TALE OF TWO TOWNHALLS
Sen. Dan Sullivan hosted a townhall meeting in the Interior on May 12, which is something that the Indivisible Alaska group and all its protester look-alikes have been demanding since Donald Trump’s election to the White House.
But when Sullivan scheduled the meeting, the protesters were confused and started peppering the March on Fairbanks organizers with questions: What do we do? Do we protest?
Democratic Socialists of Anchorage thought so. They posted on Twitter: “dan sullivan is holding a town hall in north pole tomorrow. we’re hoping that backfires.” [sic]
March on Fairbanks took the higher road in answering the confused protesters. The group’s response on Facebook was:
“My answer is NO! We asked for a public conversation with his Fairbanks constituents and he is doing exactly what we asked. I know we are frustrated by the current political climate but this is an opportunity to go and voice your questions and concerns. Do it peacefully – do not give our Senators any reason to fear their constituents or avoid holding public meetings in the future. Get there early as I expect it will be crowded!”
Afterward, the group made no mention of its reaction to the Sullivan townhall, although liberals posted criticism that it was held in North Pole, rather than Fairbanks.
Poet Linda Schandelmeier of Indivisible Alaska was asked to introduce the senator, and when Sullivan explained to the crowd that Obamacare had hurt Alaskans more than any other group of Americans, the boos and hurled insults rang out, to the point where it was unclear if the townhall could continue.
The meeting, held at a church, was packed with “progressives” and raucous protesters, and in spite of March on Fairbanks’ pleas to not behave badly, many modeled themselves after the #resist protesters in the Lower 48.
[Editor’s note: Sen. Sullivan’s office takes issue with this “raucous” characterization. In a note from Communication Director Mike Anderson, he described it thus: “Those of us who were there with Senator Sullivan would characterize the crowd as “spirited” and respectful–certainly not raucous. At no time was the town hall in danger of being cancelled. The Senator very much appreciates those who attended, and looks forward to continuing to meet with fellow Alaskans both on an individual basis, and in small and large groups. Finally, the Senator wants to thank Fairbanks resident Linda Schandelmeier, who introduced the Senator, set the tone, and reminded all of us that, in her words, “democracy requires a civil dialogue, and we can’t understand each other unless we’re willing to listen to each other.”]
But when the next day Sen. Lisa Murkowski held her townhall, the same group not only took multiple photos with her, but posted this paragraph on Facebook:
Today Senator Lisa Murkowski took time out of her crazy schedule to meet with March On Fairbanks. Everyone present got a chance to ask questions and comment the current political climate. Thank you Lisa – we appreciate you taking time with some of your #Fairbanks constituents! Thank you Trina Michele Bailey for working tirelessly to make this happen!!
[Snowflake note: Mental health professionals tell Must Read Alaska that March on Fairbanks is using hurtful phrasing when using the word “crazy,” which professionals say is harmful to those suffering from mental illness. They would not use the word “retarded” to describe a ridiculous situation, professionals advise, so neither should they use the word “crazy” to describe a schedule.]
Sullivan will be hosting another townhall this Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage from 4:30-6 pm.
SHAMING VIRUS HITS CAPITOL
A small group of protesters gathered in front of the Capitol to object to budget cuts to education. Two of the 14 protesters were legislators — Geran Tarr and Les Gara, both members of the Alaska House. Tarr stood shouting “Shame on You.” At one point, Rep. Sam Kito joined the group.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, an Anchorage Democrat, shamed her fellow legislators this week for not confirming Drew Phoenix to the Alaska Human Rights Commission. Spohnholz called those who voted against Phoenix “transphobic”, which included her own House Rules Chair Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes, both who vote in lockstep with Democrats on most everything, but didn’t see the wisdom of voting for this particular nomination.
[Mental health professionals tell Must Read Alaska that Spohnholz is using hurtful and unacceptable phrasing when choosing the word “crazy,” to describe a political observation, which professionals say disparages and damages those suffering from mental illness. For shame.]