CONFIRMATION PROCESS SLANDERED ALASKANS DURING JOINT SESSION
Two members of the Alaska House of Representatives are offering apologies on behalf of the body for the inappropriate nature of accusations levied against them during confirmation hearings.
Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski) and Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) issued apologies to the several appointees who faced offensive insinuations on the House floor.
None of the accusations, including ones made against Bob Griffin, whom a member baselessly insinuated was a pedophile, and Karl Johnstone, whom a member claimed had sexually harassed “more than” two anonymous women, had been brought up in the vetting process previously.
Several other appointees also had their characters impugned on the House floor.
“We extend our sincerest apologies to those who were slandered by our colleagues,” they said in a statement on Friday. “What we saw on Wednesday was not the level of decorum that we expect to see in the legislature.”
“This was one of the most unstatesmanlike things I’ve ever seen anywhere, let alone in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Carpenter. “I am gravely concerned about the chilling effect this behavior might have on future board nominees if we have a body that is allowed to engage in this manner. What sort of decent person will want to serve their state if they have to deal with nonsense like this?”
“Neither Rep. Carpenter nor I voted to confirm Mr. Johnstone to the Board of Fish, but our decisions had nothing to do with the unfair accusations levied against him on the floor,” said Rep. Vance. “To wildly throw out such offensive accusations with a clear intent to derail someone’s nomination is a sick political stunt, and I hope Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Griffin will accept our apologies on behalf of the body.”