Wasilla Legislator Fined $5,000 for Supporting Freedom Convoy

A press release was recently issued by the highly partisan Alaska Committee on Legislative Ethics. You can read it here.

At first glance, it appears to exonerate me from allegations that I supported the “illegal” Freedom Convoy in Canada back in 2022.

I did support the Freedom Convoy. On that charge, I readily plead guilty, along with tens of millions of other law-abiding Americans. What the press release fails to mention is that my family and I had to spend more than $5,000 to defend my right to do so. Why? Because I am currently a conservative voice in the legislature, and because Alaska’s Committee on Legislative Ethics does not support the Freedom Convoy, or any other conservative causes. Come to think of it, they aren’t very supportive of conservatives being in the legislature either.

For writing a single Facebook post supportive of the Freedom Convoy, the Committee responded by hiring an attorney, and an investigator (all at public expense of course), to target my staff and I (including my former staff) over the course of a nine-month long witch-hunt.

Conjuring up images of my time as a Government-Issue Army GI from more than a decade ago, the allegations declared that since I am elected I am a government asset, and it is therefore illegal for me to publicly support causes like the Freedom Convoy. Democrat legislators support whatever woke, progressive causes they like. It is only conservatives who are regularly hauled before Alaska’s Ethics Committee—for saying conservative things, and supporting conservative causes like protecting babies and not making kids wear masks.

Instead of acknowledging the unconstitutional nature of the allegations from the outset, the Ethics Committee decided repeatedly to move forward with its investigation through hearing, after hearing, after hearing, from May 5th of last year until February 20th of this year. The committee sought depositions. It attempted to issue subpoenas to compel me to “prove my innocence” and force me to give testimony under oath against myself—unmistakable violations of state law. And when it reluctantly concluded that I had done nothing wrong, it sent the bill for the whole charade to the taxpayers.

The Alaska Constitution is not silent on using the state to launch attacks against your political opponents. Borrowing the unmistakable language of the 2nd Amendment it declares: “The right of all persons to fair and just treatment in the course of legislative and executive investigations shall not be infringed.”

When I welcomed the public to observe each of the proceedings, and sought to enforce the Open Meetings Act, the committee openly refused. When I sought to exercise my right under state law to be confronted publicly by my accuser, the committee decided to call the hearing a “meeting” and declared that I had no such right since it was only a “meeting”. This is the level to which the Alaska Legislature has now fallen.

To this day, the committee is trying to strictly limit what I can say about the accusations leveled against me and the special interests behind them, despite the fact that all of this information should have been made available to the public back in May.

Lest there be any doubt that this has been anything other than a politically-driven misuse of taxpayer funds, here is the complete and unredacted Facebook post that I wrote, now more than two years ago, on February 6, 2022. You can click on the image to visit the post and see it for itself.

This was the post our “non-partisan” ethics committee decided was worth tens of thousands of dollars to investigate.

What the committee is essentially saying through this latest press release is, ‘You were perfectly within your rights to support the Freedom Convoy and, to add insult to injury, the countless hours and the $5,000 you were forced to spend defending those rights against our attacks, is now forfeit. Moral of the story: Unless you have another extra $5,000 to lose, you will stop publicly supporting political causes that we don’t approve of.’

And there you have it: The self-proclaimed ethics experts helping the Alaska Legislature become a more inclusive place by working overtime to purge it of conservative legislators and conservative speech.

My family and I continue to stand in dark places today, and we can do it because we have the support of many good people behind us. Please lend us a hand as we work to weather this storm.