Sen. Hughes says Alaska voters chose Republicans, and Senate GOP should honor that by forming a majority

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With 65% of first-choice votes cast by Alaskans for Alaska senate races in the general election going to Republicans, negotiations are under way to organize the Senate not as a Republican majority. Instead, elected Republicans are putting together a bipartisan majority, with Sen. Gary Stevens as the apparent Senate president, with Sen. Lyman Hoffman and Sen. Bert Stedman as Finance co-chairs.

The current idea of this planned bipartisan majority has Democrats in key positions, such as the chair of the powerful Rules Committee, which means a Democrat could stop any legislation from going to the floor.

But the current Majority Leader, Sen. Shelley Hughes of Palmer, says there is a better way and is urging her fellow Republicans to put together a Republican-led majority, presuming the final vote tally sends 11 Republican senators to Juneau.

“When 65 percent of voters cast their first-place vote for a Republican for state senate and a majority of Republicans are elected to the Senate,” Hughes said, “that is a clear signal Alaskans believe a right-of-center Senate Majority is best for our state. High inflation, gas, and energy prices; President Biden’s anti-resource development policies; and concerning social policies prompted voters to select right-leaning candidates to serve in our state Senate. Alaskans voted the way they did to help strengthen our economy, our communities, and our families.

“It is incumbent upon Republicans elected to the Senate to respect the will of the voters and join together in a Majority for the betterment of Alaska,” Hughes added. “We all understand that who the voters choose to serve greatly impacts our state, but we need to realize, too, how those who serve choose to form a Majority also greatly impacts our state.”

Due to the close 11-9 make-up of the Senate, several Democrats would be invited to join the proposed Senate Majority, as has been done numerous times in the past.

After discussions over months with colleagues about potential policy priorities around which members could coalesce, and more recent conversations about how the proposed majority could ensure passage of a reasonable budget, Hughes, along with some of her colleagues, offered a proposal for returning Republican and incoming Republican senators-elect to review and consider.

“The assumption that a group of some of the Republicans joining with all of the Democrats is the only option for a functional Majority is false. There is another reasonable and viable pathway forward that better reflects the will of Alaskans and would result in more positive outcomes for our state. As we approach the upcoming session, we hope to join together with all our Republican colleagues in the Senate Majority in acknowledgment of and respect for the voters,” she said.

Must Read Alaska acquired the plan that Hughes has offered to fellow Republicans to keep the majority in the Senate led by Republicans, which included putting a cap on the budget and separating out a vote on the Permanent Fund dividend appropriation, which is always a sticking point with lawmakers ever since former Gov. Bill Walker blew up the traditional formula in 2016. The plan obtained by MRAK follows:

It’s unclear that the current group crafting the majority will include the conservative members — Sen. Hughes, Sen. Mike Shower, and Sen. Rob Myers. Instead, it appears that the work underway with Sen. Stevens at the helm would give Sen. Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, a powerful position in leadership, along with at least one other Democrat, such as Sen. Lyman Hoffman, who almost always joins with the majority caucus.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Good Ol republicans hey come on over let do this bi partisan majority. Democrats get the majority hey lets form our own majority and leave out the republicans. Afterwards, Republicans stand around going gees what happened to bi partisan majority. Republicans always trying to play nice and get burned every time. Democrats don’t play nice… When will republicans get the hint..

  2. She won’t get any help from Click Bishop, who everyone knows is a union-controlled Democrat as a not-so-disguised Republican. Can’t believe that so many people fall for the Click Bishop facade. Look at his record, for the facts. He’s worse than a RINO. A Trojan Horse who brays.

  3. I am sickened that Senator Hughes is no longer my voice in the Alaska Legislature because of the redistricting done two years ago and I’m unrightfully being represented by a Snake named Merrick. Her and her husband should move into Anchorage Proper because she does not represent us, but stupid voters don’t listen or comprehend that she is influenced by the Mafia known as a Labor Union.

    • In a democracy, the candidate with the most votes wins. Merrick got the most votes in her district, so she actually does, literally, represent you. Are you mad that she got the most votes, or that the majority of voters disagree with your purity litmus test?

      • She does not represent me hardly. Sorry voters who do not know what they are voting for are the ones I detest most. Don’t like my opinion then walk away I will not shy away from making my voice heard and nobody is going to shut me up.

      • She hoodwinked the low information voters by running as a Republican, which she has proven in the past to be false. Dirty money was poured in to her campaign in this small but totally red district. She will be unable to wash the stink off her hands, and will never represent us, because she ran under false pretenses. Back to leg wrestling.

        • It’s more likely, given Merrick’s long history of political involvement, that her supporters knew exactly what they were voting for (and conversely, exactly what why were voting against her opponent). It may not support your world view, but it’s more likely.

  4. Absolutely, when it comes to Democrats they have been paid for. Someone (or entities) wants a return on their investment. We get the buzzwords like infrastructure, democracy, equity, seat at the table…to make us feel warm and fuzzy. Just the opposite.

  5. I heard Republican Senator David Wilson plans on joining the Democrat Caucus. Please call him and tell him he ran as a Republican, and should stick with Shelley and Mike. Wilson is Senator of the WASILLA AREA.

    • You sure? I’d think that the best way to represent his constituents be to get on committees that work on the issues important to his district, and to influence that legislation to the extent he can.

  6. It’s the right idea. If you get a majority, even a slim one, then govern as a majority. To many RINOs as it is, why try to include people that look you in the eye and tell you that they are against you? That bipartisan crap has yet to work here.

    Keep pressure on your local reps throughout the year. Pat them on the back when things are good but put the heat to them when they stray.

  7. The story here isn’t that there are some RINOs actively working to undermine Alaska; the story is that a few elected Rs are so toxic that their colleagues simply refuse to work with them. These bad actors have blown up efforts to cooperate in the past, so there’s no reason to expect the next session to be different. Those considering a coalition know that they have enough votes to control most of the legislation, and that their constituents will be better served by actually accomplishing things instead of having loudmouths torpedo their work because it doesn’t perfectly conform to their conservative purity test. Rs will get the best committee chairs and control most of the legislation. There will be a some consolation chairs and votes, but legislation still needs a majority to pass – that means no “far left” legislation has a chance with the R majority (Rs have the majority, even if the coalition has a different makeup).

    The lesson learned should be to replace legislators that are incapable of working with their peers. That’s what happens with any other job. But a handful of districts really like these flame throwers, even if they don’t get anything done.

      • Right on RV.

        Extremism in any regard is disruptive. Doesn’t matter party or lack there of. Also hyper competion vibes instead of working together vibes gets you only press, no movement in government.

      • Gaslighting requires fabrication. Just my observations on why the election results ended up the way they did. Do you have an alternate explanation of why, say, Holland will be defeated by Giessel?

    • RV: Have you ever thought that in your statement “a few elected Rs are so toxic” REALLY TRUELY is because the left(Dems) has gone so extremely far left, that the Reps who have continued to STAY WITH their values’ has only “SEEMED like the right have shifted. It’s the DEMS who have shifted so far..far left to be so toxic. There was a time, when Dems weren’t for Abortion, they weren’t for many of the things that they are so staunch on NOW!!. It started to change when the Clinton’s came on the scene, then it really hit the roof when Obama came in, (and mind you, it wasn’t because he was black, that was historically great, BUT..BUT he started that ball rolling extremely left.)

      • KC – read my comment agian. I wrote that a few elected Rs are so toxic that the other republicans won’t work with them. So toxic that the remaining Republicans would rather work with liberal scum than these few toxic republicans.

        The solution is simple: don’t continue to elect Republicans that the majority of other Republicans won’t work with. Unless, of course, you are in favor of a coalition government.

        • So, in other words, RV, keep invariably sliding to the left.
          .
          It is interesting that what others would call “principled”, you consider “toxic”. But I guess that valuing freedom and limited government is “toxic” to those who favor authoritarianism and tyranny, such as you.

  8. Shelley will work the last second to maintain Republican values and the Republican Platform. Sadly, she is up against the biggest RINO snakes that I have seen since returning to Alaska.
    Gary Stevens, Bert, Click, David Wilson, Kelly Merrick, Giessel and I’m sure the new crop of RINO’s will be in charge and push a zero PFD, Higher Budget, Income Tax, etc.
    This is not going to be pretty, it will be pretty ugly.

  9. The problem isn’t that the Republicans can’t organize, it is that many of the Republicans don’t want to organize with the Ultra-Conservative Republicans who would like nothing more than to turn the Alaska government into a theocracy.

  10. Its an even split senate with 3-4 republicans who follow old gop . A majority is 15-5. Be patient, pray, and be kind senator hughes. Don ‘t be contentious woman. Encourage others to be righteous and not follow evil. The four old gop’ers are elders representing another ak gop era, and still deserve respect. If i were her i’d be changing
    the district committees to relearn gop core principles to train or retrain
    members for next election cycles, so incoming republicans are representing a new ak gop, loyal to core principles, without being disrespectful to still sitting older republicans. If you piss off an elder statesman, he going to alienate you.

  11. She must of missed the part of the election where 70% of the voters voted against the constitutional convention. Her views do not align with the majority of the voters. Her opinion on this issue showed she lacks the intelligence to lead in discussions of Alaska’s fiscal policies.

  12. Republicans just never learn how to be and stay strong.
    We put you there to represent our conservative views, not to make friends with the enemy that caused all the s— we elected you to clean up.
    LISTEN with both your ears

  13. Stack the Alaska Senate with party hacks and ideologues and you’ll establish the basis for a revolt like that that broke the “ad hoc” Democrats in 1981 by setting the stage for rational legislators to take the reigns of the Alaska House Representatives!

    Spur the dead horse into a full gallop! Show us that you can perform a miracle!

  14. Lots of trolls on this one… Senator Hughes, thank you! Your efforts are very much appreciated by MOST Statewide. PFD thieves – we’re watching you.

  15. The RED WAVE stopped at Florida and the Valley. Because they cleaned up their election system to a free and fair elections. No question. The MATSU Valley votes in person and recently got rid of Dominion Voting Machines and the incumbents won by several thousand votes and greatly over 75%. Now in Florida, Incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis won recently in the most liberal district in Florida, the Miami District, by a 50 point margin spread, in comparison over the last 6-years. Miami District is supposedly compared to one of the most liberal cities in America, Seattle WA.
    —————————-( MIAMI VOTING DISTRICT: FAVORED CANDIDATE RESULTS )—————————
    2016 – Hillary (+30 points)
    2020 – Biden (+ 5 points)
    2022 – DiSantis (+20 points)
    Facts demonstrate that Democrats voted for DeSantis overwhelmingly! Hands down! There is over a 50–spread approval margin for DeSantis as displayed above. Liberals came out in droves for him. The difference in comparison to Alaska, is Florida fixed their election-process-system to include one-person, one-ID, and thus on voting night a winner is declared from the outcome. Their is no weeks of counting mail-in and absentee ballots. According to the State of Florida, you better be serving in a combat theatre 11,000 miles away in the Middle East or have a extreme medical reason to cast an absentee ballot that are due well before the Election Day deadline of November 8, 2022. The FL department of elections has to verify your condition and status of eligibility before an absentee ballot is awarded. In comparison, Anchorage city elections has roughly 50,000 people vote in city wide election, but over 250,000 absentee ballots get mailed out across the country. FACT shows that 1/5 of the ballots gets utilized to vote. So what happens to the other 200,000-ballots just floating out there in LA LA land? FACT: their are 107% registered voters in the State of Alaska voter rolls. Thus over 50,000 more voters than their are of current standing Alaska residents. Now Florida also got rid of Dominion Voting Machines, and also mandates their voter rolls get purged every single year for current resident standing.

    That is how the now Florida democrat resident, Cheryl Anne Leslie was recently charged with a Felony in election fraud for casting an absentee ballot in the 2020 thru 2022 in the Anchorage city and Alaska statewide elections. Florida also created a State Task Force Investigation Department for voter fraud and have made it the most punishable of crimes and worse than identity theft.

    (BELOW US NEWS: “Florida resident voting for Alaska Legislators.”)
    ‘https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2022-11-04/officials-woman-charged-with-voting-in-florida-and-alaska

    The State of Alaska does not have to reinvent the wheel on election integrity. They simply have to model a State that even the most liberal democrats in comparison to Seattle voted a republican into office. GOV DeSantis won the democrats and the liberals because he represents their will, well being, prosperity, and the safety of their families against the Biden regime.
    Covid was the smoke screen that created the mail in and absentee ballot initiative. That initiative takes weeks to count and receive, and change outcomes from election night polls. That is why most European countries such as France have gotten rid of mail in balloting because they said, “it is a set up for fraud and dis-enfranchises the one person and one vote system.”

    (BELOW AP NEWS: “For 49-million voters, France old school voting works!”)
    ‘https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-business-elections-france-e06fab5cde84f23d682013e1661caf35

    After covid nearly ALL European Nations eliminated the mail in system, and citizens go vote in person with one-ID, and know the night of the election which candidate won. All European nations have stated, “this process is to ensure of a free and fair election system.” If other states within our country and other countries that our our allies can get it right then the blue print is already their. Especially if France can hand count 49,000,000 million voter paper ballets and know on election night who the winner is. Then we can certainly hand count a half a million Alaskan paper ballets to know on election night who the winner is.
    WE JUST HAVE TO FOLLOW IT & IMPLEMENT THE BLUEPRINT FOR ALASKA

    • I’m with you brother! You’re right on the money with your comments but we have to be able to apply pressure to affect change! The GOP has been infiltrated with do nothing fat cats that ignore the people that put them there. Maybe Dan Shultz has the answer, ‘https://precinctstrategy.com/state-information/

  16. You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, our state has so much money that the special interest groups enjoy that election reform will continue to be a battle. In many ways we would be better off to be a poor state, run by actual taxpayer money. Ever noticed how many “friends “ a person has after he runs into money?

  17. This is where I get angry at the AK GOP and threaten to register AIP again. But then I don’t.

    But maybe I will. The “I want to vote in the primary” excuse isn’t there anymore.

  18. Forgive us for comparing a “bipartisan majority” to a load of steaming excrement.
    .
    Suppose we should rejoice…
    .
    After six decades of statehood, Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team finally succeeded in uniting against the enemy they fear and despise most… us.
    .
    Thanks to this historic event, the orderly redistribution of wealth and the consolidation of power can continue uninterrupted.
    .
    We have little doubt that soon-to-be Peoples Imperial State Senate President Giessel played a key role in making this victory possible, or that the defeated opposition, us, will be forced to pay reparations such as income tax, sales tax, education tax, whatever else is appropriate.
    .
    We have little doubt that, in the warm glow of the new “bipartisan majority”, China Bill Walker’s people will get what they want, with or without China Bill.
    .
    Who knew it would be so easy for them?

  19. What we have here is a failure of the Republican Party to understand who they are and what they stand for. This primarily comes about for 2 reasons. Either the leadership is tainted by dark money, or they are being leaned on by Democrats who will expose their dark deeds behind closed doors. There is also the possibility that Democrats are running as Republicans. Why on God’s green Earth do you accept status quo as a majority? Why would you give your opponent’s key positions of power when their policy positions have done nothing for the State and continue to drag us into socialism or worse, communism? Either Republicans are onboard with the demise of this State, or they would begin an aggressive legislative session that targets important issues facing the taxpayers and families of Alaska. We need to ramp up energy production, precious metals and rare earth minerals that will greatly increase State revenue. We need to encourage manufacturing here, we have allot of space for starting a Silicon Valley of our own to produce semi-conductor chips instead of relying on Taiwan. We need an Election Integrity law very badly to protect our votes. Time to step up or shut up GOP. Why should we continue to support you if you constantly ignore the will of your voters.

  20. I still want to know what she’s smoking. My wild days are decades behind me, but if she actually thinks the legislature will do as she wishes…

    I want to try some of that.

  21. Rank Choice Voting achieved its goal, marginalize conservatives by eliminating the partisan primary, and exploiting typical Republican behavior of circling the wagons and shooting the wrong direction. Congrats to Scott Kendal, Lisa Murkowski, for foisting this diabolical scheme upon cool-aid drinking Alaskan’s under the guise of getting rid of evil dark money. Well played guys!

    Stevens has already stated RCV repeal is DOA. The people are going to have to repeal it by initiative. But that means another round of RCV elections. The good news is, it has to get worse before it gets better. It’s now self evident exactly how politicians are hard wired, now that they are sheltered by the comfort of RCV “moderation”and the conservatives have been sequestered into the corner.

    Republicans are going to have to get smart, use the tools that Dems expertly do, ballot harvesting, grassroots campaigns, and focusing on ballots production. California has flipped Blue congressional districts Red by organizing the conservative churches into encouraging and enabling their members to vote and collecting their ballots in church and submitting them to elections. They have produced tens of thousands of ballots.

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