default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Political theater: Criticism of our immature legislator was overblown

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013 12:00 am

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

We have this message to our Interior legislators: Focus on the real issues and not on inflated cheeks.

Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, was goofing around on the House floor during a Monday night session by puffing out his cheeks and sticking out his tongue during remarks by House Speaker Mike Chenault on the in-state natural gas pipeline bill. This isn’t kindergarten, and the veteran legislator ought to know better.

Rep. Kawasaki told a Daily News-Miner reporter Tuesday afternoon that his actions weren’t aimed at the speaker. Rather, he was texting with someone watching the debate on television and was making faces for that person’s benefit. Using the cellphone in the chamber, by the way, is a violation of House rules, so Rep. Kawasaki should be dinged not only for his immature behavior but also for violating the cellphone rule.

That should have been the end of it. Rep. Kawasaki isn’t the first legislator to misbehave in Juneau, nor the most irresponsible by far. Others have acted in poor form outside and inside the capital building walls. Some have ended up in jail.

But four Republican legislators from the Interior saw Rep. Kawasaki’s actions as the first indication that the end of the world was at hand.

Reps. Pete Higgins and Steve Thompson of Fairbanks and Tammie Wilson and Doug Isaacson of North Pole held a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to bash Rep. Kawasaki for his behavior, which they took to be directed at Speaker Chenault. Their terribly contrived concern was that Speaker Chenault will be so distraught over Rep. Kawasaki’s puffy cheeks and protruding tongue that he will punish the entire region of Interior Alaska by not allowing passage of the natural gas trucking bill that will help lower energy costs here.

We apparently think more highly of Speaker Chenault than these four members of the GOP caucus.

Reps. Thompson, Wilson, Higgins and Isaacson could have spared us the embarrassment of their news conference had they actually asked Rep. Kawasaki to explain himself. Rep. Isaacson gave away the fact the group hadn’t bothered to inquire. “I wouldn’t mind if he had a chance to speak his mind and to explain perhaps what he was doing,” Rep. Isaacson said at the news conference.

Yes, but to have offered Rep. Kawasaki that chance in advance would have deprived these four legislators of the opportunity to try to score some political points over something that was, at its worst, a violation of decorum.

More about

More about

More about

Advertisement

www.walkerforalaska.com

Gubernatorial candidate, Bill Walker, is concerned that the state is in a ...

Stanley Nissan Service

Stanley Nissan service

Find Yourself

You're ready for something new. New challenges, new places, new adventures. E...

Wes Madden 2014 Ad #2 Fairbanks

Description

www.walkerforalaska.com

Bill Walker, candidate for governor, was born in Fairbanks before statehood. ...

Guidelines

The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Writers are limited to one letter every 30 days. All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.