During this morning’s floor session, House Democrats doubled-down on their refusal to engage or even permit Republicans to speak.
After denying Republicans the opportunity to speak about the budget during the last session (held on Tuesday), Democrats made more than 30 legislators wait before starting today’s floor session 18 minutes late.
After Republicans waited on the floor for 20 minutes for the opportunity to speak, Democrats abandoned all pretense of fair play and adjourned the session before it even started. In total, today’s “session” did not last even 20 seconds, leaving no opportunity for Republicans even to object to the charade.
You will not be able to find the list of legislators who attended this morning’s floor session because Democrats did not even permit the clerk to record them and enter them into the journal.
In fact, there is still no entry in the journal for today’s floor session because if you don’t even have a record of who attended, was it even a floor session at all?
Also skipped was letting the public know when the next floor session of the House would take place…there wasn’t even time for it to be announced.
With nothing accomplished, and no opportunity to speak to the public, or to each other during the meeting, why did 31 legislators gather on the floor of the House today?
Some will say because the Constitution requires legislators to meet to conduct business at least once every three days during a legislative session. But the Constitution requires this so that legislators actually engage with each other and with the public during legislative sessions. And the House Democrat Caucus is not permitting that to happen!
I submit that the delegates to Alaska’s Constitutional Convention wrote this requirement into the Constitution to prevent this very thing from happening. They foresaw that a slim majority of one body of the legislature might one day attempt to hold the rest of the state hostage over policies that could not otherwise be passed because they did not have widespread public support.
Even with this requirement included in the Constitution, some delegates to the convention still worried that future legislators might only pretend to meet, have no meetings for three days, and then pretend to meet again. Others at the convention argued that this could not possibly happen because the press would cover the charade and legislators would not risk the public exposure.
Well today, after more than 60 years, that debate has finally been settled. Politicians will indeed do plainly ridiculous things if the public lets them get away with it.
Today’s events brought to you by the House Democrat Caucus:
Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux
Rep. Paul Seaton
Rep. Matt Claman
Rep. Jason Grenn
Rep. Dan Ortiz
Rep. Andy Josephson
Rep. Adam Wool
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz
Rep. Bryce Edgmon
Rep. Geran Tarr
Rep. Harriet Drummond
Rep. Zach Fansler
Rep. Neal Foster
Rep. Les Gara
Rep. David Guttenberg
Rep. Scott Kawasaki
Rep. Sam Kito III
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
Rep. Louise Stutes
Rep. Dean Westlake
Rep. Chris Tuck
Rep. Justin Parish