Lawmakers, former lawmakers form to oppose constitutional convention

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An unlikely alliance for hard-core Democrats and moderate Republicans has formed a political action group to oppose a constitutional convention. The question about whether there should be a convention will be on the November, 2022 ballot, as it appears every 10 years.

The group, called Defend our Constitution, has many supporters of Bill Walker for governor, including Democrat mastermind Bruce Botelho, Republican former Sen. Cathy Giessel, AFL-CIO President Joelle Hall. Other officers include Gail Schubert, Bill Corbus, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, Luke Hopkins, and former Sen. John Coghill.

In a news release sent to mainstream media and leftist bloggers, the group said that the Alaska Constitution is a model constitution and should not be opened up for discussion.

“In short, our Alaska Constitution isn’t broken and remains a stabilizing guide through these politically turbulent times. A constitutional convention would be chaotic, expensive, and create the opportunity for outside special interest groups and dark money to change Alaska’s laws to promote their agenda over the interest of Alaskans,” the group wrote.

Some conservatives, including Gov. Mike Dunleavy, are interested in seeing the formula for the Permanent Fund dividend added to the Alaska Constitution, since the lawmakers in the Legislature keep breaking the law that defines the formula for how the dividend should be paid. But opening up the constitution for debate would undoubtably include discussions on abortion and other hotly contested topics.

There are other groups forming up to oppose a constitutional convention. Notable is the Justice Not Politics Alaska Civics Education Fund, a new 501(c)(3) non-profit “established to provide education on the state’s merit-based process for selecting and retaining judges and other aspects of the constitution, including governmental separation of powers and checks and balances.” That group has already started lobbying against a constitutional convention and has hired a lawyer as its executive director.

30 COMMENTS

  1. A list of usual suspects, Marxists, and cash addict thieves.
    If I was against it before (I wasn’t) I’m for it now.

  2. I see, a special interest group worried about other special interest groups… Yep, a Constitutional Convention will be chaotic – but until we can rein in imperial government by other means, this is the only choice we have. Let the people speak.

  3. God forbid the people get more of a say on how they are ruled by the Politburo. It’s enough they sorta let us vote.

    It is interesting watching Cathy Giessel commit professional suicide. She sells her loyalty to the highest bidder. If Walker actually somehow loses (prop 2, dontcha know) she needs to leave the state. Her and her husband’s name will be political and personal poison.

    • John Coghill might be the meanest man in Alaska, for real. I don’t think John cares what side he’s on as long as he’s making everyone around him miserable.

  4. “Moderate Republican” is a euphemism for an ‘unconscious democrat’ i.e. one who is trying to find the courage to come out of the closet and declare that he or she is really a democrat. Cathy Giessel comes to mind.

    One of the problems is that we keep
    electing people that use the Republican brand during the election to convince people they are ‘conservative’. When they are elected they caucus with the ‘loving and caring’ democrats and create a tyranny of the minority that creates stalemate chaos. Shame on us for that! A constitutional convention will not change that. Electing better people will.

    Governor Dunleavy is correct. Alaska must put the PFD calculation in the constitution and avoid the annual PFD food fight that paralyzes the legislature each year. Another item for constitutional reform is to go to the two year state budget. It is a total waste of time for a state with 720 thousand people to fight EACH year over the same amount of money for a budget. On the odd years the legislature could actually focus on substantive issues besides the budget. Texas does just fine with a two year budget. And they have a ‘slightly’ bigger population.

    • Agreed. The main goal in my eyes is to get the PFD out of politicians hands and out of elections and campaigns. Until that’s done, the darn PFD will be a constant distraction from moving ahead to electing people based on their ideas, philosophies, integrity, and accountability (as if). I, personally, don’t care if the PFD goes away, but I don’t want the government to take it to only grow government spending and dependence and to only encourage governments inability to live within “our” means. I do want to see us develop more, but first the state government needs to learn how to budget things sustainably and cut the fat and learn that “need” doesn’t dictate budget. It should be the other way around, especially considering what the public considers what a “need” is. For example, Inlet View Elementary (my area) is wanting a $20 million new school building regardless of the fact the ASD is out of money and the current building is fine, especially considering enrollment keeps going down, so what they have been successfully doing is asking all parents to beg and plead for the money because we “need” a new building. The government isn’t going to change until “we” change and stop being short-sighted, selfish, and foolish adults and stop caring about whether the government has money or not when we beg and plead for something because “[sobbing] what about the children? [more dramatic sobbing]”.

    • Appreciate your bringing up the annual budget battle. My only fear of codifying the PFD calculation into the constitution will be to settle for Dunleavy’s 50:50 split instead of the historical method of calculation which is truly what we need a return to, along with cutting the ever increasing fund demands of a bloated state government. For heaven’s sake, we do not need to institute a state tax either. We have so much money being wasted on buildings we do not need (think more new schools as enrollment is dropping and people are fleeing the state), and redundant state programs with too many overpaid administrators and too few worker bees, while rural communities lack reliable water, sanitation and utilities. We also don’t need compulsory membership in unions that promote self-interests above any needs of the enrollees (tell me why the same union as a state government employee does not represent me at the state college without a separate enrollment in the same union with the same business reps). Consolidate, streamline and recommit to a state government for the people by the people, not by a bunch of career politicians. A Convention of States is exactly what it is going to take, along with a more informed voter base that researches the voting records of our representatives and rids us of these RINOs who obstruct progress (not progressivism) while voting themselves annual pay raises and perks better than we operate under. No more edicts/mandates from on high that exclude our representatives.

      • The statutory language is effectively a 50/50 split between the dividend and government. Historically the government split was placed into the corpus of the fund. What has happened over the last few years is that government wants their 50% share and everyone else’s share because taking the 50% that is statutorily theirs, on top of everything else that they take, isn’t enough.

  5. I was thinking calling a Constitutional Convention might do more harm than good. But after seeing this line up against it, I may have a change of heart.

    • Me too. I am dead set against a federal con-con, but looking at the list of objectors to an AK con-con makes me wonder if it might be a good idea after all.
      On the other hand, both sides may have a lot to lose. If it’s like the federal version, once a convention is in session, it’s basically anything goes, which could conceivably turn out pretty badly (especially since the opposition has all the cheating cards in their deck). I am not convinced it is worth risking our essential freedoms over the PFD. If we had a prayer of getting right-to-life language in the AK constitution, to protect *all* Alaskans (and prevent our paying for the deaths of unborn Alaskans) now then that would be something to talk about it.
      And regarding Dunleavy’s PFD concerns, how about we just make the legislators follow the law we already have??? (He is supposed to be the head of the executive branch!) I’m not really believing they’ll follow new constitutional law better than current law.

    • Same here. Current public sentiment is turning hard against the Democrats, so this may be the best time in the foreseeable future to call a convention.

  6. Formal papers put before the Alaskan legislature were already signed a few years ago. It wouldn’t hurt for a few local and state folks to review this document!

  7. Did anyone read this statement,
    “In short, our Alaska Constitution isn’t broken and remains a stabilizing guide through these politically turbulent times. A constitutional convention would be chaotic, expensive, and create the opportunity for outside special interest groups and dark money to change Alaska’s laws to promote their agenda over the interest of Alaskans,”
    Do we honestly need to remind this bunch of thugs what sort of outside or dark money was involved in campaigning for Ranked Choice Voting? How about the campaign of Gross Al against Dan Sullivan?

    Maybe we should consider a discussion of the Honesty and ethics of every damned one of them!
    It must have taken quite an effort to put that amount of double talk in one paragraph!

    I’m not sure about the rest of you but if the PFD as well as the stability of our state is important to you, we’d all better do more than write comments about articles such as this one and actively get involved to prevent this group of thugs from getting even more power! Language most certainly needs to be put in the constitution to protect the PFD as those named in this group have proven themselves to have absolutely no regard to statute which in my opinion can be referred to as law. If they have so little regard for the laws of the state why would they give a damn about you and I unless we vote for them. It’s obvious they don’t give a damn about lying to get elected.

    Take a look at this YouTube search if you’ve forgotten about past elections: ‘https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cathy+giessel+alaska+’

    I guess it’s OK for dark money to be used in Alaska as long as it’s used to support ones agenda!

  8. This is a smart move. they speak out against a constitutional convention, tricking conservatives to throw our Constitution wide open, and then they swoop in and reengineer our society into an income taxed communistic wasteland. Anyone who thinks a constitutional convention would move the state to the right is kidding themselves. Liberals consistently seize power in the legislature so why would it be any different at a convention?

  9. If a convention is what it takes to dismantle the K-12 Education bureaucracy and return the control of education back to parents with free choice vouchers then let’s do it. The educational child abuse has got to stop.

  10. Let’s add sheriffs too! Dutifully toss off tyrants with discharge from emoluments! Let Alaska have total Conformance with the US Constitution at last! Fifty years is too long to wait.

  11. Alaska’s Constitution is the most protective of personal rights and freedom of any other State’s Constitution and the US Constitution. If citizen’s want a larger PFD elect legislators and Governors thatbsupport your position

  12. Looking at the cast of characters who oppose a convention makes me think that we really need a constitutional convention. Now.

  13. This thing was written by leftists from California. It absolutely should be opened up and examined. Anytime the left says it’s not broken, you can bet to them it’s like a cash machine that pumps out hundreds but only debits 5s, if they like it the Average Alaskan should worry and fight like hell to change it. Trust your instincts; these people HATE you, and you KNOW this.

  14. I won’t base my decisions upon what those I disagree with say, that’s just letting someone I disagree with decide what I think. Opening Pandora’s box should be thought about not a reaction to what someone I don’t like says. Do we really want Cathy Giessel or Bill Walker writing our new constitution, how about some real leftists like Les Gara, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Zack Fields, or Andy Josephson?
    .
    Most Alaskans will need a really good reason to go to a constitutional convention. One of the most forgotten but most pertinent sentences in the Declaration of Independence is “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

  15. The other thing in play in a ConCon will be the judiciary, which grabbed control of their funding via an opinion last year.

    If these black-robed politicians want to be politicians, time to start electing them. Term limits for everyone ought to be on the table.

    Other fun things like a repeal of the state prohibition against fish farming and open shop ought to be on the table. Cheers –

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