The question of whether conservative candidates in Alaska support a binding caucus has become a major topic on the campaign trail this year. It came to the forefront over the past year after members of the Republican majority in Juneau were stripped of leadership positions, committee memberships, staff and office space when conservative senators were punished for refusing to vote with the majority caucus to cap Permanent Fund Dividend payments or to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes.
Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, has spearheaded the effort to remove the binding caucus in order to let legislators vote their conscience and represent constituent concerns without fear of losing influence or effectiveness in Juneau.
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On Monday, July 6, Shower will be joined by Rep. George Rauscher and Rep. Ben Carpenter to address the controversy during a Zoom meeting. Alaska Republican Assembly (AKRA), a non-profit organization that aims to advance conservative candidates and policies, is hosting the event.
Shower introduced legislation earlier this year to end the binding caucus system after both the House and Senate majority caucuses shifted to the left with Republicans creating multi-party caucuses that have severely restricted conservative legislators from key committee assignments and leadership posts. He has posted an informative video on the topic on his Facebook page.
Shower’s Senate Joint Resolution 17, which is accompanied by a SB 187 to the same effect, would amend the State Constitution to prohibit legislators from forming binding caucuses in which members must commit beforehand to vote for or against proposed bills, appointments, vetoes or other measures before the Legislature.
The Zoom meeting starts at 7 p.m. on July 6. Click here to join the meeting (Meeting ID is 860 4858 1895). Click here to watch via Facebook. For more information, contact John Miller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.