Rep. Zack Field's obsession with Kelly Tshibaka: Death by a thousand public records requests - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
HomePoliticsRep. Zack Field’s obsession with Kelly Tshibaka: Death by a thousand public records requests

Rep. Zack Field’s obsession with Kelly Tshibaka: Death by a thousand public records requests

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Rep. Zack Fields of Anchorage has been obsessed with Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka since she was first nominated for the cabinet position in the Dunleavy Administration. During her confirmation hearings, Fields badgered her about her religious beliefs, which are Christian.

Since her confirmation, which he opposed, he’s been a man on a mission to destroy her. He’s been legally stalking Tshibaka since Day 1.

But Tshibaka has never backed down. Last week, she wrote her stalker a letter that reveals to readers the extent of his obsession and the cost to state government of his numerous document requests, that he has made in his role as chair of the State Affairs Committee. The Tshibaka letter was posted at the Department of Administration.

Tshibaka said that, between Fields and blogger Dermot Cole, her department has spent dozens if not hundreds of hours working to fulfill public records requests.

“Throughout 2020, DOA has spent approximately 72 hours of time fulfilling inquiries and requests from the Legislature regarding the RFPs, RAPs referenced above, as well as those requested by Barry Jackson/Dermot Cole (which were covered in a Committee hearing). This is equivalent to approximately $6,661,” Tshibaka wrote.

Kelly Tshibaka
Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka

Fields represents House District 20, downtown Anchorage, one of Alaska’s most liberal districts. He is a union employee, when not serving as a legislator. Before that, he was in the Walker Administration and was communications director for the Alaska Democratic Party.

“Separately, DOA also fulfilled document requests from Barry Jackson/Dermot Cole, relating to the same items as listed above,” she wrote.

“The procurement office has spent approximately 36 additional hours fulfilling these requests, which is equivalent to approximately $2,850,” her letter continued.

“Of import is that DOA responded to Jackson/Cole’s original, extensive document request with an approximate cost estimate for production; but, instead of agreeing to pay the costs, they divided the request into multiple smaller requests so that they would not have to pay. As a result, DOA absorbed the time and costs of production,” Tshibaka wrote.

“For the October 26, 2020 request submitted by the Committee, DOA estimates it will take up to 74 hours total to fully and accurately provide a response, which equates to $6,714. This does not include the time the Department of Law will take reviewing and redacting information (e.g., proprietary or non-public information), for which DOA will have to pay. Based on other projects completed by the Department of Law, DOA estimates paying $4,229 for the review of these records before release,” she wrote.

In order to complete fulfillment of Rep. Fields’ most recent document request, the Department of Administration may need to hire a temporary non-permanent position to assist in the effort,” she wrote, estimating the cost at about $1,110.

The request made by Cole and Jackson for “all email correspondence between @alvarezandmarsal.com, @gartner.com, @bdo.com, and @asantealliance.com email domains, between Commissioner Tshibaka, Director Lowenstein, Ms. Birk, and Ms. Polk, and any other procurement and DOA staff, from before RFP publication, until December 3st 2019” will end up being in the hundreds of emails, if not more, Tshibaka wrote.

Recently, Fields, Cole, and Jackson have been especially interested in a contract from the department, which they claim Tshibaka steered to one bidder in exclusion of others. Tshibaka, in a presentation to the committee earlier this month, defended her workforce for awarding the contract. Her presentation to the committee is at this department link.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • DOA should petition a court to combine the requests as they all pertain to the same subject and with the same intent – and send a bill for all the docs and all the legal fees. Then sue for harassment – Fields and Cole are fishing in a way that should be done in the discovery phase of a lawsuit. I suspect the perps know that if they sue the courts will throw it out as unsubstantiated. I’m the last one to suggest more regulation… BUT the should be a reason given before FOIA requests are granted. The perps will find nothing, because this Commissioner is actually an honest public servant. I suspect that there is some history between Fields and Commissioner Tshibaka, and this is a personal thing with Fields…

  • Commish, Send them an invoice for the time and effort, due in 30 days!

  • Incapacitation by bureaucratic requests.

  • The answer is obvious. Tshibaka should hire full time staff whose sole purpose is responding to FOI requests. Fields, Cole and friends will complain about unnecessary staff, but who really gives a damn what they say.

    • She has full time staff. She also has state lawyers who can handle the issue she has hired the outside contractor, a friend of hers with questionable experience in these matters, to undertake at extra expense to the state. Same thing with the Gov. and his high priced, highly placed Washington legal firm to try to cover his behindicus.
      All Dermot Cole is trying to do is put some light on this issue of the Gov. and his minions using outside counsel for state issues when they have a raft of legal help available within state government.

      • The Dunleavy Administration has few, if any, State lawyers. They have a deep state of holdover Democrat lawyers that they should have fired as Dunleavy’s hand came off The Bible. Nobody in a Republican Administration has ever trusted the Department of Law on any significant issue. If it is important or involves a communist, excuse me, Democrat interest group, you hire outside counsel; Law simply cannot be trusted.

  • You get what you vote for, Anchorage.

  • Thanks for the story. Reporters must pursue this route to tell me, a citizen, facts. I want to know more about DOA/Tshibaka’s decisions. Thank you Reporters.

    • I agree with you. Reporters need to start doing their jobs and quit helping the communists destroy America. Don’t they realize they will be put in the same damn FEMA concentration camps as the rest of us?

  • Hmm. It appears the department link isn’t “linked” to this article, after all. Could be that I simply don’t recognize the link. Or, maybe Zuckerberg simply decided the info was too right wing and removed it.

  • He still hung-up on her?
    He got other concerns needing his concern while the nicest downtown part of district 20, after decades of hardwork from the generation earlier living within the downtown historic district, who are moving or moved out, maintaining its cultural and historical appearence is rapidly being lost to tin-foil overpriced townhouse condominums. This district needs a new representative, who actually cares about how its elders built it that attracted Fields and his wife settling in that community, else the entire district will look like all other parts that got ran over by government project housing models or other cookie cutter shaped homes void any originality. But, District 20 is just going to have to go its way, the newer home owners appear having no class, no culture, no art and no historic appreciations for the subtle elegance left behind its original homeowners replaced for more overt elegance and luxury.

  • Small price to pay for government accountability and preservation of private and public sector jobs for Alaskans.

    • I agree that for a state government that doesn’t bat an eye at spending $100,000 per student in some cases for rural village schools, and spends $165 per day per prisoner at Corrections when one adds in depreciation and interest, it is not a lot of money. However, certainly in the case of Fields and arguably in the case of Jackson-Cole the cost should be paid by the legislative branch rather than the executive branch. The whole point of accounting is to know where the money is being spent, and on what, so for accurate accounting the money should come from funding appropriated to the legislature rather than to DOA. According to the MustReadAK account these 3 Alaskans have run up $12,053 in costs; if every Alaskan ran up the same cost the total would be $2.9 billion!

      • Sounds like a PFD

    • Well why don’t you pay it?

  • Zack is not who we want representing us. He needs to have is collar put back on. This political world has become a cesspool and Zack is swimming in it.

  • It’s abuse of the system, not unlike what Andrea and others did to Sarah while she was Governor. Cheers –

    • Sarah hasxstated she isteady to rejoin the political fight and I for one will gladly welcome her back to remove Lisa Murkowski in 2022. And before everyone goes off on Sarah about leaving halfway thei her governorship, she was manipulated, coerced and courted by the Traitor MCCAIN stain and she was already vulnerable due to her matetnal circumstances at the time. Sarah, I believe, is ready NOW. AND we need her to root out that RONO Lisa, who we all know was only put in her office to manage her father’s illegal and ill-gotten gains as her own inheritance, on the backs of every Alaskan and America.

      Where do you think the PFD went after gov walker met obama? Walker agreed that Alaskans would accept an undisclosed number of illegal refugees as part of a Federal settlement with the Obamanation. Then the PFD got slashed in half every year since. Where’s the backroom deal disclosures for that?
      What’s worse, Dunleavy agreed to continue that refugee settlement agreement from Walker’s corruption stint, that our PFD now pays for. Did any of you see a proposition as to accept or decline the refugee settlement camp in Alaska on any ballot? Neither did I.

      • I tend to agree that Sarah would be good for comic relief if for no other reason, except we have more than enough already, and it’s not funny anymore.

  • Much was made over a Goose being stolen off the commons, and yet nothing was said when the commons were stolen from under the Goose!

    This punk, Zack, voted for a budget that fully funded , ( not one layoff, and no department cuts) State Employees in last years Budget. This during a week when some 37,000 Alaakans were standing in the Unemployment Line. Oh, and he also supported the theft of 2/3 of your PFD.

    Zack and his ilk are prime examples of why Government is so broken. They exist to undermine the process in order to enrich the small minority that elects them to office.

    • It’s certainly true that with petroleum revenues and 4 decades Alaska has created a machine that protects itself against all threats, particularly threats to reduce spending, to the very real and measurable detriment of the Alaska private sector. Almost all legislators and staffers, all lobbyists, all state employees no matter the governor or the party, all unions whether public employee union or not, independent state agencies, and nonprofits of every ilk protect all spending. When the rare legislator not part of this machine somehow makes it on to the House or Senate Finance Committee they are kicked off; Dunleavy, Hughes, Shower. I do not know if the 2021 legislative session(s) will be the very first to honestly reduce the cost and scope of state operations. If not, it certainly won’t happen in 2022 as that is a big election year. We’re all part of the problem; our municipal taxes go to support the Municipal League and municipal lobbyists for example. We pay teachers who pay dues to the NEA. There are many other examples of how we all support the machine even as that machine steadily erodes our economy and our ability to have an economy. That machine has and will continue to do anything required to feed itself. I would not expect that Fields even sees the problem, the economy every state but Alaska has; the economy Alaska has lost. Most legislators and staffers today have known nothing else. Does Fields even see the need for a mine or an oil well when a federal grant has so much less mess?

    • Very well said. And the sheep follow to the slaughter.

      • Sheep, the bleating-heart “conservatives” of the past twenty years who have purchased their seats at the table of state government by selling our natural resources off to the multinational corporations who offer them the biggest and best leg-of-lamb up.

    • I thought that the little Cole Dwarfs were dead. Could it be that they are immortal? Charge them for copies, Kelly. Make those little tight-wads pay up.

  • $6671 that is not even one month of what Clark Penney would of been making. If Tandem Motion’s barista would of been supplying the information the bill would of been $25,200. The horror Zack Fields belongs to a union. Many of us belong to unions. It enables to support our families financially and have access to quality affordable health care. Not every Alaskan has the pleasure of the governor creating jobs for our spouses.

    • As it happens I hunt with a fellow who knows both Penney and Fields. He says that Fields isn’t qualified to clean the crud off Clark Penney’s boots. I’ve never known this fellow to be wrong about people. Most days he’s a great shot.

    • Thank you for letting us know that you’re a union flying monkey bought and paid for, leo.

  • Rep Fields is a bully and he specifically likes to bully women.
    Just watch some of the bullying during several female appointments by Dunleavy. He especially doesn’t like strong women smarter than him and that would be Commissioner Tshibaka.
    Both he and his buddy Dermot Cole are Dunleavy haters. They are also what we consider “little men.” You know, Napoleon complex. Cole has been a long time hater of anything conservative. Now he is being used as a puppet by Mr. Fields and his union buddies. Living in all that hate boys, makes for a miserable life. I will pray for you both.

    • Dermot Cole, one-half of the Little Cole dwarfs, doesn’t have any buddies. He lives under a bridge by himself and growls at people. Oddest little old man who ever lived in Alaska

      • The little Troll Coles.

  • If Kelly was actually tranparent in her government dealings she wouldn’t have this concern.

    $80,000+ awarded her family to move to Alaska from DC, and made a $139,000 job for her husband as well.

    Folks that’s not draining the swamp. That was Alaska bringing the swampers to Alaska.

  • What is wrong with asking the people that work for us to account for their actions in a transparent manner?

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