Sarah Palin Considering Suing New York Times

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is considering suing the New York Times for libel after the Times published a Wednesday editorial falsely accusing her of inciting Jared Lee Loughner to shoot Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011 even though it has long been established that there has never been any evidence whatsoever linking Palin to the attempted assassination.

Palin tweeted that a journalist suggested to her on Thursday that the Times “has fulfilled the two criteria for libeling a public figure”—a reckless disregard for the truth and malice.

She said she is “talking to attorneys this AM and exploring options.”

After James T. Hodgkinson, who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and hated President Donald Trump and Republicans, shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and targeted other Republicans as they were practicing for their Congressional baseball game, the Times decided to publish an editorial on Wednesday in which it falsely blamed Palin for the assassination attempt on Giffords:

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

(Read more from “Sarah Palin Considering Suing New York Times” HERE)

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Town Hall Planned to Discuss Alaska Arrow-3 Missile Testing for Israel

Officials from the spaceport on Kodiak Island will host a town hall meeting Wednesday to answer questions about the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s plans to test a U.S.-Israeli anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska.

Testing of the Arrow-3 missile system will begin in 2018, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported. The system was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing, and is co-managed by the Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organization.

It will be part of the five- to six-year, $80.4 million contract between Alaska Aerospace Corporation and the Missile Defense Agency, which was announced last summer, Alaska Aerospace CEO Craig Campbell said. (Read more from “Town Hall Planned to Discuss Alaska Arrow-3 Missile Testing for Israel” HERE)

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Can Society Survive People Holding Unacceptable Views?

There is a vocal segment of society today that says it can’t. People with unacceptable views hold us back—keep us from progressing as a society. It’s where we get the notion of silencing or shouting down those who declare opinions that are not politically correct. The idea is that when all such unacceptable opinions have been silenced, something will happen. I don’t know what exactly, but something good. Or not. Maybe it will just mean more silence. And more shouting to keep it that way.

Unacceptable view #1 for me was when I voted against a Democrat member of a racial minority group for leadership in the legislature. I voted against him because I believed he would support things like abortion and income taxes. He has since done both. I was told by others afterwards that I had really voted against him because he belonged to a minority.

Unacceptable view #2 for me was voting against a new state law to replace Columbus Day with a day honoring a minority group. None of our state laws were based on race, and I wanted to keep it that way. I was told afterwards that this meant I hate minorities.

Unacceptable view #3 for me was voting against a new state law creating a special day to honor a minority group of veterans who helped build the Alaska Highway. I wanted to honor all veterans who built the highway. After all, many U.S. military veterans gave their lives while building that highway (including American soldiers representing a number of different minorities). Why should we only be able to honor the soldiers of one minority group, and thereby open the door for Alaskans being called racist simply for trying to honor any of the other soldiers on that day? I was reminded afterwards that I had it out for all minorities, and that my vote was an attack against the minority legislator who wrote the bill (who happens to be a friend of mine whose district is next-door, but how could they be expected to know that?).

Unacceptable view #4 was voting against a new state law to give special drivers licenses to veterans from two specific Asian ethnic groups who fought for the U.S. during the Vietnam War. I asked why we were opening up this right to these two ethnic groups, but not to veterans from the other ethnic groups who also fought with us and lost their lives under similar circumstances in the very same war?

I believe veteran status should be based solely on your military service, not based on which ethnic group you belonged to at the time. I believe that special rights based on race should never be put into state law. I was reminded afterwards that this meant I hate the two ethnic groups that were being given the special drivers licenses. Unacceptable view #5 was likely voting against abortion. I was told that doing so was uncaring and insulting to victims of sexual assault. I voted against abortion anyway because little people are important too. A lot of other people did too.

Unacceptable view #6 was thinking that it was acceptable to talk about things like a boyfriend and girlfriend who were glad to get to go to Seattle for an abortion trip that the state was paying for, a mother who told her daughter that if she could just wait to have her abortion in Seattle she would go with her and take her on a shopping trip, and a recent visitor to Anchorage who did not go through with her abortion and when she tried to fly home was told that that wasn’t part of the deal. These are all real people. They have names. And I would have to be a special kind of person if you thought I was going to

make them public after the scorn, ridicule, death threats, and true hate speech that my family and I have had to witness over the last week just for stating that they exist.

But real life stories don’t make for 10-second soundbites. The qualifiers get left out, and the details are left fairly vague for privacy. Vague enough for someone to read into them things like sex and gender, if they want to. And some people wanted to. And some people chose to read into them a hatred of the poor, and others chose to read into them a hatred of women, and others chose to read into them a hatred of minorities. You see, my previous votes had already “proved” all this.

And that leads us to Unacceptable view #7, which was holding all of the previous views at the same time, and is its own distinct crime. It is the crime of being perpetually willing to say and do things that someone might misinterpret as holding unacceptable, even offensive, views (racism, sexism, hateful, etc.). Afterwards, I was told that it wasn’t about what I meant, and it wasn’t about what I said. It was about my willingness to make decisions independent of what someone else might think about it. And that is no less a crime today than speeding, if you mean to be a vocal member of society.

But society considers itself merciful. If you renounce such views, or at least pledge not to talk about them, you may be given forgiveness, or at least toleration…to a point.

Unacceptable view #8, was perhaps the most vile of them all. It was thinking that as a white male, unapologetically holding all the previous unacceptable views, I had the right to call for an investigation and hearings into whether or not our state social programs are operating for the benefit of our entire state, as opposed to the benefit of the specific special interests that they more directly serve.

These are unacceptable views. Under the current dogma, those who hold them must either die or be silenced. I have the audacity to believe that unacceptable views should be heard so that the rest of us have the freedom to think and speak as we like. I know I am not the only one.

Rep. David Eastman is a conservative legislator in Alaska, representing the rural Mat-Su Valley (House District 10); He ran on a platform of fighting for genuine conservative reform, fiscally and socially, and remains committed to delivering on that promise.

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Alaska’s Drew Phoenix Serves as a Warning: Conflict Is Inevitable

To understand why the legislature refused to empower Human Rights Commissioner Drew Phoenix last week, and why that move is worth reflecting on, we should remember a court case that was decided years before Drew was even born. Trop v. Dulles was the first time the U.S. Supreme Court declared that a portion of the U.S. Constitution “must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

That assertion, that society is in fact continually maturing, and that the Constitution should be continually reinterpreted so as to keep up with society’s maturity, lies at the heart of the recent confirmation hearings involving Drew Phoenix. Let us set aside for a moment the question of whether or not society is in fact maturing, our communities are becoming more perfect, more safe, and crime is slowly but surely being eradicated, year by year. Let us assume for a moment that all of that is true.

The question that immediately arises is which of the three branches of government is empowered to change our state law to reflect these changes in society? In the case of Drew Phoenix we have three possible answers that reflect each of Alaska’s three branches of government: 1) The Alaska Human Rights Commission, made up of appointees that fall under the executive branch, 2) The Alaska Supreme Court, made up of appointees that fall under the judicial branch, or 3) Alaska’s elected lawmakers, who comprise the legislative branch (Hint: We refer to them as “lawmakers” because under our current form of government all lawmaking power is reserved exclusively to public officials who have been directly elected by the people).

That last distinction is a very important one. Law puts limits on personal freedom and can bankrupt you and send you to prison if you transgress those limits. Because of this, no just law can be made without the consent of those who will be bound by it, either directly or through their elected representatives. If you look back far enough in American history, you will see that we once fought a bloody 7-year war over this very issue. The power to create laws and taxes is too dangerous to be wielded by unelected officials.

Heck, it’s bad enough when it’s wielded by the elected officials we’ve already got. If they wield that power against Alaskans for the benefit of special interests, at least we have the ability to elect a new governor and a new legislature next year. Without that right, we end up with masters whom we have no power to challenge, and no right to question—Like, say, the members of the Alaska State Human Rights Commission.

As unelected heads of a quasi-judicial agency, commissioners on the Alaska State Human Rights Commission are entirely out of reach of the public, and serve longer terms than the governor. These are simply the facts. The question the legislature was asked to decide last week was whether or not members of the commission should also have the power to remake our state laws. When you are voting on whether or not to confirm an appointee who has been openly seeking to join the commission for that very purpose, it is quite difficult to separate the individual from the plan they are pursuing.

Drew Phoenix has been a tireless advocate for increasing legal rights for the LGBT and transgender community. As a dedicated social justice warrior, Drew worked for 4 years for the ACLU, and a further 3 years for Identity, Inc., whose mission is “to advance Alaska’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and

transgender) community through advocacy, education and connectivity”. Drew was appointed as a human rights commissioner shortly after leaving Identity in September.

As a political activist, Drew has long promoted changing state law to make Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender a protected class. And there is a bill in the legislature today (Senate Bill 72) which would do exactly that. But efforts to pass such laws in Alaska, and in Pennsylvania and many other states, have consistently failed year after year. Having failed to achieve such changes through the political process, LGBT activists are now attempting to circumvent the lawmaking process by seeking appointment to human rights commissions and, once there, simply “reinterpreting” the law as though they had been successful in changing the law through the legislature.

During the legislative confirmation process, Drew explained that while state law has “not been interpreted yet to include certain things”, i.e. gender identity, “the commission would be within its authority to” add them, and it should. It could do so by redefining the meaning of the word “sex” to not only include sex, but also to include any form of gender identity or “expression”, just as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission did last month.

If your legislators permit it, this will soon be enshrined as the new frontier of lawmaking, and it will be done by unelected officials whose names most Alaskans will never know. If those unelected officials happen to be members of your political party, or are committed to causes that you personally care about, you may be tempted to see this as a good thing. Certainly in the short term, it can appear that way. Perhaps you applauded when the EPA redefined puddles of water as “waters of the United States” and granted itself the power to regulate them. But there is a terrible cost to be paid anytime we empower unelected bureaucrats to rewrite law and then enforce the laws that they have rewritten.

That cost is consent. Where is the opportunity for Alaskans to refuse consent to the new laws being rewritten and continually reinterpreted by judges and bureaucrats, whom Alaskans did not elect, and the public is often unable to remove from office? Referendums permit the public to reject bad laws, but they only apply to new state laws that the legislature actually passes. As messy and dysfunctional as modern politics often is, it still preserves within it the right for each of us to forcefully object on Election Day when elected officials become too closely tied to special interests, and lose sight of what is best for Alaska.

Americans lost that right once, long ago, and the result was a violent, 7-year war to regain it. On this Memorial Day Weekend, the prospect that Americans might ever have to relive such a chapter makes even the most unpleasant aspects of politics seem a blessing in comparison.

Thank your legislators for voting in a small, but tangible, way to preserve your right to question and to put limits on the power of a bureaucracy that already runs too much of our lives. And while you’re at it, ask them if they wouldn’t mind returning more of that freedom to you next time they are in Juneau. 668,000 Americans died so that you could enjoy it. May we be grateful this Memorial Day Weekend for those who fought, and those who died, and the price they paid so that succeeding generations might continue the American experiment in self-government.

(For more from the author of “Alaska’s Drew Phoenix Serves as a Warning: Conflict Is Inevitable” please click HERE)

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Answer to Alaska’s Abortion-Protecting Judiciary? Life at Conception Act and Responsible Judges Act

Today, the Alaska House of Representatives will hear the Alaska Life at Conception Act read for the first time. While a similar law has been introduced in Congress each of the last several years, this is the first time it has been introduced in the Alaska Legislature. This bill, along with its companion, the Responsible Judges Act, represent a culmination of more than forty years of Pro-Life efforts in Alaska and in other states.

On Monday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives, in the midst of a budget crisis and with a billion dollar budget gap of their own, passed House Resolution 1004, which instructs state officials at every level of government in Oklahoma to recognize the killing of preborn human beings as murder. The resolution itself will force no official to take action, but it does signify a seismic shift in how human rights advocates now aim to pursue the protection of children waiting to be born.

The Alaska Life at Conception Act brings state law into conformity with the Constitution of the State of Alaska, which provides that “all persons have a natural right to life”, “all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights” and “all persons are entitled to equal…protection under the law.” It makes clear, in accordance with established science, that human life begins at conception, and that a child waiting to be born in Alaska is an Alaska resident if the mother of that child is an Alaska resident. Further, it provides that no child awaiting birth may be transported to another state or country for the purposes of taking the life of that child. Taking the life of a child waiting to be born incurs the same penalties as taking the life of any other person.

Alaskans have watched, time after time, as a politically aggressive Alaska Supreme Court has struck down or invalidated one law after another in its quest for limitless abortion paid for frequently by the state. It has declared that the killing of preborn infants is an Alaskan value, placed in our state constitution, and worthy of state funding. Today, 44% of abortions in Alaska are paid for entirely by the state (as no federal monies may be used for that purpose). For those who qualify based on income, and likely for many who do not, Alaska now provides generously for those willing to let a doctor take the life of their preborn infant. For those who happen to find themselves at a distance from an abortion clinic, travel, room and board are provided, all expenses paid, for an expectant mother and her authorized escort. And if the Planned Parenthood clinic in Anchorage is all booked up, or if the pregnancy has reached 14 weeks, Planned Parenthood will arrange for travel to Seattle, as well as lodging and the cost of food for those traveling (all at government expense of course). Each year, Planned Parenthood arranges for 100 such trips to Seattle, a number of which are billed to the state.

An outsider, knowing only these statistics, would likely conclude that Alaskan’s electorate was somewhere on the political spectrum between Vermont and Oregon, each of which pay for a similarly large percentage of the abortions taking place in their state each year. It is unlikely that observer would peg Alaska for a red state. After all, legally speaking, Alaska has no limits on abortion. Its law requiring parental consent was struck down by its exceedingly liberal court. Its law requiring parental notification was likewise struck down. To add insult to injury, in striking it down, a majority of the appointed members of Alaska’s Supreme Court effectively awarded Planned Parenthood more than $1 million in attorney’s fees last year. Even Alaska’s ban on partial-birth abortion, taking the life of a helpless infant in the very process of being born, has been invalidated by the five appointed members of the Alaska Supreme Court.

These events have led previous legislatures to focus the whole of their pro-life efforts on meager attempts simply to limit state funded abortions to those that are medically necessary. That law passed as well. Unsurprisingly, the Alaska courts have prevented that law from going into effect as well.

So is that simply the end of the story? Has Alaska’s Supreme Court simply assumed the power to write Alaska’s abortion laws, with or without the participation of the legislature? To our casual observer it might seem so. But it is in fact the legislature who is empowered to write laws, to amend them, and to repeal them. Nowhere in Alaska’s state constitution is that power entrusted to the courts. To reinforce that fact, the constitution gives the legislature ample tools to protect the power it has been given.

The Responsible Judges Act provides that any Alaska judge or justice who attempts to exercise legislative power is guilty of malfeasance and may be impeached by the legislature and removed from office in accordance with the state constitution. It also makes clear that impeachment of a judge or justice by the legislature may not be overturned by the courts. With that initial check upon the courts in place, the Alaska Life at Conception Act provides that any lawsuit challenging it constitutionality in state court may only be heard by the Alaska Supreme Court in a process specifically laid out for that purpose. Further, state officials who enforce any provision of the act are provided immunity from prosecution for good faith actions taken while in the performance of their official duties. Regardless of the machinations of its courts, the State of Alaska has a duty to protect the life of every Alaskan, and the Alaska Life at Conception Act of 2017 provides the means for the state to finally fulfill this duty.

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Russian Bombers, Fighter Jets Fly Near Alaska, Prompting Air Force Escort

Two Russian Bear bombers — escorted for the first time by a pair of Su-35 “Flanker” fighter jets — entered Alaska’s Air Defense Zone on Wednesday night, U.S. officials told Fox News.

The Russian formation was intercepted by a pair of U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets that were already flying a patrol about 50 miles southwest of Chariot, Alaska. A NORAD spokesperson told Fox News the intercept began at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday and a defense source said it also occurred into Thursday.

It was the first time the U.S. Air Force has seen advanced Russian Su-35 fighter jets escort Russian Cold War-era bombers near Alaska.

The Russian fighter jets were unarmed and remained in international airspace, officials said.

Late last month, Russian bombers flew near Alaska over four consecutive days for the first time since 2014. (Read more from “Russian Bombers, Fighter Jets Fly Near Alaska, Prompting Air Force Escort” HERE)

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Alaska Lawmakers Consider Calling Abortion ‘Ultimate Child Abuse’

A conservative state lawmaker has successfully tacked an anti-abortion message onto a resolution in the Alaska House aimed at raising awareness about sexual assault and child abuse.

The amendment from Republican Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla refers to abortion as “the ultimate form of child abuse” . . .

The amendment was approved by a divided House Rules Committee. The vote on Monday followed an about-face by Anchorage Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, the committee chairwoman who last week refused to hear amendments. (Read more from “Alaska Lawmakers Consider Calling Abortion ‘Ultimate Child Abuse'” HERE)

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A Question You Should Never Be Asked: Please Vote on Which Ethnic People Groups Should Be Discriminated Against in State Law?

This was the question put before the Alaska House of Representatives for a vote last Friday. Of course, the question wasn’t phrased quite so candidly as that. Instead, it took the form “shouldn’t veterans from these two ethnic groups be given a special veteran designation on Alaska state drivers licenses?”

And with this simple question we watch the pernicious march of identity politics creep ever so slowly and innocently into our state laws. At the outset, it is never about treating individuals of one race or ethnicity poorly—it is rarely about that—instead, it’s about treating individuals of another race or ethnicity better.

There are ample noble justifications for creating and giving special legal status to members of one ethnic group over another. I won’t list them because the possible justifications are literally limitless.

The question yesterday (House Bill 125) was whether two specific ethnic groups should be given veteran status, and veterans from all other ethnicities should be excluded. In reply to that question, I offered an amendment.

My amendment removed the ethnic qualifier, and returned to what should have been the real question all along, “does this individual’s military service merit veteran status in Alaska state law?”

You see, once you identify the real issue—military service—there is no longer a need to limit veteran status to a particular set of individuals based on race or their ethnic heritage.

And why is that important?

It is critical for every state legislator to recognize that you cannot draw lines based on ethnicity without including some individuals, and excluding others.

In the amendment I put forward, veterans of any racial background would be eligible for veteran status, as the original bill already declared, if they “served in military operations in support of the United States” between “February 28, 1961 and May 15, 1975.”

I didn’t choose those specific dates, they were chosen by the author of the original bill. But in reading the bill, I looked for examples of who was being discriminated against in the bill. I then asked why we would be discriminating against these veterans in state law?

I could find no good reason. I still can’t. And I believe that our politicized legislative system is a terrible process for trying to figure out which race or ethnicity should be accorded special benefits and privileges. Our political process rewards groups with political power; namely, votes, money and lobbyists. Can you think of a worse process for deciding which groups will be looked on more favorably by the government?

As I said to my colleagues in the House, this is a question that governments have no business answering. No matter how clear the answer may seem to a group of politicians, there is no good answer to the question.

The Alaska Constitution declares “that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law.” Any laws that try to assign rights, opportunities or legal protection based on race or ethnicity are a direct and unmistakable violation of our constitution.

But let us pretend for a moment that the U.S. Constitution and the Alaska State Constitution did not exist. What then? HB125 would still be a terrible law because it promotes discrimination based on a person’s ethnicity.

Read “Human Events: What Really Happened at the Bay of Pigs” by Humberto Fontova.

Both groups were recruited to fight for the U.S. by the CIA. Both were trained and equipped and led by the U.S. government. Both groups received their weapons and supplies from the U.S. government. Members of both groups fought alongside American servicemen, and members of both groups gave their lives in doing so. Both groups were promised support and protection by the U.S. President. And both groups had those promises broken before later emigrating to the U.S. with their families in large numbers.

With this new law, the State of Alaska declares by law that only one group will be given veteran status for their military service in support of the United States. Those who fought with the U.S. in Cuba, who were captured, tortured, and then exchanged by the U.S. government and personally welcomed to the U.S. by the President of the United States—We now declare in state law that their sacrifice was not worthy of veteran status because of their ethnicity and because we place a greater value on the military service that took place in Asia than we do the military service that took place in the Americas, even though both took place at the same time and under the orders of the very same U.S. President.

This is the evil of racism, and laws that draw lines between races and peoples can never escape it.

As another legislator observed nearly two hundred years ago, “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” (Frederick Bastiat, The Law)

Watch the vote in the legislature here:


Rep. David Eastman is a firefighter in Wasilla, a former military police captain on JBER, and currently represents residents of the Mat-Su (District 10) in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Alaska Legislature Refuses Governor’s Call to Confirm His Questionable Pick For Attorney General

Yesterday, the legislature refused Governor Walker’s call to joint session to act upon his appointment of the attorney general, among other appointees. The attorney general – Jahna Lindemuth – is one of his most controversial picks, and many legislators are uncertain that she should be confirmed. Some contend she needs more vetting before the legislature should act to confirm.

In the following open letter, Representative David Eastman confronted the Governor’s nominee, demanding that she clarify a number of troubling statements she made to the legislature during her first appearance there:

Dear Acting Attorney General Lindemuth,

Yesterday, after a lengthy confirmation process, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. The legislative confirmation process is a fundamental piece of our constitutional framework. It is through this process that the qualities, loyalties and competence of nominees are examined through a public process.

The Delegates to Alaska’s Constitutional Convention provided that Alaska’s Attorney General would be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the governor. However, they also wisely determined that all such appointments would be subject to confirmation of the entire legislature, providing a formal check against any governor who would appoint to office an individual who was in any way unfit for that office. They also provided that, before entering office, the attorney general would take a solemn oath, declaring her loyalty to the Constitution of the State of Alaska over and above any felt loyalty to the individual who had appointed her to office.

On February 22nd, you appeared before us in the House Judiciary Committee for your first hearing in the legislative confirmation process. During that hearing the following exchanges took place (paraphrased in pertinent part below):

Question: How do you see your role as attorney general?

Answer: When it comes down to it, the buck stops here, as the top lawyer for the state, the attorney general is responsible for the legal decisions made (for example, taking a course of action, initiating litigation, or settling a big case).

Question: If one of the branches of government, the judiciary, is overstepping its bounds and is usurping the legislature’s authority by legislating from the bench, how do you see your role as an attorney general in that type of situation?

Answer: The Alaska Supreme Court is the constitutional interpreter of Alaska law as the final arbiter, and the department has to defer to it.

Question: The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that a fishery cannot be managed from the ballot box. Are you comfortable defending that position? Do you feel strong enough to engage in the Alaska Supreme Court’s decision?

Answer: If the Alaska Supreme Court has spoken on an issue of Alaska law, the Department of Law defers to the Alaska Supreme Court on that particular issue.

Question: If the governor were to violate state law, as attorney general, how would you approach the tension between your knowledge and understanding of what the law is, and a situation where the governor was violating the law?

Answer: Soft advice behind the scene is the best way to keep the administration on task and within the rule of law. I recently met an elected attorney general who was within the first two years of his tenure and he has already sued his governor four times. That is not a functional system, and possibly, that’s not the best way to address concerns.

Question: How would you deal with a situation where you think you have a winnable case for the people of Alaska, and the governor thinks differently? To whom is your obligation?

Answer: The governor is just one of my clients, although the governor is the top elected official and as such he does make the final policy call when policy calls are to be made.

At the close of your confirmation hearing in the house, I announced that I would be objecting to your confirmation at that time, but that it was my hope that you would take the next few weeks to consider the responses of members of the committee to the answers you provided, and provide additional information that might lead me to vote in favor of your confirmation.

It has now been seven weeks since you came before us for confirmation, and I have not received any further information with regard to the various concerns that were identified during your first confirmation hearing. As it stands today, the following concerns prevent me from voting to confirm you as Alaska’s Attorney General:

1) I am concerned that you are unable to distinguish your loyalty to the governor as a member of his cabinet, from your responsibilities to the constitution and to the public.

2) I am concerned that you may fail to provide effective legal representation to your client, the people of Alaska, when presented with a winnable case that comes in conflict with a governor’s political agenda.

3) I am concerned that you will be unable to defend the Constitution of the State of Alaska as attorney general.

As the chief law enforcement official in Alaska, and the legal advisor to the governor, our state relies heavily upon your ability and commitment, in keeping with your oath of office, to “support and defend” the Constitution of the State of Alaska. Your statutory duty to defend the constitution requires knowledge of the constitution and the ability to discriminate between interpretations of the constitution that are accurate and interpretations that are inaccurate. The possession of unquestioned loyalty to any interpretation promulgated by the Alaska Supreme Court is not an asset to a public official who may one day be required to provide legal advice to the governor as to how he should respond to an unconstitutional decision on the part of the court, especially at a time when courts across the country are expressing a willingness to entertain questions formerly reserved to the political branches. As attorney general, the decision to simply defer to the opinions of the court in all cases whatsoever, is at best a very tenuous position.

Youth in Alaska’s schools can readily tell you of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that deprived Americans of their rights under the Constitution. Dred Scott, Korematsu, Plessy and others are widely cited today as cases in which the Supreme Court got it wrong. Certainly our Alaska Supreme Court is no less fallible. Bess v. Ulmer represents a textbook case of an Alaska court overstepping its bounds and creating out of whole cloth a new, and hitherto unimagined, power of the court to veto constitutional amendments. Such innovations inevitably come at the expense of the other branches of government and ultimately at the expense of the people of Alaska. Alaskans cannot afford to have an attorney general today who will defer to continued innovations on the part of Alaska’s Supreme Court. For these reasons, I am unable to support your confirmation as Attorney General of the State of Alaska at this time.

Further, because of observations that I and other legislators have made throughout this confirmation process, I am currently working with colleagues to draft legislation making Attorney General for the State of Alaska an elective office, thereby ensuring that future attorneys general for the State of Alaska will be sufficiently independent to fight for Alaska’s interests and to be accountable to the public.


David Eastman
State Representative

Professor Paints Picture of Trump’s Decapitated Head, Puts It on Display at Alaska College

A professor at an Alaska university has put a painting of President Donald Trump’s decapitated head on display at the college art gallery.

Thomas Chung, assistant professor of painting at the University of Alaska Anchorage, painted a portrait of a “Captain America” actor holding Trump’s severed head with two eagles to his side and a young Hillary Clinton holding onto the actor’s leg, KTUU reported.

“I was reminded of those ’80s rock posters,” said Chung, “where there’s a woman in tattered clothes clinging to a strong male hero’s leg.”

The professor explained that the 2016 presidential election results influenced his painting.

“After Trump was elected, I spent days just weeping,” the professor said. “And it was really surprising, because I’m not a political person. I am a social artist. I deal mostly in ideals of culture and global culture, but this election bled into that.” (For more from the author of “Professor Paints Picture of Trump’s Decapitated Head, Puts It on Display at College” please click HERE)

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