Strange bedfellows: Former Sen. Cathy Giessel endorsing, campaigning with Democrat Matt Claman

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Former Sen. Cathy Giessel, a Republican trying to win back her seat in the Alaska Senate, appeared at a shared event with Matt Claman, who is a hardline Democrat running against Republican Sen. Mia Costello. The event took place in Girdwood on Monday evening at a private home.

This is not the first betrayal of the Republican Party by Giessel, who is also a campaign co-chair for former Gov. Bill Walker, who is not currently registered to vote in either major party.

Giessel took a hardened position against the Permanent Fund dividend and against Gov. Mike Dunleavy, immediately after he became governor. While Giessel was once pro-Permanent Fund and criticized Walker for stealing Alaskans’ share of oil royalties, she has tacked to the left and says that Walker is the right candidate. She also has come out in opposition to a constitutional convention.

Voters removed Giessel in 2020, replacing her with Sen. Roger Holland in what was Seat N, but is now called Seat E. Giessel was one of seven Republicans who lost primary elections for legislative seats in 2020, as voters were fed up with how the Legislature was handling the Permanent Fund dividend.

Due to the magic of ranked choice voting, however, with Giessel now aligned with the far left, she can collect all the Democrat votes from candidate Roselynn Cacy during the second round of counting, if Holland does not win with a 50+1 majority.

As for Claman, he is one of the farthest-left members of the House of Representatives in the Alaska Legislature, and is now challenging Sen. Costello for a newly drawn district, now called Senate Seat H, that may be more difficult for her to win. It stretches up into the super-liberal Turnagain neighborhoods of West Anchorage, where Claman signs have sprouted like dandelions.

Costello has been a committed crime-fighter, leading the charge to roll back SB 91, the catch-and-release bill that was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by former Gov. Walker. That law, which reformed bail and sentencing, led to a massive crime wave across Alaska until Costello forced a repeal measure out of committee so that it could be voted on by the Senate. Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a repeal the following year. While Costello and Claman had both voted for SB 91, Costello realized the damage it was doing to Alaska and took action, and political risk to get the law repealed, while Claman fought to keep SB 91 in law.

In an opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News, Claman defended the crime-creating SB 91.

“Public safety has always been an essential government service in our country. ‘Repeal SB 91’ is just an empty bumper-sticker phrase that misleads the public and detracts from the legislature’s bipartisan work since 2014,” Claman wrote.

Claman says Alaskans want a reasonable PFD and no new taxes, but in an Anchorage Chamber forum, he sees that as a choice — a the only way to avoid taxes is to have a small PFD. He is also on record supporting new taxes — he has sponsored income tax legislation, and voted for new taxes.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Matt Claman was fiscally more responsible than Mia in the last Session. Alaskans have traditionally voted the person and not the Party. Matt and Cathy have similar fiscal positions as well as protecting privacy as called for in the Alaska Constitution. Making this election about crime is a false flag IMO

    • oh making this about abortion?? Even the democrats down south are losing on that one. Inflation, Crime, Opioids overdose, high gas prices, high food prices etc. Meanwhile of Frank saying it’s all about abortion, keep howling at the moon about abortion rights.

    • Claman also supports a return to defined benefit for Police and Fire pensions, first step toward blowing up the state budget. At best this makes him an economic illiterate. Remember the Rule of Holes. When you find yourself in one, quit digging. Apparently Claman doesn’t realize he is in an economic hole. Cheers –

  2. Cathy is an extremely vindictive person. Her aim is to poison the Dunleavy Administration. Cathy wants power. That’s all she ever wanted. The voters should keep Roger Holland and reject Cathy Giessel. Take it from someone who really knows her.

  3. Ms. Giessel came to my door several weeks back. I have known her for twenty years. I had absolutely nothing to say to her. There isn’t a conservative bone left in her body. Her journey towards the Dark Side is complete.

    • “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” I John 2:19
      I had her as a guest speaker in my government class years ago and she sure talked like a conservative. But once she got in power her true character came out. She never (like Walker) was a conservative, she only wanted to get into office. I’m so sick of false politicians!

  4. Welcome to the new Uniparty whose motto is ” we cheat the public and pass the savings on to us”! This new phenomenon in American politics is the reason why it is so very important to not vote for anyone who has even a whiff of RINO about them. And forget about any Democrat, as that Party has gone completely off the rails in their support of the Uniparty project!

  5. Do NOT support anyone who will negotiate! And yes, we DEMAND a full PFD and no taxes! And don’t go whining about who is gonna plow the roads or arrest the bad guys that I hate so much! The State will do it as soon as they get rid of that communist employees union!

      • hasalaska – surely you jest? NPR – National Propaganda Radio? The only folks listening to that claptrap are low IQ bureaucrats & retired schoolteachers driving to the latest global warming protest while sipping their triple skinny frappe from Starbucks!

  6. If the people on this website do not want Cathy Geissel to be in Senate Leadership next session, they need to support Rodger Holland. And they need to VOTE for Rodger Holland. Bring a friend with you to the Polls, contact all of your friends in that district and tell them how important this is. She WON the primary, liberals will be ranking her second, and left-leaning moderates will rank her first. I’ve attended multiple candidate forums; where she has spoken. She wants this job SO BAD, and you can see the avarice in her eyes.

    Support Holland, however you can.

  7. If the Republican Party of Alaska had real leadership, they would shame people like her and Kelly Merrick for claiming to be Republicans. Evidently, censoring does nothing. How about some adds disclaiming their party association to make it uncomfortable to run under false pretenses for starters. I would have changed my party preferences years ago to undecided but for the junk mail and phone calls that would result.

    • Censure – censoring violates free speech. Censure makes ’em mad and lets them know they’ve lost some friends.

  8. Giessel is another relativistic left leaning politician that does not see anything wrong with pretending to be a Republican if it gets her what she wants. Zero conscience and dishonesty if fine as long as it provides the desired results. Please vote for Holland.

  9. Six years ago, I met Cathy Giessel and her husband, and thought they were good conservative people. Something happened on the way to Juneau… I don’t know what has become of Richard – haven’t seen him in awhile – but he was great on the platform committee. When Cathy stood up in Convention to lay out her POMV plan for the Permanent Fund, I stood in opposition and called her a thief. She objected of course… But what else do you call it when you take something that belongs to another without their permission? STOP THIS THIEF.

  10. Matt Claman and the spenard community council censored me exactly like the baby murdering fascists they are.
    Clearly a violation of USC title 18 section 232.

  11. Amazing how many Walker allies are running for the legislature. Hopefully their idol will go down to defeat once and for all. Yes, support Senator Holland if you want to be safe. And the Masked Avenger is having one of his best nights! Great comments, sir!

  12. This isn’t too surprising considering who her bedmates have been in the past. I remember when her and Bryce used to be real chummy. Almost inseparable. The bottom line is she’s trying to pull a Palin, a walker and hopes that alaskans have forgot all the details and somehow just remember the name thinking that it’s okay. This happens a lot in politics. You get in trouble and then you take a break and then you come back hoping everyone has forgotten and sometimes it works. These politicians don’t have a real life outside of politics so there’s a hollow emptiness inside them when they’re kicked out and they crave to get back in the limelight. They’ll do anything even change coats.

    • Hi, Jesse… here’s what happened to Roger Holland. I fought to pass education reform in Alaska, I worked for the largest PFD we could get, especially during this Biden economy, and we made other great advances in spite of a House run by Kelly Merrick and the Dems. I kept my word. Call me if you have any questions.
      Roger Holland

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