Perhaps Sen. Lora Reinbold is getting too much attention. While House Finance members are wrestling with billions of dollars of state spending decisions, and a session that appears to be primed to move into a Special Session in June, House Rep. Sara Rasmussen wants to make sure the public sees her mug.
Not just any mug, but the specialty beverage mug with the words: “PantsGate” and “PongGate.”
During the Finance meeting on Monday, Rasmussen displayed her new mug prominently for the legislative cameras.
To make sure no one missed it, she then posed on the Capitol stairwell with her mug, again, with the words showing for the camera, and a “busy mom” message.
Rasmussen, who has been the center of controversy since arriving in Juneau this year, is using her past stumbles as a publicity stunt in the Capitol.
The mug refers to a joke that Rep. Zack Fields had made about Rasmussen’s body on the House floor, a joke that is now part of the official record of Alaska history.
That was the PantsGate part, in reference to Fields saying he was buying her a pair of sweatpants to cover up what he perceives as a traffic hazard: Her body.
After that incident in February, Rasmussen gave an emotional statement on the House floor about needing to be respected for her intellect and that she wants to be a role model for all people, including her children.
The PongGate part of the mug refers to a beer party she and others legislators had on Capitol grounds, during which they invited select members of the public, and left a big mess for janitors.
After her participation in the party, she gave an apology on the House floor for her bad judgment, but also said it was no big deal.
It appears it was all theater.
Former legislators, and some current ones, say they feel Rasmussen is disrespecting the institution and advised that she should not add “MugGate 04-23-6-2021” to the list of embarrassments that are associated with her service to the people of Alaska.