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Tangled nets

sponholz

Rep. Ivy Sponholz, the Anchorage Democrat who lobbed a #metoo grenade into the Alaska Legislature/IvyforAlaska photo

The day after the Alaska Legislature blocked the confirmation of a Board of Fisheries (BOF) appointee amid allegations he sexually harassed multiple employees of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the state agency revealed it has no record of anyone filing even a single allegation.

The revelation does not clear retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone, a former BOF chairman, but it does raise troubling questions because of the implications that either:

  1. Alaska Fish and Game supports a culture so toxic that women are afraid to report being sexually harassed, or
  2. A lie was concocted to sabotage Johnstone’s reappointment to the Board to provide legislators cover to carry out the wishes of his powerful political enemies in the commercial fishing industry.

Either of these scenarios is a possibility. Sexual harassment in the world of science has become a major issue since #metoo forced a public reckoning.

“When it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault in science,” says the website 500 Women Scientists, “the evidence is clear. Seventy-one percent of women field researchers have received inappropriate sexual remarks and 26 percent reported experiencing sexual assault.”

500 Women Scientists was started by four graduate students at Colorado University Boulder who in 2016 wrote an open letter to scientific colleagues querying them about sexual harassment. They hoped, they later wrote, “to get 500 signatures – 500 seemed aspirational. We surpassed that goal within hours of posting the letter, and we continue to reach more and more….”

The organization’s home page opens to a photo of an empty ocean. Sexual harassment at sea – whether in the world of science or business – has long been a problem as another Alaska fisherman points out at the website StrengthoftheTides.org.

“…To ignore the dangerous rhetoric and abusive action of sexism within our own communities is to turn a blind eye to the unnecessary suffering many women experience on the commercial fishing grounds or in any maritime industries,” says the website. “Today, it is important to hold ourselves and the fleet accountable.”

The website was begun by Elma Burnham, a Bellingham, Wash., resident, who fishes Alaska’s Bristol Bay in the summer.

The original intent of the site, according to public radio’s KDLG, the voice of the Bay, was “to help women working in fisheries find safe places to work.”

Fish and Game officials said Friday they believe their agency represents one of those safe places. Stacie Bentley, the agency’s human resources director, said women employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment and provided robust protection if they do.

“If people file a complaint, they can’t be retaliated against,” she said.  “The state prohibits retaliation against a person who files a complaint.”

Commissioner of Fish and Game Doug Vincent-Lang, recently appointed by newly elected Gov. Mike Dunleavy, said his first reaction upon hearing of the charges levied against Johnstone was to check with others in the agency to find out if there was a problem.

A former director of the agency’s Wildlife Division, Vincent-Lang said he knows how insidious sexual harassment can be because he has had to deal with it in the past as a supervisor. The matter was handled privately, he said, and the woman involved fully protected.

“I take this seriously,” he said. “We have had issues in the past that we reported through the process. I feel confident in it.” But, he added, he planned to raise the issue within the Department again to see if any women  have fear.

Women in power

For a good part of the time that Johnstone served on the BOF, the Fish and Game Department was run by women.

Cora Campbell was the commissioner. She has since moved on to become the chief executive officer of Sitka-based Silver Bay Seafoods, a rising star in the Alaska commercial fishing industry. 

Stefanie Moreland was the deputy commissioner. She has since taken the job as director of Government Relations and Seafood Sustainability for Trident Seafoods. The company has been described by its hometown newspaper as “a Seattle-based seafood giant.” It made founder Chuck Bundrant the first billionaire in the commercial fishing business. 

Monica Wellard was the executive director of BOF. She oversaw a staff of less than 10, most of them women. Wellard has since transferred to the job of administrative operations manager for Fish and Game’s Division of Sport Fisheries.

“Nothing was reported to me,” she said Friday. “I certainly would have done something about it.”

Attempts to reach Campbell and Moreland proved unsuccessful. The companies for which they work are deeply tangled in the Johnstone opposition. Silver Bay and Trident are supporting,  business members of the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), the state’s most powerful commercial fishing lobby. 

The UFA vowed to do whatever necessary to block Johnstone’s confirmation to the BOF.  “It is going to take full action from our fleet…,” a UFA action alert to members warned.

Since the sexual harassment accusation against Johnstone surfaced, two women who once worked for Fish and Game have been linked to it. One now works for UFA. The other is employed by a third major salmon processor in Alaska that is a business member of UFA.

They, like Campbell and Moreland, moved on from Fish and Game to better jobs working for the commercial fishing industry. The names of the women linked to the #metoo claim are known to almost everyone involved in the tight word of Alaska fishery politics, but will be kept private here.

Many victims of sexual harassment are reluctant to report their experiences out of a false sense of shame that they might be responsible, according to experts on the issue.  And Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, chair of the House Resources Committee, has pushed a narrative that paints Johnstone as someone known to retaliate against those who challenge him, though no evidence has ever been presented to demonstrate any form of retaliation against anyone.

Stutes herself is an unabashed backer of the Alaska commercial fishing industry.

Before hearings on Johnstone’s confirmation began, she charged in one of her legislative reports that “he would destroy any semblance of the current balance on the Board. During his time on the board from 2008-2015, Mr. Johnstone established a reputation for anti-commercial fishing views….”

As evidence, she has pointed to a 2017 newspaper op-ed in which Johnstone warned of the large and growing dominance of farmed salmon that drives down the value of Alaska’s commercially caught wild fish. He suggested the time has come to consider allocating more salmon to sport fisheries capable of producing a better economic return on a common-property resource.

Commercial fishing, according to a state Fish and Game study, accounts for the harvest of 98.5 percent of the state’s wild resources. Sport fishing, that same study concluded, takes 0.4 percent and so-called personal-use fishing 0.1 percent. 

Personal-use dipnet fishing is, however, a big issue in the Inlet that washes up against the Anchorage metro area home to more than half the state’s population. Urban Alaskan dipnetters harvest about 10 percent of Inlet sockeye salmon.

Harvests from the  Kenai and Kasilof rivers reached a peak of almost 620,000 in 2011 when 8.4 million sockeye returned to the Inlet. but were down to less than 300,000, about a third of those fish from the Kasilof, as the Kenai run faltered last year.

For the 1,100 commercial fishermen active in the Inlet, the Alaska-resident-only, personal-use dipnetters are stealing commercial fish and commercial fish profits no matter the size of the sockeye return. The record personal use catch came in a year when the commercial catch was 5.3 million sockeye, fourth highest Inlet history, but commercial fishermen were none the happier.

And then there are anglers, many of them tourists. From 2004 to 2013, according to a report the McDowell Group prepared for commercial fishing interests, sport fisheries account for another 9 percent of the harvest. As a result commercial fishermen are left with but  81 percent.

When Johnstone was on the Board, commercial fishermen were angered by his success in convincing other BOF members to boost so-called salmon “escapements” into Inlet streams and rivers. Escapements are a count of the salmon getting past commercial nets to return to the streams of their births.

Commercial fishermen saw larger escapements as nothing but a ploy to shift fish from the commercial harvest to anglers and dipnetters.

Cook Inlet is the most fought over fishery in the state, and there are no objective standards for allocating salmon harvests there. Given no measure with which to parse the resource, it is simply impossible for the BOF to come up with a “fair” allocation.

Noncommercial fishermen considered the BOF under Johnstone’s leadership the most fair ever. Commercial fishermen, at the same, considered the BOF under Johnstone’s leadership the most unfair ever.

Poisoned waters

Still, despite Stutes’ aggressive opposition to Johnstone, her support from some other lawmakers from areas dominated by commercial fishing interests, and the political muscle of the UFA, it was widely believed Johnstone had the votes for confirmation when the Dunleavy picks for Cabinet and commission appointments headed to the floor of a joint House-Senate session on Thursday.

Prior to the vote, however, Stutes and Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, were seen consulting a cell phone on the floor. What was on the phone is unknown.

But Sponholz announced that “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. They each described inappropriate sexual comments, which created a hostile work environment for them repeatedly.”

Sen. Jack Coghill, R-North Pole, objected, and the confirmation vote was temporarily tabled, but lawmakers returned shortly thereafter to vote Johnstone’s appointment down 33-24.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, a sometimes critic of the influence of commercial fishermen in Cook Inlet, later told KTVA.com that the #metoo accusation was what shifted the vote.

“I didn’t feel comfortable voting for someone and putting them back into a situation where they were going to be working with the accusers,” he said. “It made me very uncomfortable to do that and I had planned on supporting him, so I know it changed votes. I talked to other legislators and it changed their votes.”

Sponholz did not respond to a query asking what was on the phone. Two Republican lawmakers, both of whom represent commercial fishing areas and said they planned to vote against Johnstone, offered public apologies to the retired judge after the #metoo blowup.

 “To wildly throw out such offensive accusations with a clear intent to derail someone’s nomination is a sick political stunt,” Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, told MustReadAlaska. 

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, did not return a phone call asking for his view on the charges of actual sexual harassment versus “sick political stunts” versus real sexual assault problems at Fish and Game now roiling the House where the opposition to the Johnstone appointment centered.

Johnstone, who is married to a state prosecutor, issued a statement Saturday saying this:

“Women have endured for too long various forms of sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. I believe that legitimate claims should be taken seriously and investigated.

“But let me be clear, I never made inappropriate sexual comments as stated
by Rep. Sponholz.”

The statement also highlighted that all of the women working in the support section for the Board when Johnstone was there previously have since left state employment or moved to other jobs, and noting that even if they were still working in the section, the BOF has no influence over the hiring or firing of state employees.

Out of sight

Neither of the women linked to the accusations against Johnstone have returned phone calls.

After the Johnstone accusations were leveled on the floor of the Legislature, two sources in the fishing industry who asked their names not be used said the woman who works for UFA informed them that she was not the person responsible for the accusation. A third source could not be found to verify that claim.

The second woman linked to the accusation now holds a position of some influence with Icicle Seafoods, another member of the group of seven, seafood-processing powerhouses that support the UFA. 

Founded in the fishing port of Petersburg in the state’s Panhandle, Icicle has long been a major and aggressive player in state politics. The company logo is a Viking longboat sporting a sail decorated with the map of Alaska. The longboat was a much-feared warship of the Middle Ages. 

A power player in Alaska fishery politics for 50 years, Icicle only became more so after its acquisition by Cooke Inc. in 2016. Based in New Brunswick, Canada, Cooke is the parent of Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

“The Globe and Mail,” a Canadian newspaper, calls “Cooke Aquaculture Inc….the world’s largest independent seafood company, with billions of dollars in annual revenue, shipping one billion pounds of fresh seafood annually to 67 countries.”

Cooke owns the Icicle Seafoods Seward Fisheries Facility and maintains a number of buying stations in the Inlet for the purchase of sockeye. Fish and Game considers the company a “major” buyer of Inlet salmon.

Any shift in Inlet sockeye from commercial to non-commercial harvests could cost the company, which has been active in the past in protecting its business interests. Icicle pushed the appointment to the BOF of commercial fisherman Roland Maw, the former director of the United Cook Inlet Drifters Association (UCIDA), the region’s most powerfu commerical fishing lobby.

An appointee of former Gov. Bill Walker, Maw was an even more contentious pick for the BOF than Johnstone. Maw argued that salmon in the Inlet are commercially underharvested to the tune of 18.5 million fish. 

That state mismanagement, an attorney for UCIDA charged in a lawsuit filed to force a federal take over of management in the federal waters of the Inlet, cost UCIDA members of more than $32 million. Federal officials are still trying to define their role in managing the federal waters.

Maw lost out on his opportunity to try to put money back in the pockets of commercial fishermen after it became known he was only masquerading as an Alaskan. He withdrew his name from the confirmation process upon the discovery he was claiming to be Montanan, too.

He did not, however, admit to that at the time, suggesting instead that he had been sabotaged by the Inlet’s sport and personal-use fishing interests. Though subsequently charged with multiple counts of felony Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) fraud for taking payments to which only Alaska residents are entitled, Maw was soon back in the fold at UCIDA.

He remains active in the organization. He popped up among the online commenters at the House Resources Committee hearing to note he had been listening, but he offered no comments. He is at this time scheduled to go to trial in Juneau in May on the charges of PFD fraud.

Few things in Alaska are more tangled than fishery politics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 replies »

  1. Rep Sponholz did more than a disservice to the “MeToo” cause.
    If there were actually “MeToo” grounds to reject the next nomination, few are going to take it serious. Most will now see the political assignation “MeToo” motivates and that’s a lot more than a disservice.

  2. Well, Ivy Sponholz is smart enough to ride the AK. voter tide…at least in the 3rd Judicial district…if
    a standing Superior court judge can get voted out, even after being recommended for retention, they are liable at election time. (And legislative confirmation votes). You know what happens in AK. if you don’t check the current tide tables.

  3. You do not understand due process if you still believe this is about the Johnstone nomination. By denying Johnstone due process while slandering him you took a small issue and turned it into a monster issue.

    The Alaskan legislature has a legal requirement to respect all legal rights owned to it residents but it did not respect Johnstone’s due process rights when it decided to vote on him without investigating the accusations against him.

    Due process should protect an individual from the power of law but the legislature forced the vote on Johnstone without applying that protection. This failure invalidated the vote because it violated the nominees due process rights. It may take you some time to finally realize this but it’s not about fish anymore.

      • actually, Bryan, Kavanaugh would be a good example of due process. he went through a long and difficult hearing. he was thoroughly investigated by the FBI, not once but twice. and eventually he was confirmed.

        his accusers were allowed to confront him. he was required to answer a lot of questions about the accusations. we can all agree to disagree on who was or wasn’t telling the truth. but the system itself worked like it should in a democracy where things are supposed to happen in the open not in secret.

        yes, it’s messy. but it beats any of the alternatives.

        Alaska has just gone for one of the alternatives. it is a very bad precedent. what anonymous accusations can be levied next to kill an appointment?

  4. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Rumor is that former Commissioner Campbell’s appointment to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is now in serious jeopardy.

    As the top dog at ADFG when these supposedly serious sexual allegations against the chair of the board of fisheries took place, Campbell failed the leadership test.

    Either she failed to instill a culture that took allegations of sexual misconduct seriously (she buried the truth to protect Johnstone during his time as chair) or she fully supports lying by her fellow processor allies (who control UFA) about sexual misconduct to further her interests.

    Either way, sounds like her appointment is dead in water in DC. Funny how torpedoes can circle back around.

  5. Washington State Comrade Mykland just can’t stop fixating on why his Comrade Brothers and Sisters in the Public Sector Union can’t get their hands on all the money in Alaska. My, My Comrade Mykland just think what your Comrades could do with all that money! Squeal Little Pinko Comrade, SQUEAL like the little Commie Piglet that you are!

    • Burt,
      Sticks and stones will break my bones, though names will never hurt me!
      So go ahead and rant away, your intelligence is out there for all to see!
      How is that working for you now? Getting anything out of it?

      • Hark, Is that a Marxist-Leninist I hear squealing away, wayyyyyyyyyyyyy down to the South? If Only Seattle could get their hands on the PFD there wouldn’t be any poop in the street. LOL!

  6. Every time that accusations of
    sexual
    harassment are proven to be false and motivated by politics or financial
    gain, it has a chilling affect on those who have been the victims of real sexual misconduct. It brings into question otherwise legitimate claims. If Rep Sponholz made up these charges just to sink the appointment of this man to the Board of Fisheries
    ( and the evidence is pointing in that direction) she did a disservice to the “me too” movement. When “me too” is used solely as a weapon, those using it need to suffer consequences, because not only is it terribly unfair to their target but to all women who have been the victims of sexual harassment.

  7. I guess my grandfather was right. A woman’s place is in the kitchen. A woman can’t tell lies to the public and ruin people’s lives if she never leaves the kitchen. Grandpa, I guess your were smarter than I thought! Ivy needs to go into the kitchen and make us all sandwiches.

    • Okay James . I get the humor but was it nessasary?? By same token your grandma probably said men have no place except outside the house and we should go chop them some wood 😉Women have no corner on lies .

  8. I think every white male accused of sex harassment should be required to wear a bright red “SH” label on their forehead until they are cleared of the charge. We should always believe the women in these cases, even if there is no evidence to support the charges, because it requires so much courage for them to come forward with their anonymous allegations. Once a charge is made, it should be up to the white male to clear himself of all charges. Asking the woman to prove their allegations is just victimizing them all over again.

    CHEERS!

    • Preach it Jim!
      The lack of process of guilt is going to be the undoing of the metoo and other victim movements. When points are given for being a victim and there are no ramifications for falsely accusing other people of deplorable actions, what’s to keep someone from doing this? False flagging good people is going to bring these well intentioned movements down – which sucks for actual victims of shitty human behavior.
      Cheers to you, sir!
      PS – I’ve heard some of the ladies in the Talkeetna area mocking the #metoo movement by calling it the ‘pound-me-too’… good enough for a smile anyway.

      • Jack,
        I usually can see a bit of humor in your replies…but not today.
        In light of the problems Alaska faces with Sexual Assaults and violent crimes against women in this state, I fail to see the humor in your thoughts on this issue.
        “A new state report provides a detailed and disturbing snapshot of serious sex crimes in Alaska. It’s the second year the state Department of Public Safety has produced an analysis of felony sex offenses, an effort that took many more years to bring together, according to Walt Monegan, public safety commissioner.”
        “More than half of the reported sex crimes involve victims under age 18.
        In all, 1,542 incidents involving felony sex offenses were reported in 2016, up from 1,352 the year before. These are initial reports for which the investigation may have not even yet begun, according to the Department of Public Safety.”
        I understand this latest accusation is not as serious, but every time we as a society mock a woman’s comments or accusation then we fail to protect those who are most vulnerable in our society…and ultimately convinces less voices to come forward in the future.
        Ask yourself: How seriously were the allegations against our former Lt. Governor taken? Was a thorough investigation carried out at that time?
        How about the National Guard scandal a few years ago…Was accountability brought before those accused of the “abuse”?
        In a state with some of the highest rates of sexual assault in the nation…we should learn to handle these situations with utmost respect and proper procedures…this means investigating accounts of “harrassment” and “abuse” and not just attacking the messenger for speaking out on the issue.

      • Steve,

        On one hand you claim you want to “handle these situations with utmost respect and proper procedures” and on the other you say you “cannot blame Ivy” for not handling this situation with the utmost respect or following proper procedures.

        Which is it man? Talking out of both sides of your mouth doesn’t help clarify anything. Either you think Ivy did nothing wrong or you think she didn’t…for the record she did.

      • I definitely see people getting rich off of these organizations, not sure if they’ll be white males, but opportunistic shysters come in all colors and plumbing fixtures.
        Cheers!

  9. My thinks Communists don’t like to be called Communists. That’s why they squeal so loud. I personally like to hear the squealing these pagan red diaper Doper Babies!

    • Just throwing an opinion out there: As far as the squealing goes, it looks like it’s you, Bryan and Mongo that are screaming the loudest…. Are you the commies? You live in a socialist state and get all of the benefits of doing so, free roads, schools, libraries, etc. You actually OWN all of the natural state resources (per the constitution!) AND you get a completely conservative free monetary distribution every year that you did NOTHING to earn. Sounds pretty socialist to me? Care to debate with facts or am I just a red diaper doper baby? I bet I’m more conservative than you – I just watch less FOX and try not to win name calling arguments… I’m going back to work (yes, I’m an evil man who works on rabbit egg day)…
      Cheers!

    • Um Jack, just throwing this out there.. No “squealing or screaming”:
      Many people think that universal healthcare is socialism. It is not.

      Many people think that public schools and free college education are socialism. They are not.

      Many people think that welfare is socialism. It is not.

      Many people think that police and roads are socialism. They are not.

      And many people now think that a federal Job Guarantee is also socialism. It is not.

      Because the federal government is the highest public authority and charged with the duty (US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) to issue US Dollars, it must issue currency with the intent of serving the needs of the public in its entirety, not just a few private individuals and entities. The US Dollar is public “money”; the sole product of the federal government and must be issued for the public purpose. What then is the public purpose? That which benefits the entire nation.

      1.) The provisioning of the federal government with goods and services, ensuring that it can properly function for the benefit of the nation.

      2.) Military spending for defense of the nation.

      3.) Infrastructure – transportation, railways, airports, roads and highways, bridges, power grids and energy resources, hospitals, buildings and ports.

      Got it now?

  10. “The revelation does not clear retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone, a former BOF chairman,…”

    Actually it does. The DEFAULT is “clear. Absent any actual evidence other than unsourced hearsay, he is innocent as the day he is born.

    The idea that second-hand accusations should be given any weight by rational people is frightening in its Orwellian evil and active stupidity.

    • yes and no, Matthew.

      the fact of hearsay refuted by ADF&G clears him in a legal sense, but in the public-eye he is now branded. that is the big problem of these second-hand accusations left hanging out there.

      there is no real way for Johnstone to clear himself. he’s caught in the dilemma of trying to prove a negative. Ivy Sponholz used the stature of her office to give the claim just enough credibility that some will believe it, and ADF&G has a motive to lie about it.

      viola, it “could” be true even though there is not a shred of evidence to show that it is true.

      welcome to the year 2019.

  11. information now surfacing this was a complete conspiracy between commercial fisheries and many representatives. Extremely twisted complex story. Begins with two commercial fisheries women being used by Ivy as a Johnstone removal backup plan. The plan being to strategically withhold the “me too” accusations and release them in between the hearing and the vote. Commercial fisheries Ivy was to trigger the accusations and handed it off to commercial fisheries Coghill to table the “me too” new information, which immediately prevented anyone from debating or processing the accusations. Giessel. and Edgmon then began a rapid series tabling, untabling, debate, no debate obstruction maneuvers between the nomination and me too information that resulted in half the legislators not even knowing which issue they were voting on. The end result being that Johnstone’s due process rights were deliberately violated by at least Ivy, Giessel and Edgmon and probably others as Begich was also in there working to accelerate the events even faster. The end result being voting confusion and the debasing of an innocence man. Someone needs to fully expose these guys.

  12. CORRECTION
    Target your letters accordingly,

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

    Senate against Johnstone: Begich, Bishop, Giessel, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kiehl, Micceche, Olson, Stedman, Stevens, Wielechowski
    —————
    House for Johnstone: Eastman, Johnson, Johnston, LeBon, LeDoux, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Revak, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Wilson

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

  13. Target your letters accordingly,

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

    Senate against Johnstone: Begich, Bishop, Giessel, Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Kiehl, Micceche, Olson, Stedman, Stevens, Wielechowski
    —————
    House against Johnstone: Eastman, Johnson, Johnston, LeBon, LeDoux, Merrick, Pruitt, Rasmussen, Rauscher, Revak, Shaw, Sullivan-Leonard, Talerico, Tilton, Wilson

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

  14. Two women reporting the sexual harassment just happen to work for UFA and salmon processors? Two Republican commercial fisheries lawmakers, offered public apologies to Johnstone?

    Just a bunch of coincidences, two commercial users assaulting Johnstone for assaulting them and two commercial user lawmakers apologing for the assault. Just a bunch of coincidences.

  15. I believe Karl in his statement and feel many of us in Alaska have suffered when the media takes one person’s accusation and runs with it….but I cannot blame Ivy for speaking up on the phone calls she claimed she had received.
    What I cannot understand is why did Karl only interview 1 guy (sitting commissioner Cotten) for the job in 2015 if Karl is supposed to be on the side of personal use and sport fishing?
    It was reported that he was given 5 names to interview at that time and this is why Governor Walker asked for his resignation from the board.
    Is this the real reason that Walker asked for his resignation in 2015?
    As for “undocumented” sexual “misconduct” at the workplace….well anyone who has spent time in the workforce knows that there are things not reported to management (on all levels).
    This is just a reality of life and the lack of formal paperwork on a claim does not mean that it did not happen.
    I understand this is a unique situation since the former female employees of this office now work in high salary positions for corporations who make their money off AK’s fisheries.
    What a “tangled web of life”.

    • There is no excuse for Ivy and the commercial user women failings to file a complaint or even bring the issue up at the public hearing. Such actions are only generated by desperate individuals who assumed Johnstone would be confirmed. This was a commercial fisheries backup plan that has now completely backfired.

    • Steve,

      While you choose not to blame Ivy for her reckless, irresponsible, and destructive actions the rest of us can and will. According to Ivy she had this information before and during the confirmation hearings and decided that she would stay silent, she said “in the last 24-hours, more than two women have reached out to my office…” That is she decided to stay silent until she knew her accusations would not be questioned and would serve to throw the upcoming vote the other way.

      This kind of action in no way helps anyone who has been a victim, in fact it only hurts them. The current House leadership has failed just like they did last legislative session when the leaders allowed all kinds of #metoo nonsense to go on including helping to try and cover for abusers. 3 Democratic lawmakers resigned in shame and others refused to run for reelection, there were even false accusations of sexual harassment against those who dared oppose the corrupt Democratic failed leadership.

      So keep excusing this kind of activity if you can live with yourself for being a part of sweeping sexual harassment and abuse under the rug. Keep excusing the political assassinations using unfounded anonymous accusations that serve your political purposes.

    • How is that participatory corporate capitalism working for you now?
      Getting that trickle down effect yet?
      The PFD from the PDF, now what is that exactly?
      1) free handout from the government
      2) everyone gets the same
      3) no work involved to receive the money, accept you do have to apply each year
      What part of capitalism does that fall under?

      • First off James, what the hell is “participatory corporate capitalism”? Secondly, what the hell is “trickle down effect”? A corporation is formed, if you are qualified you apply for a job. YOU need that job to live on. You receive an agreed upon wage and check. Nobody is forcing you to work there. What else do you feel your are entitled to? Let me help you – ZERO!!! All this silly “corporate capitalism or trickle down” bs talk is just that, meaningless Leftist silly bs.

      • Hi Bryan,
        Just calling bullshit and answering questions when I see ’em – Trickle down?…. I’m pretty sure that’s a Ronnie Regan term – as in “trickle down” economy? I’m pretty sure that you should know this concept… but calling it a socialist concept is too funny seeing where it came from… Unless you’re saying that Pres Regan was a socialist…
        Face facts, in this debate, James is right – we are in one of the most socialist states in the country. The best part is that all of the Alaskan Conservatives think that they’re not. More fed $ per citizen than any other state, constitutionally provided resource ownership of state natural resources and (by far the best ‘conservative’ pillar of stupidity) the PFD – I LOVE hearing ‘conservatives’ defend that one. AK = Socialism – it’s not getting more socialist, it’s slowly getting less socialist…
        Now – get back to Fox News or InfoWars or whatever nationalist youtube channel is all the rage while I laugh away the rest of the day.
        Cheers!

      • Jack,

        This is getting completely off point, but just some food for thought here. Alaska has one of the highest percentage of Federal land ownership. Alaska has the highest percentage of military to civilian populations. Alaska has the highest percentage of native populations per capita. Those three things are often forgotten about when people talk about Federal spending in Alaska.

        Alaska government also spends way more per resident than any other state. Spending money doesn’t automatically equate socialism, but a strong case can be made that the expansive social umbrella that has been set up in Alaska is more socialistic than any other state.

      • Jack, Ronnie, God Bless him, my hero, called it “Trickle Down Economics”. Meaning tax cuts stimulate growth, which in turn creates jobs and a robust economy. Something Socialists obviously can’t seem to grasp. A Socialists definition of “trickle down effect” as Jame’s calls it, means “the white collars make more then the G.E.D’s and that just isn’t fair”, thus we need “redistribution of wealth” – “trickle down effect”.
        The PFD is, well, a payment from oil companies draining the land and then throwing a bone at the good people of Alaska to look the other way. Socialism? More like rape…

      • Just like the Simpson’s Movie ‘Welcome to Alaska, here’s a thousand $’s!’ Pres Regan got a lot of things right. Leaves a lot to be desired for the past 30 years…
        Cheers!

    • The brainless bitter rantings of a heathen Commie Hippie from Washington State! LOL! You have to be low IQ to begin with to fall for the Marxist idiocy.

      • I hope that everyone on this board knows that I am a strong proponent of personal use and sport fishing in the Cook Inlet and generally have opposing views on this issue from James. HOWEVER, I will once again say this – Lay off the personal attacks, Burt! For shits sake, you threw 5 adjectives in that 1st sentence. Is the real reason you don’t put your full name down because your mommy and daddy will take your computer away? No? Then grow up and represent your views through debate and convincing facts instead of childish name calling and youtube link drops.
        Cheers!

      • Name calling is for bullys like POTUS, and you are no different. Take away the yearly Fed dollars to Alaska and the PFD, and see what you have left.
        If those payouts are not socialist handouts, I do not know what you would call them.
        You can sit on your high horse and bray like a jack***, though it is the same BS, we have all heard before, from AK wannabes, still sucking dollars from the state and fed coffers.
        How about we institute a statewide income and sales tax, and not give out anymore PFDs. Will that work for you, or will you head on back to the lower 48 state you were born in?
        Haters are all the same: insecure, narcissistic & egotistical.
        Fits you like a glove!

      • Burt, my last post was directed toward you, if you could not figure that one out.

        Happy Easter to all and may the Lord Jesus Christ shine his everlasting light on all of us and may God Bless us all. Get right with the Lord and you shall be set free! Amen!

      • I love it when the Communists begin to squeal! It means they can’t handle the truth and that triggers their little foot stomping and temper tantrums. Squeal a way little Comrades, Squeal away.

      • ‘Burt’, is your real name Alex? You sound an awful lot like a delusional psychotic who has the initials Alex Jones… Now… get back to your infowars – I think there’s a commercial on about how Alex Jones is actually the strongest human in the world because of his anti-commy supplements – 50% off but you have to act quickly!!
        Cheers man!

      • Burt, the only one squealing like a pig is yourself. How is that working for you?
        Do you actually have something intelligent to say, or do you just like spouting about commies and socialists.
        The State of Alaska has the biggest socialist system of all 50 states. Yes, I am well aware of the Fed ownership of land and native needs, though AK receives more Fed dollars per capita, than any other state. Check our SE US states and how they compare with ALaskans!

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