Ruffridge on edge: How a ‘no-recommendation’ works with a split vote on controversial transgender bill


Rep. Justin Ruffridge has been on the defense this summer, as conservatives in District 7 on the Kenai Peninsula press him about his controversial vote on a bill that would have created new protections for transgenders in public accommodations.

HB 99 ended up tabled in the Judiciary Committee, but it first had to be heard in the Community and Regional Affairs Committee of the Alaska House of Representatives.

The bill title says it is “An Act relating to and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

The voting record is clear: To get the bill moved out of committee required a majority vote. Three Democrats voted to move it — Rebecca Himschoot, Donna Mears, and C.J. McCormick. (Himschoot is a no-party member who caucuses with the Democrats).

Republicans Kevin McCabe and Tom McKay voted against the bill.

Ruffridge has been telling people on the Kenai that there was no vote, and that the Must Read Alaska story is fabrication.

But Republican Ruffridge was a “no recommendation.” That made the vote 3-2, and passed the bill along to Judiciary.

Mason’s Manual says that a “no recommendation” vote is the same as an abstention, and in the case of what would be a tie vote, it prevents the tie, which prevents the bill from advancing.

Anything other than a “do not pass” in this vote was a “pass.”


  1. Once again, an alleged AK GOP votes like a progressive. It’s so predictable it’s not surprising anymore.

    And to think just a couple days ago someone was telling me the AK GOP is just fine. I’m still chuckling over that one.

  2. This Bozo needs to be primaried! And double that because he told constituents that it was a “no” vote. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Now, thanks to Captain Spineless, our kids will be forced to deal with this made up circus. Boo!

  3. Now Suzanne, you and your pesky rules! You’re making it a bit hard for our honest politicians to lie to us outright.

  4. Time to vote him out Kenai constituents.

    Sounds like this dude is softer than the fecal matter found in a babies diaper.

    • Another of the “such-and-such has to go” type comments which have no actual bearing on reality. Let me refresh your memory: the election was less than a year ago, where Ruffridge defeated a conservative incumbent by six percentage points. The voters in the district knew what they were doing, whether you like it or not.

      • No bearing in reality? The guy sucks. He probably wears lotion filled latex gloves to bed to make sure his hands stay nice and soft.

        You guys must be buddies or something. Do you pitch or catch?

  5. Once Again(!!!), it looks like Suzanne has her facts correctly in-order (as usual) and that the Rep. J-Ruffridge may need to attend additional training on the rules. Additionally, on such an easy subject, one has to wonder why he basically “abstained” from the vote!?!? Maybe, he also needs to attend the courage training too, especially if he continues to have a desire to ride upon the GOP Train.

  6. What a spineless weeny. And from my district. I’ll not forget. Thankfully he did not get my vote in the first place.

  7. Republicans are moderate democrats in Alaska. Murkowski, Sullivan and 50% of the state Republicans vote like democrats.

    • What Soldotna needs more of is themselves reading and studying the Bible solo and together just like Eagleriver-chugiak. So they develop better discernment about people before voting for them. Rufferridge was always that way, I could see his deception in his eyes, they just wanted to see and support a younger Republican leader over a trustworthy older leader.

  8. This man is insufferable, the most arrogant man I’ve met. His staffers are Dems. He surrounds himself with his made up dem “freshman caucus”. He’ll never get anything done for us, he even pisses off the Gov into vetoing capital projects on the KP. His sliminess ensures he will never drum up the votes he needs for anything. But he can ensure that boys will be in locker rooms with our daughters. Come on Kenai/Soldotna, do better!

  9. Anti discrimination laws are interesting because they’re founded in the belief that society, through government, has the right to force citizens to accept and tolerate things that they would otherwise reject. A primary reason why we banded together to form government was to protect our natural rights. Life, liberty and property. Legitimate laws protect those things. You have no natural right to force someone to sell you something or to serve you a meal or to allow you to spend the night in their establishment. Most would agree that discrimination based on immutable characteristics like race or sex or age is wrong but truly free people have the right to their prejudices and beliefs and if you find someone who won’t provide you a good or service for any reason you’re free to go somewhere else. Free market forces will punish those who violate community norms while rewarding those who do not. Supply and demand. Businesses that violate community norms lose their customers. Individuals whose lifestyles violate community norms are free to move to San Francisco where they’ll find others like them. What isn’t legitimate is for some central authority, like our totalitarian federal government, to force a one-size-fits-all version of their idealized society onto all of us without regard to our geographical, religious, or other differences. Somewhere way back in time our government stopped being our servant and became our master…forcing us to obey its dictates regardless of what they are and punishing us if we don’t. We’re not a free country and if you disagree just read through the Federal Code or your state statutes or even your municipal code to see all the thousands of laws, regulations and policies that have nothing to do with protecting your natural rights and everything to do with forcing someone else’s beliefs down your throat. When state representatives are trying to pass laws to protect someone based on their mentally ill sexual fantasies we’ve got to be near the end. Every society has risen and then fallen…it’s our turn to fall.

  10. Roughage is an inusufferable ass and a raging democrat. His attitude campaigning was the same as his attitude on the pharmacy bord. Lets not forget that he, and he alone, is the reason many Alaskans died as they were denied access to drugs that their doctors said would cure them. Pharmacists were threatened with license removal by his board if they prescribed ivermectin. If you watch him in house sessions you can see what a liberal he is. His discussion on HB99 as well as defined benefits and his behavior on the education cmte should be a warning to all who care about this state. He is the reason the BSA increase was so high. He is dancing to the beat of the KPBSD NEA. Bring back Gillahm

  11. Not sure why any representative would vote against legislation that protects individual privacy rights written in black and white in the Alaska State Constitution

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