Fisheries when I was on the Board and who claimed I made inappropriate and unwelcome sexual comments.  Rep. Spohnholz then stated they did not want their names disclosed because they feared retribution if I was put back on the Board. This was unfair and made no sense on many levels.

First, these claims were made at the very last minute and I was given no opportunity to respond.  Several legislators objected to, in their words, this last minute, unsubstantiated character attack with no chance to respond.

Second, there was no information as to what I supposedly said, or when or where I said it.  And, of course, Rep. Sponholz did not disclose the names making the claims.

The reason given for not providing names and supporting claim information makes no sense.  Rep Spohnholz said they feared retribution if I went back to the Board of Fisheries. However, all women who worked for the Board of Fisheries support section while I was on the Board have left and found employment elsewhere. Even if they were still there, they could have no fear of retribution since Board members have absolutely no authority over staff. Staff work under the direction of the Executive Director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Finally, now that I am not on the Board, why has Rep. Spohnholz refused to disclose these names?

The answer seems clear.  The charges made by Rep. Spohnholz were false.

Some people believe Rep. Spohnholz crossed the line. Three members of the House, while opposed to my appointment, publicly apologized and personally called me to apologize for the shameful conduct of their colleagues and said others felt the same. Many more comments to news outlets say the same.

I have thick skin and can take the hits, but it stings to know my four daughters have been hurt by this.

My appointment to the Board of Fisheries is no longer at stake. My hope is that the truth comes out because the only thing at stake now is my reputation.

All Alaskans should be concerned that the truth comes out. What happened to me can happen to anyone.

Karl Johnstone is a retired Alaska Superior Court judge and former chairman of the Board of Fisheries.


  1. Mr. Johnstone, it is an absolute shame what happened to you. Every man should be afraid. If anyone thinks this couldn’t happen to them, they better think again. Women better beware as well. Rep. Spohnholz was on TV defending herself and her actions in this matter, saying, and I paraphrase, “a person placed in these positions must be of the highest character”, or something along those lines. Well, I say this to Poison Ivy: I expect WAY more character in my elected officials. Has anyone heard a peep out of the Speaker of the House? Have they done a darn thing to her? This is outrageous!

  2. She needs to be held accountable, or it will continue to keep happening. It’s in the Liberal Democratic Playbook. Stop Them!

    • Absolutely. And the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. Leftists seem to have forgotten this principle and now will drag anyone’s name through the mud for the sake of political expediency. They even turn on their own. But it will come back upon her… in spades.

  3. As I’ve stated on another comment section, the crux of Karl Johnstone’s statements here is this:
    “But let me be clear, I never made inappropriate sexual comments as stated by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz.”

    Note that the former judge did not deny making “sexual comments” but specifically used the exact subjective terminology given by Spohnholz. Now, while it is understood why Johnstone is upset with how things turned out, it is also readily apparent the he does have a motive for lying in this case (to salvage his reputation). That said, his being a former judge makes him a somewhat expert at denying a particular charge without actually lying.

    Pretty clear that the subjective term of “inappropriate” is something that we all can disagree on, especially when it’s describing “sexual comments.” And I, for one, would never make the statement that I’ve never made “sexual comments” to a woman-Johnstone is between that proverbial rock and a hard place IMO.

    • Bill. There is probably no man who has not made some sort of a sexual comment about a woman at some time in their life. Maybe the same for women commenting on men. Who knows. But this was a claim that Johnstone made these comments in the work environment. And so far there is still no evidence to support he did so. Why should or could he ever have to or be able to respond to unsubstantiated claims not attached to a name, what was said, when and where it it was said? And even today the law maker who made the claim has still not given names and details. Why the heck not? Would you make an important decision based on this kind of totally unsubstantiated information. Or do you believe that just because a female legislator reported these claims that there must be some truth to it? I hope that you are bigger than that.

      • AF, my comment said nothing about making a sexual comment “about a woman” but “to a woman.” Big difference.
        I have no idea of what it is that precludes Spohnholz from giving more information but I suspect it has to do with complying with the women’s wishes. That could change, of course but I have no reason to not believe that these women believe what they have described to Spohnholz. And it is plain absurd to think that Spohnholz made this story up.
        Anyway, Johnstone has chosen to double down on his earlier comment about not making “inappropriate sexual comments” and it is my opinion the he, not only knows whom these women are but also knows just what sexual comments (if any) he has made in the past to them. And the idea that these three women all came up with a similar story, with no truth to it, would clearly amount to a conspiracy since that is too much coincidence without that IMO. Johnstone has not made the conspiracy argument but does believe that the charges made by Spohnholz were false yet doesn’t have much to back it up.

          • Larry, I would first need to care what you thought.
            Appears to me that Johnstone will need to sue to attempt to get his reputation back but he is probably not willing to throw his own money away on such-thus you are in charge of the collection hat to be passed around. Get with it!

    • Not only is the subjectivity of such possible comment key, also of importance is substantiation, evidence of injury, proof, timeliness, and alas, truth. Jus because a legislator claims two women state sexually harassing language a some point in the past does not automatically denote guilt! If a non elected individual randomly made these claims would they have equal bearing? When did these supposed comments occur and why did not the offended party(s) deal with the offense at that time? What exactly were 5e comments? What exactly is the injury? Where is the trial by jury? There are so many questions here I could continue on ad-nausea but alas one thing is pretty obvious – this was all for the purpose of making sure Johnstone did not get appointed. If there is indeed any truth, I suspect it is pretty irrelevant to the end goal. The burden of proof lies with the accuser.

      • The burden of proof was made, relative to a few legislators, by the accusations delivered by another legislator in this case. That burden is less than what would have been required in a courtroom IMO.
        You, and Johnstone, seem to be after the truth (whatever that is) but, I suspect, the only avenue left here is a lawsuit where the “burden of proof” will lie with Johnstone. This will be expensive but Larry (above) will be passing the hat for Johnstone.

    • Your mealy-mouthed support of this venomous tactic is an insult to workers that are actual victims of harassment. Sponholz is a monster and the very definition of a horrible human being by making an unsupported, offhand accusation like that. The man’s career in Alaska is over since he has been labelled a chauvinist. What kills me the most is the amount of support this kind of behavior actually receives from people like you.

      • Well Shannon I, at least, put my name to my comments above and don’t go around making crazy statements like “monster” and “horrible human being.”
        Are you one of the individuals who have been making threats to Sponholz?

  4. So glad to see this come back by the Judge!
    Ivy attacked me as well when I went after her comments. This is a so called rep that has no problem making false accusations!

  5. For the Marxist, the ends justifies the means. Comrade Spohnholz was only doing what countless other Communists have done. You will know them by their fruit.

  6. Doesn’t this meet the standard of slander? This is straight from the Feinstein book of disruption.
    The judge has the right to face his accusers and to rebut the charges. This is s low blow and should be taken up but the Ethics committee.

  7. Absolutely agree with you, retired Judge Karl Johnstone. I watched it on TV and could not believe the injustice that took place before the vote.
    Alaska missed out with you not on the Board of Fisheries. Mostly the accusations made that need to be addressed!
    Elizabeth Holt
    Palmer, AK.

  8. I copied/pasted this comment from a comment I made early this morning to an earlier post made by Craig Medred, re: this same issue. My opinion hasn’t changed in the last several hours. I’m hoping Suzanne will allow me to re-comment using my previous comment. Having said that, Craig Medred did reply to my comment to his article. I vehemently disagree with his reply – he wrote of “facts” that may be forthcoming and theoretical scenarios, again giving credibility to the anonymous, unfounded allegations. I find this lack of thinking and moral ambiguity, abhorrent and despicable. This piece is not directed at Craig, he is collateral damage to my points, much like Karl Johnstone has become – absent facts.

    My reposted earlier comments:
    Craig Medred, as did the ADN, has given credibility to anonymous, unverified allegations from one legislator against a board nominee, during a joint session of the legislature considering confirmation of members to several state boards.

    The legislator, Ivy Sponholz levyed accusations of sexual harassment against nominee to the Board of Fish, Judge Karl Johnstone, supposedly by one of her constituents – a charge made anonymously. Even though the Alaska Department of Fish & Game responded by stating it, “revealed it has no record of anyone filing even a single allegation.”

    As reported by ADN, “Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, said she heard from two women who said Johnstone made ‘inappropriate and unwelcome sexual comments’ to them while previously serving on the Board. Spohnholz said the women ‘were not willing to testify on the record because of the fear of retribution.’” Johnstone is a former member of a previous fish board.

    Then Craig goes on to say, “the revelation does not clear retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone, a former Board of Fish chairman, but it does raise troubling questions because of the implications” ….. followed by several possibilities about the truthfulness and accuracy of the allegations. The actual anonymous allegations refered to by Ivy Sponholz were “comments.”

    Craig then argues the possibilities of the allegations, re: “comments,” because, it (they) “raises troubling questions because of the implications” ….. followed by several possible scenarios resulting from the anonymous allegations. He then uses relatively unknown advocacy groups to defend the anonymous allegations.

    Seriously Craig, you are arguing:
    a.) for the veracity of an anonymous, very serious allegation made in the heat of a political debate on a nominee to the most combative public board in Alaska; the Board of Fish – the fight over fish allocation between sport and commercial fish is without a doubt the most passionate,
    b.) that using anonymous, unverified allegations that even the ADF&G officially states they “have no record of,” to suggest the department has a toxic culture, “that women are afraid to report being sexually harassed.”

    There is nothing in this article to debate/discuss or opine on. The allegations were anonymous and unverified. Exactly! The allegations had no more credibility than bus stop gossip. Craig, you were absolutely out of line in the content, facts and theoretical elements of your article. You trashed a fine man with hearsay, then went on to trash ADF&G, re: their possible work culture.

    Craig, then you argue elements of the unfounded, unsubstantiated, anonymous allegation(s).
    Again, this isn’t an issue. There is no wrong doing. There is no criminal act. None! It’s hearsay! A legislator, in session, is allowed to trash an Alaska citizen with ANONYMOUS allegations, re: “sexual comments,” in a joint session board confirmation process. And you pen an article on what? Gossip!

    Unfortunately, Senate President Cathy Giessel and House Speaker Bryce Edgemont allowed the Sponholz’ allegation to stand – unbelievable. The testimony should never have been allowed on the joint session floor; or at least should have been stricken from the record. Ever hear of Robert’s Rules Of Order. It applies in any deliberative body.

    This was a political hit job. Nothing more. And Craig, you like ADN, gave it credibility and elevated it to public discourse. As a “journalist” you should know better and demonstrate more restraint. This whole debacle wrongly destroyed a good man’s reputation, definitely affected his family and his standing in the Alaska community. The issue isn’t fairness – life isn’t always fair. It’s what’s right or wrong. And, you were wrong! As is the ADN for headlining wishful thinking by partisan attacks with no facts!

    People, no one should be allowed to go on the record with anonymous, unverified accusations against anyone, regardless of the situation. That is not free speech! Put the name of the VICTIM AND ACCUSER ON THE RECORD. Put all the facts out there so the involved agencies and individuals may respond, and the public can vett the veracity of the accusations. How cowardly to deny the accused and ADF&G a rebuttle – particularly when the agency formerly denies any record of a complaint.

    People, don’t allow those with personal/political agendas to use you to further their agenda. We’ve all had it happen to us. Stop it at the source! We all have a responsibility to promote civil and accurate discourse. We should all be writing/calling the legislative leadership! This is not how our legislators best serve Alaskans.

    For the record, I do not know, nor have I ever met Karl Johnstone. However, I have a conscious, and know right from wrong. And note, I did sign my name to my comment!

    Attached is the Hyperlink to the ADN article:

  9. Again I say that this #Metoo business has gone too far. Judge Johnstone is due to be confronted by his nay-sayers and it is not fair or acceptable for them to hide behind Ms. Spohnholz’s skirts while he gets raked through the mud. Be careful girls of the crap you start. Karma does come back around.

  10. By focusing on Rep. Ivy Sponholz much of the importance and discussion of this issue is deflected.
    Suzanne wrote: “Johnstone was the subject of a #metoo political attack by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz”
    Comments like this distract us from the reality that many politicians are currently be accused of sexual harassment throughout the nation.
    Currently 3 of Trump’s National “board” nominees are now facing sexual harassment allegations.
    Moore, Cain and Meyers are all in the spotlight for things they wrote, said or did to women in the past.
    “President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ran a family company in which employees were subjected to “widespread” and “pervasive” sexual harassment, according to an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).”
    “The investigation concluded that AccuWeather, the company then run by Trump nominee Barry Lee Myers, had a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination that included unwanted touching and kissing by a male executive, according to a letter obtained by ThinkProgress via a Freedom of Information Act request.”
    Joe Biden has also been accused of sexual harassment by a former legislator who claims he would move close to her and kiss her on the head when she was waiting to give a speech.
    It would be hard to believe that all these women are lying…

    • Steve,

      A day ago you said you couldn’t blame Ivy, then you said we need to make sure we follow the process…something Ivy didn’t do and is the reason for this conversation. Now you are saying that we should ignore the central figure in this entire conversation and talk about Herman Cain, Joe Biden, and others who have nothing to do with this conversation but are actually being allowed due process. Ivy is to blame for this mess, she is the one who inappropriately brought these charges and did so at a time when she knew it spit in the face of due process. Stop trying to make excuses and stop trying to deflect from the conversation at hand.

      • Steve O…
        It is very relevant that 3 National nominations to various “boards” are currently facing sexual harassment allegations.
        Joe Biden makes the 4th figure on the National “scene” to have “inappropriate” touching called out for what it actually is.
        This pattern shows that a culture of sexism and harassment is currently prevalent in politics in America.
        Remember the kind words that POTUS has spoken in the past regarding “grabbing” women cause he can?
        When I spoke about following process and procedures it was more in regards to investigating the complaints, not your position on when the harassment allegations were brought up….
        Choosing to go ahead with the vote on Karl was not decided by just one voice….
        We both know it was a busy day for Legislatures and voting on that many nominees is confusing, but I stand behind my “do not blame the messenger attitude”.
        You can get in line and claim Ivy lied about the messages she received but I believe our representatives when they make a public statement like this…
        Continuing to blame the messenger does not bring any closure to the allegations that are currently brought up and only goes to prove why women choose to remain anonymous in these situations.
        With the fact that sexual abuse is such a huge problem in Alaska, maybe you should remember that many women who come forward with allegations need our support.
        This is not a trial but more of a “test”…a test of our humanity and empathy for those who are hurt.

        • Steve,

          Are you at all familiar with due process?

          If, in fact, there was sexual harassment and it was reported only to Ivy why did she wait until after the hearing to bring it to light? Did she think it would get swept under the rug and trampling on due process would just be forgotten about? Shouldn’t the state be digging into these claims? Shouldn’t we expect our state representatives to ensure that our state employees are protected from sexual harassment? Should we just forget about it because Joe Biden is a creeper and Herman Cain and a few others are allowed due process, allowed to face their accusers while here in our state we pretend like nothing is happening?

          While you want us to forget about what is happening with our state representatives and state workers, I think it’s important that we find out exactly what did and did not happen and why we have legislators who think due process is meaningless.

          • Steve O…
            Yes, I am familiar with “due process” but that is a legal term which usually applies to Judicial proceedings…
            “Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person.”
            I am not sure how this applies to a hearing and voting on a nominee by the Legislature?
            “The Supreme Court has refused to give an exact definition of due process and makes decisions on a case-by-case basis.”
            Obviously state attorneys can decide on these matters.
            I am not against any further investigations, but the women who came forward to Ivy still have a right to anonymity so questioning them may not be a possible solution.
            I agree with you that we should find out more about these complaints, I guess we will have to wait and see what the administration has to say….
            I just do not feel there is much that can be done when one side chooses to remain anonymous and the other side denies the allegations…it is kinda at an “Impasse”.

          • Steve,

            Seems like you aren’t very familiar with due process since you’ve simply quoted a few lines from some unknown source that you’ve failed to cite.

            Maybe you aren’t aware that the legislature is where laws are made and they are the governing body. For the legislature to simply do away with due process should get every Alaskans and every Americans attention. If you want to find out more about due process and what it means Google due process and the US Constitution pay attention to the 5th and 14th Amendments.

    • So you abide by guilty until proven innocent? Despite the heinousness of real sexual harassment, in our country, under our constitution, one is not determined to be guilty until tried in a court of law and found to be so. The ability to destroy someone just by making vague accusations with no basis is pretty chilling. It’s the current favorite tool in the relativistic liberal tool box. Truth only matters if it is effective in achieving an end result, otherwise a little white lie, or insinuation will do just fine…… that the world you live in Mr. Stine? Really?

  11. Dear “2 or more ladies”, If you were in fact legitimately harassed in any way by
    Mr. Johnstone, please file a complaint in the appropriate forum to the appropriate authorities now. Include your names, date of occurrence, what was said, etc. If you have any credibility whatsoever, you will do this and put this issue to rest and prove that this occurred. This will give this credibility and allow your #metoo campaign to continue with a sliver of validity.
    Tic, Toc… we are waiting.

  12. This is the Kavenaugh business 1.0. Judge, you are no stranger to the fine art of credibility attacks. You’ve seen it many times in your courtroom during witness impeachment. You know all about how doors are opened to dismantle the machinery one side used to bolster their guy. Here, you were ambushed, plain and simple. Without procedural due processes in place to allow an opportunity to respond to the allegations, you are left flapping in the wind. Judge you have a rare opportunity here to strike back and put an end to this nonsense. If Ms. Poison Ivy cannot produce real evidence to back up her claims (names of accusers), then these kind of attacks will persist in the future. Politics is nasty business. But your reputation is something you take to the grave. I do not believe that Ms. Poison Ivy is fully protected by legislative immunity. Her brand of defamatory poison must be held to a much higher standard, especially during confirmation hearings from executive appointments. Please consider all of your options, Judge. Your loyalty to the legal system, and helping drench the flames of hate, will long be remembered by Alaskans. Your legacy, and the careers of future appointees depend on you to do the right thing.

    • She doesn’t have any money. Judgment proof and probably lives in her parent’s basement. However, I agree with Leslie above. Hit her hard with a suit anyway, and let’s see how many of her legislative colleagues stick by her side. No one wants poison ivy, but sometimes it sneaks out of the bushes. Once on you, it’s hard to get off. Teach her and all the little #MeTooers a real lesson from the bench. Go get her!

      • I agree with the two women above. If the judge doesn’t proceed against Ivy, the impression will be that ….yes, maybe he did commit sexual harassment and is afraid of the truth coming out. But if he does proceed, against Ivy and the Committee, he will be defending his good name and letting the #Metoo movement know up front that alleging hate accusations, without substantiation, will come at a huge risk to the alleger. I hope the judge follows through. Honest women are waiting for him to move forward.

        • There isn’t anything to pursue, since she made the statement on the floor of the House. Public records requests cannot even be made of sitting legislators, and in fact she didn’t accuse him of committing an actual crime. She merely said he said some things that made some unknown persons uncomfortable. No crime there. – sd

  13. Very true. No crime. However, a public statement, on record, made intentionally to defame or embarrass an individual and bring him into disrespute, can result in an action of slander when made orally. The ONLY defense in this kind of action is THE TRUTH. The judge only has to prove that in fact Ivy made the statement and that the statement caused harm to his reputation. Ivy’s defense is the TRUTH of her statement made. Let HER prove it. And this concept of legislative immunity is nonsense. Also, Ivy should have been censured by the Democrat Speaker.

    • As a public figure, the standard is different for libel and slander. He would have to show it caused him economic harm, and since he is retired, that is not likely. You’re right, she should be censured by the body. – sd

      • Good for you, Suzanne. It’s a rare day when I disagree with you. Was the judge a public figure? He was vying for a public figure position, as a board member, but not yet confirmed. Was his prior position as judge, a public position? Possibly, but he was retired. If he was a public figure, were Ivy’s comments made intentionally with malice? The judge has a reputation even in retirement, which can be related to his profession. If Ivy’s statements arose from extrinsic facts, not apparent upon the face of the statement, then the statement
        is slanderous per quod [See Barrons Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition].
        I’ll end my rebuttal, and thank you kindly for bringing this entire issue to light. You are the best.

    • I don’t even think Ivy was “intentionally ” trying to defame; she was making remarks in order to give justification for others to vote a certain way, and to sway legislators votes. The accusations may be totally made up and false and it doesn’t matter. It accomplished its intended purpose. She was under no obligation to verify the truth of the statements; she may even be aware that they were complete lies. But the real problem is the fecklessness of legislators in believing the lies. They did the same thing in years past with Wayne Ross and Al Barrette.

  14. Everyone is way off topic here. Who was chairman when Kenai king salmon crashed? Who was chairman that advanced discrimination in a public process against Kenai peninsula residents? Who was chairman that could not explain the bias in his own voting record?

    • John, all you say about things that happened on Johnstone’s watch are fair game and are worthy of debate over his qualifications. But unsubstantiated and anonymous charges overwhelmed debate on the merits. There was no discussion of the merits on the floor because of what is increasingly looking like totally false charges made minutes before a vote that completely changed the narrative.
      Now that Johnstone is gone, if I were you, I would be real worried about who will be appointed to replace him. You being a commercial fisherman in Cook Inlet, I am pretty sure you can use your imagination. This could turn into your worst nightmare. Remember what Clem Tillion said about “ the devil you know”.

      • FINALLY, you are spot on. “be careful what you wish for”. Throughout this entire debacle, I personally haven’t given a lot of thought to whether Mr. Johnstone said anything inappropriate to any women while serving on the board 4+ years ago. Did he? Did he not? How would I know? How would anyone know? I’ve been trolled on this site and accused of party politics (is Johnstone an R? a D?), – I have no idea nor do I care. This isn’t a right or left issue; it’s a right or wrong issue.
        Yes, debate his qualifications until the fish come to spawn. But do not talk about trips to Nordstroms (Ms. Price), questioning a person’s faith (Ms.Tshibaka), and don’t toss out random, unsubstantiated accusations against a man that have done nothing but tarnish his reputation.
        Riddle me this: Will there be follow up? Will Ms. Spohnholz and the #metoo police continue their outrage to get to the bottom of this to ensure justice is served for the heinous things that Mr. Johnstone has done to women? Of course not! It has already been done! He isn’t on the Board of Fish. 🙂

        • Happily, Bill Walker set the precedent that a rejected nominee could be reappointed and eventually confirmed (Ruffner on BoF).

          All Dunleavy needs to do is to reappoint Johnstone after the legislature ends session and he will serve until his name comes back up for reappointment, a good 7 months. Cheers –

  15. To liberals truth does not really matter as it is all about the end result and means are only important as effecting desired result. Spohnholz did not want Johnstone on the board so she just needed an effective quick way to insure his not being appointed. Fabricating vague unsubstantiated accusations is the current most popular tool in the liberal toolbox. It effectively does the damage and we can worry about truth later, if at all. Pretty sickening as they are eroding our constitution and the very important innocent until proven guilty. Spohnholz is absolutely not worthy to be in the legislature.

  16. The judge’s findings appear to be predicated on two assumptions: (1) that the only retaliation to fear is (a) from him (b) as staff to the BOF; and, (2) that his nomination did not advance because of the accusations. If the second assumption is true than, indeed, we should all be very concerned about the fact our representatives to the state legislature failed to consider a person innocent in light of the full record before them. As to the first assumption, however, the fact such negligence with regard to the nominee’s constitutional rights is being laid at Rep. Spohnholz’s door – more as the bearer of two constituent messages she found credible and worthy of mention in this context, not as someone who also overlooked basic tenets of due process in her vote and conclusions – demonstrates well how extraordinarily expansive and ruthless actual retaliation can get. If we assume this nomination failed because of the accusations, we must assume those who voted it down did so on the basis of those accusations. Seeing how the named “accuser” in this context has been and continues to be treated, while others who voted him down escape inquiry, I think a fear of retaliation seems entirely reasonable. It would be nice to change that.

    • How about if we don’t assume this nomination failed because of the accusations? After all, Rep. Vance felt the accusations didn’t change the vote and further, Frances Leach (Executive Director of UFA) said that the chit sheets made before the vote showed that Johnstone would have been defeated.

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