Legislators brought in some of their friends to the Capitol’s Terry Miller Building last week after hours, for a raucous game of ping pong, beer pong, leg wrestling, and general frat-party stuff.
All of it was against the rules for the Capitol, which does not allow alcohol on campus. Nor are members of the public allowed in the Capitol’s three buildings — the Capitol itself, the Thomas Stewart Building, and the Terry Miller Building. They shut to the public due to Covid.
The party came to light after janitors arrived on the scene to find a beer-y mess, salsa spilled around, and asked Capitol Security to review the security tapes to see who had left the room in that condition.
Said to be on the tape in the party were Rep. Sara Rasmussen, Rep. Kelly Merrick, Rep. Zack Fields, along with Hilcorp Legislative Liaison Luke Miller, Dunleavy Deputy Chief of Staff Tyson Gallagher, House Majority Press Secretary Austin Baird, and blogger Jeff Landfield. There may have been others. Some legislators have requested to see copies of the tape, but building security generally does not allow it.
There are problems with this scene, Capitol observers say: Members of the public are locked out of the building, but some members, including a Hilcorp executive, were allowed in for the purpose of partying.
Another problem is that the Terry Miller Building has been set up for business, a place where meetings could be conducted if the Capitol had to socially distance due to Covid.
“Alaskans’ Capitol is not open to Alaskans but this kind of bullsh*t is happening? Not cool,” said one Capitol observer.
A memo was then issued on Thursday by Legislative Affairs Executive Director Jessica Geary restating the rules for the Terry Miller Building: