DEMOCRAT’S WAR ON CHRISTIANS CONTINUES
Rep. Zack Fields, an Anchorage Democrat, sent a note to all 59 other legislators today accusing Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka of slandering him.
His letter was in response to Tshibaka’s testimony in front of the committee that Fields leads, House State Affairs. Tshibaka announced to the committee that Fields had, in her earlier conversation with him, told her to prepare to discuss in front of the committee how her religious beliefs would impact her work as a department head.
Field’s letter follows:
“I was surprised yesterday when Commissioner Tshibaka slandered me in her opening statement, by suggesting that I imposed some sort of religious “test” for her appointment.
Here are the facts: Commissioner Tshibaka had requested to meet with me prior to the State Affairs Committee meeting, and I met with her per her request. We discussed several questions that I thought might come up in the committee, based on discussions of her record in the media. One of the questions I asked her was if she could separate her personal opposition to LGBTQ equality (which appears linked to her religious views) from her role as a manager of Alaska’s workforce, which is really the most fundamental job of a DOA Commissioner. I actually thought her answer to my question was reasonable, and I left that meeting planning on voting for Ms. Tshibaka’s confirmation when it comes to the House floor. I could not care less what religious views nominees hold, so long as they are fair administrators.
Ms. Tshibaka’s opening statement in yesterday’s meeting raises all sorts of questions, including about her integrity and temperament. I’m going to continue to do my job as a legislator and State Affairs Co-Chair, and that includes making sure the DOA Commissioner will treat Alaska state employees fairly, and without discrimination. It is sad and ironic Ms. Tshibaka had convinced me should could be fair, only to turn around and engage in baseless personal attacks of a manner that are entirely inappropriate when addressing any legislator.
His letter was signed “Zack.”
The legal element of defamation include whether something is false and defamatory, and it is done orally, with malice. However, what Tshibaka accused Fields of does not meet the definition of slander, since she simply accused him of violating her civil rights.
Fields has now raised the ante, by questioning Tshibaka’s integrity and temperament and by accusing her of engaging in a personal attack “entirely inappropriate when addressing any legislator.”
Tshibaka used to work for the CIA and had top secret clearance. Her integrity and temperament has never before been in question.
Slander and libel are behaviors Fields should understand well, since it was his stock and trade when he was a political operative for the Alaska Democratic Party for years, during which time he, on numerous occasions, sent out flyers and letters filled with lies about Republican candidates and lawmakers.
PRUITT CALLS FOR INQUIRY
Rep. Lance Pruitt, who leads the House Republicans, on the floor of the House today asked Speaker Bryce Edgmon to open up an inquiry about whether Tshibaka’s civil rights were violated.
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, a Democrat, then spoke against Pruitt, saying that as the co-chair of the committee, Kreiss-Tomkins had not known anything about it, but thought a couple of bloggers in the room knew something was up. He indicated this was a plot.
Must Read Alaska was not in the building at the time of the committee meeting.
Kreiss-Tompkins said the whole thing needs to be “nipped in the bud.” He told the Speaker that this kind of thing should be handled behind closed doors. No members of the Democrat-led bipartisan majority spoke to the problem.
Although Fields has moved the nomination of other commissioners out of his committee, he held Tshibaka’s back.
There’s no evidence that Speaker Edgmon was planning to open up an inquiry. However, now that one of his caucus members (Fields) has accused a commissioner of an illegal act (slander), he may be forced to do so.