When you come to Juneau, the only thing you have is your word - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
HomePoliticsWhen you come to Juneau, the only thing you have is your word

When you come to Juneau, the only thing you have is your word

Rep. Gary Knopp took the mask off today. He went back on his word and turned his back on his fellow Republicans once again. This time, he tried to become Speaker of the House himself.

For weeks, he told the public that he wanted a to craft a bipartisan leadership team in the House, a 50-50 power-sharing plan with Democrats. Nothing he came up with was acceptable to both sides.

On Monday, he committed to several people to voting for the Republican nominee, Dave Talerico.

He told his Republican colleagues he was tired of fighting and although he thought a Republican caucus could not hold together, he would be the 21st vote for the originally established majority, which was Dave Talerico as Speaker.

Knopp knew that he had three meetings in his home district on Friday, and time is running out for him before he has to face the music with voters.

On Monday, he told his Republican District Chair, Neal DuPerron, that he was coming back over to the Republican side, with Talerico as chair. That happened just as his district was voting for him to “rejoin or resign.”

Today, after all he had promised, he flipped, and voted against Talerico.

It went further: He voted for himself as Speaker.

Here’s how it went down in the House today, a day that many long-time political observers say was unprecedented in its bizarre twists and turns.

As agreed to by the Republican caucus, Rep. Chuck Kopp nominated Rep. Dave Talerico as Speaker. The Republicans were stunned when instead of 21 votes, Talerico only had 20.

For the third time, Gary Knopp had voted against Talerico, denying Republicans the majority and going back on his word.

Rep. Louise Stutes nominated Gary Knopp, and then Rep. Daniel Ortiz of Ketchikan stood and made the motion to vote on Knopp as Speaker.

The Democrats were all on board, along with the two Republicans who caucus with the Democrats — Rep. Louise Stutes and Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.

Evidently this had been brokered on behalf of the Democrats the night before by Stutes, who had dinner with Knopp.

Rep. David Eastman asked that before the vote, Knopp should speak first about why he had refused to vote for Talerico, when the day before he said he would.

“I never said who I would support,” Knopp said in response. He said that he was approached the night before and he admitted the move was no doubt unexpected, acknowledging he pulled a surprise on his Republican colleagues.

“I am supporting a Republican nominee: myself.”

The scheme, however, didn’t go according to plan. The vote went  20-20, with his Republican colleagues denying him the chance to take over the Speaker’s gavel. They had been double-crossed.

TRUST BROKEN IN REPUBLICAN CAUCUS

At this point in the Republican caucus, there’s so much mistrust that it’s hard for this longtime observer to see how the Republicans put together their organization.

They now know that Knopp, who for weeks worked as the “broker” between Republicans and Democrats, was never an honest broker. Also, many of them have made power deals that have since fallen through, and some of those deals would have put Democrats firmly in charge.

[Read: Knopp refuses to show up to vote for Speaker]

Everywhere Republicans look in their caucus, they see people who have made deals for power that throw the rest of the Republicans — and Republican principles — under the bus.

On the Democrats side, the trust is still intact; their caucus is working in lockstep.

[Related: Bryce Edgmon reregisters as undeclared]

Back on the Kenai Peninsula, angry voters are now calling for a “resign-or-recall” of Gary Knopp. But Knopp is standing firm.

In a note Knopp sent to one of his constituents, he tells the complaining constituent that he is too dense to understand what is going on in Juneau:

“Ed, let me make it very clear for the last and final time; not a chance in hell that I’m going to resign!

“I think you are smart enough to know there is no grounds for a recall. What you might do before you start wasting yours and everyone else time is to get a legal opinion. It is armchair quarterbacks like you who disrupt the entire process. I am trying to make the house successful.
“It maybe a little over your head to understand what is going on here but, you should at least try instead of trying to be so disruptive.”
Getting a budget bill through the House is going to be difficult without a permanent Speaker. But a former legislator’s words rang true this morning, when he said, “When you come to Juneau, the only thing you have is your word.” There’s very little solid “word” to be found in Juneau at the moment.
Or, as Rep. Sharon Jackson of Eagle River put it, there’s an “inconsistency of truth.”
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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • At. This point, Knopps constituents are just going to have to resort to the old days! Perhaps the old tar and feather would help!

    • Why is this guy still in Juneau is it so difficult to get rid of a traitor, good grief I can’t believe what is going on with our Republicans get rid of the guy

  • Just what Alaskans needed was another Murkowski in the making!!! Her campaign contributions she has received from the Butcher shop planned parent hood and the school unions speakers volumes! Wonder where his wallet is padded from???

  • I am reminded by an old quote:
    “He who swims against the current gets to the source.”
    It appears the legislature is divided 50 percent on their positions which in all fairness is probably a good thing for Alaskans.
    Unfortunately the majority of Republicans behave like children and refused to vote for Knopp even though he did as he said and “supported a Republican” for the seat.
    This would have moved things forward for everyone at this point.
    Stay strong Gary, you give many Alaskans hope in our government and political process.
    When the “budget bomb” drops some of your own party may be more open to hear what you have to say.

    • Steve: your “words of wisdom” are fit for a dunce. Nice try pal, and we are actually glad you weigh-in on Suzanne’s site so that there is evidence to show that not all of Suzanne’s readers and posters think logically and have common sense. Keep on swimming upstream to the source, Steve. When you get there, tell us about the little puddles of swamp water you located.

      • I think it’s hilarious watching Bob Dole, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney retreads talking about monolithic Republican values and swamps. How many of your set are open border “Never Trumpers”?

        Drain the swamp indeed.

    • How about you take your BS and go find some other place because in 120 days the Republican majority in the Kenai will remove this garbage from office. The Political Process is done and any of the people of Kenai think that they will receive any funding from the government may I remind you that the Governor of this State wields much power to slice and dice any money that may go to the District. Alaskans will stay strong in bouncing this dunce straight out of Juneau.

  • Outrageous response from Knopp to a constituent! I now question his mental capacity.

    • That can very well be the grounds for the removal of him from Office

  • Suzanne: if you know the names of the House Republicans that are preparing to knife their colleagues in the back, it would be helpful for everyone to know who they are.

  • Don’t be too hard on Gary, all he did was top the Great Alaska LeDoux Vote Experiment.
    .
    Gary simply put upstart constituents in their place to show colleagues they don’t need to hide anything, they can do whatever they want.
    .
    As long as lobbyists and buyers aren’t offended and get their money, legislators know they don’t have to worry about voters.
    .
    It’s not like people are lining up with Establishment money, Establishment press coverage, and Establishment endorsements to run against incumbents.
    .
    So here’s the first of many to come forward: Peoples State Senator Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, whose Senate Bill 50 wants $30 from every –productive– Alaskan to pay off the education industry. (http://www.anchoragedailyplanet.com/147958/fairbanks-senators-30-head-tax-would-support-education/)
    .
    Remember, public-sector unions who’ll get some of the payola, have the muscle to make it happen.
    .
    Maybe it’s time to talk about how to hit back, with options like opposition research to remind our legislative half of our lobbyist-legislator team team to think twice before stiffing productive Alaskans with a “head tax” to grease the other half.
    .
    Things like tax-revolt, jury nullification, and recalls may be effective too.
    .
    What say you, Gentle Readers?

    • Morrigan, I remind you it is almost Valentines Day. Really Click? Tax US as a revenue source? Is this as clever and out of the box as Click can get? Is he the next R go D on our hands? $30 off the top of the first paycheck of the year of Alaskan’s to pay for school construction and maintenance costs. I guess he is feeling like the old administrator of the Operating Engineers that he once was. Putting those union boys/gals to work on some projects with OUR hard-earned money. Beltrami is loving it.
      .
      How about eliminating a few “Assistant Deputy Secondary Backup Vice Principals”, and few other fluffy, unecessary positions in the system. That should cover it. If anyone things this $30 head tax will do anything to “support education” as the MSM headline reads, think again. It would be another pot of money that goes into la la lib social program land. I can hear the sucking sound now.

      .
      Alaska has money. We’ve had a spending problem. A bloated system of glutenous, porky fat that needs trimming. Oink Oink.

  • Was this nothing but a ploy to hold the Speaker position, Mr.. Knopp? I won’t designate your “title” as it is evident, you do not represent your constituents-only yourself!

  • The House stands adjourned again with NO Speaker elected! I thought a persons’ word was the highest standard in Alaska. Again, behind closed doors a nomination plan forged with no regard to Alaskan voters and his Districts’ will. Stutes, another turncoat to Alaskans vote of 2018, moved to nominate King Knoop came forward…instead of following his Districts’ recommendation to honor the peoples’ vote for a Republican Majority in the election of 2018, the King stood for the nomination and thankfully lost leaving no confirmed Speaker once again! He could have stopped that clandestine overnight move by withdrawing his nomination, but he didn’t, he appeared to relish in it…his word is no good, nor are the 20 that tried to change his Districts’ and Alaskans will. He is a coward and not to be trusted. Politics in action? No, it is subterfuge and obstructionists working against our Republic and votes for our representation. I hope his District follows through with its’ planned recall…he may cry to his District, he didn’t plan this, I say when you lay down with pigs, you get slop on you! Watch…the next move will be a nomination for Edgmon to again ascend to the Speakers Chair, that was bad for the last two sessions leading Alaska into further debt and will continue the advancement of obstruction to the will of the peoples vote and the work of our Governor! Still our government is being held hostage by 20 Representatives who do not understand our Constitution in Article 1, section 1 and 2, who continue to violate the Oath of Office they swore too. I am more than disgusted by this Houses actions but more-so their complete disregard to their Oath…in terms of their WORD!

    • Hi Yukon Yonda (Lynette Clark). You are spot on about Knopp. As for grounds to recall him: he has obstructed the duties of the House, by deliberately lying to members whom relied on his promises. He has been false to the trust of the voters who elected him. Derelict in his duties. The voters can recall him when he has not performed and when he has broken the trust of the electorate. I hope our Kenai Peninsula friends give this bastard the boot.

      • Well, by his actions, he has nullified my vote and the votes of other like-minded folks who don’t live in his district. He needs to go! I won’t make any inflammatory comments here, but I’m quite personally inflamed at his actions and disregard for the will of the voters of his district and mine too. The condescending response to his constituent was “over the top” for a public official.

        Best regards, Suzanne. Keep up the good work. You will be getting another donation soon!

  • Guess you got your “facts” wrong again Suzanne!

      • It would be great if someone could broadcast this Knopp meeting on FB for everyone to see statewide. Just saying.

  • We’ve got one full bus heading to Kenai on Thursday night, and a second one already taking reservations. Kenai Republicans: we stand with you and look forward to pinning the tail on your traitorous donkey. Your friends from Anchorage and Mat Su.

    • We got some folks from Fairbanks coming down too. And its not for the warm Kenai weather.

  • Your timeline is in error.

    Both Talerico and Knopp were nominated in the only time nominations were opened. Then the House voted on Talerico, then voted on Knopp.

  • Are there any rooms available for Knopp at API? This guy has a loose screw. Which of the 20 loyal Republicans would have supported him for speaker? At this point, I believe Knopp has demonstrated diminished capacity and some kind of mental illness. At least, schizophrenia. Should be grounds enough for a recall. But hurry and get this poor SOB checked into API. Maybe the governor can expedite using the hotline. Kenai deserves far better than this quack.

  • Seriously, the House should adjourn, and go home to cool off and talk with constituents. This situation could get out of hand quickly now. Shapeshifter Knopp is thumbing his nose at voters, collecting pay and per diem, and may soon be criticizing the very operating budget that Alaskans overwhelmingly voted for by voting for Governor Dunleavy. At some point the ice becomes very thin, perhaps first for Knopp and then for other turncoats.

  • When I saw that there was a deal I almost said not to count the eggs before they hatch, but I didn’t want to be negative. Now, well Gary has shown himself to have diminished capabilities. He sounds like a child on the schoolyard when he said “I never said who I would support,” and “I am supporting a Republican nominee: myself.” His letter to a constituent and his post on another thread here show that Gary is having a mental crisis. If I were close to him I would seriously be concerned if he has brain cancer, as I have seen people act like this before that have had terminal brain cancer,

    • I said it for you Steve-O. I called it, barely hit “submit” in another article, and my prediction of this next coat turning came true. This man has some serious issues and something isn’t right. He is either nuts, on a plane of arrogance that I have never seen before, or being held for ransom on something. Something is going on. From the very, very beginning, he wanted something. At first, I thought it was some sort of chairmanship and he was pouting around because he didn’t get what he wanted. Now it has morphed into this epic freak show. Why does he need this so badly? I’m missing something……

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