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.