All over but the shouting: Redistricting board finishes Senate map, Democrats complain, quarrel, threaten, play race card

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Although the Democrats did very well with the new political map for the House of Representatives, when the Senate map was voted on, they were exceedingly unhappy.

Nicole Borromeo and Melanie Bahnke, members of the Alaska Redistricting Board who represent the interests of Democrats, could not accept that they didn’t have the votes to steer the Senate map to their liking, as they had done with the House map. In the end, even after they played the race card, the 3-2 vote finalized a Senate map on Tuesday.

Borromeo was especially dramatic and loud in her opposition, using the Democratic playbook that has everything about race.

“It opens the board up to an unfortunate and very easily winnable argument about partisan gerrymandering,” she lectured. “I don’t believe that any of the arguments that she [Board member Bethany Marcum] put on the record, and more importantly the sound sound legal advice that we got from counsel in executive session, supports this pairing.

Borromeo said, “It defies logic that we would do minority reach into South Muldoon and pair it with a very white District 8 miles away on the highway, that crosses one mountain range, and expect the courts to believe with any satisfaction that we have satisfied the public trust in the process.”

South Muldoon is 56 percent white, but to Borromeo is is all about the 44 percent nonwhite.

In the end, Board Chair John Binkley had to shut the agitated Democrat women down, and get the map voted on, as Wednesday is the deadline for the maps to be completed. The final action of the board is to sign the proclamation and adjourn.

The work of pairing Senate districts to the new lines ended with some unchanged Senate-House combinations, while others will look new to voters. All Senate legislators but Donny Olson will have to run for reelection, due to the new district lines.

In Southern Southeast Alaska, the Senate District that now has Sen. Bert Stedman representing it, has the House members Rep. Dan Ortiz and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, as before. And Sen. Jesse Kiehl of Juneau still has Rep. Andi Story and Rep. Sarah Hannan in the downtown Juneau district.

In the Kodiak-Cordova area, Sen. Gary Stevens stil has Rep. Louise Stutes and Rep. Sarah Vance in his district.

Kenai Sen. Peter Micciche is paired with the same lawmakers, Rep. Ben Carpenter and Rob Gillham.

Anchorage is where it gets interesting.

South Anchorage Sen. Roger Holland has a different district, with Rep. Laddie Shaw in one House seat and one open House seat.

In South Anchorage, Sen. Natasha Von Imhof and Sen. Mia Costello have been pushed into the same Senate district. Rep. Tom McKay is in one of those House seats and Reps. Matt Claman and Sara Rasmussen are in the other House seat inside that Senate district.

In Midtown Anchorage, Elvi Gray-Jackson is still the senator, but paired with Rep. Harriet Drummond in one House district and Rep. Andy Josephson and Rep. Chris Tuck smooshed into the other.

Common buzz around the Legislature is that Rules Chair Bryce Edgmon (previous House Speaker) has no affection for Tuck, and ensured that his appointee on the Redistricting Board, Nicole Borromeo, pushed to force Tuck to defend his seat against Josephson.

In Downtown Anchorage, Sen. Tom Begich is paired with hardline leftist Democrats Rep. Zack Fields and Rep. Harriet Dummond. Geran Tarr is the other House member.

East Anchorage and Muldoon has Sen. Bill Wielechowski paired with Rep. Ivy Spohnholz and an open seat. 

An open Senate seat for Government Hill , Muldoon, and JBER,  combined with Eagle River, has incumbents Rep. Kelly Merrick and Rep. Ken McCarty in one district and Rep. David Nelson in the other. 

For the South Eagle River-East Anchorage, where Sen. Lora Reinbold represents, Rep. Liz Snyder has one House seat while the other is open. 

In midtown-East Anchorage, Sen. Josh Revak is paired with districts represented by Rep. Calvin Schrage and Rep. James Kaufman. 

In the Mat-Su, Sen. Mike Shower is paired with districts now represented by Rep. George Rauscher of Sutton, and Rep. Kevin McCabe from the Big Lake-Denali Borough area.

Sen. David Wilson is paired with the open House seat of central core Wasilla, and the House seat that now has Rep. David Eastman and Rep. Chris Kurka gerrymandered into it, an effort driven by board member Borromeo on behalf of Democrats who don’t like Eastman.

Palmer Sen. Shelley Hughes has a district that has Rep. DeLena Johnson in one House seat and Rep. Cathy Tilton in the other.

Fairbanks has Sen. Click Bishop paired with a district that has Rep. Mike Cronk and Rep. Adam Wool in the other House district.

Fairbanks Sen. Scott Kawasaki is paired with Rep. Bart LeBon and Rep. Steve Thompson.

North Pole and Northeast Fairbanks Sen. Rob Myers is paired with Rep. Mike Prax and Grier Hopkins.

View the Senate maps at this link.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Still seems like a gerrymander in favor of the Democrats and RINOs. Why is it so hard for the three “conservatives” to get together and create a map with solid Republican majorities (not just RINOS) in both houses?

  2. I think you meant “Grier” Hopkins. Luke is his father, the former FNSB mayor who tried to launch a civil war in Fairbanks/North Pole over wood stove smoke emissions. Luke’s brother-in-law is David Guttenberg, former legislator who’s seat is now held by his nephew, Grier. Guttenberg is now a FNSB Assemblyman. David’s sister, Elise Guttenberg, is married to Luke and is Grier’s mother. (She runs all of the campaigns). Luke and Elise’s daughter is married to Scott Kendall, the far-Lefty, former Chief-of-Staff to the corrupt, disgraced, former Governor Bill Walker. The Hopkins/Guttenberg political cabal is a hard-Left Democrat machine in Fairbanks that has been in unfettered power for over 15 years, primarily because of money from labor bosses, the Democratic Party, the UAF, marijuana sales, and scores of radical Liberals in Fairbanks who have lived their entire lives on the public dole.

    • That would be the SAME Scott Kendall, that is purported to have authored a voter initiative known as “Ballot Measure 2”, which by an exceedingly narrow (and somewhat suspicious) margin moved Alaska into Ranked Choice Voting, after the ‘votes were counted’ last fall.
      This particular portion of the 2020 election is the EXACT reason why we need to have a Forensic Audit of the November 2020 Election. If there is nothing to worry about, NO ONE WILL FIGHT IT.

      • North,
        Yes, it is the SAME Scott Kendall. He also authored the Recall Dunleavy campaign, …..that went nowhere. His former boss, the despicable Bill Walker, uses Scott Kendall as his proxy to do his dirty work against Dunleavy. Kendall also had a hand in trying to hide the fact that Byron Mallott was a pedophile. Kendall also was a huge supporter of Al Gross’s campaign and was involved in ballot harvesting in Anchorage and Fairbanks during the 2020 elections, including that of his brother-in-law, legislator Grier Hopkins. Kendall’s partner in political subterfuge is the current city attorney of Bethel. There is no end to the dirty work of Alaska Democrats. Their trickery is now well-known.

      • I second North’s recommendation for a Forensic Audit on the Ballot Measure 2 win. It was grossly misrepresented in all the advertising and will eventually have to go unless radical leftists Dems have taken over all the vote counting measures as well.

        • Also agree with North. These backwoods skalliwags like Kendall and Bakalar make a living by destroying the election process. Didn’t know Kendall was related to the Hopkins/ Guttenberg gang up in Fairbanks. I always thought they were just a bunch of pot-smoking village hippies who were too stoned to make any difference. Scott Kendall and Bill Walker probably used them too, for more than just a few laughs.

          • The goods are being held until 2022 on Scott Kendall and his mentor, the thoroughly disgraced Bill Walker. Then, we’ll unload. A little bird in AZ sings like a canary.

  3. Hopefully the Republicans can find someone to knock off that idiot Kawasaki. Fairbanks would be well served by losing him.

    • Jeff,
      But then, Kawasaki (age 50) would have to return home to live with his mommy. Mother moose drive their youngsters away after about a year. Mrs. Kawasaki needs to take a moose lesson.

  4. We exist on a beautiful and mysterious planet in a vast and unknown universe. We have so many different kinds of flora and fauna. There are so many wonderful things to discover. Life is glorious.

    Yet, here we are, arguing about a map and imaginary borders.

    What are we doing with our lives?

    I think it is time to move on. Leave the tyrants far behind for them to fight amongst themselves and live the life we were meant to live.

      • Again, thanks Greg.
        Perhaps it is my unbridled frustration that has allowed us to get off on the wrong foot.
        We may one day, become friends.

        Let this be the moment that I extend an apology.

        These are some trying times and I may have allowed myself to attack that which I see as a threat to my own existence, in you.

        Sorry.

    • This map could be in effect for 2022, and then if the lines change, some will have to run again. That happened to Cathy Giessel in 2010.

  5. What does it matter if R’s win a district or not? One need merely look at the Republican Senators we have now installed to realize the futility of worry about the subject. I mean Old Bert and Von Imhof are not exactly paragons of “” Conservatism” are they. Toss in Stevens and Click and that smooth talker from down on the Kenai and well, you see the outline of a “Uni-Party”, which faithfully represents the Establishment.
    Tuck must have done something right to piss off that clown from Bristol Bay! Got to look up his website for where to send him a check. Thanks again for the good reporting!

  6. “All over but the shouting: Redistricting board finishes Senate map, Democrats complain, quarrel, threaten, play race card”

    The most accurate and amusing headline I’ve read all week on any news site.

  7. Just to make clear Nicole Borromeo and Melanie Bahnke are not Democrats.

    They are both registered as Undeclared.

    _______________________________________

    Nicole Borromeo’s Voter Registration
    Party Affiliation: Undeclared
    Registered to Vote In: Alaska
    Registration Date: 08/24/1999

    Melanie Bahnke’s Voter Registration
    Party Affiliation: Undeclared
    Registered to Vote In: Alaska
    Registration Date: 07/30/1992

      • Well, I can tell you why I changed from a Republican to non-partisan – I changed at the same time I voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

        And you want to know why?

        Because no one fits in a box.

        And it was not to abandon my Republican values.

        It is because the Republican Party no longer represents its own values.

        And I have the individual right to change what party or non-party I decide to be a part of.

        That same right is also available to Nicole Borromeo and Melanie Bahnke.

        If they were (which I do not know) prior members of the Democrat Party and left the Party, THAT should be a huge key indicator for both parties to take into consideration.

        For example, MRAK has headlines that the Refistricting Board is redefining “political boundaries”.

        The Redistricting Board does NOT define or redefine “political” boundaries.

        It defines where voters vote.

        That simple.

        So bottom line, I do not care when or IF Nicole or Melanie changed to Undeclared.

        It is irrelevant.

        Instead, both Parties need to start looking internally to how they are failing.

        Because, otherwise, both Parties are not exempt from becoming irrelevant.

        The foundation of Voting is about the numbers, not the investors and fundraisers of Political Parties.

        In fact, I just read the Book of Numbers again this week. You know- the one from the Bible.

        Like fashion, history too, repeats itself.

        Numbers 13 talks about the minority report.

        #minorityreport #akredistricting

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