Senate Democrats rule nine committees, Republicans get just five as the Democrat majority takes shape


Although incoming Alaska Senate President Gary Stevens is a nominal Republican, the Senate committees are dominated by Democrat Party chairs.

In addition to two Democrats co-chairing the Senate Finance Committee, along with one Republican, seven committees will be chaired by Democrats and four committees will be chaired by Republicans. In one of the committees — Natural Resources — it’s a co-chair award to two Republicans, and all that Sen.-elect James Kaufman was able to get was a vice chair of a committee.

The Alaska Democratic Party was thrilled. On social media, they wrote: “We did it! After making gains, Democrats have flipped the Senate from full Republican control to a moderate bipartisan Coalition.”

Alaska Democratic Party reaction to new organization in Alaska Senate. Alaska Republican Party has made no comment.

The prize committee chair assignments are, as of publication:

Finance: Sen. Bert Stedman-R, and Sen. Lyman Hoffman-D and Sen. Donny Olson-D.

Rules: Sen Bill Wielechowski-D

Legislative Council: Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson-D

Health and Social Services: Sen. David Wilson-R, vice chair Sen.-elect James Kaufman

Judiciary: Sen.-elect Matt Claman-D

Resources: Sens. Click Bishop-R and Sen.-elect Cathy Giessel-R

State Affairs: Sen. Scott Kawasaki-D

Community and Regional Affairs: Sen.-elect Forrest Dunbar-D

Labor and Commerce: Sen.-elect Jesse Bjorkman-R

Transportation: Sen. Bill Wielechowski-D

Education: Sen.-elect Loki Tobin, D

Sen. Bishop will also serve as majority whip.

The Senate majority has 9 Democrats and 8 Republicans, with the eight Republicans turning their back on three Republicans — Sens. Shelley Hughes, Mike Shower, and Robb Myers — and renouncing an 11-member majority in order to form up a majority made up of mostly Democrats.


  1. This is another fix to punish Mike Dunleavy for beating Bill Walker and getting more than 50% against his two Communist opponents. Hope-fully, Dunleavy will prevent the Senate from getting any major legislation or budget growth passed. Interestingly, the majority of Alaskans are behind the governor.

      • Maureen, can you do 8th grade math? Dunleavy is state-wide. He beat them all. Over 50%. There are 40 reps and 20 senators, broken into many areas of the state and further divided by RCV. Additionally, those elected in their respective districts may be RINOs and don’t follow the Republican Party, OR, they may join a coalition made up of the minority party in order to effectively pursue an anti-Dunleavy agenda. For example, Cathy Giessel who received a near identical 1/3 of the votes that Roger Holland received in their Senate district. But the other 1/3 was a Democrat candidate who’s second place votes went to Giessel. Geissel hates the PFD and plans on interrupting Dunleavy for the next four years.
        Maureen, please go take a basic course in government and politics so you have a better understanding how this all works. It will help
        bolster your creds here at MRAK.

  2. This is so sad I can’t stop laughing… This state has gone to absolute you know what.. Might be time to start looking for greener pastures (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana) and leave this sinking ship to the democrats..

    • “………Might be time to start looking for greener pastures (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana) and leave this sinking ship……..”
      YES!!! That is precisely what I’ve been waiting for, but I figured it would come when the PFD was actually dead, not as the political class were just preparing to kill it. I’ve always said that the moment the PFD was dead, the state population would crash by at least 15% overnight, and that will be the sweetest day of my life!

      • The fact that the PFD may diminish is not why most people would move (if they really do). It’s what it signals that is a motivator. Not the cash. It signals bigger government. Bigger education. Bigger everything that depends on money from the State & Federal governments. All in a state with 750,000 men, women & children. And we’re still trying to maintain 3 University Campuses? 750,000 is less than most single medium to large cities down south. But we act like we merit big population amenities and with that come increasing costs especially in a state that depends on so much government money to function as we do, far above our means.

  3. The sad part is these clowns don’t even know that they had all the power that they simply gave away. Imagine being in the catbird seat and giving it away for almost nothing. Goes to show that Alaskan voters still haven’t learned they need to know who they are voting for and a letter doesn’t mean anything.

  4. Pretty tragic and a very sad commentary on our low information and government dependent populace. Eventually the entitlement monies will run out and those that were lected, by brainwashing with the lie of entitlement promises, will not be able to resurrect money that is not longer there. As the private sector shrinks more and more, so also government’s real source of revenue. As Margaret Thatcher quoted “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    • YES!!! The loss of the PFD would drop the state population by a good 15%, and a school tax would send another 10% packing! I’d gladly pay for fewer people!

  5. moderate bipartisan Coalition is code for Democrat majority. Can’t believe those that claim to be an R and then give away all their power. I guess they aren’t all that serious at being an R after all.

  6. Merrick will get daily emails to let her know that she will not be welcomed in Eagle River and if I see her or her husband in person they will get run the hell out of where ever they are.

  7. Now it’s on them: how will they solve the most serious problem of our state that is within their control: a stable, sustainable, fiscal plan that encourages economic growth? Specifics, Honorable Senators, please….

  8. The Republicans had a majority but obviously have refused to work with the conservative members of their party. Looks like Giessel is back in charge. Look out Alaska!

    • I guess I should have added that the Senate Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Big Mike can’t be pleased.

  9. I don’t get it, everything i was taught and believed in….. Gone. I guess we’ll just point the car toward the cliff, step on the gas and get it over with.

    • No we won’t , get ready to fight.

      Forrest Dunbar. Really Anchorage.???

      Cathy Geissel. My God.

      These criminals are so arrogant they will step in the trap. Power is all corrupting.

  10. You know in the bible during Kings whenever God is issuing judgement onto a nation, HE permits that nation go its way without Him, and HE gives that nation over to its enemies. May that what we are seeing here at the national and local legisation level. When kings recorded no place in sumeria and juhdah was safe from
    God’s judgement. Anyway! Happy sunday and i liked to see you all in a bible teaching church- which judging your comment reactions you all need a church just as much as me. Or tune your radio dial to katb 89.3fm, klove 88.5fm, air1 105.9fm- but also klove has christmas music playing up to christmas day.

  11. Well the clown college is full swing in January. Everyone should look at San Francisco, Chicago, LA and other Democrat led cities and states – that is where we are headed. High taxes, big government, no jobs and more social programs no one could ever pay for.

    For all of you who didn’t vote – this is part of your doing and those Republican’s in name only.

  12. “Moderate bipartisan coalition”! Somebody’s been smoking something that is still illegal… Objective truth has been thrown out the window, again. This is a left-wing communist and communist-influenced paid-off illegitimate group that has betrayed ALL the people of Alaska. Watch while they vote themselves pay and benefit raises… while they enslave the rest of us. They will steal the PFD – and the Fund corpus if the courts let them – to pay back their buddies who “donated” to them. Sorry for the rant – this is just too much outrage for this old man to accept. Honestly ask yourself, you who still believe that elected office is public service, and believe that service means putting the needs and desires of your constituency ahead of your own: How much would it take to persuade you to abandon that ideal and serve another master? Should we be matching such graft to establish a working majority? Absolutely not – that would make us just like them, but the idea is tempting. I am ashamed for our State and our Party. The Californication of Alaska is almost complete, but we don’t grow that many fruits and nuts.

  13. Get up off of knees, and break that ugly habit of presenting yourselves like thoughtless serfs! Be thankful that you’re no receiving all the government you’ve been preying to get–what a hell of a mess that would be!

    If you don’t have the fortitude to continue to fight like conservatives, why not move like JW said to “greener pastures (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana) and leave this sinking ship to the democrats.” What kind of conservatives would pull up stakes when the going gets rough? Those without the fortitude to go the distance! Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out and take your “tepid conservatism” with you!

    • What kind of so called conservatives keeps voting for the likes up Merrick, Geissel, Bishop, Stedman, Bjorkman?? I rather be in state where I know when you vote for a conservative they are a conservative. Not up here, you don’t know what the hell you are going to get.

    • Edit (first paragraph): “Get up off of your knees, and break that ugly habit of presenting yourselves like thoughtless serfs! Be thankful that you’re not receiving all the government you’ve been preying to get–what a hell of a mess that would be!”

      • Individuals become more convinced that conservative views are worth preserving. Popular contemporary values are not “facts” just popular Madison Avenue advertising campaigns and customs. They are the television entranced and entrained wills of wisps.

  14. What do you mean “flipped control?” The libs controlled the legislature last term as well, despite being in the minority.

  15. Operation Napoleon?
    “Never interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying themself.”
    Suggestion: Make the most of this opportunity to facilitate and capitalize on their destruction.

  16. Its not hard to figure out I guess, Geissel was bought and paid for by Scott Kendall and his group. She was President of the Board for Alaskans for Better Election who brought us Rank Choice Voting, she benefited from RCV got the Murkowski benefit of a bunch of democrats voting for her and the usual RINO’s in that district voting for her. Kelly Merrick takes her marching order from the union, she benefited running in a new district. Why her opponent did not bring up her time in Juneau already and that she was a rino is beyond me. Wilson out here in the valley is the one the one that has me wondering why did he go this direction, he knows this is a deal breaker for him, he wont win reelection. Bishop up in Fairbanks lord he was one of the primary sponsor of SB91 and fought it tooth and nail from getting it repealed. What’s the point of all this Alaskans easily forget what all these people have done in the past. If you are going to run against them you have to remind the voters daily of their past shenanigans. Unfortunately Alaska like many other states has a big population of low information voters. Individuals yelling we need more money for schools, to this day I have not seen UAA answer to anyone for their teaching program losing its accreditation?? Suzanne is the only one reporting on ASD being $68 million dollars in the hole, now its the states problem?? No one wants to hold the bush communities responsible for low school scores if you do you are called a racist. Their answer send them more money, and the state does by the boat loads. The same can be said about the road system schools as well. No one wants to be the person to tell the schoolboards they are idiots and couldn’t manages a hot dog stand. We keep electing people mentioned earlier and throw more money at the problem. What’s even worse the democrats keep sending more and more far left lefties to Juneau. Meanwhile the republican part of Alaska stands around hands in their pockets going how did this happen???? Alaskans better wake up, before you know it. The democrats will control both chambers and say hello to all kinds of new taxes, gun legislation, etc. whatever the democrats can dream up they will pass.

  17. AND exactly what is wrong with a bi-partisan coalition?

    Almost 60 % of Alaskans are NOT. Party affiliated.
    Approx25% R, 15%D. Reason has prevailed.

    • Everything! This state is so screwed up when it comes to a majority. Simple math says 11 Republicans versus 9 democrats means they republicans are the majority. No other state do you see this type of process. I mean nowhere, their will be a day when this is flipped and the democrats will not play this game. Again Republicans will be outside looking for that squirrel the democrats yelled that was outside.

      • I suspect this coalition can’t work with clowns like Senator Shower, etc. And the Alaska Republican party showed itself to be a joke by supporting those that couldn’t be elected. Kudos to this coalition for doing something that “no other state” would. No other state has such a screwed up Republican party IMO.

  18. The GOP is getting outplayed and outmaneuvered and the registered Republican is getting screwed!!!
    What exactly does this Party stand for and where’s the cohesiveness?
    What exactly is the realistic and successful game plan to prevail?
    Who is in charge and calling the shots within the GOP or, is it merely just a free-for-all … every GOP Elected Person representing their own own agenda – narcissistic ego, at everyone else’s peril?
    What is the purpose of being aligned with the Republican Party and why should I (or anyone) continue to be Registered Republican? What’s in it for me, my community, and our State (especially if this is the result)?
    Appears to me like the Republican Party is in dire need to do some soul searching, get a plan together, and execute it!!!

  19. Maybe the US House should follow our example and give the Dem minority committee heads and while at it Pelosi as speaker!

  20. Oh and get ready a state defined retirement will be coming back they have the right players in position to make this a reality. How will the state pay for it?? Oh we don’t know pfd, state income tax..

  21. Yep – more government and more taxes will be their top priority. More funding for failing schools that are already over funded (Geisel), School Tax (Bishop), increased funding for union training programs and university professors (all of them), increased govt mandates and controls, more debt to fund public projects, etc.. Sadly, the minority, which actually represent the sentiments of most Alaskans, will be spitting in the wind as they argue for less govt and more govt accountability.

  22. The good news is, there will be exactly 3 senators, that have the ability to say what they want, do what they want, and be the conscience for the entire legislature.

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