Alaska House District 7 (Wasilla) Representative Christopher Kurka responded today to the House Republican Minority’s action over the weekend removing District 10 Representative David Eastman from the House Minority Caucus, and the Committee on Committees’ subsequent report recommending Eastman’s removal from the Rules and Ethics Committees, which was accepted by the House.
“The House Minority’s expulsion of Rep. Eastman from the caucus on Friday was as petty and sophomoric as it was unjustified and unwarranted, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Kurka said. “I would say to my colleagues, if you can’t deal with legislative debate or negotiate the rules with respect for others, then maybe you ought to find another profession. Representative Eastman did nothing wrong, and I won’t stand silently by and watch a political lynching.”
During the Minority Press Conference, the Minority Leader explicitly said, “I can’t point to any one incident” that precipitated the measures taken. Other members complained that Rep. Eastman: (1) Is a “member” of The Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership; (2) Proposed too many budget amendments; (3) Caused “disruption, confusion, and distraction” inside the caucus.
First, The Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership does not have membership, and there is no such group operating in Alaska. It is only a school that trains citizen activists in the same kinds of methods and tactics used by corporations, unions, and special interest groups that lobby the Legislature.
Second, it is hard to even know how to respond to the charge that Rep. Eastman is fighting too hard to hold the Democrat-led coalition accountable.
Third, the “disruption, confusion, and distraction” referenced sounds personal, and that is something every legislator must deal with individually.
Kurka concluded, “Ironically, Representative Eastman and I are the only members of the House Republican Minority to actually pass amendments to the State budget on the House Floor. I will never apologize for fighting too hard for my constituents, and neither should Eastman. I only wish the House Republican Caucus was half as concerned about what the Democrats and turncoat Republicans are doing to this state as they are about what we are doing to stop them.”
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