No go: Laddie Shaw passed over by Senate Republicans


The Senate Republicans voted against confirming Rep. Laddie Shaw as a senator for South Anchorage today.

The Senate Republicans gathered today at the Anchorage Legislative Information Offices, where they interviewed Shaw, who represents District 26, for the position that is vacant subsequent to the death of Sen. Chris Birch.

Shaw, who represents half of the Senate Seat M district that the seat covers, was interviewed for about 45 minutes by the Senate Republican Caucus, and said the questions went from soup to nuts, but that senators were especially interested in how he feels about the full statutory Permanent Fund dividend. He characterized it as a grilling.

Shaw said he could only stand by where he has been all along — the statutory formula is the law for the Permanent Fund dividend, and he has consistently favored the formula, which could be changed by law.

“I went in there with honesty, integrity and independence,” Shaw said.

Shaw was Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s choice to fill the vacancy. He serves House District 26, the same seat left by Sen. Birch as he moved to the Senate in January after winning the Senate Seat M position in November.

Shaw won the D-26 seat with 62 percent of the vote from his district.

Shaw is a retired  Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran (two tours) who spent eight years with the SEAL Reserve component; and seven years with the Alaska Army National Guard (Airborne).

In 1999 he was appointed to the position of State Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Alaska. He has also been an instructor at the State Trooper Academy in Sitka.

He has also been an instructor at the State Trooper Academy in Sitka.

Shaw, Dave Donley, a former state senator and member of the Alaska State Defense Force, and Al Fogle, a U.S. Army combat veteran, were the other finalists for the position. Their names were advanced to the governor, who interviewed all three and chose Shaw.

[Read: Rep. Laddie Shaw chosen to serve Senate Seat M]

The governor will have to pick another name in the next 10 days and the process will repeat.

Alaska Republican Party Chairman Glenn Clary said that the party had done its job and submitted three names to the governor.

“The Alaska Republican Party continues to pray for the family members of the late Senator Chris Birch,” he said. “The Alaska Republican Party completed their responsibility to fill the vacant Senate Seat M, by forwarding three names to the governor as set out in Alaska Statute and Alaska Republican Party rules. The governor completed his responsibility by choosing one of the names and appointing Rep. Laddie Shaw to be considered for confirmation by the Republican Senators. Ultimately, it was their decision and they made it today. It’s clear that a deep divide exists among Republican senators. The Alaska Republican Party stands ready to facilitate unity and cooperation.”

How senators voted is a secret, but Shaw felt that he had six votes in the Republican caucus. The votes were likely made according to how each senator feels about the full or partial PFD.


Senate Republican caucus released this statement:

Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointment to Senate District M, Representative Laddie Shaw, did not receive the majority vote of approval from Senate Republicans needed to be confirmed to the seat. 
On August 7, a vacancy was left in Senate District M when Senator Chris Birch died suddenly from an aortic dissection. 
When a vacancy occurs in the Alaska Legislature, state law requires the governor to appoint a qualified candidate to fill the seat within 30 days. The appointment is subject to confirmation by a majority of legislators in the same house and of the same political party as the person who left the vacancy.

In this case, at least seven Republicans in the Senate must agree to the governor’s choice. Today’s vote means the governor now has 10 days to appoint another candidate for Senate Republicans to consider.

Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, released the following statement. 

“Today’s vote in no way reflects on the exceptional qualifications of Representative Shaw, a man to whom we all owe much thanks and gratitude for his service to our state and country. Rather, it reflects our commitment to the people of District M and the sanctity of the votes they cast in November. 

“Senator Chris Birch was one of – if not the – most energetic proponents of updating the dividend formula. He displayed strong leadership during his tenure in the House on reforming the dividend and protecting the Permanent Fund and proudly took the issue directly to voters during the recent election.   

“The duty of the Senate is to confirm a replacement to District M with deference to the views of the late Senator Birch and, most importantly, those of all the people in the district he served.” 


  1. Because we have far too many people with ( R ) next to their name, but ( $ ) stamped on their hearts. Laddie Shaw is a good guy. That bothers those types of people.

  2. So much for service to the country, honesty, integrity and independence — all values that are seemingly in much need in the legislature and what Alaska should be all about.

    Oh well——————————–

  3. The arrogance of these “Rasmuson Republicans” is staggering.

    It’s not hyperbole to say that the mindset of this ilk, is that the people of Alaska are mere serfs, and that this state, and its resources, and most specifically the Permanent Fund monies, do not in fact belong to them, but rather some few powerful families…and the politicians they have bought or bred.

  4. There is no end to the contempt I hold for those who voted against Mr Shaw. I hope he runs for the senate seat next year.

  5. The RINOs have joined with the Dems in their unquenchable lust to get their greedy paws on the Permanent Fund, and won’t rest until they get take it from the residents of Alaska….

  6. This is a new low point in Alaska’s political history. An American hero who honorably served our country and went in harm’s way because he loved his country. These weasels in the Senate have only served at the public trough time and time again. Their day will come where each of these nobody’s will answer to a higher authority. Shame on each of these losers. Laddy, your Country honors your most excellent service .

    Laddy. You have your Country’s deep appreciation. Consider that these misfits have only their mirror.

  7. Cathy has just proven that she is just a slimy piece of s—- . Congratulations you just slapped an American hero & every combat veteran in Alaska. Anything to discredit Dunleavy. I’m sorry that Laddie had to endure this corrupt group of scumbags.

    Down with Cathy the scumbag.

  8. I find it rather interesting that republicans in Alaska behave like liberals. I read through the party platform recently and many republicans in elected office do not follow the party platform. I think the party leadership needs to rein in these fake and disgusting people. The long term outlook for this state is pretty dim. The politicians here act like the legislature is the PTA.

  9. To pass on man of integrity like Laddie Shaw over petty politics is shameful
    He has the support of many Alaskans regardless of the decision made here

  10. Six people with no integrity, no honor and no character. They must be looking for someone like themselves, and Laddie Shaw simply had to much integrity, honor and character to suit them. These RINOs are almost as bad as the Democrats. And I say that as an Independent who has never once voted for a Democrat in the 45 years since I first registered to vote in Alaska as an 18 year old.

    • Pretty sure your choice to never vote for anyone in one certain party means that you don’t really fit the true definition of an Independent.

      That being said, I agree that Laddie Shaw should have gotten the Senate seat……with the large percentage of votes he received here on the Hillside, he would have been a good choice. And I’m a person who has voted for Republicans, Dems, Independents, Libertarians, and a Green or two.

  11. Yeah, it’s more like a socialist controlled eastern block country rather than a republic. Almost like there is a conspiracy to join the two parties together behind closed doors. Hmmmmm? Maybe that is what’s been going on around here.

  12. You need to keep in mind that these RINOs have been bought and paid for by the public employee unions. The unions want the permanent fund money to pay for bigger government and therefore more members. They can put big money into their campaigns or their opponents campaign so they dictate how they vote. Laddie Shaw is a good example.

  13. So much for “I’m a lifelong Alaskan” Giessel. She could never measure up to Laddie Shaw or any other military man or woman. She will never understand what wearing a uniform and sacrificing much for this Nation is. Too bad, so sad. And I was her #3 campaign contributor. History.

  14. Frustrating, but no real insult to Shaw. His credentials were impeccable, he should have been seated without questions. However, this is all about what showing the governor who is boss.
    Mike’s concessions gave the other side the confidence they needed to make such an affront. This rejection was directed at Dunleavy, not Shaw.

  15. Unfortunately ethics and decorum do not allow me to adequately express where Senate President Cathy Giessel can procede. I will never support anyone of the six failures and Coghill specifically.

  16. Look, I know you know this but these people were elected. They didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head to get in office.
    Here’s the kicker, if you want these people out of office you will have to get them voted out. How? Volunteer, volunteer for the best candidate. You don’t have to live in the district your person is running in to volunteer. Put your money where your mouth is and support the best candidate.
    If you don’t do the work then you have nothing to complain about.

  17. Gov Dunleavy lets re-nominate Laddie Shaw, a Decorated War hero Cathy Giessel and a hand full of others Republicans are not fit to be in this office. As a R myself I always thought we support are own party what I see coming from the left they are afraid of Laddie Shaw his wisdom speaks for its self to our Gov lets re-nominate Laddie Shaw we need to stand up and do whats right for Alaska thank you

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