What does it mean when Alaskan politicians say they are Republican? It used to indicate they’d fight for lower taxes, reduced spending, the life of the unborn, marriage as the union of one man and one woman, the PFD, resource development, election integrity, our First and Second Amendment rights, etc. That’s not clear anymore.

“Republicans” like Sen. Lisa Murkowski don’t even pay lip service to protecting unborn babies, and she’s willing to bend over backwards to confirm President Biden’s key nominees such as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, clearly a radical environmentalist who wants nothing to do with letting Alaska develop its oil, gas and timber resources.

Last week, Alaska’s so-called “conservative” Republican Senator – Dan Sullivan – joined Murkowski and all the Democrats in voting to help enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law, despite the fact that this legislation will threaten the ability of many Americans to carry out business and charitable actions in accord with their deeply held conviction that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

In the Alaska Legislature, we’ll probably have slim Republican majorities in the State House and Senate, but if recent history is any indicator, they will likely form left-of-center ruling coalitions with Democrats to marginalize their conservative colleagues.

Of course, ranked choice voting hasn’t done conservatives any favors. By doing away with party primaries, Republicans are no longer able to vet candidates and choose the strongest Republican to run in the general election. Instead, the new jungle primary lets anyone identify as Republican, regardless of whether they actually support the party’s platform in any meaningful way. If they can convince enough Democrats and independents to vote for them, they can advance as “Republicans” to the general election without ever having to appeal to actual Republicans or show any fidelity to the platform.

But even before ranked-choice voting, Republicans were caucusing with Democrats in Juneau, pledging to avoid “contentious” (aka – meaningful) issues and demonstrating an unwillingness to stand on principle or assert their majority clout.

Going forward, Alaskans should be less interested in whether someone clams to be a “Republican” and much keener on finding out whether they have a backbone to stand and fight for conservative values that, once upon a time, defined the Republican Party.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Alaska’s Republican brand is dead

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Steve Peterson says:

    They lie.

  • JC says:

    It is a sad day when I can no longer support the Republican party. The Dems have gone off the deep end and the red lemming turncoats are following.

  • Michael Alan says:

    So the big question is, what are we going to do about it?
    When will we hold GOP leadership accountable?

  • Joe Drayton says:

    Lack of organization on the Republican Party side. I volunteered as a ballot watcher for the Republican Party this last go around. I sincerely recommend that everyone do it. It was an eye opener on how well the Democratic Party is run. Vote harvesting at senior centers and homeless shelters was very evident by ballots having the same addresses. These votes add up. Also the targeted scrutiny of certain close election races. After all why waste your time on a clear R or D district. These tactics to name a few should be adopted by the Republicans. Otherwise get used to Blue.

    • Terry Stires says:

      Joe. Is it wrong or unethical or illegal to have ballots cast from the same address like a senior center? Are you against that? are you against everyone having a chance to vote?

  • Diana H Graf says:

    To Alaska Watchman November 21, 2022
    I believe God in heaven sees it all and He knows what He’s doing far more than any of us.
    As far as I can see, though, I agree with this article and am saddened also that the ones with a backbone were pushed through an election/voting system that was never cleansed and purged from the last election period where huge questions were raised and nothing was done extensively…..except for in Maricopa County.
    In Maricopa County, they took a long time to count the votes…discrediting the work that was done by so many in the hopes of reestablishing election integrity….making them look like they didn’t know what they were doing…amateurs…disgruntled citizens…etc.
    Then in Alaska, Alaskans were once again robbed of the one they wanted by Lisa Murkowski who got through the last time using a legal loophole and this time by establishing ranked voting in her favor and selling out Alaska to the money and influence of the Democrat party.
    There is no real ability to certify who wins these elections because of the confusion in the essential integrity of the voting process heavily influenced by big money and big power players.
    Something can be done though. Get behind the outsider Donald Trump who is running against money and power only….not any other petty candidate from a defunct republican party… you say. How he and his vast team will be able to circumvent the Election process as it stands…I don’t know… but he’s all we’ve got on the ground. As I said before, God in heaven sees it all and He knows what He’s doing far more than any of us. The point for all of us is to stay aligned with our Father in heaven, pray for the nation, and hold to the truth by not participating in the lie. We have to play our part wherever we work and live to see the fullness of what God has in store come to pass….not because we want it but because He wants it and we want what He wants.

    • Terry Stires says:

      Graf: There has never been as much scrutiny on American and Alaskan voting processes as there was in 2022. No fraud Diana. No shenanigans. No one cheated. No confusion.

      Donald Trump is not running against money and power. He IS money and power. Send him a check. He loves Americans like you.

      This is telling. You wrote, “How he and his vast team will be able to circumvent the Election process as it stands…I don’t know… but he’s all we’ve got on the ground. ” Meaning you don’t know how he WILL CHEAT AGAIN, but you trust he will. You’re the best player on my team.

      And if your god is all powerful and “He wants it and we want what he wants”, why does he make its so difficult? Why doesn’t he just change things to suit what you think he wants? Why do we have free agency when your god knows what he is doing? Doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

      • Steven Chappell says:

        You have your head so far up your third point of contact you must be blue from no oxygen. The whole RVC is shenanigans at the highest accord. Ballot Harvesting the last time I checked is Illegal in the state. Going to Senior homes and collecting ballots is the highest form of both fraud and cheating. Vote by mail should only be for those people that request not sent out to every voter on the rolls that is overinflated and needs to be cleaned up. Don’t like what I say I will be just like you and the rest of your kind and tell you to go pound sand. Your last sentence is exactly right you have no lick of sense at least you admit one thing we all know.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, He raises up kings and takes down kings. We need to side with those that stand up for God’s Truth and then trust Him to know what is best for His purposes to be fulfilled.

  • Reggie Taylor says:

    With so many RINOs claiming to be Republican, but still openly opposed to the pro-life plank of the platform, this implosion was inevitable, just like the death of the Whig Party. It was getting to the point where the (R) behind their names had no meaning. You had to know the candidate from previous works. Now with Ranked Choice Voting, party primaries are also dead. The only function of any party now is to pander for money, then funnel it to their preferred candidates. In short, they’re just political cartels.
    It’s all corrupt beyond redemption. I’m okay with complete collapse now.

  • Barb Melland says:

    I have walked away fm the republican party and become an Independent out of feelings of abandonment fm a party that mouths conservative values, but in actuality as a whole is left of center. They appear to have been for a long time both impotent and complicit in handling rino Republicans in our legislature. Having the majority is laughable when rinos join democraps. What’s even worse, true conservatives are demonised and punished by their fellow republicans. I am angry and disgusted with republican “leadership”.

  • Whidbey Thedog says:

    So you want to talk about the debasing of the Republican Party? Look no further than those who now define it at the National level – Donald Trump, MTG, Boebert, McCarthy. The GOP has become a cult that worships DJT, that has no real ideological platform, that follows Q-Anon (how utterly disgusting), that creates and promulgates conspiracy theories, and that sows distrust in elections and tears the Country apart as a result. That is what defines the GOP today. Nothing will give me greater pleasure than to see the party torn down the middle, with the far-Right doing their own thing until they drift off into irrelevance and extinction. Moderate Republicans with real traditional Conservative ideology have my respect – in fact I was one of them for 55 of my 66 years. But, as Arliss Sturgelewski once said, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me”. She was right. The GOP has been transmogrified into some sort of Zombie party, where Democrats are enemies and not opponents, where Heaven is reserved for White Christian Republicans, where Truth is obfuscated, and where division is elevated, all in a craven desire for power and White supremacy. Lincoln is sobbing in his grave.

    • Larry Wood says:

      That follows Q-Anon? Oh, please. Although, even Q-Anon beats the heck out of Marx and advocating the sexual mutilation of little kids any day of the week. Isn’t it interesting how the focus of the Left is on the sexualization of children?

  • Akdale says:

    said bye 20 years ago. Ak will go full blue if a solution is not found. new party? redo this one?

  • Jen says:

    Every denigrating letter and comment about the GOP further takes away our right to having a non democrat opinion but also one stepcloser to a one party rule. You don’t approve past republican chairs, commitee, and staff straying away from core principles, then you needed to be at the republican district meetings doing whatever work so you and your voice are known, heard, and respected. Just as Christ spoke of his followers are one body. The same is true for ideologies, you need
    To belong to a body like republicans working toward protecting core principles even being in a position correcting, instructing,rebuking party leadership who stray into their own greed, values, or interests.

  • James says:

    I’m not far from registering AKIP. What’s the point of registering Republican when there’s no real primary anyway?

  • Kasey says:

    The Lord says that in the last days will be marked by great confusion. It’s “confusing” when someone who takes a Republican label, yet doesn’t stand for any of it and votes with the other party. Ranked choice is “confusing”. Gender confusion, when good is called ‘evil’ and evil is called ‘good’. But God is not a God of confusion, but of order. When you see confusion and dis-order, it’s not of God. But God is allowing it and using it for His GOOD purpose. Ultimately, this is a world rejecting Him increasingly more and more. God speaks through His human instruments to call people to Himself and He is eager to pardon. Eventually, people will reject Him to their own judgement. At some point, perhaps soon, God will say “ok; you don’t want to have anything to do with ME?? Alright, then!” and He will remove all genuine believers from the face of the earth, and then His judgement will fall. Remember Noah’s flood. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah. God is HOLY and Just. At some point, He must step in.

    • Whidbey Thedog says:

      I’m sorry Kasey, but everything you are saying here is fantasy. Deception by others (probably in your youth) brought you down this path, and now you are deceiving yourself. Like most Christians, you repeat the dogma ever-more stridently in the hope of actually convincing yourself that it’s true.

    • Terry Stires says:

      Dear mom and dad: thank you from every cell of my body for raising me an atheist.

  • Joe Drayton says:

    Terry it is deeper than that due to a 1982 Consent Degree against the New Jersey Republican Party. Since 1982 the Republicans have been ham strung in their efforts on getting out the vote i.e. vote harvesting. The consent degree was lifted in 2015. Since then the Republicans are learning the LEGAL methods that the Democrats have mastered on getting out the vote. Mail in ballots as it stands is the way to win an election. Just look at the vote counting going on currently in Alaska.

  • M.John says:

    Rinos. Just Rinos.

  • Larry Wood says:

    The Alaska Republican Party is run by establishment Rs. They like big gov’t and they like big budgets. What bothers me is not the dilution of the Republican Party, it has been this way for many years. It is the rebranding of some as conservatives when their record says otherwise.

  • Rosalind Griffin says:

    the Republican party is a corporation. they make more money when they lose

  • The Independent Observer says:

    It is interesting that in the history of the Republican party they’ve had difficulty in identifying a platform they can support and retain. The earliest name of the Party was the Federalist Party, of whom Washington served to terms. The Federalist party morphed into the Democratic-Republican party name to signify its resistance to strong centralized government supported by anti-Federalist. The Republicans managed to maintain those ideals until Andrew Jackson, the Hero of the War of 1812 against England, blew up the Republican party with his positions on the Louisiana Purchase and American expansionism, and was elected President as the first Democrat (also called “King Andrew” for his authoritarian reign), typifying a tolerance of slavery, and who was at war with the independent banking industry. As earlier mentioned, the Republican party revived in a coalition of groups as the “Whigs,” in opposition to the policies of Jackson, and managed to remain relevant for about 16 years, until defeated by the Democrats again. The Republican Party revived under Abe Lincoln, who began his political career as a Whig. Although a Republican, his Vice-President after his re-election was Andrew Johnson, a Union-Democrat Senator from Tennessee, as a sign of unity to reunite the country after the Civil War, and who assumed the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination. Johnson’s reconstruction policies, his lenient southern persuasions and challenge of Constitutional Presidential Authority went against more the radical Republican Congress, and he became the first President to be impeached, and the Republican Party was re-elected in US Grant. The Republican party of Lincoln, who promoted the small government model, would later nominate Teddy Roosevelt for a third term after Howard Taft, under the convoluted ideologies of the Progressive party of the Bull Moose, and split the Republican party after losing to Woodrow Wilson. It was several years later that the Republicans were able to reorganize to regain its identity under Garfield, who was a conservative faction Stalwart Republican, and was assassinated by the liberal faction of the republican party known as Half-Breeds.
    I related all of this to say this; The Republicans have always had difficulty developing their identity and embracing their passions, whether Whigs or Re-constructionists, Stalwarts or Half-Breeds, Moral Majority or Tea Party, MAGA Republicans or Christian Nationalists; There has always been obvious infighting and division with no unity, and evidently some things never change. If there is anything to admire about the Democrats, as history bears out, they have always been united in their ideology and will embrace as their own anyone who can contribute to their misguided liberal agenda with a focused outcome. Until the Republicans can unite and coalesce under a common ideology they are doomed to fail, again and again. And now the Alaska RP is one less.