Who’s in control? Speaker Stutes loses authority to three legislators who won’t wear masks


House Speaker Louise Stutes laid down the law on Monday: Due to several Democrat majority members who were out sick with Covid, she said all House members must wear masks while in the House Chambers.

Three members refused, and she recessed for hours before finally adjourning for the day.

The three — Reps. David Eastman, Ben Carpenter, and Chris Kurka — now are in control of the House, rather than Speaker Stutes, for as long as she demands that face masks be worn. It’s a standoff. The floor session scheduled for Tuesday was canceled and rescheduled for Wednesday.

House Republicans issued a statement saying the work must go on.

“Yesterday, healthy representatives reported to the house floor. Those who were not healthy chose to be absent.  This morning, floor session was cancelled again, thus further delaying the important and only constitutionally required work Alaskans elected us to do.  

“The actions taken by the Majority coalition leadership are a result of fear and virtue-signaling; neither are fitting for a body of elected officials with a constitutional responsibility to pass an operating budget. House minority members have been present and ready to work. The fact that some choose not to wear a mask is not a viable excuse to abruptly adjourn or cancel the floor session. Debatable science must not dictate the people’s business every time COVID makes an appearance.

“As we have during the 32nd Alaska Legislature, our members will continue to show up for work and fulfill our constitutional duties while we take a responsible approach to our own healthcare decisions. We do not want the people’s business to be thwarted due to obvious delay tactics.”


    • John C Owen. You are spot on regarding rolling the Speaker and then rolling Senator Stedman. He is the power in the AK Senate.

  1. A Plague on The House! Democrats with Covid trying to establish control. What’s the matter? Vaccine not working?

  2. On Monday, those in the Republican caucus held the majority (18–17) due to several members of Team Democrat being absent. This is why an excuse needed to be produced not to allow any votes to be taken on the house floor. A brand new mask mandate and the controversy it generated was a convenient excuse.

    However, a speaker can only be elected (removed) with a majority of the 40 members of the house. Several of the members of Team Democrat would need to switch their votes and vote to elect a real Republican as speaker in order for Louise to be removed. 18 is not enough. And since those legislators in the Democrat caucus are not going to switch their votes, Stutes’ position as speaker is relatively secure, even if all Democrats were absent on a given day.

      • I second that Trig! David Eastman sets a fine example for the rest of the Republicans to follow! Hard to believe that the house is so infected with such spinelessness!

    • Thank you for the update, Sir. I really appreciate these realistic, “eyes on” reports. Keep up the good work and hold the line so that something worthy might finally be accomplished.

  3. The GOP in the House doesn’t have the stones to roll Stutes. Nor the strategic mindset to do it.

      • Neither Al Adams nor Russ Meekins Jr. are still alive. They possessed the greatest insight on how to depose a sitting speaker. That speaker, Jim Duncan, is still living, so maybe you could ask him about what happened.

  4. Full grown oath takers acting like evil clowns, children could do much better for the people of the people by the people. Your hand on our Bible so help you GOD you swore. Look at these clowns doing everything but there duty’s to the constitution and the people. Oath breakers beware your contact is with GOD here.

  5. Let’s be serious. If Eastman and Kurka gave up and the legislature gaveled back in there is zero chance that the remaining republicans would have the stones to roll Stutes.

  6. How in the world does this Legislature like the Anchorage Assembly get any work done for We the People?
    They don’t. Like a group of pre schoolers fighting for control

  7. I highly doubt if any of the other republicans would have bothered to take control. They are not that committed.

  8. There are very few actual Republicans or Democrats in the current ranks. Yes, there are the two main parties, but within those parties, you have (R) RINOs and (D) SOCIALISTS (or ‘SJWs’). Both parties are overrun by the minority extremists in their ranks. Real Republicans and Real Democrats need to step up and make a stand and become the Real Adults we need in order to pass meaningful and beneficial laws and a viable, realistic budget.

    • good luck with that. the best to be hoped for at this point is gridlock until the inevitable collapse of the corrupt and rotten system

      “The State is an inherently illegitimate institution of organized aggression, of organized and regularized crime against the persons and properties of its subjects… a profoundly antisocial institution which lives parasitically off of the productive activities of private citizens.”

      -Murry Rothbard

  9. Eastman, Kurka and that other guy are like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Boebert: they are obstructionists.

    • It is easy to see your narrow viewpoint. Their stand is about freedom and non proved science involving masks.

    • They are not obstructionist they just know real science has proven mask do not work and not the Political Science the left wants to use. Prove me wrong produce the studies that show mask work just like the shot does not keep you from getting Covid and yes I had covid without no shot and barely had any symptoms. All you need is good over the counter regiment of vitamins and minerals.

      • Pray tell, where did you obtain your medical degree?
        If the rule requires you to wear a mask, why is it so difficult to obey a rule?
        These 3 adult men act like 2-year-olds (I don’t wanna…)! I wonder what they teach their own kids?!

        • Why is it that anyone objecting to theater covid rules has to proof that they have credentials. They are arbitrary rules, since the mask mandate ONLY applies to the house chamber, not offices, hallways, dining facilities the senate chambers etc. Are germs and infected staffers not present in these areas?
          It’s time for people to say “Enough of this nonsense”. If Speaker Stutes wants to wear a mask, that is her business, but don’t demand it of all just because you can.

        • Catherine, you can take your “Rules” and shove them!
          It is every man’s right, and duty, to oppose illegal and immoral laws and rules.
          By the way, Catherine, in light of your advocacy of blind obedience to corrupt authority, if you ever wondered whether you would gone along with and supported the Nazi’s and Bolshevik’s rise to power — now you know.

      • Unless you have lived in a dictatorship, it is doubtful you truly comprehend « tyranny ».
        Here, tyranny is simply the new cool term to impress.

        • dictatorship may be a little bit far. those of us in anc experienced under authoritarian rule in 20/21 stripped of bodily autonomy, property rights and freedom of association to an elected then an unelected californias who hired thugs to intimidate local business owners into following their every whim at the drop of a hat we were pretty close to living under a dictatorship

        • Catherine: While I personally have not lived under a full on dictatorship, my grandparents have. I grew up with plenty of first hand, detailed experiences described to me and I have seen with my own eyes what that kind of life does to the human body, mind, and soul. They tell you where to live, what you will be educated in or trained to do, what kind of work you will do in order to receive your allowance of food (of which you waste not one drop or one crumb), how you will act, and what you will think. If you do not comply, you go to jail or a work camp where many pray that they will die in order to escape the misery and cold and hunger. You can’t trust your leaders, your neighbors, your friends, and sometimes your own family members for fear they might report you in order to advance themselves or to get YOUR loaf of bread or pound of meat. There are no discussions of reason, no trials by jury, and no courts of appeals; there are only rules to be followed, sentences handed down and penalties paid for free thinking and failure to comply. <> is not a simple new term to impress, it is an ancient method of control utilized by dictators by way of fear, physical, mental, and spiritual PAIN, and must be obstructed at ALL COST and in every way.

  10. The title of this piece re: losing authority seems curious. As elected representatives, each of us have the authority granted to us by the Constitution. The Constitution does not create tyrants and it gives no authority to require a fellow legislator to wear a mask or take a vaccine in order to vote on behalf of their district. Rep. Stutes has lost nothing. You cannot lose that authority which the Constitution never gave you in the first place.

    • Your commentary is particularly surprising in that you were trained by the military best (if your resume is exact).
      If your commander, supervisor or other superior authority tells you to respect a rule (i.e. obey), you cross your arms, make some sort of basically feeble excuse and thus simply refuse to comply??
      Seriously, sir??

      • Equating The Stutes with a “commander”?
        Okay, call it mass mutiny then because more than a few Anericans are way past fed up with elected-representatives-turned-commanders.

    • Is she running the House or not?
      Is she going to be rolled or not?

      Seems like power to men. The left took it because the conservatives wouldn’t fight to defend it.

  11. Really. Demanding that all members wear masks is like demanding that they wear pineapples on their heads. The stupid is strong in this one.

  12. It is time to get over Covid. Those cloth and paper masks are worthless. I hope that more than three Representatives refuse to wear masks on Wednesday.

  13. Show the science that says masks work, Ms. Stutes. What’s that? You can’t, because it doesn’t exist? So why the mask mandate, Ms. Stutes?

  14. There is sketchy at best credibility to the effectiveness of masks for preventing or reducing the spread of the China flu aka covid 19. This stupid mask BS, is nothing more than a political tool for people desperate to manipulate the system in any cockamamie conceivable way to further their agenda.

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