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Friday, January 28, 2022

GOP Official Ms. Fires

And by "freedom," he means our freedom to make the same choices he does.

And by “freedom,” he means our freedom to form the same opinions he does.

FAIRBANKS, AK — A far-right elected official on the borough assembly has demanded Ms. Magazine be pulled from the shelves of a local grocery store.

Lance Roberts does not like the publication’s support for the reproductive rights of women, and demanded the Fairbanks Co-op Market pull the magazine from its shelves so that other shoppers couldn’t make up their own minds on the matter.

The store has complied with the politician’s demand, and in his newsletter a gloating Roberts is doing a little end zone dance:

The Co-op Market had some left-wing political magazines they were selling, and at that time they seemed unwilling to change that. They have now contacted me and said that they wouldn’t be carrying those extreme magazines anymore (my words, not theirs). So I’m staying as a member-owner of the Co-op Market and am shopping there again. I went in yesterday, and sure enough, they only had food and health magazines up for sale.

Isn’t that special? Roberts skulked into the store to ensure the silencing of views not to his liking was continuing apace. Many of us have stood in the checkout line and seen something we may find disagreeable—Kanye West, Ted Nugent, or a pack of Kardashians—staring back at us from the magazine rack. The difference between the rest of us and Mr. Roberts is that we don’t seek to preemptively impose our own preferences upon other shoppers.

Ironically, the very first item Roberts lists on the “issues” page of his campaign website is his praise for this:

The free market coupled with individual responsibility and personal freedoms.

By which he means the government should make the reproductive decisions for every woman in America, dictate to consenting adults whom they may and may not marry, and continue making marijuana use a criminal offense—while  personally dictating his choice of reading material to local shoppers. Can’t you just feel the LibertyFreedom™ washing over you? No? Well, that’s because you cannot be trusted with it. So Roberts is going to hang on to your freedoms for you, so he can look after them for safekeeping.

“He went after the small store because he’s a bully,” explains Fairbanks resident David James. “Bullies always go after whomever they perceive as being least able to fight back. He didn’t go after Safeway or Fred Meyer.”

A Co-op Market shopper peruses Roberts-approved inventory.

A Co-op Market shopper peruses Roberts-approved inventory.

Roberts founded the Interior Conservative Coalition, is the Republican District Chair, and serves on the state party’s Rules Committee. His mom, with whom he lives, is the Secretary for the Interior Taxpayers Association. Roberts publishes screeds with unintentionally ironic names like The Absurdity of Government Trying to be your ParentSilly government—behaving like your parent is his job.

It all makes one wish he were bright enough to appreciate concepts like irony and hypocrisy. Of course he supports “firearm freedom” on the local university campus, and “school choice” when it comes to public education dollars going to religious schools. But the freedom and choice of shoppers to decide for themselves which magazines they’d like to purchase? Not so much.

Perhaps next Mr. Roberts will pressure internet service providers around town to make only websites that comport with his own views available to customers. (It’s been nice knowing you, Fairbanks.)

Unprincipled hypocrites like Roberts are why words like “freedom,” “choice” and “liberty” have lost all actual meaning beyond “stuff I agree with” in our political discourse.

“I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend,” Thomas Jefferson wrote. Roberts, by contrast, will be the Co-op Market’s friend only if the latter bends to the former’s ideological views.

If you’d like to share your feelings about the matter with Mr. Roberts, here are some contact options:
EmailFacebookTwitter (@FBXConservative)

Mary Christensen, General Manager of the Co-Op Market, can be emailed here.

The publication that's posing an existential threat to Fairbanks, Alaska.

The publication that’s posing an existential threat to Fairbanks, Alaska.



53 Responses to “GOP Official Ms. Fires”
  1. No Name says:

    David James – don’t talk about Sarah Palin like that…lol…probably a fan of her occult of politics…witchy woman…

  2. mike from iowa says: accepts advertising from wingnuts like Ted Cruz. OMG,Jeanne and crew have gone over to the darkside.

  3. Bigtoe says:

    Just what IS the official reason for capitulation? Anyone?

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Read the FB comments above- something to do with keeping their selection of offerings “neutral”. Without the actual language the board governs itself with, who knows?
      Interesting that selection-neutral dealie. IF they sell health magazines which yap about obesity- is that neutral? Not to far too many like ole whatzername- that’s big gubbmint, nanny state stuff ennit?
      Also, too, choices about offering free range meats, organic eggs and dairy products , locally grown foods all come from a non-neutral notion of healthy-food. Is it/are they neutral in the sense that antibiotic raised meats, growth hormone milks, and sprayed-cuz-we-get-more-acre-yield grains are offered along side ?
      I would really like to know what the operating language is.

    • Dagian says:

      I found this posted above:

      [quote]Anduin Kirkbride McElroy
      This article is poorly reported. Devon, the author, did not interview either party to confirm facts, but instead based the entire article on Roberts’ newsletter. Had she contacted Mary Christensen, the general manager of the Co-op Market, she would have found out that the latest issue of Ms. isn’t on the stands likely because of lack of sales. Christensen told me that the Co-op sold four issues in December, one in January, and one in February. The shoppers have thus voted on if Ms. should be carried, and by not buying it, they are saying no. Before spewing articles that incite boycotts, the author should take time to check the facts.

      I am a board member of the Co-op and have high faith in our management and store policies. I trust that every decision whether or not to carry a product is based on a number of factors including customer demand, price, our product selection policy, and inclusivity. As a co-op we have to think primarily about what is most important to our membership and community. Good healthy food offered at the best price we can afford is our number one goal. Other goals include participating in the movement to produce more food locally, operating a financially sound business, and concern for our community. We are very fortunate to have the Co-op Market in our community. I do hope you all will continue (or start) to shop there; its success is our success![/quote]

      • Heather says:

        Thank you for posting this info. I hope the lack of sales really is the reason why the magazine was discontinued. It’s personally one of my favorites. Guess I should have bought more.

  4. Alaska Pi says:

    Ok. Does anyone who is a member have the relevant language the CO-OP has about “politically neutral” Mr Roberts thinks carrying Ms magazine violates?

    akmuso, below, hits the major point square on the head- the assumption that the item proffered is the same as advocating any views that might be contained in it.

    The actual language and any followup as regards intent for including it ? Please?

    Mr Roberts’ temper tantrum in the FB comments here and shouting lies-lies-damn-lies whilst refusing to answer folks’ questions is quite telling.
    And what it all tells is not pretty. This doof wants Ms gone because it isn’t politically neutral but his crowing is ALL about his own lack of political neutrality? Pffft!
    NO owners are more equal than any other owners. The CO-OP has only been around a year so perhaps the GM and board haven’t worked out sensible responses to the histrionics of single members yet. Hope they get it together or they won’t make it.

  5. RipleyInCT says:

    You had me at “he lives with his mom”.

  6. Roderick Teh says:

    Mary Christensen, GM of the co-op, just so lame to kowtow to this hypocritical politician. I used to live in Fairbanks many years ago, and thought that this wonderful city is arguably one of the last bastions of intelligence left in the Union. Lance is a hypocrite and a closeted case. Who at his age still lives with his mother? Fairbanksans should boycott the co-op cos it appears that the GM is taking it to the Far Right.

  7. Dee says:

    Reading all this is painful…
    I suggest each of you read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It was published in ’46 a year before Saul died. It is a 200 page guide for Transforming Our Country… A scary, but Good Read. Open thy eyes folks!

    • Alaska Pi says:

      open what eyes? what are you talking about?
      Mr Alinsky’s rules 5, 8, and 13 are in operation here- amongst others .

  8. akmuso says:

    Mr. Roberts conflates the stocking of magazines on the co-op racks with advocacy for the views that these magazines contain. This is a common error of projection made by so-called right-wing activists. More realistically, I assume that the co-op chooses magazines based on its estimation of what interests its members and what will therefore sell and make money. Why the co-op didn’t assert it’s right to display a healthy plurality of publications and just let Mr.Roberts walk if he so chose is beyond me.

  9. Vic Edwards says:

    As a co-op, with co-owners of different backgrounds, is it too much to ask that the group keeps to the business of selling wholesome food and personal products to a diverse clientele, while keeping the politics neutral?

    We get along very well with our neighbors. Many are very liberal. I am very conservative. Yet we look out for each other out of respect and kindness. They watch our animals when we are away and we reciprocate with theirs. We have keys to some of their homes and watch over things when they are away. They know we would never harm them or steal from them. If someone was breaking into their home, we would be there to help them in an instant. But we know enough of what makes for peace that we avoid discussing politics and religion in one another’s presence.

    But reading the vitriol in this comment section is very worrisome. Words show what is in a person’s heart. And from what I am reading here there are some very hateful people on this page. Hate is what drove Hitler to take care of the Jewish Problem. Perhaps this generation of Americans still has enough of a hesitancy to commit their political foes to the gas chambers and concentration camps. But in my half century of life on this earth I see the hate growing DEEPER, particularly on the political left. It’s only a matter of time when enough of this country’s leaders lack the hesitancy to eliminate life that we will see people being rounded up simply because of their faith in Christ, or because they expressed their opinion on a matter and annoyed the wrong person in government. Please — settle down folks.

    Lance has done nothing different than what the political Left has been doing (quite successfully, I might add) for decades. When a company or business does not toe the line on some issue, the Left goes ballistic and pickets, calls for boycotts in social media, and even sues. So now Lance, a part-owner in a co-op, expresses dismay over something that he finds offends his conscience.

    You folks in the co-op are neighbors, in a sense. Think about what makes for peace among neighbors. I suggest that this co-op sticks to selling quality healthy food and other products, and keep the politics out of this venue.

    • juneaudream says:

      I pray you..further learn what..genuine all about. These comments you consider to be..hitler-esue..come from many, who are educated..from colleges all around this country. We have learned about much and more..over the last 76 years. Do not look down..on those who see you/yours..for what they are. You are be..sentrys at Your gates, but..not at everyones gates. Enjoy chosen faith not remove material that is scientifically valid..because some disagree with it. One is not pick up a copy of ..’said magazine’..and read or buy it. Bookstores down south of y’all..carry a great many bibles and other books of faith. I do not linger near them, do not buy them..but I have never..chosen to ..snivel about and..point.. at a magazine/or book..and asked that it be..removed. You ask..for ..peace amoung neighbors. Perhaps if you read..12 years a will see that an attitude such as you suggest..would still have any means..alive, and the deep south. In order to must..question.

      • Vic Edwards says:

        There are a number of magazines and news websites that come from a conservative perspective, and do excellent reports on issues affecting health (such as GMO, chemical herbicides, the drug industry, and vaccines for example).

        If one of these magazines was placed for sale on the same shelves at the co-op that this “Ms” magazine was on, it would create a firestorm from some of the liberal co-op members — simply because within the pages of such magazines (mingled with articles that many readers of this webpage might agree with) are reports and investigations that progressive-minded people would be very much in opposition to.

        So while you describe yourself as tolerant of dissenting views, I’m wondering if there is an intolerant side that you might not acknowledge. More often than not, what passes for “tolerance” today sadly turns like a “Jekyll & Hyde” into monstrous intolerance at the flip of a switch on certain societal issues.

        We likely have more in common with each other than you realize. Not knowing what you believe, I’ll take a guess and suggest examples such as being against GMO, chemical herbicides, and most of what goes on in the drug industry.

        Men and women wiser than me have successfully navigated the pitfalls of discord by working together with diverse people to warn and educate about the unjust and corrupt actions of certain corporations without unnecessarily dragging in the politics of the left or right into the equation. Maybe if the co-op sticks to that formula we can all benefit and feel mutually satisfied about what is being supported by this community of members. Peace, my friend.

    • mike from iowa says:

      He’s a wingnut. Wingnuts have no conscience. They have no souls. They use political intimidation to do what the law won’t allow them to do. They can’t hide behind religious beliefs because the religion they profess to have is unknown to mankind. They sure as hell ain’t christian. Heaven don’t want them and HELL won’t have them. I see Nazis every time someone claims to be from the religious right. Go look in a mirror for hate,that is where you will certainly find it.

      • Vic Edwards says:

        You seem to not like Christians. I just have one question for you. Imagine you rent a vehicle in an unfamiliar city and are trying to get back to the airport. The Garmin Nuvi directs you to a nasty part of town. Just then the car stalls and will not restart. It’s midnight.

        You get out and open the hood. Seconds later you hear footsteps behind you. You turn around and five men approach you from the shadows. Would it make any difference to you upon finding out that these five men were just walking home from a Bible study?

        People who have yearned for years for a United States free from Christian influence are finally getting their wish. Each year Christianity is waning from public life, and its influence is becoming less prominent. If these changes have brought you happiness, then you will get happier with each passing day.

        Maybe this is off topic, but maybe it is not. Peace to you my friend. I’m not ought to get you.

        • Vic Edwards says:

          “out” not “ought”.

          Forgiven, but certainly not perfect.

          • mike from iowa says:

            When so called christians learn to walk the walk,maybe then we can talk.

            • Vic Edwards says:

              I appreciate your comment. In fact, Jesus railed at the Pharisees for the very thing you mentioned, and sadly, it rightly falls upon many hearts who need that rebuke (to include myself at times). While I am not defending hypocrisy in Christians (or those who profess to be), I hope you are open minded and honest enough to recognize that hypocrisy is a “human” condition, not reserved only for people who claim to be Christians.

              There is indeed hypocrisy among progressives. Al Gore preaches the evils of global warming and social injustice, yet his mansion consumes enough energy to heat and power scores of homes. He truly leads a lifestyle of copious consumption. Likewise, president Obama criticizes the rich, yet he goes on so many lavish vacations, frequent hosts unnecessarily expensive bashes at the WH, and lives a life of opulence not unlike many dictators of this world – all the while pretending to be one of us “little guys”. And some time notice the gas guzzler pickups and SUVs folks drive who are on the progressive side. They can drive whatever they can afford as far as I’m concerned, but it is hypocritical to drive gas guzzlers while voting for those who want to put us all in micro cars.

              One of the best cures for progressivism would be for those who are its biggest proponents of it to live what they preach, to see what the true cost is before foisting it legislatively upon those of us who did not vote for it. So please be fair in your statement on hypocrisy.

              One thing I admire about Lance Roberts is that it is hard to find hypocrisy in his life. You or I may not agree with him on everything, but he is consistent as far as I can tell. Some unkind insinuations have been made on this blog about him living with his parents. Well, did you also know how much he does for his parents? He is a real unselfish blessing to their lives.

              • mike from iowa says:

                Consistency-like doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? That is an admirable trait?
                On living with his parents-maybe he has yet to acquire the skills necessary to make decisions for himself and therefore needs daily guidance of home life. (you brought this up,not me)
                Obama pays for the expenses he is supposed to pay for,the gubmint is required to pay for the rest. Bush gave up golf for two weeks as his sacrifice from a presidency of opulence like many dictators live.
                You compare Roberts to Al Gore. Either you think very highly of Roberts or not much of Al Gore.
                I remember a short discussion of the cost of war,back when Bush was Potus. His treasury sec,I believe,said the cost wopuld exceed 50 billion and he was replaced. Remember when we were assured that Iraqi oil would pay all costs of our little,in and out sojourn and Bush was certain of a swift and sure victory?
                Hypocrisy seems to be,not a human condition,but more of a political concern and since wingnuts have aided and abetted extreme christian groups to defy the constitution and engage in politics,the hypocrisy is pretty much one sided.

              • Alaska Pi says:

                “One of the best cures for progressivism would be for those who are its biggest proponents of it to live what they preach, to see what the true cost is before foisting it legislatively upon those of us who did not vote for it. So please be fair in your statement on hypocrisy. ”
                Holy moley! Egads, gadzooks, and crimenently!
                This statement alone made me laugh so hard I fell on the floor and broke 3 ribs!
                Looking beyond the progressivism-needs-a-cure crap , do you have any idea who the biggest proponents of progressivism are?
                Certainly not our current President or Mr Gore. Mr Obama is a centrist, just like Mr Clinton. Centrists are not progressive, nor are they necessarily even moderates.( I do think Mr Obama is a moderate )
                The value Centrists accord equal opportunity right alongside their belief in relatively unfettered capitalism distinguishes them from the authoritarian right, who assume equal opportunity is not possible. (As a far, far leftie I think it is hilarious every time someone starts the whole Obama-the-dictator-progressive routine- there are SO many, many things wrong with that I can’t begin to sort em out til I stop laughing )
                Aside from the fallacy that all progressives are the same even the ones who aren’t progressives 🙂 there’s the rather interesting notion that even progressives would reject their values if they had to live them.
                Well, I haven’t rejected mine after living my social democratic values to the best of my ability for over 40 adult years. Nor have others that I know 🙂
                Mr Roberts may be consistent but his values are repugnant as regards women. And as to what constitutes a member-owner in a co-op? He has expanded that in his comments around the “tubes” to likening himself to being a business owner. Welll, no. That’s not what it means.Not at all.
                Also, too, as this continues to unfold it is obvious he either misunderstood or deliberately lied about what transpired in his contact with the GM at the Co-op.
                Consistency, even and as well, has nothing to do with hypocrisy. One may be a consistent hypocrite, ya know? One can also be a consistent liar.

              • Vic Edwards says:

                I was not a fan of George W. Bush, but Bush — the man the media painted as “arrogant, elitist, and out of touch,” — played 29 rounds of golf as president, until quitting in August of 2003 out of respect for the troops in harm’s way.

                Meanwhile Barack Obama, “the man of the people” has played 163 rounds of golf and counting, while America is at war…while Russia threatens World War III…while the economy is in shambles…while millions have given up hope of ever working again…while record numbers of Americans are living in poverty…while black unemployment is double that of white…while food stamps, welfare, disability and all entitlements soar to record levels.

  10. John says:

    There is no point in writing to Mr. Roberts to tell him he is an idiot. But writing the co-op might make a difference.

  11. juneaudream says: delicious this is. When a person..of such limited ability/life experience/life educations….crafts such a ..’happening’ seems the weememory..NEVER..EVER..Remembers that the whole world will ..will do a fast double take..and send that information..out..into the of the world. A Lance..who has created his own..pantaloons..moment. hoisted as they his own..’petard’ (spelling..ah so sue moi;). Bless your sweet , miniscule brain case. Being as it obviously..empty..may I suggest you have someone crawl inside, and tattoo..a list of the events..similar to this one, that are all your creations..on the INSIDE..of said..braincase. (Also..wait long enough..the inks do not..trickle out yer ears..and ruin your spiffy attire….

  12. Biz says:

    Everyone should go buy a copy of MS at another store, and then go place it in the magazine rack of the CO-OP. This would be fun

  13. ugavic says:

    As someone who strongly supports what the Fairbanks Co-op is doing and offering it patrons and the agricultural community I am SO disappointed in them!!

    Please do not boycott them WITHOUT letting them know….but do like the better action of going in, asking for and buying the magazine.

    I would also taken the extra action of buying it for a month or two further so they do not just drop it when the ‘hollering’ is over.

    Again I am so disappointed in them.

  14. akbright says:

    Now, he is calling you out on his FB page: I guess you hit a nerve with this man.

    • ugavic says:

      Oh THAT makes me happy….will have to go read.

    • Dagian says:

      Evidently he’s not doing it anymore. I clicked on the link and the message “This content is currently not available” appeared.

      Maybe his mother told him to knock it off. (Maybe while reading the current edition of Ms. magazine – that would earn a lot of style points!)

  15. Dagian says:

    Well, has he insisted that all those glossy fashion magazines be pulled too? I have no idea if they carried them or not, but it does beg the question – what IS on his “approved by me!” list?

    In addition, if other store patrons wrote letters or went and spoke with the store manager, etc. ASKING for the return of the magazine, or the inclusion of a periodical they enjoy (Culture – for the cheese fanatics, for example) maybe they’ll reconsider.

    He made the most noise. Others can do the same.

  16. Dale says:

    A government official demand that ideas he disagrees with be removed from the public’s reach.

    This is literally a violation of the 1st amendment, if the Co-Op Market cares to take issue with it.

    • JHypers says:

      I’m not sure it goes that far. According to Lance’s own words, it appears he only threatened to revoke his membership in the co-op, nothing more. If he acted in any public capacity as a borough assemblyman, you’d be right on, but I don’t think that’s the case here…unless there’s more information we’re not privy to….

      • fishingmamma says:

        What would happen if I joined the coop on the condition that they stock theagazines of my choice and none other? would my membership be approved? How does this work? I hate bananas. I will only join a food coop that does not sell bananas.

        He was afforded the ability to clear out this magaziine because of his title. Otherwise, He would not have used his title in his comunications with them.

  17. JHypers says:

    Hahaha unbelievable it took Lance Roberts this long to get featured on here. He tried to buddy up with the Ron Paul caucus at the 2012 state repub convention, which I never understood given his zealous opposition to most libertarian planks being considered…but then again, virtually all of the delegation from Fairbanks was elected by the few districts that Paul actually took in the repub caucus, so it probably served for good face time in support of his eventual assembly bid. An opportunist if I ever saw one….with an odd stance. He’s fine with wood particulates polluting the air, but thrown into a tizzy when his grocery co-op carries a magazine he doesn’t like? Glad I don’t live in a borough.

  18. As Helen of would say, “He’s an asshat.”

  19. karen marie says:

    Wow, if there is one reason to be grateful that I don’t live in Alaska, it’s Lance.

  20. akbright says:

    I had reread this story. He actually got a Food Co-op to pull a magazine? Why did this place give in? I thought Co-ops were a gathering place for “granola”s (aka progressives). I would have like to see the manager plaster this magazine across the windows of the store.

    • Dagian says:

      Someone up-thread suggested sending a gift subscription of Ms. to the Co-op. They could have an in-store copy for anyone to read. I thought that was very clever.

  21. JanetinAK says:

    Not that I’m defending his actions, but an employee of the Co-Op explained their reasons for pulling Ms. Magazine, even though she was disappointed with the decision. Doesn’t change my opinion of Mr. Roberts (he’s an idiot), but the Co-Op should not be punished for following their policy. Please don’t stop supporting them. It would be a real shame if one idiot’s action closes this market in Fairbanks.

  22. fishingmamma says:

    I’m feeling an urge to subscribe to Ms. Magazine. I remember when they first started up, and Gloria Steinem was considered ‘radical’ for suggesting women should be able to work for a living and not be groped at work. Back when women were demanding the right to be heard on issues such as reproductive rights and equal treatment by banks and courts.

    We’ve come a long way, baby.

    • karen marie says:

      Apparently not so much given we’re still fighting tooth and nail for all of those things.

  23. Alaska Pi says:

    Oh for crying out loud! Pfft! Pffftt! PPFFFTTT!!!
    This doof thinks Ms Magazine is a left wing extremist magazine??
    Maybe in the 70s but it’s been barely left of center for years now.
    And that’s all I can say until I go away and swear for awhile.

    • fishingmamma says:

      I don’t think this doofus is worth the energy it takes to work up a good righteous anger. I do, however, have some boiling fury over the idiots that managed to elect him to office instead of leaving him in his foil hat in his mother’s basement.

  24. Zyxomma says:

    I need an irony supplement; I’m feeling ischemic. Or something.

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