A WOMAN’S REVENGE
Even an ill-advised remark to a 16-year-old doesn’t normally get a statewide elected official pressured out of office two days later. After all, comments between men and pretty girls have been happening since the dawn of time.
And a lovers’ quarrel between “close associates” normally wouldn’t get a lieutenant governor in the political crosshairs either, unless it came to blows.
But if a lieutenant governor makes an inappropriate overture to the daughter of his “close associate,” that’s another matter altogether.
It was not a private altercation between Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and an unnamed middle aged woman at the Elders and Youth Conference. It was at least a little bit public. The situation became known, and that information made its way back to the governor’s chief of staff.
The young girl’s mother evidently had a close relationship with Mallott, who is 75. Must Read Alaska has learned that Mallott said something to the daughter — and the mother went ballistic.
On Tuesday, Mallott was no longer welcome at the Alaska Federation of Natives. He is one of the founders of the organization. Mallott left AFN and went back to Juneau immediately. He resigned from office and apologized to the person he made inappropriate comments to:
Gov. Bill Walker appointed Lt. Gov. Valerie Davidson in his place on Tuesday afternoon but clammed up about the reason his running mate and one of his best friends in the world had suddenly resigned.
Just weeks before Mallott’s career came to a screeching halt, Walker and Mallott had penned a statement to Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, objecting to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S, Supreme Court, noting that with the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, they couldn’t condone his confirmation “while so many questions remain unanswered.”
This week, however, it was Mallott caught in the snare of his own making.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mark Begich issued a statement today: “Like so many Alaskans, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news about Lt. Governor Mallott. While many questions have yet to be answered, I believe accepting the Lt. Governor’s resignation and replacing him were the appropriate course of action. There must be a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior of any kind from our elected leaders. Faith in government is essential to public trust and moving Alaska forward. That is why I continue to believe that Alaska’s best future can only be built by bringing together all Alaskans.”
Gov. Bill Walker is still not describing the nature of the behavior that forced the lieutenant governor out of office. Gov. Walker’s communication staff said that more information would be released as soon as they can do so.
Whenever that is.
VALERIE DAVIDSON IS ACTING LG
According to Alaska State Statute, an appointment of the lieutenant governor is subject to the confirmation by the majority of the members of the Legislature meeting in joint session. The governor swore Valerie Davidson in on Tuesday in a secret ceremony.
In addition, the governor needs to appoint the next in line for succession, but has not announced who he has chosen.
At this stage, Valerie Davidson is an acting lieutenant governor until the Legislature convenes on Jan. 15 or until a new governor is sworn in on Dec. 3.
Davidson will be the keynote speaker at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference on Thursday.