Minority in House hijacks deliberations, play hooky as Democrats disappear to avoid budget votes


Much of the day in the Alaska House was taken up by chasing down Democrats, many who had left the building in order to hijack the budget votes that were not going their way. A call was put on the House, which was later ruled a delay tactic. The entire activity in the Democrat caucus appeared to be to create chaos.

At one point, a security guard was sent around the building to try to round them up, but they were as evasive as ninjas, locking doors to their offices and planting rumors as to their whereabouts. Only House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage of Anchorage stayed behind, and he was sending and receiving a lot of messages on his phone.

It was a day of high drama in the Capitol.

Through their antics, the House Democrats were able to delay proceedings for the day and the House adjourned at 6 pm without getting through the operating budget and all the amendments and amendments to amendments.

The kerfuffle began when House majority members decided to put an $175 million one-time budget addition to education into a separate funding source: The Constitutional Budget Reserve. It’s a trick the Democrats used for years to get Republicans to vote on a smaller Permanent Fund Dividend, but now the roles are reversed, and Democrats are in the minority, and are not at all liking the procedural move, which will force their hand later.

The House minority press office was busy all the while putting out clip after clip of its members saying the majority was holding education hostage, and other hyperboles. Minority members Rep. Zack Fields and Rep. Calvin Schrage seemed to enjoy breaking decorum by speaking without being called on by the speaker.

House Speaker Cathy Tilton kept a measured demeanor throughout the hijinks and politely reminded the minority members to observe the rules of the body by waiting to be called on.

The House will likely gavel back in on Thursday for a technical session, which means many members will be leaving town for a long Easter weekend, leaving the budget until next week, when maybe cooler heads will prevail.


  1. We want our full PFD. You politicians need to quit stealing the people’s money. A bunch of children playing games and that’s our legislature. Aren’t they a grand bunch? still broke after all these years, and they want more and more and more.

    • Yep. The only time I can recall Republicans doing this was in Oregon. The urban liberals had an environmental bill that would have destroyed farming, ranching, forestry and other industries that would have impoverished the rural Republican districts. The Republicans ran to Idaho to prevent a quorum and told the state troopers if they came after them to bring them in to vote, to make sure they only sent bachelors.

    • We should be glad they didn’t burn down 1/2 of downtown Juneau.

      While it would be millions in civic improvements, there are good people and good local businesses downtown.

  2. Now THAT is entertaining. That cracks me up.

    Politics have been so crappy for so long. But THIS – this is hilarious!

    Thanks for publishing this article. I can’t stop giggling.

  3. From a former legislative minority member there is no need to run away from your responsibility as an elected legislator. Keep a level head, debate with proper decorum and respect the institution.

  4. > a security guard was sent around the building to try to round them up, but they were as evasive as ninjas, locking doors to their offices and planting rumors as to their whereabouts

    Reminds me of a Buster Keaton routine or a Keystone Cops skit. After the horrible news about the Anchorage election, take heart MRAK readers. These are our enemies. In the light of day they wilt as they have no heart and sunlight makes their ideology repulsive. Think how much they need to cheat to win.

  5. This tactic, hiding from the House Floor, is how the Left plays hard ball. It also shows the power of the Education Industry which holds the legislature hostage until it gets its way. The NEA and its allies will force the hand of the House Majority until it bends to the demands. Just more and more money thrown at a failing K12 system with no accountability for results. The House Majority needs to play hard ball now.

  6. If the Cowardly Lion of a governor had done this is in Wasilla we might not be here today.

    It may not have worked yesterday, but at least it was attempted.

  7. Petulant children.

    And there’s Representative Eastman being his best little self supporting the Democrats in their temper tantrum.

    Shameful display.

  8. Pretty immature of the Democrats led by leader-less Schrage. I noticed Eastman is voting with the Dems but to be expected.

  9. They over fund education, year after year. We waste more money on emergency school issues (and we dummies believe this lie) cause the schools overspend….
    Get real, stop it already.
    Act like an adult or resign already.
    You are there to do work, you are being PAID TO WORK, GET IT DONE.

  10. This just demonstrates, for the umpteenth time, how leftists are inherently unprinciple, amoral, and refuse to play by the rules, as long as they perceive that violating every rule and every standard will somehow serve their immediate and short-term interests.

      • Truly.

        How the left of center FBI had provocateurs in the crowd to egg them on.

        How the left lied about dead cops when the only person who died that day was Ashli Babbit.

        How Pelosi refused to request more security for the capitol after her own “intelligence” indicated things could be out of hand.

        The DOJ Gulag which continues to imprison people who anywhere else would have been released on bail

        I love it when the left gets itself pwned by their own posts.

  11. They are required to pass a budget – we should not have to pay them for extended special sessions. Own it dems, you will just dig your graves deeper.

  12. Has anyone thought about making legislative pay, compensation and per diem subject to public approval? Or, should we just keep begging legislators to perform the job they campaigned to do? If legislative compensation was based on performance, I dare say Alaskans would see more productivity, and less theft, during legislative sessions? No consequences are simply an invitation to abuse?

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