Randall Kowalke, who tried to overthrow a legally elected legislator, won’t appeal ruling on Rep. David Eastman

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The Wasilla political activist who challenged the right of Rep. David Eastman to represent his district in the Alaska House of Representatives will not appeal the ruling made against his attempt to overthrow a legally elected legislator.

Judge Jack McKenna said Dec. 23 that the lawsuit that claimed that by belonging to the Oath Keepers, Eastman intended overthrow the government did not hold water. Randall Kowalke, who brought the lawsuit, will not appeal the ruling.

McKenna says that while the Oath Keepers are an organization he believes took concrete action to overthrow by violence the United States government, Rep. Eastman took no such action and “does not and did not possess a specific intent to further the Oath Keeper’s [sic] words or actions aimed at overthrowing the United States government. The court therefore finds that he is not disqualified from holding public office…”

Kowalke was asking that the court to force the Division of Elections to make Eastman ineligible to serve because of his membership in an association that has up to 38,000 members, mostly former military and police officers. The Oath Keepers leadership was involved in events on Jan. 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol, when a few hundred citizens disrupted the certification of the Electoral College vote that made Joe Biden president. The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, and at least one other member have been convicted of seditious conspiracy.

“The right of voters in Wasilla to elect their own representatives has been preserved, but the price they were asked to pay to defend that right demonstrates the extent to which Alaska courts have been weaponized against conservative candidates and voters. It is unconscionable that the Constitution was retooled to allow this type of lawfare to take place in Alaska,” Eastman said in a statement to Must Read Alaska, after Kowalke and the partisan Northern Justice Project filed their intent to not appeal the ruling.

Eastman said the lawsuit itself is an attack on his district, and an attempt to deprive voters of the representation they voted for. He won his most recent election by more than 51% on the first ballot.

“My constituents are putting together fundraisers right now, and several are putting off paying bills, just to get us through the expense of this political inquisition. Lawfare is a weaponization of the courts against the innocent, in this case my family and my constituents,” Eastman said. And this doesn’t even factor in the costs the taxpayers had to pay for the inquisition!”

Eastman called it attack by some in Anchorage on the right of those in Wasilla to choose their own elected representatives.

“Today I happen to be the one on the front lines of the battle over whether Wasilla will get to choose for itself on Election Day or be forced in future election cycles to settle for candidates that political activists in Anchorage or some well off person in New York City is ‘OK’ with,” he said.

The Democrat-led majority in the House last year attempted to also deprive his district of representation by trying to eject him from the House due to his visit to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he went to support President Donald Trump. And the House Committee on Committees attempted to strip him of all of his committee memberships.

The lawyer for the Northern Justice Project who spoke to the Associated Press said that there are so few cases filed nationally, and he and his legal group didn’t want to end up creating case law that would prevent others from being successfully challenged in the future in other places in the country.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for your courage, Representative Eastman. There are a lot of little cowards in the Legislature. You, sir, are not one of them.

  2. Rep Eastman:

    I suggest a red scarf at your swearing in as a way to subtly show Kowalke how much you appreciate his efforts.

    Happy new year!

  3. Congratulations David Eastman and your attorney Joe Miller! I watched the entire trial, thanks to Politadick. Well done!

    Imagine if the media wouldn’t have slandered Joe Miller during the 2010 race. Joe Miller would still be our U.S. Senator, instead of Murkowski, who has been a major force in destroying the United States of America from within.

  4. Why should he? He got what he wanted-disarray in the GOP.

    If he’d have bagged Eastman, gravy. But it appears the real goal was to gum up the seating of legislators and make any and all non pliable Republicans look over their shoulder at what could come next.

  5. Congrats Rep. Eastman! I hope this ends the “bad dream” that you and your family had to endure. God bless you and the voters in Wasilla that you stand up for.

  6. I’ve consistently disagreed with this lawsuit, and I was always confident Eastman would prevail. That said, Kowalski did not try to “overthrow” Eastman. No laws were broken, and no unruly mobs were unleashed to influence the outcome. He filed suit in a court of law, and based his argument on an actual statute. He lost on the facts of the case – in other words, the system worked. It’s fair and accurate to point out that Eastman suffered financial harm (attorney fees) as a result of this, and several have theorized that financial harm was the main goal from the beginning. They might be right, I don’t know.

    Here’s the deal though: this case represents the first attempted application of this statute. The outcome establishes the precedent that membership alone is not sufficient to disqualify someone from office. Holding Kowalski responsible for Eastman’s defense expenses would also set a precedent. Future lawsuits against democratic candidates/office holders (as many here advocated for) would be more difficult if the plaintiffs and their attorneys knew that an unsuccessful attempt would cost them dearly.

  7. Remember Judge Jack McKenna’s name when he comes up for retention and vote him out! His complicity in allowing this sham trial to even see the light of day has cost the state thousands of dollars and was a direct weaponization of the court for a Fascist agenda. Judge Jack needs to go.

  8. Eastman is the star of this legislative session. Survived the scrutiny of a left-wing Superior Court judge. Does not waver. Does not back down.
    Love this guy. I hope he gives them hell all session long.

    • 👍👍👍
      Eastman, can end up being the superstar of the upcoming session by simply frustrating the hell out of all the professional cowards in both bodies of the Legislature. He may be the goat in Juneau, but outside of that little cesspool he ROCKS.

  9. Good, now jail the accuser for infringing first amendment rights and attempting to subvert the will of the people and we can finally have justice in this matter. It would have been nuts if they won this case. Imagine voting for someone and then getting your vote thrown out because that person promised to uphold law and happened to tour the nation’s capitol peacfully.

  10. I really hope Eastman will take him to task and get all of his legal bills paid, plus any other dollars he can get from this man. The left needs to learn a lesson!

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