ARP Chair Tuckerman Babcock Calls on House Speaker to Resign
Alaska Republican Party
HOUSE SPEAKER BRYCE EDGMON SHOULD RESIGN – IMMEDIATELY
Chaos, hypocrisy and desperate self-preservation are the sad hallmarks of the totally failed administration of House Speaker Bryce Edgmon.
The on-going scandal-ridden mess in the House of Representatives falls squarely on Speaker Edgmon’s incapable shoulders.
He leads the first Democrat controlled House in decades…but inexperience is no excuse for the scandals, cover-ups and bizarre management that characterizes his weak tenure.
A few notorious examples: Speaker Edgmon and his Majority Leader Chris Tuck learn of a sexual harassment complaint from a staff member working in Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s office in early 2017. The alleged culprit is freshman Democrat Representative Dean Westlake. No investigation is launched, just a wink and nod toward Rep. Westlake. And the complaint from the young woman is ignored. Secrecy covers the allegation and the allegedly harassed aide is left dangling in the wind.
That is until the disappointed and frustrated former aide goes public in the fall of 2017 on Facebook live. Only when the cat was out of the bag did Speaker Edgmon even try to address the problem. He fumbled and fell flat on his face defending Rep. Westlake, only to run for cover and then demand Westlake’s resignation as the pubic and media pressure grew unabated.
The next crisis the Speaker faced was the unruly and drunken antics of freshman Democrat Zach Fansler. The Speaker initially defended Rep. Fansler and insisted that the police report about rough sex gone wrong and striking a woman in the head should run its course and let justice determine the guilt of the freshman Representative. Within days Speaker Edgmon abandoned his position and demanded Rep. Fansler resign. Again, only as a result of public and media pressure.
The Speaker then faced an offensive sexual harassment allegation directed by a reporter against freshman Democrat Justin Parish of Juneau. These surfaced in February, 2018. Speaker Edgmon’s response: Silence. Secrecy. Another wink and nod, and some good old sexual harassment training to whitewash the problem. Only when the on-going harassment became public in April, 2018, did the Speaker rise to his office and respond. As this press release goes public, the Speaker is holding desperate meetings to figure out once again how to deal with a problem…again only after the problem became public. We expect a frantic demand that Rep. Parish resign from the milquetoast Speaker.
The complete absence of leadership, the complete absence of decorum, the complete absence of action and of taking responsibility, all are endemic to the profound lack of management from House Speaker Bruce Edgmon.
There is no excuse for the disarray, the failure to act proactively and the failure to act at all in any significant way. That is, until press reports expose the rotten core of each of these freshman Democrats. Three sexual harassers in one session is a new record, and all under the “leadership” of Bryce Edgmon. Time to step up and accept responsibility for the collapse of order and behavior in the House Mr. Speaker.
In each case, Speaker Edgmon knew there was a problem long before he acted, He seems to be helplessly blinking until public pressure and the media rouse him to cast aside the troubled member of his majority. Edgmon’s behavior is the definition of the absence of leadership.
One can only wonder where the otherwise strident voices of Rep. Geran Tarr, Dan Ortiz, Ivy Spohnhoz and Andy Josephson are at this stage. Alaska deserves responsible, mature leadership, whether Democrat or Republican, or “Independent”. Now Alaska needs a new Speaker before another day dawns.
The Alaska Republican Party looks forward to contesting the elections in August and November, but today we speak only as Alaskans who care deeply about the integrity of the House of Representatives and the safety and security of women who work in the Capitol, ask for the resignation of the shadow of a Speaker of the House, Dillingham Representative Bryce Edgmon.
-April 25, 2018-