Video: Fields apologizes, Rasmussen chokes back tears, Ortiz stuffs envelopes


Rep. Zack Fields has apologized to Rep. Sarah Rasmussen for sexist comments he made about her body on the House Floor on her birthday. He now has apologized to all of Alaska.

That was the main event in the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, although there were side bits.

Rasmussen choked back tears as she talked about how difficult it is to raise children to be respectful and how important respect is, citing Gov. Sean Parnell’s Choose Respect campaign.

Rasmussen said it is important that everyone can feel safe in their lives, their communities, and their workplaces.

Both Fields and Rasmussen had just returned from a week of quarantine after they were exposed to Covid-19 in the Capitol.

Behind Rasmussen, Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan wrote letters and stuffed envelopes, evidently bored by the drama taking place in the House today. It was unclear if the retired schoolteacher was even listening to Rasmussen’s remarks.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Louise Stutes tried to move the Sense of the House criticism of Fields to a committee, where it could be killed. As of late Thursday, Fields was still trying to remove any reference to him in the Sense of the House, through amending the resolution.

Republican Minority Leader Cathy Tilton did not grandstand on the House floor, but stood strong in saying the matter needed to be voted on. By so doing, she drew a contrast between the behavior of the Republican minority and the Democrat majority. Some in the House Chambers may have understood the contrast, although many are new.

In May of 2017, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz called for the Sense of the House against statements made outside the building to the media by Republican Rep. David Eastman. Her words then were, “When one member of this body brings the dignity of this institution into question, it’s incumbent upon all of us to act to defend it.” 

Ivy Spohnholz’ Sense of the House speech condemning Rep. Eastman

This year, Spohnholz was quiet when her fellow Democrat made a crass statement about Rasmussen’s body on the House floor.

In the end, the “Sense of the House” was accepted unamended and unanimously today, an act meant to criticize the jokey comments Fields had made about Rasmussen 10 days earlier.

And with that, the House adjourned for the day.


  1. Unfortunately once a comment is made there’s no taking it back. These two individuals were sent to Juneau to work for the people. Undoubtedly these two will end up on a committee or in a chamber sitting together. It will be awkward for both to work together on any issue now even though the apologies have been made and forgiveness given. Nobody wins.

  2. Yes the comment was uncalled for, now that matter is settled can you all please get to work. What the hell y’all getting paid for, I’ll tell you…..nothing. Louise doesn’t seem to be a leader.

  3. These children are sure having fun wasting precious time when they should be doing the people’s work. Juneau is a great playground for boorish behavior by little boys and indignant responses from little girls. So much drama but in the words of William Shakespere: Much ado about nothing.

    • Donn Liston, I agree with you. In situations like this I like to think “what would Uncle Bill do”. Uncle Bill, born in 1918, was a free spirit , WWII Navy Vet, a gypsy, explorer, carpenter, sailor, commercial fisherman fellow, known to the ladies and gentlemen in Juneau as “Wild Bill” in the 1950’s. My money would bet he would have smiled and perhaps whistled at the “object” in question. My point is that when Republicans feign such hurt and disdain in situations like this they merely reinforce and bolster further attacks upon themselves from their opponents. They lend credence to this crazy political correctness that has so crippled our ability to speak freely and honestly. Again another example of Republicans being stooopid.

      BTW, given Fields comments, why no press photos of these traffic accident causing legs?

  4. What a shame, these small minded elected officials are like a bunch of daycare drama queens. wasting time and focusing on nonsense, when there are more important things to do for this state. Grow up and get to work! You are all an embarrassment to yourselves and this state.

  5. Bla bla bla…. where’s our fair, secure, and honest elections voting bill. Now that you all are hopefully done having your doctor Phil moment..

  6. No wonder nothing gets done in Juneau. This year like last 30 days of doing nothing because they couldn’t get organized. We have been telling these legislators for years we want our full PFD. It is time for people every election vote somebody new. 1 term limit and your out.

  7. Such theatre. Between the masks..the shields.. the drama.. such poor, poor theatre. These people can’t even do this much right. Literally, a group of scoundrels who can’t use the props and the scripts properly to put on a show worthy of community theatre..let alone effectively legislate. Good grief Alaska, demand better. At least better performers..

  8. Well, now that it is behind us maybe we can get back to working on the music selection and decorations for the dance. Rumor has it Becky is secretly hoping Tristan will ask her to go.

  9. I’m thinking another Alaskan reality show. Royalties would go the the State budget of course.
    Alaska state representatives far away from their homes and flung together in dark dreary winter Juneau. With a set in the Driftwood inn, if it still exists. Might be able to recreate past drama, based on true stories when participants are on recess.

    • Please keep the Driftwood out of it. We still exist and run a legitimate business, my hard working people have served Alaskans from everywhere and are glad to host our friends.

  10. Dan Ortiz proves that an Alaska Legislator can accomplish SOMETHING during the session, even as the rest of the Legislature is wasting valuable time on lusty birthday wishes and hollow apologies, and even if it’s something his staff should be doing.

  11. She needs a couple credits from the Teuber School for Better Listeners

    …and Fields needs to shut his pie hole.

  12. Goodness gracious. It was joke. It was in bad taste, but this is absolutely ridiculous. The saddest thing is that Fields was actually trying to be kind and flattering and bipartisan and this is the result. I would like to make a point of order. Can we not let comments that are at worst a bad taste joke, take up the time of the forum for 10 days! I think that is the biggest offense here. This is like siblings trying to get each other in trouble because they hold grudges. Get over yourselves. For the republicans that want to point out the double standard, just point it out and move on. You can always refer back to it if needed. Making all of this drama is making the double standard worse, not better. You think Dems are going to hold back punches if the reverse happens now that you decided to react this way?

    By the way, saying a joke like that leads to sexual assault actually devalues the meaning of sexual assault. We need to do everything we can to stop sexual assault, not bad jokes. Come on now. If Sara seriously didn’t like the joke, she should have addressed it immediately. It isn’t hard for women to embarrass a man in such a situation. And it would have given him a chance to be embarrassed sincerely and give a sincere apology. It would have been subtle and cringy and that’s that. Maybe pull aside Fields later and say, “don’t try that again. That was in bad taste.”

  13. Oh my word. Just realized they have a tradition of roasting each other on birthdays and that’s why Fields made the joke. What a bunch of fun sucks. Spohnholz and the other reps that are just doing this out of spite must be real fun at parties.

    All that said, I get the spitefulness a little bit. Fields does seem like a uuhh umm starts with a d and ends with oosh.

  14. If Rep Rasmussen was really that offended in a perfect world her, husband, (is she married) would have pulled Fields aside for a little man to man discussion. Doubtless the hubby would make a much greater impression on Fields then this charade on parade. Quit acting like a bunch of butt hurt democrat victims. Roll up your blouse sleeves and start thinking about the issues at hand.

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