Legislative entropy continues



The second special session in Juneau was eventful, even though on the surface it looked like nothing really got done in the hour that the House and Senate met.

With 23 of the 40 members present in the House in Juneau, there were enough lawmakers to establish a quorum, but barely. A prayer was said and 23 heads were bowed. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Guests were introduced, including former House member Justin Parish, introduced by Juneau Rep. Andi Story, the Democrat who ran for and won Parish’s seat after he served just one term before bowing out under pressure from women colleagues.

Parish took the microphone briefly, as it is customary to allow former House members to do. He encouraged the members to override the governor’s vetoes. They politely applauded.

Speaker Bryce Edgmon looks at the attendance board. Members of the House whose names are in green were present in Juneau. The names in white were in Wasilla, with the exception of Rep. Rauscher, who is on a mission with Samaritan’s Purse.

The only items on the call of the Special Session is to fund the Permanent Fund dividend for Alaskans and to pass specific capital budget items, but what seemed to be on the minds of legislators present in Juneau was overriding the governor’s vetoes.

The House and Senate plan to have that override vote on Wednesday, which is the third day of Special Session. They have, by law, five days to override the vetoes, and they’ve burned up one day. After their Wednesday vote, they’ll be down to two days, although the session itself is called for 30 days.

While they were busy introducing guests in the House and attempting to present their proceedings as perfectly normal, over in the Senate, 14 of the 20 members were present in Juneau at what some Alaskans have deemed an illegal special session that may end up in the Alaska Supreme Court.

The main item of business in the Senate on Monday was to remove Sen. Mia Costello from her role as Majority Leader since she attended the special session gathering in Wasilla, where four other Senators also convened out of respect for the governor’s call.

Although the Senate Majority had cautiously organized in January to ensure that no Democrat had a leadership role in their organization, on Monday they quickly installed Democrat Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel as Majority Leader, and also replaced Costello with Hoffman on the Rules Committee.


Costello said Monday that she went to Wasilla because she believes the best way to move forward is to work with the governor cooperatively, not against him. She said she felt settled about her decision because she wanted to follow the Alaska Constitution and statute.

Sen. Mia Costello, former Senate Majority Leader, and House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt speak to the media and about 350 Alaskans who gathered to witness the “other” Special Session gathering in Wasilla on Monday.

The senator from the Sand Lake area of Anchorage acknowledged the legislators waiting in Wasilla were in unusual circumstances.

“I know it can seem like a lot of fighting with each other for no reason, and that increases the public’s frustration with a legislature that hasn’t been able to get the job done so far. Other senators and House members are convening something in Juneau at this very moment…so why are we not with them?” Costello said in her remarks during a press conference at Wasilla Middle School.

“It comes down to the constitution, and our responsibility to obey it. I believe firmly in our state constitution. And the constitution is clear: special sessions have to be called. They can be called by the governor. They can be called by two-thirds of the legislature. But they have to be called,” she said.


The House and Senate in Juneau on Wednesday will take up the matter of attempting to override the governor’s vetoes. They need 45 votes, but have only 37 members present, which has caused observers to ask why they are going to bother with a vote, since they don’t have enough lawmakers in Juneau.

The answer, it appears, is for the coming election cycle, when all House members will stand for re-election and some in the Senate will also need to ask voters to send them back to Juneau for another term. Having voted to override the vetoes, even if it’s simply an exercise in futility, will inoculate some of the legislators who serve in moderate or liberal districts. This is about setting up their campaigns.

Notably absent in Juneau were the more conservative arms of the House and Senate. Sen. David Wilson was out of state at a training seminar and Sen. Peter Micciche was working his commercial fishing permit, which he must do to support his family, and which has a limited season.

Valley Sens. Shelley Hughes and Mike Shower were in Wasilla, along with Sen. Lora Reinbold and Sen. Costello.

It’s almost a certainty that those gathering in Wasilla would not vote to override the governor’s vetoes.

16 House Republicans went to Wasilla, including House Finance Co-Chair Tammie Wilson. Thus far, there is no indication in Juneau that the House Democrat-led Majority will take out punishment on her the way the Senate Republicans has done on Sen. Costello.

The Wasilla gathering took place in a room set up by volunteers, with printed name plates for all 60 legislators.


  1. The House Majority (Democrat’s for those who are still unsure) have been planning this coup for years and almost pulled it off. But they didn’t. They got caught trying to nullify our statewide election, and take down our dully elected governor. They reject the will of the people. They are the lawless tyrants we were warned about by our founding fathers, and they hate our country, our constitution, and liberty’s. They have nothing but contempt for us and its finally beginning to show. If this continues much farther, there will be no political solution left, and the people will need to consider other solutions. As goes our nation, goes our state.

    • Boy Larry, why don’t you express what you really feel about our elected Legislature (since the Senate is knee-deep in this along with the House).
      The problem here is not Democrats but it’s that the Republicans can’t get on the same page. In case you hadn’t noticed, those amateurs who showed up in Wasilla were all Republicans and the only one with any leadership qualifications was quickly stripped of her majority position-they (Senate) were nice enough to leave her in their caucus, however.

    • The pros were in Juneau (with amateurs in Wasilla) with the exception of Wilson-glad to see she recognized the error and better late than never. Heheh!

      • Hey bill what is that brown ring around your neck, might want to wash it off. Looks pretty tacky.

      • So how about that polling data. Awesome leadership from the governor. He’s going to go down as the friend of monopolies and the enemy of the working/middle class.


        Weird how we need to allocate around a third of our budget in oil exploration subsidies that goes untouched while he sweeps Power Cost Equalization driving the kilowatt hour well North of a buck on the little guys. Still waiting for another big discovery or just glad to provide a little back to his supporters.


        California got an the “Governator” complete with an Arduin appointment. Too bad all Alaska got was the Turdinator (See the Ocean Ranger “veto”).


        Alaska, open for bilges!

        • So you want to be more dependent on oil? We are already at 65% state revenue from oil. It is a dwindling resource. What will we do when oil is gone and we are still trying to wring money out of the oil companies? That is not the answer and it is only a bandage. We cannot remain second in the nation in per capita spending and have a healthy economy. Nor can we rely on government entitlement. The money does not fall from the sky, it is produced by the private sector. Try to squeeze every cent you can by removing subsidies, tax breaks whatever and the current 1/3 of jobs in our state provided by oil industry will also go down. There’s your middle class actually producing money now unemployed. And yet here we still are, big ol bloated state budget unable to live within our means.

          • I don’t think we should be giving the oil companies a $1.8 billion tax incentive for “exploration”. Does that make me sound like I want to see more dependence on big oil to you?

          • Also, the “middle class” doesn’t pay it’s own way in Alaska. They contribute literally nothing to help with the services they use. They are a net negative while sucking down PFD’s and paying nothing in State taxes. Less than ZERO.


            I like the middle class. I don’t like it when they feel like they are entitled to free check and services.

    • Tammie Wilson will go no further in politics than as a state representative from North Pole, and that will end next year. She’s not a leader. She only wants to prove that she fits in somewhere……but where?

      • Wilson may get stripped of her co-chair of House Finance when she gets to Juneau. She may have hoped for something other than what occurred in Wasilla (who was it that coined the phrase “The Thrilla in Wasilla?”).
        Boy that was some Thrilla. Heheh!

          • It would have been legal certainly but nobody showed up so no quorum and nothing could get done-that doesn’t mean that Juneau wasn’t legal and the business of government is being done without many Alaskans being represented because their representatives are twiddling their thumbs at the Thrilla in Wasilla. Heheh!

          • Some are abiding by the laws of our state by being in Wasilla the others are spinning there wheels. they are not in legal session so anything they vote on there is nul. I hope that Governor Dunlevey does not pay them a dime for any of their time. They are not legally on the Clock.

          • Gary, with your legal expertise I hope you will be lending Dunleavy a hand when it comes to determining just how legal these sessions are-He needs all the help he can get!

    • You were right Mike as Tammie is in Juneau at House Finance meeting right now.
      She recognized the error she made yesterday in showing up with those amateurs at the “Thrilla in Wasilla.”

      • I was told that she came to follow the Constitution for the opening day. Then she immediately split for Juneau.
        Your comment to Carl is a flat lie. She knew coming in what the numbers were. All here showing up was a show, no more, no less

        • That’s what she said, Mike-you think it’s a lie but you’ll have to take it up with her. This is the honor system and we take someone at their word unless there is some evidence otherwise.

      • Bill and Mike I can only hope the good people of North-Pole have already drawn up her recall for the 2020 elections. When she went to Juneau she to violated the law and should be held accountable.

    • I had hope for Tammy but she is burnt toast now. I plan to neither further support her or Coghill. I will not support anyone that enables demonrats.

      • Wilson said this afternoon that as soon as she realized that they had no quorum in Wasilla and that they were doing business in Juneau she immediately decided her constituents needed to be represented in Juneau.
        There you have it Carl, but you have another agenda, I know.

      • Yeah, the most popular governor in the history of Alaska has been disappointed. What will she EVER do?

      • This isn’t about Democrat and Republican, this is about if you prescribe to our Governors ideology. Most the Republicans I know, don’t. This pfd over everything thing nonsense is old. It was a great way to garner votes for the election, but the election is over its time for our legislators to quit campaigning and start governing.

        • Except everyone of those in the Thrilla in Wasilla are Republicans, UR!
          Some of these yahoos will face some serious repercussions come next election IMO. With the folks banging the drums for veto-overrides I really doubt that all of them have their constituents in mind-we will all get to see how it shakes out.

  2. Where o Where is the leadership of the Republican Party? Why should the Republican Party allow traitors to continue to call themselves Republicans? A Republican Senate Leader is Leading a Coup D’etat against a sitting Republican Governor who is attempting to actually carry out the Republican Party’s platform……………..and nothing from the Republican Party of Alaska at all??????? It makes me wonder why anyone would financially support such a sham of an operation.

    • Ditto! You are absolutely right. If the Alaska Republican Party’s State Central Committee doesn’t take immediate action to sanction Giessel and the band of RINO traitors who have joined the Democrats in Juneau, I’m done playing with this worthless spineless group.

    • Nothing like some good ole foaming at the mouth hyperbole from the Koch/ Soros camp.


      You do realize that Governor Dunleavy’s sponsors are open border global elitists right? Nah, of course you don’t.

  3. Mia was pulled of her positions after her opinion piece in ADN calling out the Bigots in the Democratic party who refused to go to Wasilla…
    Her comments in this editorial should not be forgotten…
    I guess from Washington to Juneau special interests rule the day and whether you are loyalist to the teacher unions or oil money makes no difference in the end, it is the common working people of Alaska that will lose in the end.

    • Steve, the Dunleavy haters and Trump haters will lose in the end. Blind hatred does not rule the day, or the decade.

    • That’s total BS, Steve.
      Costello lost her position because she chose the wrong place to attend the special session. Read Giessel’s reasoning-she needed a majority leader and Costello was missing in action. Giessel owes nothing to Democrats in minority and her reasoning makes perfect sense.
      We will next get to see how the House handles Wilson’s latest antics when she gets to Juneau.

  4. I find it interesting that we just celebrated Independence Day and here we are not 5 days later with some in our government refusing to represent the people.

    Here are some words to think about:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.


    • Steve-O, your issue is that government doesn’t seem to be representing you. It’s representing the people just fine.

      • Which people are those in Juneau representing? The law breakers and peiple who don’t know how to count?

        • Steve-O, they are representing their own constituents and their opinions on how government works.
          You should volunteer your opinion on law breakers to Dept. of Law, as clearly AG Clarkson needs some help there. Heheh!

          • I suppose some of them are serving their constituents by dividing the legislature and virtually guaranteeing there will be no veto override the cuts made will stick. How many legislators are in Juneau Bill? How many votes do they need to override the vetos Bill? It’s a simple math equation.

          • Last I heard was there were 38 members present in Juneau but the number now is not the simple math question. The only other pro (not originally in Juneau) arrived today but those amateurs in Wasilla may choose to remain-this is a problem for the Republican party that only they can solve should these goofballs continue with their comedy show. Just my opinion, by the way.
            Another opinion of mine is that these comedians will need to give their constituents good reasons for their actions. I suspect they are willing to go to the mat for a full PFD but I also suspect they won’t get it (full PFD) but will be saddled with a bunch of pissed off constituents.

          • Bill,

            For some reason I don’t think you are the person best suited to say how any of the constituents of these representatives will look at this, maybe it’s because you seem to lack any understanding of how the law works. You’ve even said that “the constitution is not explicit on the location of the special session”. If that is the case then there is no conflict with the constitution and the statute. Somebody has over played their hand, my bet is that it is those that do not understand the law…the law that is clear to those who are not blinded by their monetary and partisan viewpoints like yourself.

          • You keep going there Steve-O but you have no legal cred, so just stop with the BS. We’ll wait for the courts to rule if that’s what it takes.
            These are my opinions only and I’m not partisan (neither D or R), either. I’ve followed much Legislative dealings over the years in Juneau and it’s that which influences my opinions. You don’t like it, tough noogies.

        • The represent their constituents and if they don’t they will suffer the consequences come next election. The people of Alaska will be represented if all their representatives are present wherever the session is taking place IMO. There are no socialists involved in any of this-that’s only in your small mind.

  5. The smart thing for Gov Dunleavy to do would be to fire Tuckerman and donna and start leading instead of following

    • We are heading down the road to a new Alaska, where the drones, whiners, and government crybabies will soon be flying south. The non-essentials and users of this great 49th state. A new day is coming for Alaska. Thank you, Governor Dunleavy.

  6. I am not sure who Senator Giessel is representing these days. It isn’t me and my interests. Perhaps she has forgotten that she defeated Vince Beltrami. It looks like Mr. Beltrami now has consumed and occupies her soul. Time to come home, Cathy.

  7. Those who refused the Gov’s orders and went to Juneau should not receive any pay or reimbursement for meals/lodging, transportation, etc. If they can’t get the job done during the times alloted, then they should start being docked pay.

  8. It boggles the mind how the Dividend is about to destroy Alaska.
    Nothing creates more greed and avarice than “free money”. An entire generation (including Governor Dunleavy) has been brainwashed into believing falsehoods about their “entitlement” to the Dividend.
    I am all for reining in excessive government but it appears that the Dividend has become the biggest excess of all.
    It would be best if we just ended the PFD and let all the Dividend snowflakes leave the State.

    • I agree with some of your premise Chris but disagree that it will destroy Alaska.
      I suspect our Legislature is up to the task of being a successful foil to Dunleavy but that does remain to be seen.
      Lots of hand wringing going on but the pros are in Juneau and it’s exposed the amateurs who bought Dunleavy’s argument and showed up at the “Thrilla in Wasilla.”

  9. You got it completely backwards, Chris. Government largesse and the greed of the crybaby government workers is destroying this state. The dividend puts us all on a level playing field. Government workers want assurances and could care less about workers who don’t hold a government job. THAT’s what is destroying Alaska. Back to basic Economics for you, Chris.

    • Marla, all you’ve got are your assumptions that have nothing to do with Economics either. And you’ve only given your assumption about what’s destroying Alaska-try backing up any of your assumptions before getting into Economics as that’s clearly not your expertise.

      • …..and ladies and gentlemen….the brilliant…..Yankee Bill has just left the room….with another brilliant insult. Yankee Bill’s DNA left the room too.

      • billy,
        Your “expertise” is self delusional. All you have is snide remarks and lack of “constituent” knowledge. Those traitor ‘repubs’ who joined the dims/socialist/libs in Juneau are just that. Traitors, to their constituents and to the republican party. Your innuendo and insults do not reflect actual knowledge. Mostly just leftist rhetoric that you don’t seem to really even have a handle on. Like I said earlier, “fools march on”. Talk is cheap. Especially leftist rhetoric. Left to you and others like you, Alaska would be nothing more than a ‘suburb’ of “leftifornia”.

        • Someone who is as concerned about dims/socialist/libs as your are Ben is clearly delusional IMO.
          I suggest you loosen your tin-foil hat a bit as it’s starting to make you blabber and spout complete gibberish.

        • Yes Bill, your ad hominim attacks are abismal. Follow the example of civil discourse set by readers like Mr. Ben Colder. You dim/socialist/lib/fool/traitor

          Come on Ben, are you kidding. How could someone who aligns with conservatism be so rude? I bet you kick your dog for no good reason.

    • You shouldn’t concern yourself with economics Marla. Obviously since you support deficit spending you should brush up on basic math.

      • You are backwards too, Chris. You, are a supporter of government deficit spending. And apparently with no reservations about controlling it. I prefer the individual being responsible for herself and to make an honest living, not by government giving it to me and dictating how I will live it. Go call your mommy!

  10. I’m not sure how, but Juneau seems to always survive a capital move. Juneau is the swamp, and the monsters that live in it are all in on the far left agenda. Sad.

    • None of this has a single thing to do with a capital move, Jouten. And only a fool would attempt a comparison of monsters with far left agenda.
      Are you a fool, Jouten and one who hides behind an anonymous handle? Talk about sad.

      • “Bill Yankee” ~ you claim someone is hiding behind an anonymous handle? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, to me. Where did YOU move here, from? Seattle / Portland / San Francisco / New York ? Please, move back to your original liberal city, take the next Tourist Bus outta here, then we Alaskans can ALL take a breath of fresh air ~ without you in it.

        • Emily, are you suggesting that’s not my name? And I’ve been in Alaska since 1971 after Uncle Sam sent me here in 1967.
          You are just as anonymous as Jouten, by the way and I came from Eastern Washington that is politically the same as Idaho. What rock did you crawl out from under??

          • If I remember right it’s the rock that leaves one ignorant about wild fires in the State of Alaska.

  11. This whole thing would make one heckuva movie. Where is Mr Whitekeys when we need him?

    Just an aside: A couple days ago, I sent an email to every legislator. I urged them all to support the budget as it stands, that they represent the people-not the lobbyists and state workers in Juneau.

    I just got back two (Kawasaki and Begich) thanking me for my continuing support for overriding the vetoes.

    Take from that what you will, but I know that miasma of elitist smugness from afar…..

    • If all the Stae workers are in Juneau who is fighting the wildfires. I guess we should save some money and just let them burn, huh?

  12. All this is a Win for the Gov’s vetos and for those of who want smaller government! Plus as an added bonus no wasted pork on a Capital budget! Keep meeting in 2 places! This is great for Alaska! And Bad for big government union types!

    • The resident genius doesn’t know how to do math and is convinced in his opinion that there is nothing to see here, so Mongo you and I don’t need to worry about it. This special session is for the pfd, but they have until Friday to overturn any veto. If the illegal Juneau legislators went to where the special session was called they can address the capital budget, if not they can’t. The legislators in Juneau are playing a game that is a lose lose for them, best case (for them) they somehow get the legislators following the law to break the law and go to Juneau and vote on an veto override (not likely, as the numbers aren’t with an override). Then they still have to deal with the pfd, most in Juneau want a limited if any pfd, and they still can’t deal with the capital budget. Worst case and most likely for the lawbreakers, no veto override (their fault), no pfd (their fault), not capital budget (also their fault). Other than the no pfd this is a win for Alaskan residents, outrageous spending levels are slashed to sustainable levels now, tearing the bandaid off. Next election cycle these big government folks who think they know better how to spend your money will be voted out since we the people are not their serfs. After that we can restore some sanity while the exodus of state welfare employees head back to where ever it is they came from. So we lose one year of pfd but rid ourselves of the parasite class that has taken up residency, sounds like a good deal to me.

      • I agree, but the money for the PFD goes no where in the meantime. Eventually, we get our lost PFDs in one large payment. It takes until after the 2020 election, but it happens.

  13. This is great news, the vetos will stand, the budget will be cut back to sustainable levels and all citizens will get $3000 PFD’s. All good thing! An added benefit will be that some of the whiny liberals will leave this state for the likes of Portland Oregon and Seattle.

    • Good luck driving to Anchoragua. Between the decrepit, undermaintained roads and the left over H1B visa expirees (formerly cruise line employees) it should be smooth sailing right after the Governor decides you need to start paying your fair share by confiscating the taxes Alyaska is paying to the City of Valdez.

  14. Mia made it plain today, they will convene in Wasilla on Wednesday at 11 AM.
    Giessel is toast, even if they could somehow claim a victory on over-riding the veto’s (which they can’t) the vote would be illegal since they were not in Wasilla as directed by the Governor, period.
    There was about 20 people there to watch and listen today. Didn’t see a single anti-Dunleavy in the crowd. Channel 11 was there as was ADN and a few other media types.
    The legal legislators are doing the right thing, for the right reasons. The outlaw legislators will get a hammer and it will end many a political career.

  15. Whether meeting in Juneau is legal or not is irrelevant. With 22 in Wasilla, there aren’t enough votes to override any vetoes. As long as the Wasilla contingent stays through Friday night, the vetoes stand.

    House and Senate leadership misplayed this completely. They should have convened in Wasilla, held a vote to move session to wherever, and adjourned to the new location. I think they didn’t have the votes, which put them on the path to the current clown show.

    Playing hardball with location of the special session may very well have cost them their veto overrides.

    Tuckerman’s decision to play hardball with the PFD amount cost the Governor consideration of his 3 constitutional amendments.

    I am reminded of the old Casey Stengel quote: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” Cheers –

    • I agree that this has become a clown show with the comedians in Wasilla and the pros in Juneau. The “votes” thing is always an unknown but this is all about the full PFD that can’t happen with those supporting it staying away IMO.
      We just don’t know yet how it all shakes out but a lot of Republicans will be looking at some serious explanations to their constituents for their behavior IMO.

      • Bill,

        If you spend more money than you have does that make you a Pro? Where does financial responsibly come into play? A healthy economy is one where people are contributing by working hard and earning an honest wage and not spending more than they make. The government has to operate the same way. The “pros” are playing a political game which I foresee going poorly for those in conservative districts who want the government to be responsible again.

        • The pros are going to go for a PFD that does not spend more than the budget allows, plain and simple, Nathan. You think it’s a game but those in Juneau are not part of the comedy show being held in Wasilla IMO.
          Not sure where you are getting your information but the likes of Steadman, Imhoff, Coghill, Giesell, Bishop in the Senate and many in the House are hardly those planning on spending more than we have.

      • The “republicans” who will be looking at ‘serious explanations’ to their constituents and party, are the ones who betrayed said constituents and party, to collude with dims in Juneau. Seen on OAN news scroll this morning, ‘Alaska ‘coalition’ of lawmakers released a “news” item that says, “Governor Dunleavy cuts 41% of ‘higher education budget'”. Typical mistruth by dims and rinos. The facts are twisted, per dim practice, including some prevaricating ‘commenters’ who are badmouthing our Governor and genuine conservatives’ efforts to bring the budget in line with revenue (without stealing the PFD).

  16. Bill Yankee = little Chiwaaaawaaaa as temporary visitor to MRAK. Owner looking for this little lost Chiwaaaawaaaa. Has little bark. Does not bite. No teeth. Has distinguisgable same bark, over and over. Was hit by Subaru wagon last year and now faces doggie dementia. Likely to show up anywhere looking for handout and love. Please check ear for ID stamp and return to owner ASAP.

    • bully,
      You have about as much respect for other opinions as I have for the leavings in an outhouse. What’s with you and dims? Can’t you talk or comment with civil, non-insulting, truthful statements? Why is your diatribe concentrated on insult, innuendo and falsehoods? I’ve known several like you in my time, and none of them impressed me. Maybe you’re just an immature lefty with nothing else in your mental “briefcase”. If that’s not the case, you need some help (mental), immediately.

  17. JUST IN! 37-1 vote in Juneau for override. Wilson held out. She had the guts to appear in BOTH Wasilla and Juneau. But…..who will be her friend? The Democrats…………..hardly. The RINO Republicans who want more government spending and less on the PFD……? Not a chance. Those in Wasilla, who are loyal to the governor and want less government in our lives? We will know soon. Can you have it both ways…………….R A R E L Y!!!! (unless you’re LBGTQ)

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