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Fatal rumors

 

the target

Former Board of Fisheries member Karl Johnstone/ADF&G photo

 

 

In a historic and unprecedented move, the Alaska Legislature Wednesday night vetoed a gubernatorial appointment on the basis of a #metoo rumor.

The vote came after Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anch., said she had concerns about Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s appointment of retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone to the state Board of Fisheries. 

“In the last 24-hours, more than two women have reached out to my office, people who worked for the Board of Fish when Johnstone was previously on the Board of Fish to share concerns about his behavior,” Sponholz said. “They each described inappropriate sexual comments, which created a hostile work environment for them repeatedly.”

The discussion didn’t go much farther before the Johnstone vote was tabled only to have the joint session of the House and Senate reconvene later to vote 33-24 against his confirmation.

“It is hurtful knowing that  my daughters will read this and have to explain,” Johnstone said today.

Rumors that sexual harassment charges might be leveled at Johnstone first circulated over the weekend. They were expected to come up when Johnstone spent hours before the House Resources Committee on Monday night. They did not.

Still, it was being whispered that former BOF member Sue Jeffrey from Kodiak had an issue with Johnstone.  Asked about the rumor today, she said, that if there was anyone with an issue “I’m absolutely not that person.”

She added that she had no knowledge of Johnstone sexually harassing anyone.

The Johnstone confirmation process was rife with anonymous or vague accusations that he harassed or threatened people, who were said to be afraid to testify as to the specifics of any incidents because they feared “retaliation” from the former judge. It was never clear how Johnstone was expected to retaliate. 

Alaska fishery politics – or fishtics as they are often called – are known for being down and dirty. Commercial fishing was the state’s original big business.  Government, oil and tourism now do more to power the Alaska economy, but the fishing industry still rides through the halls of power on a golden image and swings a mean billie when it thinks that necessary.

Four years ago

Johnstone previously served on the BOF from 2008 to 2015. The Board operates as a tiny section within the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It is now down to four employees though there were once more. 

For at least part of the time that Johnstone served on the BOF, at least two of the employees were women – the executive director and one of two publication specialists. The then BOF director later transferred to another job within Fish and Game. The publication specialist left and eventually became the executive director of the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), the commercial fishing organization that is one of the state’s most influential – if not the most influential – political lobbies.

Neither woman returned phone calls today. The UFA vowed it would block Johnstone’s confirmation to the Board and lobbied hard to stop it. Johnstone had in the past backed the idea of shifting some Cook Inlet salmon harvest from commercial fishermen to personal-use and sport fishermen to meet the demands of anglers and dipnetters in the Anchorage metro area.

The urban core of Alaska, the metro area is now home to more than half the state’s population, and many of them don’t think it’s fair 1,100 commercial fishermen annually account for 75 to 90 percent or more of the annual harvest of Inlet salmon.

Commercial fishermen, likewise, don’t think it’s fair that they should be ordered to give up a single salmon to anglers and personal-use dipnetters. The result is an unsolvable allocation problem for the BOF which lacks for legal guidelines to steer allocation decisions.

Thus decisions hinge solely on the feelings of Board members, who have long been pressured heavily by commercial fishermen and increasingly so by non-commercial interests. The UFA’s fear was that Johnstone, a legally trained advocate, could sway other Board members to his way of thinking on Inlet issues.

The UFA executive director appeared before House Resources on Monday but suggested no past #metoo moments with Johnstone, a man married to a state prosecutor. The UFA director read a statement opposing Johnstone and attacked him, as did many others, for suggesting the economic value of Alaska fisheries has been shifting away from commercial uses toward more valuable non-commercial harvests, such as sport fishing, ever since farmed fish took over the global market for salmon.

As did others, she pointed to 2107 op-ed in an Anchorage newspaper in which Johnstone suggested the Alaska commercial fishing business as it now operates is “old and faded.

“Our industry,” she said, “is anything but old and fading, and to suggest otherwise shows a deep lack of understanding and respect for our contributions to this state.”

Blunt

Some of those who served with Johnstone on the Board over the years said they could imagine his upsetting “someone with sensitivity,” as former BOF member Tom Kluberton put it, but none of them saw any hint of sexual harassment. Kluberton was the bluntest of Johnstone’s former fellow Board members.

“I can imagine disrespect,” Kluberton said. “That part is easy…a grumpy old man, a grumpy old judge.

“A horny old man? That part I just don’t see.”

That said, Kluberton added, it was possible to imagine Johnstone at a busy Board meeting telling a female member of the Fish and Game staff, or for that matter a male, to “go get me a couple of pencils and a cup of coffee.”

What Johnstone did or didn’t do while serving on the Board in the past now appears as if it will never be known. When the process began, Johnstone said he was ready to face any questions that arose. He was today resigned to the fact that the process is over, and there is no way for him to answer any questions.

And no way to respond to any accusations.

 

 

 

 

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61 replies »

  1. “Before Spohnholz could finish her discussion, Senate Rules Committee chair John Coghill called out the Anchorage Democrat for her comments.
    “This is an accusation that has not been leveled in this building to my knowledge in any credible way, Coghill said. “It is impugning a character without any ability to respond to it or any information to substantiate it. I would ask that we not go down that road.”
    Sen. Bill Wielechowski successfully got lawmakers to table the vote, but Sen. Tom Begich pushed for a vote that eventually rejected his nomination, 33-24.”

    This was obviously a well orchestrated and prearranged plan involving at least six legislators, Ivy, Coghill, Giessel, Edgmon, Wielechowski and Begich.

    Ivy dropped the “me too” garnade between public testimony and the Johnstone vote, which accessed rules and procedures that allow slandering a person without proving anything. Coghill did a symbolic objection which got the “me too” subject tabled for no debate or proof. Then Wielechowski gets the Johnstone vote tabled so nobody can debate the nomination. Then Begich jumps in and forces an instant vote on Johnstone before due process can prove or disprove Ivy’s accusations. Giessel & Edgmon just sit there allowing all these pathetic events to occur in a matter of seconds, while many representatives struggle just to keep up with what they were supposedly voting on. I have spoke with legislators who are still confused as to if they ended up voting for or against Johnstone. At the very least all these legislators should be officially asked to reconfirm their Johnstone vote to disprove this confusion claim. Why would anyone object?

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  2. The Alaska legislature did not act in an accountable way and it wasn’t just a “below the belt” tactic. That would be minor rule breaking. Due Process Deletion
    to achieve political victory is an assault on every American and no legislative body should allow that. DPD would become even worse if the Alaska legislature does nothing to prevent it from becoming a standard political tool.

    Donald Johnson

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  3. Karl is one of the most genuine guys you will ever meet. If you know the man you know the integrity he has. He was the right man for the job.sonething has to done

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    • I have been around the men & women, of the USCG, since ‘74. They are by the most part good just people. I say Yes, to any retired member of that particular branch of government, works for me.

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      • What would you think if after the confirmation hearing had concluded for this retired USCG member, who is good and just, a member of the House of Representatives leveled unsubstantiated anonymous allegations that this good and just person could in no way respond to? Would you shrug it off and say bring on the next person…the meat grinder that is the House of Representatives needs fed?

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      • At the very least they should void the Judge Johnstone vote and Rep. Ivy and Tarr should be immediately reprimanded and censured to give other legislators a dose of reality

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  4. Political problem requires a political solution. The only organized opposition to Johnstone was from commfish, specifically UFA. We have the names of 33 legislators who voted against him. We can get a list of all registered voters in Alaska. It can be sorted by district. I think you can also get a list of everyone who has a sport fish license and / or a personal use license. Compare the two lists. Create a targeted list per district of people in the districts of the 33 who voted against Johnstone and target them this summer when the BoF and Kenai commfish once again screw up second run of reds into the Kenai, destroy dip netting on the Kenai, Kasilof and Copper, and intentionally target late run silvers like they did two years ago. It is time to organize. Cheers –

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      • You’re right. We will need it.

        The Laws of Physics also apply to the political world. Unfortunately, it is a non-linear system. This means that not every action gets an equal or opposite reaction. Sometimes there is no reaction at all. Other times, the reaction to a minor push is wildly larger than the action and completely in a different direction.

        The war between the sporties and commfish has been brewing for a long time. Walker’s election and his commfish-friendly BoF was one such action. I think it led directly to Dunleavy. Rejection of Johnstone was another. There will be a reaction to what Sponholtz did and it will not go well for you guys. Which will make me smile. Enjoy your new rules. I don’t think you guys are going to like playing under them a lot. Cheers –

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  5. Commercial Fishing is a legacy industry on the way to extinction. Time for the commercial Fisherman to learn coding at their local Washington State JUCO.

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    • In your opinion only!
      How has it been working for you so far? Making any headway yet?
      Are you able to see Russia, from where you live? Talked with Mike lately? What about his non-Alaskan budget director, he could not find a competent AK finance person?
      Go ahead, make my day!

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    • Most ComFish guys barely finished the 6th grade. It’s either fishing or selling drugs, there’s isn’t a JUCO program dumb enough for them, well maybe some SJW feminazi course or something.

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      • Besides being ignorant, concerning AK fishers educational level, you accuse them of being drug dealers, if they cannot cut it fishing.
        Tell you what, come on down to Cordova, I will take you out on a Copper River drift gillnet opener, see how you like fishing on the North Gulf Coast.

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      • Forrest Gump was a commercial fisherman! A pretty representative of the avg com fish IQ if you ask me! LOL!

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    • IQ is the number one predictor of career field, I would hazard do guess that most commercial fishers are in the sub 100 range, probably around the 85-95 area. This would also be a good predictor that they wouldn’t fair well in JUCO/Community College much less a University Degree in CompSci.

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      • Minho, your basing your opinion on what data? Do you say the same for other resource extractors: ie: lumberjacks, oil field workers & miners?

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  6. It doesn’t even matter what Johnstone did or didn’t do, the real issue now is a ransid legislator that allows unconfirmed rumers to determine board appointments.
    A Bill needs to be drafted to prevent this inexcusable (Dianne Feinstein due process killing tactic) from being used in the future. Rep. Ivy and Tarr should be immediately reprimanded and censured to give other legislators a dose of reality.

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  7. Ah yes, Democrats doing what they do best.. ACCUSE, FABRICATE, OBSTRUCT.
    Said it before, wait until the lower West Coast cancer spreads North. You haven’t seen anything yet.

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    • I’m not mad because it’s a dem that this came from, I’m mad because of the lack of process. How a retired judge and former BOF member can get blacklisted without a chance to clear his name or face his accusers is beyond me. Craig laid out a much more thorough list of issues with this debacle than I could do when he replied to James below. Lots of issues with how this shit show was handled – and it was not just from the dems. This is just good ‘ol Alaskan CBC politics in action.
      Cheers

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    • Senate for: Birch, Coghill, Costello, Hughes, Kawasake, Reinbold, Shower, von Imhof, Wilson

      Senate against: Begich, Bishop, Giessel, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kiehl, Micceche, Olson, Stedman, Stevens, Wielechowski

      House for: Eastman, Johnson, Johnston, LeBon, LeDoux, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Revak, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Wilson

      House against: Carpenter, Claman, Drummond, Edgmon, Fields, Foster, Hannan, Hopkins, Josephson, Knopp, Kopp, Kreiss-THompson, Lincoln, Ortiz, Sponholz, Story, Stutes, Thompson, Vance, Wool, Zulkowsky

      Cheers –

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  8. What a bunch of crying whiners! Who cares!
    Let the Gov nominate someone else, KJ is gone, get over it!
    I supported him, evidently the legislature did not. There have been many cases where different appointments to both BOF & BOG, were not confirmed, by the legislators in Juneau. It is not some commie conspiracy!
    If you do not like it, then complain to your representatives. Over half the AK population lives within the Anchorage/Mat-Su Area, and they have the most representation, at the capital. A lot more than people on the coast, where majority of comm fishers live. So, do not belly ache to me or blame someone else.
    Get off your couches and do something about it, besides bellyaching on a blog! For crying out loud! You are acting like 2 year olds, not getting their way. Shut the F•••••• up!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess this really means that the Gov and his backers/supporters, are not ready for the “big change a coming” to BOF, as so many posters have stated on this blog.
      Change is coming alright, though it may not be exactly what you want.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James,
        You make a few good points.
        I think it is comical that folks are thinking Karl was gonna make some big change in favor of personal fishing over comm fish interests.
        How easy everyone forgets how Karl and the “Board” were responsible for leaving Sam Cotten in as commissioner.
        “Walker asked for Johnstone’s resignation after a joint Board of Fisheries and Board of Game meeting during which members were supposed to select candidates for the Fish and Game commissioner. The boards were to forward a list of qualified candidates to the governor to select from for the position.
        The boards had five candidates but ultimately chose to interview just one, Acting Commissioner for Fish and Game Sam Cotten.”
        Karl served between 2008 and 2015 and during his tenure salmon returns continued to fall upstream in the upper Cook Inlet and King closures became the “norm” summer after summer (while all the time hatcheries pumped out more and more fish each year) yet we are supposed to believe this guy was gonna make some positive changes yet he did nothing to fix the problem for over 7 years on the board….then only supported Sam Cotten (a comm fisherman whos son is now benefiting from the commercial fisheries ) for commissioner.
        Let’s try a new face in the crowd and see if some fresh blood can make positive change.
        Next nominee…time to move forward!

        https://www.peninsulaclarion.com/news/2015-01-20/bof-head

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    • not the point, James.

      1.) if Johnstone sexually harassed state employees in their workplace, he should be held accountable. this isn’t Byron Mallott; “oh, we can overlook everything because no state employees were involved.” these were employees of the state of Alaska.

      2. if Johnstone didn’t do it, the Legislature owes him an apology.

      3. and (the biggest thing to me) WTF was going on if this is true? Cora Campbell was the ADF&G commissioner for most of this time; Stephanie Moreland was the deputy commissioner. women were running the Department, and this shit was allegedly happening on their watch?

      that, in turn, raises a whole lot of questions about today. if women were afraid to say something then, did Sam Cotten step in to see that got fixed after he took over? is there a better policy now so women feel comfortable reporting harassment?

      if not, has Doug Vincent-Lang moved to fix it?

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      • 1) Yes Craig, you are correct, these allegations need to be brought forward and investigated by law enforcement, though
        not by the legislature, not their job.
        2) No apology needed, appointees come and go. Not everyone a Gov appoints is confirmed.
        3) Yes, CC was the ADF&G commissioner (only female ever appointed to that role) though majority of higher ups on Raspberry RD & Juneau were part and parcel of the good old boy network. Same with BOF & BOG, majority of board members have been male with a scatting of females here and there.
        Yes, time to do some sexual harassment training for all state employees, way over due. BTW, CC was totally in over her head. She certainly was not going to rock the boat.
        A new age has come to AK, just like the lower 48, time to get with it, it is not going away.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Craig,
        I feel you are missing or ignoring the point that men in power are being “called on the carpet” all over the political spectrum.
        Joe Biden is the latest to be called out for his sexist comments and “touching” of women around him.
        This is more than just a “me too” moment…this is like a woman’s rights 2.0 in America right now.
        “That’s what Joe Biden did recently when he joked onstage about making women and girls profoundly uncomfortable. He laughed, as he pushed us all right back down.”
        So to answer your question…”is there a better policy now so women feel comfortable reporting harassment?” NO,
        Cause if they come forward with their names they are attacked and if they remain anonymous no one will credit their statements, so many women feel they cannot win no matter what they do.

        https://www.truthdig.com/articles/joe-biden-unmasked/

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      • Steve: clearly you haven’t read what i wrote.

        to repeat, this isn’t Kavanaugh or Biden, where there is actually evidence of what might or might not be inappropriate touching. i don’t know what to make of Biden. maybe he’s just a toucher/hugger.

        i’ve known a lot of women who were. always made me uncomfortable as hell. just not my thing to be hugging a bunch of strangers like we’re family. shit, i was never much for hugging family.

        but this isn’t that. this is an unsubstantiated rumor that could be true or could be false. it should be investigated and resolved, not kicked into a corner.

        if Johnstone is guilty, he should be held accountable. and if he’s innocent, then there’s another and arguably bigger problem in that something is wrong at the institutional rather than personal level. and those institutional problems affect all of us.

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      • Craig,
        I am reading what you write and most of it is filled with a sort of “Stockholm Syndrome” and peppered with an air of “Good Old Boy” attitude in regards to sexist characters in politics today.
        You wrote: “i don’t know what to make of Biden. maybe he’s just a toucher/hugger.”
        Well, I call him more a “scumbag”?
        “On Friday, former Nevada state legislator Lucy Flores accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate contact at a 2014 campaign event, alleging that Biden came up behind her, smelled her hair, and planted “a big slow kiss” on the back of her head as she was waiting to give a speech.”
        This is the sort of behavior that is just not cutting the mustard these days no matter how new your suit is or what title the government has donned upon your door.

        https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/04/01/39783102/looks-like-joe-biden-is-going-to-run-despite-an-accusation-of-inappropriate-touching

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      • Steve: i am going quote just once the position i’ve taken here from the start:

        “1.) if Johnstone sexually harassed state employees in their workplace, he should be held accountable. this isn’t Byron Mallott; “oh, we can overlook everything because no state employees were involved.” these were employees of the state of Alaska.”

        you seem to be having some problem with your reading comprehension. i’ll leave it at that except to add that i would prefer that you not make up shit that is patently untrue. it devalues your opinions as do your wanderings into the Twilight Zone.

        Joe Biden’s creepy behavior has even less to do with what did or didn’t happen in Alaska than the Blasey-Ford/Kavanaugh mess some others want to dredge up. if you think it’s fine men might be creating hostile workplaces for women in this state, and we should all just move on now ’cause Johnstone’s not on Fish Board now, that’s fine.

        i simply don’t share your view there mr. good ole boy.

        https://craigmedred.news/2017/11/15/penile-art/

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      • You are a certified member of the Sexual Hysteria Festival. Both the Kavanaugh and Johnstone messes had nothing to do with accountability. They are plain and simple political lying, cheating and backstabbing skullduggery and a giant step backwards accountability.

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    • HI James,
      I’m not just pissed about the fact that he was a BOF appointee – I’m pissed because our legislators lack enough moral principle and fortitude to call out potential bs when it arises. Smearing KJ’s name without the possibility of redemption reeks of backroom BS. Again, I would be pissed if this happened to any appointee, however, now that it happened to a moderate BOF appointee, I hope that the governor sticks a dipnetter (or just a dipnet – ouch!) up all of the Cook Inlet Commies keasters instead. Throw into the mix the issue of the lack of following up on sexual harassment events (if it happened – what about the victim?….), and you have yourself a good ‘ol Alaskan, ruled by man, shit show cover up. So which way was it, oh powerful legislators?…. substantiated or not? How would you know? By investigating it more than listening to a VM on your cell phone. This is bigger than CI fishies, sir.
      Cheers!

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      • Jack, it is a process. Just like POTUS, he puts a name forward and the Senate has to confirm. Herman Cain (recent appointee for fed reserve board) lots of prior allegations, old Mitch told “the Donald”, not going to happen. He is gone.
        So, let Mike appoint someone else, be it dipper, comm fish, subsistence, business leader, I actually do not care. They still have to go through the legislative confirmation process. KJ will be fine, his time on BOF has passed. Next up!

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      • James,

        You keep skipping over the part that he did go through the confirmation process, it is what happened DIRECTLY AFTER the confirmation process and before the vote that has people upset. You know the part where anonymous unsubstantiated allegations were brought forth, THAT is the problem.

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      • James you are wrong,

        “2) No apology needed, appointees come and go. Not everyone a Gov appoints is confirmed.”

        Two legislators have already apologized to Johnstone no doubt more to follow. Deleting due process is a direct assault on every American. You just don’t feel the assault because you are part of those who assaulted Johnstone. You need to start being honest with yourself. You can’t “throw the baby out with the bath water”, without terrible consequences. The next due process deletion will target you and yours, you cannot win by deleting due process.

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  9. The fact that an unsubstantiated rumor caused this man to be removed from consideration for the BOF is a bunch of FnBS. No investigation, no ability to defend his name and honor – what a crock of shit. I hope Dunleavy appoints a BOF member now who feels that commy fishing should be shut down in the Cook Inlet – forget compromise.
    Cheers – except to the f’ers who threw mud at a person without having to prove shit.

    PS – way to stand up for due process legislators… I mean panty wastes. Grow a backbone. (can anyone tell that I’m slightly bothered by this action?…)

    Like

    • Move on and have the next nominee also attacked by this serious lack of legislative due process? Are you serious? Would you go through the vetting and then just smile and move on when some legislator assignates your character publicly?

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  10. As someone who has been the target of unsubstantiated accusations, I understand the stress it places on an individual.
    With that said, I believe Ivy Sponholz did the only possible thing she could do and that was to relay the messages she received from the women who she potentially knew well (and trusted).
    It is very understandable that the “accusers” did not wish to make their names public as we see what happened in the Brett K situation.
    As for Karl…I wish him well, but also feel he had his chance on the board and nothing changed (at least not for the better) during his tenure.
    Craig wrote:
    “Johnstone had in the past backed the idea of shifting some Cook Inlet salmon harvest from commercial fishermen to personal-use and sport fishermen to meet the demands of anglers and dipnetters in the Anchorage metro area.”
    Well, in his years on the board why was nothing done to move this “idea” forward?
    Too much spotlight is on the board in my opinion…
    If the Governor really wants to straighten out the mess in the Cook Inlet there are many avenues for him to make changes.
    Start with all the delinquent loans to comm fish and pull their permits one by one.
    “Repo” boats with back payments to the state and take a hard look at limited entry permits which I think need some restrictions at this point with salmon returns the way they are….
    If all else fails, take the Vegan challenge for a year and ride your bike….
    It seems like Alaska is broken and no one seems to have the glue it takes to bring us back together….
    It is so different than 1910 when the Sourdoughs “Mushed” out to Denali and worked together to obtain a world class goal…

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    • Steve,

      If this course of action were in fact the only course of action she could have taken, then please explain why in the world she didn’t do so a mere hour or two before. Why if this was the only thing she could have done to railroad this confirmation hearing, why couldn’t she have done it during…you know…the actual hearing? Why pray tell did she decide to hold this information that was the only thing she could do until after the confirmation process had concluded?

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      • Was looking for a ‘soft” pendulum swing with Johnstone- retired judge who knows procedure. Commercial interests might just rue the day they torpedoed him. it will be VERY interesting to see how the Governor responds to this. Will those Dems who initiated this MeToo BS on Johnstone now be emboldened to try again, possibly in other areas?

        Like

      • Absolutely, the rumor mill was specifically waiting in reserve
        in case it looked like Johnstone would be approved. It was an illegal maneuver and our wonderful legislators should have either tabled the maneuver or postponed the vote until after an official hearing. This displays in full color the true abilities of our legislators.

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    • Steve,
      Tough shit. If you don’t have the fortitude to stand behind your accusations, then I don’t know what to say. These ‘women’ didn’t have to become publicly shamed, there could have been an investigation without outing them. Unsubstantiated rumors = bullshit.
      Cheers friend.

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      • Jack,
        A rumor is heard “through the grapevine”….
        An accusation comes from a first person account which is the type of phone calls Rep Ivy Sponholz received from women who she potentially knew well.
        Let’s face it…
        This is a sexist state.
        Think of all the abuse issues in AK.
        From the National Guard scandal all the way to our past Lt Governor we have had many women complain of sexual assault.
        Remember the rep who was slapping his sex partner in the side of the head cause “he liked it rough”?
        My thought is the legislature just did not want to risk this going any further and decided to end the nomination.
        It is not “tough shit” but the reality we live in when our president stands up and brags of grabbing female pussy cause he can.
        Woman are over it!
        Just ask them.
        My take is more and more will still come forward as our country continues to struggle with hyper masculine men in power with ties too tight around their necks.
        AK needs to loosen up and remember the pioneers.
        Real personalities with personal goals, passion and love in their hearts.

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      • Craig,
        My point was in how Christine Blasey Ford was publicly denounced by politicians like Trump after she put her name to the complaint.
        If you want more details of the allegations maybe you should try and contact rep. Ivy Sponholz and see if she has any further details?
        Here is a video of Trump mocking Dr. Ford at one of his “rallies”.

        Like

      • Steve: this case isn’t even remotely similar to the Kavanaugh case. this alleged harassment didn’t happen long ago among teenagers.

        this happened in the recent past. it happened when women – both the commissioner and deputy commissioner were females – were running the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

        either it is true or isn’t true.

        if it’s true, it would appear the Department of Fish and Game has the same sexual harassment problem that has popped up in scientific agencies all across the country, and the reaction of the Legislature – instead of opening an investigation to find out if this claim is true or not – is to take a speedy vote and move on?

        nothing to see here people. look away.

        and if it’s not true?

        Like

      • Steve, it is because Christine Blasey Ford was/is a liar who should be sued for every penny she has. Her pockets are lined with Democrat blood money. Oh, Kavenaugh was the victim. Just a little clarity for you.

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      • Byran: as i pointed out to Steve. this has nothing to do with either Kavanaugh or Blasey Ford. it’s not something that happened between teenagers long ago. it’s in the here and now, and it either happened or it didn’t happen.

        so, let’s not confuse the issue with personal opinions on Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh.

        if this happened, and women in Fish and Game were afraid to report it to their supervisors who for a good part of Johnstone’s time on the Board of Fisheries were women (BOF director, Deputy Commissioner above her, and the Commissioner above her), the agency has a serious damn problem.

        and if this didn’t happen – if a rumor was simply used by legislators to cover their asses while voting against confirmation to satisfy the wishes of one of the most powerful interest groups in the state – there is another problem.

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      • Craig, all one has to do is look to the national level for cause to pause for skepticism. Obviously, if something truly happened then that is one thing. But, what we have witnessed since Tawanna Brawley, Duke Lacrosse, Anita Hill, Kavenaugh, etc.. is guilty until proven innocent. A weapon against one’s opponent. Regardless in the “here and now”. The timing all seems a bit questionable doesn’t it

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    • You are a commercial fisheries puppet, nobody believes the legislature acted in an accountable way but yes everyone is bent on this. Also Ivy DID NOT do “the only possible thing she could do”. She had about a dozen things she could have done other than withholding her secret accusations during public the hearing and assaulting Johnstone when nobody could defend him. This is one of the most cowardly, despicable, backstabbing things anybody could do to anyone. You are a plain & simple hypocrite, you complain about genders assaulting each other while winking an eye as Ivy assaulting a person when they can’t defend themselves. Assaulting is never “the only thing you can do” and Ivy knows it. Assault is what people do when they can’t win a fair fight hypocrite!
      Assault is not just about consent, it’s also about intentionally harming others WITHOUT CAUSE!

      Like

  11. Proof that Democrats are not adults. Sponholtz has the social and intellectual capacity of a catty 7th grade girl. Decision by whispered rumours. Unbelievable. Just when you think Democrats can’t get any more disgusting … they set the bar even lower.

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    • Sponholz, “more than 2 women”. Was it 2.3 or 2.7 women? Surely if it were 3 she would have said the whole number. Right? Dangerous idiots making decisions on our state’s future.

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    • “This happened”? Nothing happened until it is prove! It’s called due process and has nothing to do with “women are over it” and nothing to do with “me to”. It has everything to do with due process and unfortunately the entire
      Alaska Legislative Body stands fully exposed and vulnerable to the resulting litigations. The settlement will be paid by us.

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  12. So why are the D’s so in league with commercial fisherman and against sport and personal use fisherman?
    The simple answer is money and self-interest.
    They are politically corrupted.in that their industry generates a certain cash flow that can be part-diverted for political purposes.
    They believe they have a private property right to the fish and that everyone else is a second-class citizen.I am sure that is not correct.
    Of course they do not have a right – but only a lease.to the resource.
    No problem with that.
    Maybe I would be a good Commissioner?

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  13. Karl Johnstone – another casualty of the Alinskyites. Why would anyone ever try to serve in public position if they can be impugned by such a troglodyte as Ivy Sponholz? And then it worked as they intended to radically transform Alaska.
    The commercial fisherman that spawn this crap also need to be sent to the beach!

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  14. As I said on Mustreadalaska.com, this deserves a censure from the whole legislative body.
    This is completely unacceptable and inexcusable. That the body as a whole would even vote under these circumstances is also an abomination. These tactics were pioneered by Dianne Feinstein (who suffered no consequence) and now the Left thinks its a grand plan. I believe the Legislature quickly voted to kill Johnstone in order to Protect Rep. Ivy. A lawsuit would be a waste of time. Rep. Ivy and Tarr should be reprimanded or censured.

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  15. Some people, apparently, have never heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. How many more times will this happen before we are desensitized and those who have actually victimized will be accepted with open arms and those who have been victimized will simply be dismissed.

    Anonymous sources after the confirmation process but before the vote…the elected representatives and our House leadership is at an all time low.

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  16. Someone want to start getting this issue on the ballot? Maybe a constitutional adjustment ? Alaska residents Subsistence first priority . Sport fish 2nd ,resident commercial 3 rd out of state permit holders 4th . It’s either that or tax sport , commercial ,and canneries at 90cents on every dollar they receive so state can pay for the subsidized hatcheries then equally divide the rest as straight out payment to Alaskan residents. Thus fisheries funded and all Alaskans get an equal share . Then we can buy tasteless farm fish or invest it back it alaska economy😉 Lets get laws changed and get land based fish farms allowed. I’m ready for that to be on ballot to . Heck let’s quit messing around and create a user based state tax system.

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    • Cant see onshore ranching take off here,expenses such as power and transpo., to high.
      But that wont stop the east side of PNW at some point.
      Disgracefull process with regards to johnstone.
      As somebody who has also been falsely accused(by fam member no-less),not a damn thing u can do to get that genie back in the bottle

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    • Opinion,

      Your priority suggestion is already Alaska law.

      “Maybe a constitutional adjustment ? Alaska residents Subsistence first priority . Sport fish 2nd ,resident commercial 3 rd out of state permit holders 4th.”

      All fisheries permits and management plans already publish subsistence as being first priority with other personal uses next and commercial fisheries last priority absorbing any excess fish.

      The magic comm. fish secret comes when they convince the board of fish that everyone has enough fish so they can kill and sell 90% of all fisheries. You cannot convince BOF members like Johnstone therefore you cannot tolerate them on the BOF.
      And that is why you use “underhanded, backstabbing due process destroying methods” to try to get your way.

      Like

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