Try-try again: House Democrats refuse to elect LeBon as Speaker Pro Tem

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For the second time since the Alaska State House of Representatives convened on Jan. 19, Republicans nominated Rep. Bart LeBon (R-Fairbanks) for Speaker Pro Tem, in an effort to organize the House and start conducting business. And for the second time, the Democrats voted no.

The nomination failed on a 20-20 vote along caucus lines. Republican Louise Stutes of Kodiak sided with the Democrats. all of whom voted against the nomination. Democrats did not put forward a nomination of their own. 

Two years ago, when the House faced a similar impasse, House Republicans joined with their colleagues to elect Rep. Neal Foster, a Nome Democrat, as Speaker Pro Tem so that business could be conducted.

“We must take the first step to get government moving,” said Rep. Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks). “This is about the people of Alaska. Playing games over a Speaker Pro Tem, who would simply conduct a limited floor session, shows little regard for the people’s business and good government.”

Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Chugiak/MatSu) said, “It is disappointing that our colleagues remain unwilling to take the most basic step to move forward in order to allow the House to start working on the critical business Alaskans sent us here to do.”

“Since the election ended in November, the House has been steadily working towards organizing and addressing the challenges Alaska faces” LeBon said.  “Our side has demonstrated that we are actively trying to offer solutions by putting up a name for Speaker Pro Tempore, while the other side continues to stall and delay. Alaskans deserve better.”

All 40 members were present on Thursday, unlike when the House met on Wednesday and only the Republicans showed up for the meeting.

The Thursday meeting was unusual in that it was the day after a regularly scheduled House meeting, but since Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer was leaving Juneau, the House needed to meet on Thursday to be in alignment with the “three day rule.” Lt. Gov. Meyer has been serving as the Speaker Pro Tem in the absence of an elected representative in that role.

Last time the House organized, in 2019, Le Bon was one of the seven Republicans who went over to the Democrats’ side and organized with them, winning a seat on House Finance as a freshman legislator. This year, they won’t accept him as a Speaker Pro Tem.

15 COMMENTS

  1. If land slide Bart cannot get it done who can..!!..There are a few of them I would just as soon see resign and go home for the good of the State…My Representative should be the first on to do so as he is clearly one of the most counter-productive in the House and lost on election day but won the election by ballot harvest and mail in votes in the days after election day.

  2. Representative LeBon has learned a lesson. Two years ago he joined a so-called coalition to put Democrats in power. It blew up in their faces of course. Now many of those same Democrats won’t even support LeBon to take a meaningless and perfunctory position to get the session under way. The Democrats are partisan pigs.

  3. Democrats are as stubborn as a mule. Its clear where Democrats stand. It be nice to see the republicans find something that acts like a herd of elephants to charge trampling over a pack of stubborn mules for a change.

  4. It’s a smart play by the Democrats. They know if the hold their breath long enough the GOP will cave.

  5. Why don’t they trot Bryce in there and let him lead again? He can wreck a state better than anyone I believe. Change his party to a Republican,he already has a nice little crease from sitting on the fence.

  6. I may be a pessimist but in the end, one or more of the Republicans will make a deal the Left. The Left will deliver something, be it legal, illegal, immoral, whatever, that will permit the sale.

  7. So now maybe everyone can understand the saying: “Democracy fails when the people discover they can vote themselves a raise:” Here in Alaska, the Socialists now believe we can tax the other guy to give ourselves a raise (the Dividend).

  8. Why? LeBon is an old White guy, a banker, and……he rides a Harley. Too much White privilege for the Democrats. So Bart, go get a bunch of tatoos, put on some lipstick, learn how to sashe down the halls of the Capitol, find a boyfriend, and trade down to a Vespa. Bet you’ll get Speaker then.

    • Grow your beard, put on a backpack, walk around with a cup of yogurt, carry your little Red Book, sign the Dunleavy Recall petition, smoke some pot with Adam Wool, and start talking climate change. In other words, start acting like a nut job and a loon. That should do it, Bart. And kiss your conservative, White a$$ goodbye.

  9. Now occupy wall street is a thing, I hope the PFD investors had a few of the Game Stop shares. The Democrats if they get power again will take all of the earnings spend it on their projects and disregard the will of the people as they will decide your fate bigger more bloated government…If we stay 20-20 what happens, nothing sometimes nothing is better than losing your shorts.

  10. Democrats have [email protected] a crime syndicate” …denigrating, dividing, looting, dishonesty, dirty elections, & obstructionist.
    —-Dems.. no longer the loyal opposition or colleagues.. but self serving members of this crime family… unaccountable to voters.
    … Biden economic – policies heading to “crush jobs jobs jobs”. Indisputably (.. the Looting & Taxation follows.)
    Alaska’s future must be turned back the people- Renicexall Dens

  11. Democrats are tougher and more disciplined than Republicans. They reward Republicans who cross over, and rejected them when they don’t. Eventually the Republicans will cave, costing us hundreds of millions or more.

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