Rep. Eastman is kicked from Republican caucus again

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Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla has once again been kicked out of the Republican caucus of the Alaska House of Representatives. The announcement was made by Republican Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, who appeared in a press conference today with other members of the caucus.

Rep. Laddie Shaw explained to the media that newer members of the Legislature have finally adjusted to Eastman’s “demeanor,” and the new members are now ready to disconnect with Eastman. He said they have “finally caught up with his personality and come to the realization that we need to be productive.”

Eastman was also removed two years ago from the caucus when he became cross-threaded with fellow Republicans.

One of the aspects of Eastman’s behavior as a representative is the excessive number of amendments he places on bills. But it appears to be a number of other things that make Republicans uncomfortable about having him included in “trusting relationship” conversations.

Eastman came under attack by Democrats earlier this year because he is a member of a group that leftists don’t like: The Oath Keepers, a group made up of former first responders who are patriots. The Republican caucus stood by him during that partisan and media attack, and today they remained resolute that Eastman has his First Amendment right to be a member of what is a lawful group.

The issue of Eastman’s relationship Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership came up, and his legislative tactics that mirror FACL tactics have built up resentments in the caucus. FACL is known for a scorched-earth strategy and uses asymmetrical warfare tactics in the political realm to attack fellow conservatives. Eastman, Kurka, and Alaska Right to Life President Pat Martin are some of the leading FACL-style political figures in Alaska.

Last week, Rep. Kevin McCabe of Big Lake, advanced a resolution at the Alaska Republican Party biennial convention that criticized FACL and those lawmakers who adhere to its tactics of attacking fellow Republicans.

As he is no longer a caucus member, Eastman will be removed from the House Rules Committee and the Legislative Ethics Committee upon a vote of the Committee on Committees.

Eastman has been a lone wolf since being elected. After he was re-elected in 2018, he would not join the Republican majority, leading to the collapse of the majority. That led to a number of Republicans joining the Democrat majority and Gov. Mike Dunleavy not being able to get his agenda moving in 2019.

Many conservatives have no objection to Eastman’s positions, but object to his tactics. Eastman is seen as the singular person who has prevented people from joining the Republican majority.

76 COMMENTS

  1. What hypocrites. Notice the quote, “One of the aspects of Eastman’s behavior as a representative is the excessive number of amendments he places on bills.” So they’re mad because he is working and they aren’t.

  2. It’s a smart move to not have him in the minority caucus, I wish they had done it sooner. As the saying goes you’re only as strong as your weakest link and Eastman has drug down the Republican caucus way too long.

    • He is the strongest one who works for his voters. The status quo is not representing the people just themselves.

  3. Boo Hoo Eastman doesn’t play well in the Sandbox! I would rather He was guarding my back than most of the crybabies in Juneau. And He’s not even my Representative.

  4. I don’t understand why there aren’t a few of our elected people in Juneau that are a bit put out by the antics of House Speaker Stutes. Or can they only focus on one bad apple at a time?

  5. Republicans or democrats we are all Americans black brown white we are all in this together as a nation. An oath taker is in a contact with GOD for the citizens that is the way it is. The oath takers should only do what is best for the citizens. Call it by partisanship crap nope, call it oath takers doing there jobs for the citizens. It was time for a change when Jesus came to earth. Now is the time for oath integrity from our oath takers is all.

  6. He may be the singular person that has stopped RINOs like Sara Rasmussen from joining the caucus. He should be given a medal for that.

  7. Rasmussen and Stutes. I don’t know enough about Eastman to make a call. But Rasmussen and Stutes effectively and voluntarily changed parties.

  8. Each representative has only to answer to their own constituents. The arm twisting of legislators is a manipulation of their duty to their district and those citizens. Where’s the outrage that adherence to the “majority” is more important than the individual member’s thoughtful vote on behalf of their citizens?
    Let’s remove all the committees and the perks, every legislator conducts their own research and posts their potential position and reasoning, and each bill is addressed in sequence. So, nothing is taken off the agenda, all bills are grouped by topic, and the balanced budget is drafted first.

  9. I swear I read somewhere just the other day an article claiming there was no good ole boys network and no backroom dealing in the Republican party.

  10. Looks like it’s all about GOP Inc. protecting its own and its owners, who most certainly do -not- include Alaska’s voters.
    .
    No? What about Eastman’s constituents effectively disenfranchised by GOP Inc.’s petulant, inexcusable refusal to operate cooperatively with Eastman?
    .
    Remind again what happens when the RINO branch of GOP Inc. acts or makes demands like Eastman allegedly does
    .
    … do the RINO’s get excommunicated like Eastman?
    .
    Of course they don’t… their owner/sponsors wouldn’t allow it.
    .
    Remind again what’s the difference between GOP Inc and Democrat Inc. or any other similarly parasitic mass bent on wrecking Alaskan lives and livelihoods?

    • There is no difference. I have been saying that for a long time. Their both in bed together racing to get their hands on the PFD money. It’s always about the money and power. If voters really knew the truth and took action on it all of the Juneau group would be kicked out.

      • Don’t you think ranked-choice voting and Dominion vote-counting machinery were forced on voters just so none of Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team would get accidentally kicked out.

    • We’re working on it… We already disposed of Seaton, Colver, and LeDoux, and have our sights set on Stutes and Merrick – did I forget anyone? I know David Eastman – he’s a good guy. When one is a minority of one, effective tactics are limited. The bully tactics of FACL won’t help David Eastman or anyone else and will result in the splintering of the AKGOP – not a good look for the State.

      • @Rich.
        I agree with you. This is a process to extricate the stinky Republicans who don’t know how to fight, or are to cowardly to fight. Eastman is no coward. His reward is recognition from good people like yourself.

      • Cathy Geissel and John Coghill were both primaried out by more conservative people. Bert Stedman and Peter Micciche could be replaced by more conservative leaning folks.

        • Yes, and Cathy and Coghill still can’t get over their losses. Both in serious denial. Coghill even thinks he has a shot at US Congress, which is laughable. Mom, is still weeping in her potato leek soup.

  11. Hopefully his district voters will realize he gets nothing done for them and elect someone who wants to work with other legislators

    • Look where “working together” has gotten us Frank. Two plus years of stagnant legislation in Juneau. Your brilliant.

      • Not only that, but working together seems to mean only the Republicans acquiescing to the Democrats. That’s what it means to work together. When is the last time you saw a Democrat voluntarily coming over to work with a Republican on philosophical grounds? Ain’t happening. Republicans are always the appeasers. Thank God for David Eastman.

    • Frank you need good information not from your liberal friends. We need less of the status quo and more Eastmans.

  12. As usual the GOP establishment attacks a true conservative who actually cares about this state. Shame on them for putting “party unity” over the truth

  13. And so, the minority becomes even smaller and less able……One can only hope that at some point the party will stop to wonder why they keep getting less and less able to govern…….

  14. This country and this state are at war, the enemy is within, we don’t need any bend the knee or compromise Republicans, we need more David Eastman‘s and Chris Kerkez who are fighters and that will hold the line on our Constitution and our liberty!

  15. They blame him for other Republicans voting with a Democrat majority? What a bunch of RINOs. We need more politicians like Eastman and less of the politicians who are afraid to make waves.

    • No one at the Republican Convention was blaming David Eastman for the traitors joining the d’rats caucus.

  16. This idea that I would not join a Republican Majority is new to me and I dare say to many of my constituents.

    I have always been a Republican Legislator and therefore part of the Republican Caucus upon being elected.

    If you review what took place in 2018 you will find that I have never opposed being part of the Republican Caucus, whether we were in the majority or in the minority. I insisted that the Republican Caucus not be a binding caucus and that Democrats not be brought into it for the purpose of silencing the voices of Republican legislators from conservative districts (e.g. in 2018, the play was to sideline conservatives in order to preserve the SB91 crime bill monstrosity). These are two must-haves that my district insisted on and that I have always been faithful to honor.

    I have always voted this way, and have never voted against a Republican Majority (a number of members of the current Republican Caucus cannot say that).

    At least until today, the Republican Caucus was made up of the legislators that were elected as Republicans, unless a legislator chose to support Democrat leadership in the House.

    Today, the Republican Caucus changes. No longer is it reflective of Republican legislators of whatever stripe. Today it embarks on its own direction. Unfortunately, we may find that the direction being embarked on today (Day 102 of the legislative session) has more to do with who is vying for which leadership position in the next bipartisan binding caucus than it is about promoting the policies that Republican voters are demanding.

    With today’s vote, the “Republican Caucus” now only represents 80% of the Republican legislators in the house. If it loses one more member, it will only represent 75% of Republican legislators.

    Call it what it is. It is no longer a Republican Caucus. It’s a group of legislators pursuing whatever interests appeal to them at the present time. Call it a club. Call it a gang. Both descriptions are more accurate than calling it a Republican Caucus.

  17. Well, well, well looks like little David Eastman has been ostracized by the republican play house gang. Those giving him the boot are the same bunch who couldn’t form a majority coalition.
    We have two parties, the Evil Party and the Stupid Party, guess who is the Stupid Party?

  18. Thats such an unamerican thing to do. Basically it takes eastman’s free speech away. Including taking away that district’s representation. All because of they dislike his personality which his district supports his strong right views. No different how allard and bronson are treated by
    the lefty assembly members. There’s always another way to work with and around someone without stripping away his dignity and rights.

  19. I wonder if that’s why him and his buddy Kurka have been voting with Democrats lately. They both need to go.

  20. If they have sufficient members enough to kick one out they don’t need my support or money. This is for you Rep. Prax.

      • Me too. Prax is wishy washy and tries to be nice. That kind of cowardice won’t get you known to be a tough and effective legislator. Prax is on an easy ride and doesn’t have to play hardball like Eastman. And Prax is ineffective.

  21. The republican party has become a stench in the nostrils of all true conservatives and patriots. Alaska republican party leadership has been corrupt for decades and can’t have anyone shine the light of truth on them. David Eastman has stood on principles, which it appears, most of the rest of the elected republicans don’t appear to have.

    • Spoken like yet another tru-con who doesn’t know what respect is, but only knows how to snipe from the margins. I have to ask you to prove your allegations of corruption friend.

  22. I’m no fan of Laddie Shaw. His disapproval kinda leans me in Eastman’s favor.

    Truly both should be out and replaced with serious minded people who put Alaskans ahead of self interest and “28 years old state workers”.

    What will be interesting is to see how the Queen Sarah contingent comes down on this. They should be very pro Eastman. After all, nobody loves self promotion more than Queen Sarah.

  23. Laddie Shaw wants to be productive? What a joke. OK, let’s pass a constitutional amendment requiring the budget be passed before any other legislation. Also, any work by the legislators after 90 days is unpaid. Put the original PFD formula in the Constitution so Laddie won’t need to waste his time on that either. Don’t forget an amendment ending these caucus games, you were elected to represent the people, not play third grade playground games with our resources.

  24. We also need a constitutional amendment requiring Alaska to be paid the same for our oil as other governments get paid for theirs. Actually, like many other countries, we should just pay $2 per barrel, plus costs. Funny how the oil companies are willing to do that in other places around the world, but don’t have to do so here. The Permanent Fund would soon be hundreds of billions, with close to $10,000 dividend. Until then, we will always be fighting over the scraps.

  25. This caucus crap has to end. Party appears to have no utility when these caucuses are created with Demonrats.

  26. Laddie Shaw has always been a big talk and no action joke, I have known him for years, he is in my opinion a self serving blow hard. Their are three kinds of people, 1 people like Eastman who make things happen, 2 people like Tilton who watch things happen. And 3 people like Laddie Shaw who wonder what happened.

    • What exactly has Eastman make happen?

      From the 64 bills I’ve been able to find with his name attached HJR12 is the only one that has been signed and enacted and there were 32 sponsors of that bill including a number of Democrats and Independents.

      Being part of a legislative body is unfortunately and by necessity a group activity, some people just don’t play well with others and they get nothing done.

  27. “ The Oath Keepers, a group made up of former first responders who are patriots.” That claim is hard to reconcile with the fact that two leaders of the group have pled guilty to seditious conspiracy relating to the January 6 attempted coup by Trump. They are now cooperating with the FBI and the USDOJ. Since when are people who were involved in a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government considered patriots?

    • Since July 4, 1776, Sir. “…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

      • Domestic terrorists are not patriots. January 6 seditious riot occurred because of Trump’s Big Lie.

  28. His personality is fine. Go along to get along compromise everything is the democrats game. If “others” want to play along it wll be noticed. Eastman is fine as is. People don’t join the republican because they aren’t joiners. We remember Bush anti-American policies and actions. We will NEVER forget.

  29. Btw, we don’t need anymore junk bylaws. Get a sustainable budget asap with bylaw compliant PFD out to the people. Integrity time.

  30. For the record I was no vote on that resolution. I just had a hard time with what the US Supreme Court had to say about “hate speech”. From comments by people I have a great deal of respect for, this foundation does a lot of that and may well be more Democrat than Conservative. Hate speech is protected speech. That is and was the basis for my no vote.
    The resolution was about the foundation.

  31. For the record I was no vote on that resolution. I just had a hard time with what the US Supreme Court had to say about “hate speech”. From comments by people I have a great deal of respect for, this foundation does a lot of that and may well be more Democrat than Conservative. Hate speech is protected speech. That is and was the basis for my no vote.
    The resolution was about the foundation.

  32. Oath keepers scat let it be know GOD is in control of oath takers they answer to GOD. GOD don’t need no help oath breakers is the only problem here. Clowns who think your time on earth is all there is of time. Be prepared for what’s next oath breakers for the people.

  33. Eastman and Kurka’s amendments were the only ones that passed from the Minority for the budget. While he hasn’t been able to move his bills in the Democrat controlled House, he has been an active amender, as the article points out.

      • Terry, are you talking about the Democrat Party? I ask because I see no Standard there except to reward special interest groups that contribute heavily to the Democratic Party.

  34. The biggest problem is the closed caucus system. Until that is changed we will always have a club atmosphere in Juneau where the legislature operates like a high school clique. All other legislative bodies in the state are subject to the open meetings act. The Anchorage Assembly and every other assembly is forced to make their decisions in public. But the legislature makes their decisions in private and only ratifies them in public. We are never privy to the machinations behind the scene.

    Recently a recall of city council members occurred in Palmer because of a minor violation of the open meetings act, but the legislature flaunts their closed meetings. I’m pretty sick of it.

    When will this change? This decision to kick David Eastman out of the closed caucus is more of the same back-room high school style legislative antics.

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