Knopp refuses to show up to vote for Speaker


An unexcused and unexplained absence by Rep. Gary Knopp of Kenai has left the Alaska House of Representatives in disarray and without a Speaker for the 25th day.

Rep. Gary Knopp

During this morning’s session, Republicans had 20 votes in favor of Rep. Dave Talerico, and Democrats had 17 votes opposed. Two Democrats had excused absences — Zack Fields and Tiffany Zulkosky. Two Republicans — Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes, vote with the Democrats on everything.

Knopp was the 21st vote that would have ended the stalemate

But although Knopp attended the Ocean Beauty legislative reception on Thursday night, although he caucused with the Democrats early Friday, and attended the first half of the House session, he did not show up after a recess, during which he and Democrats huddled.

Speaker Pro Tem Neal Foster gaveled in at 10 am and the usual introductions were made by the members.

Knopp was in the House Chambers for this earlier portion of session, but when it came time to vote after a short recess, he simply didn’t return.

All legislators knew that there would be a vote for Speaker during Friday’s session. Democrats appeared relaxed, knowing that Republican Knopp was not going to show up for work.

People in the Capitol said Knopp claimed to be sick, but there was no public explanation and he had not asked for an excused absence.

This is Day 25 for the session, and the House is still without a Speaker, which means no business can be accomplished. Twice before, Knopp has voted against Rep. Talerico, of Healy, for Speaker.

Thursday’s floor session had been cancelled when no progress was made on the 21 votes needed to elect a Speaker. At this point, it appears that trust between Democrats and Republicans is at a low point.

[Read: House reaches new normal: Suspending the rules]


  1. “This is Day 25 for the session, and the House is still without a Speaker, which means no business can be accomplished. Twice before, Knopp has voted against Rep. Talerico, of Healy, for Speaker.”
    So why would R’s think he would change his mind on the 3rd revote?
    This is ridiculous and a waste of time for the people of Alaska.
    We have all heard the saying of doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different outcome?
    This was apparent as well in our Federal Congress when “anti BDS” legislation was voted down 3 times, yet the Republicans immediately called for a 4th attempt?
    This type of stubborn behavior shows exactly why Knopp has chosen to work between the aisles and not bending to pressure on “da right”…
    Good for you Gary, hope you are feeling better soon.

    • I’m sorry but I could not disagree with you more than I do. For the good of the state, the process, and the legislature Knopp should have been there, thrown in the towel, and voted with the people who brought him i.e. the Republicans in his district. No person is going to get all that they want but at this point Knopp needs to pull his pants up and put Talerico in as Speaker. I know that Democrats want to try to have the education and Medicaid lobbies, and municipal government officials force centrist Republicans to break from their coalition when the budget is released next week, but if they fail at that then the next urgency becomes the July 1 beginning of the new fiscal year. Knopp needs to break the logjam, do what’s right for Alaska and allow everyone to move on. The Edgmon-Seaton-Tuck-LeDon’t crowd failed all us for 4 years, with the duplicity of Walker. Edgmon and Tuck still want an income tax despite what Alaska voters said when they gave Governor Dunleavy a landslide victory. What in the world can Knopp be thinking by trying to bring that back? Is Knopp taking his orders from Paul Seaton? Are Republicans in Knopp’s district paying attention?

      • Kayak,
        When you said:
        “Knopp needs to break the logjam, do what’s right for Alaska and allow everyone to move on.”
        I would say, Republicans need to break the logjam (pick a new speaker) and allow everyone to move on.
        Gary has already stated his vote twice and has no obligation to change his vote just because some on the floor disagree with him.
        Many comments on this topic show how the R’s have become a “loyalty” party and many moderates are leaving for more progressive platforms instead of rehashing old policies and form.
        And lastly just because Governor Dunleavy won a majority vote that does not mean issues such as income tax and oil subsidies should not hit the floor.
        The foolish waste of time would be to bring Talerico’s vote to the floor again…
        Stop beating a dead horse and move on!

      • I totally agree. This is shameful and Knopp need never be allowed to pretend to represent the good and trusting people of Kenai. I raised my children in Kenai and still own a home there. Although I have been forced to move to Anchorage, I feel betrayed by Knopp.

      • Steve O,
        Bringing up a vote in Congress on anti bds legislation is not anti Semitic (I did not ever say I agree with the bds movement, just that voting 4 times on a failed piece of legislation is a total waste of taxpayer time and money).
        And lastly, support for free speech is the furthest thing away from “anti semitism” in the world.
        This country was founded on freedom of religion, not biased one party “loyalty” systems that limit intelligent debate and political choice.

        • You’re absolutely correct when you say that antisemitism has nothing to do with free speech. How anti-BDS legislation has anything to do with free speech is a whole other subject, since it doesn’t have anything to do with the 1st Amendment. If you think voting on legislation more than once is a waste of time and money, I suggest you read some history on legislation that was voted down only to be voted in later. Debate and voting for things is what we do in this Country, we don’t shelve things just because they were voted on one time.

          The BDS movement is antisemitic. The Senate just voted 77-23 against the anti-semite BDS movement with a majority of Democrats voting with all but one of the Republicans against the anti-semititic BDS movement.

  2. The Barney Fife of Kenai is probably enjoying his role as “master obstructionist.” But there is something else going on here that the public isn’t seeing, and that is the power structure within the 20 Republicans. The “three lovelies” have a vendetta against someone in particular who would be in charge of the state House of Repesentatives if they get to 21. And it isn’t Rep. Tellerico. It’s someone else. Anyone care to guess WHO?

    • Got an idea. Hearing a lot of disdain toward the Matsu Valley Reps. They are standing firm, as well as other solid conservatives joining them.
      This is a #RESIST movement against Gov Dunleavy and the Matsu since we were instrumental in getting him elected Governor.
      Pay back is going to be a bitch!

  3. Suzanne,
    Why do you insist on continually writing this junk? It is all lies, less then half-truths and pure fiction. Your writings are even a disgrace to the worst of the bloggers.

    I never refused to show up,

    There is no unexcused absences, I had left the building to pickup some medication.

    I did not caucus with Democrats!

    I did not huddle up with them during a recess!

    Legislators did not know there was going to be a vote for house speaker.

    Because the Republicans constantly are pulling their shenanigans on the house floor, the speaker pro- Tem has began the process of recessing instead of adjourning in order to stop the disruptions on the house floor.
    These recess’s usually continue all day and eventually results in the floor being canceled. Just as it was yesterday.

    I didn’t claim to be sick , I have been sick for almost two weeks, every representative in the house knows that.
    Thursday’s session was canceled as I said earlier, no progress has been made towards the 21st vote as you said. Why in the world would anyone think you were going to have another vote on Friday morning.

    Never requested an excused absence because I had no intention of being gone.

    Ever consider Suzanne that the Democrats appeared relaxed because it was Friday?
    Did the Republicans appear stressed? Maybe up to something ?

    If I was to speculate, I would guess Suzanne is not your real name. Nobody with half a brain would associate their real name with the garbage you continue to write.

    Gary Knopp

    Ps: just when I was starting to think about contributing too.

    • Gary: Thank you for your explanation. Your story is corroborated in part by an observer: “I left for lunch at 11:30 am, and saw Knopp walking out of the backside of the Capitol.” (The House gaveled back in at 11:51 am, 21 minutes later. The vote took place at 11:55 am.) “He looked fine and I even noticed he had a slight smile. Then he popped his head in Senate Judiciary at the beginning, 1:30 pm, for a couple minutes, and still looked fine. Lol.”

      • Gary, if that really is you, then why do you continue to send mixed messages to the Republicans? Why not just change your party affiliation and be done with it? Join the Democrats in name and spirit so the Republicans can find someone besides you who can be trusted. At this point, you are just playing games with everyone and your conduct is immature at best. And please don’t denigrate Suzanne. She is a hero to 95% of the folks who read MRAK. She has the guts to investigate, write and publish the stories that no one else will cover or speak about. And she does it truthfully and without reservation. And btw, almost every legislator in Juneau, including the governor, reads MRAK. So if you can’t express yourself politely, then dont say anything. See you in Kenai next Friday. Please come prepared. We will!

        • Bet he calls in sick, and Gary, if you’re still sick then, please resign so a more fit person can take your place.

    • Rep. Knopp, if in fact this is you, it is nice to know you read MRAK and it is my hope that you will be reading this. Although it is difficult to add tone to a person’s writing, the style of yours reeks of anger and contempt. Your attempt at explaining yourself has fallen a bit short and is a sophomoric attempt to deflect from the real issue here. The real issue is you, my friend. You, you, you. Yes, it is all about you Rep. Knopp. Please knock it off, snap out of it, grow up and move on, will you?

      • A majority of 21 with Rep Eastman being counted in that number isn’t a majority. Suzanne knows this, as well as every Alaskan who is more involved with politics than just reading political blogs. I would guess this is leading to Knopp’s “anger and contempt”. I can assure you he is not the only Republican in that building that doesn’t want a majority of one that Eastman could hold hostage on every vote, Eastman is the true problem. Knopp is nothing more than the sacrificial lamb, allowing the rest of the R’s in the house to save face for the next election cycle, if you can’t see that, you’re not paying attention.

        • Wow, you don’t understand this issue. With a 21 majority they could do business, whatever problems may arise later will be in the course of doing business. So committees will meet and the budget will be worked on and bills moved. It’s also sad that you want to villify the most conservative member of the House, shows a lot about what you want to get done there.

          • I can assure you, I understand this issue. I stand by my assertion, a majority of one with Eastman being the one will fail and fail fast.

        • Knopp is doing a good job at keeping Eastman from holding each and every vote hostage, by holding each and every vote hostage himself! This tactic is known as cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    • Bottom line Gary, you were a no show. That is a fact. Suzanne reported that fact, So get over it.
      Way beyond telling you to put on your big boy pants, Honestly, don’t think you have any. Should we send some Depends?

    • Can you find three of your colleagues to corroborate your counter claims here knopp?
      I’d love to here from that 10:1 supporter crew of yours.
      I hope you open your ears and yes and starting representing the people of your district and the majority of Alaska and stop your personal crusade and grandstanding. Be something of value to others beyond your selfish concepts.
      You’re an embarrassment and without courage, candor and competence in my personal and professional opinion.
      Prove me wrong.

    • When you knew there was a vote, you had no business leaving. You were hired by the people of Kenai to represent their wishes, not your personal wishes. You could have waited to do personal errands on your own time not the peoples. I hate to be harsh but you seem to have forgotten that you work for the people that elected you rather than the other way around. In any normal job if you walked out in the middle of work you would be fired, maybe we need this for politicians also. The Republican majority in Kenai elected you so maybe since you appear to look down on Republicans then maybe you should resign due to falsifying your party membership for an election.

    • Do you actually hear yourself Mr Knopp? This isn’t all about you. Or Stutes. Or LeDoux. Or the Republicans. Or the Democrats. It’s about the PEOPLE of Alaska !! This is petulant chilidish and egotistical power mongering. You are a disgrace to the good people of Kenai who voted for you. It’s unfathomable what you are doing to our political process. How can you even sleep at night? Now wonder you’re sick, if you aren’t sick with the flu, you should check into API, they have beds open soon. Because you are seriously mentally ill holding an entire State and our economy in your duplicitous hand!!!

    • Gary,

      I typically try to give folks who decide to serve the public a fair amount of leeway, as I do recognize their sacrifice, and I do not understand much of political gamesmanship. In your case not so much. You are doing the folks of Kenai and the entire state of Alaska a disservice.

      The only thing I can come up is you are an obstructionist, your campaign was a lie. I mean a registered Democrat did not even run in your district. Clearly the folks of your district wanted a Republican to represent them, and you are clearly a clandestine Democrat. Mostly you are an embarrassment.

      I left the Democratic Party years ago for many reasons, a big part of which it is a Party of deceit, and desperate for power. The D’s will stop at nothing to take down those who disagree with their view point. The Democratic Party has fallen far, and you sir are an example of just how far it has fallen.

      The People of Kenai made a mistake, and I suspect they will correct it as soon as they can.

      Sadly, all of Alaska has to sit and watch this interpretation of “Lord of the Flies”.

    • I just donated $25 because your condescending comment to Suzanne just showed everyone she is right on the money. You need to resign. You lied to your constituents that elected you. There are many things this administration needs to move forward because it is what the people of Alaska voted for and it stalls because of you. You are nothing but an embarrassment to yourself.

  4. Gary, do you ever get tired of behaving like an immature child who has an unhealthy need for attention? Rest assured that many angry people on the KP are beyond weary of Your childish shenanigans. You have become the talk of the “town” but NOT in terms that you would like. I believe if and only if you would vote as the republican you represented yourself to be and allow the PEOPLE’S business to get done starting Now then your reputation and time in the PEOPLE’S house may be redeemed. Anything short of that and guarantee you can Kiss any further political aspirations bye bye.

  5. So, this makes me wonder if he will show on Feb 15 for the town hall?

    I see the same pro-Knopp crowd who most likely agree with the supreme Democrat-Socialist Nancy Poloski as to her #RESIST President Trump, just like Knopp and the Democrat-Socialist are #RESISTING Gov Dunleavy with these antics!

  6. Gary, because of what you just wrote above, first thing tomorrow I am making a donation to Suzanne, in your behalf too. Keep up the power grab games, it will get you fired! You were voted in to serve your constituents and you are failing emmensly.

  7. I have said before move the state legislate to one of our retiring ferry’s. Have it steam from Ketchikan to Kotzebue during the summer. The Matsu ferry to nowhere would have been perfect.Work could be done ,we could keep an eye on them, monies savings would be enormous.
    They would need to reopen the ferry bars.

    Suzanne Downing thank you……..

    • Park the ferry with all 60 legislators in Kodiak during the Session. Put it next to the strip bar fishing boat and keep them all isolated from the rest of us.

  8. Friday the 15th there is a townhall meeting with Rep. Knopp

    I can only imagine that he will want all of of constituents to show up, if you’ve commented here and you are a constituent then please show up to tell YOUR Representative what you think about how he has done his job of representing you.

  9. Not often do I feel it necessary to comment on posts, but on this occasion felt it necessary.
    Quoting Mark Twain “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” I have never been called a grammar Nazi, nor do I bend to political correctness. I do believe that Gary Knopp is the author of this comment and would suggest that when he drafts his insults that he would provide a copy to someone with a basic comprehension of the English language for edit prior to publication. I do on occasion quote my father who provided me the wisdom of native heritage. “A man resorts to insults to cover his own inadequacies” “When you loose your temper you loose you ass at the same time.” Please Mr. Knopp resign for the good of all of those who’s trust you have broken, you fall short of the capacity to function in the position granted you by the electorate.

  10. Garry Knopp

    You misrepresented yourself by careful design to the people of district 30, and the entire state of Alaska. Just like LeDoux and Stutes, the three of you have always played for the other team. The three of you have played the voters of your districts like fools, and the democrats are laughing at us right now. You think it’s funny. Were so stupid. And you hate us. Don’t you?

    How quickly you rejected the November 6th election results and the wish of the people. All of you are destroyers of our state, of our republic, and our way of life. My father was a WWII combat vet, and I know exactly what he would call people like you.

    So I am calling you out. Gary Knopp, you are the worst among us. People like you have no honor, and you are not an honorable man. You are a liar, a fraud, and nothing more than a dirt bag. I have the same contempt for people like you as I do for pedophiles, rapists, and drug dealers.

    If you had any honor or respect for the people of Alaska you would STEP DOWN NOW. But you don’t, and you won’t because you are a coward aren’t you? And to the people that still support you. Are you not embarrassed to be associated with someone like this?

    And to the decent people of district 30 that fell for this fraud. You can still fix this. The same way we got rid of the other turncoat Paul Seaton. We worked hard day and night and took him out in November. I thank GOD every day for Sarah Vance and her family, and for all the work they put in for the people of district 31. One more fraud gone.

    So district 30. What are you going to do? Are you organizing to start the recall process? Will you show up at Knopp’s town hall next Friday in Kenai with pitch forks and torches and demand he steps down? Or will be on your knees like subjects before the crown? Don’t let this fraud take our state down. Do something about it now.

  11. Gary, your comments directed to Suzanne show us your value as a professional…….zero. By spewing hate and junior high vitriol, you look bad in everyone’s eyes. Do you really think the Democrats want you if they had a power grab? You are ruined goods, buddy. I am car pooling to Kenai next Friday. We don’t live in your District, but it’s going to be fun watching your reaction. As Marla stated, you best come prepared.

  12. Knopp, ledoux and stutes are just impossible! ledoux has only one purpose, to obstruct, and keeps returning because her district consist of large groups of ignorant, know nothing, trailer dwelling voters, the hmongs. This is where the voter fraud stems from.

  13. So now we are approaching day 30 of the 90 day session and nothing has gotten done because of this kind of childish crap . How long do we continue to put up with this before we fire all of them. They continue to find ways to extend the session and pad their own pockets at the cost of the state in a time when extra money is thin so sick of politicians that can’t come together for the better of the state and the hell with the party.

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