Letter to the Editor: Time for bipartisanship

Hypocrisy is alive and well in the Republican Party.

As a lifelong Alaskan, I wholeheartedly support the actions taken by Rep. Gary Knopp (R) during the 31st Legislature. In today’s political environment, we cannot afford to be one party or the other. The political divide is getting us nowhere fast, and Alaskans know better than anyone how to work together and put aside our political differences to get the job done. Unfortunately, the majority of the Republicans in the House believe they can get things done on their own accord, without working with anyone else. It should be clear to all that Republicans do not singularly represent Alaska, we need to raise and embrace our diverse voices to succeed.

Rep. Knopp has all of Alaskans in mind by being courageous enough to vocally recognize that a Republican-led administration, Senate and House will not do justice for representing the whole of Alaska. He realizes that we need one joint coalition to alleviate the biases already in place. He has been open and honest about his transactions. When he was brave enough to go against his party and not confirm Rep. David Talerico (R), which would hand the Republicans the majority in the House, his fellow Republicans chastised him, going as far as calling him a “terrorist” and “traitor.” Security at the capitol building needed to be upped because there were death threats made against him. This is not the Alaska that I know and love. On the contrary, when Rep. Louise Stutes (R) nominated Rep. Knopp for Speaker of the House, the 20 Republicans that reprimanded Knopp for voting against his own party, in turn, voted against him. Hypocrisy is alive and well in the Republican Party.

Rep. Dan Ortiz (D), while speaking his support for Knopp said “through cooperation, we can represent ALL Alaskan’s interest in a very positive way.” I believe Rep. was speaking for all Alaskans who are frustrated that the job is not getting done due to egos and stubbornness. The House Democrats have demonstrated they are ready and willing to work, it is now the House Republicans who are holding up the process.

Rep. Knopp does not represent my district — but he represents me as an Alaskan who doesn’t wish to see partisan control ruin our great state. I urge the House Republicans to do what’s best for Alaska — not just their party. We elected our representatives to get a job done, a job that is not getting done because of party differences. It’s time they roll up their sleeves and work together.

Please, call your representatives and urge them to get to work by electing Knopp as Speaker of the House, so we can have a bipartisan leadership in the House that will work for ALL Alaskans.

— Susie Jenkins-Brito, Dillingham

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