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Wasilla GOP Candidate Forum Madness!


Yep, I watched it all, courtesy of the video taken by the eponymously-named Republican blogger, “Politadick.” There’s no easy way to prepare you for this, so let’s just dive in.

But first, a visit to the United States Flag Code:



Mike Coons, recently reappointed by Gov. Dunleavy to the Alaska Commission on Aging hosted a Mat-Su candidate forum this past weekend. It took place at the Senior Center in Wasilla. Why isn’t the governor’s appointee to the Commission on Aging wearing a mask at an indoor event at a Senior Center, you ask?

Coons: “What does that mean to us as [airquotes] ‘mature citizens’ and [airquotes] ‘the vulnerable?’ Use your head. Stay away from the young kids and out of the bars… The other side, the liberal left, or as I call them ‘the socialists’ live on emotion and fear. We don’t do that stuff. So, that’s that.”

So no masks or social distancing for “the vulnerable” or “the mature.”

Great choice, Governor.

The Republican Party was on full display, like a crazy, crazy peacock. Here’s a link to the full event if you have the stomach for it, and if you want to make Politadick feel popular, but I’ve distilled it all down to bring you the highlights.




Each candidate was asked to:




Every single candidate said no to eliminating oil tax credits (which would save us about a billion dollars a year). Every single one said no to the “jungle primary.” Every single one said no to the binding caucus. They’re deeply suspicious of education and “the curriculum,” and people from Anchorage and Juneau. They want to cut the budget, pay no taxes, and get better results. And for folks who claim they don’t “live on emotion and fear” they sure are terrified of “the socialists.”

These little cookie cutter candidates who believe exactly the same things also call Democrats sheep. I hate to tell them, but there’s a reason they refer to organizing Democrats as “herding cats,” and it’s not because we’re sheep. 🙂

So other than the fact that they’re all the same, here are some memorable moments, and quotable quotes from the Republican contingent in the Mat-Su Valley:




The legislator who lost reelection after saying that if seniors couldn’t afford to live in Alaska, they could just choose to leave, is back. No mention of shoving grandma out on the ice floe this time, but she does think that taking away subsidies from giant multinational oil conglomerates is “pulling the rug out from a business,” and equated political parties with “choosing your church.” The two things she wants to do is undo regulations for businesses, and make sure to “stop bad things from happening,” like Democrats coming for your guns.



MARK NEUMAN for HD08 (incumbent)

He definitely likes giving all that extra money to oil companies. He reminded everyone that he was the House Resources Chair when Sean Parnell pushed through SB21. AND he actually reminded the audience that it was called the “More Production Act.” He didn’t remind them that production has tanked since then. Oops. He supports the current failed system. Yay.

His bills would be: electing our Attorney General instead of having one appointed by the governor, and a bill that would allow the mining road to Ambler through park land, that the public pays for, but won’t be allowed to use.

He made sure before getting off the podium that everyone knew he homeschooled his kids because he was “concerned about what they were learning in school” and that a previous bill of his is why you “have the right to use deadly force anywhere you have the right to be” in Alaska.




Kevin McCabe was watching a video of Sarah Huckabee Sanders when he became “inspired.” You’re going to need to sit down for this one. “There were 5 words that inspired me,” he said. “She was talking about the Holocaust, but in this case they apply to Alaska.”

She was talking about the Holocaust. But in this case her words apply to Alaska.

“Those words were, ‘Why didn’t somebody do something?’ $17 billion in the last six years are gone from our reserves and from our savings. Why didn’t somebody do something? PFD got put in the governor and legislature’s hands. That sleight of hand cost you and me thousands of dollars. Why didn’t somebody do something?”

Why didn’t someone prevent genocide vs. why didn’t someone curb spending.

Yeah. Totally like the Holocaust.  NEXT!



DAVID EASTMAN for HD10 (incumbent)

We all know David Eastman. Intransigent, know-it-all, “the only one to vote no” more times than we can count, openly hates any and everything that acknowledges the contribution of people of color to society. The one who said Alaska Native women get pregnant on purpose so they can get abortion vacations paid for by the state. The one who tries even the patience of the very patient Speaker Bryce Edgmon.

He spent most of his time bashing his fellow Republicans for not being extreme enough – Louise Stutes, Paul Seaton, Gabrielle LeDoux, Chuck Kopp, Gabrielle LeDoux (again), Lisa Murkowski (for not voting against Obamacare), Gary Knopp, and on and on.

His two bills: “Our future is at risk! We are losing free speech on college campuses!” He has a bill that will address that, he says. Also people should vote on the PFD.




This is the candidate who was caught smirking on video as he remarked that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was “not long for this world.” He’s basically the same as David Eastman, but his bulb is a little dimmer and he looks unsure of himself and uncomfortable in front of people. He had insightful remarks like, “You can have a Republican agenda, or let Dems run the show,” and we need to support Dunleavy more. He also believes that not giving oil companies an additional billion+ dollars a year in tax breaks will “run the oil industry out of the state.”  I guess he doesn’t realize that Alaska is literally their most profitable place to do business. Or maybe he does,

His two bills would be a Constitutional budget cap, and the way we elect judges because the Bar Association “gives the governor no choice on the appointments often.” In reality, the governor gets 3 choices, but ok. And he says because there are members of the Bar Association on the panel that select these 3 judicial candidates, that “one third of the government is run by the Bar Association, and that’s untenable.”

He made an offhanded jab at his opponent, David Eastman, by saying “If you have someone who doesn’t work with others you ought to bench them.” I’m not sure how well Jesse Sumner is going to work with others but I suggest you don’t hold your breath.



DeLENA JOHNSON for HD11 (incumbent)

Her two bills were to make it so you can’t be sued if there are conflicting messages between the governor and mayors because “businesses are open to lawsuits with no insurance available.” I’m assuming this has to do with mask mandates and the difference between what Dunleavy says (eh, wear a mask if you want but we’re not going to tell you what to do with your LibertyFreedom™) and what Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of Anchorage, says (you must wear a mask to preserve public health).

And you know how Republicans are always griping that Democrats have stupid frivolous bills and nothing should ever happen in Juneau unless it’s a budget bill? Well, she’s going to put forward a bill to make cabbage the Alaska state vegetable. Let’s all bookmark this one for the next time they complain.



CHRIS KURKA (arrived late and kind of a hot mess) for HD07

The former Director of Alaska Right to Life.

We are spending our children’s future and need to cut the budget more!

Prop 1 is trying to “choke out the remaining oil industry!”

Prop 2  “is a Democrat conspiracy to wrest power from constituents!”

His two bills were: Abolishing the binding caucus and to “Move the capital back to Alaska. We shouldn’t have to drive through a foreign country and get on a boat to talk to our legislators.”

Sounds like someone skipped Alaska history class! Who’s going to tell him that Juneau is IN Alaska, and that we have planes now? And also the bazillion dollars a capital move would cost would REALLY be “spending our children’s future.”




She reminded everyone that she actually ran for Lt. Gov. but was “happy to be the anointed, appointed House Representative” and that she is “running to prevent any other imposter from coming in and taking over the voices of the people in Eagle River!” She did NOT remind everyone of her fake swearing in by a city clerk before the legislature even voted to approve her appointment.

On Prop 1 she says no because “We need to stop taking our oil companies for granted.”



He’s the one who slapped the Anchorage Daily News reporter across the face in the Capitol building stairwell, and was accused of trying to “up-skirt” photo a high-level staffer who wouldn’t let him eavesdrop on a closed confidential meeting. But I digress.

His two bills: Change education funding so we pay less and get more (that would be a neat trick), and “make the judicial system more accountable,” whatever that means.

He also says “don’t believe Facebook,” and the reason he just sits there and never makes speeches on the Senate floor is because they’re not effective.




Her qualifications? She’s “been involved in a lot of things” and is a “lifelong Republican” (except, she said, for those few years she belonged to the secessionist Alaska Independence Party).

A budget cap should be in the Constitution. The PFD should be in the Constitution. The binding caucus should be in the Constitution. ALL THE THINGS should be in the Constitution! I have a feeling that putting things in the Constitution might be a little more difficult than Bee Rupright imagines.

“The jungle primary is socialist agenda, so that is OUT!”

The judicial system is, wait for it… “socialist because judges are getting appointed on the Democrat side.”

She “doesn’t like the curriculum” in schools. We should cut the education budget, hire more teachers, and get better outcomes. She clearly went to the David Wilson fantasy-land economic school of ‘you should magically get WAY more than you pay for.’





NO, this is not the REAL Santa who sits on the North Pole City Council; this is some kind of fake knock-off right-wing Santa from Wasilla who is basically stealing the good name of Santa on the ballot!

THIS Santa (whose real name is Loy Thurman, but who will have ‘Santa’ on the ballot) thinks we “need to start cutting the budget.” Start? We’ve already cut the budget by more than 40% to the marrow of the bone. Has right-wing Santa been on Christmas break for the last 3 years?

He said the government is not the solution because they don’t generate money, they are always trying to take control, and they will take everything away from you. “Sorry for those on the take, but we can’t keep giving it out.” That doesn’t sound very Santa-like to me. I wonder if this former Marine Corps Santa is willing to give up his veteran’s benefits.

“The jungle deal is a planned thing from the socialists,” he says, and socialists are like a boa constrictor that “squeezes and doesn’t let you take air in. You suffocate. That’s what socialists do, they keep putting it out, and putting it out, and sooner or later they get their crap through.”  

He thinks that to appoint judges, “the people should be voting for 3, and the governor for 3” because the Bar Association originally pledged their allegiance to the Queen. “When it’s not under the control of the legislature you got a problem. The judicial is not meant to be the final decision on anything. They just give their opinion.”

No thanks, imposter. We’ve already got a Santa.





Stephen Wright wins the award for most rambling, unintelligible candidate of the day – and that’s saying something. He also wins the award for having a button as big as his head with his own name on it.

He kept going on and on about “socialists like to take half of everything. They took half your dividend. They look at halves. They disregard half the earnings… Everything the left does cuts everything in half.”

And then he immediately went on to say that Gov. Hammond’s 50% plan (for the dividend) was great.” SPOILER: 50% is also known as “half.” And he thinks it’s great that Trump has gotten rid of “half” the regulations.

Terrifyingly, he taught school at one point. (Non-union. Interim license.) He thinks the cost of education is too high and we should have a 4-day school week.

He’s not sure about the two bills but he heard a lot of good ideas during the forum, and he’d “support most of the good ones.” And he’d also change how we select judges “because we don’t want legal system to be overrun by private attorneys.”

Half-baked? Half a bubble off? You decide.





He came to Alaska 5 years ago because he was fascinated by Alaska TV shows, and he’s running because he wants to save the world, and some day he will run for U.S. President.

According to Lee, there is no freedom of speech in the Lower 48, but we have it in Alaska “because it’s a red state.”

His two bills: Make prisoners have mandatory forced labor. “We cannot work for them because they are criminals. We can’t work for them because we work for ourselves.” And to legalize farming of Alaska wild animals and plants. We need to farm bears so we can sell fur and bear jerky, and turn Alaska edible plants into vodka because “it has amazing taste and is full of antioxidants.”





STEPHEN DUPLANTIS FOR SENATE DISTRICT L (from Anchorage by special invitation)

He came to Alaska because his wife was in the Air Force. Then they left. He went to Bible school and returned in 2011 “because God called him back to Alaska.” He’s done mission work in villages and moved to Anchorage 5 years ago.

He remarked that the legislature finished the session “as soon as this covid crap started” so they should be able to finish that quickly all the time. He mostly talked smack about Anchorage and “the big cities” and said he really wanted to “live in the Valley with you guys because I feel a connection.” Take note potential Anchorage constituents of Stephen Duplantis.

“I’m not going to cower down to political correctness. I’m not going to cower down to any mantra that’s out there. I’m not going to cower down to fear that the virus is going to kill me. I’m gonna die one day, guys. I’m gonna die one day, and whether it’s going to be the virus or an automobile accident, I have no idea, but I’m gonna go out with a bang I can guarantee you that.”

He’s also “fed up with the Alaska Republican Party” and says they “need an enema” – presumably to clear out all those lefty Republicans.

His bill? “The most important thing that nobody’s talking about, when and how we grant emergency powers – it’s gone too far. We should have opened fully a long time ago. Eight states didn’t close down and they’re doing fine. There’s no reason to close down. Fear is not from God. God gives us the spirit of a sober mind and discipline.”




And let’s say goodbye with these pearls of wisdom from Mike Coons, the governor’s flag-draped re-appointee to the Alaska Commission on Aging:

“This is a tough race. We’re in a world of hurts in this nation. And we’re in a world of hurts in this country. In this state. And we’ve got socialists out there that call themselves Black Lives Matter, Antifa, anarchists that are trying to take this nation down. And frankly, this is my personal opinion, we are in a Civil War right now. We are that close (holds fingers very close together) to a hot civil war. The only way we can step back from that brink – to step back from Fort Sumter – is we have to take back our legislatures, we have to take back our Congress. We have to make sure we have a conservative House, a conservative Senate, and we have a President of the United States – Donald J. Trump! (cheers) And that said, we are a 501(c)4 group so we cannot endorse a candidate, but we can collect money!”



Just a reminder that there are great candidates in the Mat-Su running AGAINST the people you just read about:

  • Alma Hartley in HD08
  • Bill Johnson in HD09 (His opponents George Rauscher and LD Howard didn’t even show, but we’ll definitely cover them another time!)
  • Monica Stein-Olson in HD10
  • Andrea Hackbarth in HD11
  • James Canitz in HD13

The Republican Party is not shy about showing you who they are, and what candidates they support. The way we win is by turning out votes. Remember, you do NOT need to stand in a long line of people. You do NOT need to take time off from work. You do NOT need to endanger your health or others’, or worry about something coming up at the last minute to keep you from the polls.

Click HERE to get your absentee vote by mail ballot. If Republicans want to put themselves in harm’s way so they don’t “live in fear” of a deadly pandemic, there’s nothing we can do. But we are smarter, and safer. Do it right this minute and cross it off your list. And remind your friends to do it. Send them the link. Follow up. We can’t turn Alaska over to people who think like this and act like this.

Hang in there and keep your eyes on November,


PS – We have a Coordinated Campaign volunteer Facebook group now! If you want to help phone bank, text bank, and get involved in all kinds of new socially distant campaign strategies for great Democratic candidates, click HERE!



This article is posted with permission of the Alaska Democratic Party



4 Responses to “Wasilla GOP Candidate Forum Madness!”
  1. CityKid says:

    Thanks for being a “firewall.”

    Now I need a beer.

  2. SANTA CLAUS says:

    Hi, Jeanne: Thanks for re-printing the Alaska Democrats’ Facebook post. I bid farewell to my 309,000 Facebook followers in 2018, and can’t post my comment there. I don’t know Loy Thurman (Senate D); and, he sure doesn’t appear to represent the loving and giving spirit of Santa.

    • Jeanne Devon says:

      Thanks, Santa!
      And I agree about imposter Santa. You will always be the real Santa to me! 🙂

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