REP. FIELDS READS ANONYMOUS EMAIL INTO THE RECORD
In a press conference today in the governor’s conference room in Juneau, and then again in the House State Affairs Committee, Department of Public Safety Commissioner designee Amanda Price was flanked by her senior team:
Deputy Commissioner Michael Duxbury, Alaska State Troopers Colonel Doug Massie and Barry Wilson, State Fire Marshall Richard Boothby, and Public Safety Employees Association DPS Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Scott Carson were all there to support her.
One by one, they all spoke to the media about the improvement in the department since Price was named commissioner, and how energized and positive the morale had become under her leadership.
They wanted the public to know they support their new commissioner. They were hoping the media would relay that information. Deputy Commissioner Michael Duxbury even went so far as to say that “I have never heard any man described as ‘maybe they are off shopping.’ It is misogynistic, in my view.” He was referring to a comment made about Price by former Gov. Bill Walker’s Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, to the House State Affairs Committee last week.
After the press conference, Price then went for the third time before the State Affairs Committee, where co-chair Zack Fields again looked for ways to kill her appointment. Nothing had worked. Democrats had thrown everything at her, including the words of the former chief of staff for Walker. But nothing would stick.
Fields, a hardline Democrat, finally read into the record an anonymous email from a legislative staffer in 2016 that accused Price of “plagiarized, misrepresented drivel.”
The email was from someone who was working hard on the passage of the controversial criminal justice legislation known as SB 91. In fact, that aide was the champion of that bill for Sen. John Coghill, was “carrying the bill,” and was frustrated that Price had forwarded to the governor’s staff a document that laid out a number of problems with the bill — problems he felt he had long since addressed.
It was a classic case of an aide writing some smack about someone out of frustration, but it was easily answered by Price to the committee today: All she had done was to forward a document. She never claimed authorship. It was passing along a document that described problems with SB 91.
Must Read Alaska has the email exchange:
The fact that it has not made the news had frustrated Rep. Fields to the point where he had to read the email into the record himself so someone would cover it in the mainstream media.
What he didn’t read was other parts of the email exchange from Lacy Wilcox, Walker’s deputy legislative director, who had the long knives out for Price.
Wilcox had forwarded Jordan Shilling’s frustrated memo on to the governor with a note saying she wanted to talk about it with him, but later retracted it and wrote to Walker that she believed the entire thing was a misunderstanding:
Wilcox left the Walker Administration in August of 2016. Price left several months later.
Price and the other gubernatorial appointees face confirmation votes on Wednesday in a joint meeting of the House and Senate, which is scheduled for 1 pm. The choice for lawmakers is will they go along with the character assassination attempt or will they allow the governor to have his preferred pick for commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.