Senate appears to be forming bipartisan majority - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, January 16, 2022
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Senate appears to be forming bipartisan majority

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Although Alaska Senate Republicans vastly outnumber Democrats, Must Read Alaska has learned that a bipartisan majority is developing, with Republican Bert Stedman of Sitka taking a group of Republicans with him to form up a majority with Democrats.

That would flip the Senate to Democrat control, even though only seven of the senators are Democrat in the 20-member body.

Sen. Peter Micciche has been working on forming a Republican leadership structure since August, when it became apparent that Republicans had the majority. That may have fallen apart this week, although it appears the new majority is not yet written in stone.

It’s unclear why Republicans in the Senate are having trouble organizing, but Mat-Su Valley Republicans are definitely part of the discussion — Sens. Shelley Hughes, Mike Shower, and David Wilson are all seeking powerful roles in a Republican majority. [Sen. Shower disputes this characterization.]

MRAK has learned that Click Bishop, Natasha Von Imhof, Gary Stevens are part of the discussion with the new bipartisan majority with Democrats Senators Jesse Kiehl, Tom Begich, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Lyman Hoffman, Donny Olson, Bill Wielechowski, and Scott Kawasaki.

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Written by

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

  • Republicans never know how to lead.
    Time to stop acting like Democrat lite.

    • But wait, who is supposedly leading this effort? Is he not a Republican? And are there not supposedly three other Republicans working with this Republican to form a working organization?
      The real story here (as Ms. Downing alluded to), was the failure by some folks within the Republican ranks to organize in a cooperative manner. Oh well, it happens ………………..
      Cooperation and the ability to work together still matter.

      • Joe, didn’t you read closely? It’s Republican Bert Stedman who is holding it up. He’s a RINO. He works better with Democrats, because he thinks like a Lefty. Use your noggin, Joe.

  • The more things change the more they stay the same. And who are the losers? We are.

  • What side of the bread is buttered? Or dipped in gravy? Grab your wallets, you’re going for a ride.

    • Cliché ridden fake analysis.

      • Jay, above, is close in his analogy. More realistically, it would be SOS. For those not familiar, it is also called “sh*t on the shingle,” a delight treat as long as you don’t say SOS to yourself while eating it.

  • Stephen Duplantis doesn’t look so bad now, does he.

  • RINOs know who controls the vote counting and care more about their seats than their principles.

    • No basis for concluding Bert Stedman and others being attacked by this commentator are not operating on principles.

      • And that’s the point. They run on conservative principles while hiding their true progressivism until hitting Juneau, repeat next election.

        • AK, you have it correct. Lie to constituents when running, then act otherwise when elected. Learn from the Left, conservatives!

      • Look, let the RINO commies join the Democrats and then make themselves look life feckless fools when addressing meaningful, conservative legislation. Stedman is a swamp rat from the banking world. I’d wager that Showers will piss on every sly trick Stedman tries to pull.

  • When will the Republicans ever learn that coalitions with Democrats are recipes for failure.

  • I hope they all realize that the oil and gas industry is moving to cleaner energy and gas is on the move to make Alaska prosperous again, the insane energy rules and slow leadership have got to move fast to stop running investors away from Alaska. Risk Capital is very scarce but our allies in the Pacific Rim Nations needs Alaska energy, so it could be a perfect marriage for both.

    • Good to see you here Dan. MRAK needs a voice direct from the oil patch. Did you bid on the Jan 6 ANWR? I didn’t see one from you.
      In one of the MRAK threads, I suggested that the state should partner with someone with a good track record, like Donkel Oil.
      Of course you might not like to be handicapped in any type of partnership with the state.

  • How do these “Republicans” always manage to hand power to the Democrats???

    • The fool from Sitka seems to be the lead dog.

  • Oh my God! Compromise! Cooperation! What has this country come to?
    OK, before you all go off on me, that was sarcasm. But we need to begin to work together, both as a state and as a nation, or we will self destruct. If we have learned nothing else from Trump, he has taught us that the divisions in this country can only destroy us as “united” states. Like Bengie Franklin said, lo those many years ago, “We had better hang together, or we will hang separately.”
    Maybe that is the legacy of this grand experiment, that it all comes down to whether we hang together or not.

    • When “working together” comes from the mouth of a Leftist, it’s nothing more than double-speak for letting them have their own way, otherwise, they take their toys and go home.

  • Sheldon should have beat Stedman

  • It’s not “Democrat control”, it’s “Democratic control”. Please don’t speak like Rush Limbaugh, for crying out loud.

    • Nope, she has it right. It’s “Democrat”. There is absolutely nothing “democratic” about it and “Democratic” is just another smokescreen from the Left.

  • It’s refreshing not seeing Bryce’s ole partner Giessel on that list.

    • Rest assured, someone worse than Giessel will become senate leader. Probably a Dem

  • Who’s to blame for this debacle? We elect a majority, and then ~half form a majority with the dems… Why does this happen? Then they go hide in Juneau. I have ideas, but need more info.
    If the senate flips, we will lose the House also.

    • The House is already gone. The Dems have 20 people and there are two more RINOS who will jump ship at the first opportunity. Especially now that the Republican primary was eliminated by Prop 2

  • The good news is next election we will be voting for Republicans running as Democrats and Democrats running as Republicans, since it will be a jungle primary all of these clowns will say whatever it is they need to say to get elected instead of pretending to be Republicans…then they will all caucus with the Democrats.
    We need more informed voters in this state.

    • If you think you are the voice of reason in this great state, maybe you should get on the ballot or try to start supporting the people who step up to the plate…calling the elected leaders “Clowns” does nothing to support our Democracy.

      • We aren’t a Democracy.
        Like I said we need more informed voters.

        • Some people never learned the difference between Democracy and Representative Republic and go on spouting sudo intellect like they know what they are talking about.

          • Democracy is just another word for tyranny of the majority.

          • Randall,
            We are now a plutocracy. And if you’re not sure what that means, its way out there circling Ur’anus.

      • They’re not doing anything to support our democracy either … except build a new car.

      • Maybe he’s just calling them as he sees them? Maybe he’s just tired of the three ring circus that is Alaska politics? Lots of us are.

        Time to get the clowns out of Juneau.

        • I know —- instead of the “”clowns” seemingly described by this commentator, how about if we send someone like El Hombre loco del Norte.
          More mindless name calling from guy with a goofball handle.

          • Joe…….quit being a racist.

  • When will the Repubican Party take action against their own traitors? Silence is tacit approval.

    • The R’s are waiting for the nod from a guy posting under the silly name of Mongo Like Candy.

      • Mr. Geldhof, my earlier impression was that you had some academic gravitas. What happened? You sound like a high school freshman coming out of gym class. Do you wax left-wing, or, are you kissing the A$$ of your banker buddy, Stedman?

        • Sometimes I can be very gravitas. Other times not so serious. Jose can you see, by the dawn’s early light?

          • Mr. Geldhof, you certainly weren’t trained very well in the deceptive arts. We are beyond the twilight’s last gleaming and getting closer to the rockets red glare. Enjoy your day.

          • Jose: you surprise me by seeing beyond my weak humor.

  • Click never learned to operate equipment properly, became a self enriching union boss and now he is a sell out politician. For shame!

    • Yep, Click is a union hack from the get-go

      • Click Bishop has little formal education beyond running a Cat and handing out dispatches at his old union hall. He trained a few snowflake chicks to run rollers and flipped a few riverboats along the way. I’m told by a friend in Anchorage that he was up to his eyeballs in dirty union activities from his past. Hard to believe that though, because even that line of work takes some intelligence.

        • Click Bishop is a bumbling idiot and everybody in the legislature knows it. His brains were fried decades ago

  • Traitors. The problem is RINO traitors.

    There goes November’s red wave.


  • It appears elections have no meaning. All those that do this are unethical is their actions. If their intent was to switch parties, they should have done it at the ballot box. Now all that voted for the republican platform at the ballot box has had their vote stolen. It is my belief that all politicians are self serving, this is typical example. Governance without ethics can not be successful. I know that these republicans want to end the PFD, but are too scared to tell the voting public. We apparently don’t have a representative democracy in this state.

    • Too many of them are busy trying to win the contest, of who can collect the most pictures of Benjamin Franklin.

  • Sticking together no matter what!!! That’s one thing the republicans party could never figure out. Democrats they tend to stick together and work as one unit. Take the national level for example, one of them who works in intelligence committee was sleeping with a Chinese spy and you have another who had a Chinese spy drive her around for 20+ years and yet they’ll never throw each other under the bus. But I get it though, most republicans are actually democrats with an “R” in front of their name and they figure since the democrats knows how to do this power thing right we’ll just join them.

    • Alaska is the ONLY state with such a pathetic and weak Republican party. I can’t tell if they’re all RINOs at heart or if they are so spineless that they submit to Democrat control whenever they are asked. How do We have 13/20 seats and we STILL don’t have a majority??? I have a feeling that even if 20/20 senators were “Republican” they would somehow find a way to hand power to the Dems

    • You’re partially and probably mostly wrong. You forget all the whistleblowers some of them who worked for the clintons wake up dead in some park somewhere. Forestall was going to tell what he knew, and they locked him up in the funny farm and then threw him out of window. Jimmy Carter was going to tell what he knew until they told him why that is not a good idea and he sat at the resolute desk and wept with his hands in his face for the next 15 minutes. So there is a will on the Democrats part to blow the whistle, but many have paid the ultimate price.

    • Actually, a big part of the problem has been the inane requirement by the local “R” party leaders for a binding caucus, that all R’s vote in lockstep on every bill, regardless of the merits of the bill itself, the independent view of its merits by the individual legislator, and the wishes of their constituents. If you didn’t vote lockstep, you were kicked out of any positions of authority.

      Which means that honest disagreements on individual issues could result in an elected “R” not being able to represent the constituents who elected them (as opposed to the beliefs of the leadership), with easily foreseeable results.

      The Democrats are the Evil Party, for their way leads inevitably to tyranny and destruction, but Republicans manage to prove their title of “The Stupid Party” over and over again. Conservative beliefs about fundamentals are, were anyway, a majority in this country, and these idiots manage to split that majority over the most idiotic things, often involving big government overreach.

      • Binding Caucus … a receipt for failure.

    • Fake analysis. There have been D’s joined in R coalitions over the years.

      • Fake response. There have been D’s joined in pretend R coalitions (aka RINOs) over the years.

        • CHRISSYB: OK, let’s have you name the real Republicans. The one’s that meet your standards.
          Please, tell us who are genuine R’s and who are the posers.
          And while you are at it, what are defining principles of a real R and not the RINO folks you claim are the posers.

          • 1. The guys that beat Giessel and Coghill in the Primary, then cleaned-up in the General Election, for starters.
            2. Giessel and Coghill are RINOs. Not originally, but became RINOs through their sense of power and entitlement, both within their party and outside of it.
            3. Posers = Stedman and Stevens.
            4. Non-RINOs = Stateswomen and statesmen who view their commitment to Conservative values ahead of their commitment to themselves in their perceived spheres of political power.

            Did I pass, your Honor?

  • As we have already seen in this last election, we have Democrats pretending to be Independents. So do not rule out the possibility of Democrats also pretending to be Republicans. After all, before 2012 Trump was also a Democrat. Then suddenly he becomes a Republican just in time for the 2016 election.

    So before you blame the Republicans for always siding with the Democrats, get to know the history of the so-called Republican that is doing the siding first. There may be a very good reason why these particular Republicans are so Democrat friendly. Perhaps they are not what they pretend to be.

  • Nothing ever goes our way in Alaska, I’m about to give up on this state and leave cause I’ve had enough of the corrupt political leadership.

  • how hard can it be to organize themselves, since organizing is that challenging Go do the Draw Straws game or duck duck goose.
    We Alaskans are worse than these leaders, we can’t even elect a decent adult bunch.

  • RINO Republican senators would not get the plumb committee chairmanships if the Senate was 100% Republican controlled. That’s why the bi-partisan formation. In the end, Republicans are very fickle when given power. This is a poor organizational structure and is doomed to failure.

  • When will people come to grips with the reality the GOP is just as bad as the Dems? Case in point the Cowardly Lion Mike Dunleavy. Best Democrat Governor we’ve had in years.

    The GOP needs to go away and be replaced with a genuine conservative party

  • These are not republicans, these are weak self interest Rino’s. Alaska’s republican party is as screwed up as the ones in DC. They can’t be trusted. Looks like nothing has changed in Juneau, we need to flush all the legislators and start anew.

  • This is absurd, having Democrats controlling a Republican majority State Senate. You senators look like bafoons on steroids. Creepy! And you Republicans expect us voters who put you into office to respect you? ?

  • Compromise is a great concept. Capitulation to a progressive minority is sheer lunacy.

    Please Republicans, grow (or borrow, or rent…) some testicular fortitude for a change!

  • Once again I make a comment and it is not posted this site is just as corrupt as the rest

  • What happened to all the election promises to do away with the binding caucus? It’s still the worst thing that has ever happened to the Alaska legislature.

  • Stedman will vote for a State Income Tax and say, “We gotta make payroll”. Someone should ask him if “We gotta make payroll” for thousands of ghost jobs that equal HALF THE STATUTORY permanent fund dividends. Then ask him who’s payroll he’s on.

  • Gary Stevens and Bert Stedman have both front hooves in the trough early every legislative session. These people only care about raking as much money their way as possible, while screwing Alaska further into a marginalized future.

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